The event kicked off with a keynote presentation from David Millar-LaRocque, Canadian Solutions Leader, IBM Canada. Millar-LaRocque's presentation, AI2 = Artificial Intelligence x Alternative Intelligence, examined the challenges of meeting today's cybersecurity challenges with limited resources. The skills gap in IT security, combined with the constantly-evolving threat landscape, is proving difficult for most organizations to handle. Artificial intelligence (AI) is ushering in a new era of problem-solving, accelerating at such a pace that organizations may be left behind if they don't take the correct approach. One is approach is to harness the power of AI in combination with "alternative intelligence." Millar-LaRocque postulated that many hiring practices today are seriously flawed — interview techniques and screening processes are ill-equipped to discover the ideal candidates for a given job and may actually be counterproductive. "Outside the box" thinkers may be screened out, despite the fact that they are well suited to the complex challenges that many of today's organizations need to address.
Millar-LaRocque noted that many of society's most gifted contributors, like Einstein and Telsa, possessed this "alternative intelligence," which in some cases may actually be a form of high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome. Millar-LaRocque noted the pitfalls of many of today's standard recruitment and hiring practices and urged attendees to challenge those assumptions.
Following lunch, Canadian Security presented its first annual leadership awards, recognizing: Silvia Fraser, head of security, City of Mississauga (Community Leader Award); Michael Brzozowski, risk and compliance manager, Symcor (Emerging Leader Award); and Don MacAlister, chief operating officer, Paladin Security (Lifetime Achievement Award).
Brzozowski, who is helping to spearhead a new certification as ASIS International for young security professionals, thanked his own mentors for their support in his acceptance speech: Harold Wax and Mark Cousins. Silvia Frasier urged the assembled guests to take note of how they can give back to their security community. Fraser ran a half marathon earlier this year to raise funds that will go towards training and education of young professionals. The scholarship will be administered by the Toronto chapter of ASIS International. Fraser plans to run a full marathon later this month to help raise even more funds.
Don MacAlister, accepting the lifetime achievement award, reflected on his 40-plus years in security, noting the role that health-care security has played in forging that career. Life is short, noted MacAlister, so stand up for what you believe in and do what you enjoy. He said he has enjoyed seeing his colleagues become successful at what they do and how many of them have developed into trusted leaders. He also said that Canadian organizations and professionals should justifiably be proud of their accomplishments and can stand shoulder to shoulder with their U.S. counterparts.
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