Security is the creation of a secure environment in which organizations will ensure so far as practicable, that its employees are safe, its assets and operations are protected from theft, fraud, misappropriation, targeted espionage, willful damage and disruption.

Olisa Don Ogwuadi, CPP, Chapter Chair, ASIS International, Chapter 206 Nigeria while speaking on the topic, Security as a Competitive Edge for Multinational Corporations in Nigeria at the July Breakfast forum sponsored by Protection Plus Services Ltd.

He said that in the past, security was only about barriers, keeping things safe, avoiding unwanted attacks & intrusion but in today’s insecure world, only organizations that see security as a key driver of added value will win the fierce competitive economic battle.

He further added that security can and should be business driven and not compliance driven therefore security is not an option but a right to protect your business against uncertainties.

He disclosed that security covers a wide spectrum like environmental security, scanning, security awareness, personnel security such as certificate verification, physical security of all facilities, security investigations and due diligence.

Competitive Intelligence according to Ogwuadi is segmented into three categories people, process and technology. In the area of people, it has to do with researchers, collectors, and analysts gathering from both internal and external sources.

Process in the parlance of security is based on techniques, tools, methods to guide collection, analysis, use of intelligence and the interaction between competitive intelligence staff and users.

As regards technology, software and hardware is used to support competitive intelligence processes and focuses mainly on storage, retrieval and management of information.

Decision can be made based on intelligence from early signs e.g. News report, targeted intelligence, classified sources are used to know the security situations of several areas in Nigeria.

Certainty increases as more intelligence is learnt. Competitive intelligence is as important as the money held by Chief Financial Officer of organisations.

Opportunity for effective response and quality of response to competitive forces is key to success in business engagements.

He further added that security intelligence teaches employees what they can and they should not talk about, as vital information can get leak into the hands of competitors and it will affect negatively the organization involved.

Therefore he said that staff of various organizations should make sure their organization’s competitive intelligence is protected.

Effects of poor security according to Don are direct losses to organisation. Examples of these are supply chain interruptions, break in business continuity, wilful damage, theft, staff cost and litigations. Indirect losses are brand value erosion, reputation damage, loss of market share, loss of key staff and increased insurance premium, will also occur.

According to him, security guarantees the prevention of leakage of intellectual property between brands and a brand has no value if it cannot be trusted.

The security expert said that supply chain protection is necessary, because companies will fail if key supply chain is disrupted and security helps to enforce corporate governance culture.

On a final note, he gave the following security advice; it investigate local knowledge, know the city, know the culture, people, adopting a low personal profile, good communication to all staff, have a planned response to emergencies and observe good house-keeping.

Foluso Phillips, Chairman of the Nigerian-South African Chamber of Commerce commended Olisa Don Ogwuadi for his resourceful and detailed presentation.