Chief Security Officers and Intangible Assets…

Michael D. Moberly   December 9, 2009

Chief Security Officers (aka corporate directors’ of security) are typically charged with identifying viable strategies (solutions) for protecting ‘what matters’ most to their company (employer).  There are numerous variables that enter that equation, i.e., actually determining – reaching consensus about where security resources are best (should be) directed.  

Sometimes ‘return on security investment’ (ROSI) enters into the equation mileau, while other times those variables evolve around the nuances of an industry sector, past practice, perspectives of the c-suite and/or general counsel, or are driven by ‘events and challenges of the day’ posed by increasingly sophisticated, predatorial, and global adversaries with a truly asymmetric repertoire for executing harm.

While company’s (and CSO’s) have been consistently concerned with, and generally sucessful in (a.) protecting company assets that deliver value and profits, and (b.) mitigating those risks/threats that adversely affect the consumation of that value and profit making ability, there has been a significant shift in the source-origin of that (company) value and profit potential.  The dominant sources-origins of company value and revenue are no longer centered in tangible-physical assets, rather in a range of intangible assets that company’s produce and/or acquire.

In fact today, its an economic reality (globally speaking) that 65+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, durability, and foundations for future wealth creation and sustainability lie in – are directly linked to (a company’s) intangible assets, not its tangible (physical) assets.

C-suites and CFO’s correctly gravitate to – focus on, as a matter of fiduciary responsibility, their company’s sources of revenue and value.  So, it is incumbent on CSO’s to acquire the relevant insights to their company’s intangible assets and/or find intangible asset protection specialists who can respectfully provide experienced perspectives necessary to affect that transition – cross that chasm to genuinely meet the asset protection and security challenges being presented by knowledge-based economies, e.g, (a.) the ability to anticipate the nuanced and extraordinarily sophisticated risks-threats to intangible assets, (b.) recognize the various ways those risks-threats can adversely affect the intangible assets being targeted, and (c.) develop effective tools to sustain (protect, preserve) indeterminate control, use, ownership, and value of the ever growing array of intangible assets.

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