Security Advice from Industry Professionals

Advice # 2 – Salman Masood on ‘ALARP as an approach to Corporate Security’

We recently brought to you advice from Mr. Saad Khan (bottom of page); sitting in the top seat of a multi national corporation in Pakistan and how he sees a pro-active approach to security can do wonders for an organization, as compared to one that is not.

This week (and this is not a weekly edition), we bring to you someone who has stood in the foxholes, commanded troops in the fields, put himself in grave dangers for his country and won one of the highest peacetime gallantry awards presented to him by  the President of Pakistan.

Salman Masood, a retired Captain of the Pakistan Army, currently works as security officer (field operations) for a multinational oil and gas exploration and production company. Capt. Salman has been formally trained in security from the UK and participates in various security workshops and seminars at national levels.

I met Capt. Salman recently at a Security Professionals Association of Pakistan (SPAP) meeting which takes place quarterly and is a forum designed to help security professionals in Pakistan to network, learn and help each other out. Ever since our first meeting, we have kept in constant contact and tried to help each other in many ways, this being one. I asked Capt. Salman to contribute to this BLOG and share some of his knowledge with the rest of us on corporate security; its’ problems and proposed solutions. The following is what he was kind enough to share:

Salman Masood:

“In corporate security management, tight budgetary constraints are one of the many challenges that a security professional has to face. Unfortunately, in some industries, security is considered as a least priority whether we talk about programmatic or conceptual growth.

No doubt, it is the responsibility of security functionaries within the security outfit of their organization to develop and promote the needed awareness, culture and approach; yet the security in-charge has limited space for maneuverability in designing an overall security system within the given role and financial freedom; or the lack thereof.

On the contrary; in few organizations where security is considered to be an integral function, a significant budget is allocated and an acceptable level of security posture is adapted to meet the business requirements. In some cases the amalgamation of security systems; physical, electronic and administrative controls are there and considered by the management as the apex. Yet at times it becomes difficult to mitigate risks especially while operating in high risk areas such as Pakistan.

If you are like me and have been faced with such challenges all in a much bigger scale while sitting with a handful of grunts on top of a cold rocky post with poor communications, obsolete equipment and limited rations; these problems begin to seem petty and this is where the ingenuity of mind comes into play!

The realignment or rearrangement of the security system to the changing risks is one solution that has helped me in the past and maybe it could help you as well. It could save cost, be acceptable to the management and would not cause inconvenience to the day-to-day business operations. It would rather attribute towards business sustainability and continuity.

As a security professional; from inception we should focus our efforts to developing a security management system based on this simple mathematical equation:

 SECURITY = COST + INCONVENIENCE

GOOD SECURITY = LESS COST + LESS INCONVENIENCE

 This equation supports the concept of being ‘As Low As Reasonably Practical’ (ALARP). By using ALARP we bring risk to bare minimum tolerant level with minimum possible expenditures and operational disruptions. ALARP for each business is different depending upon the nature of risks and exposures but the concept remains the same.

Having said this, it is very important that in order for a risk to be considered ALARP,  the cost in reducing the risk further would be highly unbalanced to the benefit gained. This principle arises from the fact that infinite time, effort and money could be spent on the attempt of reducing a risk to zero.

ALARP should not be understood as simply a quantitative measure of benefit against detriment. It is more a best common practice of judgment of the balance of risk and societal benefit.”

Share your thoughts with us on this post by leaving us a comment or asking us a question! Email us on contribute@aftershock-cem.com if you too want to write for this BLOG.

Stay Well – Stay Safe!

Naveed Khan                                                                                                   Founder | Chief Consultant                                                                                   AfterShock-CEM

With special thanks to:

Mr. Salman Masood

Advice # 1 – Saad Khan (CEO Gillette, PK) on ‘Benefits of Proactive Security’

Nobody knows more about problems with security while running a large corporation in a hazard-rich country such as Pakistan better than someone who has been leading one such organization and knows what it takes to run a safe setup and keep its’ staff and assets secure and accounted for!

Saad Amanullah Khan

Saad Amanullah Khan joined Gillette Pakistan in March 2007 as the Chief Executive Officer. Before joining Gillette, Saad had worked in Proctor and Gamble (P&G) for 20 years with assignments in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. His last two assignments were Deputy General Manager and Finance Manager, P&G Pakistan.

Saad is an active member of the American Business Council (ABC) where he is currently serving as the Vice President and has been the Chairman of the ABC Taxation Sub-committee for the last 7 years.  He has worked actively as Vice Chairman of the Taxation Committee of Overseas Investor’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) for 2 years.

I ran into Saad for the first time when we were stranded at the Karachi airport Ramada during the 2010 monsoon rains which made it impossible to get back on the roads for at least four hours. I had just left work at a local non-profit skills training institute and Saad had just picked up his family from the airport. Ever since then, we have kept in touch and have tried to get to know one another as well as possible. Recently, I asked him to share his thoughts on safety and security while being responsible for facilities, assets and staff members in Pakistan, the following is what he was kind enough to share with us.

Saad Amanullah Khan:

“In these current turbulent times, security issues have taken the top spot in every senior management agendas across the country.  Many companies have learned the hard way, that being proactive on this front rather than taking a defensive posture is the right approach on this topic. Many issues can be nipped in the bud if proper precautions, measures and a safety/security conscious culture is created among its employees and business partners.

The Security department in most companies has now become a key enabler tool rather than a show stopper. Any disruption due to security can cause havoc in the daily running of operations and play very negatively to the moral of the organization.

Every company now needs to have in-house expertise in the area of security, a person with a strong professional background as well as technical know-how of security, its challenges and proposed solutions. What every company urgently needs is to review their current security protocol and policies on all facets of security, that is ranging from physical security, fraud prevention, asset protection, employee security, safety guidelines, investigative expertise, emergency management, to all the way to risk assessment and creating a culture where everyone is an active participant in the security of the company.

Unfortunately, many companies learn this the hard way; i.e. by taking ad hoc action once they are faced with a serious threat or security breach. My only message is that the dividends you realize by investing in security enhancements are immeasurable for any company.”

To sum it all up, the gist of everything that Saad has said above is that it pays off for organizations and individuals to become proactive when it comes to security, rather than the general employment of reactive solutions to incidents that have already occurred.

Share your thoughts with us on this post by leaving us a comment or ask us a question! Email us on contribute@aftershock-cem.com if you too want to write for this BLOG.

Stay Well – Stay Safe!

Naveed Khan                                                                                                   Founder | Chief Consultant                                                                                   AfterShock-CEM

With special thanks to:

Saad A. Khan                                                                                                           Chief Executive Officer                                                                                            Gillette Pakistan

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6 thoughts on “Security Advice from Industry Professionals”

  1. Muhammad Talha khan said:

    Saad is a really great man! I mean, a man of commitment and a true Leader who has excellent commanding skills.

    Best regards,
    Muhammad Talha Khan
    Employee Services Leader
    P&G Hub Plant

  2. Osman Masood said:

    Great piece of work by Capt Salman.

  3. Adeel Kazi said:

    Salman, very useful stuff and well presented. Thanks

  4. Salman Masood said:

    Dear Col Adeel Kazi,

    Thank you for taking time to read this article. Your appreciation is a great source of encouragement.

    Salman Masood

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