Focus on a Chartered Security Professional Dawn Holmes CSyP
Here we profile Chartered Security Professional Dawn Holmes, recently elected as Vice Chair of ASIS.
I started off my career in security at Boots and that was the best thing that could have happened for me.
Firstly, I was under the most amazing mentor, secondly it was a really innovative environment: one of the UK’s first digital CCTV systems and control room, side wide use of ANPR and real encouragement to put to practice the theories I was learning.
The role was so diverse and included TSCM sweeps before board meetings; personal security and protection of the executive team, their families and residences; product continuation and brand protection on the manufacturing side; loss prevention from a supply chain perspective (retail & logistics); designing datacentres and store layouts and security being part of the design stage.
Then there was managing fire and security for a 24/7 300+ acre site with 5,000 daily users.
The role allowed me to see the endless facets within this profession, which enthused me from the start, a passion that I still have.
The next big step was my move to Experian. It was my first Global role and introduced me more to the IT security side of things and to start to grasp the importance of data as an asset, with its associated risks.
The datacentre environments were incredibly well-managed, and were a demonstration of how great design can provide the required functionality and my protection of the datacentre environments and partnership with IT Security provided so much insight.
Working with industry associations
Working in London enabled me to get more involved with industry associations. I worked on projects for both ASIS and the Security Institute and became Women in Security committee lead for ASIS. My responsibilities extended to include Young Professionals, Police and Military Transitions. I have recently been elected Vice Chair of ASIS and I’m honoured and excited to make more of an impact.
At Bloomberg I specialised in security technology and design. Bloomberg is a dynamic and inspiring environment- you just have to walk into a Bloomberg building to experience the buzz- the physical spaces are incredible and innovation and creativity just flows. An important part of this role was to ensure your design accounts for how the technology and humans interact and meets the organisations’s requirements, meaning, you don’t just install a box and move on.
The next chapter
The next exciting chapter for me is to start working for myself as a consultant. I’ve just secured my first contract and I want to specialise in working with CISOs to advise/design and create policies and maintenance requirements to align the physical and logical security, specifically around ISO and industry accreditations.
I was keen for my consultancy role to have the gold seal of approval that the Chartered Security Professional (CSyP) brings. Within security there are lots of niche qualifications and post nominals. The CSyP is an accreditation that ignores the intricacies of your chosen discipline, whilst scoring you against these individual achievements, it raises above these qualifications to demonstrate that you meet a Gold Standard within the profession.
The CSyP can only strengthen the profession and for this reason it is really important that we see more of the exceptional senior females within the industry taking this up: I am CSyP number 195 on the register, and one of less than 18 women. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to nudge my amazing female peers to get their applications in, to ensure the CSyP register mirrors the diversity that we are seeing within the industry.
Read profiles of other Chartered Security Professionals in our Security Careers section.