What makes good security? Nine key steps that can help
Noah Price, Head of the G4S Academy UK & Ireland, provides a useful reminder of what makes good security: highlighting nine best practices that can help organisations stay one step ahead of the evolving threats.
Regular risk assessment and planning
With regular risk assessment and planning the foundations of good security, it’s important to consider whether your assessments and plans are up to date.
Have there been any changes in the assets that need to be protected – whether it be people, property, information or reputation? Have the threats to these assets changed or evolved and are there any vulnerabilities that could be exploited? Does the security plan still protect the assets with relevant integrated security solutions, or are there any weaknesses or gaps?
Due to the dynamic nature of threats, it’s important to utilise intelligence information to supplement the planning process in addition to reviewing the risk assessment and plan on a regular basis.
In the same way that businesses use penetration testing to test cyber security, physical security should be tested against various scenarios.
Table-top exercises can be an excellent way to identify possible weaknesses and ensure preparedness in advance of a real incident. They should use relevant scenarios and identified threats to help test mitigation plans and training.
Whether that be simulating an urban explorer incident, a terrorist attack or a protest group trying to access the building, these exercises can help to ensure that the team will react and respond appropriately, implementing measures to minimise adverse consequences.
With threats constantly evolving, it’s more important than ever to focus on training. Organisations benefit hugely from thinking about training in a more holistic way. While security officers must receive training that is relevant to their customer’s assets, procedures and identified threats, clients can also benefit by encouraging their employees to take part in relevant security training and by involving the security team in their own in-house training.
Working in partnership
The best security solutions will be achieved when security providers and clients work together, sharing desired outcomes, plans and information as part of an iterative process. This close collaboration can also lead to cost and time savings.
Whether it’s the planning of an integrated security solution or a small change in an existing plan, collaboration can help to reach the best solutions, more quickly.
Developing a security culture
Developing and sustaining an effective security culture is a vital part of an organisation’s personnel security regime. Getting the culture right will ensure that employees are security-conscious and think about how to protect the information and assets that they have access to at work.
Insights, shared information and best practice
Good security utilises insights and shared information, while also using best practice from first responders. For example, G4S is a member of the City Security Council, which aims to explore ways to improve collective responses to threats from terrorism, crisis or emergencies. G4S uses the risk assessment and decision making process, the National Decision Model. It also incorporates practices developed as part of JESIP (The Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme) which was developed to improve and standardise the way the police, fire and rescue and ambulance services work together when responding to major incidents.
Balancing security and customer service
In addition to providing an excellent security service, officers must be friendly, reassuring and well trained in communication skills. Where appropriate, this can be taken to the next level through a hybrid receptionist and security role and should be reinforced by independently validated customer service training.
Taking advantage of new ideas and new technologies
With threats constantly changing, organisations can benefit from new approaches. Adopting emerging technologies, may improve security, while also making it more efficient and welcoming, and reducing costs.
Lone worker devices put staff working remotely in permanent contact with a security centre. Advances in hand-held device technology mean that officers can perform and record tasks whilst mobile and provide access to a suite of additional services.
Developments in access control, including mobile and cloud-based options, can provide security enhancements and operate on a frictionless basis.
Building integration in security
Finally, security that is integrated, or planned holistically, is likely to work better, because it has been designed to ensure that there are no gaps to be exploited.
Physical security will work best when expertise, security professionals, technology and data analytics are considered together. In the same way, physical security should not be considered in isolation, as it is intertwined with personnel security and cyber security.
Head of the G4S Academy UK&I.
For more information visit https://www.g4s.com/en-gb/what-we-do/academy
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