Stop Being Reactive to Security Issues

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It’s funny to think that a good day for security is when nothing happens.  Unfortunately that is rarely the case.  Most days are filled with putting out one fire after the next.  The difficult part is trying to stay proactive when so much or your day is filled with reactive events.  So how do you keep your organization safe and continue to ensure the safety and security of employees, visitors, assets and property?  Well it’s not easy but below are three key elements that can help.

 Manage by exception.

Security can be about establishing baselines. As most people involved with security are aware, there are always issues that need to be addressed but separating what is normal from abnormal is the key.  So what do I mean by abnormal?  Well here’s an example.

On an average day you may have 50 alarm and/or trouble events that occur, depending greatly on the size and scope of the security systems in place.  These can be doors that are propped open by various people that need to be secured, access denied events of people trying to access areas they are not allowed, panic alarms (false or actual), and fire alarm and fire trouble signals.  So if a particular day has 70 events, or a higher percentage than expected you need to establish why.

This becomes the exception.  First, look at your history and try to establish a baseline.  Then, look at how best you will be notified when exceptions to the established baseline occurs.

 Time required to identify and resolve an issue.

 The amount of time it takes for you to determine you have a problem is key.  Establishing the above described baseline and exception rules can greatly reduce the amount of time that lapses between when an incident occurs and when you are aware of the problem.  Your goal is to decrease this time by as much as possible.  Once you have determined there is a problem you need to have a system that addresses a problem as quickly as possible.  Implementing standard operating procedures or SOPs is key to resolving a problem quickly and reducing the resources needed to resolve a problem.

 Resources required to resolve an issue.

 First, what are resources?  These are a combination of your in-house staff (i.e. Security guards, human resources, IT personnel, etc…) and vendors (i.e. Security guards, Security Integration Company, outsourced IT Company, etc…).  The object is to reduce the amount of time that your resources have to spend on addressing a problem.  To reduce the time required you need to have systems in place and utilize automation processes.  Having systems in place will standardize the response and people will know what to do when a problem occurs.  This can be as simple as a pre-formatted message that appears on the guard’s security computer providing detailed instructions on how to call and what to do when a panic button is pushed.  In this example we have created a system for handling the panic alarm and helped automate the event of alerting the guard with specific instructions.

By implementing some or all of these key elements for your safety and security you will allow yourself more time to manage proactively.  In security being proactive is key.  Always waiting until the next emergency is a recipe for disaster.