In our modern, interconnected, and technology-driven world, cybersecurity seems to draw the most attention from the decision-makers of almost every company in their respective industry. While we all know that sound cybersecurity awareness and practices are essential, they should not overshadow concerns regarding physical security. In fact, the convergence of proactive physical security and cybersecurity practices protects organizations the most against attacks from any angle.
Whether you are in transportation, logistics, healthcare, utilities, or any other industry, you may be overlooking many physical safety concerns. Playing a vital role, physical security measures further aid in the safeguarding of company personnel, fundamental data, intelligence, products, and other assets affecting an organization’s ROI.
Don’t ignore analog threats to your business. In the military, the saying, “Everyone is a safety officer,” is widely known. The same rule should apply in corporate entities. Employees, no matter their role, should be empowered to understand the variety of potential security risks, the measures in place to mitigate those risks and the procedures for reporting their concerns about potential threats.
Physical security is crucial for every organization, but because best practices may vary in degree by industry, many factors must be evaluated. These factors include the type of facility being secured, its location, geography, and the type of traffic it sees (foot or otherwise). Below are just some of the goal-setting aspects that should be considered when assessing your company’s overall physical security posture:
- Theft Potential
- Computers and Mobile Devices
- Potential Violence
- Dissatisfied Customers
- Disgruntled Workers
- Activist Groups
- Disgruntled Employees or Former Employees
- Data / Intellectual Property Theft
- Malicious Insiders
- Power Fluctuations and Failure
- Moisture and Humidity
- Server Rooms
- Warehouses (Climate Sensitive Inventory)
- Fire Hazards
Ignoring the possibility of vulnerability to any of those factors could result in injury to employees or customers, loss of products, loss of business, and, most certainly, financial loss. However, the implementation of proactive protective measures puts safety nets and barriers in place to shield your business and the people you serve.
Reducing physical security risks
Anticipating and dealing with physical security risks requires you to consider a broad spectrum of potential security threats. Here are some ways you can increase your security.
- Extensive and up-to-date communications systems for rapidly conveying critical information throughout facilities
- Fire and life protection systems
- Environmental monitoring
- Fencing and gated entries
- Controlled access to facilities
- Alarm systems for the detection of interference in secure or restricted areas
- Video surveillance
Physical Security Benefits
There are many simple physical security tools available that yield excellent results when employed with redundancy in layers. The first place to begin those redundancies is with the protection of your facility’s perimeter. This layer is about restricting access to unauthorized persons and includes barriers such as fences, electric fences, guarded gates, and turnstiles.
The next layer is composed of enhanced restriction methods to ensure only those who genuinely require access are granted it. Secure locks with limited copies of keys that are difficult to duplicate or combination locks are helpful, but biometric locks requiring retina or fingerprint scans are the cream of the crop. Additionally, access badges can be implemented to verify the identities and status of employees as well as details about their access levels.
Implementing video surveillance systems is the next layer of defense and nicely compliments the previous one. These video systems should be comprehensive and cover all the necessary angles to locate and identify trespassers and restricted area violations. While overt camera placement can sometimes serve as an effective deterrent, it is more beneficial to place cameras in places that are not easily visible. This helps prevent detection and tampering while allowing the facility owner and law enforcement more capacity to identify trespassers and thieves.
Protecting vulnerable devices in yet another layer to safeguard your company – especially data stored in computers and portable devices. Routine system and data backups stored on secure remote servers with restricted access aid in a swift recovery in the event of loss or damage to your IT infrastructure. It also provides a secure location that is not easily accessible to would-be corporate spies or insider threats.
Lastly, in the event of an explosion, fire, or other electrical complications, adequate and appropriate circuit breakers, backup power supplies, and surge protectors should be integrated to help preserve essential IT devices in the workplace. Taking it a step further, fire extinguishers and fire sprinklers should be appropriately rated for use in your facility to help stabilize and minimize the loss of assets, data, and equipment.
A Final Word
Although no security measure is without its unique shortcomings, having at least some measures in place to protect themselves against thieves, insider threats, corporate espionage, fires, or natural disasters gives businesses the advantage in thwarting each of those threats.
Looking for more information about Physical Security services and how they can help protect your organization? Find it here.