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  • Which Book?

    Which of these books do you guys think is better for general security system assessment? Im looking to get one.


    Security Design Consulting: The Business of Security System Design by Brian Gouin (2007)

    http://www.amazon.com/Security-Desig...9631931&sr=8-6


    or

    Vulnerability Assessment of Physical Protection Systems by Mary Lynn Garcia (2005)

    http://www.amazon.com/Vulnerability-...9631982&sr=1-1

    Or maybe a better option?

  • #2
    I know Brian Gouin and he is a featured author on my website. I have not read the other book so I can't comment on it. I have an extensive library of books dealing with my areas of expertise. I used to buy new books, but in the last few years I've been buying used books on Amazon. For example, I recently bought a used book in perfect condition for $.09. The new price on Amazon is still $42.00. It was a real bargan

    Here's some info about the book that may help you out:

    A crucial reference for the practicing or aspiring design consultant
    , Security Design Consulting brings you step by step through the process of becoming a security consultant, describing how to start a business, market services, write proposals, determine fees, and write a report. Specific elements of assessment, design and project management services as well as acquiring product and industry knowledge are covered all in detail. Concentrating on client-focused marketing and sales strategies as well as the crucial elements of preparing, running, and succeeding at the security consulting business.

    Security Design Consulting gives the reader a working knowledge of all the steps necessary to be a successful security design consultant and a smarter business owner. Security directors, architects and security management consultants will find this reference invaluable in understanding the security design consultants important and growing role in an overall security program.

    Focuses on consulting in security design, not security management.
    Provides sample service agreements, specifications, and reports to use as models.
    Emphasizes the highest technical and ethical standards for this increasingly
    crucial profession.

    Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
    Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

    Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by A2012SC View Post
      Which of these books do you guys think is better for general security system assessment? Im looking to get one.


      Security Design Consulting: The Business of Security System Design by Brian Gouin (2007)

      http://www.amazon.com/Security-Desig...9631931&sr=8-6


      or

      Vulnerability Assessment of Physical Protection Systems by Mary Lynn Garcia (2005)

      http://www.amazon.com/Vulnerability-...9631982&sr=1-1

      Or maybe a better option?
      I'm not sure either of those books is quite what you're looking for, and "general security system assessment" is a bit too vague to offer any other recommendations. What do you mean by "security system", and what is it that the assessment needs to analyze?

      "Security system", for instance, could be anything from a single-purpose physical system like intrusion detection for a corner gas station to an integrated global alarm/access control/CCTV/building management system covering hundreds of facilities...all the way up to the sum total of all of the measures that an organization takes to protect its assets (in which case you should use the term "security program" rather than "security system").

      Similarly, the term "assessment" can have many different meanings, or putting it differently, there are many different types of "assessments" that are designed to achieve a variety of different purposes. There are assessments that seek to answer business questions (e.g. cost/benefit), and others that deal with engineering and design issues (e.g. reliability, failure rates, false signals, capacity, etc.). There are assessments that look at the effectiveness of existing security measures, and others that are used to help spec out new systems.

      I agree with what Curtis has said about Gouin's book, except to say that IMHO it's not quite accurate to say that the steps for security assessment are addressed in detail, at least in the sort of detail so that you could read this book and would know how to perform those steps. In fairness, that would be far too much to expect from any book.

      To use an analogy, there are books for doctors about the business and legal aspects of setting up and running a medical practice. These books don't teach the reader how to diagnose and treat patients.

      Garcia's books are also true to their titles. As the title suggests, this book focuses on physical systems, and specifically the vulnerabilities of such systems. Garcia is an engineer who works or did work for Sandia National Labs, which is like working for MIT. As such her books are very mathematically analytical (there's a lot of this sort of thing: "If D1 = delay time at barrier 1, D2 = delay time at barrier 2, TD = total delay time (D1 + D2) and if N = notification time and R = average response time, then N + R must be less than or equal to TD provided that detection occurs at barrier 1, otherwise N + R must be less than or equal to TD - D1 if detection occurs at barrier 2...." etc.). Her books are very highly regarded when it comes to the very specific types of issues that she addresses.

      Perhaps more to the point, you would want to read her book "Design and Evaluation of Physical Security Systems" before this one you mention, which is more or less a sequel to that book.

      In my opinion, both books assume that the reader is fairly knowledgeable, meaning that neither one is particularly oriented to a reader who is interested in getting a basic introduction to security assessments, if that's what you're looking for.
      Last edited by SecTrainer; 06-14-2012, 10:47 PM.
      "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

      "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

      "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

      "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for, but I bought the first one. I guess I'll find out when I read it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Make a big pot of coffee and download the US Army's Physical Security Manual, FM 3-19.30. If you can stay awake, there's lot of good information to be had, and because it's a government publication, you can find it free online- like here, for example.

          Chapters 2, 3, 5, and 8, as well as Appendix B, Sections I, II, VI, Appendix E, Appendix G, and Appendix K are full of valuable, poorly written information.
          The CCTV Blog.

          "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

          -SecTrainer

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          • #6
            Thanks for the tip CameraMan, I will check that out.

            SecTrainer, you're right on. Security Design Consulting appears to be very similar to Security Consulting by Sennewald, which I read recently. I'm sure I'll get a lot of good info from it, but I'm mainly looking for a book that covers the broad topic of security system technology. Or possibly two books, if there's a basic laymans guide that could be read, then followed up by a more detailed and comprehensive book. Suggestions?
            Last edited by A2012SC; 06-24-2012, 08:06 PM.

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            • #7
              Security Consulting (3rd edition) by Charles Sennewald covers next to nothing regarding security design. The 4th edition is coming out in November, 2012 and the topic still is not covered. Both editions are dedicated to starting and maintaining a security consulting business.
              Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
              Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

              Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by A2012SC View Post
                Thanks for the tip CameraMan, I will check that out.

                SecTrainer, you're right on. Security Design Consulting appears to be very similar to Security Consulting by Sennewald, which I read recently. I'm sure I'll get a lot of good info from it, but I'm mainly looking for a book that covers the broad topic of security system technology. Or possibly two books, if there's a basic laymans guide that could be read, then followed up by a more detailed and comprehensive book. Suggestions?
                Hands down, for a reference that covers a very broad range of physical and other security measures, I'd recommend the 5th edition of Fennelly's Handbook of Loss Prevention and Crime Prevention. The 5th edition just came out in February.

                http://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Loss-.../dp/0123852463

                This is a book much like an encyclopedia, meaning that you can read any topic independently without reading through the book from front to back. This is very useful because it allows you to structure your studying according to your own order of priorities.

                The book covers many physical security topics, but also other operational and organizational security measures such as internal theft controls. And one bonus is that you'll be exposed to many prominent authors in the field - including Garcia mentioned above.

                This book isn't cheap*, but it's one that you'll get a lot of value from. The book has "Look Inside" active on Amazon, so I suggest you just run through the Table of Contents and scan through a couple of the topics, and you'll see what I mean.

                * It's unusual for security books to be available on Kindle, but this one is and you can save $25 by getting that version. If you don't have a Kindle, Amazon has a free Kindle app for your PC, iPhone (although I wouldn't read this book on a phone!).

                For your computer, there are two choices: the Kindle Cloud Reader, which stores your Kindle books on Amazon and lets you read them in your browser, or the Kindle app for your computer (PC or Mac), in which case your books will be downloaded to your computer locally for reading in the Kindle app. The main difference is that you'd need a live Internet connection to read your Kindle books with the Cloud reader.

                Here's the link to the Kindle app: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...cId=1000493771
                Last edited by SecTrainer; 06-25-2012, 06:20 PM.
                "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, I'll definitely have to get a copy of The Handbook of Loss Prevention and Crime Prevention, since I noticed it's on the CPP reference list. By the way, does anyone know if the CPP Study Guide is worth the $100? Is the test pretty tough?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Probably one of the wisest $100 you will spend.
                    Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                    Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                    Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Both are basically books for experts, and not technically in the same niche although they mainly focus on security. It depends on how much you want to learn and what topics you intend to master.

                      Security Design Consulting: The Business of Security System Design obviously tackles the basics of being a security design consultant, the process of security design and its difference with security design management. It offers a comprehensive scope regarding the responsibilities of such profession plus some tips on how to become successful in the business.

                      Vulnerability Assessment of Physical Protection Systems on the other hand is a more complicated source if you want to master vulnerability assessment (the safety, security and quality) of PPS, whether these are commercial, residential or of national importance. Simply speaking, this book by Mary Lynn Garcia is more of a technical reading material, there are charts and equations that would make your head spin especially if you don't have any background about the topic.

                      There are good reviews out there you might want to read before buying. Amazon's listed reviews on their page about the product (especially for the Security Design Consulting) but if you are no pro, or if you are just, let's say, browsing through a list of books, then just focus on the simpler ones. A Book Review On Security Design Consulting: The Business of Security System Design is a simple and understandable example of a review to give you a clue about the book.

                      Both of these books are really informative but I suggest you focus more on the one's closer to the topic you are looking for. Goodluck!

                      Comment

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