Interview with Chris Oliver- Our non-Executive Director and Ex-Special Forces Operative

An Insightful Dialogue with Chris: Exploring His Professional Journey and Expertise.

 

Chris, a distinguished member of our board of non-executive directors, boasts a remarkable portfolio with his extensive expertise as a security professional and Military background. Before assuming his current role, he held the esteemed position of Operations Manager within our organization. Through a conducted interview, we were able to glean valuable insights into Chris’s extensive experience and involvement in various security roles.

What are your strengths as a security manager?

“My strengths as a security manager are that I have a strong understanding of security principles, practices, and technologies. Understanding emerging threats and trends enables me to develop effective security strategies and implement appropriate measures to protect the organisation. Strong Leadership and Communication skills are key to lead and manage security teams. Being able to communicate clearly and confidently with all levels of the organisation, including executives, employees, and external stakeholders. Effective communication is crucial for conveying security policies, procedures, and guidelines, as well as for coordinating responses to security incidents.”

How do you motivate underperforming members of your team

“Take the time to understand the reasons behind their underperformance. It could be due to a lack of skills, low morale, personal issues. By identifying the root cause, you can address it and provide appropriate support. Set clear targets and communicate your expectations for performance and explain how their contributions impact the overall success of the team.”

Most difficult situation you have ever faced as a security manager

“One of the most challenging situations I have dealt with was security Breech. This involved an unauthorised access to sensitive information, a physical breach of premises, and a cyber-attack. It was essential to act swiftly and effectively to contain the breach, minimise damage, and restore normal operations. It’s essential that as a security manager both you and your team are always vigilant as the threat actors will attack the firm’s vulnerabilities.”

As the person responsible, how would you proceed after an attack.

“Security attacks require immediate action, and there is often limited time to assess the situation and respond. We must act quickly to gather information, coordinate with relevant stakeholders, and make critical decisions to mitigate the impact. Security breaches can create panic and confusion among employees, customers, and other stakeholders so it’s essential to have strong crisis management skills to communicate effectively to provide reassurance to the organisation.”

What makes a good candidate for a security position?

“A good security officers must be able to be entrusted with the responsibility of protecting people, property, and information. Therefore, they must possess a strong sense of integrity and ethics. They should be trustworthy, honest, and reliable in performing their duties with enthusiasm.”

Technological tools have you found the most helpful in your security

“Surveillance Systems including CCTV cameras are fantastic support to security officers. They help monitor and record activities in real-time, deter potential threats, and provide evidence in case of incidents. Coupled with a robust Access control systems used to monitor entry and exit points, such as doors and gates includes key cards, biometric systems (fingerprint or facial recognition), and electronic locks. It helps ensure that only authorised individuals can access restricted areas.”

What Skills did you transfer from the military to the security industry

“Without realising it the 17 years I served in the military allowed me to lead teams effectively. Allowing me to make critical decisions in high-pressure situations, problem solve in challenging and unpredictable situations, identify potential risks and threats, and develop effective strategies to overcome obstacles. Attention to detail is crucial in the security industry, where security professionals need to assess risks, implement preventive measures, and respond to incidents. All these skills are directly transferable from military personnel.”

 

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