In his latest blog for Infologue.com, David Ward of Ward Security discusses the risks of taking shortcuts and speaking to the wrong people when planning security. David writes: “It is perhaps one of the biggest failings of the modern era that it is too easy and too tempting for people, organisations and businesses to offer additional services on top of their core skills, when in practice they are ill equipped to deliver an adequate solution for these services.
“At the same time most of us must admit that we have, on occasion, asked the question of people “Well while you’re doing job A for me, can you also take a look at job B?” Whether it’s asking a plumber to also check a boiler, or asking a web designer to draft a press release. It is a practice that rarely satisfies, and all too often creates additional problems.
“The easy availability of information has a lot to answer for. Where once people would train for a skill, it is now all too easy to Google information and convince yourself that you are ‘expert’ in a subject. And in a world where convenience is king and budgets are tight, too many people try and cut corners by sourcing products and services from a single source (the dreaded ‘One-Stop-Shop’ mentality) instead of seeking out genuine experts who have the experience, knowledge and skills to do a highly specialised job properly.
“Security is no different.
“All too often architects, designers and facilities managers are speaking to the wrong people when it comes to planning their security. For example, there is a vogue for speaking to mechanical & electrical contractors about security at sites, the logic presumably being “Well these guys probably know how to wire up a CCTV system, so if we can get them to stick up a couple of cameras our security is sorted.” But while these contractors will certainly have the knowledge and skills to connect the correct wire to the correct connector block, do they have the specialist working knowledge of how a security system will be used in practice? Almost certainly not.
“The risk in giving this task to people who aren’t experts is that their planning and implementation will not only fail to deliver an adequate security solution, but will actually present vulnerabilities. Furthermore, when these vulnerabilities are recognised, and when the system proves unmanageable, the organisation will face a considerable cost for rectifying the issue.
“Architects in particular need to be careful here. A poorly planned security solution will almost certainly compromise a building design when if it needs to be rectified. There can be nothing more galling for an architect than to see his design compromised by the bolting on of rectifying measures because the original jobs was insufficient. And there is nothing more frustrating for the building owner to face additional expense for rectification work when they have already paid for the original solution.
“Architects, designers, and property owners should all be speaking to a specialist security supplier at the earliest opportunity when thinking about security to ensure a truly holistic solution that does the job and is efficient in practice. It simply does not make sense to entrust the design of a security suite to one agency that is not a specialist, and then move in another agency in that is specialist and expect it to all come together. It’s simply too much of a gamble for everyone concerned”.