Why you don’t trust your security budget (And What You Can Do About It)

In the manufacturing industry, security leaders often struggle to trust their budget numbers due to the complex and evolving security landscape. With constantly emerging threats and ongoing supply chain challenges, it can be difficult to accurately forecast the resources required to effectively protect a facility

Additionally, some security leaders may lack a clear understanding of the value that security investments can provide to the organization’s overall well-being. As a result, budget planning can become a daunting and frustrating task that leaves security leaders feeling uncertain about their ability to adequately protect the business.

If you’re a manufacturing security leader, you know that a strong security program is not simply installing a few security tools and hoping for the best. Instead, it requires a robust approach to securing the entire manufacturing process and budgets that support it. 

Here are five reasons you don’t trust your budget and practical ways to gain the confidence you need to have a successful security budgeting process:

1. You're not aligning the security program with your organization's goals

As a security leader, it’s crucial to understand that your security investments must support your business objectives. Regardless of the vertical market, from healthcare to industrial manufacturing, your security strategy must align with your business goals. While this may seem like a no-brainer, many security leaders are unaware of how security fits into the broader organization or how to ensure it aligns with business goals.

In addition to ensuring that security is a key component of your organization’s business strategy, you won’t trust your security budget if you don’t understand how your internal budget processes and how it fits into the overall company budget. Everything from security requirements to the security equipment required to meet those requirements must be considered in your budget.

When budgeting for security, managers often make the mistake of focusing on the costs associated with tools and technology instead of the value of the tools and technology. Your team needs to focus on understanding how to use these tools to achieve your security program goals. 

Here’s a six-point approach that you can use to align your physical security program with your organization’s budget and business objectives:

  • Understand your organization’s business objectives: The next step is to understand your organization’s business objectives. What are the organization’s goals? What are the key priorities? Short-term and long-term goals? Once you understand your organization’s business objectives, you can start to develop a physical security program that supports those objectives.
  • Understand your organization’s budget: The first step is to understand your organization’s budget. How much money is available for security? What are the priorities for spending? Process for justifying budget increases?
  • Identify the security risks: Once you understand your organization’s budget and business objectives, you can start to identify vulnerabilities that could impact those objectives. This includes both internal and external risks. Internal risks are those that come from within the organization, such as employee errors or malicious insiders. External risks are those that come from outside the organization, such as unauthorized access or natural disasters.
  • Develop a cost-effective physical security program: Since no cost is always a factor, you need to develop a cost-effective physical security program. This means selecting security controls that are appropriate for the risks and that are within budget.
  • Communicate with senior management: It is important to communicate with senior management about your physical security program. This will help to ensure that you have the resources you need to implement and maintain your program.
  • Monitor and review your physical security program: Finally, you need to monitor and review the physical security infrastructure regularly. This will help you to ensure that your program is effective and that it is aligned with your organization’s budget and business objectives.

Imagine trying to do all of this with manual processes, spreadsheets, and whiteboards. It would be nearly impossible. Instead, you need to use a centralized security platform designed specifically for the security industry to help you manage and align your security programs with your business strategy.

2. Your budget is based on the wrong metrics

One of the main challenges in security budgeting is that it is often focused on a static set of outdated metrics by the time the budget is approved. Physical security is a fast-changing landscape, but without a clear picture of your security risk, inventory, and operational costs, it isn’t easy to accurately forecast the resources required to protect your facilities adequately.

Effective ways to address the issue of outdated metrics include: 

  • Reviewing today’s risk environment to determine whether your security measures are adequate. While some departments have the luxury of budgeting based on historical data, this is not an option for manufacturing security leaders since the risk landscape is constantly changing.
  • Regular reviews of your physical security plan to identify gaps in coverage and areas that need updating. The manufacturing sector is no stranger to change, and if your plan is not being regularly reviewed, it will quickly become outdated.
  • Inventory your facilities to determine what assets you have, their location, condition, warranty information, and any other relevant data. Without a clear understanding of your inventory, it is difficult to determine whether your budget is adequate to protect your assets. From video surveillance to access control systems, an accurate inventory is the first step to ensuring you are spending your budget on the right things.

By keeping these factors up-to-date, you will be better equipped to anticipate changes in your security environment and adjust your budget accordingly. Additionally, seeking input from other departments or external security experts may help gain a more comprehensive understanding of the security landscape.

Get the right metrics with SiteOwl

If you want to get the right metrics for your physical security budget, it’s important to consider all aspects of your physical security system and operations. SiteOwl can help you do just that with a comprehensive view of your entire security environment, including inventory, device-level service, and warranty information to plan changes, upgrades, and budgets.

3. You don’t have a clear picture of your security costs

Physical security systems are complex, with many interconnected components that must work together to ensure they perform their intended function; therefore, your security budget should account for maintenance, repairs, and replacement of all these components.

While the specific amount of physical security systems that a manufacturing facility has in place depends on many factors, such as the size of the facility and the types of products it produces, the average facility has a physical security footprint that includes:

  • Video surveillance: To monitor the facility for unauthorized access or activity. For budgeting purposes, it is important to note that the cost of video surveillance hardware and software varies considerably based on the number of cameras and the type of system used.
  • Access control: To control who has access to the facility and to specific areas within the facility. The typical life cost of an access control system varies depending on the size and complexity of the system, the type of access control devices used, and the cost of labor in the area where the system is installed. However, in general, the life cost of an access control system can range from $1,000 to $10,000 or more.
  • Intrusion detection: To detect unauthorized entry into the facility. When it comes to intrusion detection systems, the life cost of the system depends on the type of system and the number of sensors and other components used.
  • Physical barriers: Physical barriers, such as fences, walls, and gates, can be used to deter unauthorized access to the facility. They require the most capital investment and labor to install and maintain.

Imagine trying to manage all of these things with spreadsheets and manual paper-based processes?

Get the Most Out Of Your Security Investment

For manufacturers who want to ensure that they are getting the most out of their security investment, SiteOwl offers a comprehensive solution. By providing real-time visibility into your security environment, SiteOwl allows you to make informed decisions about your security budget. In addition, you can quickly inventory your security assets, track maintenance and repairs, and manage your security vendors. This streamlined approach to managing your security will save you time and money and give you peace of mind.

4. You don't have a plan to communicate security needs

Having a clear picture of your physical security infrastructure is critical, but if you’re not able to communicate that information effectively, your budget challenges are unlikely to be resolved. One way to ensure effective communication is to establish regular meetings between your security team and upper management. During these meetings, discuss your security goals and how your budget supports those goals.

Examples of data to support your physical security budget are:


  • A recent Risk Assessment. This information can be used to prioritize security investments and to develop a risk management plan.
  • Industry benchmarks. You can compare your organization’s security expenditure to other organizations in the same industry. This information can be used to ensure that you’re spending an appropriate amount on security.
  • Operational Report. A report that highlights opportunities for standardization and operational efficiencies to help reduce costs.
  • Infrastructure Report. An overview of your current physical security infrastructure and operational challenges. This can help you bring to light any areas that need improvement, special projects, and other opportunities.

Get a platform that helps you communicate your security vision

When it comes to managing your physical security budget, effective communication is key. Fortunately, SiteOwl offers a comprehensive solution that helps you consolidate all of your security data into a single dashboard. 

5. You don’t have the right tools to trust your budget

Trust is a byproduct of having the right systems in place to support your security program, systems, and procedures. Understanding your organization’s risk profile, business objectives, and internal culture is critical to developing an effective budget. However, without the right tools to track, manage, and maintain your security program, you’ll still have a hard time trusting your budget.

The right tools can help you build a bridge of trust between your operations and administrative teams so that you can work together to make the best decisions for your organization. Think of how confident you would be if you were able to:

  • Inventory all your system devices across multiple locations from a centralized platform.
  • Conduct system-wide audits to help you identify areas of improvement so you can optimize your budget and plan for the future.
  • Generate detailed reports of your devices, including warranty information, to plan for future hardware needs.
  • Share actionable data with leadership and stakeholders to prioritize and justify budget requests.
  • Stay on top of ongoing security system deployments and maintenance work in real-time to remain ready for any budgetary concerns.

SiteOwl delivers all of these features to empower you with the insights you need to take control of your security program. Once you have the right data at your fingertips, you’ll start looking forward to budget season, knowing that your security strategy is aligned and that your budget reflects your program’s value.


By taking a holistic approach to security, you’ll be able to better justify your budget and ensure that your investments align with the business’s overall strategy. But you can’t do this effectively without accurate, actionable, and timely data.

With SiteOwl, you can easily generate reports and use them to support data-driven decisions about your security budget. Whether you’re trying to prioritize spending, identify areas for improvement, or demonstrate the effectiveness of your security program to management, SiteOwl makes it easy to communicate your physical security needs.

The stakes are too high to allow your security budget to be up for debate, request a demo today and start taking control of your security budget with SiteOwl!

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