It’s time for organizations to re-think physical security

May 22, 2024
Physical security is like any modern technology – it must be regularly updated. Even the hottest new gadgets, such as smartphones, require frequent updates to operate at the highest level and provide the best value.

Physical security is like any modern technology – it must be regularly updated. Even the hottest new gadgets, such as smartphones, require frequent updates to operate at the highest level and provide the best value.

Security strategies are no different: conditions change, and so should the strategy.

Are businesses doing that? Earlier this year, Pro-Vigil’s The State of Physical Security report found 87% of business operations leaders believe the number of physical security incidents in 2024 will increase or stay the same compared to last year. And 55% indicated they are more worried about crime than a year ago.

Perhaps the most alarming findings are that many businesses are not updating their physical security strategies in the face of rising crime. After all, a single incident can have a major impact on inventory and assets, cash flow, project delays, reputation and so much more.

Why isn’t security being updated?

If instances of crime and vandalism are high on business leaders’ minds, why aren’t they doing anything about it? The survey found that 53% of businesses reported not changing their security strategies last year despite these ongoing concerns.

When business leaders were asked about the lack of change, the top answers included not experiencing enough incidents to require a change, not having the resources to do so, and more. While many of the reasons businesses listed are valid, any organization’s security journey should not start and end there.

Let’s explore three reasons why business operations leaders aren’t updating their physical defenses, why they should think again, and what can be done to help. 

1. Don’t ‘Wait and See’ What Happens

Many business owners said they didn’t experience enough physical security incidents to mandate a change in strategy. Not only is this approach dangerous, but it can be costly for businesses that don’t take a proactive approach to security.

It’s like buying insurance – if you wait for something to happen before buying it, it’s too late. A single security incident can lead to costly repairs, loss of valuable assets and inventory and even reputational damage. These impacts can be long lasting and reduce your bottom line.

While no one wants to believe they’ll be the target of theft or vandalism, the truth is, you need to be prepared for the worst. Researching proactive approaches to security should be a priority for any business, especially in cases where there are defined periods of time where no one should be on site.

2. Overconfidence is not a security strategy

Another top response given was that many businesses are confident they are secure. Don’t let overconfidence get in the way of proper defenses.

The best security strategies are constantly evolving. It’s always a good idea to audit the technology currently in your physical security stack and compare it to what’s available on the market today. This goes for everything from surveillance cameras and alarms, down to simple features like the lighting across your physical sites.

For example, you may benefit from cameras with a higher resolution. Maybe your business has grown and you now have unmonitored areas or “blind spots” that require more surveillance cameras to properly cover. Or you may find that while your current defenses are just OK, layering in other tools like fencing and better lighting can take your security posture to the next level. Sure, these might sound like “quick fixes,” but they can have a major impact.

3. Consult the experts

Not having enough resources to change physical security, and not knowing the best changes to make, also came up in the survey. If you find yourself in either of these mindsets, it’s important to remember that security experts can help.

While having someone within an organization in charge of overseeing security is the goal, often that is not possible, or that person is also responsible for other duties. This is especially true for companies that don’t have a large staff or can’t afford to include those dedicated security roles on their payrolls.

A security expert will be able to help audit your current defenses, identify weak spots and help build a customized plan to fill those gaps.

None of these is a legitimate reason to let physical security fall by the wayside and ignore changes that could lead to a better overall security posture. If you aren’t sure what changes to make or are not sure you have the resources to make any changes, consulting with a physical security expert is a sensible first step.

A security expert will be able to help audit your current defenses, identify weak spots and help build a customized plan to fill those gaps.

Don’t have the budget for on-site guards? Remote video monitoring may be the right fit. Are your current surveillance cameras not getting the job done? Maybe they’re not positioned properly or your site isn’t lighted correctly leading to dark and grainy video unable to spot trouble. These are examples of areas where a security pro can help guide you in the right direction.

Physical security is always evolving

Threats are always evolving and that means physical security strategies need to evolve too. The reasons explored above are all valid thoughts business leaders may have at some point. Yet, these thoughts cannot be used as excuses for stagnant security. Thieves and vandals will take notice and that’s when they will strike.

Consider planning audits of physical security practices and solutions throughout the year to examine what’s working, what needs to be improved, and where a shift in strategy may be appropriate. It could be as simple as adding some motion lights you pick up at the hardware store, all the way up to leveraging artificial intelligence and advanced analytics for automated detection and deterrence.

Security isn’t one-size-fits-all and there are options for everyone. There’s no excuse for poor security...and if you wait until trouble strikes, it will already be too late.

About the Author: Jeremy White founded Pro-Vigil in 2006 and helped to pioneer the remote video monitoring industry. His entrepreneurial spirit and leadership style has been key in the success of Pro-Vigil and the industry as a whole. Pro-Vigil is a provider of AI-enabled remote video monitoring solutions.

About the Author

Jeremy White | Founder

Jeremy White founded Pro-Vigil in 2006 and helped to pioneer the remote video monitoring industry. His entrepreneurial spirit and leadership style has been key in the success of Pro-Vigil and the industry as a whole. Pro-Vigil is a provider of AI-enabled remote video monitoring solutions.