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In what state is your current physical security program?  Have you taken the necessary steps to implement consistent, measurable and repeatable processes as it pertains to physical incident response?  These were just some of the questions that were discussed this week with individuals as SecureState attended the National Retail Federation (NRF) asset protection conference, NRF PROTECT. 

Currently, loss prevention and facilities business units are typically focused on implementing technology and tactical fixes dealing with loss and theft of merchandise and cash.  Innately, consistency across the entity is not ensured.  Internal issues, including incidents such as Active Shooter and disgruntled employee spouse/significant other, are not considered or procedures are handled in an ad-hoc fashion.  Reasons for not taking these incidents into consideration are many, including, siloed organizational units, limited resources (e.g., time, people), and lack of specific knowledge on how to bring the true issue to upper management.  

The solution to bringing this discussion to the C-level is to shift the focus from the typical reactionary focus on tactical aspects of loss and turning the focus to a discussion of risk.  Break down the “walls” between organizational units, such as HR and guard staff, by implementing an overall physical security governance program.  Implementing processes that integrate and streamline cross-functional business units benefits the entity enterprise wide by formally defining roles and responsibilities and raising the overall level of security and reducing risk holistically.  Additionally, implementing  physical security governance incorporates the three main pillars of security: People, processes, and technology.  Subsequently, this changes the discussion from a single dimension focused on reactive measures, to three dimensional proactive preventative processes based on risk to the organization. 

Engaging a third party security professional provides an independent, objective opinion and provides the leverage needed by loss prevention individuals to raise their conversations and provides recommendations on how to mature their security program.