Protecting your business’ people, assets, and data properly requires a well-developed set of practical security guidelines that everyone in your organization should understand and follow. These warranties will vary considerably by company and location. For some businesses, these guarantees will focus on who can walk through the front door or which employees can access a server room. Other businesses may require extensive employee training, alarms, and video surveillance.
Physical security solutions are integral to the long-term success of every business, regardless of size, industry or location. Fortunately, businesses today have a wide range of cost-effective solutions and easy-to-follow best practices to protect against security issues, before they cause irreparable damage.
Importance of physical security of the company
Corporate physical security is easy to overlook in a business landscape with an increasing emphasis on remote workers and cloud-based systems. Nonetheless, our collective vigilance against cyber threats should not come at the expense of physical security measures. After all, even the best cybersecurity measures available are powerless against someone with physical access to your systems.
According to IBM’s annual data breach report, it took an average of 306 days to identify and contain malicious insider breaches, highlighting the need to limit system access points and maintain security logs. detailed with regular reviews of suspicious activity. These insider breaches cost businesses an average of $ 4.61 million in 2021, and many could have been prevented with better security measures in place.
Best practices for maintaining physical security
Developing a foolproof set of best practices for facility security requires an honest assessment of potential vulnerabilities and threats. Although they have more valuables, businesses account for just over a third of all burglaries in the United States, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program. This is mainly because commercial buildings are more likely to install effective security systems than residential buildings and homes.
But the right alarm, the right video camera, or the right smart security system can only work properly if the people who use these tools have the right training and mindset for workplace safety.
Visitor policies and visitor management systems
Regardless of the size of your organization or the frequency of visitors, including customers, suppliers, job seekers, friends or family, it is essential to develop a visitor policy at the venue. work that everyone in your business can understand and follow to mitigate outside threats.
If you’re not sure where to start, start with a basic Visitor Policy and Procedures template and modify it to suit the unique needs of your staff, assets, and location. Here are some key visitor management guidelines to consider:
- Visitors must have an appointment before arriving.
- All visitors must check in at a reception, security gate, reception desk or reception area and provide identification.
- Registration staff must provide all visitors with a guest pass; visitors must wear the guest pass so that it can be seen at all times.
- Registered visitors should wait in a designated reception area until they are greeted by the employee with whom they are meeting.
- Visitors should not abuse the company’s Internet connection or divulge confidential information. They must not take unauthorized photos or record audio or video without written permission.
- Visitors should check with reception at the end of their appointment and return their guest pass.
According to the United States Chamber of Commerce, up to 75% of employees have robbed an employer. While it is difficult for many employers to view their employees as potential thieves, one of the easiest ways to deter theft is to use a CCTV system that makes it easy to catch criminals in the act. . In fact, the mere presence of a video recording device is often enough to deter a potential thief who might otherwise believe they have an easy opportunity.
Businesses with sensitive data and equipment need secure means to restrict access to facilities, rooms and equipment. The best access control systems offer multiple layers of security through a variety of authentication methods.
Standard office access control systems use physical identifying information – such as RFID cards and key fobs – that allow the carrier to access restricted areas when slipped near a wall reader. These systems typically include access logs that supervisors can use to track employee movement through security entry points.
In environments that require more stringent security measures, multi-factor authentication is common, including biometric devices capable of identifying unique physiological characteristics, such as fingerprint, iris, face and voice. ‘an employee.
Alarms are a key feature of the company’s security system in stopping a flight or alerting your staff of an emergency, such as a fire or carbon monoxide leak. Modern alarm systems often work in conjunction with CCTV devices that you can manage from a cell phone; they often include automated notifications to alert police and firefighters.
Businesses typically have to choose between wired and wireless alarm systems, both of which have their drawbacks.
Wired systems consist of sensors installed at key access points – such as doors and windows – to create a wired network throughout the building. Once an access point is breached, the alarm is triggered and notifications are sent over a phone line to alert the appropriate authorities. These systems can be expensive to install and may not function properly if the phone lines go down.
Wireless systems work with similar sensors and access points, but send notifications over a broadband Wi-Fi or cellular network. These cloud-based systems are generally less expensive to install and offer the advantage of monitoring your security system through a mobile app. However, wireless systems require a constant data connection to function properly.
Whatever type of alarm system you choose, it is essential to consider professional installation, 24/7 monitoring, and backup power options to ensure that your system can effectively protect. your assets.
Whether in retail or business, employees are arguably the best security measure available to you. That’s why it’s crucial to develop a culture of awareness to help protect your physical assets, data, and people.
Everyone in your business should understand your workplace visitor policy and receive regular training on identifying and reporting suspicious activity in a professional and timely manner. This training should include what to do in an emergency, since CNBC’s Momentive Small Business Survey reports that 40% of small businesses do not reopen after a natural disaster.
You may want to organize exercises to help train your staff and reinforce the importance of being vigilant against any potential external threats.
Consider hiring a physical security supervisor. These professionals earn between $ 53,850 and $ 169,940 per year in the United States, with a median salary of $ 104,850, but they may be worth the investment. Many of them have experience with law enforcement, firefighters, the military and other government agencies where they have been trained in the latest security measures.
The primary role of a physical security supervisor is to develop, implement, and oversee all aspects of security for your business and your staff. For most businesses, this begins with a comprehensive risk assessment, followed by statements of work and standard operating procedures developed with internal stakeholders.
A physical security supervisor will also manage all security personnel, control the distribution of badges among staff, and train all employees in emergencies such as natural disasters. A good physical security supervisor will help put in place a comprehensive security system that prevents potential thieves from attempting a burglary, while ensuring the safety of your staff in all situations.