Caution – Your Security Company Can Become too familiar.
We have already discussed the formation of security partnering between the client and service provider. This is valuable and does work extremely well. However, the integrity of this business relationship can be undone because of over familiarity.
There is no reason why there should not be a polite and respectful relationship between the contractor and you and your staff. However, one of the quickest and often the most common ways of undermining your company’s security is to allow inappropriate familiarity between staff and guard. If you notice that there are close friendships forming between your staff and security guards request the guard or guards be changed. The security contract needs to be clear on this point, if it is not included ask for this condition to be agreed upon and added into the contract.
Inappropriate behaviour or over familiarity can occur when the wrong type of guard personality is chosen for your site. It’s certainly okay for your staff and guards to be polite to each other and say something like ‘have a great weekend’, ‘how was your day’? It is inappropriate for close off site friendships or girlfriend/boyfriend relationships to develop, or lengthy, chatty phone calls or mobile texting about non security matters.
This may sound draconian. However, whilst most people have entirely innocent and friendly interaction between client’s staff and security guards there are some who cultivate these friendships who have a specific agenda. Say for example, someone on your staff, (it could even be a long serving staff member) has an intention to access a restricted area of the building for the purposes of stealing intellectual property. They could do this by becoming very friendly with the guard and the guard relaxing the security access for the benefit of that person.
I have seen this happen frequently and I would caution you that this type of interaction can lead to a short circuit in security. Common security lapses such as incident statements not being written or reported, keys and ID cards not being signed in or out or not even returned at all. Even worse, a senior security guard allowing confidential security files to be leaked to other staff. Both people were fired, but the damage was already done, it is still not known exactly to what extent this breach has had on the company.
There has even been bribes of alcohol and money accepted by security guards so that staff members could gain access to restricted areas or use the building for a party after hours.
For the sake of your company’s security… keep it polite and keep it professional.