People often say that they are looking for a Security Consultant, but have you ever asked yourself what a Consultant really is?
Is it a salesperson who wants to make a sale to get commission, or is it someone who understands security?
There are a lot of people who call themselves Security Consultants, but the difference lies in the understanding of security and risk.
Security Risk Assessment
A consultant that does not understand risk, cannot understand security.
Security is ultimately the ‘solution’ that will eliminate the risk. Risk provides the opportunity for a threat to succeed.
In other words, where a risk exists, the opportunity for crime exists and the threat, which is the criminal, will always look for the opportunity to successfully commit a crime.
If there is no opportunity, he will not be able to commit the crime and will, therefore, attempt elsewhere.
So, this leads me to ask; what is the definition of a Security Consultant?
At Alwinco, a consultant is not there to sell you security hardware or software. A consultant is there to provide you with advice regarding your security.
To enable us to provide advice regarding your security, we need to understand risk.
Stopping the risk is what security should be all about.
No Risk = No Opportunity = No Crime.
A lot of people consider themselves as Security Consultants simply because they were in the police force or used to work for a security company or something similar.
A true security consultant will tell you what the risks are, and after conducting proper and in-depth research, he will be able to provide you with viable, feasible and risk-specific solutions that are tailor-made to suit your risks. He will not try to sell specific security hardware or software as this should not be his main goal or even part of the goal.
In our opinion, the best way to do due diligence when approaching a so-called consultant is to ask them for articles that they wrote that has been published. This will give you an idea of their approach to security as well as the type of security consultants they are.
Different Types of Crime and Security Risk
They should be able to tell you about the different forms of crime, for example; outer crime and inner crime. Do they cater for security measures pertaining to public violence?
To be very blunt, most of the ‘Security Consultants’ that I have been in contact with since 2003, is nothing more than glorified salespersons.
They understand their products and they are focused on selling their products. They do not understand the risk and can therefore not understand what security measures will ultimately eliminate the risks.
They want the risk to fit the solutions, not the solution to fit the risk. You cannot alter a disease just because the chemist does not have the specific medication available. Flu medicine will not help for stomach ulcers. In fact, it might even make it worse. At best, the medication might sedate you or relieve other symptoms, but in the end, it will not help with the stomach ulcer.
The same applies to using the right security hardware for the identified risks.
As simple as that.
Fixing the Security
Unfortunately, we have quite a bit of experience in fixing security after a glorified salesperson gave clients advice on security without knowing or understanding the risks involved.
Not only is this dangerous, but it is also very expensive as you often end up paying double compared to what you would have paid initially if the risks were identified and the solutions were applied in accordance with the risks.
No two properties risks are ever the same. Some might have a risk pertaining to management or perhaps access control. Others’ risk lies in the habits or lack of security awareness. The list is endless and far too unique to have a generic solution.
I hope that this clarifies the difference between a Security Consultant and a Sales Consultant.
Written by Andre Mundell