Risk | Vulnerability

Your Risk Assessment Reports Are Holding You Back

By Daniel Young | August 10, 2023 | 4 min read
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How does your organization assess risk? Does your team conduct assessments using a good ol’ pencil and paper? Do they walk around with a printed checklist and a camera? If that’s the case, it’s time to reconsider your methods.

Paper-based vulnerability and compliance assessments leave your business open to disorganization, wasted time, and unnecessary risk. You’re also spending countless hours doing the least enjoyable part of any security expert’s job—the reporting.

It’s time for a change.

5 reasons paper reporting is holding you back

You wouldn’t still use a fax machine or a rotary phone. If not, why are you using paper reports? Now that technology has advanced, paper risk assessment methods are a source of risk —they’re also likely keeping your business in the stone age.

Here are five reasons you should update your methods.

1. Paper reporting takes too long

Most security experts are still using paper notepads and checklists to take notes during their onsite inspections. But taking notes by hand is a huge waste of time—both during the inspection and afterwards, when you’re writing your report.

Today’s technology lets you cut several hours out of each job. Here’s a sample of what you can do if you ditch paper methods and use digital tools on a tablet:

  • Embed photos automatically in the report, with no cropping or reformatting

  • Easily document every vulnerability—the right software makes it easy to capture every point of risk or vulnerability

  • Auto-generate your reporting—just edit your reports instead of writing them from scratch

  • Provide detailed corrective actions with project management capabilities built in

  • Eliminate transposing notes—no more duplicating your efforts

Imagine the competitive advantage such digital tools can offer your business. By using tools like Circadian Risk’s vulnerability assessment software, you can deliver more value to more clients in less time.

2. Paper reports don't provide real solutions

When you find a problem during an assessment, site managers want to know how to fix it. However, very few security experts provide a corrective action plan. It’s just too time-consuming to write up a detailed plan for every single issue in a paper-based report. Instead, recommendations are summarized or placed as a general remediation.

Security professionals who can deliver valuable, detailed corrective action plans are the ones who separate themselves from the competition. If you’re using paper-based methods, there’s no practical way to compete in this arena.

Circadian Risk’s physical risk assessment tool makes it possible to deliver corrective actions in greater detail than you’ve ever done before. The app automatically generates detailed corrective actions for every issue you identify. Not only do the corrective actions provide a remedy for each problem, they also prioritize the issues so your customers understand which ones to tackle first. They can even create a budget, set due dates, and assign tasks to other users.

Need to customize the corrective actions? No problem. You can quickly review each item and make any edits as needed.

3. You’re missing vital information

Paper-based methods make it difficult to document every item that needs to be addressed. When you’ve got dozens or even hundreds of lightbulbs, window panes, sprinkler heads and ceiling tiles in each hallway, it can be a real challenge to document the location of each issue in a clear and simple way. Multiply that by the number of issues you find on the entire site, and capturing every risk and vulnerability becomes a real chore.

It’s often easier just to document a high-level summary that lists the total number of issues per floor, and hope the client can find each one.

Digital technology makes it possible to easily capture every instance of risk or vulnerability on a site. By using a floor plan, geolocation, or photos you can precisely place the location of each problem. Instead of a high-level summary of your observations, you can pinpoint every latch, every sprinkler head, and every window frame that’s out of compliance.

4. Paper vulnerability reports aren’t actionable

Paper-based vulnerability assessments and reports don’t get read. They’re long, dense, and hard on the eyes. Site managers want something they can understand at a glance. They want data visualizations packed with information they can use. They want interactive data they can filter.

Paper reports will never provide that kind of usability. While other industries are abandoning paper and handwritten methods, security has lagged behind. Security experts who are ditching paper are the ones risk assessment customers will hire.

5. You’re losing information

When you’re hand writing notes during your inspection, you’ve got to write fast to capture as much information as possible. This means your handwriting turns into chicken scratch and your notes get cryptic. You jot one or two words to remind yourself about the issue you discovered with the electronic access system.

You risk losing valuable information when you transfer your notes to your report. Maybe you can’t read your own handwriting, or your notes don’t fill in enough information for you to remember the details.

Digital technology captures everything you need in a moment. Type your notes directly into the report, and use photos with annotation, video, or voice recordings to flesh out the details. You’ll never lose information again.

Ditch the paper and get ahead!

What kind of business do you want to have? If you’re ready to make your risk assessments more efficient and more accurate, it’s time to scrap paper reports. Circadian Risk’s threat and vulnerability assessment software can help take your business to the next level. See it for yourself—request a personalized demo today.

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