An Effective Security System is FREE

Security is an overhead expenditure, a burden and dent to the company profits, are the kinds of the expressions one keeps hearing in some organizations, particularly while producing company balance sheets for business reviews. The trend may be a bit lesser rampant in Security hazards prone areas, but even there when the situation remains calm for some time, such voices start surfacing. When one views the statistics of losses to the companies due to terrorism, other attacks, theft & pilferage, corruption, fraud, strikes/ other loss times, indiscipline of different kinds, accidents on sites/ while moving and related wastages, and the possible role the Security system can play to avoid these, one may think otherwise.

Terrorism and other violence are a menace in different parts of the present day world. The US businesses alone suffer some over ~50 Billion USD due to different workplace crimes. Lack of order and compliance are other issues leading to losses suffered. Many of the losses to the company can be gauged tangibly while others may be difficult to quantify. Many Security hazards like attacks on the site, aggressive gatherings by locals, strikes, etc. if averted due to a good mitigation strategy and effective Security system, would not accrue us data on the number of attempts which were never conducted since the potential target company had taken effective mitigation. Who would know as to how many times a terrorist attack or other violent attack, attempted theft/ robbery, etc. were only contemplated/ planned and not translated into actual action after seeing the effectiveness of the preparations/ mitigation strategy? In contrast, Loss-time injury (LTI) free time period could be a very credible gauge to rate an effective system of HSE and other operational compliances.

An effective system of Security would directly or indirectly contribute in different ways to avoid potential loss to the company. The magnitude of such losses averted or minimised can never be quantified, and hence the above-mentioned anomaly in realising the importance and ‘free status’ of Security. Following the age-old concept of, ‘every penny saved is a penny earned’, one can easily infer that Security perils avoided lead to tremendous savings to the company. Seeing the magnitude of hazards emanating out of weak or no Security system vis-à-vis the resultant dollar value of the loss would show that presence of effective and credible Security system in a company can rather save tremendous sums of money, much beyond the expenditure incurred on emplacing the security system.

Security managers at all tiers need an important commitment. One leading the Security system has to ensure focus on sincere, professional, candid and upright disposition & functioning rather than apple-polishing. The job at hand is so sensitive that any Security manager who is tentative or conscious of likes or dislikes of the management, is bound to fail miserably! Hence opinions and judgments have to be fairly, truthfully given, surely maintaining the professional decorum and polity  

A good system of a company should take care of the following aspect either directly or supportively:

  • Physical Security of offices, operational and residential sites based on the professional and documented Security risk assessment
  • Guarding of the mentioned and other sites having potential pilferage and loss
  • Technical Security system to the level of the company’s needs duly integrated in the overall Security management plan
  • Being present at all sites/ activities of the company actively assist in compliances like HSE and other operational SOPs (this requires appropriate training and grooming of the security personnel)
  • Watch-dogging important and high-value matters of the company, if and when desired by the company’s top management (this requires developing high level of trust and expertise, main areas being Corporate Services, Finance, Corporate Affairs, or any other area for contracts, Business Development, major payments, etc.)
  • Theft and fraud prevention as a generic subject
  • Fleet management and the related issues
  • Investigations of multiple dimensions, if mandated
  • At country Security level, develop and maintain regularly updated situation/security mosaics, collating all-available intelligence/ information at local, country and regional levels of  geo-politico-strategic developments to enable him/ her to render apt advice on current and future operations of the company
  • Monitor actively to help maintain discipline & order, community issues and unionism related dynamics as all these have the potential to escalate and become security issues
  • Develop good working know-how of work of technical/operational, corporate affairs, legal, corporate services, HSE, Admin and rather all spheres of the company so as to render ALL-OUT support to them in routine, or if specially asked for
  • Maintain good rapport with top management in-country as well as Security & other counterparts at Regional and Global levels of the Company/ conglomerate

In nutshell, a Security system worth its name and credibility can render support to the business in such a diverse manner. The day Security’s contribution to the business starts making the company realise that Security is a real necessity rather than a ‘waste’, you can consider that the security system emplace is ‘effective’, hence FREE to the company.