We invited Professor Martin Gill FSyI to summarise the key learnings for the security sector from COVID-19.
There have been some impressive responses amongst good companies, but some have failed miserably, underlining once again the truism that security is too important to be left to the less than competent.
Moreover, we have learnt about the importance of security leadership (amongst clients, suppliers and associations), and we have found that the best in security are very good indeed at understanding the needs of governments / businesses / organisations / communities and can be core to ensuring objectives are met even when the environment is testing.
Organisations of all types found gaps in their emergency/disaster preparation plans and these will need to be addressed, hopefully by skilled operators. It isn’t surprising that security fared well (overall) in the crisis; security professionals are good in a crisis. What is also a feature of history is that when economic hardship hits, security is cut back.
The challenge for security professionals will be to ensure that they build on the credibility they have garnered during the crisis to minimise the impacts of corporate cost cutting.
The major risk is that security will continue to be poor at saying how good it really is. This remains its key Achilles heel, and it is true globally. The OSPAs have taught me both how good security professionals (clients and suppliers) are, and, frustratingly, how they remain comfortable operating under the radar. Security is just too important, too central to operations, too misunderstood and undervalued to remain in the shadows.
Professor Martin Gill FSyI