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An ounce of prevention

In the wake of the shooting in Nashville, we have received many inquiries as to what a security risk assessment is, how much they cost and how long they take. These are not easy answers.


The purpose of a security risk assessment is to identify, assess and implement key security controls. A risk assessment will focus on prevention by finding vulnerabilities and defects in your current system. Most consultants will tackle an assessment through the eyes of an attacker or aggressor attempting to discover flaws in your current prevention or response plan. Finally, the assessment may make recommendations regarding new technologies or protocols that should be added to overcome these vulnerabilities.


Most of the calls we received were from small organizations, libraries and smaller businesses that have legitimate concerns but very little budget to carry out a full risk assessment in the traditional corporate sense of the word. It can be very confusing sometimes as a business owner or administrator starting to look at risk assessments. There are a lot of acronyms, a lot of jargon and of course, each firm is different.


For those folks that are calling or reaching out, whether it be to us or other firms, let me suggest what I call a POM Assessment. Don’t ask for that by name if you are calling other firms, they won’t know what that is. You might have to forward them this blog.

A Peace of Mind (POM) Assessment is something we have done for years. While I fully recommend that complete and comprehensive (if not global) assessments are performed at some point, there are ways you can get some peace of mind now. Entrances and Exits. Line of sight safety precautions. Systemic issues amongst employees ignoring current protocols. Notification systems and response timing. All of these are relatively simple subject to tackle in a minimized POM Assessment.


A few years back I performed a risk assessment for a large manufacturer that literally took weeks and cost the company several thousand dollars. It was all completely worth it and necessary, but not everyone has the ability to contract such an assessment at the moment.


Do not be afraid to reach out and request a simpler POM Assessment. This is the perfect way for you to begin working on making your facility, employees and even students safer while you work on contracting a full-scope assessment. Please hear me. I am not advocating for a short, low budget assessment to replace a full-scope or even global assessment, but rather I am suggesting that instead of waiting another calendar year to access budget and receive the buy-in from the powers that be, it may be of life-saving benefit to just get some peace of mind right now.


Reach out and make arrangements for a professional to visit your facility soon. There are a lot of firms out there that are already receiving the same calls I am and to be honest, last week stills weighs heavy on all of us too. We get it.

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