What is a Risk Assessment?

So you’re ready to take the first major step to improving the safety and security of your organization. Having a thorough risk assessment conducted for your corporation is the most crucial step and it must be done right. A professional assessment should clearly identify any vulnerabilities facing the property as well as within your procedures. Additionally, you should verify that the security firm conducting your threat assessment will provide you with a strategic plan to remedy the areas identified. After all, what good will it do to point out your weaknesses if you still aren’t sure how to correct them.

Here’s a breakdown of exactly what you should expect to be analyzed during a proper risk assessment.


  • Industry threats    

There can specific threats to the industry that your organization resides in. A jewelry store will have specific threats that an insurance broker would not. Proper research will determine your threats. 

  • Geographic Threats

Having geographic information on the area your organization is located is a valuable tool in determining your possible threats. Things to consider but not limited to are, proximity of Interstates or major Highways, crime rate, and types of businesses operating in your area.

  • Building Access Control

Controlling the access to your building can mitigate many potential threats. Unsecured entrances create vulnerabilities in your facility and must be addressed. Address these vulnerabilities with basic to advanced locks such as key cards, biometric readers,and proximity key fobs. Are your street level windows hardened? If not even a small rock could allow someone easy access to your building. Turn your vulnerabilities into deterrents.

  • Proactive Safety Measures

Taking a Proactive approach to your security is key to the overall safety of your organization. Is it better to stop an incident from happening or watch a recording of the incident after the fact? Having live monitored cameras would allow you to stop an incident from occurring. This brings up an important question. Who is helping you to secure your facility? Having highly trained and experience Protection Specialist to work with you to protect your property and personnel is paramount.


  • Risk of Theft

Your risk assessment should lay out ways to mitigate theft from employees. Making sure that areas of value are secured and well lit is a good start to deterring all types of theft. Controlling the access to certain organization property to specific employees will help lessen your risk of it walking out the door. 

  • Written Policies & Procedures

Your organization should have written procedures on how you deal with events such as active shooter, bomb threats, visitor access, and even unauthorized access to the building to name a few. Having the written policies and procedures in place will allow all employees to have the knowledge in hand to deal with situations they may be unfamiliar with.

  • Employee Training

Do your employees know what to do in the event of an active shooter? How many of your employees are CPR and First Aid trained? Confidence though training gives your employees the ability to deal with emergency situations. This confidence could lead to greater moral and productivity.

  • Employee Turnover

What is your turnover rate? Do you have the procedures in place for when need to fire an employee? These procedures should include things such as who’s present and where it takes place. Are these individuals escorted out of the building by security?

We’ve talked about what a Risk Assessment should identify and what information it should entail. Knowing what threats, vulnerabilities, and risks are and how to mitigate them can be daunting. A Risk Assessment will give the insight and tools to make the task of securing your organization easier.

Written by: Justin Atherton US Marine Corps Veteran