Industry Interview: Bander Alharbi

Industry Interview: Bander Alharbi

Bander Alharbi (below), CPP, CBI, Manager Safety and Security at King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) – Saudi Arabia, spoke to Meshal Aljohani (left) CPP, PSP, PCI, Security Group Supervisor at Aramco.

Can you describe your experience in the Security Industry?

Around 20 years ago, in 2003, I entered the security industry as a security officer with Vinnell Arabia, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, where I worked alongside multinational military-trained personnel and gained valuable insight into the security business, starting from the operational level which allowed me to gain hands-on experience with security protocols, best practices, and technologies commonly used in the industry. I pursued my personal development by receiving training from top security international institutes. I was part of a team that designed and implemented security plans for residential and work areas in Riyadh, adhering to the best standards and systems. This helped me understand how to create a comprehensive solution to secure people and assets. In 2014, I joined King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) to help set up and establish security for the organisation. Working with security professionals, I was able to develop personnel, equipment, and procedural security elements to create a safe environment for KAPSARC employees, residents, and visitors.

What are the most pressing security challenges in your region?

One of the most significant security challenges facing organisations is ensuring that their personnel are properly trained in security protocols and procedures. Another significant challenge is to raise public awareness of security threats. Finally, balancing security and individual privacy is an ongoing challenge for organisations and governments. While security measures are necessary to protect public safety and prevent criminal activity, they can also infringe on individual privacy rights. Striking the right balance between security and privacy requires careful consideration of the risks and benefits of different security measures, as well as respect for individual rights and freedom.

Tell us about your experience with ASIS and how it has aided your career.

I became an ASIS member in 2005, seeking a reputable security certification to enhance my knowledge and skills in the field. Although I initially joined a study group, work obligations prevented me from completing the program. However, I resumed my certification journey and ultimately earned my CPP (Certified Protection Professional) designation from ASIS. The CPP demonstrated my great knowledge of the security business, increasing my career growth opportunities. The ASIS standards and books are valuable references for me to perform my daily work requirements, providing me with knowledge and references in a variety of security fields. Finally, I am looking forward to attending the Global Security Exchange (GSX) this year, which is an excellent platform for security professionals to stay updated on the latest trends and systems in the security field.

How do you predict the security landscape will evolve in the next 10 years?

The security landscape is likely to become more complex and challenging in the coming years, requiring organisations to stay vigilant and adapt to new threats and technologies. We might see a greater emphasis on physical security with more investment in physical security measures, such as access control and surveillance systems and increased use of AI and automation with more advanced algorithms and greater integration with other security systems.

I also expect to see increased use of biometric technology such as fingerprint scanners and facial recognition systems. In the next 10 years, we can expect to see a greater emphasis on balancing security needs with individual privacy rights and expect a greater focus on privacy concerns. As security measures become more advanced and invasive, there will be a growing concern about privacy rights.