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Chairman and Founder, The Security Awareness Special Interest Group (SASIG) 

Martin Smith MBE BSc FSyI

Chairman and Founder, The Security Awareness Special Interest Group (SASIG) 

With nearly 50 years’ experience in the security and crime prevention industries, Martin Smith is a well-known, colourful and highly respected personality in the cyber security world. He is an established and successful businessman, philanthropist, communicator, visionary, and author, speaker and (latterly) blogger on his passion of improving online trust. He has an extensive and enviable network of security contacts around the world. 

Martin gained his degree in behavioural psychology before spending 15 years as a commissioned officer in the Royal Air Force Security (Provost) Branch employed on the whole range of policing and security duties. After being awarded the MBE for this work, he left the Service to establish a second career in the commercial sector. He joined Touche Ross Management Consultants before becoming the Senior Director of Corporate Security for Kroll Associates (UK). He then joined the Standard Chartered Bank as Head of Information Security before (in 1997) forming The Security Company (International) Limited (TSC). In December 2019 he retired from TSC in a MBO by the existing senior management team to allow him to focus on his work with SASIG. 

Martin has always been passionate about delivering effective and long-lasting change within the security industry. To this end, in 2004 he founded The Security Awareness Special Interest Group (SASIG) as a subscription-free networking forum for cybersecurity practitioners. Its membership represents some 4,000+ organisations from both the public and private sectors and is drawn from CIOs, CTOs, CSOs, CISOs and their staff with responsibility for security, privacy and data protection within their organisations. Professionals from other disciplines (risk, HR, legal, supply etc.) and representatives from government, law enforcement and academia are also being increasingly welcomed at its events. SASIG has a members’ website at The Chatham House Rule is strictly enforced and universally respected at all meetings, which are all free to attend, Vendors and the Press are routinely excluded so the level of debate is extraordinarily revealing and rewarding. Upon lockdown in March 2020 SASIG successfully transitioned online; since then, it has held 700+ webinars and its membership has more than tripled and continues to rise. As the pandemic ended, SASIG retained the best of its online experience whilst reintroducing its in-person activities – it now runs 12 online webinars and three in-person events each month plus   

Martin is a Fellow of The Security Institute. In 2017, he received a lifetime achievement award for his services to the security industry. In 2024, he received a Commendation from the City of London Police Commissioner and the National Police Chiefs’ Council for his lifetime’s work in combatting cybercrime. 

In January 2024, SASIG became part of the Nineteen Group of companies. 

Martin is married to his business partner Jo Wise, they have a shared passion for classic cars and canal narrowboats. They have just completed their Grand Design house on the cliffs of the beautiful seaside town of Whitby, Yorkshire, and are now enjoying the moors and long beaches with their Border Terrier and official SASIG dog Doris. Together Martin and Jo have seven children and a growing number of grandchildren, who between them seem able to mop up any remaining leisure time.