easyfairs

HOW DO BELGIAN COMPANIES APPROACH SECURITY?

HOW DO BELGIAN COMPANIES APPROACH SECURITY?

EXPERT GIVES OPINION ON EASYFAIRS’ SURVEY RESULTS

In the run-up to Secura, Easyfairs conducted a large-scale survey on safety, wellbeing & health, security and fire protection. Because some answers did not quite correspond with the expectations, they were presented to a few field experts. Marc Moris shed his light on the results regarding security. As chairman of the FEB’s Company Safety Committee and Head of Corporate Prevention & Protection at Proximus, he surely is aware of what is going on in that area in the Belgian companies.

 

NEW LEGISLATION, NEW QUESTIONS

It is no surprise to Marc Moris that procedures to install cameras in the workplace (31%) and the new camera legislation (22%) respectively take the 2nd and 4th place as topics about which companies have questions.

“Cameras are being used more and more and the legislation on the matter is quite complex”, he says. “With a new legislation in the pipeline, it is normal that there is some concern. After all, we do not know what effect this will have. Will additional investments be required? Will it be more difficult to install cameras? Will it still be possible to use them at all? That is why I am not surprised that these items score high in this survey. Nevertheless, I would like to point out that the first signals on the modification of the legal framework are promising.”

SECURITY AWARENESS AS PERMANENT CONCERN

The result of the security awareness (5th place with 21%) was also foreseeable, according to Marc Moris.

“You do have to find ways to encourage employees to continue to follow the agreed instructions in terms of security. I can imagine that many companies look for new and original ways to do so”, he explains. “However, one should realize that the police method is not very effective. Continuously informing your people in a creative and structural way will yield a much better result. Send your people a short message through the intranet every day, work on hot topics – such as terrorism, or theft during the Christmas period –, use videos for the more difficult or newer aspects of security, give concrete guidelines for specific difficulties and never underestimate the power of posters. Never dramatize and make sure you bring the information in such a way that your staff starts to talk about it. That is the best way to create awareness and, even more important, to retain it!”

NEW MOVEMENT IN KEY MANAGEMENT

The score for intelligent key management (7th place with 19%) seems logical to Marc Moris.

“There is a lot going on in this area. Badges have always been very interesting, however, for SMEs this solution is often too expensive. With the arrival of electronic keys, a cost-effective alternative has become available since cabling or keys with different access profiles are no longer necessary. Proximus is also testing with this solution because we really think this is a promising technology.”

NUMBER OF AGGRESSIVE CUSTOMERS INCREASES

The third place goes to dealing with aggressive people in the workplace (28%). According to Marc Moris, this score should be viewed primarily in the context of ‘the customer’.

“I cannot imagine that there are lots of problems with aggressive staff members”, he explains. “However, we see in general, and therefore also at Proximus, a huge increase in aggressive behaviour on the part of the customers. Still, steps can be taken to prevent harmful consequences of such behaviour. First and foremost, the location. We have closed several shops because there was too much aggressive behaviour. That would lead to a decline is sales anyway. We also pay close attention to the layout of our shops. For example, we make sure that the staff always has an escape route without having to cross the customer. You can also organize courses on dealing with aggression. Finally, register all the facts and especially investigate the underlying causes, because that are the ones you have to address.”

INTERNAL EMERGENCY PLAN STAYS HOT TOPIC

What is a complete surprise for Marc Moris is the fact that the preparation and practicing of the internal emergency plan achieves the highest score (35%).

“This has been compulsory for years and the topic has been covered by lots of publications and seminars. Within Proximus, this is an item that is certainly no longer questioned. Also within the FEB this is not considered a hot topic. Maybe the question is part of a quest for greater efficiency. Or companies see this requirement way too big: it is not necessary to devise a contingency plan for the whole city, but it is sufficient to identify the unwanted events within your company and to consider how to manage these adequately. In a holistic way and without going into too much detail, that is.”

LITTLE ATTENTION FOR COUNTERTERRORISM

A second finding that falls outside the expectations is the low score of counterterrorism (only the 15th place with 13%). Marc Moris is surprised about this too.

“It is an element that companies should keep in mind, even if they are located somewhere in the countryside. In the present times, we cannot deny that the threat is real. The least you can do is prepare for the indirect effects. How do you react to the fear that comes with a terrorist attack? How do you get your people home if there is an attack? How do you react if a family member of an employee is the victim of an attack? But also: how can I protect my company against the entry of terrorists? What happened after the attack on Charlie Hebdo should be etched in the memory of every entrepreneur. At Proximus, we even set up an action plan after 9/11 in case the same was to happen here. The towers of our main building are after all quite high. Nevertheless, I would like to point out that here again a holistic approach should be followed. Such actions must be included in the general contingency plan and are not to be approached on a microlevel. It seems strange to me that the question to set up an anti-radicalization plan, for example, is an item in the survey – and that it scores higher than anti-terrorism measures. After all, anti-radicalization is just a small part that is moreover rather a social affair. In any case, I think that the sensitization of entrepreneurs and managers in companies on how to respond to an increased terrorist threat should be a permanent concern.”

IT IS NOT ALWAYS ELSEWHERE THAT IT HAPPENS…

Finally, Marc Moris is disappointed that the fight against cybercrime scored so badly again: this item is only on the 27th place with 8%.

“This is really incomprehensible, since the number of virtual attacks is increasing day by day. And these criminals are also working more ingeniously than ever. Being hit by a virus or being hacked can have disastrous consequences. There are numerous examples of companies that cannot operate for days because all their computers are infected. Also, confidential information about your company or your customers may be stolen. And have you ever considered the consequences for your image if the visitors to your website are being redirected? These are just a few of the many types of cybercrime. I can only give the advice to not bury your heads in the sand. Granted, it is a complex and very technical matter, but never think it cannot happen to you or that you are adequately protected. Cybercrime is, like the contingency plan and security awareness, an area that needs to be worked on continuously. After all, the question is not when your company will be hacked but when you will find out that you are hacked.”