The Importance of a Security Assessment for Organisations of Any Size
Security assessments are an absolutely crucial procedure for any organisation, regardless of size or current security measures. This helpful guide to security assessments will explain what they are, what is assessed, by who, and why they are important to any sized organisation.
What is a Security Assessment?
Security assessments are very self-explanatory; they are assessments of an organisation’s security, considering potential risks and current vulnerabilities.
From schools, offices and hospitals to data centres, retail stores and residential properties, security assessments take place in a whole host of organisations. Irrespective of size, any organisation can benefit from an evaluation of security weaknesses.
The security assessment, once written up formally, can be used by organisation members, security detail, and installers for up-to-date security information concerning measures and protocols. Recommendations following the security assessment outline future changes to the security systems.
Usually occurring annually or biennially according to individual organisations’ preferences, security assessments are an effective holistic view on security and its performance. However, security equipment, such as alarms, should be tested regularly to ensure they work in case of an emergency.
Why are Security Assessments Important?
Without comprehensive understanding of potential risks and your organisation’s vulnerability to them, you expose your organisation to preventable threats. Detect any existing issues and weaknesses to inform future expansion of security systems, pinpointing particular failing areas.
Security assessments are important to organisations of any size as, without any protection or idea of risks, every organisation is vulnerable. Small organisations with little infrastructure may be seen as especially vulnerable, while larger organisations may be deemed particularly high value.
As technology is constantly developing, so are methods of burglary. Security assessments help to ensure organisations are protected against a whole host of new and innovative burglary methods, as well as checking security systems are up-to-date and compliant with legislation.
Security assessments can help organisations save money, especially significant for organisations with smaller budgets or lacking infrastructure. By assessing current security measures and getting recommendations for future installations, organisations can make well informed decisions. Instead of being tempted to purchase technology because it is believed to be beneficial, a security assessment arms the appropriate management with professional recommendations and advice.
Who Should Perform Security Assessments?
There are plenty of resources online such as building security checklists, however the safest and most recommended person to perform a security assessment is a qualified security expert.
The responsibility of security usually falls to the facilities manager, or specifically assigned security manager. Under their supervision and following their preparation, professionals can survey the facilities and make recommendations for the organisation.
It is likely organisations of any size would benefit from bringing in an external party to undertake the assessment, instead of wasting valuable employee time, especially if that person is not qualified in security.
An expert security surveyor will be familiar with particular risks and vulnerabilities across a variety of industries and buildings, providing tried and tested advice.
A.P.E Fire and Security provide a holistic security service to meet individual needs from initial survey and plan to installation and maintenance. Experienced surveyors can provide expert insights and subsequent recommendations to create a fire and security solution that best protects your organisation.
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Security Assessment Stages
A security assessment is not a lengthy process, however sufficient preparation and particular procedures must take place. Ensure a security surveyor is armed with building plans to cover all ground, as well information about current security measures so all relevant technology gets tested.
- Identity current risks – no two facilities are the same, ensure you assess your organisation’s current risks and vulnerabilities. Each individual organisation presents its own unique threats, which all need to be addressed and prioritised in case of emergency. Check security systems, assess external building quality and weaknesses, examine internal protections.
- Occupants – security assessors should speak to facilities managers to understand security protocols, testing schedule, employee training and any other useful insights.
- Report – once the security assessment is complete, it should be formally written up and stored for reference in the future. Ensure the report includes date of assessment, the equipment tested, the specific locations and features examined, and a general summary of vulnerabilities. Recommendations should also be included, informing your organisation what it should do to get protected.
- Schedule – the journey to comprehensive security solutions does not end straight after a security assessment. Organisations should follow any steps recommended by the surveyor, review listed vulnerabilities and, most importantly, schedule another security assessment. Assessment frequency is decided by individual organisations, however annually or biennially is likely to be the most effective. In the meantime, ensure security systems are regularly tested and checked for faults.
What is Assessed in a Security Assessment?
Each security assessment differs according to exact purpose, organisation size and risks faced. However, security assessments provide a general evaluation of how vulnerable a building may be and what threats it faces.
Building exteriors will be examined in a security assessment, including perimeter lighting, fencing, gates, doors, windows, CCTV, and any possible entranceways. Any technology will be tested for issues, such as CCTV clarity or delays.
Building interiors will also be checked in a security assessment, from intruder alarms and access controls, to response protocols and employee security training. It is important that security assessments focus on more than physical aspects to security, and that user/employee understanding is reinforced or taught in training sessions. This ensures employee safety, as well as building or material goods, in the event of an intruder or emergency.
Professional Security Assessments with A.P.E Fire and Security
Our experienced surveyors here at A.P.E Fire and Security can advise you on all types of systems to provide your organisation with the optimum level of security to suit your size and budget. From initial survey and discussion to the installation and maintenance of the system, we pride ourselves on delivering a first-class service.
Even if your existing security installations were not installed by us, our diverse team of skilled, trusted and experienced engineers will happily discuss service and maintenance contracts with you.
No matter how big or small your organisation, get in touch with A.P.E today.