Identifying and Exploring Security Essentials

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9780131126206: Identifying and Exploring Security Essentials

This new book gives readers a unique approach to the study of security issues, useful for either those already in the field or before they actually find themselves employed in a specific security-related job. Written in a clear, easy-to-understand style, this book gives readers the opportunity to look at security from various perspectives; it grounds them firmly in the history and fundamentals of the field, as well as prepares them for today's most difficult security challenges. Topics comprehensively covered in this book include: the use of technology in physical security; understanding security in the context of setting; security scenarios; public and private police relations; legal liability; internal resource identification; external community connections; and more. Homeland security means security issues are not just for security practitioners anymore. Everyone should be actively educating themselves about security-related subjects, and become familiar with security needs in various target environments. As such, this book is not only for those in the security field, but for others such as school principals, hospital workers, office managers and business executives, and owners and managers of all types of businesses.

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From the Back Cover:

Identifying and Exploring Security Essentials gives readers a rare, hands-an approach to the study of security issues. Written in a clear and easy-to-understand style, this new text from Prentice Hall will help readers understand the history and fundamentals of security.

Special features of Identifying and Exploring Security Essentials

  • Newspaper articles, case studies, and other examples bring the material to life
  • Sample security tools including a physical security survey
  • Each chapter concludes with review questions and detailed discussion questions
  • Wide array of appendices cover security careers, associations and certifications, Internet resources, and a historical security timeline

Identifying and Exploring Security Essentials goes beyond technical security information to show how to actively identify, meet, and evaluate security objectives in multiple environments. This book provides test cases and activities for readers to review, evaluate, and critique. These activities will help readers become confident in their abilities as they identify, research, and explore multiple levels of security-related information.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

This text is offered to those interested in developing a better understanding of security and security-related concerns. On September 11, 2001 we saw clearly how security-related concerns affect everyone. The importance of the ideas presented here have been eerily illustrated in horrific fashion by the events on that day and in the days since. As a result, how we think about security concerns as a nation has changed in the United States and throughout the world. Security as a discipline and as a popular concern has been changed and awareness everywhere has been heightened.

The security-related themes presented here were originally organized for students in an upper-level security course. The information included here, however, will prove useful to anyone interested in security. Readers will see how to begin thinking strategically not only about security options but also about how to assess their own environment to determine which option will be most effective for them under what circumstances. More than a "how-to" book, this is a "how-to-think-about" book.

After reviewing and integrating years of security-related information from various security texts, articles, and trade journals, teaching security and crime prevention classes, and talking with security professionals, I came to realize that people (including security professionals) often use the same words and terms to describe different security-related issues and concepts. This can be confusing. Furthermore, the few social science research studies that have been done in this area suggest that even security practitioners do not agree about what security means. In an effort to provide better service to students, I began offering them a collection of ideas, rather than espousing one particular definition. I decided to focus on providing a definition supplemented by a presentation of, and discussion about, general security concepts. This text is the result of my effort to take various uses of security-related terms, concepts, and activities and synthesize these ideas into what I am calling "security essentials."

One factor motivating me to put together a textbook was my own frustration when reading and researching within the field. My initial goal was to find a means by which I could define terms easily for students who were just learning the field while at the same time not create confusion for them when they began reading security materials on their own. One of my concerns, however, is the importance of organizing and discussing the material in a way that makes sense to both researchers and academic types and security practitioners.

The reader should be aware that similar efforts to synthesize and prioritize security-related material are under way from within one of the largest, and perhaps most well-known, international security organizations, the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Although I decided this text should reflect my academic leanings, I also try to acknowledge the importance of the practitioner perspective. Information from the ASIS organization's education committee should also prove useful. My hope is that by making comparisons between the efforts of academics and the efforts of practitioners, we can move a step closer to a fuller integration of what have traditionally been separate orientations to security-related information.

Some security concepts discussed throughout this text can and should be applied to any and all settings, but it is essential to highlight the fact that each secured environment is different. For students, this is a critical concept. No one book can speak to every security issue. People who look exclusively to textbooks for their security solutions are not utilizing the one thing that they may know the most about: the specific and specialized environmental conditions in the "target environment," or the setting they seek to protect. Security professionals responsible for a specific environment should know that environment better than anyone else. When the environmental conditions change, so then do the security needs. While a professional may understand a particular type of security (hospital security, for example), if he or she overlooks important environmental factors unique to a specific hospital or clinic, the system can be left vulnerable. I want students to think about both the information they are learning (e.g., hospital security) and how it is applied within the target environment (e.g., a specific clinic). The interaction between information and environmental conditions requires constant evaluation and reevaluation, and this reflects the ongoing process of review required when providing security.

I find students least prepared to deal with the fluid nature of the security process. So I began directing student attention toward the process of assessing security in various settings and then asking students to think about what a secure setting might mean under different circumstances. It became clear that once they could concentrate on what they knew about the conditions in the target environment, the better prepared they felt they were for making decisions about appropriate security options. The more environments they considered, the easier this became and the more confident they became in the evaluation and assessment processes. As they began to feel more comfortable assessing environmental conditions and thinking about security options, they realized how important it is to find a way to make a decision they can feel good about to meet both immediate needs and to address concerns for the long term.

Efforts to identify, explore, implement, and evaluate security objectives require constant oversight, exploration, evaluation, and reevaluation of the environmental conditions. I tell my students it is like doing a puzzle when the picture you are putting together is constantly changing. Keeping a step ahead is essential for ensuring adequate protection. This is a tough charge for security professionals and can initially be overwhelming for students.

Environmental changes may leave a system vulnerable. The minute a system is deemed "foolproof," someone somewhere will see it as a challenge to exploit that system's vulnerability. This is as true for crime fighting as it is for crime prevention. Those who follow crime and related issues know the use of DNA has been touted as a foolproof method for determining a person's guilt or innocence. USA Today ran a front-page story titled "Criminals Try To Outwit DNA." It explained that alleged criminals are "coaching each other on how to spread blood and semen samples from other people around crime scenes to try and fool DNA analysts. "W1A) The minute you think you have the answers, the setting changes and requires a fresh review of the conditions you are addressing.

Traditional security textbooks have emphasized specific security options. This information is important; however, my approach to the material about security is a bit different. More traditional approaches to discussions about security focus on a specific, often competing, assessment of what security is, and then they tell the reader what is needed to achieve "it," maximum security. This text is an effort to provide opportunities and examples to illustrate the fluid nature of security as an ongoing process and to highlight the importance of knowing the target environment. From there readers must begin to engage their own understandings of what it is they want to secure. Whether coordinating the implementation of their own security protocol or seeking out assistance from other security professionals, readers will benefit from an introduction to this basic framework that can be understood easily and is followed by a step-by-step review of the fundamental aspects of the framework. Once readers learn these "basics," they then have the opportunity to think about how this framework is best applied to different target environments, and this acts as a useful transitional point for applying these ideas at home, at work, or anywhere.

OVERVIEW

Part I, "Reviewing the Basics," provides a thorough discussion of existing concepts, terms, and phrases. The introduction sets the stage by introducing several controversial issues in the field of security. A brief history of private security is presented in Chapter 1, followed by a discussion of fundamental security terms in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 provides an opportunity to think about applying the principles from Chapters 1 and 2 in different settings. Chapter 4 introduces five basic concepts central to security within a given environment. These themes become the focus of Part II, where they are considered in more explicit detail.

Part II, "Resources from Within," highlights the important elements of a security program introduced in Part I and takes those elements further. Physical security and asset protection, information and computer security, and personnel and security management are considered individually in Chapters 5, 6, and 7 respectively. Chapter 8 introduces the idea that these "essential" features of an overall security system do not operate in a vacuum. In fact, they interact. The idea of an integrated approach to security systems adds an additional layer of security protection for an environment. Chapter 9 provides sample target settings. Students are invited to apply the ideas introduced in Parts I and II.

Part III, "Making Essential External Connections," highlights the importance of activities that happen off site. Open and active communication with law enforcement is discussed in Chapter 10. Chapter 11 provides an elementary discussion of liability issues. Protection against liability is really the backbone of any security organization. Damage to the backbone will have a crippling effect on the business and perhaps on the industry as a whole. Chapter 12 discusses accidents and emergencies. While the chapter provides some basic information about resources for accident prevention and disaster management and planning, it also highlights the importance of paying attention to the aspects of an environment that may require specific attention and additional research. Chapter 13 outlines three security settings that demonstrate the integration of public and private policing efforts and a discussion of the future of security. Finally, Chapter 14 invites students to think about the settings provided in Chapter 9, with an eye toward addressing the external security needs.

In closing, I would like to invite you to enjoy playing with the ideas presented in this book. I hope anyone who is interested in developing a better understanding of security will have fun thinking through these security-related ideas. More important, I hope they find application of these ideas in their everyday lives. Helping students, small business owners, neighbors, and community members think about the realistic security threats present in their target environment is one of my goals. Having practitioners challenge the way they view their assumptions about security is another goal.

When it comes to understanding security, reading as much as you can is helpful. Conducting research to find solutions is helpful. Learning how to think critically about options is crucial. Readers can use each part of the text, building on previous sections, to develop a deeper understanding of the application of these ideas. I hope academics find this text helpful for thinking about scientifically useful and discipline-specific terms and concepts that are able to be measured and tested. I offer the terms and concepts presented here as a sort of practical and intellectual dartboard. Anybody want to play?

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