Why a Holistic Security Approach is Necessary For Businesses

Businesses like to focus on cybersecurity. Protecting data is essential to ensure operations continue. 

However, holistic physical security approaches are also necessary. These protect businesses beyond the digital realm, allowing them to minimise downtime caused by real-world threats. 

The purpose of this post is to explain why holistic security is essential. We explore how firms can respond to the changing threat environment and protect their operations long-term. 

Reduce Business Operation Disruptions

Data suggests the global cost of physical security breaches at businesses is north of £800 million ($1 trillion). That compares to $8 trillion (£6.5 trillion) for cybercrime over five years. 

Most of this cost comes from business disruption. Companies can’t operate when security issues prevent them from shipping goods out the door or providing clients with services. 

For this reason, industry leaders are engaging in fightback campaigns to prevent illegal activities from disrupting their operations. Many are taking more sophisticated approaches to protect their people and property

Top companies start with risk assessment and planning tools. These enable them to identify and evaluate the magnitude of threats to develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). Documentation reveals how they should react and respond to adverse events (such as theft or intrusion). 

Then firms invest in their security infrastructure. More organisations understand the value of specific services, such as vacant property security, mobile security patrols and retail loss prevention (discussed in more detail in the following sections). 

Deal With Evolving Threats

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Unsplash – CC0 Licence

Holistic security approaches are also necessary for dealing with the ever-changing threat landscape. Criminals are always looking for new methods to bypass security, forcing organisations to evolve to keep up. 

For example, a Royal United Service Institute report found that Brexit and changing technological conditions put UK businesses at risk. The organised crime threat was evolving throughout the study timeframe, suggesting that old threats aren’t going away, and new ones could be more harmful. 

“Though difficult to measure precisely, there can be little doubt that all this has led to an increase in serious and organised crime. Today, the NCA estimates that at least 59,000 individuals are involved in serious and organised crime in the UK (excluding child sexual abuse). While historic changes in data recording have occurred, the figure in 2013 was 36,600 organised criminals.”

Businesses must move beyond “point” solutions to deal with these threats. Companies should avoid the temptation to focus on specific security tools and implement a web of interconnected solutions offering support. These could be digital – firewalls and network security – and physical, such as intrusion detection and access controls. 

At the same time, enterprises must conduct regular assessments to accommodate changing threats. Managers must recognise how the nature of risks is adjusting and implement new solutions to combat them. 

For example, the rising cost of living might increase the street value of groceries, like meat and cheese. Therefore, it might be necessary to establish retail loss prevention strategies. These could minimise financial losses while making it more challenging for criminals to steal high volumes of valuable products. 

Security awareness training might also be helpful in some situations. Teaching employees how criminals work and think could provide them with the tools they need to prevent breaches or thefts. Fostering a security culture increases overall organisational vigilance and complements paid-for security services

Strengthen Branding

Holistic approaches to business security are also necessary for strengthening branding. Organisations that demonstrate high standards are more likely to gain the trust and faith of their customers. Shoppers feel more secure, improving their competitive advantage. 

Figures from the research literature back up this claim. One study found that 64% of shoppers felt more secure when security personnel were present, while 10% said improved car park lighting helps. 

Strengthening branding with security initiatives can be a powerful way to forge customer trust and gain repeat business. Companies that enhance their approach can generate intangible value and encourage shoppers/clients to return more frequently. 

The most powerful way to strengthen a brand through improved security is through strategic partnerships with security firms. Using third parties to bolster perceptions of safety can amplify footfall and reduce customer fear. 

This effect can be taken further by educating customers about the organisation’s security offering. When customers understand how they are being protected, it can improve brand safety perceptions further. You might even consider including security in your brand messaging. Talking about how CCTV, security personnel and data protection are part of your core values can instil further trust and encourage a wider audience to shop with you. 

Cost Effectiveness

A final reason holistic security approaches are necessary for physical businesses is their cost-effectiveness. While point security measures might seem cheaper initially, implementing a raft of measures provides additional protection in the long run. 

For example, holistic security measures can: 

  • Reduce the risk of costly breaches
  • Detect threats in the environment and move to neutralise them quickly 
  • Improve the efficiency of resource allocation by reducing the need for disparate security measures to interrupt operations
  • Making security procedures standard across the enterprise
  • Future-proofing the business against advances in security threats

Convincing board members and managers of the value of holistic security can be challenging. However, many businesses implement robust policies that help them thrive long-term. 

One option is translating security risks into financial risks – a language many executives understand. Downtime and legal repercussions can be costly and should be considered when deciding on security spending. 

Highlighting security spending as a form of competitive advantage can also help. Executives may enjoy the improved loyalty benefits or increased market share that making customers feel secure brings. 

Lastly, recommending a phased implementation can also sweeten the deal. Business leaders are more likely to accept holistic security when it happens in stages. 

Now You Know Why Holistic Security Approaches Matter

Holistic approaches to security matter in the UK because of the evolving nature of the threats companies face and the risks to operations. Comprehensive implementations are costly, but the long-term brand-related benefits often outweigh short-term expenses. 
Companies like Lodge Service allow organisations to outsource security considerations and get comprehensive solutions that include security guards, alarm systems, vacant property protection, CCTV and more.

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