By Stephen Cheney
Human beings are psychologically isolated, like an experiment with animals in cages, when they are placed in a 'locked in' security environment. Without frequent supervision to 'open the door' and refresh the air, make personal contact and inspection, the quality or awareness of security personnel tends to deteriorate. Behavior that people would not normally express in an open office environment comes out in a closed or 'private' cell. Too often security is allowed to become a 'closed shop' where aberrant behavior plays uncontrolled. People have social inhibitions in order to interact and do tasks best; when people are confined in an area, behavior can fall to the lowest common denominator. The same in prisons, in restricted areas, in homes, in zoos. Public or business behavior is not the same as Private behavior. What a security involved organization wants is its staff's Public behavior to continue unchanged when in a private environment but still engaged there by their employer to carry out tasks. Secrecy can tend to breed immorality as it does in agencies and in closed political administrations.
People's mental and emotional cycles influence each other: humor, alertness, grumpiness, seriousness. A grouchy or feared boss is avoided and communications kept at minimum; with poor communications, problems that arise are hidden and are not expediently dealt with. On a separate subject, when in a group, the menstrual cycles of females tend to converge to be the same after long periods of time spent together. In a team, everyone influences everyone else, even if only subtly. In security people get slack, their clothing can lose neatness as does their mind, hygiene can deteriorate, the office can become untidy and littered, the standard of conversation morally decline. Who doesn't wash up used crockery? Boredom, just as is the case with caged zoo animals, finds a sexual outlet: in the case of humans, pornography can be sought on the internet or from magazines. These may just be expressions of trying to stay alert and interested over long periods of time, however they also show a lack of self control. Security is all about having self control as it is only by having that ability and extending it, can control be efficiently achieved over an external environment.
As has been found beneficial to the running of an office, so in security, it is a good idea to have in every team at least one person who has a useful invigorating ability such as: an outgoing personality; doesn't get bored; has a healthy sense of humor; someone who is alert; someone who is serious about their job. They are like air-conditioning to a stuffy room. Alertness to danger is one of the spin-off abilities that is gained from martial arts training. The mindset of all security personnel, even those who are armchair intellectuals could benefit from some encouragement to engage in martial arts training.
I am not in favor of banning security personnel from using the internet; banned due to the possibility that they may misuse the internet. Somewhere along the line you need to trust security as their role is to watch and protect: so that sufficient trust exists and business can confidently proceed at maximum efficiency, with the working ability to keep low the number of natural crises and malevolent intrusions.
If clients are international, they may for instance, happen to vote or make choices that infuriate terrorists. Suddenly from being under no known threat, your client is in serious danger of being attacked. Security staff can know this immediately from internet news and take the appropriate actions. It they are not on the net they are in the dark and reliant on information coming through the usual channels, slow and uncertain. Maybe too slow to help their newly endangered client.
To function, security should have no restrictions on information input and definite restrictions on information output, which they themselves should have the ability and desire to police, and they are paid for that. Incompetent security staff should be replaced. Their incompetency known from random inspections: so random inspectors are a required role. Organizations have security or internal police, but, as Nero might have, or should have in his case, asked: Who guards the guards? Money must also be spent on inspectors of those 'guards' or security office staff. Guards are guardians, they require self motivation and self control. Without such qualities of character, they are in the wrong job and should be identified early for removal before they do too much damage from crises that they do not meet adequately as expected, or from crises that they themselves cause.
Image: Asian Door by David Atkison