of Business Communications Feature
"How do you keep your international operations secure? " This question -- high on many corporate officers' minds given events in the last several years -- was answered at a conference organized by the Illinois Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) in conjunction with seventeen other CIBERs across the country. The conference on corporate security and international operations was held at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL. More than 70 professionals, representing a range of states and several countries, attended the late-October business conference. A related research workshop was held the following day. [Images from the conference are available on the CIBER website.]
The event featured three panels with speakers discussing threat assessment in international operations, strategic responses to security risks, and operational responses to security risks. Participants enjoyed a business lunch and a reception at the end of the day.
The first panel covered threat assessment in international operations. Speakers included Richard Jaehne, director of the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute and a member of the Illinois State Terrorism Task Force, who talked about the impact of terrorism on businesses. The Deputy Executive Director of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) from the US Department of State, Richard Ingram, talked about corporate security in the global context as it pertained to the OSAC. He explained OSAC strategic objectives and how the Council could help corporate security. The former Director of Global Security for Motorola, Bernie Bahahan, described the real challenge as finding the right balance between threats and risks and security costs.
Strategic responses to security risks were presented by Mike McCloskey, senior program manager from IBM's Office of Corporate Security. Tactical and strategic responses as well as goals for organizing corporate security were discussed. International catastrophe risk consultant Gordon Woo, who specializes in the mathematical aspects of catastrophe risk modeling, discussed the issue of terrorism risk transfer and concluded that risk transfer can be achieved by buying insurance or possibly through securitization. Monica Francois, partner at Language & Culture Worldwide, LLC, discussed human resource planning for expatriate security. She gave examples of emergency communication plans for human resource departments such as 24/7 help-lines, kidnapping training, and employee assistance programs. Francois also offered recommendations for human resource offices, which included site assessment planning, emergency communications, and resource gathering.
The third panel discussed operational responses to security risks. David Loundy, an attorney with Devon Bank, Christopher Carlson, a security architect from Boeing, and Daryn Rollins, a lead investigator from Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations, served on the panel. Loundy focused on intellectual property (IP) rights issues including identifying what IP companies owns, how much it is worth, who might want to abuse IP rights, to what extent IP should be protected, and how to protect the rights. In his presentation, Carlson discussed how to preserve a company's technology investments -- why one should protect information, how to assess risk and what to do to reduce risk -- while taking advantage of global opportunities. He suggested to the attendees that they understand and communicate what their companies have to lose, assign responsibility for risk analysis, decided on any additional mitigations, and fund and staff security plans. Rollins presented solutions on how to manage supply chain security including access control, process management, cargo integrity, conveyance integrity, and human resource practices. Rollins believes that good security is good business.
The first CIBER security conference covered corporate security from how to assess a company's security risks to protecting trademarks to keeping employees safe while abroad. Participants and speakers had ample time for networking and feedback to conference organizers indicated that the sessions were well received.
Interdisciplinary research in the field of global security was the subject of a day-long workshop aimed at academicians. Twenty-six participants in the corporate security conference took part in the workshop.
Joseph Cheng, Illinois CIBER director and research workshop host, welcomed the group and challenged them to look outside their traditional research methods and disciplines to create new frameworks for research on global security issues. Cheng moderated the first panel on framing security issues in analytical terms. Michael Hitt, a distinguished professor at Texas A&M University, discussed the effects of terrorism on the types of strategies firms currently use. Alan Rugman, L. Leslie Waters Chair of International Business at Indiana University, gave an presentation on US economic security and the reinforcement of regional economic policies using the oil sector as an example.
The second panel discussed how to investigate security issues using scientific methods. Carol West, director of the University of Florida CIBER, moderated. Speakers included John O'Connell, C.V. Starr Professor of International Insurance and Risk Management at Thunderbird, and Christopher Thornberg, a senior economist at UCLA. O'Connell talked about the risk management approach to Homeland Security research and Thornberg discussed the economic impact of disasters. According to his research, the effects of September 11, 2001, on the economy were not as significant as originally predicted.
The first afternoon panel discussed how to develop an interdisciplinary research agenda and implementation plan. David Platt, director of the University of Texas CIBER, moderated the session, which featured Francis Gavin, assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, who talked about the new security challenges confronting the US and the need to exploit methodologies from a wide range of disciplines to understand these questions. Madhu Viswanathan, associate professor at the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, discussed substantive and methodological issues in interdisciplinary research using his own interdisciplinary research program on illiteracy and consumer behavior to illustrate several issues.
This unique event offered researchers from a variety of disciplines a chance to consider ways to expand their boundaries to create a true interdisciplinary approach to global security research.
Since its establishment in 1993, the University of Illinois' Center for International Business Education and Research (Illinois CIBER) has been a leader in advancing the study and teaching of international business and supporting research on global competitiveness. Drawing on the outstanding resources of the University and the College of Business, CIBER staff design and implement programs for local, regional, and national impact. The team's mission is to offer high-quality teaching, research, and outreach programs that help advance their global knowledge and cross-cultural skills.
Illinois CIBER is committed to empowering students, faculty, and business professionals to meet the globalization challenge of the 21st Century. Our mission is to offer high-quality teaching, research, and outreach programs that help advance their global knowledge and cross-cultural skills.