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During the times of economic buoyancy, security’s role in an organisation was most often tolerated: only rarely was it embraced with enthusiasm by management. Part of the problem can be attributed to the widespread recruitment of former police and military officers to manage corporate security.
In such circumstances, these former policemen and soldiers had quite a short period available to them, after a full first career, to adjust to the corporate world and to establish trusting relationships with other managers. Not surprisingly, many security managers complained that their bosses “do not understand security” and rarely supported the successful implementation of security measures throughout the organisation.
If this was the picture of corporate security management in good times, what is the position of security management when recession and a reduction in resources become prevalent? Difficult trading conditions have forced many companies to create independent business units headed by a local director or general manager. Such a person has overall responsibility for the performance of the business unit and total discretion over how performance targets can be achieved.
Management have to be persuaded that a service is contributing positively to the achievement of corporate objectives, if it is to remain in existence.Despite today’s dynamic business environment, the fact remains that businesses have always felt a need to protect themselves. As the scale and complexities of trading have grown, so has the need for a sophisticated and comprehensive consultancy service to secure the four corporate assets – property, people, information and reputation.
Security management is both a science and an art and has practical principles. These principles illustrate methods and ideas which have been successful in many instances and provide sure foundations for the establishment of an effective security programme. Herewith the 16 principles of security:
- Protective measures must be so designed that, when a breach of security occur, this fact is known as quickly as possible.
- The first breach of security occurs when it becomes known that a target exists.
- Protection of corporate assets and the workplace is the responsibility of the business owner or his/her manager.
- Security measures should be commensurate with a threat.
- Concentration of risk.
- If sabotage is a threat, bottlenecks must be eliminated.
- The criterion of access is need.
- Security must have a positive image .
- It is not one measure that will give security, but the sum of all practical and possible measures.
- That which protects must itself be protected.
- All security systems should contain an element of surprise.
- Co-operation and mutual assistance
- Maximum complicity involving the collaboration of at least two employees.
- Responsibility, and guilt, must be pinned.
- While the strongest barrier should be that closest to the target, the most effective burglar alarm is that which gives the earliest warning.
- Security measures of whatever kind must ultimately defer to the concept of human freedom.
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