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What’s the role of a security manager in the corporate world?

COMMENT | Samson Tinka |  A rise in demand for services of security professionals has risen in the corporate world in the past few years. Banks, telecoms, the manufacturing sector are raising their game, so are schools that have all recently identified new risks, and acquired security professionals to address security and safety needs.

Government is usually of the view that every entity ought to have a safety officer to handle occupational health and safety matters. They make an audit of security across the country regularly.

Higher institution of learning have responded to this need by starting security and criminology courses both at under and post graduate level.

Why this need?

Security has become a necessity for business growth. Before, the only known factors of production was land, capital, human resource and entrepreneurship. Security has since been added as vital factor to remove risks to the first factors.

Theft and leakages

Rampant theft of produced goods or raw materials directly affect companies’ revenue and incomes in the short run and also greatly impacts on profit after tax (PAT) at the end of each financial year. To stump out these thefts and leakages, companies recruit a security officer or manager who carries out risk and threat assessment and advises management on the existing gaps and how to fix them. Thefts don’t only rob companies of anticipated revenue but also hinder smooth production lines especially when raw materials are stolen

Security systems operations and maintenance

Security professionals aid corporate and other companies with security systems procurement by providing technical specifications, monitor installation, operate same systems and also ensures that they are serviced, repaired and replaced in time. These security and safety systems create a safe and secure environment, that facilitates optimum productivity of workers.

Risk assessment 

Security managers carryout routine risk and threat assessment and advise management what mitigation measures should be taken. Every business or venture has underlying risks and can be identified by security and safety professional well in time and arrested before negatively impacting on the business. Some businesses are good, but fail because of unseen risks.

A third eye

Security managers provide a “third eye” to management. Managers tend only to report what their bosses want to hear. In some instances, security professionals prepare high level summarized reports to management and the board with facts and figures. This doesn’t imply that non security managers are liars or not factual but its common for them to omit facts either by omission or commission. Security manager provide the checks and balances.

Emergency mode

By training and practice, security officers are quick and ready to respond to emergencies of any nature. They mobilize, reach out coordinate rescue operations which function would ideally be difficult to may be an internal auditor or finance person. Emergency situations require hard tested personnel to deal with. Imagine the fire that gutted Makerere, being managed by auniversity secretary… it would be a tall order.

Back ground checks

Nasser degrees, fake transcripts, wrong information on CVs, previous criminal records can be checked by an in-house security person. Most employers both government and private want background checks done on their staff in senior positions. It would be the duty of a security manager to run this show and make an independent report, then submit to HR or board with the findings in relation to the CV submitted by the prospective employee.

Support legal dept.

A security manager would support legal and compliance department during litigation or enforcement of companies rules and procedures. Identifying witnesses, arresting wrong doers, reporting cases to national police and so forth. All these are core functions of the security manager or officer.

Working with national security 

At times, there exist law breakers within the corporate and business world. Some can be rapists, terrorists, money laundering agents or even domestic violence promoters that are outside the eye of the police. Police could sometimes rely on security professionals within organizations to volunteer information so that they can act on it. The absence of security staff may create this gap. Security officers also follow security events at both local national and international level and guide management. Through coordination with national security agencies, information is shared and hence the companies will be advised and updated.

Investigations

Internal security investigates internal accidents and incidents and come with relevant detailed reports. Such reports help in guiding management the causes incidents and recommend possible remedies.

Generally, it is vital to embed security professionals within organizations whether profit making, charity or otherwise.

Business continuity is often guaranteed by how safe and secure the business environment it is operating in.

Security and safety are no longer the matter at the tail end of businesses. Its top on the list and until its box is ticked, then the business is at risk.

Board members, business owners, investors, invest in security within your investments.

New generation of security officers

Previously, companies would have on board retired police officers to manager their ventures.

The current crop of specialized security and safety officers in the market is good, and have the potential to offer value for money.

Employ fresh brains, well educated, experienced, exposed, hands on well-motivated, self-driven and pay them handsomely. They will be the game changers.

Any venture, business, company that fails to recruit security professionals may regret. They can give you peace to think for the next level of your business. For security professionals both upcoming and the experienced ones, there is need to continue up-skilling – the future is yours.

In one of the American journals I read, it stated that among the five areas that will drive the world, security was close to artificial intelligence and robotics.

The future is certainly in the hands of those who master security.

I end this article with a quote by Barak Obama. “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objective that we set. We have got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

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 Samson Tinka is a safety and security consultant |  tindsam@yahoo.com

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