Security doesn’t have to be intimidating to be effective

I got into a conversation the other day about physical security, basing the physical security of a particular facility. “You have to sign in when you enter. Well laddy da!”

Actually, there are times where that’s completely appropriate. But they actually missed something, too. The facility they were making fun of has a locked door and a log.

Here’s the thing. There’s no need to erect an 8-foot fence with serpentine wire and armed guards to keep your dog in your back yard. It’s overkill. And those same measures are overkill to keep someone from stealing my 32-inch flat-panel TV.

Appropriate security measures aren’t difficult to figure out. You figure out the replacement cost of what you’re protecting. Then you put in enough security to make sure it costs one penny more to steal that from you. Or if you want to go the extra mile and have the budget, perhaps one dollar more.

Because then they won’t steal it from you. They’ll either steal it from someone who doesn’t have adequate security measures in place, or they’ll buy it legitimately. Either way, it’s no longer your problem.

Security needs to be effective, yes. But if security isn’t affordable, people will just go without. And too much security is off-putting. Putting prison-grade security, with a gate and guards armed with assault rifles, surrounded by an 8′ wall with serpentine wire around the top would make it at least a little more difficult to shoplift. But who wants to shop (or work) in a facility that feels like a prison?

So, is the security those people were making fun of effective? I’ll answer that with another question: When was the last time something was stolen out of that facility? Judging from what people leave sitting out, either a very long time ago, or never.

So it sounds to me like that door and the log are doing their job.

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