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Security illumination for the 1990s.

The collapse of communism and the restructuring of the former Soviet Union and the East Bloc countries has transformed security strategy.

The reduction of the Soviet military threat has forced the United States to reexamine its defense spending, which has resulted in reductions in and the elimination of some defense programs. This reduction in resources means that the defense community needs to discover new and better methods of accomplishing its objective-safeguarding the nation's secrets.

To help the Defense Investigative Service (DIS) handle its immense work load (286 industrial security representatives for 11,718 facilities), new ways to improve the Defense Industrial Security Program (DISP) are always in demand. One approach is the formation of Industrial Security Awareness Councils (ISACs), which bring together security professionals to promote counterintelligence and security awareness.

ISACs serve an important role in these times of reduced budgets and downsizing. They reach out to the heart and soul of DISP-the 10,000 smaller defense contractors.

The majority of these contractors assign their industrial security responsibilities to nonsecurity personnel who have little formal security training and few available resources. ISACs help train these people and provide them with the essential resources to cope with changes.

ISACs are now proliferating nationwide. Industry security professionals, in many instances, are forming and leading these councils.

The focus of each ISAC depends on its composition, and the objectives vary from group to group. For example, some provide security training to new facility security officers (FSOs). Others perform an information exchange function. The primary purpose for most, however, is to promote security awareness.

The concept of ISACs began to flourish in DIS's Pacific Region in 1988. Through the hands-on participation of government and industry representatives in that area, the Southern California ISAC became a trailblazer. Today it assists smaller contractors establish and maintain viable security education programs; it helps employees and managers understand the importance of sound security to contracts, jobs, and profits; and it creates and distributes security education products for use by all contractors.

Some of the Southern California ISAC's most successful initiatives include a two-day FSO seminar; the distribution of posters; and the production of two videotapes, Espionage 2000 and Espionage Alert,

The success of the Southern California ISAC can be traced to its structure. It consists of an executive council similar to a board of directors) and working committees. The committees have a chairperson and are made up of people from local DISP facilities invited to participate by the council. Costs are shared, and equipment and services are loaned or donated.

Additional ISACs are springing up all over the country. In fact, many of the newer councils have sought the advice and assistance of the Southern California ISAC representatives. At least 19 similar councils exist nationwide.

Since the fall of the iron curtain, the watch term has been security awareness. The nation's defense firms need to be even more conscious of security threats.

Former adversaries are now US allies; the nation's friends may now become its competitors; and its economic future depends on how well technology is safeguarded.

All this makes security motivation more difficult and complex. ISACs are an important tool that can be used to educate the defense industry.

For information on ISACs in your area or on how to start one, call Norman Pashoian at Defense Investigative Service Headquarters, 202/475-0902.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Pentagon Corner; formation of Industrial Security Awareness Councils aims to promote counterintelligence and security consciousness
Author:Donnelly, John F.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Column
Date:Mar 1, 1992
Words:555
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