Technologies Driving Impact
Communications always evolving in people’s everyday lives
- By John Petruzzi
- Jun 18, 2020
Technology has always driven change, whether
evolving communications in people’s everyday
lives or offering new functionality across business
applications. Yet, as we enter a new decade when
innovation has never arrived faster, the implementation
of technology has transcended industry and roles. New
leaps have sparked trends around smartphones, connected devices,
and artificial intelligence that have broken boundaries.
In particular, we see remarkable impact to businesses in the security
space in terms of how organizations are managing their security
officers and overall security programs at an enterprise level.
TRENDS SPARKING CHANGE
One of the most impactful trends the industry has begun, and will
continue to see, is security officers equipped with technology to further
leverage their capabilities. This goes beyond officers operating
secure perimeter technology, but instead speaks to those tools that
will support and push security officer capabilities to new levels.
When developing a security program, we are seeing organizations
connecting manned security and technology at the hip.
Enterprise security programs are integrating their visitor, access,
video, and notification platforms to run alongside the security officers, making the program efficient for the end-user and increasing
the program’s security posture.
Another key trend is around the automation of certain organizational
processes and procedures that in turn enhance the
capabilities of security personnel. Automation not only allows
security personnel to better understand where to distribute information
to the need-to-know people, but also when to take action
and whether there are any follow-up steps to be taken.
As automation and communication improves, personnel can
more quickly respond to threats, and organizations are becoming
more cognizant of the different responsibilities of each role. A
security officer, lobby ambassador, security operator or analyst
are all vital parts of the program, but each role is vastly different.
As such, security programs are concentrating on attracting the
right talent and experience to fit those roles, whether it be knowledge
of counter-surveillance techniques or of physical security
systems, the ability to multi-task in high-stress environments or
to provide exemplary customer service.
Increasingly, organizations are seeing the value in social media
monitoring in operations centers. Using Critical Event Intelligence
platforms in conjunction with social media monitoring technology,
businesses can remain informed about a potential threat, whether
that is a disgruntled former employee or a natural disaster. In turn,
having these programs integrated with physical security ensures
that the monitoring teams and security personnel on-site are incorporated
and armed with the information on how best to respond.
INTERNAL BUSINESS DRIVERS
New trends are not the only impetus of change impacting the
strategic management of enterprise-level security operations, so too are internal business drivers and ever-tightening budgets.
Regulatory changes in particular are requiring adjustments in
regard to the responsibilities and coverage of security personnel.
Enterprise standards, policies and procedures must keep pace
with the changes in regulations. By deploying a risk-based approach,
organizations can easily identify gaps in current or future scenarios.
The threat environment can change quickly, which means security
teams will need to continually scan and monitor their operating
environments, forecast, and be able to adapt on the fiy. If
a program hasn’t considered the forecasted threats, mapped out
the gaps and identified resolutions, then they simply won’t be able
to respond effectively.
It’s important to be aware of changes to an environment,
though equally valuable are the budgets that organizations are
working through. In the face of shrinking budgets, security teams
and organizations are being tasked to think more strategically.
Private entities and security service providers need to partner
together to identify solutions that make the program more effiicient. Based on the risk profile of a customer, programs can be
developed to identify security risks and leverage the full spectrum
of technology enabled security services.
This doesn’t mean that the security industry is moving towards
a technology-only security solution. Rather, organizations
are utilizing technology to enhance the capabilities of security
personnel and, in turn, making the program as a whole more capable
Today’s security landscape is constantly changing, introducing new
threats and challenges that security programs need to address in real-
time. In order to keep the program relevant, organizations need
to be in a constant state of assessment, while also understanding
the triggers that will drive changes. A risk-based approach to security
services helps organizations prepare for regulatory changes,
manage internal business drivers, and, if developed appropriately,
can also allow the team to respond to new threats.
Through the introduction of threat conditions, such as a normal
operating environment, high-risk environment and variations
between them, teams can develop plans on what needs to be deployed
depending on each environment. Changes to the operating
environment can be a result of internal factors, such as buying
or selling a piece of business or the introduction of a new product
to the market, or external factors like political unrest or a natural
disaster. @Text:Regardless of the type of factors, an efficient and
capable program should be prepared for events in advance, allowing
the personnel and the program to adjust accordingly and
avoid potential gaps in coverage. Alternatively, programs that are
not proactively managing risk and do not have a plan to manage
unforeseen situations can become especially vulnerable.
This preparation goes beyond simply changing the environment
and adjusting the technology, it also encompasses pre-assignment and
on-site training of personnel. The training program that all members
of the security program go through should prepare the team according
to how they should respond and act within each threat environment.
By doing so, personnel will be able to immediately adjust to their new
responsibilities and post orders based on a new threat, avoiding a potential
disruption to the integrity of the security program.
While training the team and ensuring they understand their
responsibilities, a connected program should be in place to ensure
that the team is aware of the changes to the threat environment
immediately. Security personnel can’t rely on word-of-mouth,
and in a world where technology is so prevalent, an organization’s
security shouldn’t either.
INTEGRATION OF REAL-TIME COMMUNICATION
Real-time communication capabilities through handheld devices
that immediately update and notify security teams of changes allows
them to adjust immediately. Introducing these capabilities
also enables the organization to identify vulnerabilities and to
keep the entire security team in constant contact. By connecting
technology across the system, team members can know about security
incidents or potential vulnerabilities in real-time, reducing
the risk of gaps in coverage or lapses in communication.
If a monitoring tool identifies an active shooter at a nearby
location, the security team, through connected communications,
can immediately adjust their threat environment and be prepared
for a potential impact. Without monitoring tools and real-time
communication capabilities at their disposal, the security team
may be unaware of the ongoing issues and the subsequent threats
that may arise at their location, which makes them vulnerable.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
The security industry is transitioning to a do more-with-less
approach as security programs are being challenged to provide
more coverage with shrinking budgets. This can be difficult, but
it is possible so long as programs are built and deployed strategically,
utilizing a connected program that breaks down silos and
brings together personnel, technology and automation.
Throughout the next decade, we will see the security officer
and security program become more connected through technology.
Consider the impact of capability-expanding technology like
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and emerging technologies
such as wearables. This will undoubtedly drive increasing levels
of automation within enterprise security programs.
Security officers will need to have a better understanding
of the technologies deployed and must have the capacity to be
trained on the various levels of risk mitigation from a post to post
perspective. Organizations will aim to invest in the personnel who
will be leveraging the technology that is in place, which will allow
them to provide expanded coverage with fewer resources devoted
to the program.
Resisting the necessary commitments to fully integrating personnel
and technology resources will place the enterprise at a
significant disadvantage. The longer an organization takes to integrate
technology into the security program the more difficult it
will be to catch up. Inevitably, technology will
continue to evolve and enhance security during
one of the most transformational times in human
history. It is up to the security profession
and industry at large to embrace it.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Security Today.