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Making the most of your security budget - Advice-01

Your Security Budget

All organisations need at least some type(s) of security, whether it be for the protection of premises, assets or people / staff.

The good news is that there are many excellent security products and measures available to help in the fight against crime, the bad news is there is also plenty of "Hype" and many hard sell companies out there looking to ensure that you invest your budget with their solution - even if it is not quite what you really need!

Often investment in new security measures follows close on the heels of an event such as a burglary, attack, vandalism or something similar. Pressure to act is high and time is not necessarily on the side of the decision maker which can lead to poor decisions and wasting the security budget on inappropriate and ineffective security solutions.

How to Make the Right Security Decisions

The risk of making the wrong, costly decisions can be minimised by:

  1. Seeking advice from the Police (Crime Prevention Officers).
  2. Seeking advice from insurers.
  3. Gaining advice and guidance from reputable security professionals. Ideally a company that offers a range of security solutions.

The Threat to Your Organisation

Whilst popular myth tells us that the optimist is the man who considers his glass half full rather than half empty, in security terms he is surely the man who believes his company immune to theft even though statistically over 60% of UK companies fall victim to thieves each year!

Theft alone is estimated to cost UK businesses in excess of £1 Billion per year and realistically no company or organisation can consider themselves immune. Faced with a greater than 70% chance of a repeat theft attack within a few weeks, it is no wonder that most victim companies are spurred into urgent action by a theft and often in their eagerness to plug the breach find subsequently that there may have been a better way to spend the instantly conjured up security budget.

In the cold and impartial light of day, few would disagree that to implement the most effective form of security, the starting point should be to carry out a proper risk analysis.

What is Risk Management?

Although the basic philosophy of Risk Management has been discussed and written about for over a hundred years, to many people the subject remains somewhat of a mystery.

In essence however Risk Management is simply the formalised application of common sense by the management of a Company to ensure the continued well being of that Company`s affairs.

All commercial ventures naturally involve risk taking to a greater or lesser degree, however the analysis of many business operations frequently reveals that exposure to risk or risks is taken to a level far higher than need be.

To take a simple analogy, every time we walk across a public road we are exposed to risk. To reduce this risk we have defined and published some simple rules and introduced pedestrian crossings, traffic controls and so on. Obviously this has not eliminated the risk - we have merely reduced the chances of injury or death to persons and damage to vehicles.

The risks faced by commercial organisations are obviously far more complex than this simple road-crossing analogy. Businesses and organisations need to find effective, affordable ways to protect their overall investment in physical assets, employees, finances, data, documentation, legal obligations and much more. The most effective and efficient way to deal with this challenge is through the implementation of a systematic programme of effective risk analysis and management.

Such programmes are generally designed to cater for all types of exposure and will assist in identifying risk and either eliminating it or reducing it to acceptable levels. This concept is known by the all embracing title of Risk Management.

Risk Management relates to `pure risk` i.e. those risks, which attract LOSS ONLY. Speculative risks on the other hand may imply some form of gain and as such do not fall into a category that would be examined under a Risk Management programme.

Risk Management Objectives

The objectives of a Risk Management programme are simple: The elimination or reduction of loss potential without insurance or impairment to the profitability and growth of a commercial concern.

Here`s a summary of elements in a rational, integrated programme of loss control activities:

  • Protection of physical assets against loss or elimination
  • Security measures to prevent theft and fraud
  • Health and Safety Controls to protect the human resource
  • Legal requirements to protect the business
  • Financial loss controls to protect loss of liquid assets
  • Purchase of Insurance Protection to provide appropriate cover at best market term

Help is available. Your own financial or insurance advisors should be able to provide the necessary expertise to carry out risk audits for all forms of threat. In addition to those resources however there are also independent consultancies that specialise in such work.

Tackling Your Security Challenge

These notes are intended to offer an insight into the methods which are currently used in the fight against theft, burglary, violent attacks on people and property, which sadly now form part of everyday life.

Principles of Effective Security

Security is in itself a sophisticated and exhaustive subject and audits usually begin at the boundary protection and work inwards to the building proper and then to its contents and employees.

Any form of obstacle which can delay a thief or frighten them into irrational action is welcome. Modern, ingenious security products, such as those supplied by Insight Security, are proven, economic to install and should form a significant part of the protection demanded by many classes of risk - houses, shops, stores, factories and warehouses, plant & equipment and so on. 

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