What is a Security Subject Matter Expert?

A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is someone with extensive knowledge, expertise, and experience, in a particular field, making them a leader in their chosen field. Hence a Security SME is someone who is an SME in the security industry.

Following the 2008 banking crisis and subsequent recession, many businesses decided to make the ‘Head of Security’ role redundant in a bid to save costs. This impacted those businesses, seeing their security programs stagnating, no longer fit for purpose, and not being supported by the latest advancements, technology, or trend insights. Overall, businesses security was not up-to-date, and security program reviews overdue.

Today, security SMEs are a means to support both FMs and end-user clients with the expert knowledge of a Head of Security, without the overheads of a full-time role.

What does a Subject Matter Expert do?

A security SME brings a broad range of knowledge and value to the team they work for and their clients. Some traits an SME brings include:

  • Ability to define threats through Specialised threat analysis
  • Quantify what specific threats could mean to a business
  • Conduct detailed security risk assessments to help businesses in determining whether their security program is in line with their risk appetite.
  • Provide a data-backed output of the current risk exposure (RA) against industry designed best practices.
  • Advising on how to convert this information and insight into a fully integrated and converged security solution, not focusing on any one stand-alone service, balanced against the client’s budget and requirement.
  • Advising on how best to balance cost against risk and the value of the assets under protection.
  • Knowledge of legislation, standards, best practice, compliance, governance and how this applies to a client and their security program.
  • Knowledge of integrated technology practices, innovation, compatibility, and best practice.
  • Ensuring appropriate training and development of teams, as is relevant and up to date, to mitigate a client’s risk against the demands of the business operation. Keeping informed and abreast of the latest industry training and methodologies for optimal results.
  • Analysing security trends, threat scenarios, mitigation strategies and staying updated on technological innovation, and industry changes.

What are the benefits of working with an SME?

Overall, a security SME has 3 key benefits which they bring to a client:

  1. Experience and expertise in technology systems, planning and design. To ensure they are ‘secured by design’ and work to best practice. To understand the small print of systems, where there might be hidden costs and advise against installation relevant standards. To be in the know on the latest systems, their capabilities and compatibility with other systems on the market and advise on the best fit for purpose.
  1. Cost efficiencies and development of cost-saving strategies. Using their industry expertise and experience to drive cost efficiencies throughout an entire security solution to provide consistent or improved services at lower costs.
  2. Compliance and governance. Working with businesses to ensure they are working to best practice, fully compliant with any legislation and in line with relevant British Standards, and that any subcontracted security teams are licensed in accordance with PSIA 2001 and delivering a fit for purpose service against the relevant British standards.

If you’re reviewing your security services and would like to speak to our sales team, feel free to contact us.

You may also enjoy our blog on how to positively review your security services to save money without compromising risk.