The SIA Chief is open to debate

I’m Peter Webster, chief executive of Corps Security, and this is where I examine the issues affecting the security industry. My thoughts and opinions are intended to generate debate, and whether you agree or disagree with them, you’re welcome to post your comments below.

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As the key driver behind regulation in the private security industry, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) is under the spotlight like never before. As someone that hasn’t pulled any punches when it comes to outlining where I think the organisation is going wrong, I was both surprised and delighted when Alan Clamp, its Chief Executive Officer, invited me to discuss some of the industry’s big issues.

It transpired that Mr Clamp is aware of my blogs and over the course of our candid and vigorous debate he remained open minded, genuinely interested and, just as importantly, was clearly someone with a clear grasp of the challenges he faces.

The first topic that I wanted to address concerned the ongoing problems associated with the SIA’s new online licensing system. To say it has not lived up to expectations was something that Mr Clamp acknowledged as being unacceptable. Without making excuses, he offered assurances that the issues are being dealt with.

Our conversation turned to the proposed introduction of the statutory licensing of private security businesses. Despite the fact that huge amounts of administrative duplication and expense would be required to implement it, the SIA still seems to see it as a potential way forward. I argued that the SIA’s claim to want minimal regulation cannot be reconciled with its support of business licensing – something that it was hard to gauge Mr Clamp’s thoughts on.

In my view, the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) already raises performance standards and assists the private security industry in developing new opportunities, albeit with lots of room for improvement in terms of scope and effectiveness. Therefore, I was pleased that Mr Clamp was receptive to the idea that the ACS could be an excellent basis for an initiative that could drive best practice.

I went on to suggest that in order to encourage companies to get more ACS points and improve levels of service, a tiered system should be employed. The SIA could then publish details of the different companies within each tier – it could be as simple as having bronze, silver, gold designations – and this would offer competitive advantage, drive up standards, and give end users a better idea of what to look for in a provider. In addition, I pointed out that the SIA should be doing more to raise awareness of the ACS amongst end users and turn it into a real quality mark. This would enable end users to gain an insight into whether a security services provider merely meets the basic criteria for approval or exceeds them.

I was then thrown something that in common parlance is referred to a ‘curveball’. Mr Clamp asked me how I would feel if business licensing was made a first step on the ACS ladder. Given that this would avoid duplication and negate the additional administrative and financial burden of business licensing, I have to say that the idea struck me as sensible, workable and potentially beneficial.

Our conversation soon evolved into a discussion about raising the overall status and professionalism of the security industry, as there’s no getting away from the fact that it suffers from an image problem. At this point Mr Clamp expressed his concern that there should be clear demarcation between what the SIA does as a regulator and the role of the industry, possibly through its trade body. I went on to state that we need a vocal, vociferous, and dynamic trade association to deal with the issues that are outside of the SIA’s remit – something that we are sadly lacking at the moment.

We did agree that a thriving business sector, which employs an estimated 350,000 professional licensed operatives, deserves more respect. This respect must be earned though and independently verified performance based accreditation, under the regulator’s control, and would go a long way in demonstrating that, on the whole, contracts are fulfilled and customers satisfied with their manned guarding services.

The success, perception and reputation of the manned guarding sector are inextricably linked to the people that work in it. The industry struggles to attract high quality individuals and we agreed that this was, in part, down to the low rates of pay that security officers often receive. Like other service industries, the impact of the National Living Wage is being felt with differentials being eroded. Mr Clamp and I exchanged a number of opinions and I explained why employers should pay the rates defined by the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Wage wherever and whenever possible.

We need to compete head on with other industries in order to be considered an attractive career choice. Some specialist security services providers like Corps Security are going the extra mile in terms of training and career development, but if things are to really change in this respect we will need to raise the profile of the industry at a macro level.

Our meeting concluded having covered significant ground, with food for thought on both sides. The task ahead of the SIA should not be underestimated and it is up to the security industry as a whole to question and support our regulatory body by working together. I therefore believe Mr Clamp’s willingness to engage in debate and discussion should be welcomed and built upon.

 

It’s time to cast a light in the dark corners of subcontracting

I’m Peter Webster, chief executive of Corps Security, and this is where I examine the issues affecting the security industry. My thoughts and opinions are intended to generate debate, and whether you agree or disagree with them, you’re welcome to post your comments below.

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Subcontracting within the manned guarding sector is a fact of life and all medium to large companies have to do it occasionally. Indeed, subcontracting is a legitimate means of ensuring an excellent and consistent service, as it provides an invaluable backstop when planning relief staffing at remote sites, for example. As long as customer agreement is gained and a fellow Security Industry Authority Approved Contractor Scheme (SIA ACS) accredited organisation is appointed (two factors that Corps Security always insists upon), then subcontracting should not be a problem.

However, irrespective of what process-checks are in place, it is always a concern of mine that an appointed subcontractor might actually subcontract that work on again. There’s no doubt that this practice does go on, but the scale of this type of practice remains something of a mystery. When it happens, it can lead to a situation where the vulnerable are exploited and, as such, it does massive damage to the reputation of the security industry as a whole.

I realise this might sound melodramatic. Yet while it is possible to remain objective on the subject, it’s not until the issue becomes personal that we fully appreciate the consequences of what’s going on right under our noses. This happened to me recently, when one of our Key Account Managers contacted me with a story that confirmed my worst fears. I’ll share it with you.

We’ve recently been awarded a new contract, where the outgoing manned guarding services supplier (an SIA ACS registered organisation) had decided to use an ‘agency’ to supply relief officers and, it transpires, had been doing so for some time prior to losing the contract. As two vacancies existed in the site’s staffing roster, my colleague was contacted by the site supervisor because he felt that one of the officers previously deployed by the ‘agency’ – let’s call him ‘Mr H’, 22 years old – might be a suitable candidate.

My colleague therefore interviewed the young man in question. What then unfolded was a tale the like of which I hadn’t heard before. Apparently, the ‘agency’ was, in fact, an individual who would call ‘Mr H’ when some shifts were available, tell him which site to go to and paid him cash in hand for his efforts. He went on to say that while some weeks he would have plenty of shifts, sometimes he would not get a call for two or three weeks. I should point out that ‘Mr H’ had a valid SIA licence (which he’d paid for himself) and a legal right to work in the UK.

As if this wasn’t shocking enough, the interview then turned to the subject of pay. When he was told the rate of pay, ‘Mr H’ appeared delighted at the prospect. This piqued my colleague’s interest and he asked ‘Mr H’ what he was currently receiving. The reply was £6.00 per hour. I don’t need to tell you that a 22 year old, under the National Minimum Wage, should receive a minimum of £6.95. What compounded the issue is that he knew that the ‘agency’ charged the incumbent supplier £8.00 per hour!

At this point it is worth pondering the fact that this ACS registered company was willing to pay this ‘subcontractor’ only £8.00 per hour, knowing full well that this could not possibly cover the full extent of the wage related costs. Turning a blind eye to such a situation is morally reprehensible and casts a long shadow over the security industry as a whole. This is clearly an exploitative practice and it appears that an ACS registered company is effectively complicit in what has gone on. The real worry is that ‘Mr H’ stated that he has a number of friends that are doing the same thing as him.

The security industry likes to take the plaudits for its efforts in becoming a more professional sector through licensing, training and accreditation. And so it should, as great strides have been made to improve the reputation of the industry and the skills and knowledge of those working in it. However, to assume that we are beyond reproach just because we are well regulated and well managed is misguided – there is clearly something going on that we should not be turning our attention away from.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that what has been highlighted here is a widespread issue. Yet many of us may have suspicions that, from time to time, something is not quite right. We may suspect that abuse of subcontracting arrangements takes place, but when we meet the people on whom it impacts, there can be no doubt of the damage that is done.

Are we potentially closing our eyes to an issue that could really impact on our industry? For our part, while we only ever use ACS approved subcontractors with whom we have contracts in place that do not allow for further, second-tier sub-contracting, we are still going to double-check with them to confirm they are doing the right thing, and I would urge the industry as a whole to do likewise.

TUPE abuse is setting a dangerous precedent

I’m Peter Webster, chief executive of Corps Security, and this is where I examine the issues affecting the security industry. My thoughts and opinions are intended to generate debate, and whether you agree or disagree with them, you’re welcome to post your comments below.

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The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations – better known to us all as TUPE – are designed to protect employment rights when employees transfer from one business to another. However, I’ve noticed a growing trend towards avoiding TUPE that not only threatens the entitlements of employees, but also the financial well-being of security service providers.

TUPE clearly states that employees of the previous service provider or owner automatically transfer to the new employer, and must be given the same terms and conditions. It applies to all companies regardless of size and provides clarity on outsourcing, insourcing and transfer of service contracts. I should point out that when the UK leaves the European Union (EU) TUPE will still exist in UK law, although the UK government will have the right to amend it in whichever ways it sees fit.

In my opinion the industry is a much better place for TUPE, as companies are not competing to exploit the workforce and try to win contracts by undercutting wages and eradicating existing terms and conditions. It provides a basic legal framework to adhere to and failure to comply can result in serious repercussions for any company guilty of flouting the law. Yet there has emerged a worrying threat to the protection of workers and the operational health of security service providers. This threat takes a number of different forms but all share the same intention of undermining the ethos of TUPE.

One particular case was that of McCarrick v Hunter in which the Court of Appeal held that TUPE did not apply in cases where a new client took over the facilities services, even though the service remains unchanged. Since then other dubious activities have begun to chip away at how TUPE is applied and in recent months there has been a sharp increase in the use of clauses in commercial contracts that try to avoid TUPE altogether.

One clause Corps Security came across stated, ‘The supplier warrants that it will undertake the services in such a way that none of the staff are specifically assigned to any or all of the services and that there is no organised grouping of employees dedicated to carrying out all or any of the services’. One way to comply with this would be to rotate personnel and make sure that no individual works on the same site for an extended period. This clearly is a case of trying to get around the ‘identifiable economic entity’ part of TUPE.

Other contracts state that if TUPE applies then the onus is on the security services provider to indemnify either the client or the company that takes over the contract, if personnel have to be dismissed. The implications of this move are serious and far-reaching for all in the manned guarding sector. If TUPE doesn’t apply then affected employees risk losing their employment and all accrued service rights. As for employers, they have the burden of being encumbered with a substantial unfair dismissal liability for which it is unlikely that they will have made financial provision. If the matter goes to court, it is unlikely that a judge would consider their lack of scrutiny as being a good enough reason for the contract to be overturned.

This narrow interpretation of TUPE is creating an uneven playing field and acting as encouragement to organisations to try and avoid its implementation. Although companies that are savvy enough to identify this kind of surreptitious behaviour will either decline the contract or amend it, those that aren’t could be at serious risk.

Even though instances of TUPE abuse are relatively rare, this is arguably more to do with the fact that we are operating in a low unemployment economy. Generally speaking, at the moment companies are happy for TUPE to apply, but the examples above highlight that instances of TUPE avoidance could gain further momentum if the nation’s employment situation changes.

Ultimately, there is no genuine advantage for any security services provider in accepting the types of terms that these onerous clauses stipulate, as they simply create uncertainty and put the contractor in a highly precarious position. Although there will always be a minority of companies prepared to take a risk if they perceive there to be a competitive advantage in doing so, it is up to the majority to make a stand and reject contracts that try to negate the use of TUPE. Equally, the government should recognise the value of TUPE, be rigorous in the clarification of its use and take steps to remove any ambiguities and loopholes that are currently being exploited.

The new SIA licensing system is a cause for concern

I’m Peter Webster, chief executive of Corps Security, and this is where I examine the issues affecting the security industry. My thoughts and opinions are intended to generate debate, and whether you agree or disagree with them, you’re welcome to post your comments below.

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We all know that one of the main duties of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) is the compulsory licensing of individuals working in specific sectors of the UK’s private security industry. So given that having a licence is mandatory, you would assume that the aforementioned government body would make obtaining one as simple and hassle free as possible. Well if that’s what you think, then think again!

The SIA’s new licensing system was finally launched to great fanfare on 6th July this year following several weeks of testing – despite originally being planned for launch in December 2015. It promised to allow individuals to register for online accounts and apply for or renew SIA licences online, change personal details remotely and consent to link to their employer, who could assist with the application process.

Meanwhile, businesses were informed they could register for online accounts and have access to a range of new products. The SIA claimed, and I quote, that the new system would provide a more efficient, effective service to busy people and a growing industry.

As a company that embraces new technology and innovative ways of carrying out our activities, we were looking forward to this brave new world of security licensing. With eager anticipation, on 6th July we went online and were prepared to be amazed. Unfortunately, despite the SIA’s bold claims, we have found that the result of all its activity is nothing short of a complete and utter fiasco. When it comes to detailing exactly what is going wrong with this supposedly new and improved system, the problem is knowing where to start.

Although we received an email confirmation on 6th July telling us that we had successfully set up a business account, it took us until 23rd August to actually be in a position to get the system working to any kind of satisfactory level. As an SIA Approved Contractor we took the option to use the new Licence Assist service and fill in and pay for applications on behalf of our colleagues and check the licensable status of licence holders.

On 14th July we received an email stating that ‘Within the last few days you will have received a notification from us indicating the set-up of your Direct Debit for paying for licences using our new service is complete, unfortunately this notification was sent in error. We can confirm that the set-up of your Direct Debit is in progress and we expect this to take up to 10 days from instigation’. At this point we knew that things were not going to be smooth and, quite frankly, the whole process of setting up a Direct Debit was a farce. In its wisdom, the SIA even closed its contact centre, making it impossible to speak to anyone for advice about account set up and, just to compound the problem, response times were well outside of those stated.

Although the system now works in simple cases, it grinds to a halt where anomalies exist. We have had to ask our employees to try to carry out the process themselves and, if successful, claim the cost of the exercise back. With 1,000 people a year renewing licences, this has created a huge logistical and operational burden to us – one that we could really do without. A third of our applications are having problems and are now sitting in limbo.

Having recognised a problem exists, approved contractors were allowed to issue licence dispensation notices (LDNs) at an earlier stage of the application cycle for up to 20% of their workforce (a rise from the usual 15%) in order ‘to alleviate the impact on industry’. Initially, this interim measure allowed for a LDN to be issued for a period of five weeks but this has now been extended to 10 weeks. Although it means that we can continue to deploy staff to contracts this situation is far from satisfactory and the fact that channels of verbal communication are non-existent and online responses are taking weeks to come through really isn’t helping matters.

I can only assume that our experience is one that is being shared by organisations across the industry. As I write, rather than seeing improvement, the situation is getting even further out of hand and will surely have a real impact on how businesses are able to operate. It seriously casts doubt upon the SIA’s ability to configure a system like this and I can only hope that someone takes charge of the situation sooner rather than later.

Second guessing the terrorists keeps getting harder

I’m Peter Webster, chief executive of Corps Security, and this is where I examine the issues affecting the security industry. My thoughts and opinions are intended to generate debate, and whether you agree or disagree with them, you’re welcome to post your comments below.

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We live in a world that has become accustomed to terrorist atrocities. The recent incident in Nice, where 84 people were killed, represented a shocking new level of violence. Just days later in Munich, an 18-year-old male opened fire on shoppers and restaurant diners and killed 10 of them. These events highlight a growing and disturbing trend, whereby rather than working as part of a group or cell, radicalised individuals or ‘lone wolves’ are able to fly under the radar of the security services due their willingness and determination to act alone.

Although there is clearly a rise in this type of activity, lone attackers operating under a model of leaderless resistance is nothing new and spans the political and religious spectrum. For example, anti-Islamist Anders Breivik set off a car bomb in Oslo and then journeyed to the island of Utoya to massacre scores of youths attending a summer camp, killing 77 people in all.

There have also been lone wolf plots and attacks by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other ‘single issue’ extremists. In fact, a recent study led by the Royal United Services Institute found that when it comes to attacks by lone wolves without guidance from an outside group, the extreme right is behind as many events as Islamic extremists.

It is all too easy to dismiss lone wolves as just seriously disturbed individuals who are mad, bad or both. While they hold views that go against the vast majority of others in civilised society, these people are what the security services refer to as ‘clean skins’ – a term used to describe those who have a spotless criminal record, a history that doesn’t arouse suspicion and no connection with the security services. With this type of background, it is incredibly difficult to identify and monitor lone wolves. The problem is compounded by the fact that they often have no communication with others.

Unfortunately, working alone also makes it far more likely for those with malicious intent to succeed in their endeavours, and the methods they use to carry out atrocities are usually basic but deadly. As the Nice attack demonstrated, bombs and guns are not always necessary – carnage can be caused just as easily through items that are around us every day.

Although the proliferation of lone wolves poses an insidious and covert threat, in my view it makes it all the more vital that security professionals work with the wider security services and the general public in a comprehensive effort to increase vigilance and identify suspicious behaviour. It is incumbent upon us all to recognise the threat, take it seriously and do everything possible to minimise the danger to people, property and assets.

Security professionals must be on high alert to the potential impact of threats on the organisations that they are tasked to protect. Knowledge, information and intelligence must guide and shape this approach, especially in terms of risk and threat assessments, and determining security policy and strategy.

Every situation is unique and a security strategy necessitates the integration of a range of measures including manned guarding, CCTV, access control, lighting and remote monitoring. It may also be necessary to deliver on-site training to enhance an organisation’s existing security measures. This will help personnel identify and respond to potential threats and give them confidence in the organisation’s ability to keep them safe.

When it comes to manned guarding, companies that specialise in protecting certain types of environments possess unique knowledge of the threats posed to specific kinds of establishments. A specialist provider will be able to deploy individuals who have been given skills that enable them to perform their roles to the highest standard. This includes, for example, Operation Fairway based training relating to the identification of suspicious behaviour, guiding the public to safety in the event of an attack, how to carry out sensitive questioning and hostile reconnaissance recognition.

In order to stand the best chance of spotting lone wolves, the public must also do its bit by reporting any suspicious behaviour. Put simply, terrorists operating under this model are far more likely to be seen by ordinary citizens with good situational awareness than they are by an individual counterterrorism agent.

Also, in the event of a terrorist attack, minimising the level of damage is paramount and at the end of last year, the National Police Chiefs’ Council produced a four-minute video titled Stay Safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack, which outlined its ‘run, hide, tell’ policy.

Summing up my own views on this particular subject, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Neil Basu, said at the time of the video’s launch, ‘With the threat level remaining at a high level, the police and security service continue to operate at a heightened state of readiness – we are working on hundreds of investigations and making an arrest a day. However, it is only with the ongoing support of communities that we can defeat terrorism – you are our eyes and ears so please be alert, but not alarmed.’

We are living in troubled times and it appears that the apparent proliferation and success of lone wolf attacks represents a frightening new development in terrorist activity. It is, therefore, imperative that individuals and organisations fully understand the dangers posed by potential adversaries, understand their motives and take appropriate action. It is only by doing so that we will all be in the best possible position to address this clear and present danger and ensure that the terrorists don’t ‘win’ the wider battle to disrupt our way of life.

 

The votes are in…

I’m Peter Webster, chief executive of Corps Security, and this is where I examine the issues affecting the security industry. My thoughts and opinions are intended to generate debate, and whether you agree or disagree with them, you’re welcome to post your comments below.

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In the final analysis, the British electorate has voted to leave the European Union. Over the last few months the polls have reflected a gradual shift towards leaving, so today’s results are, in some way, unsurprising. I don’t think I’m alone, however, in registering concern at the outcome of this referendum.

As I said in a previous blog post, the implications of the path that has been chosen concern me. The very real prospect of negative impact on our economy; the re-writing of 40 years’ worth of rules and regulations; the potential threat to our security that leaving might pose. All of these give me cause for concern.

The EU has changed dramatically from the one that originally comprised six founding states – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. As I said previously, with 28 members the issues and complexities surrounding union are greater than before, and can often seem intractable. Yet the EU is, to a great degree, the ”devil we know.”

So, while these are very much early days, pulling out of the EU may now throw the nation into a period of prolonged disruption, for no clear advantage. It’s for this reason that I stated my position to be a “reluctant European”.

What’s next?

In terms of next steps, the referendum provides a clear indication of the people’s wishes, but in itself does not trigger the departure from the EU. Unlike the 2011 referendum on electoral reform, which included an obligation on the government to legislate in the event of a “yes”, the concrete results of today’s news have no legal consequence.

The referendum clearly provides a mandate, however, for those that wish to leave the union. The next steps therefore will require the UK Government to invoke chapter 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which is the mechanism by which EU members may leave the union.

Crucially, the manner of achieving this is down to the member. I cannot imagine that the Government would take such a significant step without some form of parliamentary approval, although this presents a challenge at the very first hurdle – for a parliamentary vote on the referendum results might be taken as an attempt to overturn the ‘will of the people’.

Given that some mechanism is found to ratify the decision supported by the referendum, article 50 then allows the UK two years to negotiate a mutually acceptable withdrawal from the EU. Whether this is achievable in that timeframe is questionable – but the two-year deadline is a ‘hard stop’ to proceedings.

Looking much further into the future, I remain concerned about what we have let ourselves in for. There is a mass of legislation in place that will need to be repealed and replaced. These rules cover important regulations that govern our industry, and others, and to which all organisations currently work.

For example, The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) is our implementation of the European Union Business Transfers Directive.  Will it be ripped up and renegotiated, causing uncertainty and confusion in the marketplace?

As David Allen Green wrote in the Financial Times (£) shortly before the referendum:

“The task of repeal and replacement will take years to complete, if it is ever completed. Even if the key legislation — especially the European Communities Act 1972 — is repealed there will have to be holding and saving legislation for at least a political generation.”

Regular readers know my views on bureaucracy. I am usually first in line with the matches when it comes to a bonfire of red tape. But I wonder if we appreciate the scale and complexity of what we are embarking on – and the uncertainty that our voyage will create?

What would you do if disaster struck?

I’m Peter Webster, chief executive of Corps Security, and this is where I examine the issues affecting the security industry. My thoughts and opinions are intended to generate debate, and whether you agree or disagree with them, you’re welcome to post your comments below.

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We live in uncertain and worrying times. The current UK threat level for international terrorism is severe, meaning that an attack is highly likely, and there appears to be a proliferation of natural disasters such as flooding, storms, fires and even sinkholes, occurring with alarming frequency. It’s not until an unplanned and unexpected event occurs that an organisation’s true vulnerabilities are exposed, which is why organisational resilience is far more than just a trendy buzz-phrase – it could be the difference between the destruction of a business and the potential loss of life, and staying safe and secure.

Working in the security industry, it’s always surprising just how often I hear the words ‘it’ll never happen to us’. I think there’s a certain amount of denial in people not wishing to think the worst and trying to remain optimistic. Although there’s nothing wrong with a bit of optimism, when it takes the place of realism it’s a problem.

Even though the world has become a more dangerous place since 2001, the need for organisational resilience should not be thought of only in terms of terrorism – there are of course the problems associated with more natural disasters.

We can all remember a couple of years ago when torrential rain triggered flooding, affecting many homes and businesses. Major cities are not immune from mother-nature’s wrath either, and as recently February this year flood alerts were put in place for London after the River Thames burst its banks due to tides and heavy rain. A total of 16 warnings were issued, as water levels reached almost as high as the pavements in some parts of central London.

Therefore, having a strategy in place that can help deal with an unplanned event while it is actually happening is vital in order to protect people and property. Organisational resilience is the term used to determine how adaptable, competitive, agile and robust an enterprise is, and encourages a proactive and determined attitude to dealing with incidents. Put simply, it should be on the radars of public and private enterprises of all kinds.

In late 2014, BSI published BS 65000 Guidance for Organizational Resilience. This landmark standard provides an overview of resilience, describing the foundations required and explaining how to build it in to all aspects of an operation. It deals with an organisation’s capacity to anticipate, respond and adapt – which could be crucial to its survival. Organisational resilience works alongside existing risk, crisis and business continuity management strategies to provide a solid defence against anything that could affect an enterprise.

Although they are linked, organisational resilience should always be considered separately to disaster recovery and business continuity. While these two processes deal with the immediate after-effects, organisational resilience is concerned with what happens during an event itself. There are three key elements to organisational resilience – anticipation, preparation and response. It involves being aware of potential situations and the risks, vulnerabilities and capabilities involved in dealing with them, as well as the need to be able to make informed tactical and strategic decisions.

The best way to maximise the effectiveness of such a strategy is by integrating and coordinating the various operational disciplines throughout an organisation. Security forms an important part of organisational resilience, regardless of whether it applies to physical, financial, personnel, cyber or any other asset. Effective resilience requires more than just a defensive security and protection approach though, and necessitates the use of an organisation’s inherent strength to withstand a crisis and deflect attacks. While all of the above is vital, so too is stakeholder buy-in. Certain individuals must also be given decision-making responsibilities for major calls such as whether to evacuate, invacuate or even lockdown a premises.

In my opinion, this is where specialist security services providers like Corps Security, which can deal with the wider issues surrounding organisational resilience, are an important part of the jigsaw. The ability to complete strategic security reviews, develop corporate security policy and strategy documents, carry out risk and threat assessments and security audits, as well as train personnel, should not be underestimated.

Enterprises that take organisational resilience seriously increase their chances of maintaining successful and thriving enterprises that can deal with unplanned events immediately, rather than relying on a disaster recovery or business continuity strategy to kick in. If all organisations take this step it will also strengthen the national infrastructure, which is why influential bodies like the government’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) are taking it so seriously.

So is organisational resilience scaremongering or a call to action that should be heeded? I know what I think and I’d like to hear your opinions on the subject.

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