• So why is a security consultancy like Dobson Owens talking about Christmas in November?

    Christmas brings various opportunities and risks to
    different types of businesses. Some thrive and are exceptionally busy,
    developing considerable increased income over a fairly short period of time.
    Others are very quiet with clients not looking to start new projects or invest
    in equipment leading up to the holiday period. Both of these scenarios bring
    risk.

    To the happy businessperson, working hard to maximise the
    profits and sales at their peak time of the year, other aspects of their
    business plan and risk management may lapse. For example, increased sales mean
    an increased cash flow and so having robust banking procedures and ensuring staff
    compliance is key to ensure they do not put themselves at risk. Busy retail
    outlets may become a target for robberies, especially if banking procedures do
    not include CVIT (Cash and Valuables in Transit). As an experianced security
    consultant we advise it may be worth considering this service, even for a short
    period of time to increase resilience. Christmas Eve is one of the busiest
    shopping days of the year, but where does the cash go at the end of the day
    when banks are closed for at least the next two days? Is it safe and is it
    insured?

    When staff are busy and potentially have revised sales
    targets and bonus schemes, there may be a tendency to bypass procedures to save
    time. This could lead to doors being left open, visitors or contractors not
    being properly processed, key audits not being completed etc. At busy and
    highly productive times it is more important than ever to follow procedures
    stringently as the company may be targeted. 

    In addition, seasonal staff could be required and often the
    normal HR processes are not fully applied in this area. Temporary staff are
    only there for a few weeks and so present minimal risk, right? Wrong! These
    staff have minimal loyalty to a company and are much more likely to steal or
    provide information to a competitor.

    On the other hand, businesses that are very quiet have a
    different set of problems. Those that close down for two weeks over the holiday
    period risk inviting burglars into their site. Burglars will often know the
    sites that close down and can take their time in planning access, take
    advantage of insecurities and poor security design or faulty systems. They may
    even go back for a second helping if they don’t get everything the first time.

    Christmas is a busy time of year for security consultants for a good reason!

    It is therefore essential to have a meticulous and robust
    lockdown process that is tested, followed and certified when complete by a
    capable security consultant in the UK. This can include health and safety
    elements as well as security such as the shutting down of machinery and removal
    of combustibles. It is also a very good idea to schedule the annual service for
    the security systems for early December so you can be confident that they are
    performing optimally leading up to this high-risk time. At the very least, the
    systems should be tested around two weeks prior to close down to allow time for
    any faults or issues identified to be rectified.

    This quiet time is also an ideal opportunity to check the
    response and key holding procedures as well as the monitoring signal to ensure
    that if something does happen over the closure period, then it can be dealt
    with quickly and efficiently with minimal impact to the business.

    Enjoy the Christmas festivities, but remain mindful as to risks that are presented. Dobson Owens Security Consultants “Putting security on the agenda, before it becomes the agenda”