Your Security Program in 2018: Less Vader, More Chewbacca

By Greg Cullison


To really measure your security program’s effectiveness, put yourself in your employees’ shoes.

What is their primary interaction with your security program? Surly gate guards and evil stares when they lose their badges? An annual security refresher with emailed deadline reminders that slowly exert a deathgrip around their throats until they comply?

Be honest. To them you look like Darth Vader: ominous, omnipotent and cold-hearted, sitting behind a force field of closed doors while you operate the Death Star. Sadly, you’re misunderstood: all you want is to protect your facilities and people from harm.

Whether you have one headquarters to protect or multiple outposts spread across far-flung galaxies, you simply cannot have an effective security program without the willing participation of your employees. It would take a real Jedi mind trick to see inside their heads, and we fear that’s a few parsecs too far.

You need to become more like Chewbacca. He’s an imposing figure and scary to his enemies, but once you get to know him, he’s not only highly competent (flying the Millennium Falcon) he also has a soft Chewy center. Plus, he has a raving fan base like moms from Dallas:

So, be more approachable and, yes, helpful. Do this and you will reap the benefits of your employees self-managing their behavior and increasing their awareness without your resorting to the power of the Dark Side to enforce compliance. They will think before they click on the phishing email, take better care of company property, and advise you if they see something suspicious (like potential insider threat activity). All this because they understand how they individually contribute to everyone’s security.

Consider areas where you can add value to your employees’ lives by helping them enhance their own safety to increase the positive interactions with your department. Helpful advice on personal safety during the holiday shopping season? Winter driving tips? Security briefings that delight and don’t suck?

The possibilities are endless. And who knows -- this year your security department might become almost as huggable as an ewok.

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