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How Simplifying Your Incident Reporting and Investigation Process Can Increase Efficiency

Jim Schumann

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November 29, 2018

A proactive incident reporting and analysis process is key to preventing incidents from occurring at your organization. However, outdated—often reactive—incident reporting processes can make reporting and investigation seem like a distraction from more important security functions.

To get more out of your department's incident reporting and analysis, evaluate your current process and its drawbacks and look into upgrading to software with more advanced incident reporting capabilities. These changes can lead to greater bandwidth within your department and provide greater insight into incident trends for your organization.

Common Challenges

Security departments are frequently weighed down by the time and effort required to complete incident reports and conduct investigations. At a certain point, however, outdated incident reporting and investigation processes become more than just an annoyance; eventually, they can become a liability for your organization.

The time required to complete handwritten or manually typed reports diverts department attention away from real-time tasks for far too long. Security departments still using these methods are required to do more with less bandwidth and fewer resources, which can easily lead to higher priority issues falling through the cracks. Completed reports should be easily accessible, so they can be referenced at will; however, in departments utilizing antiquated reporting processes, they are often filed away. Storing incident records in traditional filing cabinets becomes a risk to security and investigation, making it nearly impossible to pull up necessary information and conduct analysis in a timely manner.

Make the Transition

If your team consistently lacks the ability to access historical information and completed reports, you can consider that a clear indication that simplifying your reporting and investigation processes will benefit your organization. Likewise, when the VP of your company, the dean of students, or your direct supervisor requests a specific report and the information is not readily available, your department needs to consider upgrading its methods of reporting and investigation.

To ensure a smooth transition from your current method to an improved process, look for a comprehensive incident reporting platform capable of integrating with your current systems. Research solutions that include automated data analysis tools that can help identify trends and inform a more proactive approach to prevention. Consult with your IT team about the options you're considering to get their buy-in and gain greater clarity into what the transition will entail and how your existing data will be integrated into the new system.

Advanced Benefits

Updating your reporting and investigation processes will change the way your department runs in a number of ways.

  1. Administrative processes will be greatly reduced. Your security department will be able to spend more time in the field, investigating incidents and issues occurring in real time.
  2. Your department will be able to easily transfer relevant information across reports and reference past investigations to correlate trends and detect greater issues.
  3. Advanced reporting software also enables more proactive analysis and investigation by integrating current reports with existing data and providing in-depth analysis tools.
  4. Streamlined reporting will provide your team with greater bandwidth to act on the outcomes of those proactive analyses and demonstrate ROI to stakeholders.

Updated investigation processes also provide your team with greater security capabilities, including the ability to control access to ongoing investigations to ensure information can be viewed only by certain people. These clearances enable investigations to be conducted without unnecessary eyes viewing sensitive information, as discretion is key to maintaining investigation integrity.

Avoiding upgrade of your incident reporting software is a liability to your organization, because it limits your security department's ability to function efficiently. Once you've simplified your reporting and investigation processes, your department's investigations will become more effective due to increased bandwidth and improved access to a wider breadth of information. The best software solutions offer streamlined reporting, automated incident analysis, and an easily searchable database to both streamline your department's processes and increase safety within your organization.

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