conducted a survey of its members in January in an effort to assess the impact of the current economic environment. The survey respondents were asked about the economic impact on the security functions of their organizations during the previous six months (June-December 2008). ASIS is the preeminent organization for security management professionals worldwide.
Names were randomly selected from lists of members of the CSO Roundtable
and ASIS members who are practitioners with management responsibility. These two groups were targeted in order to provide a perspective both from chief security officers of the largest and most influential organizations around the world, as well as security managers representing a cross-section of employers. All of the respondents spend all or most of their time directly managing or providing security services for their employers.
Results indicate that the need for security has increased in the current economic climate. Indications are stronger among the CSOs, with 78% reporting an increase, compared to 66% of the managers.
Reasons cited for the increased need differ by group, and ostensibly by size of company, since the security managers tend to work for smaller organizations. General increases in crime and theft, followed by employee lay-offs and furloughs, topped the CSOs’ list of reasons. Security managers, on the other hand, reported increases in theft of, and damage to, physical property, as their primary concerns.
Both groups had similar experiences in terms of direct impacts, most frequently reporting travel budget restrictions and postponements/freezes in new hires. Other concerns involve reductions in professional development and training budget restrictions, and the postponement or freezes in purchasing security equipment and technology.
CSOs, in general, are better prepared to manage security services if significant reductions in resources occur, with nearly three out of five reporting that they have formal contingency plans in place. On the other hand, less than half of the responding security managers were in a similar position.
While there was some commonality between the contingency plan characteristics reported by each group, the CSO characteristics tended to be more strategic in nature, with greater conformity to the concept of enterprise risk management.
For a more detailed summary of the survey results, click here.