The security services industry is one of the fastest growing industries in America today. With so many new entrants, technology developments, and emerging threats, it can be exceedingly difficult to keep up with the myriad risks facing your organization. It can be exhausting. So how do you bring order to this chaos while still protecting your employees and your livelihood? Security risk consulting is one solution that many businesses overlook. Throughout our years of experience, we’ve noticed a lot of confusion about what a security risk consultant actually does, and why businesses might benefit from talking to one. A quick Google search will reveal how little information there is on the subject, and that’s likely by design.
So let’s dive in.
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of security consultancies who provide security assessments for just about any type of security need you have. Many security consultants offer their clients security risk assessments as part of their security risk consulting practice. While at times limited in their abilities, these consultants can provide invaluable intel into your own organization. Because of their narrow scope and field of expertise, some smaller consultants may cannot uncover all of a company’s risk exposures, and you may require additional capabilities such as investigative work when they do find evidence of wrongdoing or vulnerabilities.
In particular, we have seen a rise in one-person “consultancies.” While some of these companies are highly skilled, be wary of consultants who claim to be professionals with experience, but have never actually run a private security program, produced a budget, or operated from said budget. The biggest culprits being retired law enforcement personnel who have never worked in the private sector and former security directors who may understand private security, but don’t have the knowledge of business required to optimize and maximize your security program.
With any business partnership, it’s wise to vet any new business partners or vendors. Security consultants are absolutely no different. In fact, it may be more important to vet security vendors – when lives and livelihoods are at stake, you simply can’t afford to have someone learning on the job. Be sure to ask any prospective partners to provide references and examples of similar security programs they have run or advised for. Be sure to review their insurance coverages and make sure they possess and maintain all the correct licenses.
Working with a security consultant can transform your day to day operations. Therefore it is imperative to partner with a consultant who’s approach to business is commesurate with your philosophy. Consultants bring a new dimension to business operations, but they can also have a transformational effect when done right.
Consolidation Forces Organizations to Rethink Their Risk Management Programs
While traditional “security management,” companies handle the day-to-day operations, recruiting/hiring, and often help streamline the security requirements for your organization, there has been widespread consolidation among the biggest brands over the years. This shift has caused many organizations to look elsewhere for the dedicated service and responsiveness their customers and staff require. These one-size-fit-all solutions will often fill the role of a facilities staffing agency, dividing their focus between janitorial, guard services, and housekeeping services. These solutions do not recognize the individuality of their clients. These services companies generally cannot plan, consult, or investigate the full spectrum of risk.
The largest of these conglomerates are often hamstrung, unable to respond as quickly as some of their smaller rivals. While often offering a more budget-friendly solution, because of their divided focus (and budgets) these companies often lack access to high quality training, their reduced pay rates mean the quality of officer (and customer service) suffers. These companies often lack the oversight required to protect and represent your brand’s reputation adequately. Often these companies, by their very nature, create employee security challenges of their own.
Regardless of the size of your business, your security requirements can expose risks and challenges that need to be addressed. Either way you choose, you need to be sure that your security partner offers additional services to help you implement and oversee your risk management strategy to ensure the continued safety of your facility. It’s invaluable to have a team of experts in your corner when things go wrong.
When considering the security risk management needs of your organization, it is also important to consider the level of security spend required for your facility. What risks are most likely to affect you or your staff? You should consider the need for various levels of security and the need for different security officers. Will they interact with the public? Will they have access to your networks? How do these vendors screen their employees? Will their team have access to proprietary or otherwise sensitive data?
These are all considerations an organization must make before turning a security company and their officers loose on property.
Assessing Physical Security
To do this, choose a security consultancy that will assess your security needs first. By doing so, they will provide you with a physical security assessment that will give you a complete understanding of what you need to do to improve the safety of your facility, and the current risks you face.
Fortunately, most security consultants offer security risk assessments to their clients. This can be very useful because you can have a fair idea of the problems you face along with solutions. Another thing you should consider when looking for security services assessments is the type of consulting services these companies provide. While some security consultants provide comprehensive assessments, others can only provide training. Prioritize what’s most important to your organization and select a team that can address your unique challenges.
In the end, it is important to find a security consulting firm that provides a full range of security services from consulting and investigation to managed physical security. In this way, you can get a complete evaluation that includes training on safety requirements and remediation techniques to protect your property.
In addition, large companies are better situated to handle the threats the bigger companies face. A smaller mom and pop consultancy likely wouldn’t have the financial means, or experience to navigate an international trade dispute, for example. Likewise the largest companies are unlikely to prioritize the design of client-specific security requirements or to ensure the compliance of client security programs.
By choosing a security consultant with great bench strength, a broad network of resources, and access to the latest technology, you can be confident that you get the best results that addresses every part of your risk landscape. In addition, you will be assured that you maximize the benefit from the services of an actual security expert.
Before engaging a security consultant to protect your business, you need to consider your company’s security needs and your current posture, which can help you choose the best security advisor to protect your location and allow you to get back to running your company. The world is a dynamic place, and one of the most dangerous things a company can do is say “this is how we’ve always done it.” Security requires a lot more than a guard on post and training. If you have concerns about risk, our security experts are here to help. For over 30 years we’ve helped businesses anticipate and navigate risk before it becomes a crisis. If you would like to learn more about how our experts can help you protect what matters most, let’s talk.
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