Today we had a guest speaker to speak to personal and business safety – Gary Cunningham from Cunningham & Associates, LLC in Black Hawk, CO. Cunningham & Associates have been in operation since 2013 with over 35 years of experience and provide specialized security consulting, forensic statement analysis, and personal protection defensive tactics training services. The main areas of security that they focus on are in workplace violence, risk/vulnerability assessments, stalking/bullying/threat consultations and personal protection defensive tactics training. Forensic Statement Analysis and Cyber Intelligence are the processes we use to gather information to handle our client’s needs. Our experience comes from Military, Law Enforcement, Fire Service, High Risk Security Work, Private and Governmental Investigations Work, Training and Education.

Forensic Statement Analysis is used by Federal Agencies, Law Enforcement Agencies, and legal professionals every day to find and detect deception in written statements. It has been referred to as the polygraph of written words by some and a lasting lie detector by others. It is used to assist in directing an investigation and follow-up questions to be able to see the truth in a written statement.

Cyber Intelligence Investigations have many uses, searching the deep web and social media for evidence of wrong doing and information used to handle client’s case needs. There are all types of fraud and deception that can be found in any industry. It can be the customers, the company or the employees and even a third party involved in the deception or fraudulent act.

When talking to groups like ours, Gary likes to cover small business security as a main point because this is something all business should take into consideration. There are many misconceptions in the small business community as to what constitutes business security. It is more than just having locks on your doors and an alarm system to protect your business assets. There is no one size fits all in the security world, even if you have two businesses that are the same but in different areas of a city, they will still have varying types of threats and vulnerabilities to security issues. This is why each business, no matter what the size, whether it is a brick and mortar location or home based business, needs to have security measures and risk assessments specifically for each location. The big issue for businesses in the security assessment should be that of physical security of the location.

This has to do with the location you’re in business at, it includes at a minimum:
• Hazards in and around the outside of the building for anyone on site
• Crime in the area that could affect your business or people on site.
• Parking Areas, Lighting, Landscaping, Access and Egress Points.
• Doors, Windows, Locks, Cameras, Visibility day and night of inside.
• Routing of highways, truck traffic, ease of escape routes, possible accidents

The next issue is the protection of people; this includes at least the following areas:
• Background Checks for employees before hiring and annually after hiring.
• Training in Operations, Emergencies and Security Issues for the business.

• Written Policy and Procedures to cover the above issues.
• Identifying and reducing possible risks and threats to your business.

The last issue is protection of information to include at least these areas:
• Policy’s for handling information safely.
• Storage of electronic information of customers, employees and vendors.
• Access to information in the business and who can access it for what reasons.
• Backups of all business information stored off site.
• Annual reviews of information security to include web based uses.

There are many more issues that need to be addressed in more detail as a security assessment is completed, but these few areas will get you started in understanding what the bare minimum is needed to provide security for your business. It doesn’t make a difference in whether the business is a storefront or home based, they still need to be looked at; storefronts just mean more areas to look at and assess overall.
If you are in need of a security consultant Gary Armstrong is knowledgeable and an expert in this arena, give him a call and let him do an analysis of your situation.
Gary Cunningham * Cunningham & Associates, LLC * 451 Coyote Circle Black Hawk, CO 80422 * 303-898-4047 * www.cunninghamandassociatesllc.com