THE MAGAZINE

Security and Loss Prevention, Fifth Edition

By Philip Purpura; Reviewed by John Gargiulo, CPP

***** Security and Loss Prevention, Fifth Edition. By Philip Purpura; published by Elsevie/ Butterworth- Heinemann; available from ASIS, item #1766; 703/519-6200 (Phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 580 pages; $65 (ASIS members), $72 (nonmembers).

No security function operates in a vacuum. As a consequence, managers strive to keep pace with a host of threats, internal and external. In the fifth edition of Security and Loss Prevention, author Philip Purpura accomplishes two major objectives: providing a practical baseline of information and concepts security professionals need, and identifying the current and future risks that will test their resourcefulness.

Today’s top challenges include old and new threats like terrorism, cybercrime, technology exploitation, and pandemics. Each is addressed in this text, as are the security professional’s fundamental responsibilities, such as planning, compliance, applicant screening, and workplace safety. For readers familiar with author Philip Purpura’s previous texts, new chapters deal with risk management, life safety, terrorism, protection of borders, and critical infrastructures.

In all cases, the book’s recommended countermeasures are both timely and constructive. Purpura finds that overall, security relying solely on traditional methods—fences, alarms, and locks—may not suffice. He cites the need to learn about the growing interdependence among traditional security, IT security, and business continuity. At the same time, he spots the trend toward increased reliance on specialized consultants. He puts these trends in a historical context.

This wide range of topics is presented with great clarity. Purpura specifies the intended learning objectives of each chapter by highlighting key terms and presenting case problems designed to stimulate group discussion. The text is well-illustrated and documented with references and Web sites, which provide further research opportunities.

Novices, educators, and professionals will benefit from this book, which can be used as an overall introduction to the security profession, as a reference, or as an instructional text.


Reviewer: John Gargiulo, CPP, is a part-time security consultant and former director of security for Reuters America. He is a retired lieutenant with the New York City Police Department and a member of ASIS.

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