In today’s uncertain environment it is vital to know what to look for when hiring a security firm. It starts with taking time to identify your needs as well as being prepared with the right questions. As the world becomes more complex, threats continue to proliferate – not just physical threats, but cyber-attacks, identity theft, and a multitude of ways criminals can target you online.
Since the beginning of the pandemic crime has risen and this impacts how companies deal with safeguarding employee security. The recent subway mass shooting in Brooklyn is an example. As the New York Post reports: “Compared to pre-pandemic, 2019 levels, vehicle thefts in March 2022 are up 107%, shootings increased 69%, grand larceny spiked 26%, felony assault is up 22.5% and robberies saw a 37% uptick.”
With numbers continuing to rise, there are a few key things to look for when hiring a security firm.
As common wisdom states, our reputation precedes us. What a past or present client says about a security firm is important. If they have a good reputation, be sure to ask the right questions, such as if they are licensed and insured, what they specialize in, and how long they have been in business.
You can go further and ask about their training process, certifications they’ve received, how often they work with their staff on further training, and continuing education.
Ask for references and see how open they are with you speaking to current clients. Any serious company will offer references from customers happy with their services.
An example is the recent news of two imposters impersonating federal agents to get access to a luxury building. It is important to check an individual or organization’s background. As this Fox News article reports: “The two men are accused of posing as employees of the Department of Homeland Security who were on a special task force related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Prosecutors allege that the men posed as law enforcement officers in order to integrate with legitimate federal agents.”
Impersonating a federal agent is a serious offense, but nothing is off limits these days for criminals. This highlights the number of frauds out there, so when looking to hire a security firm, ask the right questions and ask for references.
Level of experience
This is particularly important when looking for a firm in a special focus. If you are already clear on your needs (which may take some time), it is worth checking if they focus on the problem you need solved. For example, if you are seeking a firm which recovers assets as opposed to one focusing on cyber security, it is wise to research the best fit for your organization.
When it comes to physical security providers it can be helpful to go with a firm that employs retired or off duty police, as they have a deeper understanding of and experience with emergency situations. They can also work more seamlessly with law enforcement if the need arises.
Familiarity with new tech
How up-to-date is this company with new technology? As security challenges go online (ex., fraud, phishing, hacking), working with a team that understands the latest technologies (and is constantly training) is key.
This includes who the organization has on staff, and if they’re consistently up on trends and training their staff. In coming years, an organization’s digital literacy will be key, especially as more criminals go online.
Global reach is key, whether they are a local organization or an international one, especially for complex operations such as asset recovery and pre-litigation research.
As we see with global searches for assets connected to oligarchs close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, investigations are not limited by a country’s borders. This is especially true with anything digital, as we often do not know the online point of origin. We are and will continue to be an interconnected planet, and the firm you work with should reflect that.
This may seem hokey to some, but working with a company in line with your values is key. For some organizations, hiring a security firm with ethically questionable practices is fine, as they may value ruthlessness. But for organizations not interested in cutting corners morally, having a trusted partner is a key to success and critical in mitigating reputational risk.
Sadly, as the world becomes more chaotic, having strong values separates those who ultimately succeed and those who do not.
With all the marketing hype, it can be difficult to choose the right organization for the job, especially for something as important as personal security. The points above should help find the right company to protect your most precious asset – personal safety.