How Cybersecurity can impact physical security

Gateway- Cyber SecurityThe majority of businesses are now more aware than ever that cybersecurity is vital. Cyber attacks are now, unfortunately, more common than ever and companies need to be prepared. However, what some businesses do not know is how detrimental cybersecurity is when it comes to the perimeter and physical security. Businesses need to make sure that their security has a full package, taking both of these things into account. Here, we discuss how cybersecurity can impact physical security. 

Because most physical security now includes an element of computer technology, it becomes clear that cybersecurity is automatically linked, despite it not being always obvious at first sight. For example, many businesses opt for gates which include a form of access control. Although access control through access cards, key codes, or even biometrics all provide an additional layer of security, businesses need to understand that it can also be a cybersecurity risk that needs to be included in all security plans.

If an attacker gained access to your security cameras or door controllers, your site would be at risk physically as well as remotely. This worst-case scenario is something that business owners need to consider and think of ways to keep their business’ sites as well as their online data safe. 

What should businesses do? 

When planning physical security, businesses should consider making the same level of planning as they would for their cybersecurity. Now that the majority of people use computers as part of their daily jobs and the increased complexity of more people working from home, each business should have a comprehensive cybersecurity plan that involves best practices. 

This plan should also be used for their physical security. For example, all physical security that involves computer technology should be managed using complex device passwords that are changed regularly as well as firewalls where possible. 

Whenever a business has any physical or computer equipment installed, ensure that any default codes or passwords are changed immediately. For example, access control keypads using a code should always be changed as soon as they are installed and never left at the default or a code that the installer is aware of.

Unfortunately, one of the most common forms of a data breach can be due to an insider attack. All sensitive documents should only be accessed by those who need to read them to carry out their day to day role. This is also the case for physical security. Only allow employees into the designated areas of the site that they required to visit. As soon as an employee leaves the company, access control and passwords that the employee knew should be altered.

Which is more important - cybersecurity or physical security?

Although cybersecurity is what usually hits the news and is a key focus for companies, businesses must ensure they incorporate physical security and not solely concentrate on cybersecurity. Confidential physical documents can lead to equally damaging results than if it was a digital breach. 

Although it is a terrifying thought of hackers being able to not only access your data but also overcome your physical security, it is still a great idea for a business to layer physical security with cybersecurity. The two are going to inevitably continue to be more reliant on each other than ever before and as long as preparations are in place to avoid attacks, this combination of physical and cybersecurity is one that is robust and effective.

In our world today, there is hardly any security that doesn’t contain a digital element and therefore could be a target for a cyber attack. As you can see, cybersecurity has a major impact on the physical security measures and although they used to be completely separate entities, they are now irrevocably intertwined and therefore businesses need to plan with this in mind. If companies do not see them as part of the same overall holistic security package, they could end up with devastating consequences. 

How to choose the best security gates for your business

05Most businesses need to consider having a security gate installed. Not only does it act as the first line of defence and helps to keep intruders out, it gives staff and business owners peace of mind whilst also creating a great, secure first impression to others whilst also adding value to the business. Before choosing a gate, business owners need to ensure it is the best choice for their business. Here is how to choose the best security gates for your business. 

Decide what the goal of the gate is 

Although all the gates will provide a level of security, this may not be the primary goal for your business’ gates. Whilst some may have aesthetics as their main goal which will therefore need more research into whilst materials and colours they want to go for, others may have robust security as their primary goal. If this is the case, they may need to choose a gate that can have additional access control measures alongside it to beef up the security as much as possible. Once the primary goal has been discovered, it will help narrow down which options are best suited to your business’ needs.

Choose which type 

There are several types of gate to choose from and one size does not fit all so you must do your research before choosing a gate. Here are a few of the main types you can choose from.

Sliding gates- made for areas that have limited surrounding space, these gates slide across to allow vehicle entry. Cantilever sliding gates are suspended across the gate opening with no rollers running on the ground. These are a popular option as they are considered more reliable than tracked gates. Because of this, they are often used for heavy-duty needs such as industrial gate applications. They work well in all weather conditions and are suited to those sites that need high-level security.

Bi-Folding Gates- Bi-folding gates are the ideal solution where the speed of opening and closing is essential but also where space is at a premium. Made from two panels that are hinged together, the panels fold back on themselves to allow access rather than sliding fully across. Usually installed in pairs, one on either side of the gate, these are a great option for many businesses that require the gates to open quickly. 

Swing Gates- With one side hinged, these gates swing open like a door would. They can open either in or out depending on where you have the most space to use. As they need space to travel, these are great for businesses that boast a lot of land. Before these gates are installed, you need to ensure you have sufficient space. Oncoming vehicles need space to wait until the gates are fully open and you need to ensure no collisions or damages will occur. Swing gates are great for installing alongside access control equipment and other safety messages and can be a cost-effective option. 

Automatic or Manual 

The next decision that needs to be made is whether you go for gates that are automatic or manual. Whilst manual gates are a great low-cost option, it is important businesses weigh up the pros and cons. Although manual gates are more budget-friendly, you will need to take into account the time and effort it will take for someone to open the gates manual each time a vehicle needs access. If you have a regular steady flow of vehicles, this may not be feasible. With automatic gates, it withdraws the need to have a security guard

Access Control 

There are no many sophisticated options to choose from when it comes to access control. From using electronic keys, or key cards to phone entry or fingerprint biometric readers, the options are vast. The business needs to decide how much budget they have and what level of security is required. Although they are all great options and easy to use, for those sites that need additional security, biometric options will always be the most secure.

Style 

Once the practicalities of access control and the type of gate are sorted, it is important to take into account the aesthetic of the gate as well. This is the first thing many people see when they look at your premises and you, therefore, want it to send the correct message. Sometimes businesses want a solid gate with no gaps whilst others opt for a barred / slat design instead. By talking to your provider in advance you should be able to work with them to create a security solution that matches all your needs. 

Deciding which type of security gate your business should go for is a big decision. It is the first form of business security that is there to protect your company and you, therefore, need to ensure you are choosing the best fit for your business’ needs. By following the steps stated in this blog, you should be able to narrow down your options and come to the best choice that will do the best job.

A Guide to Security Bollards

BollardsBollards can be an extremely effective form of physical security for a business. In order to make them as robust and efficient as possible, they need to be fit for purpose and placed correctly around the site.

When conducting a site survey, it is imperative that the entire surroundings are taken into account, especially if the site has vehicle access, as you need a thorough understanding of what the security risks are and how bollards can help potentially reduce this threat. Security bollards can be an effective solution to some security risks including speeding drivers and vehicle attacks. Here is our guide to security bollards.

Why should bollards be used? 

There are many reasons why bollards should be used on some sites to boost their overall physical security. Here are just a few of the reasons why businesses can benefit from installing bollards:

•    They deny entry to vehicles into certain areas without the need to restrict pedestrian entry or install a barrier or gate
•    They are a great safety measure to protect pedestrians from vehicles
•    Rising bollards help restrict vehicular entry to areas during certain hours rather than it being a permanent fixture. This provides businesses with a lot of flexibility over their security measures
•    They prevent vehicles from getting too close to or damaging property or buildings
•    The more robust Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) bollards are specifically designed to protect sites from terrorist vehicle attacks 
•    They can blend in well with their surroundings when designed and implemented correctly and feel less intrusive than some other forms of physical security

Crash rated and non-crash rated bollards 

Security bollards tend to be split into two broad categories: crash rated and non-crash rated. Crash rated bollards have been put through rigorous testing by government-approved bodies and determine the level of resistance. 

Non-crash rated bollards are still robust and a great form of protection, however they are not designed to be completely resistant to vehicle crashes. As their resistance power is not as robustly tested as crash rated bollards, they are best suited for lower-risk sites. 

Anti Terrorist Bollards

Our X Pass and Ranch range are all crash tested and certified by an accredited laboratory according to the latest international standards. Their hydraulic power packs are independent to each other, meaning that if one fails, the other bollards will remain unaffected. They are fitted with anti-tampering kits as standard and are the perfect choice for protecting more sensitive sites.

Automatic Bollards

Automatic bollards use a simple yet effective electrohydraulic mechanism that ensures a smooth and efficient movement of the bollard.  They are great for areas where you will sometimes need to allow access for vehicles but not all the time. The automatic bollards give a business complete flexibility over the timings. 

The GA7276H Automation Bollard from Gateway Automation is controlled by a CDS dedicated control unit, which is capable of controlling up to four bollards simultaneously. For added safety, they are fitted with obstacle detection and a crown of LED lights is mounted on top of the cylinder along with a built-in acoustic warning signal. 

Pedestrian Flow 

A thorough understanding of pedestrian movement through the site is vital for arranging bollards. Sites must ensure that pedestrian movement is still comfortable and convenient. They should not be placed where pedestrian conflicts occur, such as areas of limited visibility, and the height of bollards need to be considered. This is especially important during winter months when lighting is not as great.

Bollard Spacing

Spacing between bollards is also an important consideration that businesses need to look at. It is essential that the gaps are not big enough to allow vehicle access but are large enough for disabled people to access. There must always be enough space for easy wheelchair action. An absolute minimum is 1000mm. 

When planning the bollards, the spacing between each one should be equal wherever possible. They should also be at least 500mm away from the edge of roads. 

It is also important that no chains or rope are used between barriers. Doing so can cause hazards for blind or partially sighted people and can put them at risk.

Which bollard is best?

When choosing which bollards are best, there are no strict guidelines. Choosing the best bollard is completely dependent on the site in question and what their requirements are. From knowing their needs and their vulnerabilities,  an appropriate bollard can be chosen and installed. It is important you determine where you are planning on placing the bollards and then decide which type you go for.

How to protect small businesses from theft with physical security

Although cyber-crime is regularly in the news, theft is Gateway Theftstill, unfortunately, a common occurrence, especially for small businesses. Whilst some businesses are closed their premises become prime targets for criminals. This highlights the vital need for robust security systems 24 hours a day. Here we discuss how to protect small businesses from theft with physical security. 

Get secure locks 

Firstly, companies focus should be on their locks. Many businesses do not have locks that are robust enough and this can immediately create a weak spot in their security and make it easier for intruders to enter. Deadbolts are great for exterior doors, however they should also be considered for internal doors as well. Do not forget the security on your windows as well. It’s not only doors that need sufficient locks on them.
 
Use access control
 

It is commonly thought by businesses that they do not have the budget to have sophisticated security such as access control. However, this may not be the case. There are options available for a variety of budgets and definitely should be something businesses consider. From intercoms to keycards or even biometrics, there is a myriad of options available to choose from. All of the options not only make it difficult for thieves to enter the premises, but the company also has full awareness of who is on-site at any one time, which is invaluable. 

Invest in perimeter security 

Although perimeter security can be a huge investment, it gives you the peace of mind that your business is secure, especially when the site is empty. Even if you already have fencing, ensure you monitor the condition of it on a regular basis. There is no use having fencing around your business if they are holes in it or areas of weakness that could be easy for intruders to overcome.

Work with a security firm 

Teaming up with a security firm is something small businesses should do if they can afford to.  They can install a security alarm system with sensors which is a one-off investment that has been proven to be effective as law enforcement will arrive at your business shortly after an alarm goes off.

Encourage staff to be wary 

It is important that all members of staff are aware of the threat of intruders. No matter what your business is, it can still be a target and all members of staff need to be on the lookout for any strange behaviour and understand how they should report anything they see that they believe is suspicious.

Light up the area

An extremely effective method of security can be something as simple as security lighting. Although the lighting doesn’t stop burglars entering the property, it has been proven to be a deterrent and help scare away intruders as they are more likely to be caught and identified when they are under bright lights. When considering this option, plan the location of your lights strategically. You need to get into the mindset of the burglars and think about where the weak points of your building are. These should be the first you focus on. 

Install barriers

If your business has a large front window, it can easily become targets for ram raids and vehicle attacks. These threats can often be subdued and reduced significantly by installing bollards outside.

Protect your stock 

It is often not feasible to hide all of your stock, but if you have specific items that are of high value, you should ensure that these are locked away and will be difficult for intruders to come across. Using safes etc. can help with this. 

Collaborate with other businesses

You are not on your own and should try and collaborate with local businesses to help keep your premises as secure as possible. You could start or become a member of a business watch scheme. This allows companies of a similar size to yours to come together and keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviour. You could also potentially pool together to work with the same security firm.

The possibility of theft occurring at your business can be a terrifying concept. However, implementing some of the ideas we have discussed can help protect your business, your staff and your valuables. Some of these actions are more investment than others, however, they are all worth it if it means you can keep your business as secure as possible from the threat of theft.

7 Security Measures for Schools

School Slow Traffic Warning SignWhilst schools are a place of learning, they are also at risk of potential crimes and therefore robust security measures need to be put in place. Here, we discuss 7 security measures for schools. 

Have access control 

Access control measures are a great way to ensure the flow of people into the school is limited. Having keypads at entrances to buildings that require a pin code or an ID badge can help keep track of who is in a building at any one time. Access control cards can also be assigned to students as well as staff. This will create even greater control of who is on-site at any given moment.

Use signs effectively 

It has been proven that barriers, gates, and other perimeter security measures can be complemented with the effective use of signs. These signs can be used to not only deter criminals (For example, by installing signs that state CCTV cameras are in action on-site) but, can also highlight exits in cases of emergency, keeping everyone safe and aware of what to do in an emergency.

Ensure the perimeter is secure 

It is vital that the entire perimeter of a school is protected. Perimeter security measures such as barriers, gates, and turnstiles can all be used effectively to ensure there are no easy access points. Assess the perimeter on a regular basis to check there are do damaged areas to the perimeter. For example, check for any holes in fences or any weak points that need to be repaired. 

Try and install metal gates and fences where possible as although they are more costly, they will last longer when properly maintained.

Consider having a gated entrance, ideally one that requires keypad or swipe card entry. Although during peak times such as the start or end of the day, the gate may have to be left open, having the added gate protection can help staff feel safe when they are leaving work after the children have gone home.

Although securing the perimeter is vital, whatever is installed needs to be able to unlock in case of emergencies when an alarm is triggered, so bear this in mind.

CCTV

Install CCTV in key areas, for example where high-value items such as computers and money are kept. Having this extra layer of security helps protect the higher risk areas. Although the CCTV footage may not be reviewed regularly, it is invaluable to consult after an incident such as theft, fires or vandalism. 

Keep track of visitors 

Ensure all visitors naturally have to walk past the reception of the school. Try and limit the places on the school grounds that a visitor can access without temporary access cards. Keeping access limited will help stop unauthorised personnel from being able to wander around the school site.

Install security lighting 

During the colder, darker months, it is always a good idea to install security lighting through the site. Especially near playgrounds and footpaths to ensure accidents and trips are avoided and the staff and students feel safe walking around outside.

Carry out regular risk assessments

Security requirements will inevitably change over time. More security solutions will be available and the needs of the school may alter. Therefore, you should assign someone to be in charge of assessing the site. Alternatively, you can hire a security company to come in to carry out the risk assessment. The benefit of using someone external is the fresh eyes and new perspective they can provide.

Enforcing these measures will help create a safe environment that will benefit the staff and students alike. By have strictly enforced security measures like the ones discussed above ensures that learning can take place without being disruptive, there is higher morale, less cost in the long run as theft and other criminal damage will be reduced. In addition to this, schools that can be clearly seen putting safety as a key priority will gain a great reputation which will benefit the school for years to come.

What's Next? 

For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment. 

7 Ways to improve business security

gateway blog 84No matter if your business site is small or large, there are many security risks a company may face. Although the type of risk can depend heavily on a business’s location, size or even industry,  it is imperative that all companies are prepared for these risks and have a plan in place. Here are 7 ways to improve business security. 

Assign someone to be responsible for the security 

The person you choose must be someone in the organisation that is trustworthy and can handle the responsibility. Although they do not need to be an expert in all aspect of security, they need to be able to oversee it. This role could encompass tasks like being the point of contact for security installers, being responsible for ensuring the security equipment is maintained, be responsible for updating key-holder information, etc. 

Have a maintenance plan 

A company may have a robust security system in place, however, if it is not maintained, it will not be working at its best. Ensure you have a maintenance plan in place to ensure the security remains as robust as possible. For example, if you have security gates and barriers installed, it is vital they are serviced regularly. Otherwise, they could cause a significant security breach.

Having a maintenance plan with the original installer can help guarantee your security stays in top condition as they will have the extensive experience of the equipment and will have a lot of experience with fixing their own products. 

They will be able to ensure the systems are up to date and address any repair issues quickly as they are familiar with the products.

Do regular site checks 

It is important to do regular site checks, especially if the site is large. This is so any changes to the site can be addressed. These changes could require more security or highlight the need for some repair work. For example, cars may be parked too close to perimeter fencing which can make it easier for people to gain access. There could be holes in the fencing or CCTV cameras could be blocked by a building or overgrown foliage. The list is endless. If the site checks are done regularly, you can report any changes to your security company and the problem can be rectified quickly.
 
Make seasonal changes

As the seasons change, the security required may need to change as well. For example, once we get into late Autumn / Winter, the days are significantly shorter and the darker car parks may require more security lighting to ensure your staff remains safe. Having bollards installed can also help identify and protect pedestrian walkways which are extremely important when it’s snowing or icy.

Keep security details secret

Limit the number of people that know the details of the security system. You need to know exactly who knows what at all times. It can be surprisingly easy for passwords or other sensitive information to reach the wrong people. This is especially important when employees leave.

Assign key-holders with care

All companies need to have a certain number of key-holders depending on the work being carried out and the size of the site. Ensure you regularly review your list of key-holders and double-check their contact details. Not only do you need to choose responsible people, but you also need to ensure they are able to respond to any security breach alert in a timely and efficient manner.

Have access control installed 

Where possible, consider installing access control. If there are many people entering and exiting your site, it can soon become difficult to keep track. Having access control takes away some of the risks by ensuring only authorised personnel can enter the premises. The best part is that you can use access control to certain areas of a building as well. This means that each employee can only access the areas they need to carry out their day to day roles. Restricting access will help reduce the risk of unauthorised entry significantly. 

Following these tips can help make all the difference and improve the security of a business’ site tenfold. The best thing is, these tips can be implemented across all businesses from any sector and companies of all sizes. 

What's Next? 

For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment. 

Top security mistakes that companies make

Security MistakesEven if a company has spent a lot of money and resources on its business security some common errors are still made. Here we discuss some of the top security mistakes which business owners should avoid where possible.
 
Not having a third party assess the security
 
Even if your company has an internal security team whose role it is to regularly assess the business’s security equipment, it is always wise to use a third party for a security assessment. This is because they arrive at the business with a completely fresh pair of eyes. This makes them more likely to spot potential weak areas in a business’ physical security because of this fresh perspective. Third parties are unbias and their opinion can be invaluable. They can raise questions that the internal team has never even considered because they are so used to how they currently work. Working alongside a third party team means that you benefit from both an internal and external viewpoint and they can work together to provide a robust security system.

Not having strict enough ID procedures

Although many companies have ID requirements to enter premises, it can be surprisingly easy for security measures to become lax over time. For example, security guards may let people through the gate without their ID if they recognise them. In many cases this wouldn’t cause any issues, it only takes one person to make a mistake. It may also be easier for unauthorised personnel to access a building during busy times of the day. This is why access control methods should be implemented. In addition to traditional ID, businesses should look into biometric readers that provide more accurate results. They could also consider installing turnstiles at entrances to avoid tailgating.

Not providing sufficient training 

It is imperative that your entire team understands the security measures in place in order for your security to be fully effective.  For example, would all members of staff know what to do if there was a security breach? Also, it is not enough to merely install as much security as possible. Although many think more is better, it is not necessarily the case. You must ensure that every piece of security equipment is being used correctly and using it to its full potential. All security team members should be fully trained in equipment so that all it’s features are being used with nothing underutilised. This makes it better value for money but also more effective in the long run.

Forgetting about internal security 

It is common for businesses to focus solely on the perimeter and external security as they assume threats will always come from outside the company. Unfortunately, this is an idealistic view and not always reality. In fact, many security breaches can happen internally from employees. People are on the premises for several hours a day and businesses must understand they can potentially cause a threat. In addition to a strong perimeter security strategy, businesses should also have a strong internal strategy as well. Not all members of staff need access to everything or everywhere. Ensure each individual only has the access they require to undertake their everyday role.

Businesses can also end up with weak areas in their internal security strategy as the business grows. Review on a regular basis to ensure the business’s assets and other members of staff remain safe.

Despite a strong security system in place, there are many security mistakes that companies can make. By noticing these potential mistakes you can create a security system that is as strong as it can be.

What's Next? 
For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.