Security installations can be costly, and executives must justify the costs of security departments in terms of benefits to their business
Security is becoming increasingly business-like, with corporate security
departments having to justify their budgets and support business operations

Persistent crime — both physical and logical — and the rise of terrorism around the world have led more and more corporations to expand their focus on security.

In that effort, C-suite executives have added significantly to the responsibilities of corporate security departments. Security functions have grown far beyond patrolling guards, a few cameras and a monitoring guard. Today’s security departments employ comprehensive physical and IT security technology systems monitored and managed 24/7 by highly trained security officers.

Security Department Expenses

In recent years, many C-suites have begun to chaff under the enormous expense of such huge security installations. In response, corporate executives have begun to demand that security departments find ways to support themselves financially and perhaps even contribute to business profits.

That’s what senior executives expect of other departments. A Human Resources department finds talented people who can lead the corporation to higher revenues and profits. IT provides the tools that make the various corporate departments — especially operations — more productive. Sales, manufacturing, distribution and other departments must also contribute to the bottom line.

Now security is being asked to contribute to the corporate effort. As a result, executives have become more cost-conscious, says Mario Moussa, Learning Director of the ASIS International programme with The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Moussa is also President of Philadelphia-based Moussa Consulting, a security consultancy.


In any industry, disruptions to a company’s services and operations can have catastrophic effects on a brand from customer retention to profitability
Corporate security departments ensure “business continuity” for organizations
by preventing costly IT & physical breaches that disrupt or damage business

Maintaining Business Continuity

“These days, all functional specialists have to justify their budgets in terms of business benefits,” Moussa says. “Very few executives will sign off on an initiative or activity that cannot be cost-justified. In this respect, security professionals are feeling the same pressures as specialists in HR, IT, and other departments.”

While security today is becoming more and more business-like, the function has always provided certain business benefits, observes Moussa. “One of the most important traditional benefits is business continuity,” he says. “In any competitive industry, disruptions to a company’s services and operations can have catastrophic effects on a brand — from customer retention to profitability.”

“The importance of business continuity grew much greater after 9/11, as executives realised that the world had become so interconnected that companies were now frighteningly vulnerable to physical as well as IT security breaches.”

“Today, it is essential that security professionals extend security’s business benefits to the entirety of an organisation.”


The Program for Security Executives: Making the Business Case for Security trains security professionals to describe their operations in “business language” and to make the case for the budgets needed to support them
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania & ASIS International offer
an educational course to help security professionals work more effectively with other
corporate
leaders to create beneficial financial results

Building A Larger Security Strategy

The entirety of a commercial corporation encompasses IT, HR, sales, purchasing, manufacturing and other functions.

According to Moussa, a joint venture educational course between Wharton Executive Education and ASIS can help security professionals work more effectively with other corporate leaders to create beneficial financial results.

Called the “Program for Security Executives: Making the Business Case for Security,” the weeklong course covers basic business concepts designed to improve managerial and strategic capabilities.

In addition, the course aims to communicate the business case for investments in organisational security policy — and how to present a strategy to the C-suite in a way that could earn an approval of part or all of an expanded security programme.

Justifying Budgets With The Language Of Business

“Security professionals must use the language of business to describe their operations and to make the case for the budgets needed to support them,” says Moussa.

A security director can use such training to expand a corporate security department to meet today’s new challenges. Moussa says the transformation begins with training for officers as well as.

Once everyone has been trained, the conversion can get under way. “It is always a step by step process,” Moussa says. “You have to sell ideas one at a time to decision makers.”

Download PDF version Download PDF version

Author profile

Michael Fickes End User Correspondent, SecurityInformed.com

In case you missed it

What Are The New Developments In Facial Recognition?
What Are The New Developments In Facial Recognition?

Facial recognition is a mature technology that continues to change and evolve. New innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) are expanding facial recognition capabilities, even as privacy concerns, though often misguided, undermine wider acceptance in the market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new developments in facial recognition?

The Global Biometrics Trends Review
The Global Biometrics Trends Review

The global biometrics market has been recently developing rapidly, and this trend will continue shortly. If in 2018 its volume was estimated at $23.4 billion, according to the forecast of the analytical company BCC Research, the market size may increase to $71.6 billion with an average annual growth rate of 23.2 % by 2024. Fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, iris, vein, and voice technologies are expected to be implemented at the fastest pace. The analysis is based on the revenue indicators of key players depending on segments, including hardware, software, and integration. Biometric electronic documents Another analytical Agency, Acuity Research, estimates that the number of biometric electronic IDs will increase by about 3.5 billion electronic documents in the world. Moreover, more than half of the UN member States issue biometric passports. Government and private contracts of Canada, the United States, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Lithuania, Hungary, Bangladesh, Senegal, and other countries are examples of implementation of programs for the transition to biometric electronic documents. Government organizations in various countries believe that biometrics is one of the most effective ways to identify refugees and those who cross the border. Now there are a lot of projects which are based on biometric technology. Biometric identification system Perhaps one of the most ambitious is the Aadhaar project being implemented in India Perhaps one of the most ambitious is the Aadhaar project being implemented in India. It is a biometric identification system that contains the data of more than a billion people. The database contains about 10 billion fingerprint templates, two billion iris templates, and a billion photos. There is another ambitious project at the Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where RecFaces company has implemented a passenger facial identification ready-made solution, that helps the security guards to receive notifications about airport visitors in just a few seconds and increase the efficiency of security services at least by 30%. The introduction of biometric identification of passengers aimed at increasing the level of airport security, as well as quickly obtaining information about the detection of wanted persons, stored in the long-term archive. Automated control gates As another example, face match is used at border checks to compare the portrait on a digitized biometric passport with the holder's face. In 2017, Thales company was responsible for supplying the new automated control gates for the system of Automated Fast Track Crossing at External Borders at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. This solution has been devised to facilitate evolution from fingerprint recognition to facial recognition This solution has been devised to facilitate evolution from fingerprint recognition to facial recognition during. Governmental systems, SmartCity, airports projects using identification technologies day by day become our reality and influence the growth of the biometrics market globally. Countries are studying the experience of each other and adopting it. Paperless payment technologies The global market of biometrics will shift all industries, starting from the transportation facilities especially airports, where a transition from traditional VMS and ACS to paperless biometric self-Boarding systems will be carried out. Sports facilities will see the development of paperless payment technologies at cash desks, and the banking sector — the payment systems with remote customer identification. HoReCa will transfer from staff time tracking systems to biometric payment systems, biometric check—in systems and the use of biometric identifiers. To sum up there are two most significant drivers of this growth are surveillance in the public sector and numerous other applications in diverse market segments.

What Are New Trends In Residential Security?
What Are New Trends In Residential Security?

Residential security and smart homes are rapidly changing facets of the larger physical security marketplace, driven by advances in consumer technology and concerns about rising crime rates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people spent more time at home and became more aware of the need for greater security. As workplaces opened back up, returning workers turned to technology to help them keep watch over their homes from afar. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the trends in residential security in 2021?