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Security


A good technical solution, provided it is designed against a defi ned operational requirement, in support of a well- conceived concept of operations, will therefore benefi t the human element of the system in a number of ways. Technology is a natural man-multiplier; it


allows fewer people to surveil and control a greater area than would otherwise be possible. This, in turn, reduces crime by supporting the Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles of controlling access, enhancing surveillance, promoting territoriality and facilitating legitimate activities. Technology also bolsters legal action by providing high quality, robust evidential material in the form of video and other electronic logs of activity. If correctly designed, technology reduces the risk to security staff by allowing remote monitoring of their activities and welfare, and by ensuring that they are fully- informed beforehand of any situation they are required to tackle. At the same time, research has linked directly the availability of information and the level of situational awareness to the quality of decisions made under stress (referred to by psychologists as naturalistic decision making). Again, good design is essential to ensure that suffi cient, but not too much, relevant information is delivered to the decision-makers, in the correct order, at the right time and in a form that can be readily assimilated. Technology can also provide safeguards against its own misuse by enforcing good working practices, requiring specifi c actions to be taken by the responders, in the correct order, before an incident can be processed. The list of benefi ts from security technology seems endless.


Getting the balance right But it should also be apparent that the optimum balance point between human and technical resources will differ in each circumstance. Where a preventative, visual deterrent is desired, where respect of privacy is an issue or where additional soft skills are required in a combined operational role, then a uniformed, manned guarding solution may be best suited. Conversely, where post-event analysis and prosecution is the driving factor, where the scale of the operation mandates a level of automation to reduce workloads or where exposure to potential harm restricts the use of people on site, a more technology-centric, remotely- monitored solution may fi t better. Either way, it is essential that the design of the security system is based on a thorough understanding of the operational environment and those business and social processes taking place within it. Only then can critical assets and potential threats be identifi ed, classifi ed and characterised correctly, and the resultant security risks be quantifi ed. Failure to understand end-user processes and to carry out a thorough, multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder risk assessment is the biggest single cause of security system failure, followed closely by a lack of effective monitoring and measurement of the situation before and after implementation of a solution. It is impossible to justify expenditure, whether capital or operational, to those holding the corporate purse strings when the nature of the problem to be solved is ill-defi ned, the likelihood and scale of impact from a breach is unknown and the effectiveness of potential solutions is not being measured.


the availability of ‘


information and the level of situational awareness to the


quality of decisions made under stress





Research has linked directly


Author information


Stephen D Green BSc(Hons) MSc CSyP FSyI is Managing Director of Gourdiehill Associates, an independent security consultancy service, and a Fellow of The Security Institute. https://www.security-institute. org/home_page


FACILITIES 91


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