Printer Friendly

Extra eyes and ears.

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE an additional security person on your staff? What would you do if you had 10 more assigned to you? What tasks would you try to accomplish? * In a slow economy, it's rare for additional security staff to be approved. Many of us security managers are fortunate to keep what we have. But we can gain more of the extra help we need through a sound program of security awareness. Following are suggestion for security managers hoping to launch successful security awareness programs in their organizations. * The Protection of Assets Manual defines awareness as "a state of mind or attitude through which the individual is conscious of the existence of the security program, and is persuaded that the program is relevant in one or more ways to his/her behavior."(*) * Perhaps more importantly, awareness is viewed as a continuing state. Before positive steps can be taken, the work force must give sustained attention to the security program and its underlying rationale.

There are two types of awareness regarding security programs. The first is a general understanding by management, the work force, and visitors that a security program exists. Indicators of the program include the checking of badges and IDs at employee entrances and the inspection of vehicles by security personnel. The presence of electronic access control readers and the need to use access cards are other signs.

The other type of awareness involves active participation by employees and managers in achieving security goals. This is awareness at a higher level.

Educational and motivational efforts to increase such participation are commonly referred to as security involvement programs, security participation programs, and security awareness programs.

Whatever the label, the goal is to maximize employee participation in the security effort. Employees thereby assist in preventing losses and apprehending offenders through prompt and accurate reporting of suspicious activities.

The aim of a security awareness effort is participation. A high motivated work force can be the best ally a security manager ever had. The awareness program can show employees how security affects the company's future and protects them from physical harm or possible loss of employment by protecting assets.

Of course, certain aspects of a security program must remain confidential. Internal investigations, drug screening reports, executive itineraries, and union negotiations are examples of information that would not be shared in an open security awareness forum. However, only a few types of information cannot be shared with employees.

SECURITY AWARENESS PROGRAMS IN industry historically can be traced to defense contractors after World War II. The appropriate handling and safeguarding of government classified information was and is the key goal of government security awareness programs.

The most common feature of a Department of Defense (DoD) awareness program is a security briefing. Briefings are required for a number of activities, including foreign travel by cleared personnel and contact with representative of designated countries.

A briefing is also an effective way to convey information on security problems or programs and explain changes in security procedures or technologies. Explaining the rationale behind changes in advance helps ensure cooperation when the changes takes place.

Many security efforts fail for lack of employee involvement. For example, an electronic access control system that is abruptly introduced may meet with employee resistance out of fear that the information gathered from the access computer will be misused. Putting such fears aside early can make a project run more smoothly for all involved.

If you already have a DoD-mandated security awareness program, you may use a semblance of it to expand your horizons. DoD programs are primarily directed at personnel who have government clearance and a "need to know" regarding disseminated information. General security awareness programs differ in that they require a broader sharing of information and include both cleared and noncleared personnel. If you do both types of briefings, keep your DoD briefings distinct from your general security briefings.

The DoD security awareness program has the force of federal regulation and is required by the Defense Industrial Security Program. In contrast, a general security awareness program is completely voluntary.

Exhibit 1 shows the five stages of a typical security awareness program. The details of each step are as follows.

Security Awareness Program Stages

Stage 1: Rationale

--Define mission.

Stage 2: Initiation

--Gather resources.

Stage 3: Implementation

--Form working groups.

Stage 4: Expansion

--Preach succeses.

Stage 5: Maintenance

--Monitor progress.

Stage 1: Rationale. Don't wait until a problem beckons for your attention to assemble a security awareness program. Take a preventive stance by discussing the need for a security awareness committee with your superiors. Having the mechanism in place before trouble starts can make solving security-related problems easier.

If a major problems has already surfaced, you can use it as ammunition to get your program under way. Examining theft or incident reports can provide trends that call for attention.

Don't limit yourself to problems that occur only on your property. Community crime trends can provide additional ammunition for your program since foreseeability of crime based on nearby incidents has been a factor in some liability lawsuits.

Your organization may be undergoing technological changes, such as the implementation of PCs, or other changes in the work environment, such as a move to an "open office" concept. Such changes can be used as justification for a security awareness program

Ask your employees how secure they feel at work. What can security do to make them feel more secure?

A survey is a sound tactic for getting input from employees, and it serves as a tool for selling a security awareness program to your superiors. In-house experts may be available to assist you in setting up a survey.

Another idea is to discuss personal security with senior management. Reviewing items such as home security and travel precautions can help establish the rationale for a wider awareness program.

After establishing your rationale in a concise, written statement, approach senior managers with the idea. Make sure you sell the program from a positive, loss prevention standpoint.

Remember to phrase your expectations in bottom-line economic language. How can they say no to a low-cost program that can protect assets without adding staff? Ask companies that have successful security awareness programs for supporting data.

Stage 2: Initiation. After getting the go-ahead, you'll have to demonstrate commitment to the program. Forming a steering committee of top managers and key operating and union officials can provide a foundation for later security awareness efforts at local levels.

After the steering committee is established, a chairperson should be selected. That person can be the security manager but need not be as long as liaison with the security manager is maintained. The steering committee chairperson plays a crucial role in recruiting others and facilitating meetings.

A successful security awareness program calls for a decentralized approach. In a multifacility arrangement, each location has unique concerns. Decentralizing the awareness effort allows specific problems to be addressed locally by working committees or subcommittees. The steering committee must be prepared to help fledgling working committees get their programs up and running.

Why do you turn to in trying to staff these committees? For starters, look to the personnel who are logical extensions of your security program: lock and key control administrators, safety program personnel, evacuation teams, computer security administrators, access control card administrators, or those certified in CPR.

Another logical source is fire brigade members or those who work on the fire prevention campaigns such as National Fire Prevention Week. Some large organizations typically have decentralized security and fire tasks, making security coordinators responsible for some activities in their particular facility or department. These people have established networks that can be used to implement a security awareness program.

If your work force is unionized, don't shy away from getting its input. You may be surprised at how many security issues you and the union agree on. If cultivated properly, the local union leadership can become a powerful advocate. Make the union a charter member in your security awareness efforts to avoid the impression that it was added as an afterthought.

A last word of caution: Use your security personnel wisely. They too should be charter members of the security awareness effort. Security officers can serve as important communication links with the employees in the field.

How do you decentralize your security awareness effort? After implementing a working committee in a facility, gradually wean yourself from total involvement, acting instead as a professional resource or expert consultant.

The responsibility for overseeing the ongoing operation of a working committee should rest with local management. The steering committee will review subcommittee efforts and budget matters.

Funding can be obtained from various departments or components of the organization. Requests for security awareness funds should be made before final budget allocations so that local budget administrators can plan ahead. Having a well-organized budget proposal makes the request easier. (See Exhibit 2 for an example of a startup budget.)
 EXHIBIT 2
 Sample Start-up
 Security Awareness Budget
Awareness Posters $3,000
 (3)
Newsletter $3,000
 (6)
Videotape $1,800
 (10 minute)
Promotional Items
 (coasters, mugs, notepads, etc.)
Total $28,000
Note: Expenditures are rough estimates and will vary depending on the source and
 desired quantity and quality.


Costs can be spread among several departments. Keeping the request reasonable is important in getting initial seed money for your efforts.

Stage 3: Implementation. A good start would be to teach employees how to report a crime or suspicious activity to the security department. Employees should never be encouraged to make apprehensions themselves. their lack of training in apprehensions would increase liability and could breed a counterproductive vigilante atmosphere.

Training in crime reporting can be effectively accomplished through pamphlets, memos, or video presentations. You should follow the training with an open solicitation for participation on security awareness committees.

Holding a general information meeting about the proposed program is another way to solicit involvement. Exhibit 3 identifies issues that the security awareness committee can address.

EXHIBIT 3

Issues for Securiy Awareness Committees to Address

New office technology (computer lock-down devicess) Shipping and receiving procedures Access control projects Lock and key control Evacuations Hazardous materials storage Computer room security Information security Parking lot safety Fire and safety issues

One way to grab your audience is to report incident and crime statistics and ask for support in turning things around or continuing a good job. Theft statistics provide useful information for analysis and resource planning. What about sharing that information with employees?

A security awareness program can help prevent thefts. Too often the statistics are closely guarded and the security manager tries to use his or her limited resources to counter the crime trends. Communication is curtailed out of a fear of criticism or adverse publicity.

Unfortunately, by maintaining a closed communication system the security department could be its own worst enemy. Keeping honest and hardworking employees (and they're the majority of employees) in the dark reduces them to the status of children. Yes, you may take some criticism, but accept it constructively and use it as fuel for change.

Avoid keeping score of which facilities have the highest losses. Facilities needing a security awareness effort might be turned off if they are made to feel singled out or less competent. Many times a few large thefts make the statistics look worse than they do in facilities that have numerous small thefts.

Expect an increase in reported crimes as employees become more willing to report discrepancies and crimes that would have been ignored.

Where do you obtain the resources to do all this? Your organization's media department may be able to help you set up a security awareness newsletter, the art department or graphic design personnel can be a great help in producing posters or a logo, and the video department can be useful in producing and directing a videotape production. If your organization lacks these resources, don't worry; all of them are commercially available.

You may also obtain security awareness materials from other security professionals. Check the Security Industry Buyers Guide or call ASIS for help in locating awareness materials. Also, the National Crime Prevention Institute and National Crime Prevention Council are valuable resources.

Your local police department's crime prevention officer can provide a wealth of information that is pertinent to your employees who live in surrounding communities. You may even ask the local police to write a crime-prevention tip column for the security awareness newsletter.

Network to obtain awareness information from other organizations. Many companies are willing to share ideas and materials if you promise to reciprocate when your awareness effort is up and running.

When making security awareness videos, remember that employees will volunteer their time and energy to be a part. The narration can involve someone from the corporate news bureau or an outside professional speaker.

Be cautious when producing a security awareness videotape. Such presentations are expensive and time-consuming. Limit the number of locations for filming, as it's costly to break down and set up equipment.

Attend the filming to oversee the video project purely from a content perspective. You are the security expert, and only you can tell the writers and producers what message you wish to convey to your audience.

Enter your completed product in a competition such as the ASIS video and poster contest, the winners of which are announced at the Annual ASIS Seminar and Exhibits. Participating in competitions can be a source of pride for committee members and positive publicity for the company.

Slogans can be used to readily identify security awareness efforts. Be wary of using slogans unless they have some substance to them. an empty slogan does not motivate employees. Sincerity is called for in all cases.

Stage 4: Expansion. At some point you will want to expand activities to other facilities or divisions. You will also be contacted for advice after others see your security awareness newsletter or other promotional items. Security awareness requires that you share information and that workers be motivated to participate in and maintain the program.

Motivation is not a simple task. You will need to make presentations interesting, and you should involve participants. Use a wide variety of learning strategies to appeal to all types of learners--from the hands-on to the conceptual.

Success breeds success--one successful, well-published effort is quickly followed by others. As materials become available, they can be shared with working committees at new locations, thereby saving them from reinventing the wheel.

Stage 5: Maintenance. Integrating security responsibilities into employees' work schedules can be difficult, Ideally, employees charged with security awareness responsibilities should be given credit for successful efforts, and their performance should be noted in the review process.

However, most managers are reluctant to include security awareness criteria in employee performance reviews. They feel that ultimately the responsibility still resides with the security manager. Regardless, positive feedback for security awareness efforts helps keep employees motivated.

Perhaps the best way to establish security awareness is to make an awareness briefing part of every new employee's orientation. Such a briefing lays the foundation for a security-conscious work force.

A well-defined mission statement, a readily identified logo, and memorable slogans are important for maintaining the working committees. Exhibit 4 lists several activities and projects that those committees can be assigned to work on.

EXHIBIT 4

Tasks for Security Awareness Committees to Perform

Publish a newsletter. Display posters. Give security awards. Produce informational

pamphlets. Conduct surveys. Sponsor security displays. Make joint presentations with

police. Participate in National Fire

Prevention Week activitie. Develop promotional items

(mugs, coasters, key chains,

etc.). Run recruitment drives for

committee membership. Propose new securiy procedures. Produce videotapes on office

securiy, parking lot security,

computer crime, etc. Invite local experts (police, auto

theft specialists) to speak. Prepare securiy travel tips. Develop security slogans and an

awareness logo. Fingerprint children at an

employee open house or picnic. Review crime statistics for the

organization and community. Develop an early warning system

for reporting crimes (fax or

phone).

Also, remember that fresh perspectives are needed from time to time. Invite a variety of organization and community representatives to share their expertise and ideas.

The crime triangle consists of opportunity, desire, and a victim. What better way to break this cycle than to have a well-informed and motivated employee

base at your disposal?

Ideas are the key to success, so tap the brainpower that exists in your organization for a truly synergistic security awareness effort. (*)Timothy J. Walsh and Richard Healy, Protection of Assets Manual, Vol. IV (Santa Monica, CA: The Merritt Company, 1990), pp. 34-1 to 34-15. Michael J. Witkowski, CPP, EdD, is security analyst and training coordinator for the Executive Protection Forward Planning and Analysis Section of Ford Motor Company's security department. He is also an adjunct professor of criminal justice and security administration at the University of Detroit. He is a member of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Seurity Awareness; security awareness programs
Author:Witkowski, Michael J.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Words:2801
Previous Article:Security's minding the mint.
Next Article:Developing a counterintelligence mind-set.
Topics:


Related Articles
DISP goes international.
Dealing with the realities of retail.
Should companies adopt community policing practices?
Blue eyes, big earplugs: Bad hearing?
Are security awareness programs undervalued? The U.S. government is making an extraordinary effort to raise the security awareness of the general...
Security training plan for building service workers.
Laboratory apparel.
Neglected skills: aural perception and music reading.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters