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Business threats 'have changed dramatically'

Business security and facilities managers have had to contend with threats that have "changed dramatically" over recent years, according to an expert.

Gavin Jones is the director of SABRE, a security assessment and certification scheme for buildings and built infrastructure assets. In an article for Professional Security magazine, he noted that companies are currently facing risks that have escalated in both intensity and diversity.

He highlighted the example of the rising threat of terrorism, which has resulted in increased anxiety for people when they are in public places or at work, particularly in large cities.

This danger has also had an impact on professionals and business leaders involved in the design and management of buildings and infrastructure. Mr Jones pointed out that these individuals are now asking more questions about the adequacy of their own protective measures and whether they should be investing more in security, as well as the action being taken by other organisations.

One of the biggest motivations for many businesses is keeping up with the competition and not falling behind the latest trends. When some companies within a particular industry start to place a stronger focus on security, their competitors are likely to consider doing the same.

The challenge some managers are likely to face is accessing the resources required to implement the security measures their organisation needs. 

Mr Jones wrote: "Understandably, business leaders have a range of competing issues to address to make their businesses successful. However, if a business wants to be secure, it needs to ask for security and fund it. This needs to come from the top in the form of a commitment to operate securely for the benefit of staff, customers and other stakeholders."

The SABRE director noted that, broadly speaking, enterprises can be divided into two groups: security-conscious organisations that, due to the nature of their business, inherently recognise the importance of security and are willing to invest in it, and those that are more sceptical and require stronger evidence to show the link between security and business success.

"The big question today is, regardless of the nature of a business, can any organisation afford to ignore the business risks associated with today's security threats?" Mr Jones asked. "All businesses, from SMEs to large corporates, need to be security-conscious."

He went on to list some of the reasons why this is such an important issue, one of which is the power of modern communication channels like social media, which means that news of any security incidents will spread rapidly, possibly inflicting severe reputational damage.

Organisations that do recognise the value of investing in security can start by thinking about what protective measures their facilities require, whether they have any obligations to third parties and what sort of changes they can make, such as the introduction of security personnel, without having an impact on operations.

It's also important to gain a clear understanding of the risks facing the business, which can be achieved through consultation with a professional security provider.

Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of iStock/AlicePhoto

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