Faces of Security

Faces of Security: Adam Gyrion from The Walt Disney Company

Adam Gyrion is the Senior Manager of Global Security Technology at The Walt Disney Company. He joined the team in 2022 and oversees the day-to-day operations support they provide to business unit partners across the organization.

“In practice, that means I lead a team of analysts and system architects who are responsible for the design, deployment, and maintenance of our security technology,” Gyrion explained to Total Security Advisor.

Gyrion first joined the security industry in 2018 and was previously a Security Systems Project Manager and Security Systems Manager before assuming his current role at Disney. Earlier this year, he obtained his Physical Security Professional (PSP) designation from ASIS.

“I joined the security industry after transitioning from a career in facilities/operations, and really enjoy the ability to home in on a discipline rather than be responsible for facility programs at large,” he noted.

To learn more about Gyrion and his take on the industry, please check out his “Faces of Security” interview below:

How did you get your start in the field?

I originally found my way into global security technology (GST) as a project manager for a retail organization that was aggressively expanding and had to scale their security systems to support their burgeoning operations. I had project management experience and extensive high-end retail operations background from several years at Apple which I leveraged to acclimate to the security industry.

In my time there, I applied my experience and methodology to establish a program with a team of like-minded professionals while learning the ins and outs of enterprise-level access control, video management, and intrusion detection systems and devices. We had so many active projects in flight and were operating under such tight timelines, while servicing corporate, retail, distribution, and manufacturing environments, that it sometimes felt like we were able to get years of experience in months.

From there, I had the pleasure of joining Illumina, a leader in the biotech industry. I was hired to build the GST program there, applying my lessons learned, organizational approach, and best practices to a program that was quickly gaining visibility within the company as a critical component of their COVID response. It was a nutrient-rich environment that supercharged my capabilities as a security professional supporting a multinational business.

Who is/was your biggest influence in the industry?

Honestly my biggest influence in the industry has been Dave Hernandez, the Director for Global Security Technology here at Disney. I was introduced to Dave in 2019 through a mutual colleague and have leaned on him as a mentor of sorts over the years since. Dave is extremely gracious with his time and has been a sounding board for me on countless occasions whenever I’ve needed advice or even just a sanity check on some crazy idea. I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to work with and learn from him directly now.

What’s your favorite part about working in the industry?

My favorite part about working in security technology is bringing the industry at large into the future. The work I get to do acts as a force multiplier for “traditional” physical security programs and generates valuable business intelligence and analytics that can help to transform security organizations from a cost center to a value-add for their companies.

Especially since 2020, I’ve noticed a spike in demand for the services and data that security technology can provide insights for, from corporate real estate planning to health and safety to consumer behavior. Our information and analysis have the power to shape important business decisions and introduce new perspectives on age-old problems.

What changes would you like to see in the security industry?

I’d like to see more representation in our field. Whenever I find myself in a position to hire, getting a diverse slate of candidates is such a challenge. I’d like to see us collectively seek out voices and experiences different from our own—it will only serve to make us stronger and safer.

How can company leaders make security a value within their organization?

I’m a huge proponent of forging strong cross-functional relationships in our organizations. Sometimes that means taking meetings you don’t have time for and don’t get much out of just to make sure you have a seat at the table when you really need it. As I mentioned before, the data we have can be incredibly impactful to the bottom line. With those partnerships, we as security leaders can understand how to influence data-driven, positive decisions in our company.

Where do you see the industry heading in five years? Are you noticing any major trends?

I think we’re going to see a convergence of physical and digital security. Forward-leaning organizations will recognize that sharing resources, intelligence, and strategies between their information security and physical security teams will bear the most fruit in keeping their people, property, and brand safe and secure. Doing so, in my view, will enable a lot of the capabilities and problems we’re trying to solve today, such as the intersection of identity management, complex role-based access control, and enterprise-grade mobile credentialing.

Solutions to these problems exist, but implementing them in a cohesive way that satisfies increasingly open and collaborative corporate cultures, with the imperative to protect assets and prevent threats, requires a holistic approach that neither security discipline can do easily in a silo.

What are you most proud of?

Growing up, my mom would always quote the old adage “give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” Now she likes to joke that she taught me too well, because after I got married in 2014, my wife and I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles and never looked back. I’m most proud of the life my wife and I have built for ourselves here—and I don’t mean to say we “made it” without the help and support from our family and friends, but I am grateful every day for how we have tackled life’s challenges head on and grown together personally and professionally.

Are you or a colleague interested in being profiled for the new “Faces of Security” series? Please contact Editor Joe Bebon at JBebon@BLR.com