Covid-19 has changed the world. Over the last few months, people and organizations have adapted to new norms and new ways of operating. While some changes are temporary, many procedures, standards and habits will be changed for good.
So how does this outbreak affect the way we look at physical security? How should security professionals adapt and procedures change, now and into the future? We spoke with four security managers to hear what they have learnt so far.
Lockdown is not secure
Security systems are designed, installed and maintained to mitigate risk and keep people and assets safe. However, systems are generally set up around the parameters of our normal working mode (working hours and nighttime/weekend hours), with full lockdown given little consideration. But as sites are left empty during lockdown, they are exposed to new and unique risks. For example, the complete absence of people may encourage behaviors such as break-in & property damage which would be deterred in a normal working environment with more people present.
Good security design and management is based on deterring, detecting, delaying and responding to incidents. In lockdown, the steps of deterring and responding to events are affected. Future security design and system management should fully consider lockdown and current systems and protocols should be reassessed.
Existing response plans may not be effective
Standard procedures to deal with an alarm in a security system – such as to investigate the incident from an onsite security operations center (SOC), and carry out fast, specific actions to minimize the impact of the incident – are much more difficult to implement when system operators & response teams are at home due to lockdown. Security managers must consider how to evaluate, communicate and respond to incidents in lockdown in an effective and professional manner. Lockdown response procedures should be drawn up and security teams trained accordingly.
Companies can also consider adopting a remote monitoring service where systems and incidents are managed by security professionals at a centralized location offsite, such as via ICD’s Security Operations Center (iSOC). Our trained professionals can remotely monitor clients' security systems for malfunctions and potential issues. This proactive approach ensures fast response times, reduced escalation of an issue and reduced loss. Remote support also decreases the number of site visits needed.
Take a proactive approach
In the Covid-19 environment, things can change very quickly. Very little notice may be given to staff and organizations prior to a lockdown. In this scenario, security managers are faced with the question, ‘are the systems and devices on our site fully operational and reliable for the weeks or months to come?' To answer this question, security managers should know when the last full check of their security system was and have up-to-date records of the systems in place and their health status.
Proactive system maintenance, such as conducting Routine Preventative Maintenance (RPM) checks as part of ICD’s maintenance services, helps security teams be prepared for disruptive, unforeseen events. Security managers will be much better placed to ensure security systems are fully operational and in good health, therefore minimizing risk and exposure throughout the period.
Expect the unexpected
Covid-19 has taught us that the world is full of surprises. We should expect the unexpected and be prepared to deal with the challenges new situations bring. Where possible, security teams should have tried and tested response plans in place but should also be ready to be flexible and adapt to a changing environment.
To be better prepared for unexpected events, security professionals should:
- Continuously learn and develop (knowledge, trends, systems, solutions, etc.)
- Enhance awareness
- Focus on security operations as well as assets
- Build strong partnerships with experts
ICD Security Solutions has been providing high quality security services in APAC for over 20 years. With extensive knowledge, experience and capabilities in conducting risk assessments, security system design, system implementation and maintenance, we can help companies assess risks, implement robust solutions and overcome their unique security and business challenges. To speak with one of our experts, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.