Guest post written by Brit Weber.
Traditionally, risk assessments are done with a pen and paper, or a spreadsheet checklist. You spend several days in a facility assessing the risks and threats, then write up a lengthy report with your findings and solutions. You deliver the report to the facility manager, who scans the executive summary and submits a one-page memo to their boss. The report is shelved and rarely seen again.
Sometime in the future, another security assessment will be done by a different consultant, with different findings and recommendations. And the cycle repeats itself. But what if it didn’t?
A couple of months ago, Daniel Young at Circadian Risk invited me to help conduct an enormous risk assessment that needed to be done in record time. The client was an internationally recognized research hospital, and the job required 256 of their facilities in four states to be assessed for physical security risks in less than 40 days.
I had heard about Circadian Risk’s security assessment app for years, but never had the opportunity to try it out. This would be my first time using Circadian Risk software, and I jumped at the chance. I wanted to see if the tool lived up to its promise—and I was not disappointed.
Let me tell you my reactions to trying the Circadian Risk app. But first, what is it?
The Circadian Risk App for Security Assessments
Circadian Risk has developed a software program that allows security consultants to save hours, reduce costs and create a sustainable benchmark that can be used and built upon each time a facility assessment is done.
The risk assessment software is built with an algorithm that provides a dashboard for the client allowing them to easily search various categories, create different reports ranging from the executive summary to the detailed, establish a benchmark not only of the customer’s facilities but against other similar organizations, and it provides a corrective action plan for gaps and shortfalls.
So what was it like to use Circadian Risk’s assessment software? Here’s a summary of my observations.
Easy to Use
Because I only had a few days’ notice before the assessment began, there was almost no time to try out the app before using it on-site. I had heard that the software was supposed to be easy, but I didn’t know if I would have enough time to learn it before starting the engagement.
As it turned out, I never needed the time to ramp up. The tool was extremely easy to use, and I was comfortable with it within a day. The only challenge for me was getting used to an iPad tablet.
Don’t Miss a Single Question
If you’re like me, the greatest frustration of doing a security assessment is the idea that you might miss something important. That has always been a nagging concern in the back of my mind whenever I do an assessment.
You can be very extensive with paper and pen, but it’s easy to unintentionally leave significant gaps unaddressed. You might have a dozen pages of questions on a cheat sheet, but it’s nearly impossible to cover every relevant question during an assessment. About 30 or 40 percent of the time, while writing up the report, I’d think, “Darn, I wish I had asked this or that.” With Circadian Risk’s assessment tool, I didn’t experience that once.
With the Circadian Risk app, that doesn’t happen. You validate all the security elements they have in place in record time, which frees you up to address shortfalls or gaps you find during inspection. Those issues can be inserted within the CR tool, which gives you a built-in visual prompt, reminding you to ask further questions.
In December, when I walked away from the inspection at the hospital, I knew that I had given comprehensive security assessments for dozens of buildings. There was no worry about missing details or forgetting to ask questions.
Risk Assessments Are Unbelievably Fast
With CR, the cost savings were so good, it allowed me to take extra time on addressing questions that weren’t predefined before the inspection.
At one campus, 24 security consultants walked through 100-plus healthcare facilities. Four of us finished a 22-story building in four hours. A team of two completed a 9-story building in two hours. Altogether, I assessed more than 20 buildings on the healthcare project in 18 days. The facilities ranged from one story to 22 stories. Doing it the old way with paper or spreadsheet would have easily taken 60 days or more.
In total, we were able to complete assessments of 260 assessments in four states with 24 assessors in 18 days (boots on the ground). Currently CR is working with the hospital to create detailed analytics reports, which would be impossible if this were done using paper checklists.
No More Notetaking
In the past, I would go onto a campus with a legal pad and come out with 10 or 15 pages of notes. The plan was to go straight back to the office and start writing up my notes into the report. But my notes were abbreviated in chicken scratch, so if I couldn’t get to my notes within a day or two, I would have the hardest time trying to interpret my scribblings. Report writing involved racking my brain trying to remember sequentially how I went through the facility, or trying to decipher my own handwriting. It was a chore, and it stacked up my costs on the project.
Circadian Risk eliminates your time transposing notes, you don’t risk losing meaning, and you capture issues faster than hand-writing your notes.
It’s a Huge Confidence Booster
Plus, it automatically provides a corrective action plan to cover each shortfall you identify. It gives you a strong sense of confidence in your recommendations.
At one campus, about 24 security consultants came in from all over the United States to do the assessment. Only one or two of them had actually used Circadian Risk before. A month later, eight of us went to a second campus. In both cases, it was remarkable how comfortable and confident these assessors were in the quality of information we gleaned from the product. As a result, we all knew this was going to be a quality assessment.
Circadian Risk boosts your confidence, because it’s so comprehensive. It allows you to spend more time on shortfalls and gaps than paper-based assessments allow.
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Try It for Yourself!
It’s time to take a fresh look at your security assessment process. Once it would take me days to do an assessment and complete the report, and it now takes hours. More importantly, Circadian Risk provides an easy-to-use product that cuts costs and boosts confidence in your value.
Join today’s world and save yourself money, time and effort. Know for sure that your security assessments are resilient and actionable, year after year. Take a look at what Circadian Risk’s assessment app can do for you. It is so easy to use, it truly is a no-brainer.
Spend less time writing reports and take on more engagements every year. Request a demo today and get started tomorrow!
Brit Weber provides services in critical incident management, emergency preparedness, security, safety, and public-private partnerships. He served with the Michigan State Police and worked on community-related initiatives. Brit received his Masters of Science in Criminal Justice/Security Management from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science in Public Safety from Eastern Michigan University. He completed the Northwestern University/Eastern Michigan University School of Police Staff and Command. Brit has received various awards, including the 2009 Top 25 Most Influential in Security, 2009 Best Practices Award, and other community awards.