Most companies will say they have a security plan. Often, this is little more than a piece of paper. And to execute your plan, security companies need something more decisive than words on paper.
The single biggest disconnect between C-suite executives and security companies is just that — security. In the area of cybersecurity alone, only 5% of C-suite executives considered security the highest priority compared to 35% of security leadership.
If you want to keep your people and information safe, a security plan is the key to your success.
Here are 3 things security companies look for in a successful security plan, and how to make a security plan that works for your company’s needs.
Ok, you’re thinking. I know that I want to protect people and information. Isn’t that clear enough for my security plan?
Not really, no. Speaking in concrete terms about what you want your plan to achieve is the first thing security companies need to see in a plan. Why?
Because if you can’t articulate what’s important, you’ll never be able to keep it safe in an emergency situation.
The first critical question to ask yourself isn’t how to build security around what you want to protect. It’s asking what you’re trying to protect in the first place.
This can be accomplished by doing something you do anyway – creating a clear mission statement and a five-year business plan of what you want to accomplish.
Why? If you know where you want to go, it’s much easier to create concrete security objectives based on those goals. That way, your security plan can be tailored to reflect what you want to achieve.
For example, let’s say you’re a company looking to attract top-notch researchers. Saying you want a stronger firewall to protect their work isn’t sufficient. Instead, phrase it this way: if your technology cannot be trusted to keep information safe, why would your dream researchers want to use it?
Talking about a business plan alongside your security plan also has a key advantage: it allows you to talk about your budget at the same time.
No one’s budget is infinite, which means it’s vital to make sure the security you have will cover what’s most important to you instead of wasting resources trying to protect every little thing.
Clarifying what your priorities are in connection with your business goals will help security companies see that your plan is targeted towards those priorities. This way, your security is primed to keep your business moving towards what matters most to you.
Most schoolkids remember practicing “Code Red” and “Code Yellow” safety drills. Schools love to use code words like this for emergency situations, the logic being that it gives students more time if an intruder doesn’t know what’s being said. Companies like this logic for the same reason.
Here’s the problem: an intruder knows they shouldn’t be there. You know they shouldn’t be there. Your employees know they shouldn’t be there. But people in the building don’t know the intruder is there until you announce it.
Speaking in code isn’t helping your employees, staff or students get safe – it’s costing them time to figure out what you’re saying. That’s less time they have to get to safety when an intruder already has a head start.
Put it this way. High-level military officials who deal with dangerous situations on a regular basis know it’s safer to speak clearly from the get-go. Why wouldn’t you?
You’ve got a roof. Let’s say this imaginary roof is a straw roof, the kind you see on beach huts in movies. This roof is great for aesthetics and works well for tropical weather – doesn’t trap too much heat when the weather gets stifling.
You wouldn’t put a roof like this on a house in a snowstorm. But then, you wouldn’t put a roof designed for hard winters on a Miami beach house either.
Your security plan has to be a four-seasons roof. If it’s good in one area to the detriment of others, you’ll have major problems if you have security risks that system wasn’t designed for.
Instead of over-focusing once you know what your priorities are, build a security plan that considers several possible problems to offer broad protection while protecting your central priorities.
Your plan can never account for every possible risk. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a good plan. In fact, recognizing that you can’t meet every risk will let you be smarter when you create your security plan.
Leaner, Meaner Security Plans
If your security plan is a thousand miles long, security companies will tell you it isn’t effective.
Why? Because if you can’t easily recall the ins and outs of your plan, you won’t know what you’re supposed to do in a real emergency.
This is the same principle as speaking clearly and setting measurable goals. Keeping your security plan focused on what’s most important helps you execute it smoothly when you need it.
Knowing Your Limits
If you try to protect everything, you’re going to protect nothing. Instead of stretching your resources thin to meet every potential situation, focus on what you most care about protecting and balance your plan from there. This keeps your plan nimble and better able to adapt to new situations.
Using Security Companies to Help You
Your security plan should help you move your business forward confidently, not hold you back in the details. Finding the right security company is essential to making a security plan that works for your company.
Not sure where to start when looking for a security company? Check out our list of six questions to ask when hiring a security consulting company, or our 7 tips for a successful commercial security plan.
Ready to get started? OPS Security Group offers security guard services in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, and Jersey City, as well as a variety of other security services including subpoena process serving, client training, private investigating, executive protection and more.