The Noggin Blog

Underinvestment in Physical Security One of the Biggest Trends of 2019

Posted by The Brain on Nov 27, 2019 10:28:37 AM

In 2018 corporate security incidents came for everyone. So far, 2019 hasn’t been much better. Through it all, one of the year’s bigger, under-covered trends has been the underinvestment in security personnel. How serious is the issue?

In Australia, the private security industry has an estimated annual turnover of more than AUD 8 billion, half of which is spent on electronics; the other half on manpower. There’s strong reason to believe that the latter doesn’t get as much attention as the former. For instance, the standard Certificate II training requirements for a security officer in Australia don’t specifically address the human skills required to identify and report on potential terrorist activity or on appropriate response measures.

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Meanwhile, in the U.S., ‘Security Officer Turnover/Retention’ has become a top five issue for security leadership in 2019, up from 11th place in 2016. This uptick is driven, no doubt, by low national unemployment rates and perceived, inadequate advancement opportunities for personnel.

More importantly, though, these figures highlight a critical vulnerability for corporate security, suggesting that leaders and service providers haven’t adequately cultivated relationships with security personnel - primarily in the form of career opportunities and benefits.18 Given that security personnel and ‘regular’ workers very often function as first responders in the event of a physical security incident, the risks of underinvesting in security personnel are clear.

So, what can be done? Training, particularly in the appropriate use of user-friendly, security management technology, represents a particularly attractive win-win for employees and corporate security writ large. From the tighter integration of Security Operations Centers (into Physical Security operations) to the use of mobile apps in the field, technology can lead the way forward. And the deployment of flexible platforms that act as the glue between people and technology at the frontlines of corporate security constitutes a dual investment in technology and personnel.

Finally, keeping up with the evolution of physical security threats that have emerged in recent years is a full-time job, especially as the reputational damage from any kind of media scandal can take years to recover from. What’s more, the physical damage caused by corporate security threats can be irrevocable - in particular for the victims. 

Luckily, the industry now offers tools for practitioners to counter challenges, like under-investment in personnel. Sector-specific dashboards, checklists, procedures, and plans that can be used out of the box via integrated safety and security management technology are just a few invaluable resources for organizations that are serious about protecting their people and property, all while saving time and leveraging documented best practices.  

Customizable, fully-integrated mapping features that enable teams to visualize incidents, risks, assets, and people are also emerging as the most intuitive, insightful way to manage risk and threat assessments, as well as keep people and physical assets safe, not just in 2019 but for years beyond.

Keen to look back on the year that’s ending for a clue to what will come next? Download our guide to the top corporate security threats of 2019.

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