4 Steps to the Security Industry's Economic Survival

We all know the economy is in bad shape. At SOURCE Boston 2009, Martin Roesch and other security industry heavyweights offered these tips for surviving the bad times and preparing to thrive when skies brighten

Everyone is focused on clinging to a job or finding a new one in these dark economic times. In doing so, avoiding controversy and risk is usually standard operating procedure. But it shouldn't be, according to several security industry heavyweights who attended the recent SOURCE Boston conference.

Peter Kuper, a managing partner at HypAdvisor Consulting LLC and former head software analyst at Morgan Stanley, said there's no better time than now to take risks -- whether it involves repositioning careers or launching new security ventures. The economy will eventually revive, and industry professionals will be better positioned to thrive when that time comes if they use the bad times to create and perfect something new.

"The good news is this [recession] had to happen to clean out the bad and make room for the stronger," Kuper said, suggesting that the stronger will be today's risk takers. "What will you do as an individual or a company to position yourself for when things get better?"

He offered a series of suggestions, as did other security industry luminaries. To that end, here are four potential steps to getting through the economic collapse and emerging stronger when recovery rises from the ashes:

1. Start a new company

If you have a lot of pent-up security savvy and can't put it to good use because the job has been eliminated or the contracts have dried up, the time is ripe for launching a new security venture, be it a consultancy or technology vendor. This may seem like a crazy thing to do in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but Kuper sees it as one of the sanest moves one can make right now.

"Today is the best time to start a new company because instead of immediately trying to catch up to the big companies, there's going to be at least a year or two where you can build the business right and be in a position to charge out of the gate when the economy improves," Kuper said.

Sharing that philosophy is David Mortman, a CSO in residence at Echelon One.

"I'm no financial analyst, but this seems like a really good opportunity for people who are starting up companies," he said. "There isn't the expectation to perform like there was two or five years ago, and you'll have a year to two years to develop your product without the traditional venture-capital expectations of going into the middle of a park, shaking a tree and making money fall out."

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