That quote comes from the movie Men in Black 3. And while you may not think that a movie quote applies to security it most certainly does. And if you will read on, even if you disagree, I’ll try to explain it.
Even after the San Bernardino workplace violence (WPV)/terrorism incidents, companies are still reluctant to believe that they are at risk of a WPV incident. They are telling themselves that, knowing down deep inside their gut that it’s a lie. And it’s a sweet lie per se’, because it allows them to concentrate on other items for their business, such as the bottom line.
They can spend their financial resources on growing the business, finding a new office/retail space, more inventory for a sale, advertising, or hiring more staff. They don’t have to waste it on worrying about security & their safety/security. It’s a perfect lie to tell themselves.
And yet, the underlying result is that it is still just a lie. And so many who perceive themselves to be visionary and see troubles on the horizon, would rather tell themselves that lie than accept a bitter truth. WPV exists and can strike anyone, at anytime, anywhere, for any reason.
And it can be a very bitter truth, almost nauseating at times, to accept this reality. Because when they do, they open themselves up to innumerable issues that they simply don’t want to face. Or worse they don’t know anything about and, just like a 2-year-old, they think they can hide from it and therefore avoid any thought of it. If you don’t confront it and acknowledge it then it isn’t real!
But as security professionals we know for an absolute certainty that WPV is real, not to mention a myriad of other security issues. Computer hacking, employees losing their devices with company secrets on it, theft, fraud, and the list goes on and on and on…
So in order to get the C-suite to accept, as well as line managers and their employees, we need to do a better job in getting them to accept these bitter truths, as nauseating as they may be. And that’s not always the easiest thing for us to do.
I would still recommend the shock method of attempting to get the resources to secure the business & employees. Show the executives what can happen IF they do nothing and let it happen. From a financial resources, liability, publicity, & the myriad of other things that will happen if they don’t acknowledge the issue and then try to prevent it, or be moving in that direction.
Will the executives like what you tell them, especially with the financial expenditures? More than likely, NO! Will the employees like it when the security protocols are rolled out and their ‘freedoms’ are limited even further by the Barney Fife’s of the world? Absolutely, definitely, positively NOT!
So, along with police officers trying to get wrong way/drunk/high drivers off the road and the military attempting to stop attacks at home, we have just as much a critical task. We have to assist the military, police, & others when it comes to protecting the people here at home.
And the bitter truth of it is that it will be necessary to restrict and not allow as many things into the workplace as before. And because of that we can’t sugar coat and tell a sweet lie to anyone that we are trying to protect.
We security professionals are the ones who are bringing the sour & nasty tasting pills to everyone at work. We are the people pouring castor oil into the throats of kids from some old movie. We are the evil ones who seek to do nothing but hinder the freedoms of the people we’re charged to protect.
In this era of a terrorist/criminal around and hiding in every corner to harm the people we’re charged to protect, we must be the ones to bring about the bitter truth to our employers or clients. They tell themselves the lies, while we work diligently in the background to ensure that another bitter truth won’t annoy them.
The truth that they are at risk and could face financial ruin. And that ruin coming from lost property, assets, and more importantly the lives of people inside the business. What may be worse that the C-suite has to deal with, and fortunately we mostly don’t, most times, the questioning look in a child’s eyes when they ask “Why isn’t mommy or daddy not coming home anymore?”
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear