Security sector leaders SWOT Analysis for 2020: Weaknesses
We asked a range of senior representatives from security organisations to contribute to a SWOT analysis, focusing on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for the security sector in 2020. Many security professionals will be familiar with a SWOT analysis: the management technique for assessing you or your organisation’s position before embarking on a new strategy. In this article, we have used this powerful tool to assess the security sector from all angles, with views from leaders in security who are at the forefront of taking the sector forward in 2020.
In this second part, we’ve asked about the Weaknesses: what could the sector do better? What challenges must be addressed to continue the improvement of the sector?
Mike O’Neill CSyP, FSyI, MD, Optimal Risk Group
I believe one of the current key weaknesses in the security sector is the failure of organisations to effectively test their physical security controls, incident response plans and crisis management planning.
They happily spend vast amounts of money on external testers to validate that their network infrastructure is secure. This type of control is important and understandable given the amounts spent on firewalls and other detection systems as well as the damage caused by information loss. However, the damage caused by a malicious intruder or a seemingly innocuous event spiralling out of control can be just as bad, if not worse.
Testing, planning and exercising do not add directly to the bottom line but if or when something goes wrong, they do help to protect the organisation’s reputation, minimise any losses, protect value and speed recovery. Through all of this, effective and truthful internal and external communications with the media, regulators, customers and other stakeholders will undoubtedly result in an enhanced reputation. Bad things do happen to good organisations, but the way they respond can improve their standing and added value.
In 2020 the security sector organisations should be looking at their plans and schedule programmes of reviews and exercising to ensure that if the bad things happen, they know they can respond effectively.
See related article Essential time to review business continuity plans
Crawford Boyce, Director, Wilson James
Without a doubt, there are many challenges facing the security industry as we move towards the third decade of the century. And yet, one of the most pressing is almost wholly self-inflicted: our continuing lack of diversity.
While there have been great strides made in some cases, our larger workforce trends still reveal a broad homogeneity in our makeup. And far from an attempt to appear merely politically correct, this represents a very real risk to our industry.
Security in 2020 and beyond will only become more complex, the needs of clients and brands more demanding. Our industry no longer can provide simple manned guarding contracts; we must offer 360 degree solutions that mitigate cyber attacks, physical risk and reputational damage, and the softer skills which deliver the quality customer experience.
To meet these challenges, we need to be drawing from a wider pool of talent and ability than ever before. And to do this, we must identify some of the traditional barriers to entry – gender and sexual identity, ability and heritage – and we must dismantle them.
It is not enough to wish them away or assume that this progress will be passively achieved. It is incumbent on those of us who wish to build lasting and forwarding-thinking security operations to take a proactive approach to diversifying our workforce.
This past year Wilson James has staked out proactive positions on specific inclusivity issues, with the aim of driving the change we believe the industry needs to make. This has included partnering with clients and external partners to provide industry experience and career opportunities to individuals with physical and hidden disabilities. We have made mental health awareness and support a permanent component of our health, safety and people agenda. And finally, we are committed to ensuring that we are an inclusive employer, with a focus on building relationships and opportunities for the LGBT community, which we know is under-represented in our industry.
Ultimately, our workforce must represent the organisations, communities and business we secure. Until it does, we will lose out on the perspectives, talents, diverse backgrounds and experience that we need to ensure our industry evolves apace with innovation elsewhere.
See the related article Diversity and Inclusion in the Security sector