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Interview with Patrick Kane: Navigating the Close Protection Conference

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The Close Protection Conference stands as the pinnacle event in the protective security industry, drawing practitioners from around the globe for an immersive experience. As the largest and most impactful gathering of its kind, it offers attendees a unique opportunity to connect, learn, and gain invaluable insights. We caught up with Patrick Kane, the Senior Director of Security at Atlas Air, who shared his perspectives on what first-time attendees can expect, the importance of corporate perspectives in the protective security industry, and how to stay updated on current security threats and trends.

The Close Protection Conference is the preeminent worldwide event in the protective security industry, renowned as the largest and most impactful gathering. What should first-time attendees expect? 

Expect to meet and network with a variety of different types of practitioners from across the protection industry.  This includes service providers, independent practitioners, training providers, and professionals from corporations, family offices, and other types of organizations.   You can also expect to attend a variety of educational sessions that provide insight and perspectives across a range of topics that are both interesting and important to protection professionals.  I would suggest attendees come with an open mind and be prepared to learn, share, and meet new people. 

You are leading a panel at the Close Protection Conference with members of the Corporate Executive Protection Leadership Council (CEPLC). Could you tell us more about this panel?

I think it’s important to get the corporate perspectives out there to the audience and to the industry at large.  Corporate security directors and protection managers make up the majority of the consumers of protection services and service providers, and independent practitioners can gain valuable insight by hearing from them.  Oftentimes, corporate leaders underestimate how important their insight is to the development of the industry. 

This gives us the opportunity to tell the audience what things the buyer wants and needs when it comes to protective services.  While there are some common threads,  attendees will also learn about the different nature of protective programs and the profile, activities, and culture of both the organization and the principal. 

As an example, in the case of a principal who is both high profile and is very fit and very physically active, someone who engages in intense and challenging sports, there will be a need for protection team members to be exceptionally fit and perhaps to possess additional skillets that would not be needed on most details. 

Likewise, other details may have other requirements for particular language skills, ability with types of technology, etc. Training providers and service providers will get a good sense of what a cross-section of clientele values.  Industry newcomers will learn about the professional development and growth that these leaders have had, which may provide a blueprint or at least some ideas of potential paths that they can pursue professionally. 

And lastly, how do you stay updated on current security threats and trends?

First and foremost, I would say through networking.   Building and maintaining a strong professional network, ideally globally, is critical.   This provides an indispensable resource for staying aware of both emerging trends and threats.   In terms of trends and new ideas, I think a professional education program is also very important.  This can be accomplished through professional reading, listening to industry-related podcasts, attending training courses, and attending conferences like the IPSB Close Protection Conference.  Having the objective of being a lifelong learner is a key element for success.  For threat awareness specifically, there are a wide variety of resources from both the private sector and government, both free and paid, that we can use to monitor potential threats to our principals and organizations. 


In conclusion, the Close Protection Conference offers a unique platform for professionals to connect, learn, and stay ahead in the protective security industry. Patrick Kane’s perspectives provide valuable guidance for both first-time attendees and seasoned practitioners, emphasizing the importance of networking, learning, and adapting to the evolving landscape of security.

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