Opportunities for Efficiencies & Synergies in Physical Security

Fran Mozgai, CPP, Director of Physical Security Services at COSECURE, sheds light on why a fragmented approach to organizational physical security can increase the chances that unauthorized access or other incidents will take place.

August 07, 2023 — by Fran Mozgai, CPP, Director, Physical Security Services

While the physical security of personnel, assets, and premises has always been a priority for most organizations, today’s circumstances have put an even brighter spotlight on the need to keep people and property safe. 

In part, this is due to the fact that many organizations now have a hybrid workforce with fewer people at the workplace, which creates more opportunities for workplace incidents and uncertainty as to who should be allowed onto the premises and who shouldn’t be there. Additionally, the 24/7 news cycle, with its endless stream of stories about violence in the workplace and in educational institutions, has created an atmosphere of fear and stress.

Physical security can be a significant budget item for most organizations, from small businesses to institutions of higher learning. But despite a seemingly high price tag, it is often not approached holistically. Instead, the responsibility for physical security is fragmented, without sufficient coordination and unified oversight. Such a fragmented approach increases the chances that unauthorized access or other incidents will take place and that the response to an event will take much longer than it should. It can also add unnecessary expenses associated with purchasing and maintaining duplicative systems.

For example, it is common for companies to put the IT department in charge of electronic access control systems and security cameras, while the facilities management remains responsible for the mechanical door locks and the garage entry systems. In colleges and universities, the access control system for residential spaces may be separate from the access control system for the academic and administrative buildings, and sometimes campus public safety personnel may not have real-time access to either system.

Fragmentation like this is costly and counterproductive. While several departments often play a role in physical security programs, their efforts should be coordinated via a unified program and strategy. Security is an enterprise responsibility as opposed to an individual department’s duty. Organizations that view security as a whole-enterprise endeavor can realize significant efficiencies and synergies, directing funds strategically to create a more secure environment at a lower cost. 

Preventing Silos and Increasing Physical Security

Creating a safer workplace requires a culture of security set by committed and supportive leadership. Without building an organizational culture that prioritizes security, even the most sophisticated system and the most devoted security personnel will fight an uphill battle against shortcuts, doors propped open, and the general tendency of us all to prioritize convenience.

In addition to a culture of security championed by the organization’s leadership, two other elements are critical to establishing a unified and effective physical security program: 

  • A security working group that brings all the stakeholders together and is empowered to set the enterprise’s security strategy and mission, and to establish security policies; the working group allows all the stakeholders to be in communication with each other and to see the organization’s whole security landscape. Communication among all the stakeholders reduces the likelihood of both blind spots and duplicative efforts.
  • Flexibility to address the evolving threat environment; real-world events can move with breakneck speed, creating challenges that could not have been anticipated even months earlier. A flexible framework built on a clear security mission, coupled with an empowered security working group, can help organizations weather new threats — be they related to political events that precipitate rioting and looting or extreme weather events that threaten the physical integrity of the organization’s premises.

Deploying High-Impact Technologies to Increase Synergies

Once an organization maximizes the efficiencies of its physical security program by implementing an enterprise-wide approach to security, it can focus on integrating technologies with its already-existing systems to enhance security synergistically.

Examples of high-impact technologies that can positively complement your program when integrated with other systems include:

  • Cameras integrated with access control systems to allow real-time verification that the person swiping the access card is indeed the authorized user;
  • Alerts to security personnel when a door is forced open or left propped open;
  • Analytics that can detect unexpected congregations of people near points of entry;
  • Detectors of bags and other items left unattended;
  • Detectors of concealed weapons; and
  • Lighting and motion detectors.

Using some or all of these newer technologies can have a multiplier effect on an organization’s security and on employees’ feelings of safety and well-being.

If you would like to assess the strengths and vulnerabilities of your physical security program, we can help. Contact Fran Mozgai, CPP, Director, Physical Security Services, to discuss your program and the best approaches to increase its efficiencies and synergies. 



Fran Mozgai
Fran Mozgai, CPP, assists clients in various industries with physical security assessments to implement best practices in areas such as security technology, access control and visitor management, and emergency communications. Fran previously served on the Hillsborough Police Department, an accredited law enforcement agency in central New Jersey, retiring after serving more than 25 years. He most recently held the rank of Captain and served as the agency's Operations Commander. Fran served in supervisory and command-level positions for 14 years and has supervised a multitude of units at his agency, including patrol, investigations, community policing, training, and internal affairs. He has also been a police academy in-service instructor.


, an ancillary business unit of Cozen O'Connor, is a national consulting firm dedicated to building safer workplaces, communities, and schools through risk identification and mitigation. We tailor our services to meet the needs of our largest Fortune 100 companies, hospitals, universities, K-12 schools, and government entities as well as small businesses and home offices, bringing unmatched safety, security, and legal value and expertise to our partners so they can achieve more. Learn more about us


COSECURE, an ancillary business of Cozen O'Connor, has been on the leading edge of security and risk management for over 20 years and is actively protecting global Fortune 100 companies, law and technology firms, and high net worth individuals.

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