by Jason Bell / Published July 2014
Given the recent, current events that are happening throughout the world such as terrorism, natural disasters, etc., it has become increasingly difficult to quickly and effectively analyze and respond to security needs. Oftentimes, many security solutions are designed for investigation after an event occurs, not before. It is important to identify security exposures so that when a threat to your association takes place, you are well equipped to prevent it.
Below we have outlined a few measures that you may want to take into consideration.
The primary objective in defining a security program is to understand what exactly you want to protect. This could mean any number of things from people to internal/external facilities in the association. In order to identify what is important, you must first understand and analyze how your organization operates, and by doing so, the most crucial assets become apparent. Once these assets become evident, systems need to be put in place in order to protect these resources.
Realistically, it’s extremely difficult to reach a level of security that is 100 percent foolproof, especially without spending a considerable amount of money. However, proper steps can be taken in order to reduce every possible security breach. Through analysis, the focus should narrow down to target those threats that are considered the most important. This can be done by creating a list divided into three categories; probable (expect the event to occur), possible (event may happen), or unlikely (do not anticipate the event to occur). Go through past records, incidents, data, and assign each threat to a category. This will help define which incidents are the most important.
Before you can prevent a threat from happening, you must first discover your areas of vulnerability. A useful way of doing this is to conduct a scenario-based approach. This means you must be able to clearly identify all the critical flaws and weak points in your current, physical facilities. Come up with “what if” scenarios and try to work them out. By working through these “what if” situations, you can come up with plans to counter their occurrence.
Having identified assets, threats, vulnerabilities, and determined various options, you are now in a position to select the right security system. This requires a collaborative effort on both management as well as your security provider to suggest a system that is consistent with the organization’s needs. Oftentimes, security countermeasures include physical access control (which prevent access to an association and its facilities), surveillance (such as CCTV’s and intruder detection systems), and physical barriers (such as fencing and gates, vehicle barriers, vehicle traps and deterrents, barbed-wire, etc). Once a security measure is chosen, procedures must be defined in order for the system to be effective.
It is at this step where all of your planning becomes a reality. Once your system is in place, you must continuously test it for weaknesses and vulnerabilities. You must ensure your employees understand the measures in place and what they must do in the event of an emergency.