Importance of Teamwork in Security

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Security managers have to develop a team to handle risk management.Working as a manager in safety and security often means developing a team of professionals who can handle all aspects of risk management. Together, these teams help companies with protection issues such as:

  • Information security
  • Personnel protection
  • Threat analysis
  • Technological adaptation
  • Resource allocation

A strong technical team is crucial, making teamwork in security a vital part of businesses large and small, Cortney Thompson, chief technology officer of Green House Data, told Entrepreneur.

“Security teams are the most effective when security is baked into the entire company culture. Founders may not have the luxury of hiring someone for whom security is their only job, but it does have to be someone’s job,” Thompson said.

An online emergency management degree program such as Eastern Kentucky University’s Master of Science in Safety, Security & Emergency Management offers courses in safety management that can prepare graduates for careers in corporate security administration.

How Managers Can Hire the Best Security Professionals

Building an effective security and safety team that works well together starts with recruiting the best candidates for the job, Arne Josefsberg, former chief information officer of GoDaddy, told Entrepreneur.

He suggests hiring people who are “well connected to the industry, who will leverage established best practices and tools and who are comfortable leveraging services vs. trying to build everything from scratch.”

Here are several other ways that managers can hire the most qualified security professionals for their company’s needs:

  • Attract the right candidates. Job postings “should clearly promote the benefits and opportunities of being part of your team,” Christina Duffey, senior vice president of SOS Security LLC, wrote in a 2018 blog on the company website.
  • Vet applicants thoroughly. Josefsberg recommends taking a close look at applicants’ credentials.

“There are many excellent, technically skilled people out there but also many who exaggerate their experiences and expertise,” he said in Entrepreneur. “The security community is fairly tight-knit, though, so there’s a good opportunity to both validate and find strong candidates by reaching out to your network of companies.”

  • Bring on people from within when possible. Pravin Kothari, founder and CEO of CipherCloud, explained to Entrepreneur that teamwork in security starts with hiring from within the network, if possible, because “the initial team has to be strong and trusted.”
  • Hire to fit a company’s needs. Security teams look different for every company. Some large corporations have dedicated security teams, while small businesses may need to look at different options, such as hiring a technical expert familiar with security practices, said Kothari.

Additionally, Duffey said companies should take three factors taken into consideration when building an effective security team:

  • Paying employees livable wages. Offering sufficient compensation can “reduce your officers from having to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, which is so common today.”
  • Offering shift preference to accommodate work-life balance. “Happiness surveysconsistently correlate time spent on commuting to satisfactions or dissatisfaction. Many new recruits tell themselves – and potential employers – that a lengthy commute is doable. While the applicant will agree to a location or shift that is not ideal, they will likely continue looking for another job until they meet this basic need.”
  • Considering travel distances between people’s homes and the office. A schedule that “meets family and lifestyle expectations is also just as critical.”

“Once you get these three elements right, you have the foundation on which to build a solid team,” she said. Not meeting those needs could drive security professionals and leave companies with what she called a “revolving door.”

Components of an Effective Security Team

Businesses are seeing increased demands for customer service, technology, and threat monitoring, according to Duffey, and security work is evolving as a result. Meeting those demands means that teamwork in security has become a top priority. Components that companies should consider when creating an effective security team include:

  • Strong leadership. Effective teams have great leaders, Kelly Stewart, managing director and CEO of Newcastle Consulting, LLC, a security risk management consultancy, wrote in “It Takes Teamwork” in Security Management magazine, a publication of ASIS International. Leaders should be able to “craft and hone a vision, express that vision and own it enthusiastically at all times, and continuously drive it to complete realization,” he wrote.
  • Encouraging synergy outside of the office can also help build an effective security team too, Ray Potter, CEO of SafeLogic, told Entrepreneur. “If security folks are grabbing drinks after work with sales folks, they will work better together on a day-to-day basis,” he said. Potter also noted that a team’s synergy will result in increased “user-friendly tools, higher transparency and increased security with little hindrance to top-line revenue goals.”
  • When building teamwork in security, “communication and recognition goes a long way, Duffey said, because employees “want to be respected, informed, and appreciated.”
  • Teaching the business side of security. Duffey also noted the critical importance of teaching security teams about the business of security. Sharing information about long-term security strategies, learning how to budget, and how to fuse current systems and technologies into the overall strategy can help team members feel like a part of a company’s big picture.
  • “Collaboration is essential for security to be perceived as an integral part of an organization’s business objectives,” Stewart wrote. Internal cooperation allows teams to share safety and security information to everyone within a business.

Managers should also consider what Stewart called “key elements and principles of effective teamwork” when working toward common goals.

“These successful teams will work together and share responsibilities, holding each member accountable for attaining the desired results,” he said.

Eastern Kentucky University’s Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management Program (MSSSEM)

Creating a safety management plan and putting it into effect is one of the many critical responsibilities for which MSSSEM degree-holders are educated.

Earning a master’s in emergency management from Eastern Kentucky University can prepare security professionals for careers in government or the private sector. Students can choose from these concentrations: corporate security operations, occupational safety, or emergency management and disaster resilience. For more information, contact EKU today.

Recommended Reading:

Intelligence Gathering for Corporate Security

7 Essentials to Risk Identification

4 Security Management Jobs That Could Be Perfect for You


Online Master of Science in Safety, Security and Emergency Management with a concentration in Corporate Security Management Curriculum: Eastern Kentucky University

Here’s How to Build a Strong Security Team to Keep Your Company Safe and Sound: Entrepreneur

7 Tips to Build and Maintain Effective Security Officer Teams: SOS Security

It Takes Teamwork: ASIS International

J. Kelly Stewart: New Castle Consulting