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Bookreview: Developing a master security plan

Security master planning is a process that can generate winces of pain from some due to the potentially large amount of work it requires to be done properly and eye rolling and snickers from others as it conjures up plans for world domination.




February 23, 2009
By Glen Kitteringham

In the case of this book, How to Develop and Implement a Security Master Plan, the author defines ”˜a security master plan as
a document that delineates the organization’s philosophies, strategies,
goals, programs, and processes.  It is used to guide the organization’s
development and direction in these areas in a manner that is consistent
with the company’s overall business plan.  It also provides a detailed
outline of the risks and mitigation plans for them in a way that
creates a five-year business plan’.  While Giles states that this book
is primarily geared towards the security consultants who would be
invited to develop such a plan on behalf of an organization, he also
indicates that it would be applicable for the use of the in-house
security representative. 

This book is more of what I consider an ”˜opinion’ book as opposed to a
”˜factual’ book.  Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of facts and
figures in this book but the author leads off with ”˜I think’ or ”˜ I
believe’ a tremendous number of times. There are also very few references.  

The layout of the book is basically in two parts, the first being an
in-depth introduction to the various elements of a comprehensive
security management plan and how to assess them. He provides details
on a number of themes including guard force operations, physical
security, documenting standard operating procedures, emergency response
plans, departmental structure, security administration, electronic
systems, and information protection. The second part of the book
focuses on layout of the security master plan process, constructing the
master document and utilizing the plan during day to day operations. The chapters are easy to read, with plenty of checklists, explanations
and details fleshing them out. Giles’ writing style allows the reader to
quickly digest the information

Giles delivers what he promises for the most part, not without some
errors along with way. I was disappointed with the interchangeability of the terms ”˜threat’ and
”˜risk’. Quite frankly, for someone of his background, knowledge and
training, he should know better.  It is distracting as every time I
read the terms, I ended up spending too much time trying to figure out
what he meant. This may be a minor issue to some and you can call me a
stickler for detail, but the terms are not synonymous. The General
Security Risk Assessment Guideline
published by ASIS International
defines ”˜risk’ as the possibility of loss resulting from a threat,
security incident, or event.

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On page 32 there is a prime example of
this error as the following sentence can be found: ”˜there are two
primary approaches to placing a value on the impact of an identified
risk or risks’.  It is not the impact of an identified risk but the
impact of an identified threat.  What also seems to be missing is any
overview of the threat/risk process itself in assisting the reader in
developing their own list of threats based on probability and
criticality. The other error that delivers a blow to the credibility
of the author is his statement that ”˜in my opinion, workplace violence
is basically a U.S. phenomenon’. He could not be further from the
truth as workplace violence is pretty much a world-wide issue. The
book also suffers from a few technical faults such as on page 52 where
the security triangle of ”˜delay’, ”˜detect’ and ”˜respond’ are
highlighted. What are missing are the two other sides, those being
”˜deter’ and ”˜deny’. Despite this and other minor errors, Giles’ work
is a solid introduction to many security management concepts. It just
seems to be missing some fundamentals.  

The book benefits from several appendices as various attachments and
drafts are provided including workplace violence and security
assessment guidelines, a sample RFP for contract security services, and
emergency planning checklist as well as others.  For anyone using these
many samples, checklists and outlines, they will benefit from them and
from the author’s many years of experience and training.  He obviously
has much to offer the reader in the way of advice, personal experiences
and anecdotal episodes from his more than 30 years in the industry.  

Overall this is a solid effort but I would suggest it should be used on
conjunction with other security texts in order to give a more rounded
and comprehensive overview of the security master planning process.

How to Develop

and Implement a


Security Master Plan

By Timothy D. Giles
Published by CRC Press in 2009, $79.95 U.S.


Glen Kitteringham, M.Sc., CPP, F.Syl. is Director of Security and Life Safety with Brookfield Properties in Calgary, Alta.


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