Foundation Report Examines the Security Industry

Article excerpt

Thirty-five percent of companies located in the United States expect to invest more money in security over the upcoming year, and 34 percent plan to expand an existing security program, according to a preliminary report based on the first of a series of four surveys sponsored by the ASIS Foundation, Inc., and prepared by the Justice and Safety Center at Eastern Kentucky University.

The preliminary report showed that the majority of individual respondents within the security industry had completed at least a bachelor's degree, were an average of 49 years old, and had served 11 years in their current position. The average security budget for 2003, according to respondents, was more than $1 million, a 10 percent increase from 2002 numbers. Of the survey respondents, 18 percent expected an increase in security budgets for 2005 and only 3 percent expected budgets to decrease. Only 8 percent of companies planned to invest more in contract security officer services.

The most pressing security concern was computer/network security, cited by 46 percent of the respondents. Also important was liability insurance (40 percent) and employee theft (26 percent). These priorities were also reflected in questions about security purchases. Forty percent of U.S. companies plan to purchase computer/network security systems in 2005. In addition, 26 percent plan to invest in alarm systems, 24 percent in CCTV and surveillance products.

The data are further broken out by sector. For example, the survey found that companies in the retail sector are most likely to purchase alarm systems in the near future. Many types of companies, especially those in the finance, services, transportation, communications, and utilities sectors, plan on buying computer/network security systems.

Despite the 9-11 attacks, interaction with law enforcement remained steady. An overwhelming number of respondents (90 percent) said that security-related contacts with police had stayed the same since the terrorist attacks.

The survey also addressed the types of interactions security departments have within their own companies. For example, 25 percent of respondents said that they most frequently work with human resources, primarily on preemployment screening issues. …