Managing operational and physical security

Security from an operational perspective is about protecting assets. Assets entails physical property (such as machinery), intellectual property (drawings / designs), processes and people. The safety of so-called keymen (critical decision makers with top access to company accounts), should be considered extra carefully, and big firms often take care to not let key executives fly on the same plane, just in case there’s an accident. Here are some points all companies should consider in their day to day:

- Do I know what my mission critical assets are? You can make a list with the other stakeholders in the business. Ask all your top functions to give you a list of what they consider critical assets.

- How are you protecting your assets? The answer here will depend to a large extent to what these assets are. The answers should be clear and easy to follow.

- How are you managing safety of employees and executives?

If your company has a global security function, having a discussion with them about these topics is strongly suggested. Locally, several specialized firms can also offer support within these areas.

Handling crisis situations

Following the discussion about operational security, all companies sooner or later can come across a crisis. By the nature of a crisis, they’re hard to predict. There are however some steps that can be taken to mitigate even unknown factors.

-      Scenarios

-      Know who to call

-      Have backups for your critical systems

The most important part of preparing for a crisis is thinking through assets and having a basic plan of action ready for the scenarios you are able to foresee. Your plan should be concise and practical. You should include contact details of companies and people you may want to be able to reach quickly (such as the consulate, or the Police). A security specialist should also be on your call list, next to a law firm of choice, and the police.