Where there is a risk, there should be a security plan. In the threat landscape of the 21st century, it has become imperative to produce nearly infallible security infrastructures. Companies that manage to adopt a security plan enjoy prosperity, while the rest suffer financially and reputationally.
A security plan details the responsibilities, resources, and approaches for managing protective security risks. A requirement of the modern world, these plans are key to review risks in different areas of operations and mitigate them.
To know how to protect your people, assets, and information, you first need to establish what exactly needs protecting. Which areas of your company’s security are at stake?
On that note, planning for peace of mind isn’t as simple as some people take it to be. Security planning relates to designing, implementing, monitoring, reviewing, and constantly improving practices for security risk management.
Succinctly, security risk management includes:
- Security risk assessments for identifying, analyzing, and evaluating security risks and arranging practical steps to minimize them, and
- Security risk treatments entail coordinated and efficient actions and resources to mitigate the negative consequences or likelihood of risks.
Certain entities implement security plans at an individual, organizational, and inter-organizational level. No matter what you choose and the scope of your plans, they should pertain to at least three objectives:
- Reduce the level of threat you are experiencing,
- Lessen vulnerabilities, and
- Improve capacities.
Additionally, we recommend that the best conceivable plan of this kind involves day-to-day policies, protocols, and measures to manage specific situations. Routine and emergency are inextricably connected when push comes to shove. Routines may exert a highly positive effect in case of emergencies.
The Basics of a Security Plan
Usually, security plans concern themselves with either high-impact or low-impact threats. The first type entails acting as soon as possible, while the latter requires you to undertake a specific action, although not immediately.
For instance, a high-impact threat may mean that somebody attacks members of your organization. To counter this risk, you will invest efforts to hinder that from happening. These can include hiring an executive protection company like SCS or introducing a variety of safety procedures.
On the other hand, a low-impact threat may encompass the general risk of your office falling prey to burglars.
Although both may pose a significant danger, the first one will be on the top of your priority list for the near future.
Most of the time, a security plan offers simple procedures to protect the employees of a company. For example, keeping an emergency contact list or making sure cell phones are charged and have a power pack (also known as a power bank). This comes in handy when you or your staff need to summon outside help.
Pro-tip: An emergency contact list contains the phone numbers of people who can help in challenging situations. These may include lawyers, human rights defenders, and the media.
As a matter of fact, the more straightforward an action is, the better. That way, you will prevent any confusion and foster a culture where security plans aren’t a big clunky mess of procedures that nobody understands. Instead, they are accessible and employee-friendly.
Another beneficial tactic to use in the case of conducting essential tasks is checklists. These small yet profoundly helpful devices can assist you and your employees not to forget relevant items. While on the go, checklists can prove invaluable, especially if you have trouble recalling a specific step in a process.
A Contingency Plan Saves Lives and Companies
The backbone of any security plan is a contingency plan. In the case something goes awry, you should have a plan B. However impenetrable a security plan may look, it is never that way. Consequently, it would immeasurably help if you had a contingency plan.
Experts define it as a plan that an organization puts together to prepare for an outcome other than the expected plan. In this sense, a security plan is a primary plan, whereas a contingency plan is the second option.
Let us look at a real-life scenario. Suppose dozens of essential staff of a company travel abroad via an airplane. Due to unexpected circumstances, like a crash, they all die halfway to their destination. The company could suffer grave consequences if it doesn’t have a contingency plan. Therefore, self-aware company management would have procedures in place in the event of such a catastrophe.
For these reasons and many others, a contingency plan saves companies and lives alike.
Documenting Security Concerns
Likely one of the vital tasks to consider when facing security issues is documenting them in-depth. To stop repeating a security loop over and over again, we recommend fostering organizational knowledge. It helps protect your company to better respond to future breaches and threats.
That way, you aren’t doomed to iterate a security event every few months. Moreover, the documentation should cover physical and digital threats. It must encompass any details that may seem even remotely relevant to a company’s safety.
Recording and reporting threats and sharing them with the authorities and media when necessary can enormously help your company maintain reputation and influence.
Pro-tip: To help track events, we advise keeping a logbook of breaches and threats.
Additional Relevant Items on Creating a Security Plan
As some knowledgeable industry individuals like to say, creating a security plan is all about asking questions. In this sense, here are a few to consider before forming your security plan. You need to ask yourself and your staff each one to get the most out of them.
- What do I want to protect and from whom?
- How grave are the consequences in the case I fail?
- What are the chances that I will need to protect it?
- How much trouble am I prepared to go through to attempt to prevent potential adverse outcomes?
In plain terms, you want to protect something valuable to your organization. It must be an asset: a building, a bundle of information, or files. In fact, it may be anything else you deem essential or remotely important to the functioning of your business.
Secondly, think about who might want to harm you or your company. Examples of malicious actors include former partners, business competitors, governments, or hackers. Invest efforts into creating a list of potential adversaries, as experts often call them.
Thirdly, ponder on what your adversary would want to do with your assets. In other words, determine their capability. For instance, the mobile phone provider you are using presumably has access to all your phone records. They could perhaps sell these to your rivals, which could affect your company. Can you then imagine the capabilities of governments and major corporations?
Pro-tip: Think about the options at your disposal for dealing with unique threats. Be aware of any technical, financial, or social constraints on your end.
The right security plan should balance costs, convenience, and privacy. If it misses a single of those three points, you may have a problem on your hands.
Apart from that, revisiting your security plan as frequently as possible is thought to be good practice. Even if your organization cannot afford to do so every year, specialists recommend a timeframe of three to five years.
In any event, we suggest not considering your security plan as yet another budget item. To say the least, it should be in your top three priorities. And if you aren’t convinced of that, consider the billions of dollars in security-related costs your current and future competitors will have experienced in the meantime.