The following analysis and recommendation was prepares in response to a request for add more personnel to our security force. There are four options available for consideration, namely proprietary, contract, hybrid and virtual.
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The oldest security system is the proprietary, or in-house, security force. A proprietary system works in and for the “ parent business” (Ortmeier, 2004). Indeed, a proprietary system is an integral part of the staff and similar to any other company department such as administration, engineering and sales. The only difference is the focus; which for the proprietary system is to ensure that safety and security of company personnel and assets. Accordingly, a proprietary system provides the range of security services from guards, patrols, alarms, executive protection, investigative services and pre-employment screening all under the direct control and supervision of the company management (Ortmeier, 2004). In addition to close control and supervisor there are a number of other advantages in choosing a proprietary system. Those advantages that are relevant to our situation include: a security system “ cut to fit” the specific circumstances of the business and assurance that the security staff is trained to our standards and supports the interests of the company Furthermore; because members of a proprietary system are actual company staff, it is more easy to develop company loyalty, staff stability and integration into the company environment. Naturally, there are also a number of disadvantages to a propriety system. First, keeping an in-house security forces takes valuable time, resources and personnel from our primary focus on building the best high-tech auto components possible. Second, if there is a security breach, there would be less possibility to mitigate or avoid liability. To be sure, we would most likely be found liable since the breach occurred under our own security staff.
A contract, or outsourced, security system is one which all security services are “ contracted out” to an independent security company. A contract system would provide the same security services as a proprietary system but with a number of clear advantages. First, a contract system provides security specialization and expertise so that the company can feel confidence in that their personnel and assets are getting the best protection possible. Second, a contract system can reduce expenses that would normally go to recruiting, training, employing and the administration of an in-house force. Third, a contract system increases the company’s decisional flexibility in a wide range of matters from staffing numbers to changes in business and security conditions. Moreover, a contracting system not only allows the company to focus on its core business, but it also allows the company to distribute risk. Indeed, should a breach occur, the company will only be liable for those areas that it has control over, every else would be the responsibility of the contract system. Similarly to the propriety system, however, there are some disadvantages to the contract system including poor or inadequate training, diverging interests between the contractor and parent business, lack of staff stability with the contractor. It is important to note that one of the key disadvantages is the loss of control and supervision over the contractor’s personnel.
The third option is a hybrid security system. As the name implies, the hybrid system includes characteristics of both a proprietary and contract system. For example, in using a hybrid system, a company, on the one hand, may contract out for the more basic security services such as perimeter protection, checkpoints and access control, and video surveillance. On the other hand, it would keep a small proprietary staff to handle internal issues such as pre-employment screening and executive protection. The advantages of a hybrid system are that it can be organized to focus on the advantages of both the proprietary and contract systems while limiting or eliminate their disadvantages. Moreover, a hybrid system would allow each part to work in the areas best suited for them. For example, checkpoint and access control might be a fundamental skill of a contract system but not a proprietary staff with limited personnel. Alternatively, fraud monitoring or intellectual property would be easier for an propriety system were the staff is seamlessly integrated with other company staff than a contractor who has little or no contact with “ inside” staff members. The disadvantages of a hybrid system include poor coordination between security systems and the proper distribution of risk and liability for security breaches.
Lastly, the virtual security system is the least common option. A virtual security system refers to a security disparate security structure where responsibilities are spread across the whole organization. In a virtual system, there is neither a dedicated proprietary nor contract system. Instead, each department is responsible for its own security or specific personnel from an existing department such as human resources or management is assigned security management responsibilities often in addition to other non-security responsibilities (Ortmeier, 2004). The advantages of a virtual system are that it creates a company-wide diffusion of security where all staff members have a direct stake in and responsibility for the security of the company. The disadvantages are that the company is only as secure as its weakest link and if one or a few staff members are deficient in performing their security responsibilities the whole company is put at risk. Furthermore, as with a proprietary system, all risk and liability will remain completely with the company.
Based on the particular circumstances of our company, namely that it is a medium-sized company producing high-tech components for a large international client; and considering the options available, we recommend a hybrid security organization. As mentioned, a hybrid security system will provide the necessary basic security services including the physical protection of the factory. This, in turn, will free our proprietary security staff to focus on specific issues of concern about our product and client including any issues in the international transportation of the product, protecting the product for being faked in markets abroad and ensuring company compliance with the multitude of national and international licenses, laws, certifications and regulations that are necessary for the sale of our products. While a hybrid system does include the possibility of liability falling to us, the fact that each system work at its strength suggests that we should be able to decrease the possibility that a breach will occur.
Ortmeier, P. J. (2004) Security Management: An Introduction (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River: NJ: Prentice Hall.
Ortmeier, P. J. (1999). Public Safety and Security Administration. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Zalud, B. (2007, Feb. 1). Enterprise-wide Alignment Drives Contract or Proprietary Decisions. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://www. securitymagazine. com/articles/78349-enterprise-wide-alignment-drives-contract-or-proprietary-decision-1