Texas Southmost College hosted the first in a series of professional leadership training programs at the Oliveira Student Center on Tuesday, October 24. 

The sessions are the result of a new partnership between TSC and Institute for Homeland Security at Sam Houston State University and are open for business professionals and TSC students and staff to attend. Entitled Executive Leadership for Protecting Critical Infrastructure, the interactive lecture sessions are focused on the ever-changing field of security, both in the physical and digital realms, as well as the how the rapid advancement of modern technology is changing both the nature of security and the way in which we approach it.  

“The overall goal for us at the Institute of Homeland Security is to improve the resiliency and security of our critical infrastructure sectors,” said the program’s Executive Director, Michael Aspland. “We’re focused on energy, chemical, transportation, and health care,” he continued, “and by helping to share knowledge about how to focus on security and resilience with professionals in this space, it’ll make Texas a safer place.” 

The kickoff session of the series focused on physical and cyber security, highlighting a growing convergence of the needs, goals and strategies of the two areas. 

Scott McHugh, Program Executive Manager for the Institute of Homeland Security, led the morning session, highlighting the importance of critical infrastructure protection, the growing need to merge elements of physical and cyber security, and what can be done in order to prepare for future security experts to operate in both spaces. 

“We are at the space now in which there is almost no daylight between cyber security and physical security,” said McHugh. “There used to be, and it used to make sense that you had two different functions that were doing, in essence, similar things but still different enough to where it really wasn’t important for both to be combined.” 

However, there are still concerns that need to be addressed when it comes to the idea of a merger. “There’s a great deal of resistance within the physical communities and the cyber communities of blending the two functions together for obvious human nature reasons: worried about jobs, future career opportunities, so on and so forth,” explained McHugh. “What we’re talking about today is not only the need for blending the two functions together and the value that it brings to corporations, but also the strategies that corporations are looking to implement to make that a reality and be able to do so in a way that addresses the human-related resistance to this outcome.” 

The next two program sessions will be held on November 14 and December 13, each consisting of morning and afternoon classes: 

Date  Time  Subject 
November 14, 2023  9:00 am  Intellectual Property Security 
November 14, 2023  1:30 pm  Insider Threat Management 
December 13, 2023  9:00 am  Security & Drones Robots 
December 13, 2023  1:30 pm  Drones Practicum 


For more information on the program, please visit Executive Leadership for CIP Training – Brownsville (ihsonline.org)