What is "Security"?
In a business setting I describe security as “A profit or service enabling function”. Here’s why:
Security is one of those words that has many different meanings to many different people; especially within the business community. Ask a company director or business owner and there will be a mixed response, normally based on whether they have been the victim of crime, and normally only associated with criminal matters. Whilst many criminal acts are prevented by the application of security measures there is much more to security than crime.
ASIS International describes security as, "The condition of being protected against hazards, threats, risks, or loss." I like this definition especially the word “being” as this implies proactivity and a current and ongoing state.
In the business world everybody wants to make profits or deliver services that make a business successful. In many cases this is at the lowest expense so that profit margins are increased; leading to bigger bonuses for some. Therefore expenditure on security is not seen as important; "we’ve never had a theft", "we’ve never had any injuries" or "it isn't cost effective use of resources" are all comments that I have heard when discussing security applications.
As I pointed out above, security is not just about crime. Security is the application of proportionate and balanced measures that help protect an individual or organisation and their assets from loss, harm or damage events.
In order not to be accused of wasting financial resources, security applications should always be implemented based upon the realistic risks that are faced or anticipated.
Once the risks are known and understood (a completely different topic) then measures can be applied to manage them.
Without sounding simplistic there are only four types of security measures to consider; physical, operational (sometimes referred to as procedural), technical and educational. By overlapping security measures a more robust and strengthened defence is achieved, which in turn offers far greater protection than a single security layer.
By applying security measures the risks caused by injuries, affecting operations, damaging reputations and of course financially impactive, are all reduced. If the risks faced are reduced then the individual and organisation are going to be able to function in a safer and more secure environment; which should mean a happier workforce that increases profits, productivity and services.
Hence why I believe that security in the business world is, "A profit or service enabling function…..adding (needed by all; appreciated by few)."
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