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How do you protect the Irreplaceable?

  
  
  
  

A Seattle institution balances security, the customer experience and the budget

It took hundreds of years to find its way into a building. It was a part of our history. In many ways, it represents who we were as well as where we are going. And if it is lost, stolen, or damaged, it cannot be replaced.

Brandon Knutson, Security Manager at The Museum of Flight in Seattle, has the role of protecting historical artifacts of 'great significance'.  He must team with the department heads of the museum to develop solutions that protect the museum but also are minimally invasive to the public and its experience.

To do this well is a balancing act of competing interests. On the one hand you have the management of funds which must be distributed to competing interests. "We each get a little bit." On the other end you have the competing goals of preservation, customer delight, and security.

Here you can see the full interview conducted by Cygnus' Security InfoWatch staff at The Great Conversation in Seattle in March of 2012.

Knutson articulates a common theme of Security Management: creating the right collaborative framework to negotiate those competing interests. Finding a 'consistent seat at the table' to make that happen can be difficult. Knutson makes the point that this happens to his peers whether it is a new process, new product or, in his case, new artifact. Unfortunately, if he is not part of the discussion, invariably the executive team requires security or risk mitigation later. And it is usually more expensive on the back end then it would have been on the front end.

The Great ConversationWhy does this happen? To Knutson, many times it is the lack of understanding of their appetite for risk as well as the budget constraints of the organization.

It falls to Knutson to attempt to read his customer and apply the solution that is affordable and deployable, while knowing that, in the end, no one can afford the loss of the irreplaceable. 

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