Security Executive Council Identifies Nine Attributes that Spell Security Success

February 16, 2011, Washington, DC—The Security Executive Council has identified a list of attributes that are common to successful security leaders. Security directors and executives can use this insight to identify areas to target for improvement in their programs.

As a part of its Goals, Objectives & Strategic Plans project, the Council conducted in-depth interviews with 28 Tier 1 Security Leaders to discover and compare best practices. They discussed issues such as their top organizational risks, business alignment and drivers, internal influence issues and senior management's view of Security. During the resulting qualitative analysis, it became clear that the interviewees with highly successful, internally recognized security programs had several things in common.

The successful security leader
• has created a robust internal awareness program for Security including formal marketing and communication initiatives;
• ensures that senior management knows what security is and does;
• has a walk-and-talk mentality—regularly talks to senior business leaders about their issues and how security can help;
• converses in business risk terminology, not “security”;
• understands his or her corporate culture and adapts to it;
• is well respected and never reacts by exploiting fear, uncertainty and doubt;
• has Security program goals that mirror the company’s business goals;
• has top-level support from day one; and
• sees Security's role as a bridging facilitator or coordinator across all functions.

"The interviewees that articulated all or most of the nine highly developed security leader attributes stood out as recognized industry leaders with strong and often innovative programs," said Kathleen Kotwica, EVP and Chief Knowledge Strategist for the Council. "While they had different leadership styles, we found it of note that they all gravitated to similar ways of moving Security forward in their organization."

To learn more about the Tier 1 Security Leader program, click here.

About the Security Executive Council
The Security Executive Council ( is an innovative problem-solving research and services organization. We work with Tier 1 Security Leaders to reduce risk and add to corporate profitability in the process. A faculty of more than 100 experienced security executives provides strategy, insight and proven practices that cannot be found anywhere else. Through our pioneering approach of Collective Knowledge, we serve corporations and organizations of all types and sizes. The Council is quickly becoming the foremost voice on organizational risk mitigation leadership. We welcome all aspects of the security community to become involved. If you are a practitioner, vendor/contractor, media company, professional association or educational institution, contact us:

Marleah Blades
Manager, External Relations

Return to the newsroom.