Risk Assessments: Needed More Now Than Ever is from our March 2021 Newsletter
I’m always reluctant to talk about good things until they are sure things. But I believe we can say that, at least here in the U.S., the pandemic is inching behind us. After more than a year, life may slowly be coming back to normal.
That’s the good thing, but as businesses and organizations start reopening, we may be facing some new challenges. Recently, I authored an article for a hotel publication in which I wrote the following:
Although it may be difficult for us to understand, for unsavory characters, the past year has been a golden opportunity to develop new ways to create cyberattacks, breach hotel security, and cause harm to hotel guests, staff, and property.
This is true not only of the hotel industry, but most all types of facilities in most all industries. Further, because the past year has been a “golden opportunity” for these characters, we must be aware of this, and take new precautions to protect our people, our property, and our company’s privileged information and data.
To do this, we advise our clients to have a “risk assessment.”
This is more extensive than a security audit, which typically just focuses on physical security or potential data breaches. A risk assessment includes this but is broader in scope.
Here is how we define a risk assessment:
A program that identifies and assesses tangible and intangible security deficiencies and vulnerabilities in a property, suggests steps to address these weaknesses, and in many cases, implements key security systems and controls to help protect people, property, and information.
We should also add that a risk assessment is a proactive measure. Instead of reacting to harm, vulnerabilities have been identified and measures have been taken to help prevent them from happening in the first place. We are not advocating 100 percent risk free circumstances. That is not possible and does not make financial sense.
Our approach is for our client to be more resilient and a harder target, thus reducing the risks and liabilities associated with the risk.
One of the first steps in an effective risk assessment involves a site assessment, and for this we often use drones. These “eyes in the sky” are used to locate hidden areas of a property that are at risk, where someone may enter undetected, and where security guards or security cameras should be installed. Many of these problem areas may not be known or visible without drone capabilities.
But the site assessment also looks at some things you may not be aware of. For instance:
Risk Assessments and the Appearance of the Property
A property that is not well maintained is often viewed as a target by those unsavory characters mentioned earlier.
Risk Assessments and Neighborhood and Crime Demographics
A real estate website created a “crime map” of San Francisco. They uncovered three areas in the city – the Tenderloin, the Mission District, and parts of Downtown – that have the most crime. They also found that much of the crime in these areas is committed by people living in these areas. Creating a crime map for a client can tell us several things about their potential exposures.
Risk Assessments and “CHH” Perceptions
Unbelievably, we still encounter people and organizations that have “CHH” perceptions when it comes to crime, risk, security issues, and data breaches. To counter this “Can’t Happen Here” perception, we remind them that tragedies can strike anywhere, including their facility.
Risk assessments should be performed. Now is the time. They cannot prevent an incident, but they can certainly help minimize the chances. Feel free to talk to us. We can help.
As always, we value your feedback, which helps us shape our perspective on recent events, security, and the services we offer.
Chief Executive Officer
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