Jacksons Fencing research serves to highlight prime security risks for UK companies

Perimeter security solutions provider Jacksons Fencing has released findings concerning the UK’s leading physical security issues raised in its report entitled ‘Setting the Standard for Security’. Exploring the views of physical security decision-makers, the research reveals a concerning indifference among businesses’ approaches towards risk management, security planning and testing.

Overall, those making decisions about physical security have a low awareness of relevant industry standards, with the majority of respondents (56%) seeking expert guidance at least once a year. When specifying physical security measures, however, budget is the greatest challenge.

Almost one quarter (22%) of UK companies report that the consequences of their physical security being compromised would be severe and could even result in loss of life. A further 59% state that the outcome would be moderate, having an impact on day-to-day operations.

Despite this, decision-makers cite budget (47%) and lack of resources (36%) as the main challenges when specifying physical security followed by risks not being identified (26%), suggesting that many companies are cutting corners.

While the majority of companies (52%) adopt a proactive approach towards security, actively identifying risks and taking steps to minimise the chances of them happening, a significant amount are not risk management driven. The research finds that almost a third of companies (31%) are reactive or passive, only reviewing risks and threats after incidents have occurred. A further 10% are indifferent and never prioritise risk assessments even after a major breach has occurred.

Cris Francis, Jacksons Fencing’s security consultant, commented: “It’s concerning that, even with potentially severe consequences, many businesses are not prioritising security or taking a more risk management-driven approach. Many decision-makers are not identifying risks before they happen. Security experts should be consulted to help change this, otherwise incidents which realistically could have been prevented will continue to occur.”

Finding a solution

The majority of respondents** (56%) already seek expert guidance at least once a year. This is especially important given that many companies’ security decision-makers are not familiar with key physical security standards. Less than half had heard of the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s LPS 1175 Security Ratings (45%) and Secured by Design (42%), the most well-known certifications among respondents.

Most companies update their physical security multiple times each year (54%) with almost half (46%) running security simulations of potential breaches or emergencies. However, one-fifth (20%) never test their security measures.

Francis added: “Effective and commensurate physical security is more important than ever. Our research shows that half of companies believe they’re more at risk of physical attack than a decade ago. If they’re to avoid damage to their business or, worse still, putting people’s safety at risk, security should be a higher priority. The fact that almost half of decision-makers are held back by budget when specifying physical security illustrates that this isn’t yet the case.”

Francis concluded: “The value of a safe and secure environment far outweighs the initial and lifetime costs of specifying appropriate measures. Security consultants and experts need to engage companies, advise on measures suitable to the risks which have been identified and help communicate the value of physical security solutions. What’s more, businesses need to listen. The amount of updating and simulations occurring is a step in the right direction, but this needs to be happening right across the board.”

*‘Setting the Standard for Security’ is available in full on Jacksons Fencing’s website: www.jacksons-security.co.uk/high-security/security-report-download.aspx

**800 architects and physical security decision-makers were surveyed in March 2019

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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