Embedded Services in the Security Industry – what you should consider when building your security program.
Many companies have been hit with layoffs; few have seen a reduction in their security needs. Due to a growing climate crisis, residual impacts from the COVID pandemic, and the war in Ukraine, there has been an increased demand to monitor:
1. Political Instability/ Social Unrest: Companies operating in regions with political instability or frequent changes in government may face risks such as civil unrest, riots, or expropriation of assets.
2. Natural Disasters: Companies with global operations need to consider the risks associated with natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, which can damage facilities and disrupt operations.
3. Supply Chain Security: The security of supply chains is vital for global companies. Theft, tampering, or disruption of the supply chain can have severe consequences.
That coupled with concerns around:
1. Intellectual Property Theft: Protecting intellectual property is crucial, as industrial espionage and theft of trade secrets can impact a company's competitive advantage.
2. Corporate Espionage: Global companies can be targeted by competitors or other entities seeking to steal sensitive information or disrupt operations.
3. Employee Safety: Ensuring the safety of employees in different regions. This includes providing training and resources for personal safety and emergency situations including Travel Security, Facility Security, Transportation Security.
It’s clear that building a robust security program is essential in today’s world. However, as budgets are reduced, security leaders are forced to accomplish more with less, and, in an industry where peoples’ lives are on the line, we must innovate to deliver high quality output.
One creative way to work around budget constraints is to carve out a portion of your team to be permanently embedded. Though this has been the practice for various corporate functions for a while, such as guard forces or facility management, we see it’s now advantageous for Security/Intelligence functions as well.
Keeping your core team of FTEs as strategic leads, you can reduce budget spend by having operational needs executed with an embedded team. The high-quality talent pool of Intelligence professionals ensures your intelligence (crisis management, GSOC, protective intel) function continues to operate at a high level.
However, before you go out and contract a vendor to build out your embedded team, keep these best practices in mind:
1. Find a vendor that specializes in what you want the team to execute on. If you are looking to build a team that works on protective intel, make sure the vendor you choose has experience with protective intel. Many vendors will promise you the moon but do your homework and ask about what they specialize in i.e., Incident response, intel, traditional staffing, etc.
2. Ask vendors how they treat their employees. Does the vendor offer a comprehensive 401k plan for all their employees? Do they offer comprehensive health care packages? Ask questions on how the vendor takes care of their employees to see if your core values are aligned. Contracting with a vendor who is solely focused on increasing their margin will lead to high turnover rates for your team ultimately impacting the quality of the services you receive.
3. Ask vendors for references. Who else has the vendor provided similar services for? Are they willing to provide a reference as testament to the service provided and quality of the vendor?
4. Make sure your vendor can provide a needs assessment at your request. Your requirement will be specific to your needs as a company and a “cookie cutter” service will not be optimised – ask how the vendor will specifically address your requirements and concerns.
5. Meet the people who operationalise the service – not just their sales team. Meeting the people who will run your program is an important aspect when adding embedded services. After all, you will be working with the operations team and not the folks pitching you a deal.
6. Make sure they can adapt to your companies needs in both strategy and growth. If you adhere to a follow the sun model you need to make sure the vendor that you select has capabilities to hire in region in addition to making sure they can keep up with your organization’s growth.
7. Ask them about their recruitment process. Make sure you understand the recruitment process to ensure the talent you receive can deliver on your needs.
Lisa Zaripov is Sibylline’s Head of Embed Operations. To learn more about our Embed solutions, contact us via the link below.