By Michael Blyth; Reviewed by David O. Best, CPP, ISP, CBM
Despite shortcomings, Risk and Security Management is a good introductory textbook for security professionals.
** Risk and Security Management: Protecting People and Sites Worldwide. By Michael Blyth; published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., www.wiley.com (Web); 401 pages; $75.
Author Michael Blyth discusses the methodologies, systems, and tools needed to achieve effective and efficient risk and security management. He establishes the theme of the text by starting with a close look at the role of the consultant in supporting the business continuity efforts of corporations, focusing on the importance of establishing relationships and methodologies. In ensuing chapters, he provides an in-depth discussion of the contracting process, including the delivery of services and how to ensure quality.
The text offers a general guide to risk management planning and assessment, contingency planning, crisis management, and response teams that flows and is well-organized. Blyth takes the reader through the entire threat spectrum and ties domestic terrorism nicely into the section.
Blyth looks at traditional security management practices. He also addresses mobile security services and facility security services. Discussions are well presented and informative. He successfully illustrates that mobile security practices must be robust and comprehensive to protect both a company’s interests and employee safety. The chapter on facility security provides thorough guidance on how to protect structural, human, and technological resources.
Sections on evacuation planning and disaster response management are also effectively presented; they convey how evacuation planning is a critical element of risk management and must be integrated at all levels to be effective. Blyth also imparts an understanding of different stages of a disaster, their impacts, and the plans needed to help ensure business continuity.
The final chapter details the unique aspects of government contracting. While commercial and government contracting methodologies have similarities, they also have fundamental differences that must be considered by anyone contemplating working with the U.S. government. Blyth successfully guides the reader through this labyrinth.
Risk and Security Management is a solid book in that all the targeted areas are covered in depth, but so much detail is presented that some readers may get lost. Furthermore, the placement of some chapters seems disjointed. For example, the sixth chapter on consulting could easily have been incorporated into the first part of the book where Blyth addresses contracting and consultant services. Chapter 7 on project management, while detailed and informative, was only briefly tied to risk and security management and could have been incorporated into other parts of the text.
Bottom line: This book has its shortcomings, but overall, it provides information that could serve as an introductory textbook or as a basic reference for security professionals.
Reviewer: David O. Best, CPP, ISP (Industrial Security Professional), CBM (Certified Business Manager), is a senior program analyst with the U.S. National Archives Information Security Oversight Office in Washington, D.C. He is a member of ASIS International.