How a Guard Tour System Improves Incident Response

The detection, speed of response and effectiveness of incident management can have a huge impact on the safety and security of the location to which you’ve been contracted to provide services.

It also can have a direct influence on client satisfaction, especially in an industry where customers are often looking for reasons to find a lower bid elsewhere. 

Learn how to improve incident response with technologies built for guarding and patrolling, incident management and resolution. 

What are the duties of a security provider?

Typically, a security provider is responsible for ensuring the physical safety of contracted locations. 

Typically, the main duties and responsibilities of security providers include: 

  • Monitoring all relevant systems, software and communications to detect potential security incidents
  • Staffing field security officers to respond to and resolve incidents
  • Communicating statuses of conflict and resolution with appropriate stakeholders
  • Maintain records and reports, including guard monitoring
  • Help identify areas that could be changed or improved on for faster, safer and more efficient incident resolution

What is incident response in security?

Incident response in the security industry involves every action required by a company to detect, contain and resolve a security threat. In physical security, this can involve trespassing, theft, false identification, public safety threats and more. 

The 6 steps to incident response

To ensure security incidents are dealt with quickly and safely, security companies must have a firm response process in place. This involves six clear steps. 

1. Preparation

Take all steps necessary to put a plan to paper to address a wide variety of potential security incidents. Each incident should include a mock resolution, with clear responsibilities assigned to specific individuals. Then, in the case of a security risk, those who need to be involved are aware of their duties, minimizing confusion. 

2. Identification

Ensure you have the people and technologies in place to help detect potential security risks. Having these systems in place support proactive incident response. 

3. Containment

Take immediate steps to limit risk caused by the incident. This should also include a level of communication. If the job site you’re contracted to secure is breached, this should include sharing information with your customer as noted in your SLAs. 

4. Investigation

Using data and analytic tools, analyze the incident. Determine where the breach was made and how it could have been prevented. Remember, not all breaches are external. This step could uncover gaps in your own systems that may need correcting. 

5. Corrective action

This step is where you make the adjustments identified in step four. This can include changes in personnel, processes, work audits, proof of service, technologies used on site and more. 

6. Review

As workflows get back to status quo, ensure you have a system in place to review your incident response plans periodically so everything is updated and ready should it be needed again. 

With these six steps, you can mitigate risk, improve safety and security, and ensure your company is operating with effective incident response measures. 

What technologies can support effective incident response

To support incident response, you should first effectively view, manage and automate your operations. The truth is, technology can get you there more accurately, reliably and faster than manual or paper-driven processes. 

But where do you start? If you’re looking to implement software to specifically help support incident response, look for these core functionalities: 

  • Mobile technology — Mobile technology is an absolute must for effective incident response. With mobile apps, security officers and their supervisors can communicate with back-office staff and other responders in real-time, capture activity and incident forms, assign forms to specific locations, capture photos and video, assign issues to specific users and more.
  • Location trackingLocation tracking features increase the ways you can gain visibility over your security operations. You can see who’s active and onsite, or who recently inactivated, and use that information to make judgment calls based on proximity to incidents.
  • Digital inspectionsIncident response software should include a way to conduct inspections and site audits with the convenience of a mobile device. Examples of data collected can include pass/fail and quality assurance metrics, locations details, officer inspections and more.
  • Configurable alerts and triggersYour incident response software should support notifications and messages that enable all stakeholders to stay informed via automated emails that can trigger based on raised alerts from the field. This should be configurable based on yours and your clients’ preferences.
  • Exception reportsOne of the misconceptions about working proactively is that you must constantly micromanage and monitor every contract at all times to prevent incidents or ensure fast response. With exception reporting, instead those efforts are only pulled to contracts where something had deviated from the norm.
  • AnalyticsYour technology should support custom analytics views that align perfectly with your contract KPIs. This can help you improve service delivery and incident management across all locations, like tracking incidents by location, issue trends, incident reports by category and notification stats.
  • Integrated functionalityAny technology you implement shouldn’t only manage incidents. Instead, it should connect with other core areas of your business for maximum efficiency gain. Some examples include time and attendance, scheduling, proof of service and back-office management systems. By housing all of this information within the same software, you can decrease error, eliminate manual data uploads and clean-up, and operate from a single source of truth.

What are the benefits of going digital in security management?

This might sound like a lot. That’s why TEAM Software by WorkWave developed tools to bring all of these needs for effective incident response into a single guard touring software. 

Meet Lighthouse, TEAM Software’s guard tour software for security companies. Lighthouse operates as your mobile command center, providing real-time visibility of your distributed guards and contracted activity. 

As a guard monitoring tool, Lighthouse ensures you have the right guards in the right place at the right time to respond to incidents and mitigate risk. 

Use Lighthouse to: 

  • Create, update and assign incidents
  • Keep stakeholders – including your clients – informed with automated emails as new incidents are reported
  • Generate on-demand reports

“What we endeavor with Lighthouse is to garner deeper value for our large accounts and customers through trend analysis and business intelligence. The insights we can pass to our customers through what we learn through data helps us stand apart.” – Joe Sordi, Strategic Security Services

What are the essential features to look for in a guard tour system when resolving incidents? 

The biggest piece of advice we can give when searching for a guard tour system for your business is to select a software provider who can provide ample training and support. When paired with key features, this kind of partnership ensures you have the resources and expertise to set things up from the start in a way that equals success.

Key software features to look for also include: 

  • Real-time positioning
  • Mobile forms and activity reports
  • Messages and alerts
  • Duress and notifications
  • Analytics and reporting dashboards
  • Mobile time and attendance 

Do you want to learn more about Lighthouse? See how you can use it to manage incidents and gather report data to drive intelligent analytics in this real life customer story.