Person of Interest: Daniel Rasins
Associate Director ICT and Security Team Lead at AECOM.
It has been said that the only true constant in the universe is change. Furthermore, no part of life, or society, is exempt from that change. The security industry is no exception. The vast majority of people currently working in security came to the industry either as a security guard, installation technician, technical salesperson or other related industries such as the military, police or government service. The idea that one could leave school and study security at university was inconceivable. And yet, all that changed when Edith Cowan University began offering a Bachelor of Science in Security.
Since then, a new generation of university qualified security professionals has emerged, leading the industry into the 21st century. One such graduate is Daniel Rasins, Associate Director ICT and Security Team Lead at AECOM, one of the world’s premier infrastructure consulting firms.
Daniel’s journey into security began back in high school. As he explains it, “around the time I was finishing school, I wanted to see what I could study at university that would align with my interest in law enforcement. It was not long after the tragic attacks on the New York City World Trade Centre, and there seemed to be significant demand for people who could fill roles around security management or operational security and security consulting.”
“I began to look at courses that might enable me to further a career in a protective security field. I discovered the Edith Cowan University Bachelor of Science majoring in security, which is a social security type degree, which really appealed to me at the time.”
Daniel explains that one of the areas he most enjoyed while studying was the field of security design.
“I wanted to hone those skills further in a professional role. When an opportunity came up with a company known at the time as Connell Wagner, a large multi-disciplinary engineering consulting company in Sydney, I jumped at the chance to join as a graduate security consultant.”
In his current role with AECOM, Daniel consults for a wide range of clients across various markets, including defence, education, transport, aviation, healthcare and critical infrastructure, which places him in the ideal position to identify any emerging trends in the industry.
“One of the biggest trends we see amongst our clients is a growing emphasis on ROI.” Daniel explains. “It is no longer enough that a system or solution simply protects people, property, information and assets. These days, companies want some sort of return on their investment in their security, meaning that those systems need to achieve a dual purpose. For example, in addition to providing the usual protective functions, security infrastructure should also help them understand things like how spaces are being used; where resources might be more effectively allocated; identifying shortcomings in specific security postures for their sites; or how they could potentially enhance the operational efficiencies in their business.”
“Of course, there is also a much greater move to automation. Through the use of tools like video analytics, companies are seeking to achieve more with less. From what I am seeing, security is no longer just about fortifying a property, facility or site. It is about overlaying different forms of security technology, policies, procedures and practices, and delivering a solution that not only protects those assets but also provides greater benefit to the client. And they get some return on investment from the money that they’re spending on upgrading their security infrastructure.”
Where is the security industry heading?
Daniel believes the future of security will be heavily influenced by the events of the last 12 months.
“While the last few years have seen a growing tendency amongst businesses to move more towards a cloud-based infrastructure, the lockdowns which occurred as a result of COVID forced more people into remote working arrangements. This has changed the way we think and work, and I believe we can expect to see a much greater percentage of the workforce continue working from home as we move forward. This will mean that cybersecurity will continue to be increasingly important in everything we do. We have to develop and implement new standards and guidelines when designing solutions for clients, especially around how their infrastructure is protected in the context of remote workers. We already see the cybersecurity aspects of our projects becoming increasingly important in all the design practices that we’re putting forward to our clients.”
Across his 16 years as a security consultant with some of the most prominent names in the industry, Daniel has gained a great deal of experience and insight. When asked, his advice to those currently embarking on a career in security consulting is somewhat surprising.
“Rather than coming straight out of university into a graduate consulting role, if I had the chance again, I would take some time and get hands-on experience working as an installation technician. Having the theoretical knowledge of how a system is designed and what everything does is important. However, through my experience over the years, working on-site with different contractors, you develop a much deeper appreciation of how systems go together when you actually see how those systems are wired, commissioned, and programmed. Unless you actually do it yourself, I believe it is harder to develop a full appreciation of the intricacies involved and the time it takes to make things work that we, as consultants, often take for granted when we go and do our witness testing at the end of a project.”
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