As he completes his time as Chair of The UK Security Commonwealth, we asked Guy Mathias to analyse the impact of 2020 and look forward to 2021.
As a sector, we must evolve in how we become more refined in our response to domestic and global threats, and recognise that the threats themselves are becoming ever more complex.
A particular key issue that has come to the fore and that will need to be addressed is our privacy and data protection, especially that surrounding personal health information. The introduction of contact tracing and tracking apps will require technology operators to provide reassurance that they are secure, and that their life-saving applications are not open to data breach compromise.
This pandemic threat, which has become a daunting reality, tests the business continuity/recovery responses of public and private sectors.
When the global picture stabilises there will also be a clear requirement to review how we did respond, and cope and manage… did we really step up to the plate in our respective organisations and companies and assess that we did great/average/ underwhelming job in responding…and will we challenge ourselves to express an honest appraisal of what we did? Just what could we have done better or improved upon?
The pandemic has been, and will be, a ‘game changer’, and what was already a fiercely competitive world has become even more so. No surprise, therefore, that those who will emerge from the eventual cessation of COVID-19 will have to demonstrate agility, flexibility and fierce desire to adapt to the new ways of working.
Priorities must always be the safety, health and well-being of our people, ensuring that we do everything possible to learn from the threats and risk issues which have emerged globally, whilst supporting those working in our sector against future pandemics.
The many sector member bodies will be required to demonstrate their continuing support and worth to constituent members.
Our summary objective should be to ensure we are ready to face up to security threats arising from the current pandemic and to develop our individual and collective resilience in the coming years.
Note: Jane King will take over chair of the UK Security Commonwealth in early 2021.
For further views on this topic, see related articles from our Police & Partnerships category:
David Ward, City Security Council on the recognising the importance of security officers
Robert Hall, Resilience First, on lessons learnt from 2020
Richard Jenkins, NSI on the security sector response to Covid-19
Mike Reddington, BSIA, on dealing with the global pandemic