My last column focused on ‘physical’ security considerations, and in particular, the outsourcing of the workforce that are used to support an organisation’s security structure and provide an overt and visible deterrence. Most organisations choose to outsource these general security personnel both to keep headcount and costs down and minimise the management of such a commitment.
At the very least, a company or organisation should also have some internal personnel assigned with overseeing specific security and safety responsibilities. These personnel could be dedicated specialists who run the day-to-day security needs of the company and they may also have additional functions and duties.
We are seeing more dedicated personnel being appointed as security managers with possibly extra health, safety and environmental responsibilities. They can also be tasked with managing a wide array of physical, electronic, digital, cyber, contract management and bringing everything together to manage procedural expectations.
This may not be an easy role to fill from an experience and technical perspective and there may be financial restraints within the organisational structure, so it will often lead to the employment of a less than qualified or inexperienced security manager who will in turn outsource most of the company’s security needs to third parties and contractors. This in itself is not a major concern, if it is managed efficiently and effectively, but this is where issues can arise.
The correct selection of the right security manager who properly matches the security strategy chosen by the organisation is essential. Always take into account the level of technical competence and knowledge of your sector that is required, and this will lead you to the type of candidate needed.
In some cases, we have seen security managers outsourcing contracts to third parties and external vendors to such an extent that they have ultimately handed them responsibility to managing themselves! This scenario can easily happen when a culture of outsourcing without supervision exists and there is very limited accountability within the reporting chain. Outsourcing does not always translate to excellence or to the devolution of responsibilities, and a clear structure must be in place to prevent this from happening. The guards should not be guarding themselves!
Having a detailed security manual in place, with clear procedures, responsibilities and accountabilities will greatly help in moulding a corporate culture of ownership and allow the security manager the ability to manage the security infrastructure, even if they are part of a very small team!
I will look at more physical security considerations next week. I will discuss control room manning as part of the monitoring and surveillance capability of a security structure.
Le Beck CEO Anthony Tesar can be reached on CEO@lebeckinternational.com