Making the Jigsaw Pieces Match the Picture on the Box Lid!
In commerce and industry, the original conception of security was that of protection of property, but in the circumstances of recent years with the increasing appreciation of risk and governance factors, threats of cyber terrorism and the need to demonstrative cost-effectiveness, it is no longer sufficient to adopt a ‘piecemeal’ approach to the acquisition of security assets and services.
It is essential that organisations appreciate that security will fail at the junctions where manpower, technical security systems, physical security features and procedures meet. True integration of all facets of security can only evolve from a ‘solutions’ approach to the implementation of security programmes and only if the proposed strategies and objectives are informed by the management of identified, assessed and agreed risks.
Security, as an operational function in the U.K. is often passed around between departments like an orphan between what appear suitable foster parents; human resources, health and safety, facilities management, or even the M&E department, if the security solution on a site leans more towards systems. With the changing parentage comes inconsistency, a predilection to emphasise the parent department’s own specific expertise and a resounding lack of security knowledge. Security fails in these hands because it is not ‘solutions’ based. Purpose and strategy lose any primacy over administrative function and providing the illusion of effectiveness is maintained, tested by whether security personnel are fully occupied, with whatever duties, no ‘strong light’ is ever shone on the true operational functionality of security.
To achieve real cost-effective security, it is essential that all proposed security provisions are assessed for operational functionality and ultimately purchased on the requirement to satisfy an identified need and not on the basis of a technical feature or competency. We have worked within too many organisations where the installation of technical systems and physical security assets have simply created the ‘illusion’ of security.