Finding support from across the organization for security projects
By Jeremiah JohnstonFeatures C-suite cio facilities integrator it manager
While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted business models around the world, the adoption of modern and cloud technologies has remained a focus. As businesses move into the pandemic’s next phase, defining a clear and updated security strategy can help instill much-needed confidence and will help ensure you protect what is important to you and your business.
A comprehensive security solution is essential to any business, has the potential to impact nearly everyone involved in the business and it is something many different people will use for years to come. So, when determining a security strategy, you should be documenting every decision as well as all aspects when it comes to the protection of your employees and business.
In the past, many organizations felt the need to keep security details confidential. While this may be true for external parties, not sharing this information internally can have devastating effects on your organization in the long term. However, involving too many decision-makers or system users could be perceived as slowing down the process or lead to potential threats down the line.
To limit the number of people involved in the project, it’s important to include those who have a clear understanding of the company’s existing security system and those who will see the most direct impact of the implementation of the new systems. This way, you can make a more informed decision while still keeping your security solutions as secure and effective as possible.
So, it begs the question: Who should be included in the discussion about security? Let’s discuss.
CIO and the IT department
An IT department may just mean the work of one person, or it could mean a team of IT professionals spread out across the globe. Regardless, including the IT department at the table when discussing security is essential.
When implementing modern security systems like a video surveillance system or access control system, the components will likely come into contact with your data network. The IT department has a deep understanding of your data security specification as well as the new hardware and software that the new security system may need to comply with.
In most traditional office environments, IT maintains a room that includes all of the IT equipment such as servers, cable types and network switches. With buy-in and support from your IT department, they can determine what technologies can be properly supported on the network and the amount of bandwidth that should be allotted. For example, a video system constantly receiving and recording footage will require more bandwidth than an access control system. IT professionals can promptly answer questions and share if they foresee any issues happening down the road, especially if they’re brought into the process early. When they are not included from the beginning, your company can expect a lot of delays and expensive issues that could have been otherwise avoided.
Facilities director and/or head of maintenance
Who knows your facilities better than your maintenance or facilities department? The maintenance and facilities teams have a key to every door in the building and also have access to the blueprint of the building — they can locate every duct, pipe and conduit. Additionally, they have knowledge of exactly who has access to the building and any past physical security issues that may have occurred.
When implementing a security system, they will be able to help your security integrator find the best cable pathways and can facilitate any permit approvals needed. On the other hand, by having someone from the maintenance team be involved in the security decision from the start, they can identify when service is needed and be on the front lines in helping address and resolve those issues.
We all know that bringing a security integrator into the project is necessary; however, the question is, how early in the process should they be brought in?
You should involve a security integrator from the project’s start. They can identify your company’s current security system, assess your needs and how a new solution will integrate with the existing one.
A security integrator should be excited to learn about your business and can develop the best plan to fit your company’s needs. Most likely, this isn’t their first time doing this kind of work, so they can help you prepare the best questions to ask your IT, maintenance and any other teams involved in the project.
When first meeting with your security integrator, give an overview of your company’s goals and objectives. Then you can ask their help to determine the best solution. It’s vital to note that security integrators should be there to help you. If they’re unwilling to learn about your business and only try to force their product on you, you will end up with a less than adequate result.
Most importantly, don’t go at this alone. Protecting your employees and your property should be a top priority for your company, and it can be a very complicated process. That is why it’s crucial to select an integration team of key decision-makers to smooth out the planning and installation process. All of these people, who have knowledge about different aspects of the company, can come together and determine the best strategy to ensure the security and safety of your business.
Jeremiah Johnston is a systems integration security consultant at STANLEY Security (www.stanleysecurity.com).
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