THE MAGAZINE

Security Perspectives Surveyed

By Karen Lund Petersen

Priorities

Security has become an integrated part of the overall business strategy. Whereas companies previously understood security as a rather narrow, technical function—physically protecting facilities and personnel—today the trend is to see a wider range of risk as matters of corporate security.

In the survey, corporate security managers were asked what they consider a corporate security concern. Almost all security managers and directors, whatever their nationality, considered corporate security to include risks ranging from theft to IT issues to terrorism. The agreement on this question was exceptionally high and did not expose any pattern with regard to nationality or company type.

On the question of priorities, the survey again shows a strikingly similar pattern of responses pointing to corporate managerial priorities across nations. Asked about the most important steps companies have taken to improve security, the majority of the corporate security managers agree that “gathering of intelligence about threats to the company” and “access control” are most important, closely followed by “emergency management.”

Access control being a high priority is not surprising, as it is critical to protecting the corporate environment. The high priority of intelligence, however, is new. A 1993 survey on corporate programs for managing terrorist threats found very little emphasis on the intelligence aspect of corporate security. Instead, the 1993 survey showed that U.S.-based multinational companies were occupied with protecting assets and that they relied mainly on physical security hardware to solve potential problems with terrorism.

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