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1.20.23 – SIW – John Dobberstein

Despite the rising crime, 42% of businesses haven’t changed their security strategy, said Pro-Vigil Surveillance Services in its third annual “The State of Physical Security” research report.

A recent survey by a remote video monitoring firm found that 28% of businesses experienced a rise in security incidents in 2022 and nearly a third believe that will continue this year. 

Yet despite the rising crime, 42% of businesses haven’t changed their security strategy, said Pro-Vigil Surveillance Services in its third annual “The State of Physical Security” research report. Pro-Vigil is a provider of remote video monitoring, management and crime deterrence solutions. 

Even though the COVID pandemic has been waning, the rise in physical security incidents is coming amid ongoing supply chain issues and emerging economic uncertainty. Inflation pressure is also mixing in, which makes certain items more likely to be stolen, says Pro-Vigil founder Jeremy White. 

Tough Sell

Requesting more security improvements to management still isn’t easy an easy sell for most operations managers. 

“It’s hard to make a business case for it because security is not sexy – it’s just a step above insurance. It’s not something you want to add to the P-and-L statement” even though some businesses are getting hit numerous times a year, White said. “Some wait it out, or they use insurance. There are those who do nothing. But also, how many of those are doing everything they can do?” 

Pro-Vigil polled 149 operations leaders across a range of industries including construction, dealerships (car/truck/boat/RV), retail and manufacturing, among others, to better understand the physical security threats businesses are facing today and what they’re doing to combat them. 

Key findings from the survey include:

Physical Security Incidents Continue to Rise

●    28% of respondents saw an increase in physical security incidents in 2022, matching the mark from Pro-Vigil’s 2021 survey and up from just 20% in 2020. Some 69% said incidents were flat, but only 3% said there was a decrease.

●    39% believe the state of the economy is the cause behind rising security incidents, while 26% believe the supply chain is to blame.

●    91% believe the number of physical security incidents will increase or stay the same in 2023. 

Security Incidents are Impacting Business Operations

●     When it comes to the type of incidents impacting businesses most, almost half (48%) say theft is to blame.

●     These incidents are having real business impacts, with 40% of respondents reporting project delays and 25% reporting their cash flow has taken a hit. 

Businesses Fearful, Yet Security Strategies Remain Outdated

●     Despite more than 90% of respondents saying security incidents will stay the same or increase in 2023, 42% have not changed their security strategy.

●     Less than half, 41%, are using remote video monitoring to secure their business.

●     Construction businesses, in particular, are facing an elevated threat, with 66% reporting at least one security incident in 2022. However, 43% did not change their security strategies. 

For those who did change their security strategy in 2022, 47% installed security video cameras, 22% installed fencing, 14% installed an alarm system, another 14% deployed remote video monitoring, and the rest either deployed access control or added security guards. 

Impact Of Incidents Pro Vigil

When asked why they felt there was such an increase in physical security incidents, 39% said the state of the economy, followed by supply chain issues at 26%. Smaller numbers blamed reduced business hours, security guard shortages or “inside problems.” 

The businesses surveyed said theft (48%) was the most commonly reported security incident, followed by vandalism (13%). Thirty-five percent said they hadn’t experience incidents. 

Of the respondents, 61% were in construction, with the other industries representing car/truck/boat/RV dealerships, retail, public sector/education, utility or manufacturing/industrial.

What needs to be part of the conversation with security investments at businesses, he said, is the cost of potentially increased insurance premiums or deductibles due to vandalism or theft, loss staff productivity due to investigation and repairs, and damage to a business’ reputation if customer property is stolen or damaged. 

For dealerships, if catalytic converters are stolen off several vehicles, there is not only the physical damage to deal with but increased interest costs because they’re sitting on the lot unsold.

What is encouraging, White says, is that the study shows many businesses are turning to video services as their No. 1 added option over alarms, guards or fences that offer little or no technological advancement. 

“Video allows them to manage time and attendance, productivity, shipping and receiving. I think that’s why you saw more people adding video, because it’s a useful tool,” he said, adding that surveillance monitoring can be added as an additional layer if needed. 

You can download the “The State of Physical Security Entering 2023,” please visit: https://pro-vigil.com/resources/2023-security-survey-report/.