What’s the High Price of Security Vulnerabilities?

Posted by Mark Mariotti on April 13, 2020

How much is your business losing due to security vulnerabilities? It depends. One factor is your industry.

Here's a look at some of the industries and the losses associated with lack of security:

  • Construction: $30,000 for one stolen item
  • Auto Dealership: $35,000 for a new vehicle
  • Retailer: $30,000 due to organized crime

Moreover, violent crimes can happen in just about any industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says 18 percent of violent crimes take place at the victim's workplace. OSHA does not indicate the cost of such crimes to a business. Undoubtedly, it will involve medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, number of days of missed work, and other associated costs.

Security vulnerabilities have other costs that can't be calculated in a spreadsheet. Brand reputation for one. Think about the large scale hackings. You can probably think of a company or two that has been hit and made the news. How about Equifax? Because the company was hacked in 2017, the personal information of more than 100 million customers was compromised.

A hacker broke into Capital One's server to access more than 100,000 social security numbers, 80,000 bank account numbers, and more than 1 million Canadian Social Insurance numbers. Needless to say, hacking created a publicity nightmare for these companies.

The Real Price of Hiring Security Guards

Property managers may consider using security guards. Companies think that having a security guard on the property deters crime. They believe it's worth the liability that comes with security guards and their real-time, in-person capabilities. That's why they're often the go-to solution for protecting the property.

Whether they're trained and armed depends on the state's rules, licensing requirements, training requisites, and employer. Security guards do not get anywhere close to the same kind of training police officers get. Some don't even undergo training at all. Some do not have a license to carry a weapon. Security guards are not public servants. That means they can sue the property or business if it's deemed that negligence is the cause of injury or death on the job.

The cost of security guards involves more than paying their salaries. Many news stories reveal companies paying a very high price for the mistakes of security guards. They've been sued for causing a flood that did more than $1 million in damage. They've unintentionally shot employees while going after the suspect.

Security guards are under investigation for not doing enough to stop a huge castle vault heist. They did not intervene because they were unarmed. A security guard has been arrested for using excessive force. The list goes on.

What's unbelievable is that many security guards have a criminal history according to a study from CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting. What's more, is security guard turnover is so high that 31 states do not require background checks.

Security That Prevents Crime and Injuries Can Increase Profits

The National Safety Council says the average work-related injury costs $39,000. Thus, it's possible for a construction company to spend more than $69,000 in one year between a stolen item and an injury. This doesn't include the price of a violent crime.

If the company spends some of that on security, it can avoid the repercussions of the crime and someone getting hurt. The company can also duck potential liability issues, which may lead to an expensive lawsuit.

Small Business Trends references a Harvard Business School study that shows a simple 5 percent increase can drive up profits between 25 and 95 percent! Therefore, the actions you take to increase physical security can drive up profits and customer retention. For example, apartment tenants want security as an amenity. That's because the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) says multifamily housing residents have an 85 percent greater chance of burglary than single-family homes.

Out of all the security directors surveyed by the Institute of Finance and Management, 43 percent say their organization does not budget enough for physical security. In fact, it's "insufficient for a quality security process."

Understanding the Full Costs of Technology

Here's an important thing to note when reviewing your security budget. Don't jump into the first shiny new security technology. It's vital to create a list of your security requirements. While investigating security technology that meets the requirements, understand everything that's involved in the cost of the technology.

For instance, you may investigate remote video surveillance as a potential security solution. Its costs involve more than buying and installing cameras. The cost depends on whether you opt for remote monitoring or not. You may think it's better to skip the monitoring and save on costs. The mere presence of cameras alone does not reduce liability.

The good news is that remote video surveillance can reduce liability. There are video surveillance liability court cases that support this statement. Installing video surveillance cameras and adding remote monitoring services can also lower your insurance premiums. Property managers have a responsibility to provide reasonable security and a safe environment.

Yes, business liability or general liability insurance can protect you from claims such as personal injury or property damage that transpire on your property. Additionally, insurance may cover any medical and legal costs if someone sues your company for damages.

However, if you can't prove who is responsible for the incident leading to the liability lawsuit, then it's a very hard case to win. When a company loses this kind of court case, its insurance premiums may skyrocket.

Prevent Security Vulnerabilities with Video Surveillance

Businesses choose remote video surveillance instead of security guard services and other security solutions because it tackles many security vulnerabilities. Video surveillance offers the same advantages as security guards do without problems of liability and being inexperienced.

Using a combination of analytics and human intelligence, video surveillance proactively watches your property. An effective video surveillance system incorporates an audio speaker. If thieves approach the property or vandals attempt to tag the property, the operator can send a real-time verbal warning to intruders.

Sometimes this works. Fortunately, it does in one case where a child is about to climb a fence leading to an apartment's swimming pool. After hearing the warning, the kid climbs back down and runs away. Video surveillance stops a potential tragedy.

Not all trespassers are easily deterred by a speaker. They have an objective in mind and will keep going until they achieve it. If so, the operator can escalate the situation and call the police. Some companies have a partnership with the local authorities. What happens is that the police will put a higher priority on calls from these partnering companies. They know the video surveillance company is reliable about reporting problems in progress.

The Best Protection Against Security Vulnerabilities

While video surveillance closes many of the security gaps, no one security solution can do it alone. The best way to reduce security vulnerabilities is with multi-layered physical security. The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) RedBookLive explains layered security requires three elements: detect, response, and delay:

"It is therefore always important to ensure suitable physical security measures are in place and that those measures provide sufficient delay to enable the intruder to be detected and a suitable response mounted in order to apprehend the intruder."

As part of BRE Global, LPCB sets the standards to ensure the effectiveness of security products and security. What this means is that layered security with these three components increase hardiness. Video surveillance contains all three elements. The combination of artificial intelligence and human intelligence can help detect problems. They can respond by warning the intruder and calling the police.

The delay portion of the formula is putting barriers in place to slow down the trespasser. The video surveillance can see the intruder approaching the property and act before the intruder gets inside. The delay is the time between the intruder arriving and getting inside the property. Multi-layered perimeter security adds the delay element with things like a fence around the property and locked doors that can't be picked.

Multi-layered perimeter security may include some or all of the following:

  • Lighting
  • Strategic landscape design
  • Fencing or gates
  • Access control system
  • Video surveillance

A highly effective layered perimeter security is unified. This means all of its components are part of an integrated security system. It automates the right things, it simplifies management, and it bolsters security.

An integrated security system may contain these:

  • Access control system
  • Video surveillance
  • Video monitoring
  • Video review and analysis
  • Audio warning speaker
  • License plate recognition

Here's one example of how an integrated system works. You integrate video surveillance with an access control system. This lets you match the time stamp on the access control with the video. Here's what happens when they are not unified. Management learns someone with no authorization accesses a room at a certain time. They can verify the time on the access control system.

However, it won't help them quickly locate the associated video footage. Someone will have to search hours of videos to locate the footage for the exact time and date. When you combine these two functions, it can save hours of time.

Selecting the Right Security Solutions

What you need in an integrated security solution depends on your requirements. It's challenging to determine the return on security investment (ROSI). This is especially true when your business hasn't had a major incident. You also cannot factor in the cost of peace of mind for employees, clients, vendors, and visitors. It helps prevent negative publicity that comes with injuries, crimes, and death that occurs on the property. You can't put a number on that either.

There's no cookie cutter-security solution. The best one is custom-made for your property and business. To find out what security solutions might work best for your business and maximize your ROI, please contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Security Guards & Savings, Video Monitoring