Security risk assessments are a standard process for any security guard company. Risk assessments help keep people and properties safe by looking for gaps in security coverage.
But not all risk assessments are created equal. Without conducting a risk assessment properly, you or your security guards can miss large vulnerabilities that will cost your clients money and could even cost you the contract.
This article will look at 5 things you can do to conduct better physical security risk assessments that will benefit both you and your client.
1. Do Your Research
With so many factors that play into providing security services, it can be hard to know which ones to focus on at any one site. You have to balance things like property type, neighborhood crime rates and trends, and client preferences.
Before conducting a risk assessment, doing some research beforehand to know what you should be focusing on can help make the assessment more effective. There are a few ways you can go about getting good information.
Neighborhood crime rate statistics - Websites like this one can be really helpful in understanding what kind of crime is going on in the neighborhood(s) where you’re providing security. Especially when talking with a prospective client, knowing the struggles of the area can help you establish credibility.
Existing security policies and procedures - Ask your clients for any security policies and procedures they already have in place. These documents can show you how processes related to security - like opening/closing checklists and visitor lists - are currently run.
Ask client questions - You might want to ask clients what specific types of risks they are hoping to reduce or prevent, and what risks cost them the most money.
Do a property walk - Property walks are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to gather information that can inform better security tactics.
2. Know Where to Look
To identify the biggest security threats during a risk assessment, you need to look in the right places. Some of these can sound obvious, but basic maintenance can go a long way to improving security.
Facilities - Look at all of the doors, windows, gates, and locks. Replacing a door or a window that doesn’t close properly can make a big difference. Even installing one flood light in a strategic location can reduce risk dramatically.
Operating procedures - Your security guards aren’t the only people who have a responsibility to keep a property safe. Work with the client to establish security procedures for tenants and/or employees - like making sure certain doors are always closed/locked - to make sure every person on the property is doing their part.
Physical security systems - If a property uses technology for access control, make sure it works properly and good procedures are in place. If there are cameras, check for any major blind spots or look at possibly adding more camera coverage.
3. Be Proactive
Conducting a risk assessment is necessary after a security vulnerability has been exposed. But most security companies and their clients would like to prevent security incidents from happening in the first place.
Conducting regular risk assessments (yearly, quarterly, or monthly) on any security contracts you hold are the best way to identify potential areas for risk and dictate how your security coverage needs to change to mitigate that risk.
Talk with your client to decide on reasonable expectations and responsibilities for you as the security provider as well as other stakeholders at the property. It should be clear who will be held accountable when things do go wrong.
4. Implement Comprehensive Security Solutions
The first three steps should give you enough information to start figuring out how you can prevent specific security vulnerabilities from happening. Think about any resources you can use (including security guards) to come up with the most complete plans.
Start with the security presence on property. Depending on the vulnerabilities, you might want to consider increasing the amount of security guards on the property at once, or just increasing the frequency of guard tours.
Installing security cameras or changing camera locations so that they’re more visible can help give guards better visibility on site and discourage potential violators.
Any solution you propose should include action items for every stakeholder on the property. The best risk mitigation will happen when everyone is contributing. Make sure to ask and be aware of the needs of everyone involved to show that you are willing to work with them and provide the best solution to the vulnerabilities you uncovered.
You should also talk with your client to determine how you will measure the success of any security coverage updates. This will allow you both to know whether or not the new solutions are successful.
Some ways success can be measured:
A decrease in specific incident types
Reduction of costs related to vandalism, trespassing, etc.
Identifying new risks because of new procedures
5. Use Physical Security Technology to Your Advantage
There are a ton of benefits to using physical security technology in your business. There are two types of technology that can help specifically with conducting security risk assessments.
Risk Assessment Software
Risk assessment software is specifically designed for you to show clients what physical security vulnerabilities exist on their property. Once you identify a security threat, you can pick from a long list of solutions specific to that type of risk.
This software also allows you to create professional reports that you can give to clients to clearly show what risks you have identified and how you plan to resolve.
Guard Management Software
Guard management software is the easiest way to identify current security risks and vulnerabilities on a property - meaning it’s best for those yearly, quarterly, or monthly reviews with your existing clients. By pulling summary reports of reported issues, you and the client can see exactly what kind of incidents are being reported the most.
As the security guard company owner, you can use guard management software to identify risks in your own company by holding your guards accountable.
Using features like pass down notes and post orders let you easily implement new procedures throughout your security company.
Conducting physical security risk assessments is one of the best ways to justify your value to your clients and show them the true effectiveness of your security services. By following these 5 steps, you can make the most out of your risk assessments and implement security solutions that will make a noticeable difference in your business.