Richard Widup Jr., CPP, assumed the role of presidency of ASIS Int’l in January for a one-year term. He serves as senior director, corporate security for Purdue Pharma. Widup also has 27 years of law enforcement experience, including as a special agent with the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID). He joins the conversation to discuss his ASIS presidency and the industry at large.
Is there a particular initiative you are embracing in your role as president of ASIS?
My initiatives are in keeping with the ASIS strategic plan. In particular, I am encouraging our volunteer leaders to develop, practice and improve upon their leadership skills; to improve the communication and collaboration in and between the various volunteer led efforts; and to increase our spheres of influence by identifying and working with other organizations that share a common nexus with the ASIS mission and vision.
What do you see as the best opportunities currently for systems integrators?
Some of the best opportunities that I see now for systems integrators are to get involved with the developing efforts between ASIS and other security industry organizations, including SIA, ESA and PSA Security. It is incumbent upon each of the organizations to open channels of communications between its memberships. By working in conjunction with one another toward common goals, we can leverage knowledge, networks, technologies and other valuable resources to both advance and professionalize the security industry as a whole.
Can you provide some advice to systems integrators on how to better foster their relationships with their end-user clients?
Communication is key here and as technology becomes increasingly more complex, it is important that practitioners and integrators clearly identify and communicate key deliverables, plan, test, retest and modify plans.
With your experience in the pharmaceutical industry, how have threats against those facilities transformed through the years?
In some respects the threats against the facilities have remained the same. The evolving challenge is protecting the facilities of third-party manufacturers, distributors and repackagers. The pharmaceutical industry today is more diversified and extended than ever before, with manufacturers relying more on third-party relationships to bring and distribute products to consumers. To be effective, security practitioners working in this industry today should be also closely aligned with their external partners.
That said, there are segments of the industry that are more challenging today than ever before. Clearly, the IT security threats are growing, as are the threats from the theft of trade secrets and other forms of intangible assets. And, while cargo theft of pharmaceuticals has somewhat diminished in the United States, it is still a dominant challenge in developing countries where the pharmaceutical industry is expanding rapidly. Last, but by no means least, the presence of counterfeit, substandard and unapproved medicines is a deadly threat that can adversely damage a company’s reputation. The scope and complexity of the Internet has complicated security teams’ efforts to mitigate this threat with more infringing and unlawful medicines being distributed via the Internet today than ever before.