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Reevaluating the Role of Security in Business: Beyond Cost to Value Creation



Security has traditionally been viewed within the business community as a necessary but costly function, often relegated to the margins of strategic importance. However, this perspective overlooks the significant value that effective security measures contribute to organisations, particularly in mitigating risks and enhancing overall business resilience.


Crimes against businesses and their employees not only disrupt operations but also have a profound impact on the community. These criminal activities range from theft and fraud to more insidious forms of white-collar crime, like embezzlement and data breaches. The effects are not isolated; they ripple through the economy, influencing everything from consumer prices to employee morale. For instance, consider a retail chain that experiences frequent shoplifting. The company not only bears the costs of these thefts; they also pass those costs on to customers in the form of higher prices, which disproportionately affect lower-income buyers.



Beyond the direct financial losses, crime in the workplace leads to other significant costs. High staff turnover, often a consequence of inadequate security, necessitates additional expenditure on recruitment and training. For example, a technology firm might face substantial turnover if sensitive employee data is compromised, shaking confidence and forcing a costly cycle of hiring and training replacements.


A company’s brand and reputation, painstakingly built over years, can be tarnished swiftly if incidents of crime or security breaches become public. The case of National Australia Bank and Optus is a stark reminder of how internal security lapses can lead to catastrophic outcomes, not just financially but also in terms of market confidence and reputation.


Despite the critical role security plays, it is often undervalued in a business setting. A shift in mindset is needed, from viewing security merely as a cost centre to recognising it as a crucial contributor to a company’s bottom line. This reevaluation involves understanding security’s role in safeguarding not just physical assets but also intangible assets like brand integrity and customer trust.


In North America and parts of Europe, integrating business studies with security education has highlighted the importance of aligning security strategies with overall business objectives. For instance, a multinational corporation based in New York has leveraged its security operations to not only protect assets but also to provide data-driven insights that inform strategic decision-making, thereby adding measurable value to the business.


The development of a rigorous security discipline is essential. This would help standardise practices and elevate the status of security within the corporate hierarchy. Educational and professional development initiatives that enhance the understanding of security’s business value are crucial. Encouraging practitioners to engage with academic research through user-friendly dissemination strategies could bridge the gap between theory and practice.


For instance, security conferences and seminars in the Northern Territory of Australia focus on translating high-level security research into practical strategies that local businesses can implement. These efforts help demystify security for business owners and managers, illustrating its direct relevance to business continuity and success. Sharon Kymberley of Personal Protection Strategies has delivered a range of events in this area to elevate the needs of the industry and encourage self-defence - Her contact sharon@ppst.com.au


Repositioning security as a core business function requires a paradigm shift in how it is perceived and implemented. By highlighting the tangible and intangible benefits that a robust security framework provides, businesses can better appreciate the true value of security investments. This recognition is crucial in today’s globalised market, where the ability to manage and mitigate risk can distinguish between thriving enterprises and those left vulnerable to the myriad threats facing modern businesses.



From the author.


The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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