Enhanced Visibility and Real-Time Data in Corporate Security Initiatives

June 10, 2020
Security executives leverage real-time data and analytics to make informed decisions

As our world is coping with the COVID-19 health crisis, we have seen industry across industries face challenges while stepping up as best as they can to stop the spread of the virus. For the corporate security executive of any organization, this has meant challenging times in ensuring employee and visitor safety – and has put many Enterprise Security Risk Management (ESRM) plans to the test.

In addition to dealing with the typical day-to-day security concerns of this new normal, corporate security teams have rallied toward requiring stronger communication and visibility across their organizations. This global pandemic is unprecedented and was a wake-up call for the thousands of organizations that drastically shifted to remote operations. It has greatly impacted the availability and pool of at-ready staff, as these organizations now had to manage increased absentees. As a result, many who relied on their in-house security teams were forced to rely on supplementary security personnel to fill in for the surmounting in-house security personnel gap due to increased absenteeism – a trend Robert H. Perry and Associates has indicated may become a permanent relationship between contract security and corporate security teams.

With the initiation of this relationship, security executives have had the extra challenge in ensuring that those they onboard to their team are accountable for their tasks and are trained to uphold security protocols and ESRM plans. Like all in-house security professionals, those managing the implementation of their security programs are heavily dependent – and reliant – on consistent and clear communications with visibility into the daily security operations. The implementation of contract security personnel as fill-ins for absentee guards has brought to light the need for transparency and visibility into the availability, activity, and readiness of the security team. Corporate security teams have leaned on two technological advances that aid in increasing operational efficiency, safety, communication, and visibility – real-time data and analytics.

For the security end-user, real-time data and analytics are crucial indicators to the health of one’s ESRM plan for overall business continuity. Real-time data and analytics have not only provided immediate insights onto guard activity and incident status but have aided in identifying potential risks to ESRM plans by helping to fill gaps where visibility has been increasingly limited.

As the industry shows favor to having security guards utilize and implement mobile guard touring and digital tour management, there is now a multitude of data being generated and collected unlike what has been seen in the past. To ensure accountability and reliance on outsourced security guards as well as remote visibility, security executives have looked to the industry’s technology-first guarding solutions. While this movement is not a direct indicator that the security industry is solely adapting technology-first guarding solutions – there is and will always be a role for the human-side of physical security – it does indicate the use of stronger visibility and efficient communication methods to maintain vigilance.

Many security end-users have been acquiring systems that will allow for safe and remote communication and visibility of operations across sites. The data-collection provided by the security guards on the ground as they interact daily with their environment through tours, inspections, incident reporting or other activity, integrate with compliance-ready ESRM plans and have provided executives with access to visual feedback of all activity – where it is then analyzed for future risk mitigation and preparation.

Real-Time Data’s Role in Centralizing Security Initiatives

In-house security teams need to be equipped and be ready to implement their ESRM plans with the utmost efficiency. There may be an information gap for outsourced security personnel working remotely to fill-in for absentee guards. For that reason, insights on the security team’s activities, including incidents encountered, are essential for situational awareness. As corporate security’s approach to ESRM principles aim to centralize company-wide safety and security initiatives in order to mitigate risk across all organizational departments, introducing real-time data and analytics has allowed organizations to move beyond basic preparation for future threats toward more proactive and reliable security protocols.

Whether they be in-house guards or contract security fill-ins, the security teams on the ground interact as one unit in the implementation of an organization’s ESRM plan. Real-time data has provided seamless integration between outsourced contract security in upholding ESRM protocols without disruption. The insights drawn from the security team on the ground have provided much-needed visibility; from collecting data for stronger shift guidance to providing insights on security guard activity, real-time data collection has helped security establish best practices to mitigate at-risk areas. Without this data collection, organizations would have missed-the-mark in obtaining key information regarding essential business factors pertinent to stakeholders. Ultimately, efficient data gathering has led to solid insights, which are currently being used to create effective operational strategies for future-proofing ESRM response plans against new and unknown threats.

Connection, Visibility, and Automation

With the added pressure of managing and training contracted security teams, in-house security executives have been working to automate processes and procedures that in turn enhance the capabilities of their security personnel. Real-time reporting has provided stakeholders with connected visibility on current patterns and trends occurring on their sites and has aided in anomaly identification with increased situational awareness.

In maintaining remote communications, real-time automation, in the form of enhanced notifications, has aided in maintaining accountability from afar. These notifications take advantage of the rising technological advances the security industry has seen in the past decade with automation. In short, automation provides accountability and the ability to distribute information to the people that most need it. This has helped executives ensure proper follow-up procedures are taken while also keeping their team connected.

Advances in real-time automation have included direct communications, digital on-screen messaging, emails, and the delivery of Short Message Service (SMS) text messages - all as situations occur. The key factor for corporate security has been incorporating traditional methods of communication and authorization – as with human approval and prioritization – before issuing a security guard response. As automation and communication improve, security teams have quickly responded to threats while allowing organizations to become more cognizant of the different needs and responsibilities each role requires.

Adopting Real-Time Data and Analytics

While maintaining relevancy is essential for today’s corporate security environment, technology’s rise in connectivity has made it easier for stakeholders to take notice of its role in shaping lasting security trends. With the increase of remote communications technologies, migration to solutions such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data analysis, and the Internet of Things (IoT) both shape and influence security trends and best practices. Alongside real-time data and analytics, key metrics are being measured and integrated into business intelligence strategies, allowing for heightened operational awareness and better decision making when ESRM plans are put to the test.

With stronger business intelligence, corporate security executives have leverage centralized data gathered by security teams on the ground and have utilized effective communication tactics critical to normal operating environments. In optimizing risk, advances in the ability to collect data in real-time, when compared to offline paper-based methods, have shaped the way security executives tackle information processes. By quickening time-consuming practices, executives have learned to minimize delays in data collection and improve visibility for remote and newly hired contract security guards.

All in all, real-time data and analytics have provided situational awareness in a time when security executives have needed it the most. With managing remote workers and using multiple security teams on-site, executives have integrated their communication protocols by gaining actionable insights and visibility into their daily operations.

About the Author: Christina Ortega is a Content Marketing Specialist for Trackforce Valiant.