With recent high-profile violent attacks on company executives, ‘Manguard Plus’, the country’s largest privately-owned Irish security firm, has some timely tips for companies, organisations and individuals, concerned about their security vulnerability and arrangements.
Leo Harris, Chief Operating Officer with the company which has its HQ in Naas says, “Attacks of late do tend to make companies and sometimes, individuals, assess security, and to this end we have experienced a spike in demand for our security risk assessments”.
“Preparation is key. As a country, and as a county, we are attracting more and more high-profile companies who are acutely aware of the security needs of these companies and their employees”.
“Indigenous firms are equally looking at security as part of their overall risk procedures so really it is a growing area for us”.
“What we are seeing is a proactive approach from firms as they are aware that it’s far easier to organise a risk assessment rather than having to retrospectively deal with the fallout from a serious security incident.”
Mr Harris says that whether you are a small manufacturing company of some five people or a large multinational with thousands of employees, the basic principles of security remain the same, and it is now more crucial than ever for organisations and companies to carry out Security Risk Assessments.
“The golden rule, irrespective of company size, carry out an analysis of your risk exposure and implement effective control measures suitable to your exposure.”.
He says a security management plan is becoming increasingly important for companies and will become routine in time.
“The methodology we employ in undertaking a security risk assessment ensures that all security threats are identified, and an assessment of the adversaries’ intent and capability is included in the overall analysis. It’s a multi stranded approach that takes several factors into account”.
“We establish the context, identify the risk, analyse and evaluate the risk and then treat the risk”.
“We carry out Executive Security Assessments to include executive activities, travel, office, home and social life to include interaction with family and friends as well as identifying weaknesses in their security processes. This aids in the development of a robust security infrastructure to protect the executive and his/her family. Route risk assessments are crucially important, and we go through all this with the individual organisation”.
“We follow the internationally recognised Risk Assessment Methodology that is compliant with ISO 31,000:2018 Risk Management Guidelines. As part of this assessment process we use a modified security risk methodology which ensures we identify all security risk exposures, and through a systematic approach we can conduct an in-depth analysis of the threats, criticality and vulnerability facing the executive and or organisation”.
Put simply a company should follow some key guidelines that are really a blueprint for good security practise.
1.Identify your context.
Where do you operate and what environment do you operate in. Are you a cash business; how do you secure and manage this; do you have sensitive data; what, if any, procedures do you have to safeguard cash and data?
What threats might you face; what threats might your organisation face. In order to analyse any potential risks, you must analyse your critical assets and what would any potential criminal come looking for. Once you have assessed these fully you can then look at your existing security. For example, if you have cash, do you feel if criminals can access it and how vulnerable do you look to attack. Once you have gone through your threats systematically, you then have to carry out an analysis of them and this analysis is based on the probability of attack and your risks. It is crucial then to put in control measures. You must have a response element, this is critical in the event of something untoward happening. You must be able to send out a signal, either to the Gardai or to a recognised monitoring station like we operate at ‘Manguard Plus’, and this signal is responded to.
- Social Media
People unwittingly reveal huge information about themselves, their families, their whereabouts and the employers by over sharing on Social Media. It truly is the latter-day security camera; the smallest bits of information pieced together by criminals can give them a huge insight into potential targets. The landscape has certainly changed in Ireland with Cyber Crime being a significant risk and again the golden rule is that organisations undertake a risk assessment and employees secure the information.
- Develop security awareness within your organisation
One of the key factors that your company or organisation can do is foster an awareness amongst your staff on the importance of security. I can’t stress this enough. Your staff are your best assets in the fight against crime. Once you have adopted a culture of vigilance it is like a framework from which to work on and it helps you determine any potential failings in your company.
So, to recap. Assess your current situation. Foster an awareness of security in all your staff. Ensure you have a plan and response in place.