Cyber attacks are becoming more and more common, and businesses worldwide are taking notice. Investing in cybersecurity measures to protect their sensitive data is a wise move. But, in an effort to protect your business digitally, are you neglecting physical security?
It’s a common misconception that only digital security matters, but physical security is just as crucial in protecting our assets and information. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Discover how physical security works and what measures you can take to protect your systems and people from loss or theft.
What is physical security?
Physical security refers to an organization’s measures to protect its software, data, hardware, and people from unforeseen loss or damage caused by natural disasters, theft, vandalism, human-caused accidents, or catastrophes such as power surges. Physical security is just as important as cybersecurity—it’s vital to business continuity. A modern physical security plan leverages digital and physical measures to protect against all types of threats to physical and digital assets.
Advantages of Physical Security
Effective physical security starts with understanding the hazards and risks present in your current security plan. Conducting a risk assessment is a vital step in identifying and mitigating these threats. With the right tools in place, you can reduce the chance of future security breaches and ensure the smooth operation of your business.
Technology plays a significant role in enabling scalability in physical security. Gone are the days of installing separate solutions in each workplace. Today’s workplace platforms allow for centralized monitoring of security across all locations. As you open new offices or make changes to your workforce, ensure that your physical security is up to the task of growing your business.
Common Physical Security Risks
Every business faces unique physical security risks, but there are common types to watch for:
- Theft and Burglary: Businesses have valuable assets like documents, employee IDs, and equipment. Brick-and-mortar outlets with tech or high-value products are highly exposed. Both are targets for theft.
- Vandalism: Some businesses are potential targets for tampering or property damage, such as those located near bars or nightclubs.
- Unauthorized Entry: This can include social engineering, tailgating, or access with stolen codes or passes. The first point of entry is the most vulnerable to these breaches. Once intruders enter, other security threats may follow.
These are just a few examples. A thorough risk assessment of your business will reveal location-specific and organizational physical security risks.
Physical Security Measures to Consider
Physical security has a lot of components, but certain elements are common across various types of organizations:
Natural barriers such as barbed wire, fences, and vehicle barriers can help slow down or prevent physical attacks. They serve as a psychological deterrent. You can also take other security measures, like maintaining high visibility around windows, doors, and other entry points.
Additionally, consider establishing clear lines of sight in parking areas and grounds to reduce hiding spots for potential security breaches. Adequate security lighting, both inside and outside a facility, should be provided to brighten high-risk areas, especially parking areas, outbuildings, and alleys.
Surveillance encompasses various methods such as CCTV, monitored alarms, patrolling guards, infrared movement sensors, and camera surveillance systems. These surveillance tools are beneficial in detecting criminal activity on your property.
Moreover, the presence of a video surveillance system can reduce the likelihood of intrusion or squatting. With video surveillance, you can access real-time footage, and in the event of a crime, the visual evidence can aid in identifying the perpetrator.
Cloud-based video surveillance can add another layer of protection to your system. A cloud-based system stores video recording remotely in the cloud via an internet connection, protecting you against recording loss, damage, or theft.
To safeguard your organization, consider limiting and controlling access to materials, sites, and facilities. Limiting access will bring increased control and maintain a structured process. Ideally, you should prioritize the security of the main entry and exit points using deterrents like CCTVs, screening devices, steel gates, and fences. Modern access control technologies can help you choose the right system for your business.
When choosing a physical security system, it’s important to consider the technology supporting it, whether on-premises or cloud-based, to identify the most suitable option. Cloud-based access control is a better fit in today’s remote-first world—it makes managing user data a lot more convenient and makes internal integration to security systems smoother.
Various mechanical access control systems can limit unauthorized access and be integrated with staff management, visitor, or contractor systems. You can integrate them with certain platforms to provide enhanced protection against security breaches.
Honeywell offers an access control system that issues credentials to personnel and visitors before arrival. They use these credentials for check-in. You can also give visitors personalized QR codes to scan at Honeywell scanners for added physical security.
Server Room Protection
To protect your office’s physical servers, it’s crucial to allocate a secure and separate space for them. Many companies have a designated room that is locked and temperature-controlled, only accessible to IT personnel.
Locking the server room helps prevent unauthorized access to your confidential data, as physical access to a computer may allow users to bypass passwords and usernames. Without a lock, someone could easily change passwords or boot to another operating system using a USB drive. Keeping the central control of your organization locked protects against these security breaches.
As employees return to the workplace and visitor traffic increases, it’s crucial to monitor who enters and exits the building. Implement visitor management software to track and screen visitors and get a clear understanding of who is on the premises. With features such as ID verification and blocklists, you can detect and prevent security breaches.
This solution not only enhances security but also provides a positive visitor experience. Take control and ensure the safety of everyone onsite with a comprehensive visitor registration system.
Effective security depends on informed employees. Invest in training to ensure all personnel understands procedures and how to use them. Training specifics vary by business type. For example, a retail store should train on handling robberies, deciding whether to call the police or comply with demands.
An office building should have plans in place for handling unauthorized intruders, including who to call and appropriate actions.
Improve Your Physical Security
The old adage ‘Better safe than sorry’ has never been more true than it is now when it comes to the physical security of your business. Hackers and would-be intruders know the value of data, and they know how to identify an unprotected target. The sensitive data you use and store at your facility is worth the cost and effort to protect to keep your employees and customers safe and your business running smoothly. To identify what steps you need to take to protect your business, contact a reputable Utah managed service provider.