Electronic Technologies vs Non-electronic Technologies
Many folks think this is the question to ask themselves, “Since there is so much electronic technology out there that can replace the human being, then that must be enough”. Actually it’s more of a way of thinking than it is a question.
Security companies have been especially good over the last few years in getting people to believe that their “new widget” is the end-all solution to the security dilemma. The reality is electronic technology is a tool to be used by a person for assessment and analysis. Ultimately, a human must decide what action to take.
Having returned this week from the largest U.S. security industry tradeshow, ISC-West 2017, in Vegas I can tell you there were tens of thousands of people looking for the latest “widget”. Hundreds of companies were professing to have “THE solution”. Granted a lot of progress has been made in the past few years in regards to taking away some of the pitfalls in the security industry. Number one among them is the issue of complacency that comes with standing or sitting monotonous hours of guard duty. Through intelligent analytics and predictive analysis software programs can assist with the assessment. While helpful, in the end a human must decide how to respond.
Which brings us to the use of non-electronic technologies. Security is an everybody business. It cannot be left up to guard personnel or the police. It takes everyone’s “eyes and ears”. Smart companies provide security awareness training to their staff on a regular basis. The training must include how to recognize “wanted and unwanted” behavior, when and how to report it and to whom. Training should also include when to intervene without jeopardizing their own safety or those around them and when reporting unwanted behavior is the first and only course of action. While routine, it cannot be done every Friday afternoon nor can it be the same scenario week after week. The Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, Public Law 109-29, recognizes that training and drills must be a mix of “live, virtual and constructive” scenarios. While this legislation applies to exercise planning for government agencies the same holds true for non-disaster type training in the private sector. Interactive scenarios that challenge staff to think, sometimes outside of the box, will go a long way in making them ready for whatever comes their way.
Relying solely on electronic technologies is not the answer. Nor is it a good idea to exclude these technologies in today’s world. Electronics provide assistance. They should be treated that way – as a tool that helps us do our jobs. Likewise, procedures and policies, including awareness and training, are not definitive solutions either. A good security program will have a combination of electronic technologies intertwined with non-electronic technologies for the protection of all.