If your company does not have a comprehensive security program in place, it’s time to consider one immediately. The variety of threats that can have a significant impact on a business today is daunting, and rather than ignoring the potential problems, security leaders and management professionals should tackle the risk head-on.
Having a comprehensive and cohesive security program that addresses the broad range of today’s corporate security concerns can significantly reduce risk to a business. Taking a “holistic” approach to corporate security can provide a company with the tools they need to mitigate risk and eliminate liability. It can also provide employees with a sense of safety when they see their company implementing security plans and procedures, access controls, crisis management plans, and physical safeguards for their protection. In addition, a business can realize financial rewards from implementing a comprehensive security program through theft reduction, insurance reduction and the avoidance of DHS or MTSA regulatory fines, if your company is regulated.
In today’s fast-paced world, it is difficult to keep up with the always-changing threat environment. One option is to reach out to a professional and experienced consulting firm for expert assistance.
Potential Program Oversights
The following are a few areas of a security program that could fall by the wayside. Every company’s needs will vary, and these examples only scratch the surface of potential additions to corporate strategies. It often takes a full review by a security consultant to find the gaps in an organization’s existing program and to make the best recommendations for improvement.
A lack of flexibility: When a single corporate entity operates multiple facilities, its overall security strategy can suffer if corporate security policies and procedures are not integrated with the sites’ emergency response plans. A corporate crisis management plan must be fully integrated with the sites’ emergency response plans to ensure a quick and coordinated response to the crisis. A coordinated response is critical to protecting employees, assets and company reputation.
For example, if someone from a site speaks out to the press regarding the crisis incident and the messaging is not coordinated with corporate senior management, the outcome could seriously harm the business in many ways.
A comprehensive security program can help ensure that these types of issues are avoided.
Risk Based Security Management: All security managers should utilize a “risk based” approach to managing a security program. It is essential that you have a risk methodology process to identify the risk, assess the risk, and then provide clear recommendations to mitigate that risk. The risk methodology will allow you to clearly delineate a threat or vulnerability, so you can then easily articulate to senior management an effective mitigation strategy that will alleviate risk and limit liability to the business. This is a key component of establishing a security program that is based on supportable, documented information.
Crisis Management: Because corporate social responsibility is on everyone’s mind these days, the need to be diligent and efficient in the efforts to keep safe a corporation’s employees, vendors, business partners and community members has never been more important. But the challenges are dynamic so corporate due diligence requires constant effort. One aspect of this due diligence is establishing an effective Crisis Management Plan that will provide a strong framework for responding to crisis events.
At any time and without warning, a company may be impacted by any number of issues that will require it to act immediately and decisively. Being prepared to respond to these issues is critical to lessening risk to the business. An all-inclusive crisis management plan is the first step in being prepared to react to unexpected incidents that can seriously harm employees, destroy assets and ruin the company’s reputation.
Once a comprehensive crisis management plan is established for the company, the next step is to have crisis management drills and tabletop exercises that take the crisis management team through various crisis scenarios, so that the members are well versed in their roles and responsibilities when the time comes to mitigate and actual crisis.
Whether you work in an office, a manufacturing site, or in the field, you have a responsibility to be informed and respond correctly during an event that may become a crisis.
Lack of connection to the business: While security strategies play a unique role in an overall company strategy to keep people and property safe, the best way to ensure a plan’s success may be to closely integrate it with the way the organization runs. The Security Executive Council explained that especially in lean, efficiency-first companies, every department should measure its costs and effects and justify its operations, security among them.
Executive buy-in is critical in ensuring a security plan succeeds. When leaders can’t determine the purpose for every dollar going to the security team, they may cut off funding needed for important processes. As a result, it should not be assumed that the department will always receive all the support it seeks. In addition, security leadership should always report clearly all the ways security operations help the organization.
Working in partnership
Business and security leaders can turn to third-party security consultants to determine if their strategies are on the right track. Experts with a background in safeguarding different organizations may find issues the business’s own managers have missed and recommend ongoing improvements that help the business defend its operations against a wide variety of potential threats. If a crisis strikes without such a comprehensive plan in place, the results could be disastrous.