ASIS Europe security conference to focus on the human factor

Brussels, Beligum

ASIS International announces that Martin Smith, CEO of The Security Company and founder of the Security Awareness Special Interest Group, will be a keynote speaker and will provide a presentation on the human factor in security at the 9th ASIS International European Security Conference which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal on 18-21 April 2010.

Martin Smith has had a fascinating and varied career in the world of espionage. His unique knowledge of counter-terrorism, counter-fraud and computer security is in enormous demand from commercial corporations around the world.

Martin gained his degree in behavioural psychology before spending nearly 15 years as a commissioned officer in the UK Royal Air Force, mainly assigned to counter-espionage and counter-terrorism duties throughout East and West Europe. After being awarded membership of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for this work, he left the Service to carve out a second career in the commercial sector. He joined Touche Ross Management Consultants before becoming the Senior Director of Corporate Security for Kroll Associates. He then joined the Standard Chartered Bank as Head of Information Security before (in 1997) forming The Security Company (International) Limited.

Martin is a Fellow of The Security Institute. He is also the Chairman/Founder of the Security Awareness Special Interest Group and an active member of the Information Security Awareness Forum.

Talking on the 9th European Conference, Martin Smith said: "I believe that the human aspects of security and fraud prevention must be promoted to their rightful place alongside the technical solutions. Despite the vast sums of money invested in physical and IT systems security, many organisations remain inherently vulnerable to even the most basic of security weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The carelessness underlying the frauds and security breaches that are occurring more and more often, the lack of any apparent knowledge or concern shown by employees about the potential threats to themselves and their companies, and the continuing ease with which criminals can still overcome the hurdles placed in their way should prompt us to look again at what we are doing.

"We all know that there can never be a guarantee of perfect security. But I believe it is our lack of focus on the people issues that is at the heart of our current vulnerability. I believe that for most organisations it is possible to significantly reduce the overall level of risk through simple and relatively inexpensive initiatives to get their people back on their side. To put it bluntly, we must stop focusing on brain surgery whilst the patient is dying of the common cold!"

The conference will feature more than 36 high-level educational sessions for and by international security experts that will cover the entire spectrum of security topics ranging from cyber crime, energy security, piracy, terrorism, intellectual property rights, hotel and building security, and more.

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