Understand the responsibilities and requirements of a Site Security Manager on a secure construction project
When constructing a secure facility, a Site Security Manager (SSM) is a critical, necessary role for the facility’s accreditation. An SSM serves as a subject matter expert (SME) and performs quality control for the customer, ensuring the construction site remains secure throughout the construction process. An SSM is a required role in order to have an accredited SCI or SAP facility.
Some of the responsibilities of the SSM include:
- ensuring the construction meets the requirements of the ICD 705 Tech Spec and the needs of the customer
- ensuring compliance with the Construction Security Plan (CSP), including documenting the construction process and the security features of work through photos
- implementing procedures to control site access
- performing periodic security inspections throughout the construction process
- documenting security violations or deviations from the CSP or the ICD 705 and reporting those findings to the Accrediting Official (AO)
Problem solving is a huge part of the SSM’s job description, but most of the problems they face are minor issues such as inspecting the penetrations at the perimeter of the facility or making sure dielectric breaks are installed on metallic objects coming to the facility. No matter how good the construction documents are, you need the SSM functioning as quality control, reviewing all of the security features to make sure they are incorporated into the project. And when they aren’t, the SSM will be the first to address the issue and make recommendations to solve the problem―solutions that preserve the security of the facility and minimize the delays to a project’s schedule.
Still, having a top-notch SSM on site is essential to catch problems early and stop potential threats. Not only will a good SSM keep your site secure, but, by catching problems early on, they’ll also potentially save the end user from costly change orders during their construction projects. For example, an Adamo SSM caught a potential TEMPEST issue that, if went untreated, would’ve left the facility and the information it contained vulnerable to threat. In another instance, an Adamo SSM stopped the installation of Chinese-made emergency exit signs that could have compromised the security of the entire facility and the data it contained.
When looking to hire a great SSM, keep an eye out for someone with a construction background, experience working with an AO, and start-to-finish involvement on multiple secure facility construction projects.
In addition to a well-rounded background in site security, a site security manager should also be a strong team member and know when to ask the AO for the way forward on potential security issues. A solid SSM should have an understanding of counterintelligence, great communication, leadership skills, and a strong EQ (emotional intelligence). The SSM is identified to the AO in the Construction Security Plan, and that person must be approved by the AO before construction of an ICD 705 facility begins.
It may be smart to outsource the SSM duties because, depending on the size and scope of the project, it can be a full-time role for the life of the construction project. Outsourcing the duties will free up an in-house employee and allow for the site security manager to have an unbiased vision and opinion of the project.
Hiring the right professionals to ensure a high level of security and success to any construction project can be daunting. The experts at Adamo have the experience and proven results to guide you through the construction site security aspects of your secure facility projects.