Understanding the difference between a security company and a risk management firm can be a daunting task. Most people think hiring a security company to assist with personal or asset protection is the right choice for physical security. However, when security companies provide their consultation and service, most focus solely on just the physical security for the person or asset that needs protection.
The downside to hiring a company that is dedicated to only providing security, is that you are simply getting what you are paying for – real-time static and/or patrol services. While some of the higher-end security companies also offer executive protection, most contracts and requirements are purely based on time onsite and related materials.
Let’s use a vacation as an example. If you want two security personnel to accompany your family to Jamaica, you will most likely pay a daily rate per security guard along with all associated travel costs for the security team. The security members will more than likely work autonomously to provide security around the clock at the hotel, while visiting restaurants, and attraction locations.
While there is a value with security companies that provide this type of service, it is essential to understand that risk management firms approach clients and situations a little differently.
When a risk management firm is requested to provide the same service as above, they will take a far more holistic approach to analyzing and evaluating your requirements. Consultants within the risk management firm will gain an understanding of the vacation itinerary, the family members who are going, and the tasks and expectations of the job. Once all of this information is gathered, and the firm is retained for services, they will conduct a risk analysis of the country, city, airport, hotels, planned site seeing locations, and any other places of interest the family wishes to visit.
Additionally, the risk management firm will conduct contingency planning. This can include obtaining contact information for the local embassy, hospitals, law enforcement, and any other relationships that need to be secured to ensure successful and safe travels for the client. Planning can also include safe areas or evacuation routes. It can even include worst-case scenarios that need to be addressed, but no one wants to think about – such as a kidnap and ransom situation. When people think about taking an elaborate vacation, the last thing they want to think about are the “what-ifs”. The ability to provide in-depth contingency planning is why hiring a risk management firm is the best decision you can make to protect your family abroad.
Risk management firms will prepare and conduct these tasks from behind the scenes. Clients will simply retain services and enjoy their vacation. The firm will assign an account executive to provide updated travel briefings and daily meetings (if needed) throughout the vacation if any pertinent information or concerns arise.
If you think about the two types of entities – using the above scenario – you will see that risk management firms provide a far more strategic and in-depth approach to your physical security.
Within a risk management firm, physical security is simply one component of many. Combining this component with comprehensive intelligence analysis and risk evaluations makes for an all-inclusive method to ensuring the overall safety and security of the client.