Strategic Security Management: A Risk Assessment Guide for Decision Makers

By Jack F. Dowling, CPP, PSP

***** Strategic Security Management: A Risk Assessment Guide for Decision Makers. By Karim H. Vellani, CPP, CSC; published by Butterworth-Heinemann; available from ASIS, item # 1728, 703/519-6200 (phone), (Web); 416 pages; $60 (ASIS members), $66 (nonmembers).

This book takes on the ambitious goal of bridging the gap between theory and reality in risk-assessment-based security management—and achieves it handily. The author emphasizes the fundamental responsibilities of today’s security managers: to assess risks, demonstrate them to justify costs, and accurately measure security’s effectiveness to manage it properly.

In each chapter, subject matter is covered logically and clearly with multiple examples. In the chapter on security measures, for example, policies and procedures are discussed thoroughly, and a sample security policy statement is provided as a guide.

Understanding and using security metrics—primarily through baseline and performance data—is critical to making good security decisions, the author notes. While much has been written about security metrics, this work clarifies and explains this concept in a way that aids in comprehension and application.

Updated technological information is provided in the physical security section, including a discussion of Internet protocol (IP) video monitoring systems. Also discussed are networking devices, recording issues, and use of intelligent software.

A section on security personnel provides an overview of training standards, performance evaluations, and contract versus proprietary forces. Additional sections cover information technology (IT), crime prevention, project management, premises security liability, forensic security, and ethics. The ASIS International General Security Risk Assessment Guideline is referenced heavily, and portions are reproduced in the book.

Short summaries at the end of each chapter capture the main points found in the section. The text concludes with a four-page bibliography, a “recommended reading” section, and an index. If readers cannot find something they want in the book, they can definitely find it among the additional resources provided by the author.

Two words describe this text: information-packed. The intended audience is a large one, including security professionals, security managers with decision-making responsibility, and criminal justice students. This book is a valuable asset for them all.

Jack F. Dowling, CPP, PSP, is president of JD Security Consultants, LLC, of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. He is a member of the ASIS International Council on Commercial Real Estate and its Physical Security Measures Guideline Committee. He teaches in the University of Phoenix’s Criminal Justice Administration Program.




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