Editor’s note: Joan Myers is chief executive officer of the North Carolina Technology Association, which is based in Raleigh.

Dear North Carolina Leader,

Security is the condition of being protected against danger or loss. You must maintain a high level of integrity while also building and nurturing a culture of trust. As a business leader you must safeguard your people, your property, your information and your assets. You also need to partner with the right people, the right customers and the right vendors while preserving your company’s reputation and protecting shareholder value.

What would you do if someone stole your car? The natural reaction probably would be to call the police to investigate, find the culprits and hopefully get it back with little or no damage. Whether your car is returned or not, fortunately it is, you definitely would put preventative measures in place to avoid the incident again. Correspondingly, what would you do if someone stole your intellectual property or client information through a computer? Just like a stolen car, you could have prevented it by just having the appropriate protective measures in action.

What if disaster strikes? What if public services are down and half of your staff cannot come to work? What if thousands are sick? Do you have a plan? What is your business continuity assessment? What is your contingency plan? Can the core of your business still function with a skeleton crew? Can your staff work remotely? Does your business have a risk assessment? Business contingency planning continually confronts the unlikelihood of a disaster. Would you be prepared for another 9/11? What about another Katrina disaster? What about an Avian Flu epidemic? Reestablishing a complex business environment after a disaster can be a daunting task. It takes a skillfully designed plan and precise execution to get you and your business back on track in a timely manner.

How are you protecting your corporate castle today? In the old days, it was easy. You built a castle out of sturdy stone, dug a deep putrid moat around it, provided an impenetrable wall, the fastest drawbridge, and suited all your knights with the most advanced armor and tools needed on their travels. Do you have a physical security plan? Do your employees know what to do if they see a stranger in your building? Does your executive team have a procedure if there is a threat to an employee or their families? How do you protect your assets and the leaders within or across the globe? What are the present threats and where does physical security play in?

So, you feel pretty safe right now? You have built a solid corporate castle and installed a network with impenetrable firewalls, the latest virus protection and you constantly change passwords so you are safe. Or, are you? Do you know who is pinging your network? Can you track the incoming/outgoing traffic through your networks? What is your corporate protocol if you have a cyber intrusion? Does your executive team travel with their laptops? What is on those laptops? Are they the same computers they use at work that carry corporate intellectual property, corporate memorandums, customer information and personal information? Do you know how to encrypt your wireless connection at home? Is this important to you, or do you have someone else worry about it at your company?

The nature and focus of corporate security has changed dramatically since most businesses today utilize digital technologies, computers, e-commerce solutions, wireless devices and other recent innovations to run more efficiently. Unfortunately, these also pose a threat to system integrity with security breaches being reported regularly. NCTA is determined to raise awareness of the security dangers currently facing corporate America and has designed the “Five Pillars of Executive Leadership in a Non-Secure World” conference to brief executives on the essentials while branching out from traditional business models. We are proud to continue building upon this important program on Thursday, June 7, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Cary.

This conference presents a valuable opportunity to personally engage and collaborate with top decision makers, distinguished government officials and global security experts. Our goal is to provide you the tools and knowledge to help strengthen your existing business position. NCTA has been engaged in a collaborative with the FBI for more than eight years focusing on these critical areas because business intelligence is the key to success, and the top leadership in U.S. intelligence will be here on June 7. Will you?