In a world where we’re still feeling the effects of globalisation and more companies are employing ‘offshore’ business practices, corporate security has become an increasingly complex issue with more far-reaching consequences than five years ago. Whether your company is Caterpillar Tractors or Sainsbury’s, ensuring your security is optimised to its full capacity is imperative, as Nick Hymans, the Regional Head of Security Services EMEA at Credit Suisse discusses.
People often think finance is the sector most in need of high levels of corporate security. However, from oil and gas to pharmaceuticals, to retail and government, all have a requirement for corporate security in some form or shape. Nick’s role is to ‘create a safe and secure bubble where business can operate.’
For a perspective within the financial sector, Nick says: “No two roles are the same.”
“For example, I look after the background screening of employees, whereas my opposite number from one of the other banks might not, but they will cover fraud or anti-money laundering instead.”
He adds: “The oil and gas industries may focus more on physical security because they often operate in harsher environments, whereas for the most part travelers from the finance sector are more likely to be working in well-developed locations with good infrastructure.”
86% of you think that tolerance and patience are the best character traits suited to the security profession.
Nick agrees that these traits are very important on a day-to-day basis. However, he adds that a variety of skills are needed as well as an ‘inherent flexibility to adapt’.
He says: “There can be a tendency to reduce the amount of security in organisations due to financial restrictions. Occasionally I’ll need to be ‘bullish’ (with professionalism) to push through what is needed.” He adds that he also needs to know when it’s time to ‘step back and be more reserved.’
Learning by listening is also a very important skill as ‘understanding the issue’ is a must.
Again, variety is a natural part of this role. Whether sorting out a background screening issue, travelling to Nairobi to review hotel security or less serious cases, (such as figuring out who the banana thief in the office is) no two days are the same.
The Future of Corporate Security
The sector will continue to be even more important with the development of emerging markets, in areas such as Algeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the infrastructure differs greatly from the UK’s. In such an environment it is even more important to be well networked through organisations such as The Security Institute.
International Security Management Association (ISMA) – is an American organisation worth taking a look at. It shows the wide variety of organisations out there with a corporate security department.