Canadian Security Magazine

ASIS Toronto Best Practices 2016

Neil Sutton   

Features Photo Gallery ASIS International asis toronto

On April 21, the Toronto Chapter of ASIS International held its 23rd annual best practices seminar, providing information on a diversity of topics from cheque fraud to effective communications strategies.

Bruno Bourgoin, Manager, Security Intelligence Section, Ontario Power Generation, opened the day with a session of intelligence gathering for critical infrastructure. Bourgoin, an armed forces veteran with 17 years experience in military intelligence, provided an overview of OPG’s intelligence program, including the role of IT (and the safeguarding of intelligence data), threat analysis, social media analysis and more.

Symcor CSO Harold Wax, focused his session on cheque fraud — a crime that never seems to go away and has drawn renewed criminal interest due to the prevalence of cheque imaging, which is a popular means of handling deposits. Fraud can be accomplished not only with the monetary value of the cheque itself but its inherent data, such as banking details, account numbers, names, and so on.

Mark Cousins, Chief Special Constable, at the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), provided his version of “protection with a smile,” proving that security and customer service don’t have to be competing objectives. Cousins, who served in policing for almost 30 years, has been responsible for several ground-breaking initiatives since joining the TTC. Cousins, for example, made the security control centre at Yonge & Bloor station literally transparent to TTC riders by removing the tint from its windows. He said he has worked hard to develop a co-operative environment where all employees are encouraged to communicate and participate in security. “When people say how many security people do you have, I say 14,000,” he said.

Past President of ASIS International Dave Tyson made a special trip to Toronto on short notice to help support the event. He shared with attendees his experiences of serving as the organization’s president, including travelling to 25 countries to help promote its international agenda. He also encouraged ASIS members to get more involved, particularly if they are interested in having more of a say in the organization’s initiatives and affairs.


Geoff Weinstein, author of Buried Alive, talked about communicating clearly in a world increasingly dominated by social media and other information-based distractions. Concisely worded emails with appropriate greetings and sign-offs can help to get the message across, he said. His message to sales people was, find the right pressure points — make customers care and show them your passion.

The day concluded with a case study from Ryerson University’s Imre Juurlink and Alasdair Goodwill with a focus on anonymous threats perpetuated by untraceable emails and their impact on campus safety.

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