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Corporate Security Leaders: Active Shooter Threat is Top Physical Security Worry of Corporate America Today

Securitas USA's Report Reveals: Active Shooters and Company Insiders, The Biggest Physical Threats Facing Corporate America Today (Graphic: Business Wire) Multimedia Gallery URL


Securitas USA Survey Also Shows That Top Concerns are Likely to Involve Company Insiders

Active shooters are now the number one physical security threat concerning corporate America, according to “Top Security Threats and Management Issues Facing Corporate America,” a survey just released by Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. “Top Security Threats” (TST) also revealed that of the 27 threat categories security executives consider to be a concern, 21 may be caused or carried out by company insiders. Securitas is the world’s largest provider of protective services and enables companies of all sizes and industries to establish and maintain security programs.

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Notably, the threat from active shooters was first identified as a viable concern among security directors in Securitas’ 2016 survey. Previously, it was not considered a top threat by survey respondents from any industry.

Securitas’ biennial TST report reflects the feedback from C-level directors and security managers from Fortune 1000 companies and organizations responsible for the safety and security of people, property and assets. The Securitas USA survey has become a defining resource used by security managers for making data-driven security planning decisions.

The top three physical security threats as identified in the Securitas TST survey are:

  • Active shooter or active assault/assailant threats;
  • Workplace violence prevention/responses;
  • Business continuity planning/organizational resilience.

“The survey makes clear that major organizations view active shooters as a critical threat,” explained Securitas USA Chief Operating Officer, William Barthelemy. “We know from our interactions with clients and other industry executives that addressing this issue from all fronts and at all levels is an on-going priority in almost all organizations.

“While cybersecurity remains a top concern, there are threats to the safety of people and the security of buildings, equipment and other property that may cause considerable, long-lasting harm to an organization, affecting everything from productivity to business continuity. The reality is these threats can come from insiders, people typically not thought to be a primary threat.”

Reflecting the growing concern among executive leadership and boards about the potential effects and implications of security, the survey found that corporate governance has shifted, with a 40 percent increase in the number of security leaders now reporting directly to a CEO or president, compared to the last Securitas TST survey.

“C-suite decision-makers have recognized the need not only for more advanced security, but also for rigorous contingency and business continuity plans,” Barthelemy added.

The most significant change from the previous survey is the ranking of active shooter threats, which jumped from the third- to the second-greatest concern among security leaders. The TST report also includes editorials from security experts, and the active shooter threat is so significant that three of the six editorials are dedicated to the topic:

  • Ensuring Business Continuity After an Active Shooter Event,” Sandy Cowlie, Director of Global Security and Business Continuity at Principal Financial Group
  • Stopping Active Shooters: Bystanders Cannot Merely Stand By,” Konrad Motyka, Director of Security at Mercy College
  • Active Shooter Threats: Taking Action Before the Violence Starts,” Dwayne Gulsby, Securitas Region President

These editorials stress three distinct aspects of dealing with active shooter threats: preparation, response and recovery. In her article, Principal Financial Group’s Cowlie noted that, “The impact of such an event can leave an everlasting imprint on your organization and the lives of your employees. Your recovery won’t be just about returning to your facility and patching bullet holes — it will be a long process of compassion and healing.”

The other editorials in Securitas’ TST report provide context and counsel about how organizations can protect themselves from security threats and how to recover from a significant incident:

  • Designing Safe Schools in Dangerous Times,” Randy Atlas, President of Atlas Security
  • Hostile Terminations: Blending Security with Empathy,” Michael Ainslie, Head of Global Security for Allegis Group
  • Business Continuity Plan: Beyond the Basics,” William Powers, Director of Facilities at Clark Art Institute

“Since our last survey, we’ve seen a notable increase in security measures taken by corporations and organizations. In fact, industry sources show that aggregate U.S. corporate security spending has risen five percent annually over the last several years,” Barthelemy said. “We are also witnessing the desire among our clients to develop customized security procedures for employees working in non-traditional environments, such as shared workspaces and locations far from headquarters. In response, we are expanding our services for clients looking to establish real-time, incident-specific global alerts and/or check-ins with employees stationed or travelling in high-risk areas.”

Sparks Research, an independent national marketing research firm based in Clemson, SC, conducted the survey on behalf of Securitas USA.

To request a copy of the entire report, please visit https://www.securitasinc.com/stand-alone/top-security-threats/.

About Securitas USA

As The Leader in Protective Services, Securitas and its 370,000 employees worldwide help companies of all sizes and industries achieve superior security programs and results. Securitas is the only company that delivers integrated security solutions across the Six Pillars of Protective Services: On-Site, Mobile and Remote Guarding; Electronic Security, Fire & Safety, and Corporate Risk Management.

Securitas USA is committed to building long-lasting partnerships and delivering effective protection services through a thorough understanding of its clients’ security needs. From the back office to the boardroom, warehouse to storefront, Wall Street to Main Street, Securitas leverages people, technology and knowledge to understand and fully respond to our clients’ security requirements.

For more information about Securitas, visit www.securitasinc.com.

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