Building Sustainable Security

How can businesses make their operations more resilient so they can avoid business disruptions when events beyond their control strike?

Sustainability has become a business battle cry during these times of COVID-19. The pandemic has shown us that processes relying on humans are much more vulnerable than previously thought. When people suddenly are not allowed to enter the workplace, or when they need to quarantine for 14 days and miss work, human-reliant processes break down.

This is why we’ve seen all sorts of manual processes convert into digital ones during the pandemic – banks are processing loans electronically through workers’ homes, auto dealers are selling cars online as their primary sales channel, and even the corner store is taking online orders so customers can simply swing by and pick up their bags. 

We are seeing the same dynamic with security. Many organizations that rely on security guards have had a difficult time maintaining consistent coverage due to guard absenteeism – whether due to COVID-19 infections, or just fear of infection.

Or, worse yet, as was seen recently in Iowa, infected guards may have no choice but to come to work and infect other people, since they will not qualify for unemployment benefits when taking a leave of absence due to COVID-19 concerns. This creates an even more dire situation as workers become infected. 

As with other areas of business, many organizations have implemented “security digital transformation” where technology either complements or replaces live guards as the front line of security. The simple fact is, cameras can’t catch COVID-19, and when coupled with remote video monitoring services, technology can provide uninterrupted security coverage even during cataclysmic events. 

A Better Third Shift

The most acute problem area during the pandemic has been the “third shift” – that is, the midnight-8 a.m. shift where, even under the best of circumstances, security guards may be sleepy and not as effective as they would be during daytime hours.

In fact, studies show that 42% of security guard injuries on the job occur between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. This can be due to confrontations with intruders, or accidents that occur in the dark as they’re patrolling the premises. Injuries and absenteeism on that shift is a major problem for business owners, since there is usually nobody else on the premises other than the guards. 

Remote video monitoring services with overseas operations don’t run into these problems, because they can have personnel in other time zones conducting overnight monitoring during their normal working hours. This means the people making critical decisions when incidents arise are rested, alert and usually following pre-defined protocols to mitigate the threat. 

Sustainable Costs

Cost is another challenge with sustainable security. The economic slowdown has put millions of businesses at risk – and many are cutting costs where they can. Unfortunately, security can often be on the chopping block, because it is not a core-business activity, and a single guard costs an average of $25/hour.

When faced with budget pressure, organizations may cut back on the number of guards they employ, or eliminate them all together until the economy turns around. Remote video monitoring services are a fraction of the cost, which enables companies to continue with comprehensive, active surveillance even when budgets get tight.  

COVID-19 has caused permanent transformation in many business processes. For example, working from home will likely be far more common than it was before the pandemic, even after the pandemic passes. And sustainable electronic processes will survive the pandemic, because they are more efficient than manual ones. Security is no different – the security world after COVID-19 is going to be much more digital, and much more sustainable.

Are you ready to secure your business?

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