Security Management as a Function

Has there been a misconception of the meaning of security? Security term defines as means of state of well being, freedom from harm or freedom from danger. This word derives from the Latin secura meaning see (without) cura (care). Usually, people think security is guards and gates but there is more than that and if you get it correctly then you will ensure that your assets feel assured and protected.

The role of the security is not to be overseen by individuals who have no security qualifications or experience in the security industry. This role can not be performed by administration or human resource in order to cut costs for hiring a security manager because, in the long run, it will cost you more because all you need one incident which could tarnish the organisational image.

Furthermore, hiring a qualified security manager or security consultant will add values to the organisation in terms of asset protection, crisis management, information security and business continuity. Security threats are always changing and organisations can no longer rely on traditional security to work. For example, security technology has become innovative and security managers can assist businesses with return on investment (ROI) in terms of cost-effectiveness and efficiency of organisational security. Some of the security managers are qualified to conduct close protection of senior executives within the organisation compared to the administration or HR manager and also if they come from military or police background will have resilience in terms of managing any crisis within the organisation.

Security function has two roles proactive and reactive security, The proactive part is to build a relationship with all internal and external stakeholders and the preventative measures. Reactive security involves the response to an incident such as alarm detection and CCTV surveillance. Another response to security is a claim to insurance following an incident. However, there is an additional cost associate with insurance when there is a pattern of incidents and no security measures are being implemented to the organisations. Security managers or consultants will review both proactive and reactive security to ensure the effectiveness of the security programme and that it adds value to the organisation.

Does your business have a mechanism for creating a security programme for awareness, prevention, preparedness and response to changes to security threat levels?

Large organisations have a prepared security structure to address all the security risks and to protect the business assets. However, small to medium businesses tend not to have a security structure and only become reactive when a security incident occurs, because security is seen as a cost. It is paramount that a security programme is prepared to address the environmental design, mechanical measures, people and procedural security. Businesses have a duty of care and employees responsible to oversee this task must ensure that appropriate structure is implemented to avoid future repercussions and tarnished image.

The most important factor to implement a security structure is to ensure that the culture of the organisation is in line with the security goals and objectives of the structure. It is important for organisational leaders to instil on security culture across the board as security is 50-50 and most organisations will rely on a security company to implement a security structure without the support of the company employees and consequently fail on protecting the organisational assets. How many times have you seen security companies being changed from business from one company to another because of a security incident? It is not about winning contracts except protecting the clients and ensuring the security structure is implemented and mitigate identified risks.

Good security equal less cost and less inconvenience. You can never rely on one security programme such as manned guarding only or an insurance cover to protect you from any loss. How many times you have seen a security officer been compromise or asleep while on duty and adversaries broke into the premises and stole assets? Then it becomes costly and more inconvenient having to investigate the incident and loss of productivity because of the loss of employee equipment and increase fear of safety amongst the employees.

Businesses should have a packaged security which should be a starting point and it could be the combination of both physical and technological security. A full risk assessment must be done and identify ing risks to the organisation and areas of protection. However, security goals must be formalised before ensuring that it is line with the organisational goals before preparing the security programme.

Unless your business has a security policy and a security statement this should be formalised addressing objectives and responsibility of the security department. Moreover, the security policy will provide various security procedures within the organisation which have been agreed with the C-Suite. In addition, to the security procedures, the policy will implement the required security awareness training that new and existing employees need to have such quarterly or annually. Global companies will have a travel security policy for employees that are travelling or working abroad. Moreover, the security policy will have assignment instructions for the security company and alarm company in case of any security incident that they must adhere to specific instructions whether during working or out of hours.

The security policy can be updated regularly depending on the operational need of the business as one policy does not fit all. For example, a distribution company may include asset tracking and alcohol and drug screening for the employees as well as searching procedures within the policy. It is paramount that employees are inducted on the security policies and procedures to avoid any misunderstanding and future litigation. It is the responsibility of the security department or security focal point to ensure that all employees have been inducted and regularly are reminded of security policies as well as ensuring that they have signed for it. Security awareness training will improve security awareness and assist the security department with the tracking of incidents and identification of risks for mitigation purposes.

The security is different from the security plan which includes the business vulnerabilities areas, access areas, assets areas that have high loss, surveillance areas and other important areas within the facility that needs protection. A plan will entail the security assessment report and recommendations and any other security procedures and security budget.

Conclusively, there are varieties of security management structures across business sectors which ranges from Chief of Security to Security Manager but all have one mission to accomplish is ensure that the security function within the organisation is working and all the risks are mitigated. Traditional security has now moved on as technological innovation has seen many businesses introducing converged security ensuring that organisations are protected from cybersecurity incidents. Depending on your organisational need it is important to review your security strategy regularly to ensure that your security programme is up to date and unless you have a security manager, it is highly recommended that you hire a security consultant who can review your security programme and advise you on the areas to improve depending on your budget.

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