Archive for February, 2015

Drones in the Security Field

Since last year drones frequently make the news. In December of last year, a passenger jet approaching London Heathrow airport almost collided with a drone, with potentially catastrophic effects. This was one of the many incidents around airports. This year, on January 27th a drone evaded White House radar and landed on the White House grounds. An off-duty employee for a government intelligence agency flew his friend’s drone, a 2-foot-by-2-foot quadcopter. He operated it from an apartment just a few blocks from the White House and then lost control of the drone, caused by the wind, trees or his state of mind.

The technological developments over the last 10 years have made these drones more reliable with increased capabilities. This has led to increased popularity, leading to higher demand allowing for lower price levels. The boom in their popularity has not only created a large group of amateur enthusiasts but has also made corporations eager to use it for business. As in many instances the military has lead the way in pushing further technological developments so drones could be used for recognizance and attacks for wars in the Middle East. Many of these enhancements can now be found in the drones available for commercial use.

When drones hit the news, the stories evolve mostly around them circumventing security or creating dangerous situations. However there is an increase in use of drones to do the opposite: creation of a more secure environment. Drones can be equipped by high-resolution cameras and used to inspect pipelines or a large plant perimeter for example. When drones are considered for a security program, it is important to understand the possibilities and limitations. When it comes to patrolling a perimeter, a comparison should be made between use of drones, video guard tour using a properly designed CCTV system and guard patrols done on foot or by vehicle. Potentially a hybrid solution will give the optimum security coverage, but as always it starts with an extensive security audit to determine the vulnerabilities and risks. With the results of an audit, a security program can be developed and drones may be playing a larger part in the future.

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Mr. Jones? I Will Take You to Your Destination

This past weekend I had to pick up my wife and her friends from the Toronto International Airport from the arrivals lounge after a week-long ‘girls only’ trip to a sunny, warmer, southern paradise. While I was waiting for them to go through customs, collect their luggage and exit the baggage area, I noticed several transportation company representatives displaying placards with names on them. They all seemed to be acquaintances as they were very friendly to each other and shared stories. They were obviously there to pick up specific passengers and take them to their final destination. Now, I don’t know how secure these transfers are, or whether the passengers know them, but it struck me as odd that the passengers acknowledged their name on the placards and then left with the representative without any obvious verification of identity or trading of secret validation script or password to ensure they were getting into the car with the right company/person.

I wondered how easy it would be for someone to falsely represent him or herself and abduct an unsuspecting traveller? Now, I am sure all was in order, but being in the security business and exposed to stories of the dangers of international travel, especially to countries with crime and terrorism concerns, I also wondered what measures did the company the passenger worked for take to ensure their Duty of Care obligations were met? And, what measures did the transportation company take to ensure the identity and background of their representative? Is a thorough background check a mandatory requirement for employment?

Personally I’ve always felt most comfortable when travelling for personal reasons; when I’ve arranged airport transportation with a company I know and drivers that I’ve met before.

For those of you who read my last blog entry, I am pleased to tell you that I wrote down where I parked at the airport and found my car without incident. The ‘girls’ had no knowledge of my paranoia.

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I recently read an article from Forbes, “14 Things You Should do at the Start of Every Work Day” where it states, “the first few hours of the work day can have a significant effect on your level of productivity over the following eight—so it’s important you have a morning routine that sets you up for success.”

While reading this article, I quickly realized no matter what industry you work in or position you hold, a bad start to your morning creates a domino effect for the rest of the day and potentially for your colleagues as well.

The security industry is a 24/7 service.

For management working in the security field, making themselves available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has become the norm. Nonetheless, “having a good start to the day where you have greater control is critical in achieving better results, and ultimately greater career success,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant. Managing your time and controlling your schedule becomes essential.

For field personnel, it is industry protocol for a security guard to make it to work 15 minutes prior to the start of their shift. Taking proactive measures and checking the weather conditions, road closures, and traffic to ensure diligence in the preparation and organization of your day is fundamental to a successful daily start. Arriving on time, gives a chance for the security guard on shift to brief the relieving guard on any prior incidents or activities. In addition, a security guard is the first person seen when entering the premises. Thus professionalism, deportment and customer service is critical for our clients’ employees when starting their day positively.

Sometimes we are so focused on advancing ourselves, that we tend to forget about the fundamentals. Set yourself up for success, and have a great morning!


* Jacquelyn Smith

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