Chuck Harold’s career took him from law enforcement to the security industry, and he now works as a security consultant and pioneering podcaster. He hosts his national “Security Guy Radio” podcast every Monday at 7:00 p.m. Pacific time. Harold has recorded over 600 episodes, and his guests have included a wide range of security experts and practitioners.
He discusses how his police career prepared him for working in the security industry:
“Law enforcement and security look similar, but in reality they have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Law enforcement is basically an ‘after the fact response model’ and security traditionally has been a ‘fortification model.’ Both models can be ineffective when trying to protect people. From my police career, the first skill I learned was how to ask people questions in a way that puts their minds at ease and allows them to provide me with useful information. The second skill I learned in law enforcement was to read people. Police officers are better at that than any other profession on earth. Those two skills are lacking in the security industry and are difficult to develop within the industry because the fortification model does not require it.”
As an early leader in podcasts in general and for the security industry in particular, Harold learned some early lessons:
“Today I completed my 600th show. Except for the first show which no one will ever see again, I have always followed this formula:
- Lesson 1. Be yourself, flaws and all.
- Lesson 2. When you make mistakes, laugh about it.
- Lesson 3. Be curious. It raises the energy level of the show.
- Lesson 4. Be in the moment, engaged, connected to your guest.
- Lesson 5. Never prepare questions ahead of time. When you ask questions to learn something, the questions come naturally.”
Harold faces the same issues as other professional podcasters, which is how to monetize their craft. Studio time, editing services, and the related software, hardware, and sound and recording equipment all cost money. He comments on the need to deliver a quality informational and entertainment product—but to make it a commercial venture as well.
“I was able to sell advertising early on but it took away from my ability to produce content. So I focused on creating content for trade shows and building name recognition. Now I get paid to drive around the country and stream shows live. This year I did 93 live interviews at the Black Hat USA Conference in Las Vegas and over 100 live interviews at the ASIS annual conference in Dallas.”
He talks about some of his most memorable guests:
“I find all my guests memorable. Mike Howard of Microsoft has been on twice. Out of my 600 interviews, my favorite is with Carl Herberger from Radware.com, the smartest guy in the room. I interviewed him at SecureWorld 2015 in Seattle. He told me that they have done the math and very smart people believe that in about 20 years the Internet will become self-aware and computers will no longer wait for you to tell them what to do; they will start doing it on their own. They call this a singularity but to simplify it think of the movie Terminator and SkyNet.”
Harold talks about his goals for next year for the “Security Guy Radio” podcast:
“This last year I really focused on the cyber side of security. The irony is there is really no longer such a thing as ‘physical security’ because virtually any hardware having to do with security is now IoT or ‘The Internet of Things.’ This next year I’m going to focus on converging physical and cyber security into a singular awareness for my listeners. I’m also going to focus on the skill gap in our industry. There are approximately 1 million security guards in the United States that traditionally have low technical skill levels and there is a shortage of approximately 1 million skilled cyber security personnel. Some experts say that number could be as high as 2 million. I want to, need to educate people on the importance of learning new skills in the security industry or we face the cyber ‘zombie apocalypse.’ I’m to become a national security evangelist. I’m going to focus on converging physical and cyber security into a singular awareness, breaking this stuff down so everyone gets it, so the average person that knows nothing will want to learn all about security.”