What will 2012 bring?

March 2012 Security Services & Risk Management

At the Security Africa Summit that took place in Cape Town last year, there was a panel discussion regarding ‘What will 2012 bring?’, with regards the security industry and the threats to corporations.

A great cause for concern, thanks to the heightened pressure of the continued recession, is increased levels of fraud and corruption.

According to the panel, people are moving from a position of greed to a position of need. No longer are corruption issues being driven by those in power and of great influence or persuasion, the man or woman behind the desk, down the hall in the sales or admin office, are finding ways to merely survive. As the old saying goes ‘“desperate times call for desperate measures’ and let us not sugar coat it, for many these are desperate times.

According to the National Debt Mediation Association, the latest statistics show that there are over 6000 South Africans seeking debt counselling assistance monthly. Such pressures could result in an employee resorting to fraudulent or corrupt practices, putting businesses in a very vulnerable position.

We need to acknowledge that corruption will never be eradicated. Not ensuring preparedness to protect from incidences, or procedures to follow if fraud or corruption has occurred, opens you up to reputation sabotage.

Thanks to accessibility of social media and the Internet, as well as the freedom for which these platforms offer community members the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns, one cannot remain ignorant to the challenges surrounding reputation management. A clear and concise communications strategy needs to be in place in order to be proactive in managing your reputation and reacting to threats, whether it is by the media or consumers. Reactive measures will merely fall on deaf ears, you need to take on an entrepreneurial attitude and become effectively consumer focused.

Security is clearly a necessity and has to become an executive function. Perception that the police force is the only party responsible for security needs to change; business and community members can make a difference. We also cannot place security companies at the door or gate and hope the mere presence will deter criminal activities. You first need to ensure the security company is compliant according to the Private Security Regulation Act. Do they screen their employees and do their employees have the necessary skills to execute their responsibilities? Cutting corners because a security service provider offers a cheap rate can have far greater ramifications than one realises.

Additionally, an internal security plan needs to be implemented with clear policies and procedures that are relayed to your employees. It is imperative that your employees also understand these policies and there is a clear line of reporting if any issues arise within the workplace. This can go a long way to preventing suspicious and criminal behaviour.

As I previously mentioned, corruption is not going to be eliminated, but it can be curbed. It is about pulling all your resources together and building solid walls of defence.

Jenny Reid
Jenny Reid

For more information contact iFacts, +27 (0)82 600 8225, [email protected]


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