From the editor's desk: The human factor

Residential Security Handbook 2022: SMART Estate Living News

In the security world, whether cyber or physical security, we often hear about the risks of ‘the human factor’. It’s common to say that the human factor is the weakest link and this is true. However, it’s also common to blame the human factor risks on guards and other low-paid staff.

Andrew Seldon, Editor

In this year’s Residential Security Handbook: Smart Estate Living, we read more about the human factor and the potential to reduce the number of guards on an estate by using more intelligent technology and remote (or cloud) services. Over the next few years we will be seeing more estates moving in this direction as artificial intelligence (AI) comes into its own and really delivers results.

The one human factor that does come out in this handbook, reading between the lines, is the human risks imposed by those at the top of the pile and by service providers. While certain government people are providing jobs for pals, some estates are providing contracts for pals. The result is the illusion (or is it delusion) that you are living on a secure estate because you trust your HOA or body corporate to make the best decisions. Often, leaving the decisions and budget to people who have no idea of security and don’t understand that a camera is not a camera; nor do they understand what different cameras can or cannot do. (And that is just using surveillance as an example, the same example applies to every aspect of security, even manpower.)

As one of our estate managers intimated during the round table, one murder or rape on the estate and you can watch the value of your expensive investment decline in real-time. But that is only the financial implication. The human factor in terms of stress, fear, trauma and mistrust that results from something like this is not as easily dismissed – but that’s why estates have HOA members to blame and HOA members have a security company to blame and security companies have guards to blame.

So, in the same manner we kick off the editorial in this issue, make sure your estate kicks off its security with a professional and independent risk assessment. Rob Anderson mentions this in his book ‘Secure by Design’, which is reviewed here and we have two copies of the book to give away (

I hope the handbook is a worthwhile read and as always, please send any comments, criticisms or ideas for future issues to [email protected].


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