Chair: Martin Gill

Panellists:
Samuel Agbanusi – Security Manager at Union Bank of Nigeria
Paul Harvey – Chief Commercial Officer at Ward Security (UK)
Gary Parkes – Group Profit Protection Manager at Matalan (UK)

Key points

Gary Parkes notes that many don’t see value in security not least in the security officer, for example the role officers play in acting as a visual deterrent. Yet security has many aspects: auditing, subject matter expert, advising on how to deploy security are some examples. The key he argues is for security to be supporting the business. Part of the difficulty is that security has not been known for articulating its value proposition nor the diverse ways it supports business; the key to being core is to effectively address this.

Samuel Agbanusi makes the point that security is core because every person in an organisation has a security role; it is everyone’s business. Coming from a banking environment he outlines some of the important ways security is key specifically in enabling the business to operate at all; without customers and staff feeling and being safe (and wanting to visit repeatedly) then the bank could not function. There are very real threats in Nigeria including terrorism and at present social disorder and these are disruptive. Samuel does not accept that security does not add value and points to setting targets and measuring performance against them, and having Key Performance Indicators as minimum requirements. He emphasises the importance of aligning security with the business strategy.  

Paul Harvey notes that security played a critical role once the pandemic started and highlights the significance of key worker status in helping to protect not just workplaces and people but the national infrastructure. Moreover, security filled in when public services could not deliver. He calls on the sector to step up, to value itself more, to speak with a united voice, to focus on continuous education and to show the ways in which it does add value beyond providing insurance and reassurance functions (you will hear Paul discussing the benefits generated in the world of property management).

The question is much less ‘is security core?’ and much more ‘how can security show how it is core more effectively?’ This webinar provides some insights. Of course the extent of engagement of security with core operations will vary by organisation and sector but it is always true that organisations need to be ready for a crisis, and that a function dedicated to protecting against adversity while enabling business operations will most often be key. The challenge for security then is to present itself meaningfully as such. It has often not been good at that.

Martin Gill
15th October 2020