Insights |Security

16th August 2022

Corporate physical security: Is your organisation in safe hands?

The pressures of, and the fallout from, the Covid-19 pandemic have only exacerbated security threats in our society.

Violent crime, incivility, and public disorder are on the rise.

Office managers are dealing with increased levels of workplace violence as employees return to the office.

At the same time, data theft is increasing, extremism is rising, and people are dealing with an increased number of economic and social issues.

Corporate security threats can come from external and internal sources. Incidents of insider activism and cyber security threats are also increasing.

The solution is a comprehensive corporate physical security strategy that will protect your employees and assets.

This article will examine the importance of business security and how to develop a suitable corporate physical security strategy following current best practice.

Why have a corporate physical security policy?

To keep your business running smoothly, you need to manage potential risks. This will protect your reputation, your customers, and your employees.

No matter the size of your company, you are potentially vulnerable to workplace theft, violence, and property damage. Employee theft costs UK companies around £190 million every year.

Many aspects of how you do business have changed in recent years. Data is kept in the cloud, and employees may be working remotely. However, crucial financial information may still be stored on your premises. If someone gains physical access to this data (just as with a cyber breach), the resulting damage limitation activity is likely to cost you time and money. It also has the potential to weaken trust in your business and to break data protection regulations.

You may think your business security services are sufficient. However, the scope of potential risks is constantly changing. This highlights the need to assess your corporate physical security policy regularly and adapt it when necessary.

You want to ensure you have a security plan which will restrict access to, and control access within, your premises.

The technology with which you can achieve this is constantly changing. It is vital to keep track of the latest security software and hardware, as well as other developments in the security industry, to ensure your business is as secure as possible.

The right corporate physical security strategy will:

  • Protect you from intruders
  • Shield you from internal threats
  • Plan for natural disasters and accidents
  • Protect networks and data
  • Deter fraud
  • Detect crimes
  • Raise awareness among employees.

Not all companies require the same level of security. Some smaller companies may be able to focus on a few specific issues such as theft, while a larger business will need a full range of business security services.

Either way, introducing an appropriate corporate physical security strategy will ensure your business runs smoothly.

Corporate physical security best practices

A few decades ago, it might have been sufficient to have a single security guard protecting the entrance of your company. For most businesses, this is no longer the case.

There are several components to a successful physical security strategy.

Access control

The first step to protecting your business is to gain control over who enters the premises and how they do so.

This can begin at the entrance to a car park or garage, or at the front door. You can equip employees with unique access control cards or require biometric authorisation to allow them to enter. Biometric control can include fingerprint, voice, facial, or iris recognition. Some technologies now allow employees to use their mobile phones as a form of access control.

Access cards and biometric control can also be used for sensitive locations within your building. This will allow you to choose who is allowed to go where once inside.

Many of these systems log important data about who accessed a particular zone, which you can use to analyse employee and visitor movement.

Experts believe layered authentication systems will provide you with the best security.

To streamline your access control, you should develop a policy to manage visitors to your premises. This can include allowing only prior appointments or having detailed procedures for visitors to sign in on arrival. These steps became commonplace during the Covid pandemic, and many businesses have kept such procedures in place despite restrictions ending.

Visitor passes also allow you to monitor when someone has entered and left the building.

Video surveillance and monitoring

Another vital pillar of your corporate security policy is video surveillance. This will allow you to monitor for any suspicious activity in real time, and record video to detect security breaches, identify perpetrators, and be used as evidence, if required.

There is a wide range of video technology to choose from to suit your business.

Depending on the size and sensitivity of your operation, you may want someone to monitor surveillance footage at all times and to respond to any potential threats (a service we offer alongside 24/7 alarm monitoring and response).

Security systems

Aside from video surveillance, you can install a range of alarms and sensors for business security.

Sensors can detect movement, smoke, or heat. Fires are, of course, a potential risk to people on your business premises, and they can wreak havoc on valuable property and assets. A fire alarm and connected sprinkler system are essential for the safety of your company.

You can install alarm sensors on doors, windows, and other important locations. Alarms have a dual purpose – they may scare off potential intruders, while alerting security services to the threat.

The most important thing to remember is that criminals are more innovative than ever and can employ a range of technology to overcome security systems. Hence, you need to stay on top of the latest innovations to be aware of new risks.

Testing and training

Implementing the correct physical security measures is only the beginning of a good corporate physical security strategy, though.

You need to train your employees to recognise threats and use the security system where necessary. They should be up to date with your best practices and visitor access rules. This training will also show employees you are serious about security and may deter efforts by internal threats to steal data or physical property.

You should also schedule regular drills and tests of your surveillance systems and other security measures, including instructing independent security experts to test the systems you have in place.

Get your corporate physical security risk assessment

You may think your corporate security is iron-clad. However, the risks to businesses are constantly evolving. Staying on top of risk management will protect your bottom line and your employees.

ESA Risk has decades of experience in managing business risks and providing expert solutions.

Arrange your security risk assessment today – contact Liam Doherty, Security Consultant, at liam.doherty@esarisk.com, on +44 (0)843 515 8686 or via our contact form.

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