Miscellaneous DESC

The Value of Data, Analysis and Exception-Based Reporting

Josh Petro, TEAM Software by WorkWave, CALSAGA Network Partner

Security businesses are often faced with this common data challenge: they possess a wealth of information but struggle to extract meaningful insights from it. Without that meaning, data is simply a collection of numbers on a page, leaving decision makers without concrete evidence, trends or patterns to help inform their next steps forward.

It’s important to be able to leverage the power of reporting and data analysis to transform raw information into actionable knowledge that provides business value. But doing so is easier said than done – especially when you’re already stretched thin by the demands of your business.

To help, I’m sharing key approaches to data management and analysis every security company should consider when striving to become more data-driven.

Exception-based reporting: Focusing attention and taking action

What does it mean to monitor by exception? Simply this: instead of closely monitoring every aspect of a process or operation, you set parameters or rules to identify and flag anomalies, irregularities, or significant deviations from expected outcomes. Instead of always monitoring everything and all at once, exception-based reporting operates in the background of your system, offering insights when issues need to be addressed.

In the security industry, a key exception you might experience is a missed shift or no-show by a guard. In this example, an exception-based monitoring system can compare scheduled shifts with actual attendance records or clock-in data. That way, if an expected timekeeping activity is not recorded within a specific time frame, the system will trigger an alert or notification, highlighting the exception. Think of it like this: you don’t need to see a report or receive a notification every time someone clocks in – that’s business as usual. You want to know when something isn’t going to plan so you can fix it before it becomes an issue.

This kind of reporting is key in helping security companies proactively manage their workforce, speed up incident response, minimize disruptions and maintain a high level of service delivery.

Data analysis: Extracting value from big data

The words “big data” are often used to describe a situation when organizations have access to vast amounts of information. When you’re dealing with large volumes of data, it’s especially important to have effective strategies in place to analyze and gain meaningful information from it.

One approach to accomplishing this is through the methodology of tiered reporting. Tiered reporting provides a structured approach to organizing data by using tiers. This allows for easy access and retrieval of specific data sets, making it simpler to identify relevant information for analysis. Tiered reporting also enables businesses to create user-specific reports tailored to the needs of different individuals and departments, based on the tiers of information that matter to them. This helps ensure the right people are able to make informed decisions based on their specific roles and needs.

Tiered reporting supports an exception-based approach, as businesses can establish KPIs – key performance indicators that can serve as benchmarks for your business performance – for each tier. When tracking these KPIs against predefined metrics, you can enhance your performance monitoring and identify areas for improvement.

Visualizing data with dashboards and business intelligence

Effective data visualization is essential for understanding complex information at a glance.

Dashboards provide an intuitive and user-friendly interface to monitor KPIs, trends and outliers. Through customizable visual representations – like charts and graphs – different stakeholders can gain insights into the health of their department or the business as a whole. It’s also important to be able to automate the sharing of these enterprise data reports with users on a schedule. That way, stakeholders can monitor data on a consistent cadence, increasing their ability to spot variances and make adjustments when needed.

Even within the same industry, though, every security business is unique. As you approach data visualization, ensure the tools you are using to do it can accommodate customized reports and analysis models based on your specific needs. In some cases, this may mean working with a tool with a separate business intelligence module that helps you look at your data in the way you want to look at it – and in a way that tells a clear story.

The future of data analysis and predictive analytics

As technology continues to evolve, the field of data analysis is on the brink of even more advancements. Predictive technologies are gaining momentum, with automation and artificial intelligence playing a significant role in how companies will be looking at – and interpreting – their data.

Even with these advancements, every security company needs an integrated workforce management solution that can first gather and record your operational and back-office data in an accurate way, promote shared data across all team members and then interpret those findings to achieve sustainable growth. Without this, you’ll be stuck in a never-ending cycle of looking at numbers – and only numbers – on a page.

To learn more about implementing a data-driven strategy into your security business, visit teamsoftware.com.

Josh has been supporting customers for over a decade. After working as a Product Manager for over three years, he moved into a director role at the beginning of 2023, where he has continued to express his passion for crafting products that truly enrich the lives of others.

Nationwide Communication is Trending with Law Enforcement, Security & Specialized Units

We live in a data-driven world where agencies and private security increasingly expect data to flood through theirnetworks at optimum speeds to do their jobs better, smarter, and faster. Today, 75% of the workplace is said to be themillennial generation (1), and many believe that millennial workers are addicted to the “instant gratification”phenomenon. This is a generation that grew up with texting, instant messaging, social media, and more, all at theirservice to deliver information in an instant. As the speed of our data-driven world continues to increase, so are theexpectations of workers whose jobs rely on instant data-driven communications.

While the idea of instant push-to-talk communications has been around since 1933 when a New Jersey police department operated the first Land Mobile Radio (LMR) system, this new data-hungry workforce continues to push thereliability and speed of their communication system. But the need for speed simply isn’t enough in an increasingly mobile world …

According to a recent Gallup study, 43% of employees reported working offsite at least at some point during theircareers compared to 30% just 4 years earlier (2). With this increasingly mobile workforce that can now work anywherebeyond the office, an instant communication solution to support these requirements is simply non- negotiable. In aMotorola Solutions Communications Survey, 64% of workers stated it is important to have instant, nationwidecommunication at their workplace (3).

Today you can get the best of both worlds with instant two-way radio communication features at a nationwide scale.By connecting existing Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems and smartphones, the LTE Broadband radio, extendspush-to-talk benefits for all team members, whether they’re on the same job site or across the country.



Security personnel can use one device anywhere.

  • Communicate critical encrypted communication instantly with team members across the country at the push of a button.
  • Bridge multiple facilities and operations without needing to set up or maintain complicated infrastructure.
  • Connect with teams regardless of their network, on existing LMR devices to smartphones, and more.
  • Fast-track security operations with a nationwide push-to-talk network that powers the quickest setup, programchanges, and connectivity.
  • Even the freshest new hire can pick up the device and immediately share information with the rest of the team.

Perhaps no industry requires instant communication more than security, where safety often depends on split second decisions.

  1. Key Statistics About Millennials in the Workplace, Mark Emmons
  2. America’s Coming Workplace: Home Alone, Annamarie Mann, and Amy Adkins
  3. 2019 Motorola Solutions Communications

JoJo Tran is Chief Executive Officer of Telepath Corporation. Tran joined Telepath in 1990 and became CEO in September 2010. Previously, he headed several business units at Telepath, including mission critical infrastructure, customer service, sales and mobile team. Mr. Tran’s vision is to be the industry’s premier sales, service and program management company. Customers and partners will see Telepath as an integral to their success. Telepath will anticipate their needs and deliver on every commitment. People will be proud to work at Telepath. Telepath will create opportunities to achieve the extraordinary and will reward their success.

Connecting Workforce Management in 2023

Brianne Stephan, Sr. Director of Product, TEAM Software, Network Partner

Optimizing core operational functionalities now can prepare your business for the new year. 

Year-end is a natural opportunity to begin evaluating your current processes to ensure optimization before you launch into next year’s activities. As you evaluate ways to improve processes and gain efficiencies, it’s important to factor workforce management into the equation. 

It’s time for a gap analysis. 

Take a minute. Think about how many software solutions you have running across your business. How are you handling HR and benefits administration, versus time and attendance? How are you proving service delivery to your clients? What areas are still manual, or tackled by pencil and paper? 

Once you conduct this audit, take a hard look at what you’ve got. Then, consider what’s missing. 

It might be a good idea to take an internal tour of your company. Talk to each department, your guards in the field and your stakeholders in the back office. What are the things they’re spending the most time on? Are there roadblocks creating bottlenecks in service delivery?

Once you really grasp an all-encompassing list of wants, needs and already-haves, then you can really start filling the gaps. 

Common gaps.

In our conversations with industry contacts, there are some common gaps that are typically uncovered in this process. 

Time constraints across all departments.

Every part of business operations takes too long. Entire overhead roles are dedicated to manual benefits and time off management. Your managers are chasing down employees for paperwork, scheduling and job assignments. Duplicate data entry and redundant processes are eating into what really matters: your clients and your contracts. 

Lack of visibility into operations and performance.

You’re relying on word of mouth or paper daily activity reports to ensure the work you need done is actually getting done. Your clients are demanding comprehensive reporting before committing to a new contract or added scope of work. You have no data to support proof of quality delivered or to renegotiate contracts when needed.

Field access and employee engagement.

Guards don’t have a way to access their schedules and shift expectations, manage what training they need to stay on top of, or even communicate to managers while out in the field. The tools they have to track their time or review tasks are hard to access or tracked only on paper. And, they send multiple messages to your admin team every time there is a question because they can’t access their own time off balances, insurance or pay stub information. 

Keep these common concerns in mind as you review what’s working, and what isn’t working, for your operations. 

I know what I’m missing. What’s next?  

Of course, we all know having a list of wants and needs doesn’t necessarily mean a point solution is needed for every single person every single time. 

Software is intended to make the work of a business easier. With automation, you can drive efficiency and improve the effectiveness of day-to-day activities – saving time, money and resources along the way. 

Still, piecing software together can often serve the needs of one department, while creating nightmares in another. That’s the problem with siloed data, a hidden challenge many companies in the security industry are dealing with every day. 

Siloed data happens when individual departments or teams use a standalone system to accomplish their work. It can create inconsistencies in reporting, duplicate processes, manual error and incomplete information. On top of that, it increases the amount of support contacts your company has to manage if issues arise, multiple release notes to keep on top of for features and enhancements, and even more billing requirements for your finance team. 

So, the next step in your gap analysis should be to think about what functions make the most sense to come together under a single, integrated software solution. 

Through this approach, you break down those data silos, creating a single source of truth to work through across your departments. 

An all-in-one approach.

We recommend an all-in-one approach to resolve your gap analysis. An integrated workforce management software dives into connecting core areas of your business, from the back office, to operations, to guards in the field. Plus, it reduces cost and risk, improves information accuracy and simplifies processes in the long run. (If you want to go the extra mile, think about integrating your financial and accounting operations, too – an ERP solution can get you there.)

These benefits equate to less time, money and resources spent on manual workforce management, which frees up time to focus on what really matters to your business (like building client relationships).

What Brianne Stephan, Sr. Director of Product, loves most about her role is the collaboration between Users, Business and Technology.  She is passionate about product strategy, design thinking principles and new product development.  Brianne’s focus at WorkWave is on the global product strategy and bringing modern technology and features to the product portfolio.


Ellen LeMasters, American Bike Patrol

From the benefits bike patrol has had on law enforcement, all the way down to the positive
environmental values bike patrol puts forth, one may instead ask why not bike patrol? Bike
patrol was first invented in the mid-to-late 1800s, starting with a very heavy iron and wood pedal
bicycle. The bike patrol industry has continued to grow ever since it developed into the modern
diamond frame safety bicycle. Because of the ease that comes along with integrating bike patrol
into a community, bike patrol offers a better way to protect and serve a community in the most
cost-friendly manner.

Did you know that bike patrols result in more than twice as many contacts with the public than
vehicle patrols? The novelty of a police officer on a bike creates an atmosphere where members
of a culturally diverse community can start overcoming any negative perceptions that may have
been placed upon law enforcement from prior encounters with patrol cars. A bicycle patrol
officer has been proven to be more easily approachable than a car patrol officer.

Even more than just their role in community relations, bike patrol units also generate faster
response times than patrol cars due to the mobility and stealth bicycles have to offer, especially
with the introduction of Patrol eBikes. Bike patrol units can fit and maneuver into areas that
patrol cars cannot, such as squeezing into small alleyways, riding right up to the doors of
buildings, and even going down stairwells. They are also way less obvious and easy to point out
than patrol cars, making it harder for criminals to notice them approaching.

Along with their impact on community relations and visibility, bike patrol is drastically more cost
effective and environmentally safe than patrol cars. A fully outfitted bike costs around $1500,
requires no gas, and is lower maintenance, while also providing a significantly lower carbon
intake than patrol cars. Even at an average cost of $2500 per bike, which includes bike training
and bike maintenance, a police or security department can put a team of approximately 15-20
officers on bicycles for the price of one patrol unit. Even further, bike patrol units provide a
physical health benefit for patrol officers who have to stay active during their entire shift as they
are constantly cycling throughout their communities.

At American Bike Patrol Service, we are dedicated to serving law enforcement by covering any
needs when it comes to bike patrol. With over 25 years in the industry, hundreds of officers
trained from police departments, security agencies, military and private corporations, we
continue to utilize the knowledge we have gained from our experiences and years of product
testing in order to ensure that all clients are receiving the finest products and services that align
with their specific budget and needs. We as a company strive to help ensure safety within
communities by offering law enforcement and security with the best bike patrol services they
can receive.



Debbie Trecek Volkens, TEAM Software, CALSAGA Network Partner

Lowest bid technically acceptable is a painful part of the industry we work in. It’s why, sometimes, strategic initiatives to become more efficient fall to the back burner: initial investments in time and resources can seem like an unnecessary burden when you’re struggling to fill shifts and keep operating expenses within budget. 

The catch twenty-two about a back-burner approach, though, is that you cannot lower your costs and grow your profit without taking that first step towards efficiency. One tactic you can use to kickstart the process is to look at your business proposals and highlight where an efficiency-driving solution can bring direct value to your clients. Look at these five key areas of need your prospective clients are asking for and add information to your bids to strengthen your proposals. 

Qualified Guards On Site. 

Your clients are ensuring guards with the right qualifications are filling the needs of their contracts in order to create the safest and most secure environment possible. Demonstrate how you record and track certifications of officers, and send notifications when certifications are due to be updated. 

Reduced Liability And Risk. 

Incidents and risk open your clients up to liability and lawsuits. Demonstrate how you help shoulder that responsibility of welfare by monitoring where and when an officer is onsite (and how you have evidence via location tracking technology, checkpoint documentation or rich media like photos and video to back up your claims). Be prepared to offer daily shift reports to provide visibility and quality assurance, and showcase your safety procedures and automated communication flows so you can keep your clients aware of an unfolding incident and resolution status. 

Communication, Response Times And Customer Service. 

If there is an incident on site, your client needs it to be resolved appropriately and quickly. You should be able to send quick messages (like texts, emails or phone calls) securely to individual officers, or to larger patrol teams. Emergency communication automations can be leveraged to support your resolution practices and bring examples of reporting materials (like activity logs, incident reports and inspections). Ask questions about what your prospective client’s current procedure looks like and show them how reporting tools can be configured to their specifications. 

Reputation And Proof Of Service. 

You know software can’t complete physical security tasks for you, but it can improve the quality and consistency of the work you already provide. It can eliminate fraudulent timekeeping practices (like buddy punching) and ensure billable work is transparent and accurate. It can record your scope of work and identify areas of improvement. It can improve scheduling and reduce overtime (billable and non-billable). And, it proves it’s delivering in all of these areas through reporting and analytics tools as an asset to support your company’s reputation. 

Cost-Effective Services. 

It’s likely your clients don’t care what tools you’re using to get the job done. But, showcasing the value software brings to these areas can strengthen the value your company brings to your bidding proposal. Your data working together in one system helps drive efficiencies to your bottom line, meaning you can more competitively bid contracts. Then, you can pass that on to your customers, who win by gaining the best quality of service at the best price. 

When it’s clear the value outweighs the costs, you’ll have strengthened your competitive position and achieved an advantage.


Debbie joined TEAM in 2020 and works as a content marketing specialist. Her goal is to connect the dots between industry needs and product solutions through engaging, educational and valuable content. Debbie holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from Peru State College, where she graduated summa cum laude.


Debbie Howlett, TrackTik, Network Partner

Theft has always been an issue for the retail industry. In the past few months, incidents have been rising in several U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and more.

But the rising tide of theft has become more bold and violent in recent months, often taking place in crowded stores in broad daylight by mobs or gangs of thieves. These incidents are forcing an industry already plagued with pandemic lockdowns and disputes over mask requirements to deal with yet another problem.

Rising Statistics

A report released by the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Buy Safe America Coalition, The Impact of Organized Retail Crime and Product Theft in the United States, provides insights into the actual economic impact of retail crime. The report also discusses the role of organized theft rings that steal merchandise in large quantities to fence on online marketplaces like Amazon and Facebook. 

According to the study, which relied on data provided by some of the largest retailers in the U.S:

  • As much as $68.9 billion worth of products were stolen from retailers in 2019 (pre-COVID).
  • Retail crime results in $125.7 billion in lost economic activity and 658,375 fewer jobs, paying almost $39.3 billion in wages and benefits to workers.  
  • Retail theft costs federal and state governments nearly $15 billion in personal and business tax revenues, not including the lost sales taxes.
San Francisco, Los Angeles Hit Hard by Smash-and-Grab Theft 

Off-duty police officers have been moonlighting as private retail security for years. Still, the city of San Francisco has recently approved a plan to allow off-duty sheriff deputies to be hired as private retail security officers to help deal with the spate of smash-and-grab robberies that have hit the Golden City. 

According to one California-based private security firm, Omni Private Security Services, demand skyrockets in major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. They are having trouble keeping up with the demand as retailers deal with an onslaught of smash-and-grab robberies.

In late November of this year, a security officer was shot as he protected a San Francisco Bay Area news crew covering a recent robbery where thieves broke into a clothing store in yet another smash-and-grab theft in the city. In recent months, robberies in the area have become more brazen and violent. According to the California Retailers Association president, Rachel Michelin, “This level of violence has taken it to a whole new level. No one has seen this before.”

In November, over $1 billion worth of goods were stolen from Bay Area stores in smash-and-grab robberies.  In Union Square, luxury retailers like Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom, Burberry, Bloomingdales, Walgreens, and Lululemon – all victims of recent smash-and-grab robberies – have boarded up windows to prevent further incidents. 

As shoppers filled Union Square on Black Friday, heavy police and private security presence were visible outside the boarded-up stores. At the Nordstroms in Walnut Creek, 80 people raided the store and stole merchandise in under one minute, and three employees were kicked, punched, or pepper-sprayed during the incident. At a press conference, Chief Bill Scoot of the SFPD said, “We will flood this area with police officers for the foreseeable future. We will do what we need to do to put an end to this madness.”

In San Francisco’s famous Chinatown, one small independent retailer had $250,000 worth of jewelry stolen in another smash-and-grab incident. With insurance unwilling to cover the loss, it’s unclear whether or not the store can remain open. 

Similar incidents have been reported in the city of Los Angeles. Eight thieves ransacked a Home Depot and grabbed hammers, crowbars, and sledgehammers before fleeing. Bottega Veneta, which sells high-end clothing, was also targeted by thieves. More than $338,000 in goods were stolen in 11 incidents in stores and malls over the Black Friday weekend, causing an additional $40,000 in property damage. 

The thefts, or “flash robs,”  are thought to be part of sophisticated criminal networks that recruit people to steal merchandise and sell it online. Walgreens plans to close five San Francisco stores due to organized retail theft, having already shuttered ten stores in the city. 

Chicago Neighborhood Residents Take Security into Their Own Hands

In the Chicago neighborhood of Bucktown, a group of private armed security guards is set to begin patrolling in an attempt to deal with a rise in carjackings and crime this year. Last month, alone, over 20 armed robberies occurred in the neighborhood. 

In Oakbrook, a Nordstrom was the target of two smash-and-grab burglaries on the same day, while a nearby Louis Vuitton shop by targetted by 14 thieves who stole $120,000 of merchandise. Thieves pulled out garbage bags from their coats and filled them up upon entering the store. Similar robberies have occurred throughout the city at high-end car dealerships and along Chicago’s famous, magnificent mile. 

10 Quick Tips for Making Smash-and-Grab Robberies More Difficult
  1. Hire a security firm to dispatch officers during high-traffic times. The physical presence of a security officer often acts as a deterrent to would-be thieves. Most security firms rely on a security workforce management solution to dispatch officers and communicate with them at all times during a shift.
  2. Equip your officers with state-of-the-art tools and technology to ensure your officers’ safety, like real-time incident reporting and video recording, GPS tracking, checkpoint notifications, and a panic button.
  3. Use an access control system or door buzzer so you can control access to the store, or make sure an alarm sounds when someone enters or exits the store.
  4. Install a video surveillance system with hidden and visible cameras around the premises. Place signage in windows announcing that you have a 24-hour surveillance system in place with footage monitored at all times.
  5. Work with your security firm to analyze data from the security workforce management solution to spot trends, or any areas in or around the store that might provide an easier target for thieves.
  6. Make sure multiple employees are moving around the store at all times. Position an ambassador at the front of the store to greet customers as they enter and immediately offer customer service. The extra attention could be a deterrent to a would-be criminal.
  7. Spread high-value merchandise in showcases throughout the store instead of displaying these items together in one area.
  8. Consider using burglary-resistant glass for your showcase. While it isn’t a foolproof solution, the glass will potentially slow down would-be robbers who want to be in and out of the store as quickly as possible.
  9. Don’t put all the high-value items in one area of the store or showroom. Spread it throughout the store to make it difficult to “grab” all at once. 
  10. Less is more. Don’t overcrowd your window display or storefront with merchandise. Make sure employees can see people acting suspiciously outside the store and that passersby can see inside in the event of a robbery. 

Retail theft is nothing new, but the population is growing weary in a country fed up with a seemingly endless pandemic, lockdowns, mask mandates, and supply chain issues. Like frontline workers in the healthcare industry, security officers are also under enormous pressure to protect the communities, people, and properties they serve. Over the next few weeks, please show your appreciation for the incredible job they have done over the past 21 months to keep us all safe. Say Hello, or Thanks.  

About TrackTik

TrackTik was founded in 2013 and quickly established itself as a market leader with the mission to build better software so its clients can run smarter businesses. TrackTik’s cloud-based technology enables security organizations to connect frontline staff, back office management, and their clients to drive improved operational efficiency and data insights. TrackTik helps security professionals make automated, data-driven decisions with its seamless approach to system connectivity. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with offices in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, TrackTik offers four integrated suites of tools – Security Operations for Guarding, Back Office Management, Mobile Patrol and Dispatch, and Business Intelligence & Reporting Analytics, to help security service companies follow the progression of guards, reduce manual tasks, lower costs, and demonstrate value.


Debbie Howlett

Debbie is an experienced writer with a demonstrated history of working in the security industry. She is based in Montreal, Canada, with TrackTik—a dynamic and cutting-edge tech company that sells cloud-based security workforce management software.

Twitter: @TrackTik 


Tory Brownyard, Brownyard Group

The insurance industry is now experiencing a hard market that experts predict will continue well into 2022. In practical terms, this means security firms, among other businesses and industries, will continue to see rising insurance premiums and may have difficulty obtaining coverage. 

A range of factors have contributed to the hardening insurance market. For security firms planning for the year ahead, understanding the drivers and knowing the risks that concern insurers may help soften the blow and provide better coverage options in the shifting economy. 

What’s driving the hard market 

In a hard market, insurance rates rise as insurers become more risk averse. Some insurers institute stricter underwriting parameters, while others may leave certain markets entirely. An example of this can be found in California where, years ago, many insurers reduced the amount of earthquake coverage they wrote while others stopped providing earthquake insurance entirely. 

For security firms in the U.S., the pandemic, economic uncertainty, rising crime rates and civil unrest in 2020 and 2021 all contributed to the hardening of the security insurance market. One of the primary drivers is large settlements awarded against guard firms. Such settlements, coupled with the risk of active shooter claims, are increasing insurance rates for security firms across the board. 

The security industry saw a respite from active shooter situations throughout 2020 and 2021 due to nationwide lockdowns. However, as lockdowns ended, active shooter concerns began to rise again. For instance, a workplace shooting at a Northern California rail yard in May marked the third such incident in less than two months. In many of these situations, security professionals are often the first line of defense. As such, they face considerable liability.

Another factor driving increased insurance premiums for guard firms is the ongoing trend of asking guards to perform work that is not only outside of their regular duties, but also exposes them to increased risk. For years security guards have been asked to provide additional services such as hospital patient transfer and even janitorial services. The pandemic exacerbated this trend as guards found themselves performing temperature, mask, and vaccination checks. In places such as Los Angeles County, where vaccine mandates are strongly enforced, guards will likely continue to be asked to provide additional services for the foreseeable future. 

If these services are not included in a security firm’s contract and the guard, or those involved with the guard’s actions, are in any way harmed, lack of insurance coverage for those services could expose the firm to considerable liability, as some insurance policies will exclude operations not disclosed to the insurance company.

Additional factors contributing to the hard market include a global increase in the cost of doing business and late claims reporting. The later a claim is reported, the more time sensitive it becomes and the more costly it is to settle. 

Choosing clients carefully

One of the biggest concerns for insurers when it comes to underwriting the security industry are the types of clients taken on by the firm. Security firms that take on clients considered high-risk are seen as having an increased exposure. Clients that fall into the high-risk category are typically those with more public exposure, including sport and concerts venues, shopping malls, and clients that are prone to criminal activity, such as certain medical dispensaries, subsidized housing and payday lenders. 

In addition to paying higher insurance rates, security firms that cater to high-risk clientele might also find it more difficult to get coverage. Some markets are also reducing coverage and introducing exclusions for certain client types such as low-income housing, special events or places serving liquor. 

While the hard market presents challenges to finding affordable and consistent insurance coverage, security firms can take steps to lower their risk exposure. Doing so can contribute to either better costs or access to limited coverage.

What you can do to soften the blow 

Poor contractual language can open the door to security firms assuming responsibility — and potential liability — for actions over which they have no control.  Reviewing contracts to ensure they are clear and transparent can help firms ensure they only accept liability for their own wrongdoing or negligence. Security firms should provide clients with contract language that has been both drafted and approved by the firm’s attorney, as well as reviewed by their insurance provider. Doing so can limit liability when a claim is made and help control the cost of those claims, thus making those security firms more appealing to insurers. 

Another way security firms can reduce the impact of a hard market is by reporting incidents as soon as they happen, even if the security officer is not considered responsible for the incident in question. Through timely reporting, security firms can provide the insurance company with the necessary information to get ahead of the claim and lessen the potential liability from long-tail claims (those that typically carry a long settlement period, high settlement amounts and a lengthy court case) and put themselves in a more defensible position. 

Finally, serving clients with lower risk profiles, such as office buildings, government contracts and industrial clients will lower a security firm’s risk profile. In most cases, insurers view such low risk more favorably because they tend to have a better loss experience. 

As the economy shifts and the need for private security expands, it is more important than ever for security firms to better understand and mitigate liability risks where they can. To accomplish this goal, security firms should work with their insurance partner to better understand their coverage and their potential exposure. This can find greater stability during uncertain times. 

About Tory Brownyard

Brownyard, CPCU, is president of Brownyard Group, an insurance program administrator with specialty programs for select industry groups. In addition to his responsibilities as president, he currently spearheads the Brownguard® security guard insurance program.


Brandy Tomasek, TEAM Software, CALSAGA Network Partner


As a leader of a security company, managing your contract updates can become an incredibly daunting task, especially given today’s ever-changing environment. Not only are customers requesting more from your business in terms of the services you provide, but you’re also being required to monitor your service delivery to meet new and specific compliance standards. As contract management becomes more complicated, you’re simultaneously being asked to provide more visibility to your customers through business data and proof of service — a process multiplied by each dispersed job site spelled out in your contract agreements. 

As contract management evolves, one thing is clear. Your business strategy needs to evolve as well, namely in finding a way to leverage your technology so it’s working for you, not against you. Managing a contract across multiple platforms — or worse, through only paper-and-pencil processes — is tricky, messy and ultimately a drain on your resources. Even with regular communication to and from the field, you’re more likely to end up with answers that don’t line up across systems, discrepancies in how information is processed and assigned, and a loss of customer business. It’s important to use technology specifically designed for the needs of the security industry to counteract these dangers and better manage your contracts. 

Trainings, Licensures and Breaks

With your contracts, it’s important to make sure you have officers with the correct qualifications fulfilling the requirements of any given job, and that you’re providing fair and equitable hours whenever possible. Employees need to be onboarded thoroughly and appropriately with ongoing training and licensure requirements accurately tracked, so when a job does require specific certifications, you can fill those service-level agreement needs appropriately. When your officers are on duty, a holistic workforce management solution can monitor time worked against necessary compliance regulations, ensuring you accurately track time, including meal or rest breaks. This is especially important for instances when meal or rest breaks could theoretically be attributed to a different week due to how shift schedules fall, mistakenly resulting in more overtime expenses on your payroll. Without a software solution working to provide accurately, timely data to produce outputs, you’re relying on human subjectivity to manage minute details where error can result in headaches and liabilities for your company to handle down the road.  

Scheduling and Your Bottom Line

As a service contractor, labor costs are one of the biggest expenses narrowing your profit margins. Seemingly harmless scheduling gaffes, like an officer coming in early or staying late, can quickly add up in expenses your company is on the hook for but that you ultimately can’t bill to your customer. By eliminating manual processes from the scheduling equation, you can more accurately manage shift punches and rule out any de minimis time by setting up configurable default time and attendance settings. From a contract standpoint, this helps with cost attribution, while minimizing any back-office reconciliation work before payroll is due. Plus, a tool that monitors open posts, offers positions to employees and schedules based on compliance requirements (guard licensing, driver’s license, weapons permit, CPR training, etc.) ensures you’re still able to identify gaps in coverage, prevent pre-scheduled overtime and receive notifications if an officer doesn’t clock in for a shift. 

Communicating to Field-Based Officers

Manual back-and-forth communications can get the job done, but a software solution that provides communication to and from the field helps provide visibility to your security officers, supervisors and management. System notifications help identify things like gaps in coverage for contracts and better manage compliance requirements via messaging solutions. Plus, the ability to notify employees of open posts via push notification and SMS texting helps shorten the lead time of filling gaps in coverage and ensuring contract management. By tracking all communications within one system, executives have peace of mind — and a paper trail to refer to when reviewing contract fulfillment or queries from customers. 

The possibilities of software built specifically for the needs of the security industry are endless. Take advantage of tools that work for you to help manage your contracts. 


Brandy Tomasek joined TEAM Software in 2016. She’s a part of the Professional Services team, working as a Sr. Business Consultant. Prior to joining TEAM, Brandy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Marketing, as well as her MBA in Organizational Leadership. Brandy’s professional experience spans a range of disciplines from management and leadership, to training and accounting. In her free time, Brandy enjoys spending time with her family, training their puppy and DIY everything.


Debbie Howlett, TrackTik, Network Partner

The year was 1945, and equality between men and women was a core tenet in the United Nations Charter. Seventy-five years later, women and girls still live in a world of gender inequality. 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace, and Security, yet the gender gap remains wide. While the past decades have seen some significant progress for women and girls, change has been inconsistent and uneven. “At the current rate of change, the global gender gap will not close for another 100 years. Change is coming at a pace that is too slow for the women and girls whose lives depend on it,” the Secretary-General warned. 

The gender gap, of course, is not unique to the security industry. Even though the calendar may say 2021, there are many professions still unnecessarily gendered in the public’s opinion, with security officer industry being one of them. Today, it is still perceived as man’s work.

In the security officer industry, however, the gender gap is clearly visible. At present in the US, only 25% of security officers are female and the other 75% of security officers are men. The gap is wider in the UK, where the Security Industry Authority (which is the regulator of the UK’s private security industry) recently released data on the demographics which make up their license holders (as of March 2021). According to statistics, only 10.2% of SIA license holders are female and while the remaining 89.2% of license holders are male. 

According to ISTA (the International Security Training Academy), there are several misconceptions about security officers that may be holding women back from pursuing a career in the security industry. Thanks to Hollywood, security officers are often portrayed in one of two ways: They are either gun-toting, macho mustachioed men racing through parking garages in the dead of night, or they are lazy, unskilled mall cops like Paul Blart, Mall Cop. But Hollywood isn’t real life and the reality is that security officers play a key role in protecting people, property, and communities. During the ongoing pandemic, we have all come to rely on security officers to keep us safe, and the sight of a security officer outside a grocery store, a pharmacy, or an office building fills us with a sense of security. 

Dispelling the myths

  • Myth #1: All security officers are men

Simply not true. While at present, men do take up the majority of available roles in the security officer industry, women are slowly starting to step up and take on valuable roles thanks to their covert presence, calm demeanor, and their ability to empathize with the general public, whose nerves are at all-time high right now. 

  • Myth #2: Security officers need to be built like bodybuilders

In some scenarios, size does matter, such as in roles as bouncers outside pubs and bars, or in situations where a security officer is needed to control a sizable crowd. But there are plenty of other opportunities for women in control rooms, corporate security, areas of loss prevention, and more. 

  • Myth #3: Most of the available work is for late nights and weekends

Right now, while many opportunities in the late-night entertainment and overnight travel industries are on hold, there are still many security positions available in retail stores, government agencies, office buildings, schools, banks, and other locations. A lot of this work is also performed during a typical day, though the need for security officers is typically 24/7.

  • Myth #4: Security work is too dangerous for women

This myth is a huge misconception. What makes security work dangerous is improper training or not equipping your officers with the techniques and communication skills to diffuse potentially difficult situations. Security officers are hired to protect properties, public spaces, residential complexes, and educational institutions. Not typically known for being high-risk areas.

How to inspire change in the security officer industry

The topic of Sexism and Security was a recent Thought Leadership Webinar sponsored by the OSPAs, Perpetuity Research, and TECAs. The panel discussion confirmed that research in the security sector shows that women suffer from different forms of sexism in the security officer industry, with behavior, attitudes, and language just a few examples. According to a recent survey, 64% of female officers have experienced bullying, sexual harassment, and gender-based violence while working in a security role. 

But sexism is not just a women’s issue to be solved by women. Although women don’t talk about it, they do experience it every day. And while there are more women in security than ever before, we need to encourage women to pursue careers in the officer industry by including women in leadership roles. But sometimes, encouraging women is not enough. Women are at least as competent as men, if not more. Still, if the industry wants more women to join their ranks, they need to create support structures and tailor security and mentorship programs directly for women and encourage them to pursue leadership roles. 

Anyone who claims that men make better security officers than women completely misunderstands the role of the modern security officer. The industry has evolved beyond physical characteristics like strength and towering height, and qualities such as communication, empathy, and industry knowledge are critical to present-day security sectors and sought after by employers.

There are also many situations where there is a real need for women security officers. Female spaces, for example, require a female security officer as some women may feel uncomfortable with male officers entering areas like washrooms, changing rooms, or performing pat-downs and searches for which women security officers are required. Finally, female security officers are often seen as less intimidating to other women and children.

Change can be challenging, but it’s possible with training, awareness, and conversation. On April 20, 2021, Saudi Arabia stationed female security officers at Mecca’s Grand Mosque for the first time in history. The decision to station the female officers is a part of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud’s ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ strategic framework reform.  According to political analyst Ali Shihabi, A Saudi female security officer in Makkah supervising pilgrims. Amazing change for Saudi society!

Women need to be encouraged to join a security officer industry committed to diversity and inclusion. There are numerous opportunities for women in security, but this needs to be recognized and championed by the leadership at the top. Education is critical and acknowledging the lack of women in the industry is the first step towards a stronger, more diverse security workforce. 

Resources for Women

SIA: Women in Security Forum Committee

ASIS: Women in Security Community

Women in Safety Excellence Common Interest Group 

Debbie Howlett

Debbie is an experienced writer with a demonstrated history of working in the security industry. She is based in Montreal, Canada, with TrackTik—a dynamic and cutting-edge tech company that sells cloud-based security workforce management software.

Twitter: @TrackTik 



Tony Unfried, CSA360

Over the last 13 months, everyone likely became very wary of hearing the phrase “The New Normal.”  As the world has opened up and the vaccine has started to roll out, the changes we have all experienced haven’t gone away.  The reliance on new and old technology being implemented in the security industry continues to grow.  Looking back on what we have all done, and forging ahead into the future, we can now ask, “What has changed forever in the security industry?”

The Need for Security

The need for security and visitor management systems at a facility has increased. A drastic increase in certain crimes and a global pandemic has intensified the need for physical security even if the facility is empty. The role of a security team and their use of technology became more important than ever with them being tasked with running temperature checks, enforcing masks, and still social distancing. Even in neighborhoods, the increased amount of security surveillance was needed more than ever. What has changed forever though is now we have to monitor empty schools with physical or remote cameras, but still communicate with boots on the ground.


Public health became a new concern for the security industry due to the padmenic. We had a new role of making sure everyone was following social distancing guidelines, wearing masks, and even prescreening all people who enter a building. We now have to consider how to pandemic-proof a facility for the foreseeable future. It is our job to assure that all workers feel safe even from microscopic threats. 

2020 was the year we were forced to adapt. Security guards are essential workers and while most of the US was in quarantine we were on-site securing and monitoring the world. We turned to technology to find a way to make sure security teams were in contact with as few people as possible and finding ways to automate as many processes as possible with technology. The use of visitor management pre-screen and temperature checking kiosks is rising at an exponential rate.
Facial recognition became more common for managing control in big facilities like warehouses and large business buildings. It can be used to grant access into different areas contactless getting rid of biometric readers and keypads which is a possible breeding ground for viruses. 

Security teams are looking to their current software to provide them, even more, use manage facilities.  Paperless incident reports, guard tour checkpoints, push notifications, and contactless visitor management has helped teams adapt to these trying times. Being able to be happening in real-time with your team, your schedule, and the visitors in your facilities gives your team the ability to adapt and be prepared.  This new invasion is what has changed forever.

Tony Unfried, CEO of CSA360, holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs and Criminal Justice from Indiana University, where he graduated with honors. While enrolled in his master’s program, Tony worked for The TJX Companies, Inc., leading the region in loss prevention and moving the company toward technology use in Security. Tony went on to join the most significant security company in Indiana, managing more than 500 employees and 50 sites, including the Indiana Convention Center, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center. Seeing a noticeable gap in technology use in the physical security sector, Tony created his first security software application, launched at the Super Bowl in 2012, and recognized twice for Excellence in Mobile Technology by Techpoint. Tony has also spoken on Tech in Physical Security on panels with ASIS and IAVM.