learned to overlook their values in the name of personal or ﬁnancial advance-
ment in a highly competitive business world. So, while it is good to trust one’s
instincts, there is more to consider.
How does one deal with people in a world where there are competing values
and different understandings of moral codes? This chapter does not offer all
the answers. What it does offer is some food for thought as the twenty-ﬁrst
century security consultant plies his skills ethically in a world mineﬁeld of cor-
ruption, greed, “me-ﬁrst” thinking, and ignorance. It must be recognized that
there are also many corporate, institutional, and government people out there
who are looking for an ethical security consultant to help them get past all of
that. Your response to ethical dilemmas can help create an environment where
ethical behavior is expected, if not required, and where the consultant sets the
ethics bar at an appropriately high level.
The title security consultant is not the sole property of the independent
practitioner. It is a term shared with vendor salespeople, security company
operations managers, and others. Rather than get upset with that notion, it is
better to focus on the differences: independence and objectivity.
A well-known security consultant set out to start his own practice. The con-
sultant was looking for a catchy name that would generate interest and iden-
tify him as a viable “brand” in the security consulting marketplace. His father,
a successful salesman and long-time entrepreneur, offered some simple advice.
First, people who seek out consultants don’t seek to buy a name; they seek to
establish a relationship based on trust that will serve them and their company.
Second, if the consultant uses his own name, he will always work to protect its
integrity. The consultant took that advice and soon understood the message.
The people who retained him early on were people who knew him and his rep-
utation from previous work. As time went on, those client relationships turned
into referrals and more trusted relationships.
Putting one’s own name on the cover of a report heightens awareness about
the advice offered because people well beyond one’s control read the report.
When reﬂecting on that, the consultant realizes that his name is on the line
every time, all the time.
Over the years, this consultant has had the opportunity to work with other
consultants. Most were highly ethical; some were not so ethical. Some consult-
ants have been known to change their reports to such an extent that they don’t
honestly reﬂect the ﬁndings of their work product. Sometimes clients ask for
things that no professional consultant in her right mind would ever put in
writing. There are vendors who unabashedly offer favors to a consultant to get
their product bid, speciﬁed, or approved. These are some of the challenges that
the professional security consultant faces. How does one address these types of
challenges that establish the consultant’s value system?
How do you handle the client that wants you to do something you think is
306 Strategic Security Management