Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
20th January 2021 Issue no. 541
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Valuing security from the start: Jacksons fencing research shows budget complacency preventing effective risk management
* 20% of UK companies never test their security measures
* 22% of companies say the consequences of their physical security being compromised would be severe, including public disruption or even loss of life
* Two-fifths (41%) of companies only review risks after a breach has occurred, or don't review at all
* Budget is the greatest challenge (47%) for decision makers when specifying security measures
UK perimeter security solutions provider Jacksons Fencing has released findings about the UK's leading physical security issues from its report 'Setting the Standard for Security'. Exploring the views of physical security decision makers, the research reveals a concerning indifference amongst businesses' approaches to risk management, security planning and testing.
Overall, those making decisions about physical security have a low awareness of relevant industry standards, the majority of respondents (56%) seek expert guidance at least once a year. When specifying physical security measures, however, budget is the greatest challenge.
Challenges to risk management
Almost one quarter (22%) of UK companies report that the consequences of their physical security being compromised would be severe, and could even result in loss of life. A further 59% say the outcome would be moderate, having an impact on day-to-day operations.
Despite this, decision makers cite budget (47%) and lack of resources (36%) as the main challenges when specifying physical security, followed by risks not being identified (26%), suggesting that many companies are cutting corners.
All about the approach
While the majority of companies (52%) take a proactive approach to security; actively identifying risks and taking steps to minimise the chances of them happening, a significant amount are not risk-management driven. The research finds that almost a third of companies (31%) are reactive or passive, only reviewing risks and threats after incidents have occurred. A further 10% are indifferent and never prioritise risk assessments, even after a major breach.
Cris Francis, Jacksons Fencing Security Consultant, comments: "It's concerning that even with potentially severe consequences, many businesses aren't prioritising security or taking a more risk-management driven approach. Many decision makers aren't identifying risks before they happen. Security experts should be consulted to help change this, otherwise incidents which realistically could have been prevented will continue to occur."
Finding a solution
The majority of respondents (56%) already seek expert guidance at least once a year. This is especially important given that many companies' security decision makers are not familiar with key physical security standards. Less than half had heard of LPCB's LPS 1175 Security Ratings (45%) and Secured by Design (42%), the most well-known certifications amongst respondents.
Most companies update their physical security multiple times a year (54%) with almost half (46%) running security simulations of potential breaches or emergencies. However, one-fifth (20%) never test their security measures.
Francis adds: "Effective, commensurate physical security is more important than ever. Our research shows that half of companies believe they are more at risk of physical attack than a decade ago. If they are to avoid damage to their business or worse, putting people's safety at risk, security should be a higher priority. The fact that almost half of decision makers are held back by budget when specifying physical security illustrates that this isn't yet the case.
"The value of a safe and secure environment far outweighs the initial and lifetime costs of specifying appropriate measures. Security consultants and experts need to engage companies, advise on measures suitable to the risks which have been identified and help communicate the value of physical security solutions - and businesses need to listen. The amount of updating and simulations occurring is a step in the right direction, but this needs to be happening across the board."
The report, 'Setting the Standard for Security', is available on Jacksons Fencing's website: www.jacksons-security.co.uk
1st May 2019