What Is Corporate Security? A Complete Guide to Improving Security at Your Company
Imagine a hand-to-hand fighter with the power to anticipate punches before an opponent threw them: they’d be invincible. In this scenario, intuition built over time through skill development is a game-changing asset that benefits the fighter. Likewise, consider your corporate security policy as anticipatory training, helping your enterprise mitigate potential security threats and plan a strong corporate defense in case of an incident or breach.
Transforming your security approach from “reactive” to “proactive” requires a deep understanding of corporate security, why it matters, and how to build the most vigorous defense possible. Training your team and committing to continuous improvement prepares your organization for battle and increases the likelihood of winning if and when a fight occurs. To help you build the strongest corporate security defense, we’ve developed this guide outlining the key components of corporate security and why it matters, how to build and implement a security plan, improve an existing plan, and preserve your profits.
4 Key Components of Corporate Security
Before building a corporate security plan or improving an existing one, we need to know the central elements of security: legalities, preexisting risk, integration, and collaboration. These four functions work together to create a strong foundation for your policy, helping make sure every part of your enterprise is safe from unnecessary security risks.
Corporate security identifies and implements all necessary legal measures
Corporate security policies exist to protect your enterprise from any kind of unlawful activity and to provide legal support when incidents occur. The only way to ensure the success of these goals is to develop your policies with legal precedent in mind. Knowing which laws are most likely to be violated—even unintentionally—and which work to help protect your team helps guarantee legal compliance and keeps your enterprise functioning within regulation.
If you’re not sure where to start, researching federal and state security laws can help you understand not only national expectations for corporate security policies but stats and industry expectations as well.
Corporate security manages security risks in the company
According to the FBI’s most recent crime clock in 2019, a robbery is committed every two minutes, and a property crime every 4.6 seconds. This only accounts for physical crimes. When we consider IP violations and data theft or data breaches, overall crime numbers rise even higher.
No matter what industry your enterprise serves, risk is inevitable, and you could become a target of a physical or digital incident. An effective corporate security policy reflects an understanding of your areas of risk and proactively protects those weak points to avoid a breach.
If you’re not confident your current policy fully protects your enterprise or aren’t sure what assets open you up to risk, it’s time to dig in. Investigate past incidents your enterprise has experienced and look for patterns of similar breaches.
If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid incidents thus far, it’s still important to anticipate challenges and effectively manage your risk. Research incidents your competitors have experienced through industry reports, your local news station, or digital publications, and use that information to help safeguard your security and plan ahead.
Corporate security is one of the central company operations
Another indicator of a company with a strong corporate security policy is when every department, team, and employee of a given company receives training on relevant policies for their position and demonstrates ownership over security.
Knowing when to use secure connections, protect information, and report incidents as needed all demonstrate ownership. Look for a united understanding of corporate security as an indicator of its strength within your company. If it doesn’t appear to be a crucial operation prioritized across all teams, you’ve discovered a great area for improvement.
Corporate security is implemented in collaboration with other functions and teams
Corporate security must also be a team effort across your whole enterprise. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Maintaining corporate collaborations like company-wide training, incident drills, and recognizing teams or employees who go above and beyond to implement corporate security minimize “weak links” that could hinder progress and keep your enterprise united.
Why Corporate Security Matters
A solid knowledge of corporate security and how to build a working definition of what a corporate security plan means for your company is a great start. However, it’s useless without understanding why you need it in the first place. Forbes recently reported that 30% of 18- to-24-year-old professionals knowingly bypass corporate security measures to make their jobs easier, which unintentionally leaves enterprises open to increased risk. It’s likely your team isn’t respecting corporate security because they don’t understand its importance. Every employee should understand that risk is real and constantly changing in order to put the value of mitigating it into perspective.
Risk is real
CNBC reports a majority of small business owners are unconcerned about being the victim of a cybercrime. However, Connected’s Bill Virtue shares that in reality, every organization has or will experience some type of security-related incident. Whether it’s a data breach, storefront break-in, or accidental misuse of confidential information, incidents happen, and a thorough corporate security policy can help manage this very real risk.
Risk is constantly evolving
According to Forbes, there’s been a 300% increase in security breaches in the last two years alone. With the average incident costing $3.86 million, it often takes companies years to recover, and some never do.
Many companies that experience a significant incident do so because they haven’t advanced or expanded their corporate security to mitigate evolving risk. As ecommerce, remote work, and global events keep changing the risk landscape, your security landscape must also evolve to adequately protect your enterprise.
How To Build Your Corporate Security Plan and Put It Into Action
Now that you know what corporate security is and how it’s crucial in protecting your organization from potential threats, it’s time to build and implement a workable plan that can grow and change with your team. This process can be easily broken down into three parts: analysis, incident response, and recording.
Analyze your security needs
You’ve uncovered corporate security needs during the initial policy planning stages as you investigated past incidents, measured existing risk, and learned from other similar companies. Your business’s security needs are unique. So, your corporate security policies should be uniquely developed to meet them.
If you’re not sure which policies your enterprise should consider or where to start, here’s a list of some of our must-have corporate security policies to help you get started.
Define and address incident response (before you need to)
While it’s crucial to define your policies to prevent incidents and help employees remain in compliance, what happens when a breach or incident actually occurs is just as vital. Pieter Danhieux, the co-founder/CEO of security firm Secure Code Warrior, recently shared in a Forbes article, “If Your Security Program Is Focused On Incident Response, You’re Doing It Wrong,”
The problem [with incident response-first strategies] is that this reactive strategy is where too many businesses concentrate their time, resources and effort instead of working up-front to prevent [….] and reduce the potential severity of those that occur. It’s a little bit like calling an ambulance for a suspected heart attack. The outcome is often a lot less positive — not to mention more damaging — than if preventative health measures had been in force before it was too late.
Proactively identify what an incident is, who should report it, how to do so, and what happens after a report is made. Creating this plan helps your enterprise move forward with confidence instead of just awaiting potential roadblocks, as many of your competitors might be doing.
Build and execute your security plan
Now that we know the value of good corporate security and how to determine your needed policies on the front end, it’s time to document your plan and put it into action. Use risk assessments (conducted during planning) and incident history to outline your plan in accordance with federal and state guidelines and collaborate across departments to ensure you’re creating a draft that effectively protects your entire enterprise.
Once this is done, it can be tempting to send out a company-wide email outlining the new policies and call it a day. However, it’s wiser to actively engage employees by ensuring total awareness with every team member.
A few helpful ways to do this include:
- Document your security plan on paper to provide clear guidelines and points of reference that can be posted around the office (or easily printed in a home office)
- Send regular reminders on proper security and usage protocols to proactively empower employees to follow your plan, or make it a point to communicate similar messaging at all-team meetings
- Incentivize security compliance by rewarding incident reporters or recognizing teams going above-and-beyond to practice smart corporate security
Feel like you still need more information to help build and implement an effective corporate security plan? This article outlines an in-depth six-step process to help your team ideate, create, and implement the security plan needed to help your senior security officer sleep at night.
3 Tips to Improve Your Company’s Corporate Security
Work happens from everywhere—coffee shops, at home, and even on airplanes or public transportation. Meaning, your information needs to be protected everywhere.
Even if every team member understands what corporate security is and why it’s vital to keep your enterprise safe, and you have a solid security plan documented and in place, putting that knowledge into practice takes time and intentional planning to execute. Here are a few ways to help improve your existing corporate security plan and your team’s attitude toward it.
Embed a security-first mindset
The most effective corporate security policies go beyond outlining proper usage. They also empower employees to follow them successfully by instilling security as a central, corporate thought.
The term “security-first mindset” can have different meanings from person to person and from one company to another. This is exactly why unifying your team—to have the same understanding of what your security policy says, why it matters, and how they can follow it—is so important. When an employee exemplifies a security-first mindset, they can identify, look for, and properly report real or potential security threats. Imagine how powerful your enterprise could be if each team member had this same mindset.
Get everyone involved
It’s nearly impossible to embed a security-first mindset across your enterprise without getting everyone involved and making them passionate about corporate security advocacy. Similar to our tips for effectively implementing your corporate security plan, the best way to find your security advocates is to identify employees already passionate about maintaining your security and incentivize their help.
All-team training and regular analysis to see where your policies need to evolve also help team members feel protected and valued since you’re putting them first and building a living policy that protects all parties.
Protect your profits
Whether you have brick-and-mortar locations or work with digital products and services, anticipating incidents like breaches or theft provides extra support to proactive security and engaged employees.
Active loss prevention methods like storefront organization and security, team training, and technological advancements work together to minimize retail shrink and help you form an additional strategy to keep your products safer. For more information on improving corporate security by protecting your profits, check out this complete article.
Moving Your Corporate Security Forward
The marketplace will continue to change with dispersed and remote work and technological advancements raising the stakes. No matter how or when they arise, your enterprise must be prepared to fight inevitable security threats. Proactive preparation and continued training of what corporate security is, why it matters, and how to build or improve an existing corporate security policy help cover all your bases.
However, why be content to cover your bases when you can elevate the game? Effective risk solutions can also cover your blind spots and help you better understand areas of active risk. The right risk management partner can empower you to make the quick, effective decisions needed to move your business forward while protecting your people and your assets.
At Resolver, our sophisticated, easy-to-use solutions are designed to help your growing enterprise reach new heights. Whether you need improved corporate security, best-in-class risk and compliance, or experienced IT management, Resolver’s technology and data-driven reporting help you drive your business forward. Contact us today to request your demo and see how our solutions can work for you.