RALEIGH, N.C. – Business leaders from across North Carolina will be gathering in Charlotte on Thursday for an intelligence briefing of sorts from the N.C. Technology Association.
In the war on terrorism, intelligence and military leaders are always looking for “actionable intelligence” – information deemed reliable enough to warrant a strike on our enemies.
In the global “war” for business, chief executive officers need actionable intelligence, as well. Not just for making product and marketing decisions but also for the protection of assets, be they physical such as management teams traveling or based overseas, or cyber, such as in intellectual property.
Providing those execs with information on which to make decisions is what the NCTA’s “Five Pillars of Executive Leadership” event is all about. The day-long session includes presentations from people normally not heard, and seldom seen, at business gatherings.
Speakers from the FBI, Secret Service, public health, NASCAR security and a world-renowned collector of spying and espionage devices are on the agenda.
NCTA wants executives to be better informed about the variety of threats they face so they can plan accordingly, says Joan Myers, the group’s chief executive officer.
“If you give CEOs actionable intelligence, they will not only do the right thing to protect their people and intellectual property assets but probably exceed expectations,” Myers said.
There is a caveat, however.
“They have to know what those threats are,” Myers explained.
That’s where the Five Pillars event comes into play. With experts on counterintelligence, terrorism, espionage, security, and health, the program is designed to give executives a briefing on the new essentials for a world of disorder.
Five Pillars reflects a determined effort by Myers and NCTA to branch out from traditional business issues to issues more likely to be found in espionage and war or terror novels.
“We’ve been very engaged in trying to build some good bridges with the FBI and other federal agencies so our top personalities know the issues, including economic warfare and terrorism to foreign governments stealing intellectual property,” Myers said. “We are taking a really comprehensive approach to security and showing how all this is connected to business.”
NCTA also is using the events to help drive interest in creation of a security and defense high-tech cluster in North Carolina. The group is a primary backer of the Defense Science & Technology Accelerator in Fayetteville.
Among the speakers for Thursday’s events in Keith Melton, an author about espionage and a collector of spying devices. “He is an incredible man,” Myers said. “He is a world expert on espionage equipment. I guarantee you the presentation he will mae will be quite compelling.”
Specific issues to be discussed include contingency planning, cyber security, intellectual property protection, physical security, and protecting people.
By the way, discussing intellectually property will be David Szady, a former head of counterintelligence for the FBI.