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Pro-Vigil survey – 28% of companies experienced rising security incidents in 2021

Pro-Vigil survey – 28% of companies experienced rising security incidents in 2021 More than one in four respondents expect incidents will continue to increase in 2022 amid ongoing pandemic

Pro-Vigil survey – 28% of companies experienced rising security incidents in 2021

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Pro-Vigil, a provider of remote video monitoring, management and crime deterrence solutions, has published its research report, “The State of Physical Security” for the second year in a row.

It revealed that as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, companies continued to experience a rise in physical security incidents in 2021, and they are expecting these incidents to grow in 2022. However, the majority have not made changes to their security strategies to mitigate these steadily escalating risks.

To gain more insights about the impact of evolving physical security challenges amid the ongoing pandemic, Pro-Vigil polled 116 business operations leaders across a range of vertical industries, including construction, dealerships, retail and manufacturing, among others.

Jeremy White, Founder of Pro-Vigil, told Security Systems News that because this is the second year that The State of Physical Security report was compiled, “We were able to compare 2020 to 2021, and then we’ll obviously do the same thing in 2022 and in future years. I think it’s important to see changes in responses in industry, and I think we saw that here, where we and others in industry should be focused and looking into.

“These are highlights, or lowlights, that need to be addressed. We can use this to educate our customers better on how to use technology, how to use solutions, focus more on their needs and maybe just better educating them on what’s out there and what’s available.

“A lot of times, what we take away from this is there is still a lot of educating and learning that needs to take place. For smaller businesses in certain industries that don’t have the security experts on payroll, this is not top of mind for them on a daily basis, so we need to, as solution providers, wear that hat and be really good partners and communicate frequently about what the drivers are for their business.”

Key Findings

Pro-Vigil’s survey showed that 28 percent of respondents said they saw an increase in physical security incidents in 2021, up from just 20 percent of respondents in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic, now entering year three, has contributed to the rise in security incidents, with supply chain issues and reduced business hours among the top factors, according to the report.

White cited a few reasons why companies are not doing enough to protect their inventory from theft.

“How long is this pandemic going to affect the business?” he explained. “Do they want to make long-term commitments if they think that, for example, supply chain is improving, then they may just be trying to wait this out, unfortunately. I think in many cases they’re waiting it out, and these thefts and incidents are actually increasing.”

Another reason why companies are leaving themselves vulnerable to theft, according to White, is not understanding the solutions that are available out there.

“These types of companies don’t have a security professional whose primary focus is handling or managing these issues for these types of auto dealerships or construction sites, or utility more so,” he noted. “They’re reacting; they’re not being proactive. In security, we see that oftentimes. They wait until they’ve been hit. They wait until there is a major incident.

“Unfortunately, for that incident alone, the losses probably would have paid for the services for an extended period of time and created a positive ROI. Now they’re left needing a knee-jerk reaction, needing to do something quickly, and probably not thinking it through properly, and leaving them with maybe something that is not right or not a good fit, or a solution that is too grand or not enough. It’s just what we see in this space. We’re really trying to get out there, show the data, understand the return on investment, and what solution fits these industries the best to get in front of this.”

Another eye-opening survey result was that nearly 57 percent of respondents said they have not updated their security strategies in the face of these growing threats. Among the factors fueling the rise in security incidents, according to the report, were supply chain problems due to the pandemic, such as increased material costs and shortages as well as delivery delays, with nearly 39 percent of respondents citing this as the primary factor. Respondents cited other pandemic-related factors like reduced business hours (nearly 23 percent) and security guard shortages (10 percent) as key reasons.

“Some of these companies already have solutions in place, and they are comfortable with the solution with the rise in crimes. The others – I don’t know how well they know that crime is on the rise,” White pointed out. “I don’t know that they understand exactly what to do next. They have a number of challenges, and this is just one of them, along with lack of inventory, reduction in hours – they’re closing stores early. Employment is difficult to find right now.

“I just believe that it’s understanding the data, understanding the risks and aligning solutions that make sense for these smaller businesses so that they can adopt and be proactive in the wake of this. It’s not going anywhere, so it’s about having meaningful conversations, being good partners to them, and understanding what their real needs are and how to positively impact the business.”

Remote Video Monitoring

The report noted that businesses continued to adopt intelligent remote video monitoring (RVM), with 40 percent of respondents stating that their businesses are using it, as opposed to simple record and store video surveillance. However, 43 percent said they do not use RVM for anything other than security surveillance, rather than expand their usage to include monitoring employee performance, worksite conditions and customer traffic flow, or to identify marketing opportunities.

“All of these industries that we polled are suitable for RVM. That doesn’t fit every industry or every business type,” White said. “Those that we polled do align. They all have inventory usually stored outside. They’re valuable assets and they’re targeted by thieves and organized crime.

“Of those using RVM, I would say that auto dealerships were early adopters. A reduction in guards was an immediate positive ROI for them. RVM is less expensive and, in our opinion, at least as good most of the time. RVM works very well in construction, where a guard can’t be everywhere at once. You can strategically place cameras, so I think that’s why you see a good number of them have already adopted RVM.

White offered a solution on how companies could look at the full ROI they could get out of implementing RVM.

“I think it really is educating and understanding,” he stated. “You’re sitting down
with general managers, facility managers and directors of operations who don’t really have security backgrounds, and you really have to sit down and explain the risks that they are faced with, and just do a better job of consulting with these industries and educating them on what is out there. It’s not just RVM, but the benefits of 1) adopting a video system – great first step and 2) how do we make this expenditure, this capital investment create a positive ROI. How do you really do that? Then it’s about tailoring that solution specifically for that business’s needs.”

Dealerships stood out among the respondent pool as an industry that is maximizing video camera usage and ROI. An overwhelming 96 percent of dealerships are using some form of video monitoring, and many are using the full capabilities of intelligent RVM to monitor worksite conditions, foot traffic and employee performance – with only about 23 percent of respondents stating they don’t use it for anything other than security monitoring.

“Dealerships are just prime for this type of solution,” explained White on RVM. “It’s a new offering. It’s been around 15 years, more or less. For those not in industry or not security personnel, it just almost doesn’t exist. They don’t know it’s there. They don’t know it’s an option. It really is not a solution that many of these industries have adopted or know very well. They may know it’s out there, but they don’t understand how it works or what it costs, or what the true benefits and the ROI associated with that are.”   

2022 Predictions

An overwhelming 87 percent of respondents predicted that the number of security incidents will either stay about the same or increase in 2022.

White stressed that this result “absolutely” raises a flag in terms of the level of security unpreparedness and vulnerability that businesses are subjecting themselves to.

“We shared this report with the greater community because it is important,” he noted. “These are conversations that need to be had. The impact of an incident, because of the pandemic and supply chain issues, is much greater than ‘We lost a $4,000 catalytic converter.’ It goes beyond that because guess what? They can’t get another catalytic converter to put on it, so that vehicle doesn’t turn. If you do that multiplied by 10 vehicles on one site in one night, and you only have 40 vehicles on your lot because of supply chain issues, now you’re more impacted because you can’t even get a catalytic converter to replace in these 10 vehicles.

“You start looking at the ROI of a single incident. What we’re using this report to do is sharing it with our teams, sharing it with our customers and talking through ‘What are your plans? How can we help?’ We understand they have limited budgets, and they’re really tight. But there are still ways to work together and partner and find an area where we can work with them and fit within a budget, create that positive ROI and at the same time, have a positive impact on the business.”

When asked if there were any survey results that surprised him, White noted that with the rise in crime in 2020, he felt like 20 percent was a significant number, when it came to the number of respondents who saw an increase in physical security incidents. But when that percentage jumped to 28 percent of respondents in 2021, he called that eight-point increase a “big number.”

“2020 was bad,” White said. “People were really out looking for ways to make ends meet and taking advantage of supply chain issues. It was a little surprising to see that go up by another eight points. I did not expect to see that. I expected to see it kind of hold as the pandemic has kind of held steady and just continues to cause challenges for all these businesses.

On the heels of the eight-point increase from 2020 to 2021, the Pro-Vigil founder predicts that the percentage will “continue to go up” in 2022, even if the pandemic just holds steady.

“To see that percentage go up from 20 to 28 percent, it could probably go up to 35 percent in 2022,” White predicted. “You’ll see new industries adopt RVM. They can’t sit around anymore. This is here to stay for the long haul. It’s now time to make long-term decisions and really start to get in front of this.”

With the release of the second State of Physical Security report, White noted that the latest report is “much more meaningful.”

“The numbers are real. It’s the same question year over year,” he said. “You see the impacts, you see those who have not adopted. Those who have, I would just say look at the data, and where does your business fall in these numbers? Are you impacted? Are you not impacted? What have you done? It’s having the discussion, now that you can see that the threats and incidents are real.

“The adopters are out there. You can see that the auto industry is proactive and they’re leading and paving a path, and others should be looking at the data.”  

White concluded, “I’m really looking forward to 2022. That third year is really going to be critical, and I think we’re going to see some ‘a-ha’ moments when next year’s survey goes out.”

To download Pro-Vigil’s research report, “The State of Physical Security Entering 2022,” visit



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