By Jason Polanco

Business owners, Chief Executive Officers and board members learn the intricacies of sustaining a productive and profitable business, but there is one area most organizations ignore or lack sufficient knowledge — risk, threats, and vulnerabilities. Every organization contains an element of risk, ranging from cyber to physical threats and hazards.

Threat and vulnerability assessments are designed to identify, prioritize, and document the probability of several types of threats and hazards that could cause a disruption or have long-lasting effects within an organization and recommendations to mitigate the risks. Risks and hazards include natural disasters, acts of terrorism, corporate espionage, intellectual property theft, cyber-attacks, political attacks, and even disgruntled employees.

One of the most common mistakes business organizations make is adopting the “that will never happen to us” mentality. Despite your entities size, annual revenue, location, or business type many of the risks mentioned above are legitimate and unfortunately a reality. Non-profit organizations, houses-of-worship, small and large firms each have their specific threats and vulnerabilities to contend with.

1. Unbiased Eye

Having an independent security consultant review your business and its standard operating procedures can produce an enormous amount of new information. An in-house security manager can easily get tunnel vision and not realize the amount of risk the organization is taking. Having a professional provide your organization with an unbiased view, offers a realistic interpretation of your business’s overall risk, threats, and vulnerabilities.

2. Comparisons

An experienced security consultant has the luxury of working with numerous businesses and organizations all over the world. Although information about past clients won’t be divulged, the assessment allows your business to compare its procedures and overall safety and security to others through the eyes of the consultant.

3. Security Manager Reinforcement

Security managers may view consultants as a threat. Besides, who wants an outsider telling your boss information you should be telling him? On the contrary, a security expert can be a form of reinforcement for managers. The decision makers within an organization can, at times, ignore or disregard the recommendations of security managers for various reasons. Inviting a consultant can assist in providing validity to legitimate recommendations without the worry of causing discontent within your workplace.

4. Trends and New Threats

A security consultant works with organizations involved in basically all forms of business, from large Fortune 500 companies to non-profit organizations. With this advantage, a security consultant is privy to new threats facing businesses and trends within a particular location or industry. For instance, the banking sector is currently facing new methods of bank robbery. Criminals are kidnapping bank executives and their family members and forcing them to remove money from the bank’s vault. This new method enables criminals to bypass millions of dollars of sophisticated security equipment. Understanding the new threat helps the banking industry upgrade their procedures and adequately protect themselves.

5. Increase the Bottom Line

A proactive approach to identifying threats and vulnerabilities and implementing the correct management systems will result in decreased costs and a financially healthy business. Raising awareness, providing training, or changing procedures is the difference between a business that operates successfully and a business one incident away from permanently shutting its doors.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, one in four small businesses that close due to a disaster will never reopen. Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigations reports, economic espionage costs American businesses up to $1 trillion dollars each year.

Threat and vulnerability assessments provide several advantages leading to the success of businesses organizations. The evaluation teaches companies what to protect and identifies improvements needed within their security program to prevent security incidents. Avoid the victim mentality, be proactive and ensure the future success of your organization.