Exclusive: Identifying the most dangerous trend in security
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I have seen trends in security management that not too many pundits pay attention to and one of those is the growing rate at which everyone seems to understand security management. That of course is a trend that is not just emerging but intensifying. Organisations behave differently and adopt different approaches or strategies in accomplishing objectives. This is called ‘culture’ which is a noticeable way of doing things and it can be industry-specific.
One of the things that every industry has in common is its various and distinct ways of getting things done. ‘Trend’ on the other hand is a general direction in which things evolve and the evolution is often consistent. Trends with regards to ‘physical security’ reverberate in manned-guarding, biometric & non-biometric control systems; mechanical & electrical access control techniques; turnstiles & mantraps; Perimeter security fence and gates; vehicle entry barriers, etc., because physical security consists of all actions deployed towards the protection of people, equipment and facilities. Thus, at the core of physical security is access control, surveillance and testing which makes it right to say that physical security sounds like exactly what it does, the protection of physical space and assets.
Physical security management
An understanding of the current and future trends in physical security management is basic for businesses that depend on security for sustenance. Unfortunately, we still have businesses that do not accord security the priority that it deserves among other business functions. The security function serves as the gatekeeper to any environment that has protection so, it is the most visible first-line business function. For example, security operatives grant human and vehicular access to facilities once they are eligible to access the facility and so, people do not have to come in first to start looking for security at the back office. Despite the arduous obligations of protecting assets and ensuring that businesses have the level of security required to operate; ‘security’ never gets commensurate credit for the value that it brings to the table.
In today’s security industry we have seen amazing trends emerge and evolve. The biometrics; security-specific training for security operatives; the use of virtual realities for simulation exercises; CCTV technology for surveillance and many more solution-oriented crafts have continued to evolve. I think that this is why the Guardian Booth 2019 rightly stated that the lines between logical, physical and technological security will continue to get blurred with time, enabling a single artificial intelligence unit system to thwart attempted attacks.
However, there is a dangerous trend out there that is seldom talked about. And that is the perception that everyone understands ‘security’ and can in fact function as a security expert once afforded the opportunity.
I have had encounters and interactions with people from a couple of businesses that feel that security is not a big deal for any business. In a group conversation with some top business executives that I met a few months ago; one of them said to me ‘I don’t think that there is justification for having the security function in the first place because security is generally overrated and again, there is nothing that you do as an expert in your current role that I cannot do as a greenhorn.’ That did not come to me as a surprise since it is similar to almost all of the responses/sentiments that I have sampled across diverse industries in my few months as a corporate security expert. This obnoxious trend is fast becoming a dogma that enterprises at a management level must find a way of fixing!
This is one of the reasons the security function is always on the edge, attempting to justify its budget at all times. The good thing though is that this is the scenario in exceptional situations as canny businesses and corporations have continued to maintain the lead by making ‘security’ a top business priority. There is now the need for a reversal in this trend and the first most strategic approach would be that organisational management took sole responsibility for presenting the security function in the same way it presents the functions that are considered ‘money-making’, because you cannot make money without security.
By Victoria Ogbuehi CPP, PCI, MSyl, Snr. Risk & Resilience Manager at Coca-Cola HBC
You can connect with Victoria here