“40 under 40” Class of 2019 — Chrissy McCutcheon, 38

Principal and Senior Security Consultant, Security by Design, Inc. (SBD)
Friday, November 1, 2019

Security by Design, Inc. was founded in 1974 by Chrissy McCutcheon’s parents who were major pioneers in the security consulting world. She started out working at SBD during the summers in high school, but she had no intention of staying with the company, so she went to college.

“After my freshman year, I decided to join the Air Force Reserves and I began working in an operations center, where I was appointed as the security manager in 2003,” McCutcheon said. “Over time my role grew and eventually I was hired as a contractor to manage the physical, industrial, personnel and information security programs for nine squadrons with over 1,200 personnel world-wide.” During this time, she realized she was doing the same type of work as SBD and could use her experiences to help the company grow.

Her primary role at SBD is providing physical securing design and consulting support directly to clients and their design teams. As a small firm, McCutcheon is also involved in management, human relations and accounting.

McCutcheon is witnessing “a big push to update obsolete technologies, such as Wiegand communication and 125kHz proximity credentials, to increase security through the use of encrypted communication,” along with the growth of video analytics and security system integrations. Additionally, “there are far greater opportunities to utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to make sense of the vast amounts of security data being collected daily,” she said.

To help diversify the industry, “a new trend for cyber, homeland and corporate security degrees is leading more institutions to establish new majors in the security field,” McCutcheon said. “The problem is colleges and universities are not teaching students about the vast opportunities in the industry. We can reach out to these institutions and participate in career fairs and provide internships or classroom briefings to teach about different opportunities within various security organizations.”