Site security breaches come in different guises; theft, vandalism, perimeter or building entry, problematic staff and at the extreme, terrorism, are all potential and realistic threats that organisations and businesses face. As you can imagine that pretty much covers every conceivable establishment and is as diverse as office space, hotels, construction, retail, private premises or any other type of building that requires physical security for the protection of staff, assets, residents or sensitive products.
The importance of physical security is often over-looked in favour of combating cyber crime, the sphere of which attracts large amounts of money being spent on the protection of information electronically accessible. Yet, by and large, the basics of physical security measures and performance are almost always implemented within small budgets and with the absolute minimum of training.
As a business owner or those with security responsibility within their working environment, breaches of physical security should not be the catalyst for a physical security risk assessment as a consequence of a post-incident knee jerk reaction. To the contrary, such risk assessments should be conducted as a matter of course and be the foundation of your security plan; something else that is regularly missing but is imperative in an overall and successful business plan.
When the decision to improve the physical security is made, it may provoke many questions: for example,what are our main threats; where are we most vulnerable; what is the main priority? Physical security risk assessments by established London security audit providers will furnish the necessary answers and advise you how best to address the issues and assist in maintaining a safe and secure site.
What is a Site Security Assessment?
A site security risk assessment is an evaluation of all aspects of your security, be that physical or electronic. The assessment should be conducted by an experienced security professional or London security company who is capable of assessing the assets that require protecting and is reliable, consistent and confident in their recommendations on how best to protect those assets. Clearly security can have, in theory, no financial limits so expect a reputable security audit professional to advise and guide you through the process and recommendations with your needs, demands and financial limits as their priority.
A security risk assessment considers a number of factors and can be summarised in the following areas.
Identifying the Risk
The type and level of risk is dependent upon the location and nature of the site that requires protecting. All premises are vulnerable but do not necessarily carry the same amount or type of risk.Clearly a Midlands security risk assessment where the client may well be situated in a large urban area may be similar to that of a London security risk assessment. However, in comparison with a more rural or isolated location a Norfolk security audit would perhaps have a different risk assessment.
Potential risks would include:
- Rate/Type of crime in the area
- Who/Number of people with access to your facility
- Number of entrances and exits to your facility
- Type of assets
- Who knows about them?
Assess Threats and Vulnerability
Having identified the potential risks the considerations are then assessing which areas are most vulnerable. It could be that particular areas are of higher risk than others due to their proximity to surrounding or adjacent buildings or that an external deterrence may not be suitable because of the proximity to public access. These are all factors that require assessment and the consequential risk factors to be considered.
Review Current Security
A security risk assessment examines the physical site and facilities and identifies the effectiveness of current security practices. Ineffectual CCTV systems, open or insecure barriers, gates and doors and ‘blind spot’ areas should be addressed. However, they are almost secondary concerns in comparison with a much more basic function….people’s attitudes. A general perception is that security is the responsibility of somebody else or just that of the security guards. This is fundamentally incorrect. For those fortunate enough to be able to afford security guards it is quite correct, they are responsible for implementing the security but their jobs are made so much easier if all those working at or visiting the particular site take responsibility too. Sloppiness and a care free attitude can often be the reason why incidents have occurred in the first instance and therefore why it has been necessary to recruit the services of a security assessor.
Expect you, your employees and any visitor’s to be monitored in addition to any security guards during a security risk assessment so that the security assessor can best gauge the most basics of your site security.
Review of Security Procedures and Systems
Security procedures and the details of any security plan you may have should be reviewed on a fairly regular basis. The more vulnerable your location or business-type is then consideration should be made to more regular assessments. People become inadvertently lazy when incidents are non-existent and conversely security tends to be heightened immediately following a breach or a security assessment. You should aim to maintain a high and consistent level at all times.
Times of increased vulnerability are associated with night working when staff or security guards are often alone. Your security procedures and monitoring of remote security systems should reflect the increased risk at a time when crime and anti-social behaviour is most likely to be committed. Unless security systems are plentiful or the site is relatively compact blind spots are often exposed and over a period of time will be identified by experienced criminals or offenders.
What can be offered to assist you?
There are a number of options available to you following a security risk assessment carried out by a professional and knowledgeable company. In addition to a London security company offering top quality security audits in and around London, security risk assessments should be available nationwide.
Detailed security assessment reports should follow a site visit in an agreed time or expedient manner. Not only does this show the level of professionalism and commitment by the security company carrying out the security audit, but it allows the client the opportunity to remedy any deficiencies in their security or practices at a time convenient to them. Reports should address the issues covered within this blog and offer a reasonable number of recommendations based on the client’s circumstances.
In addition to assisting clients with security guards or improved security systems an established, professional security risk assessment company should have the ability to offer alternative measures. Not all establishments have a large pot of money for security measures; therefore security workshops are ideally suited for those with limited budgets who still wish to benefit from some kind of security training. The security workshops are perfect for addressing specific security breaches and are excellent for increasing the awareness and confidence of staff. The learning outcomes can be jointly agreed by the client and security provider alike and tailor-made accordingly so no one size fits all.
People work better when they feel safer and consequently the business you are involved in performs better. The term ‘security’ is such a wide ranging concept and covers everything from physical and electronic security to mental and emotional security. All of these, surprisingly, are addressed when the work place feels as secure as the home place.
Be proactive in your attitude to security and not reactive because something has happened. Have a look at your security plan, if you have one, and see just how current and up to date it is. Are you content with your security measures and procedures or are they just ‘OK’? Have you looked beyond the obvious and planned for bomb or terrorist threats?
The following locations are popular for security risk assessments and may help you locate a company suitable for your needs: