CSSC Eastern region looks at the global issues facing us today & tomorrow
We asked regional leaders from the CSSC sectors to look ahead to 2024 and consider the challenges and opportunities it will bring to those working security. In particular, we asked them to focus on how CSSC can help in the response. Guy Mathias Chair, CSSC Eastern Region & Chair of the Food & Drink Security Association responds:
The velocity of change to the risk landscape in 2023 has been unprecedented and this looks to continue in 2024 as today’s geopolitical risks become tomorrow’s issues.
It remains impossible to predict what crisis will happen next. It is therefore imperative that all of us as Security & Risk practitioners have the right business resilience & continuity plans in place and rehearse these regularly with desktop exercises.
In my view, there are currently three key components to geopolitical risks. The first of these, of course, is the conflict between Israel and Gaza, with its huge potential to cause global unrest. This has shifted the media focus from the second key threat: the Russia Ukraine conflict. There seems to be a stalemate in this war, but the major implications for security globally have not gone away. The third key geopolitical risk is the battle to become a world superpower.
The top spot is still occupied by the USA but the nascent superpower is China. They are prepared to play the long game – perhaps over 10 or 20 years – to increase their influence, and this does not come without significant risk to the rest of the world… and yet we have to find a way to continue to do business with an economic powerhouse and thus co-exist in the international arena.
Closer to home, energy problems have exacerbated the cost-of-living crisis. This brings pressure across the board and can lead to greater security risks. Increases to the minimum wage have not necessarily kept pace with household costs and there can still be a race to the bottom in terms of security contracts. This intensifies the challenge of recruiting and retaining the right people. In particular, it is a struggle to retain key staff.
Gen Z and Gen Y are, by nature of a youthful demographic, very transient within the workplace – unlike Baby Boomers, they are not motivated by long-term positions, or the long-term “rewards” once associated with the Boomer generation. No longer is remuneration about pensions and gold watches – it is flexibility, be that hybrid working, flexible hours or short-term contracts. The workplace now is very fluid.
Alongside these key risks and workplace challenges, what keeps me awake at night? It is the threat, yet to be determined, posed from and by Artificial Intelligence and its possible impact not just on the security sector, but every aspect of our lives.
The security sector has many great people and leaders, but perhaps we have an identity crisis. Who are we are as a sector? Who truly represents us? What organisation should we join?
There are some excellent membership organisations – but which one and which security qualification is the one to follow?
In 2024, I am looking forward to supporting CSSC and other member security organisations and initiatives in evolving and developing the identity of the security and risk sector to help keep the world secure.