Security and the Human Psyche Tug of War

Oct. 27, 2008

Dear Readers:

Mounting security threats across the world coupled with awareness of the positive effect of well thought out security program implementation continue to drive the growth of the corporate security market segment for security dealer integrators.
Another driver is the spillover from new government-issued applications to the corporate sector. Employees themselves are also key factors that contribute to the trend toward companies putting security in place. The theme of the March issue this month is, “Selling to Corporate America,” and it strikes me that in selling to this client, dealers have to consider who is protecting who from whom—and/or what.

Security has emotional ties associated with it. It offers the public reassurance that measures are being taken to protect them. Then again, when it doesn’t work correctly it becomes a negative.

A fire alarm system in an office building that constantly alarms for no reason, sending the occupants out the door on a regular basis, often becomes a joking matter. Of course, the employees do not mind the distraction from work. As they exit, however, there is a common buzz that we’ve all heard before. The conversation inevitably turns to how “crappy” that fire system is. Certainly, it is not the impression the employer or building owner wants occupants to walk away with. Fire systems play a crucial role in the prevention and detection of fire in commercial facilities.

As a positive, for most employees in a company, the fear of crime is often reduced when security measures are implemented. Then again, on the flip side of the emotional coin, it could also suggest corporate mistrust.

Let’s be real. The most significant potential threats to corporate security, of late, are more likely to come from within the organization and not from outside forces. Top on the minds of most corporate security directors is more likely: workplace violence; computer crime (hardware/software theft, Internet/intranet security); general employee theft; or property crime. Those are mostly internal issues that when security is applied, could be looked upon as intrusive to employees.

Striking a balance is the dealer’s job. You have to show how integrated security systems can be used in harmony as a management tool and a security tool throughout the building. Security manifests itself as bad behavior. Something awful happened or could happen. That’s why incorporating a sound security program means so much more than the products and technology that goes into it. You have to offer the safest strategy that satisfies the greatest number of people possible. Consider it part of your “Security Policy,”