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Security Technology Includes Supporting the Security Operation

Security Technology Includes Supporting the Security Operation

AUGUST 6, 2015

“A Security Management Platform should make it easier for a security team to protect an organizations people and assets.”

Unfortunately, too many security groups struggle with their platform; often compensating perceived shortcomings with manual processes that are inefficient and error-prone.  Whether scrubbing and re-formatting system reports or keeping track of loaner badges, many security teams are not leveraging the operational benefit their platforms can provide.

To get the most from a platforms toolkit, the system configuration must be designed, and that design starts with the operation the platform is supporting.  A hands-on security technology professional should seek first to understand the mission and goals of the organization.  This fundamental understanding, coupled with their knowledge of what the platform can and cannot support, enables the security professional to navigate myriad platform settings to identify and build a supportive and meaningful configuration.

Most individuals that setup a security management platform (which includes visitor management processing) do not consider the various ways all the checkboxes and options in the software setup actually affect the organization and how it operates.  It takes a security consultant to recognize how these seemingly unimportant decisions affect the security team’s operational policy and also their potential exposure.  Usually these systems are delivered by integrators who sold the software and either delivers them with all the default settings in place, or they focus on what the software CAN do, as opposed to what it SHOULD do to benefit the security team. A security consultant can help the customer step back and consider the strategic requirements of the team and how the seemingly unimportant system settings impact those requirements.

In a security operation, even simple administrative tasks either contribute to or detract from the mission of the organization. The security system platform settings need to match the security protocols your company is looking to achieve.

As an example, we will look at some of the questions that must be answered for processing visitors.

Data collected about our guests:

  • How much personal information about our visitors should we require?
  • Is it reflective of the organization’s image to require this much (or little) of our guests?
  • Are we comfortable being responsible for housing and protecting their information for this function?
  • Is the data organized for efficient security auditing?
  • Is the data organized to meet the audit needs of other departments?
  • Is the data useful or specifically needed to meet regulatory requirements (e.g., ITAR)

The data collection process:

  • Since this is our guests’ first impression of our company, what do we want that experience to be?
  • Do we want our visitors to register themselves, or should a friendly face handle it for them?
  • How time-consuming can we afford this process to be?
  • How much room can we allow for data inaccuracy?
  • And, perhaps most importantly, is it reasonable to expect this process to be conducted consistently well?

The answers to these questions will either be supported or challenged by the details of a platform’s configuration.  If the intention behind the process is not supported by the platform, eventually the process will lapse, and data integrity will decline. In this particular example, the data in question happens to be the organization’s official record of outside persons interacting with its people and assets.

An experienced security consulting firm will identify and help answer these questions across all functions of the security operation, and your organization’s priorities will be reflected in the details of your security-supporting technologies.  The platform should support your team; not the other way around.