Specifically Speaking with Eduardo E. De Diego, PSP

Senior systems analyst for Applied Security Research Associates in Kemptville, Ontario
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What's your title and role at the company?

As the senior systems analyst, I work closely with clients and the rest of the team here at ASRA to meet clients’ needs. My responsibilities include preparing for design charrettes, crafting Threat Risk Assessments and CPTED studies, conducting equipment research, drafting security management systems designs, and writing specifications and reports. And that is before my first cup of coffee of the day!

What kinds of systems do you design/specify and what services do you provide?

ASRA provides the complete “cradle-to-grave” range of physical security assessment, design and engineering services for new and existing sites, including site selection, threat risk impact & consequences assessments, vulnerability assessments, facility security design and CPTED audits, blast mitigation, specification writing, bid and tender management, project management, commissioning, and audit of systems in mid-life/end-of-life to determine an upgrade or replacement path. We also work with architects in selecting appropriate hardware that is aesthetically acceptable for their vision, marking up drawings and providing the electrical engineering staff with detailed instructions for cabling and other electrical hardware.

We provide the client with a roadmap and comprehensive systems design to take them where they want to be with their security management systems, formulate financial budgets in “Class D” through “A” iterations, write the Division 28 and 26 specifications in MasterFormat, work with the client to award the project, conduct the project kickoff, prepare shop drawing reviews and approvals, contractor site supervision, acceptance test planning, commissioning and conduct a “lessons learned” workshop.

What vertical markets do you work in?

Applied Security Research began operations in 1996 and federally incorporated in 1997. In 2016, we celebrated 20 years of continuous service to our clients, including many that have been loyal to us during all that time! Since the beginning, the company has provided “cradle-to-grave” security consulting services to a wide market, principally to Federal and Provincial (similar to State in the U.S.) departments and other government entities such as Crown corporations. We also service the corrections, military and museums domains. One of our sub-specialties is security command center and suite design, where we have developed significant expertise over hundreds of command center projects.

While the major project load is within Canada, we have also provided services to clients in Central America, Mexico and overseas, mostly in healthcare projects. On the principle that we do not seek work where the expertise already exists locally, we do not work in the United States.

We frequently work for highly classified agencies, which require special considerations in how we handle documents, transmit and receive information, and archive the project data. Often, we work within their secure facilities and any client of this nature poses many challenges to doing hardware research (no Internet access), moving documents back and forth for review and publication, and special conditions for CAD drafting of drawings. Sometimes we get locked into a Vault (usually a SCIF); fortunately they let us out most of the time!

Another unique aspect of our work is that, as a company, we push forward International Standards wherever we can. We believe that this distinguishes us from other security consulting firms in Canada, and standards-based designs are enthusiastically received by the client base because they raise the quality level of the design and ultimately benefit the installation quality.

What is your view on the security industry?

In speaking with the Security Foundations’ students at a local community college where I volunteered as a mentor, I noted, “I’ve never missed a paycheck in my entire career, and every day is different.” This is not something that can be said about many industries. Today, there are so many verticals in the security domain that the choices for a career path are limited only by your imagination. In particular, there are insufficient resources with expertise in cybersecurity to meet the hiring demand. This creates ample opportunities for specialist firms to assist clients with short and long-term projects.