In the business world, there’s always a new security threat to worry about. Today, most businesses are devoting significant time and resources to fight cybercrime due to the drastic increase in cyber attacks. While it’s important to have strong cybersecurity measures, you can’t afford to ignore the looming physical security threats. In this post, we will go through nine security measures small business owners often overlook.
1. Door and Window Security
Just like homes, businesses also fall victim to burglars, thanks to the valuable office equipment they hold. Not surprisingly, a burglar’s favorite points of entry are the doors and windows. The intruder may pick the lock or use a crowbar to force the door open to gain access. Alarmingly, most business owners fail to adequately inspect the quality of their doors and windows when they move into a new location.
Others fail to replace the locks that were used by the previous occupant. Experienced experts offering locksmith Ottawa services note that you should invest in steel doors, strong hinges, reinforced glass windows, and install quality commercial grade locks to prevent intruders from accessing your business premises.
2. Surveillance System Assessment
A functional surveillance system not only deters would-be intruders but also helps law enforcement officers to identify criminals in case of a break-in. Although many businesses invest in surveillance systems, most fail to make the most out of them. Apart from installing CCTVs in strategic locations, you need to check your cameras’ effectiveness frequently.
Are there areas they aren’t covering? Is the footage quality clear? Is there adequate footage storage space? To enhance security, use remote access cameras that have motion detection technology. You’ll not only be able to view what’s going on remotely, but you can also set the system to send you SMS alerts when it detects motion when you’re not at work.
3. Access Control Systems
It’s easy to think most physical security challenges occur at night. However, some of the most serious threats occur in broad daylight right under our noses. Although a good number of business premises have access control systems such as the use of passes, keycards, and biometric scans, most haven’t deployed strategies to prevent tailgating.
Tailgating occurs when an employee opens a door using their credentials but holds the door open for another person behind them without requesting to see a pass. Some intruders use the tailgating method to gain access to high-security areas and perpetuate a crime. Prevent this by educating your employees to stop holding doors for others and ensuring your doors close swiftly but securely.
4. Alarms and Fire Systems
Installing a fire alarm is one of the most prudent measures you can take to protect your investment. Electrical malfunctions, improper storage of flammable material, or even messy workstations are just some of the reasons fires start. Although all sources of fire are a grave risk, intentional fire-setting is what causes significant damage.
An arsonist can be anyone from a disgruntled former employee, a rival competitor to a teenager seeking a thrill. Many businesses haven’t taken enough measures to minimize fire risks. Installing and regularly testing your fire detection and alarm system will help you respond faster, save lives, reduce property loss, shorten recovery time, and keep you compliant with the law.
5. Combating Insider Threats
A significant amount of damage occurs from within. An unhappy or dishonest employee can sabotage your business operations in many ways. If they have access to systems that store sensitive information, they can steal or permanently erase the data. Some may prefer to secretly walk out with an expensive device, while others may cooperate with a criminal to harm your business.
Combat insider threats by integrating security training into your onboarding process and introducing different access control levels. Other helpful methods include creating a positive work environment, revoking access privileges of employees who have left, raising awareness about the problem, and introducing stringent measures to dissuade would-be perpetrators.
6. Protecting Portable Items
Regardless of the security measures you put in place, a determined intruder may manage to force their way into the building. A business owner needs to anticipate and prepare for such a situation. You can reduce the damage extent by adding an extra layer of security on your most vulnerable equipment such as servers, desktops, laptops, and hard disks.
At the end of each day, lock up all portable items in a secure place. It can either be a strong drawer, safe, or a closed, secure room. Protect the workstations and server hard drives from being stolen by using case locks.
7. Security Risk Assessment
You can’t fight what you don’t know. To have the upper hand over intruders, you need to conduct a security risk assessment to identify any weaknesses in your current approach. Assess all possible scenarios, study past examples of successful security breaches, and collaborate with employees to uncover loopholes within the premises.
Determine each risk’s threat level based on how likely it is to occur and how critical its impact would be. This information will help you come up with strong countermeasures for each problem.
8. Planning for Adverse Situations
Physical security threats are broad. Among them are natural disasters and attackers who would want to harm your employees physically. Creating an emergency response plan helps everyone know what steps to take to limit injury and property damage. First, all employees should be aware of exit routes, the location of fire extinguishers, and how to use them.
Assign someone the role of coordinating a safe evacuation, create a list of every employee’s emergency contact, and designate a post-evacuation meeting point where you will conduct a headcount. An effective disaster plan guarantees business continuity.
9. Personnel Training
Without a strong security culture within your company, you are fighting a losing battle. Well-trained and security-conscious employees are your first line of defense against most physical threats. They will help you identify vulnerabilities, raise the alarm, and assist you in introducing better measures.
Reinforce awareness of security policies and procedures through training and drills – the more frequent the training, the better. You will also have peace of mind knowing that your staff won’t allow unauthorized personnel in the building, won’t fall prey to social engineers, and are well-informed of general safety practices.
Start Building a Security Culture
Physical security is still a key element in business security. Although its primary purpose is to protect the business’ assets, it has far-reaching consequences that affect your brand image, customers, employees, and bottom line. If you want to remain profitable, start addressing your company’s security loopholes today to guarantee your business’s future and create a thriving and safe workspace.