There are several solutions available in this highly topical sector to ensure personal and corporate safety in a variety of situations Building stronger security does not necessarily mean fortifying your home or workplace to resemble Fort Knox. It means more than just keeping out the bad guys and can add up to lower operational costs and improved efficiency, according to industry experts. In the current climate of heightened tension it is no wonder that many people are concerned about their safety, that of their families and employees, or their personal and company property. But security is not just about putting a bigger padlock on the front door. It is about finding a solution that satisfies not only a person or company's physical needs, but one that satisfies their budgetary constraints. 'It's not all about stopping the bad guys, it's also about improving efficiency,' explains Mark Brisson, director of sales and marketing for Chubb Asia. According to Mr Brisson, security threats have always been with us, they have just moved up the agenda. 'The main difference is that security has moved to a new level in the board room,' he said. 'There is now someone on the board who handles security.' Advances in technology mean that security solutions need no longer resemble the conspicuous deterrents of yesteryear such as guard dogs, iron grilles and electric fences. Although these are still available and used by some companies, they may not be suitable for all types of business. Jay Ng, managing director, Guard Security Equipment Company, said his company had seen a slight increase in demand for security over the past few years on the back of the threat from terrorism. However, much of the demand continued to be from the private sector for workplace surveillance and safety systems. 'Our focus is on the systems integration of burglar alarms, CCTV [closed-circuit television] and fire alarms,' he said. 'Our clients continue to be property management companies, banks, architects and public housing.' Despite the headlines in today's media, much of the workplace security refers to fire safety, theft prevention and preventing unlawful entry. With the right solution, a company can reduce costs by reducing theft and even insurance premiums. Mr Brisson said: 'It's all about providing a working environment that is comfortable for staff, enabling them to be more productive.' The two-day conference supporting the Asian Securitex 2004 exhibition provides a good balance of seminars by focusing on terrorism issues, but also looks at maintaining an awareness of the everyday issues. Opening the morning session on the first day is Jim Langton, deputy government security officer, security bureau, Hong Kong government, who will look at terrorism in the city and how it remains a low-risk city in a high-risk world. He will be followed by Stephen Vickers, president and chief executive, International Risk, who will talk on 'Terrorism and the threat to trade (money laundering and terrorist financing)'. The afternoon session and the following day will feature presentations covering the protection of intellectual property rights and security issues in the logistics industry. Bob White, chief inspector operations, crime prevention bureau, Hong Kong Police, warns that we should be careful not to forget the crime that affects our everyday lives by becoming sidetracked by the bigger issues such as terrorism or war in the Middle East. Mr White, who was part of the panel that selected the speakers and topics, said it was important not to forget the threat to business and the individual from petty criminals. 'The thing that is grabbing everyone's attention is terrorism but ... let's not forget the thief that's going to sneak through the door [and rob you],' he said. 'On a day-to-day basis, we shouldn't forget the everyday bits and pieces.'