Visual Risk Assessments Are Changing the Security Industry

October 23, 2020 | 4 min read
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Do paper-based risk assessment reports actually improve an organization’s security like we think they should?

Many risk assessment reports deliver the findings in text form. That means you’ve got to describe each vulnerability using a multitude of words. If an organization has more than a handful of issues, all those words get blurred together and quickly become one meaningless string of text that decision makers can’t make sense of.

In the end, security problems aren’t fixed. But if you use a visual risk assessment — an assessment based on a map or a floorplan — your assessment becomes more useful to leadership.

Paper-Based Risk Assessments Don’t Cut It, But What Else Is There?

Game-changing assessments

Circadian Risk first launched our visual assessment tool two years ago, in 2018. It was a groundbreaking development; at the time, most risk assessments were still being done with checklists and written notes. Circadian Risk was the first physical risk assessment software that included floor plan visualizations. They were a game-changer, allowing physical security experts to do quicker inspections, increase sales and deliver greater value to clients.

Now, two years later, we’re adding features that help consultants and enterprises alike improve their visual risk assessments so they can see where their countermeasures are, understand how many they have, and keep track of their most valuable assets.

Why visual assessments?

Using a floor plan or a map allows decision makers to actually see every risk and vulnerability on their site with just a glance. Rather than flipping through a report, they can look at a map and gain an immediate understanding of their security problems—how many issues, what types of issues, and how serious they are. The map is an executive summary in an image. But we don’t stop there. What about data visualizations of the items and questions answered for a stronger analytic focused report or presentation for decision makers?

And that picture impacts C-level decision-making. When you provide a paper-based report, executives don’t care, because it doesn’t mean anything to them. But when you can show them in a picture all the problems that they have—all those red camera icons and red door icons indicate problems with their cameras and doors—then it clicks and suddenly the security problems are real, and they’re emotional. There’s an emotional motivation to resolve those vulnerabilities.

Introducing inventory

Do you know how many cameras you have? How many fire extinguishers? How many bollards? Do you know the condition or lifecyle of each item? Our visual assessments allow clients to keep track of their countermeasures through our software. Decision makers can see where every camera is on the map, and know whether or not that camera is in good working order. Our newest release improves this function by allowing you to add information about countermeasures — how much the camera is worth and when it was purchased, for example — so organizations will better understand what they have, and know when it’s time to replace equipment.

Our inventory function also allows enterprises to keep tabs on other valuable assets: equipment, merchandise, and even VIPs, so that an organization has a better sense of what it has, how much it will be to replace, or loss of revenue, and where those assets are at all times.

This can be a source of truth for all your all your countermeasures and assets.

Cruise through inspections

If you’re not using Circadian Risk, you have to do your physical risk assessments by checklist. With checklists, there’s no logical progression—as you go through the facility, you have to skip around the form to answer the applicable questions. It’s easy to miss equipment and fixtures, so you have to go back to catch things you missed the first time through.

But a floor plan visually guides your assessment as you go through the inspection. For example, when you’re at the main entrance, the floor plan visually guides you through all of the items at the entrance that you need to document and inspect. Then you can move through the floor plan, documenting each item along the way. There’s a logical progression, and you can see everything that you’ve captured as you go.

Now security experts can cruise through inspections faster and more efficiently, and miss fewer details. Assessments are quicker and more comprehensive than ever before.

How floor plans work

Circadian Risk floor plans help speed up your inspections, and they’re easy to use. Here’s how it works:

  1. Before the inspection, upload an image file of the floor plan or map of the site that will be inspected.
  2. During the inspection, as you inspect each item, place an icon of the item onto the floor plan. For example, drag and drop a camera icon onto the main entrance.
  3. Take a photo of the item and document its location.
  4. Answer built-in questions about the item on both inventory and vulnerability assessments. For example, is it working? Does it pan/tilt/zoom? Does it have night vision? What’s the make and model? How much is it worth?
  5. Save the item and move onto the next one.
  6. If you have concerns, make a note. There may be items outside the scope of the assessment that you need to tell leadership about. Make a note to be sure they’re well-informed.

That’s all there is to it!

Do more with Circadian Risk

Circadian Risk’s floor plan assessment has become an industry standard among security professionals, and we’re making it even better. Stay tuned as more capabilities are added. But don’t wait to start using Circadian Risk! You can start boosting sales and reducing inspection times immediately.

See the floor plan in action—request your demo today.

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