In the first half of 2019 alone, there were 3,800 publicly disclosed mega-data breaches in which more than 4 billion records were exposed. This was 54 percent more than the number of breaches reported in the same period the previous year. In a 2018 report released by the FBI, there were more than 7.1 million property crimes reported across the country. These included larceny thefts and burglaries.
If these numbers are anything to go by, it shows an ever-increasing need for businesses to beef-up their corporate security systems. But what is corporate security, anyway? Does your company need to hire a corporate security team?
This guide takes an in-depth look at the answers to these questions.
What Is Corporate Security?
Corporate security is an umbrella term that refers to the process that identifies and implements physical and legal measures required to manage and mitigate any security risks a company may be facing. The business landscape is continually evolving. This has brought with it a host of new security challenges that didn’t exist a few years ago.
Corporate security today means so much more than just securing your business premises. It has multiple facets to it, which vary from one company to the next, depending on the nature of your business. Focusing on one area while neglecting the rest could have far-reaching repercussions that could deal a devastating blow to your business.
This has increased the demand for data security services and professionals in the field. They include:
The Chief Security Officer
If you’ve come across the term before, you’re likely wondering, “What is a CSO?” The acronym is short for “Chief Security Officer” and means exactly what it sounds like. It is the title given to the highest-ranking executive who is directly charged with the company’s entire security function.
Broadly speaking, a CSO is responsible for not just the physical security needs of a company but also its electronic and digital security requirements. Their role is to ensure that the security arm of an organization adds value to give it a competitive advantage over the other market players.
The Chief Information Security Officer
The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is the executive responsible for a company’s data and information security. While the title is often used interchangeably with CSO and Security VP, it often begs the question, “What is a CISO?”
The role of a CISO has been refined to encompass all-things digital security. They are charged with:
- Identifying and mitigating cyber threats
- Data loss and fraud prevention
- Developing and rolling out security architecture for the entire IT and network infrastructure
- Investigations and forensics in the event of a data breach
- Cyber intelligence
The Corporate Security Officer
It’s important to understand the difference between a security guard and a corporate security officer. Although the two have similar job requisites, the difference lies in their level of expertise and whether or not they’re allowed to carry a weapon.
A security guard typically is unarmed, and their role doesn’t require them to have any security-related background. A security officer, on the other hand, has usually gone through a rigorous training program on the various levels of deadly force they can apply in different situations and, in many instances, is also licensed to carry a firearm.
Their role is to:
- Control and manage access to a business’ premises
- Operate access control and monitoring systems like CCTV cameras
- Ensure that clients and employees adhere to health and safety policies
- Respond to emergencies that may arise within the company premises
- Conduct internal and external patrols on the business site
When to Hire a Corporate Security Team
Without a security team in place, your business is left vulnerable to several threats, both from inside and outside the business. You shouldn’t wait until your systems and premises have been breached to retain their services.
Prevention is the best remedy if you want your company to thrive. Here’s what a security team can do for you.
Success often breeds contempt, which can make your company a breeding ground for threatening behavior from external parties. This is typically targeted at company personnel and can take many forms like unwanted communications, business disruption, stalking, and outright harassment.
A competent corporate security team is well-versed in identifying and investigating the threat. They would then execute an effective intervention plan that may involve seeking civil remedies or, in some cases involving law enforcement agencies.
Travel Risk Assessment
Extraordinary events surrounding business travel, such as the escalation of infectious diseases like the Coronavirus, the ever-present threat of terrorism, natural disasters, and even general accidents have become all too common. Although the majority of these events are beyond anyone’s control, it doesn’t exempt a company from its corporate responsibility to keep its human resources and assets safe.
A firm needs a corporate security team to:
- Design a detailed travel policy with accompanying procedures
- Select, supervise and integrate travel advisory services
- Continuously organize and provide employee travel awareness training
- Conduct thorough risk assessments and other aspects of site security for all existing and future company locations
When a company loses valuable data and information due to a breach, the cause can be attributed to one (or more) of five likely risk factors:
- People within the organization
- Paper documents
- Information technology systems
- Surveillance devices
- Electronic devices
A security team will help you select and implement security controls that can effectively address these risks.
Depending on the industry, the nature of the business, the size of the company, and, in some instances, the geographical locations of the businesses, employees working for these companies may be exposed to threats from the most unlikely of sources. High-profile executives, in particular, can be a target for people with sinister motives. A security team can work closely with intelligence and law enforcement agencies to meet the security challenges that come with these individuals.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Securing business premises, employees, clients, and company data should be at the forefront of any organization’s needs. You need a corporate security team on your side to keep threats at bay, enhance your competitive advantage, and help your company advance towards its goals. If interested in implementing these types of services, request a consultation from a Hyperion corporate security advisor.