Directors of Security
Exploring this Job
Read books and online articles about security technology and practices. Observe how security workers act and what protections are in place when you visit stores, schools, government offices, businesses, or other places. Contact local businesses about the possibility of an information interview with their security directors. Join school clubs and take leadership roles. Look at class listings in local community colleges and vo-tech schools to see if there are any classes offered in security. A part-time or summer job in the security department of a theater, mall, or retail establishment will help you obtain introductory experience.
The director is responsible for overall security, creating security plans and procedures, and implementing them. He or she leads the security department in protecting employees, customers, visitors, and property against theft, vandalism, criminal activity, accidents (although a director of risk management may handle this job at large companies), and more.
The director of security also ensures that the business's security protocols comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations and that plans are in place to manage a variety of possible crises, including workplace violence and natural disasters.
A key part of the job is developing and updating security and safety procedures and policies. These policies must be periodically reviewed and adapted to changes in the business, its buildings, its employees, the law, technology, and other factors. The security director also considers how plans and procedures may be improved or made more efficient.
The director of security supervises investigations carried out by security staff, including internal investigations regarding illegal activity by employees. He or she reports such illegal activities to the proper authorities and acts as the organization's liaison with state, federal, and local law enforcement.
Staff development and training are a major duty of security directors. They recruit, select, and hire new employees or participate in the interviewing process with members of the human resources department. They train new hires and coordinate the activities of the security staff by scheduling security officers and guards, giving them assignments, and ensuring they are aware of the company’s policies and procedures. The director also manages the use and maintenance of the department’s security equipment (weapons, security cameras, etc.). Security directors review all reports prepared by security staff regarding activities of concern and safety issues and are charged with bringing these to the appropriate executives in management if necessary.
The director of security often works closely with an information technology director to protect company infrastructure against cyber-threats.