Private security is a must-have for any company, organisation, or agency of scale. There are plenty of reasons why investing in corporate security can benefit you, but it boils down to a matter of risk and deterrence.
Establishments seen as vulnerable (i.e. easy pickings) come with a higher risk of break-ins, theft, and robbery. Security guards, CCTV installations, and other security solutions are effective ways of making sure that your properties, delivery trucks, and other assets are less desirable targets for crime.
Assessing your private security needs is the first step towards safeguarding your operation. When you have a clear idea of your needs and vulnerabilities, you gain the instant advantage of knowing what added services you’ll need, and how best to engage a private security company.
Check out this guide for giving your operation or establishment a well-deserved security check-up!
Assessing Your Private Security: Priority Targets
It pays to think like a criminal element when running a security check. This is why the first step in assessing your private security needs is to identify the parts of your business or operation that would draw the most interest during a criminal incident.
There are a number of obvious places to start. If you have cash registers, money boxes, or safes in your place of work, note their locations down. Likewise, take note of any display or storage areas where you keep valuable items (e.g. electronics, jewellery, high-value art pieces).
Less obvious are storage areas for items and documents that are critical to your business. You can never be too careful, for instance, when safekeeping your account books or your customer and employee records.
You can also think of a criminal’s targets in phases. Taking your valuables is just a late step in a long sequence, and they’d first have access to your building’s interior. As part of your inventory of priority targets, identify your key entry and exit points, as well as key utilities like circuit breakers and on-site generators.
Assessing Your Private Security: Vulnerabilities
Once you’ve determined your priority targets, the next step is to check them for vulnerabilities. We find that an easy way to go about this is to keep the ABC’s of corporate security in mind: access, blindspots, and crisis response.
Access is the ease by which a person could bypass your entryways and acquire your valuable items. It’s the most intuitive part of a security assessment since this is the part where you check for broken locks, holes in perimeter fences, and other exploits that could make a criminal’s life easier for them.
We recommend performing a sweep of your building’s interiors as well as its surrounding area for access points apart from your primary entrances and exits. These would be windows, grates, and other pathways into your building.
If you have access to copies of your site plans and/or blueprints, keep them handy and mark down points of interest—these will come in handy later when talking to a contractor or corporate security provider.
In many cases, the best private security solutions involve setting buildings and operations up with extra eyes and ears. Cameras, sensors, and security guards on patrol are effective at deterring crime, and spotting crimes that are underway in order to administer a quick response.
If have (or are planning to have) a CCTV setup for your business, or other electronic monitoring devices like motion sensors, you should be fully aware of their blindspots and limitations. Cameras and sensors have a limited range of effect, and you ought to know the extent of what they can do in order to maximise your investment.
Electronic security shouldn’t give you a view of everything. Setting them up to do so would not only be costly, but ultimately pointless—you only ever need to monitor your main pathways, as well as access vulnerabilities (from the previous section) that can’t be addressed by some carpentry work or patrolling security guards.
The physical aspect of security (i.e. entry points, cameras, and security guards) is only half the battle when it comes to keeping your business or organisation safe. The other half is in the mind—specifically, in the minds of your staff and personnel.
A robust crisis response plan can save time, money, and lives. When assessing your private security needs, revisit your protocols and policies in the event of a break-in, robbery, arson, and other criminal incidents. Likewise, security also means having a comprehensive plan for the event of a fire or natural disaster.
If you find that your emergency plans work well on paper, the next step is to test how well they’d apply in the heat of the moment. We recommend running frequent drills and refresher courses to make sure that your staff members are prepared at any given moment.
Their performance during these drills will inform you of whether your staff’s preparedness lends to your overall security, or compromises it.
Note that the presence of trained security personnel can be a big help in overall emergency management. They’re a boon to have when aiming for holistic security, and their assistance goes well beyond criminal risk reduction.
Assessing Your Private Security: Action Steps
When it comes to the security of your organisation, any room for improvement should be met with concrete action. Your findings during your assessment should go into a plan for future security upgrades, on a priority basis.
Remember that management has a direct responsibility for the health and safety of the employees under their charge. The sooner you act to plug holes and vulnerabilities in your security, the better off you and your staff will be.
We highly recommend touching base with qualified experts in order to verify your private security assessments and help you plan your next moves.
Find a corporate security provider that can cater to a business or organisation of your size, and with a proven history for servicing clients in and around your industry. You should also prepare a list of the questions to ask before hiring a new security team.
Unified Security happens to be the largest, indigenously-owned corporate security agency in the country, with plenty of experience in serving businesses, agencies, and organisations of scale.
Contact us to get in touch with one of our security experts, and we’ll walk you through some tips and tricks for your next security upgrade.