The UK security sector has seen many changes take place within the last 12 months: As a nation, we witnessed a slow and progressive economic recovery as we made it through another lockdown. As a collective, we experienced an unprecedented time in the history of humanity, like nothing we have ever seen before. In an age of uncertainty and technological disruption, the ways in which we respond to security threats has changed overnight.

The year 2021 is a year we will never forget.

As the security landscape changed, so too did the ways in which we responded to threats, and the resulting frameworks we implemented as a result. The UK security sector had no other choice than to be 10 steps ahead of the game at all times, and all hours. Our task as an industry was to create the blueprint for the times ahead, ensuring the safety and well being of the general population would be safeguarded, at all costs.

When we review the last 12 months objectively, 2021 showed a startling increase in crimes such as theft, criminal damage, burglaries and anti-social behaviour. From March 2021, monthly police recorded crime (excluding fraud and computer misuse) was higher compared with 2020. Fast forward to April 2021, and we saw a 30% increase on reported crimes compared with the previous year, reflecting the impact of the first spring 2020 national lock down.

Opportunist thieves, hackers, and their expansive networks took advantage of the new mask mandates, and legacy systems. The influx of constantly changing rules, laws, and information that were initially introduced, edited, and re-dispersed throughout the year created a mass confusion amongst the general population. This uncertainty, coupled with the ever-changing priorities of those working throughout the pandemic provided many more opportunities for such networks to thrive.

In June 2021, monthly police recorded crime figures rose to an increase of 18% higher than in June 2020. This is the first recorded figure (excluding fraud and computer misuse), which is higher than its respective month in 2019, since February 2020. According to UKCrimeStats, there were a total of 507,306 reported crimes in July 2021, leading to an increase of 7% compared to April’s 473,396.

Whilst the masses were focused on COVID-19, criminal gangs were focusing their attentions elsewhere. The ‘new normal’ gave such networks the opportunity to flourish.

2021 was a year of lessons and deep learning for many of us, however, it also gave us great insight and wisdom for the future. Whether you’re a CFO drawing up the security budget for the year ahead, a CISO looking to factor in additional retail security measures, or an intelligence analyst on the brink of winning that big contract, the Sealed–Coded–Stored Framework offers a practical and insightful framework for all.

Working closely with our clients to develop a comprehensive security services strategy for 2022, the security guards and personnel at Professional Alert Security have identified the following areas for you to include in your 2022 security risk assessment.

Agile Workforce

The importance of an agile workforce has never been so relevant and applicable to the working culture of today. Security services personnel must be agile, responsive, and able to adapt quickly to any new and emerging threats. If you haven’t already, now is the time to introduce an agile methodology to your workforce.

Identify the Risks

Identify the risks by ascertaining the difference between asset, threat and vulnerability. Outdated legacy systems, overused passwords and untrained staff for example can have severe repercussions on a business’s ability to remain financially sustainable. Security Guards must be fully trained, and up to date with the latest threats, government guidance and technology. Review and update all CCTV and surveillance systems, and take the opportunity to introduce an in-house security framework.  Having a framework that is applicable to your organisational culture, and adaptable to your clients/customers is a 2022 must-have.

Book Your Professional Security Risk Assessment Now

Once you have fully analysed and evaluated the risks, make a contingency plan and ensure you have back-up at all times. Leaving your premises and properties unmanned can act as an open invitation to intruders, and hiring receptionists who aren’t security aware can be detrimental to your business. Opt for a diverse range of security services, and a team you can trust.

Ready to book  your security risk assessment for 2022? This January, the security guards and researchers at Professional Alert Security will be publicly releasing our Security Framework, Sealed-Coded-Stored to the public. If you are ready to book your risk assessment with a team of security experts, call the team on 0161 277 7812, or drop us an email at [email protected]