5 Tips: Before Conducting your Next Physical Security Assessment

It requires a highly skilled security professional to conduct a comprehensive security assessment. Similar to every military-minded operation, preparation and intelligence collection are the keys to success. By using the EasySet platform and by practicing these five tips below, save more time than ever before creating exceptional assessments.

1. Open Source Intelligence - Once you get a request from a client for a vulnerability assessment, examine their website which will provide intelligence as to the nature and use case of the facility, scope of operations, different programs, working hours, activity types (outdoor/indoor), typical visitors, potential security vulnerabilities (pictures/emails/phone numbers/events), additional tenants and more. This knowledge provides the assessor with substantial insight in addition to tailoring on-site interview questions for decision makers.

2. Imagery Reconnaissance - Satellite, bird's-eye and street view all provide the assessor with different vantage points of the assessed location to include the perimeter, hazards, critical infrastructure, perimeter vulnerabilities and more. Online pictures can often demonstrate insufficient procedures such as an open gate or a door captured on Google street view. Intelligence used correctly builds the assessor’s credibility. Further, printing a map, especially of a large site can come in handy during the survey. Google maps and Google Earth work great.

3. Understanding Risk - Google, (or any search engine) can provide a wealth of information about a facility's past, often putting risk and security in context. For example, searches may reveal past incidents or reputational information which will assist in understanding the threat and the general expectation of the client. Client's are typically reactive in nature, responding to incidents as they present themselves. Learning of bomb threats/hoaxes, employment disputes, lawsuits or customer reviews can provide the assessor with another layer of intelligence which should be considered when assessing the facility and advising the client. Ensure to explore social media platforms as well. You will be surprised; the wisdom of a crowd tells a lot about the facility you are about to visit.

4. Crime Reports - Use free public websites to provide crime statistics about the area. Don’t settle for the last couple of weeks, as crime can be seasonal. The human mind is excellent at identifying patterns so explore the previous year or two, try and identify trends, statistics, sex offenders and gang-related activities when applicable. All will be able to help you define the level of risk involved.

5. Timing is Everything - Scheduling the time of the day you visit the assessed location is crucial. In many cases, the assessment is scheduled based on the availability of the client. Naturally, busy executives tend to gravitate towards times when they're less busy, which usually means the facility being assessed is less active. Ensure you are exposed to the facility at its peak operational times. It is only during these times when the entire scope of vulnerabilities may be observed and identified.

Now you're ready to head out for your survey. Prepare your pending report on the EasySet platform, charge your phone and drive safe. For the first time ever, put down your camera and clipboard, and focus on your security expertise.

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Let's make our world safer, one assessment at a time.