Creating an Effective Security Portfolio Part 1:
A Guide to Ensuring Your Company is Protecting & Protected
Welcome to my guide on creating an impressible security portfolio for your business and/or clients. This series of blog posts will provide practical insight into the best practices employed by security professionals to mitigate risks.
Part 1 will focus on a critical component that is far too often overlooked when security practitioners build a security or loss control programme; SECURITY BALANCE.
You may look at your company’s security elements and think that all is well - yet on closer inspection you will not believe just how many security managers and businesses are actually just surviving under the illusion of security.
To be truly successful in providing/creating an effective security portfolio, you need to get balance and consistency right. Too little of one component or too much of another will potentially blow even the best security strategies out of kilter. That, unfortunately, leads to a spike in risk and losses.
Consistency and Balance
You know what you want, you have carefully devised your security plan, your service providers are chosen… but what now?
The first thing I notice when reviewing security plans, is a general lack of consistency between the various components (I call it “the balance”). Typically, I will see that a large amount of funding has been provided for state of the art CCTV technology, yet next to nothing has been made available for viewing and analysis of the footage or the recordings. So, what started out as a very good investment and security tool soon becomes nothing more than expensive "ornaments".
A second example that I find all too frequently is large budgets allocated to manpower (normally contract guarding), but next to nothing set aside for the required on-site management of these security guards.
The point I'm making is that there is far too much inconsistency in the overall plan to ever really give the security strategy a real chance of working.
Why Does This Happen?
For the most part, this is due to too many people interfering in a very specialised field. I often find that, instead of one recognised authority analysing, developing and implementing the required strategies, a host of "part-timers" or unqualified influencers add their methods or ideas into the portfolio pot. The end result? A host of activity and technology additions, and a lack of dedicated thought and experienced personnel to make it all work.
Consider the real need and then consider the plan and how you are going to balance the required resources to integrate it all.
Let me use the example of the current trend in CCTV use around the globe. In South Africa (my home) companies are ravaged by crime. The result has seen a boom in CCTV sales and services. However, true benefit from these systems (either as a deterrent or as a management tool) is few and far between. CCTV does not stop crime; strategic use of the CCTV system does.
Unfortunately, this message is lost on many security managers and company owners. The secret lies in getting the balance right.
How Do You Achieve That?
- Understand what the CCTV cameras are installed to do
- Consider how the system is expected to do this
- What position/s location will allow for that goal to be achieved?
- Who is going to bring this all together?
- How is he/she going to continue to ensure goals are attained?
- Who is measuring this?
- How and how often?
- Where are the potential pitfalls?
- How do you avoid them?
Get the Balance Right
As a security consultant, this is a typical mantra I try to impart on my clients. Getting the balance right or ensuring that every aspect of the strategy is given the right amount of consideration and attention.
I hope this article is of help to you, and that it at least gets your brain waves twerking.
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