Take a look at the figures. Eighteen percent of all violent crimes occur in the workplace. Victim deaths are especially high in retail.
Employee theft is also significant, costing U.S. businesses around $50 billion annually. In the construction sector, specifically, theft of high-value materials, including equipment, leads to hundreds of millions in losses, not factoring in associated productivity drain when workers don’t have the tools they need.
The question we must ask, then, is who handles the critical physical security events that devastate businesses: Crisis or Security teams? The truth is both. Which is why they need to be working in the same systems. How’s that possible?
In business, human, physical, and cyber-physical assets are incredibly vulnerable to high-impact, security threats: the likes of terrorist attacks, sabotage, trespassing, activist disruption, vandalism, theft, contamination, and other environmental incidents. All too often, even smaller-scale disturbances, themselves the product of stresses on defensive systems, ripen into full-bore security incidents, which go onto cause staggering levels of material damage.
Security officials grasp the magnitude of the protective security challenge facing them; they discern a clear uptick in workplace security risk. After all, the assets under their direct management – everything from large-scale buildings and sites to people and their mobile devices carrying sensitive corporate information – remain easy targets for motivated, malicious actors.
But what can Security teams do? The data shows they’re already overwhelmed. They often lack the tools and information required to protect people and physical assets. Even security outfits equipped with more advanced, defense-in-depth control systems operate at a serious disadvantage when it comes to the software they deploy.
Why’s that? Well, too often, Security teams operate with a proprietary set of technologies. That wouldn’t be so bad, except that their protective security mandate clearly overlaps with the Crisis Management function, as well. You see, when physical security incidents become critical, they’ll necessitate a coordinated, cross-functional intervention, which is the purview of Crisis Management.
Unfortunately, that overlap is rarely reflected in the tools either team uses, with the unintended consequence being that the right people don’t always get efficient access to the right information.
But advances in the field mean that it’s entirely possible to respond to security crises within a single, integrated platform. That system can help teams report and manage all security incidents, major events, risks, and operations, as well as automatically task and dispatch staff to respond to any event or crisis. Other benefits of integrating security, crisis, and business continuity management include:
- Better protect assets and people
- Maintain situational awareness
- Execute with more precision
- Streamline response
- Better show value and measure ROI, via reporting dashboards
- Connect incident data to risks; facilitate data-driven decisions; reduce security risks
- Enable location-based asset planning
- Incorporate best-practice risk principles
- Increase collaboration and communication, if access is available to operatives in the field
Of course, the same logic applies to crisis, security, and safety management. Big-ticket security crises compromise employee safety. In fact, those incidents might put organizations afoul of jurisdictional occupational and/or environmental health and safety mandates, as well.
It’s clear, then, that protective security, crisis, and business continuity management software should offer safety functionality, especially when it comes to fire/explosion, hazardous material, and vehicle incident management.
Finally, physical security incidents themselves have massive spillover effects to all segments of the business. However, protective security solutions don’t treat every aspect of security, including risks and hazards. A solution shouldn’t ignore the protective security risk lifecycle; a flexible platform ought to be able to conduct facility and event risk and threat assessments, as well as track post-assessment security controls and risk mitigation actions.
That kind of integrated, security risk functionality doesn’t have to come at the price of efficiencies in crisis and security incident response. Indeed, the right, integrated crisis and protective security management solution will also ease the response burden on dispatchers (and crisis managers), by enabling planned, controlled, and automated incident response to any situation, no matter the incident or crisis. Need help finding incident management software that offers more? Download our crisis management software buyer’s guide.
Occupational Health and Safety Administration: Workplace Violence.
Elaine Pofeldt, CNBC: This crime in the workplace is costing US businesses $50 billion a year.
Scott Dicus, Nathan Ives, David Price, and David Mayers, Security Magazine: Protecting Physical Assets from Cyber Threats Grows in Priority.
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