COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on virtually every country worldwide, leading to an unprecedented global economic impact. Prior to the pandemic, physical security companies were already playing a leading role in crime prevention and the maintenance of public order. Today, they are expected to retain essential duties such as loss prevention, patrolling and providing armed responses — but with an additional set of new tasks and risks.
The pandemic has given rise to constant policy changes and multiple contingency plans, significantly increasing the complexity of managing operations for security businesses. From enforcing social distancing to recording visitor traffic, security personnel are now our frontliners in the fight against the pandemic. And the onus is on organisational leaders to empower their work with foresight and planning – so you can keep people at the heart of your business.
Here are three unique challenges facing security professionals and businesses in the wake of COVID-19.
Although many corporations have pivoted to remote working measures, a large proportion of the service industry as well as essential businesses like hospitals continue to remain open to serve the everyday needs of the population. Because a majority of these businesses will require security services, this represents a fantastic opportunity for security firms to tap into new markets and grow their client list.
However, in addition to being frontliners, the job scope of security officers has since expanded significantly to include tasks such as ensuring compliance with mask-wearing and overseeing crowds at screening centres – all of which naturally put them at a higher risk of exposure. Encounters with disgruntled individuals may also subject guards to bullying, verbal abuse and even violence. Without taking crucial precautionary measures to meet the demands of this new and evolving market, even a single misstep might cost security firms their most valuable asset – their workforce.
The unpredictable and fast-changing nature of the pandemic presents significant hurdles for security businesses. For instance, restricted air travel can adversely affect established supply lines and reduce access to qualified staff. With many critical regulations and roles to take note of, security officers need to be well-trained on matters such as checking identification, conducting temperature screens and upholding social distancing in order for them to become second nature.
On top of this, security companies must also move quickly to capture new clients during this time, or risk being outrun by competitors with better crisis management strategies. Businesses still running on legacy systems often find themselves disadvantaged during this critical time, unable to update processes rapidly, ensure the delivery of necessary training and equipment, or maintain frictionless communication lines between employees, managers and customers. Agility, organisation and foresight are therefore of the essence for building business resilience going forward.
There has also been a massive influx of COVID-19 news and resources since the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, this has been a breeding ground for false information and rumours that may further put your staff at risk. Guards may also face resistance and non-compliance from members of the public who are more susceptible to fake news, making it difficult to enforce fundamental policies such as social distancing and mask-wearing. Security personnel need to be constantly updated with accurate and timely news on policy or regulations changes so that they enforce the right rules at the right time.
As a business leader, there is a need to thoroughly investigate, fact-check, and corroborate any incoming sources of information, engage trusted sources and streamline all communications so security personnel can take prompt action without putting themselves in danger.
It is impossible to predict when COVID-19 will be fully under control or when the next crisis will come. But one thing’s for sure – with new challenges come new opportunities. Now is the time for security businesses to reinvent themselves and adopt smarter solutions to help achieve better operational efficiency and optimise resources strategically. To learn more about Security Risk Manager (SRM)’s dynamic suite of solutions, simply book a demo today!
Leslie Tan has held numerous senior positions within product, sales, business development, marketing, and operational teams, spanning a range of industries and in various locations across Asia Pacific.
He has an in-depth understanding of all the strategic and operations functions of a business, including how to develop a group of individuals into a highly productive, unified team.
Before joining Software Risk, Leslie worked for leading global technology and consumer brands and also owned and operated several other businesses.
As COO of Software Risk, Leslie has a broad set of responsibilities—from partnering with the CEO and management team to develop and execute strategic business initiatives, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business, ensuring compliance with corporate governance, policies and processes, as well as taking a hands-on role in driving all aspects of products/services go-to-market and their performance.
A born and bred Singaporean, with a global mindset, Leslie is a firm believer of the importance of establishing a first-hand understanding of a client’s business to understand their key concerns and objectives and then provide them with a solution to those needs.
With both an undergraduate degree and doctorate in computer science, followed by 10 years of experience as a software engineer and solutions architect, Dennis brings a unique combination of research, teaching, and software engineering expertise to the Software Risk team.
He has worked on both large and small-scale projects and products, as well as consulting to the Australian Department of Defence on intelligence analysis.
Dennis’ passion for technology and solving problems, combined with his qualifications and professional experience, enable him to quickly identify how technology can solve a problem, rather than always relying on people.
He works with his team to develop smart tools that do not rely on language or technical know-how, ensuring accessibility and ease of use.
Dennis and his team of Software Risk software engineers are skilled at assessing client requirements, researching suitable technologies, designing solutions, and developing products.
With a focus on quality, security, and privacy, Dennis’ technology team ensures rigorous testing and evaluation of the features and design before delivering them to market. This commitment provides clients with the certainty that they are investing in a robust and fit-for-purpose product.
(Member of ASIS International)
Software Risk’s Founder, Ian Stewart has a wealth of experience in international executive, strategic, and operational roles across commercial and government sectors. In particular, Ian has spent:
Consequently, he brings significant industry experience and unique expertise to his role as Software Risk’s Founder. Ian has an innate understanding of his clients’ commercial business drivers as well as the logistics and specific demands involved in providing security operations.
It is this experience and understanding that drives his vision of using technology to keep people safe for Security Risk Manager (SRM); providing security companies and in-house security teams with an innovative, effective, and cost-efficient solution to the management of their operational needs.