For this assignment, I am tasked with viewing a security field review of an Avon department store located in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the case study, Robert, the Vice President for Global Security, will be the field reviewer, and Tony, the General Manager, will be the individual responsible for delivering Tony an accurate depiction of all current, past, and future security concerns; also, Robert, the Security Manager, will share his insights on the matter as well. With the data presented in the case study, I will research and create an executive summary of my findings, a report covering my top three security issues (ranked in order of importance and the reasoning behind it), as well as provide methods to solve the security problems.
Generate a 1-page executive summary of your findings to be given to the client.
Avon- Cincinnati, Ohio.
Robert: Vice President for Global Security
Tony: General Manager
Robert: Security Manager
- Due to Robert’s review of quantitative data before his inspection, I failed to see any mention of how the Cincinnati branch of Avon’s security compares to other Avon stores or local crime data.
- Upon learning more about the closed-circuit television that monitors both internal and external activities, I was surprised that there was no mention of recording functionality; if no system is present, once should be introduced that meets or exceeds Avon expectations.
- For the video surveillance system, the broken camera at the rear door needs to be immediately repaired or replaced as to reduce the risk of unauthorized personnel entering or exiting with possibly stolen merchandise or with the goal to steal merchandise.
- The sensor that activates an alarm upon the theft of a high-ticket item isn’t working correctly and malfunctions; this happens so often that store associates just ignore it. The defective sensor needs to be immediately fixed due to the inability to accurately deter theft.
- The storeroom door is jammed and will not lock, causing the store’s inventory to be unprotected; this needs to be remedied immediately to deter theft, as well as securely retrieve all keys and develop a new keying system (with new keys).
- The fact that many of the above issues have been present for some time needs to be addressed. While the detection of security incidents seems to be adequate, the response from managers is extremely lacking.
After viewing the case study, write a report that identifies the three security issues uncovered by Robert. After identifying the issues, rank them in order of importance, and explain why you rated each problem the way you did.
For the Avon branch located in Cincinnati, I identified three main security issues in my analysis: 1. Defective Video Camera. 2. Defective Door Sensor/Alarm for High-Ticket Items. 3. Defective Storeroom Door. As mentioned in my executive summary, each of these issues needs to be quickly fixed or replaced, as well as create a system which handles the reporting of defective security items or other flaws, as well as a method that the managers must utilize to quicken their reaction time in solving the problems. In my opinion, a sophisticated ticketing system should be introduced, governed by strict SLAs (service level agreements) that are both set and enforced by security upper management. I would suggest a ticket priority system of Urgent, High, Normal, and Low, with times to completion varying on the significance and threat-level of the security event, problem, or error.
In my opinion, the security issues have the following rank of importance:
- Defective Storeroom Door
- Defective Door Sensor/Alarm for High-Ticket Items
- Defective Video Camera
The reasoning for my choices:
- The defective storeroom door is by far the most troublesome security problem; as the storeroom door’s lock prevents unauthorized access to the entire store’s inventory, it is vital to repair or replace the lock immediately due to the extremely high chance of loss or theft. While the defective door sensor and video camera do indeed open significant gaps in security and surveillance, they are more of a tool utilized for after a theft is committed, whereas the lock prevents it from happening in the first place. Another reasoning for my assigned high-priority level for the defective storeroom door is the fear that due to the door’s inability to lock for a significant length of time, the keys that are assigned to it might be unaccounted for; therefore, I suggest securely retrieving all keys and developing a new keying system (with unique keys). Ensuring that both the lock and its keys are fixed, accounted for, and secured is, by far, the top priority. “Most keys can be duplicated at local hardware stores because anyone can purchase the blank – or uncut – key” (Deutsch, 2019).
- The defective door sensor/alarm for high-ticket items plays a crucial role in both alerting Avon employees of potential theft, as well as deterring possible thefts with the threat of an alarm sounding. While the defective storeroom door needs to be fixed before the door sensor, the door sensor needs to be restored to working order before the faulty video recorder. With issues such as a defective door sensor, there is a psychological impact on employees if the alarm rings inaccurately; similar to the ‘boy who cried wolf,’ Avon staff will begin to care less about the alert, growing more complacent every day.
- Finally, while certainly not less important, the defective video camera can be replaced last, but all effort should still be made to repair or replace it as soon as possible. Having the rear door not monitored with video surveillance provides both employees and potential criminals a blind spot that can be used for unauthorized entry or theft. “Security cameras help to cut down on losses by working as a deterrent, and by spotting suspicious activity as it happens. When an act of shoplifting is perceived on camera, security staffers can be quickly deployed to the scene” (Video Surveillance, n.d.). I chose the defective video camera as the least important issue merely because it monitors the rear door, inside the store. Since there are five other cameras, and with the above defective door lock and sensor fixed, the threat of the surveillance gap from a broken camera is far less than the ability to access the storeroom via a broken lock or the lack of a security alarm configured to sound upon the theft of an expensive item.
Explain how Tony can fix each of these security issues. Please be specific and thorough in your explanations.
- Defective Storeroom Door:
To fix the defective storeroom door, the first task is to identify how long the door lock has been broken, and then through the use of video surveillance, scan all video of that door since the time of the error, looking for any possible misuse or theft. Next, the cause of the malfunction of the door lock needs to be located; if the problem is minor, it may be fixable but will require thorough testing and inspection to be classified as operational. If the door lock cannot be fixed, then a suitable replacement lock will need to be obtained, installed, thoroughly tested, and then, ensure that the old, defective lock is securely disposed of (to thwart an unauthorized individual being able to practice with it to gain the skills required to effectively bypass/pick it). Regardless of the strategy used to repair or replace the defective storeroom door, extensive testing and documentation must be completed and signed off by Avon security management.
- Defective Door Sensor/Alarm for High-Ticket Items- Similar to solution for the faulty storeroom door, to fix the broken door sensor/alarm, the first task is to identify how long the alarm has been defective, and then through the use of video surveillance, scan all video of that entry since the time of error, looking for any possible misuse or theft. Next, the cause of the malfunction of the door sensor/alarm needs to be found; if the problem is minor, it may be fixable but will require thorough testing and inspection to be classified as operational. If the door sensor/alarm cannot be fixed, then a suitable replacement sensor/alarm will need to be obtained, installed, thoroughly tested, and then ensure that the old, defective door sensor/alarm is securely disposed of (to thwart an unauthorized individual being able to practice with it to gain the skills required to effectively bypass/disable it). Regardless of the strategy used to repair or replace the defective door sensor/alarm, extensive testing and documentation must be completed and signed off by Avon security management.
- Defective Video Camera- The faulty video camera will, again, follow the same protocols as the previous two solutions. To fix the broken video camera, the first task is to identify how long the video camera has been defective, and then through the use of other video cameras (if there are any have the back door in its field of view,) scan all video of that door since the time of error, looking for any possible misuse or theft. Next, the cause of the malfunction of the video camera needs to be found; if the problem is minor, it may be fixable but will require thorough testing and inspection to be classified as operational. If the video camera cannot be fixed, then a suitable replacement video camera will need to be obtained, installed, thoroughly tested, and then ensure that the old, defective video camera is securely disposed of (to thwart an unauthorized individual being able to practice with it to gain the skills required to effectively bypass/disable/hack it). Regardless of the strategy used to repair or replace the defective video camera, extensive testing and documentation must be completed and signed off by Avon security management.
As an Avon department store, specific company-mandated security rules, procedures, and policies are created and enforced to strengthen the goal of an organization-wide security model; due to this, any deviations from this security framework directly impact both the individual store and the organization as a whole. Upon the field review of the Cincinnati, Ohio Avon branch, several incidents of defective security equipment require immediate solutions, as well as a distinct lack of managerial supervision and enforcement of company-mandated security procedures. Once the three major security issues are corrected, I would recommend Tony, the General Manager, either be disciplined and re-trained or demoted/terminated, due to his seeming lack of response to Robert, the Security Manager’s multiple attempts to both address the defective security hardware and find solutions.
Fennelly, L. J. (2017). Effective Physical Security (5th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Elsevier.
McCrie, Robert. Security Operations Management (Third Edition). Butterworth-Heinemann.
Deutsch, W. (2019, October 8). 6 Steps to Developing Effective Key Control Policies. Retrieved February 18, 2020, from https://www.thebalancesmb.com/dont-ignore-key-control-394599.
Video Surveillance. (n.d.). Video Surveillance: Department Stores. Retrieved February 18, 2020, from https://www.videosurveillance.com/department-stores.asp.