The Importance of Physical Security in the Workplace

SONY DSCPhysical security in the workplace is vital for all businesses. However, it can be something that many organisations overlook. An attacker can easily gain access to the premises and assets if the security is weak. Protecting confidential information, assets, facilities and employees should be at the top of a business owners concerns.

Here we discuss the importance of physical security in the workplace.

Helps with cybersecurity

Technology continues to become a vital part of day to day life. It is common for businesses to prioritise securing the technical side of the business. Installing firewalls and other cyber-security methods are typical cyber-security methods. Although cyber-security is vital, it should not take priority over physical security. Cyber-security helps to prevent data theft using firewalls and security protocols. However, an insecure building can also be a cause of data loss. Both security types compliment each other.

If it vital that physical security is prioritised, if only to boost the effectiveness of the cyber-security methods.

Protects against theft

Using physical security can help reduce theft. Ensure that gates and barriers are used wherever possible to ensure only authorised personnel have access to staff car parks. These measures will significantly reduce the threat of car theft. You should also implement access control equipment to help protect both your businesses assets but also your staff’s personal possessions. Having these methods in action will reduce office disputes and create a better, safe and good working environment.

Makes you get the most out of your employees

Providing a safe and secure work environment is important for existing employees but will also attract future employees. Knowing that their possessions are safe on the premises is vital for good productivity and a happy workforce. Employees are a businesses greatest assets as without them, the company would not function. Therefore, to ensure employees feel safe whilst at work, actions should be taken.

In addition to this, strong security practices and a safe working environment can lead to lower employee absenteeism.

Helps prevent vandalism and arson

Businesses can often prioritise the security of company assets. However, it is easy to implement physical security aimed at deterring property vandalism. Barriers, gates and security guards can all help stop uninvited people entering the premises. Investing in surveillance cameras, exterior lighting and signage can all help deter potential vandals and intruders.

Protects you from some unnecessary costs

A physical security strategy should also cover other business assets. This includes equipment, files and hardware. By including all assets in the strategy a business can protect itself from unnecessary costs and downtime.

Installing physical security measures may involve a significant initial investment. However, when carried out well, the strategy can save a company thousands in the long term. There are potential huge financial implications associate with a poor physical security strategy.

The initial costs of implementing a strong physical security strategy can be significant. This can be overwhelming to some business owners. Making this investment can be extremely advantageous to both the business and employees alike. Not only does it provide a safe environment, but it can also help reduce insurance, resulting in further cost savings.

What's Next?

These are just some reasons that highlight the importance of physical security in the workplace. To find out more about how physical security can benefit your business, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Physical Security Practices- 5 Top Tips for Businesses

08Physical security practices in the workplace is a huge topic. but where does the cautious business owner start?

Health and safety of all employees should be a key priority for all businesses. Physical security measures can be implemented to ensure staff are kept safe in the workplace. Not only can these physical security processes keep employees safe, they protect any visitors as well as company assets.

Here, we discuss 5 forms of physical security practices that every business should implement.

Visitor Management

Businesses often welcome visitors to their business site as part of day-to-day activity. However there should be a plan to ensure that these external visitors do not compromise security. Using a digital login system can help ensure your staff and business remain protected.

Physical Security Assessments

You might already have a robust physical security strategy in place, many businesses do. However, any good strategy should be regularly checked as things can change. Having regular assessments can help continually identify potential areas of weakness. These areas of weakness identify improvements to your physical security. Ideally, a physical security assessment should take place annually or bi-annually. It is easy to become complacent once you have a strong strategy in place which can lead to future problems.

Strong Access Control

Access control methods ensure that you have full control over who is entering your building, or a specific part of the building. It is vital that you use access control for critical areas such as server rooms. Limiting access to sensitive areas will reduce the likelihood of theft or vandalism. Introduce the use of proximity cards and turnstiles to ensure only authorised people enter the building. PIN entry systems can be extremely effective. The use of bio-metrics can make this methods even more robust, for example, using a fingerprint or retina scanner.

Secure from the outside- in

If you do not know where to begin your physical security plan, start by securing the outside of your building and working inward. This is even more important if you are located in an area with high crime rate. Start simple with gates, barriers and turnstiles. Also consider exterior lighting, surveillance and signage. Although these methods may seem simple, they can have a strong impact and be effective on deterring criminals.

Sufficient Employee Training

Physical security is only as strong as the weakest link. The weakest link, however, is often the staff. Maintain security communications and training to ensure all staff are aware of procedures. This could sometimes involve a whole company culture shift. It can also take time to educate staff and develop a security mindset. However, once it is in place, your physical security strategy will be more effective.

Management teams should train their existing and new staff by implementing security training security policies. Ensure staff know that there will be consequences if these policies are ignored. Management should lead by example for security campaigns to work effectively. Changes to required behaviour should be natural for the staff to adhere to and encourage them to report any suspicious behaviour.

This list is not exhaustive as there are a lot of other physical security practices that could be put in place; however, these are a good place to start. Also, security involves an upfront cost, the peace of mind and protection they provide is worth a lot more. Regardless of the size of the business, a strong physical security strategy must be put in place.

To find out more about how to protect empty commercial property with physical security, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Data Centre Security- 11 Ways To Secure Data Centres

Server room interiorThe term data centre security conjures images of lines of code, hackers and firewalls. However, there is a huge requirement for physical security within a data centre too.

Data centres are used to house computer systems. They often include backup data, core data, replicated data and on the whole, are huge part of an organisation's Disaster Recovery Strategy.

In a world where technology impacts many industries, data centres are crucial for businesses and therefore data centres security is a hot topic. Not only should data be protected from potential cyber-attacks, the physical building should be secure.

Cyber security focuses on the prevention of data theft or destruction by malicious attacks; however, this is not enough to ensure your data centre remains safe. The building also has to be protected from physical attacks.

Here, we discuss 11 ways you can physically secure data centres.

1. Use Crash Barriers

Stop unauthorised vehicle entry with the installation of road blockers. These have been designed specifically to prevent the threat of potential intruders or terrorist attacks in high-security areas. Varying in height, these road blockers will restrict the entry of vehicles.

2. Use Bollards

Avoid anything impacting and colliding into the building by installing bollards. Install permanent bollards around the building entrances. Alternatively, you could install adjustable bollards that can be lowered to allow access to authorized vehicles.

3. Limit Entry Points

Where possible, try and limit the possible entry points to only one door. If you require additional fire doors, ensure these extra doors are exit only. Limit exterior door handles to prevent any re-entry.

4. Use Security Cameras

Surveillance cameras should be installed throughout the perimeter of the data centre. Consider installing adequate CCTV signage as this can be a physical deterrent.

5. Hire On-Site Security

Threats can happen at any time. You may consider an additional layer of physical security by hiring on-site staff. Having someone monitoring the site acts as a strong deterrent to intruders and can raise the alarm if they spot any potential issues.

6. Build The Data Centre In The Best Location

Plan the best location for your data centre. If possible, choose a location away from the company’s head office or headquarters.

Ensure the data centre is set back from the main road. Consider using landscaping to help form additional protection as trees can help obscure the building from passers-by. Avoid building data centres in locations that are prone to natural disasters such as in a flood area or an area prone to earthquakes or fires.

7. Plan The Data Centre Carefully

When you design a data centre, avoid unnecessary windows. Build walls that are extremely thick as they work an effective barrier as well as improving thermal insulation.

8. Embrace Biometric Technology

Biometric technology is increasingly popular and is now part of our every day lives. Install biometric identification systems in the building to control access. This is often a fingerprint recognition device. In addition to biometric technology, ensure multi-factor authentication is in place. This method utilises two or more authentication methods. For example, someone may use their fingerprint but will still need to type in a pin code or show an access card.

9. Install Barriers and Gates

Perimeter security is also vital. Have strong fencing around your entire site. Ensure the gates and barriers are placed where surveillance equipment, a guard, or preferably both are in place. Also, use barriers to control which vehicles enter the premises.

10. Use Access Control Equipment

Data centres should adopt a Zero Trust Network. This means that no one is trusted until they can prove who they are. Access control equipment is an important element of implementing this.

While it may seem simple, access lists should also be provided to ensure that only approved individuals can access data centre. Ensure these lists are kept up to date and are stored securely.

11. Install a Sophisticated Alarm System

Alarm systems are costly. However, these costs are outweighed by the potential benefits. Some systems are linked to local police stations or security companies. Others are silent, but trigger alerts to key staff. Whatever the system you choose, it will bring peace of mind.

People value physical security. They trust places that are secure when they can actually see forms of security such as gates, barriers and alarm systems.

Many companies may forget about the physical form of security when it comes to data centres as they are concentrating on the risk of cyber threats. Although cybersecurity is vital and needs to be as sophisticated as possible, teaming this up with physical security can ensure your data centre is as secure as it can be.

As data centres evolve in the future, the need for physical measures will remain vital. However, physical security measures may also evolve. Having a multi-layer approach that considers both physical and cyber elements will ensure the best protection.

To find out more about how data centres can be secured using physical security, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Securing Empty Property- Commercial Space

Shop to letSecuring empty property can often feel like a waste of money. There's nothing inside to steal. However, leaving a commercial property vacant for any length of time can be risky. Whether you are having the property renovated or waiting for new occupants, there are some common risks and security measures that you should be aware of.

Here is our guide to securing empty property to ensure your investment remains secure.

1. Reduce Theft

Theft is a main threat for any commercial building left unoccupied. Even if you believe there is nothing to take as the building is empty, there are still many valuable items that thieves tend to target from commercial buildings. Stealing metal-based items for scrap is popular with thieves as lead from roofs, aluminium from heating ducts or copper from wiring can be valuable. Even radiators are regularly stolen as they are often easy to remove from the wall and can be sold on for a good price. Opportunist thieves will not be deterred by a building with little content.

It is not just the stolen materials that commercial property owners need to be concerned about. The theft of these items can lead to damage of the building which will lead to additional costs and potentially more severe issues in the future. For example, removing piping and radiators can lead to leaks, water damage or even pest problems whereas removing the lead from roofs can leave holes in the roof which again could lead to water damage or weather damage. Anything removed from the electrics will also increase the risk of gas leaks or risk of fire.

Although the level of metal theft is decreasing due to legislation updates making it more difficult to sell on metal, it is still a real concern property owners need to be aware of when securing empty property.

2. Stop Arson

Arson is dangerous as not only can it cause significant damage to your property, it can lead to others getting injured as well, especially if there are flammable materials still in the building. It can also quickly spread to surrounding properties and impact other businesses.

If a fire broke out and somebody was injured there may be an investigation into the landlord's negligence.
Fire should be a concern for any owner looking into securing their empty property.

3. Stop Anti-Social Behaviour

Individuals sometimes break into vacant properties in order to deliberately vandalise the building through graffiti. Although it is relatively easy and cheap to remove it, it doesn’t give off a good image and can lead to other forms of antisocial behaviour. It can also encourage more people to graffiti if some is already visible as it shows that the building is accessible.

Unfortunately, empty commercial buildings can tempt people to use them for a range of anti-social behaviours. From drug use to a temporary toilet, fly-tipping or even dogfighting, the list goes on. Activities like these can quickly cause damage to your property but also impact the surrounding environment and buildings. It can even lead to significant health hazards that you need to be conscious of. Although it is not you that has caused any mess, you will be liable to ensure it is cleaned.

4. Puts an End to Squatting

The law changed in 2012 for squatters of residential properties which made squatting illegal. However, the same rules do not apply for commercial properties. Squatters are defined as people who occupy a property without permission. It remains illegal for people to break into a building, however, if squatters have managed to access the vacant building without causing damage to do so, you will be faced with an even bigger problem. Police can only intervene if damage has occurred.

It is possible to get squatters evicted; however, the process is time-consuming and expensive. In order for it to be done, you would have to go through the civil court system, not the criminal court. This process can be extremely drawn out. During this time, the squatters could be causing damage to your property.

Also consider the land around your property. Illegal occupation can also apply to any land that you own. Some business owners have found travellers on their property.

5. Attract New Business

Having a well-secured commercial property improves the professional appearance. High-security levels can lead to a higher interest in your property. Having a property with broken windows, clear structural damage or graffiti will deter potential tenants.

6. Switch Off Your Utilities

Protect your business by removing anything of potential value. Switch off your gas, electricity and water when the property becomes vacant. This can limit the risk of fires or leaks. Also, prevent access through doors, windows and roofs using boarding. Consider having physical security patrol the building as well as gates and barriers. The more deterrents you implement the better. Plus, having physical security measures as well as CCTV can make a vacant building appear occupied which will be a physical deterrent.

7. Secure all Entry Points to Your Building

To reduce the risk of arson consider boarding up the building with steel screens rather than timber boarding which is flammable.

As a commercial property owner, you have a Duty of Care for anyone entering your property, regardless if you invited them or not. Any injury a person may incur whilst on your property will be your responsibility and increase your liability.
Be proactive as much as possible. Assessing your situation and gain specialist advice.

8. Consider Installing Access Control Systems as an Added Layer of Security

Undertake a health and safety and risk inspection by a professional to gain a full understanding of the risks you need to avoid. Inspect your property on a regular basis. Insurance companies will often want you to check your property at least once a week.

9. Use Perimeter Security around your Plot of Land

Ensure unauthorised vehicles do not access your land by implementing flow plates, barriers or bollards.

Although there will be a cost to protecting an securing empty property, the potential cost saving could be significant. It also gives you the peace of mind that your investment remains as secure as possible at all times.

To find out more about how to protect empty commercial property with physical security, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

The Benefits of Biometrics in Physical Security

Fingerprint scan
Biometrics is defined as the application of statistical analysis to biological data in the Oxford dictionary and uses unique physical or behavioural traits to verify the identity of an individual. Biometrics is not a new concept.

Police have been using fingerprint identification since the 1800s, however the advancement of computer technology has allowed companies to use biometric devices to increase their security immensely. Biometrics have allowed companies to move away from less secure practices such as passwords and pin numbers to practices that are harder to hack such as fingerprints, iris scanners and even voice recognition devices. Some companies even utilize multi-factor authentication to log in to a computer.

The most popular usage of biometric data in security is a fingerprint reader. What used to be something seen only in science fiction movies is now used in every day life. Many people even use this this technology on a daily basis and a lot of people even use this technology to gain access to their mobile phones. The same technology is a great option for companies to incorporate into their security plan. Now the technology is widely available, the cost is relatively low, especially compared to other forms of biometrics such as iris scanners and facial recognition.

Here we discuss the benefits of using biometric security devices as part of an overall security plan.

•    Biometric security devices remove some need for passwords. Unlike passwords, biometrics are not easily shared or hacked. Password security issues account for many data breaches within companies.

•    Biometric security devices can be used to avoid cyber and physical security breaches- Modern devices are extremely versatile as they can not only be used to prevent hacking and other data breaches but are regularly used for access control and authorization. Unlike keys and proximity cards, biometrics cannot be stolen which makes them great addition to your physical security.

•    The technology is becoming cheaper over time. Although facial and iris recognition is still expensive, fingerprint recognition continues to decrease in price, making them a realistic option for many businesses.

•    Fingerprint recognition is more accurate than voice recognition.

•    They can increase convenience- biometric security devices are extremely efficient and convenient as an employee do not need to remember anything in order to access the building or information, only biological features such as fingerprint or are needed.

•    Can be incorporated seamlessly with other methods of security- You can team biometrics with many aspects of your existing security and doesn’t necessarily need to replace anything, it can be used in addition.

•    Biometrics are accurate- Although they are not perfect, biometrics are a lot more accurate at identification than the use of passwords or access cards. If you work in a high-risk sector, then biometrics are a perfect choice.

•    Biometrics can also help with accountability. If any security breaches take place, a biometric security system will provide data that is easy to analyse and confirm how the breach took take and by whom.

Are there any drawbacks to biometrics in security?

Despite its many benefits, there are still some areas of concern that businesses should consider. Biometric security devices can sometimes be slower in practice due to the time it takes for people to apply their finger to the device and for the reader to process the information. If you have an extremely high trafficked area, you should consider whether biometric security devices would effect building access in high-volume periods such as the beginning or end of shifts.

Although biometrics cannot be lost like access cards can, this does not mean that there are no ways to gain access to someone’s fingerprint. If a security breach does happen, you can easily replace an access card but when we are talking about someone’s fingerprint, it is another story!

The important thing to remember is that despite how beneficial biometric security devices could be, you should not rely on them as your only method of security as despite its many benefits, biometrics remains imperfect. Consider implementing multifactor security system, regardless of the advances in technology.  By teaming up biometrics as part of your overall physical and cyber security strategy, you can ensure your end to end security is as strong as possible and it can help to enhance physical security systems immensely.

To find out more about how biometrics can be incorporated into your physical security plan, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Securing Your Premises For The New Year

Securing Your Premises For the New YearEnsuring your business premises are as secure as possible is vital. However, even if you bought the latest security equipment, technology advances quickly so it is important to carry out annual audits to see what ways you can strengthen your premises for the year ahead.

Here we discuss 6 best practices to consider when carrying out a security audit.

1.    Start with a risk assessment

Before any security decisions can be made, a full risk assessment should be carried out. A business that has experienced security breaches should use the experience to identify weaknesses. A security risk assessment should be thorough with each potential scenario given consideration. Third part security companies will be able to offer professional advice or even carry out the risk assessment. Areas that require particular attention include side or rear entrances, loading bays, windows and roofs in addition to the more obvious main entrances.

2.    Secure your premises

A thorough risk assessment will identify areas of weakness. Perimeter security can be improved by installing gates or barriers. 

3.    Secure your equipment

A combination of cyber security and physical security will reduce the risk of theft. Considerations could be made to CCTV, access control systems and internal security forming a high-level security program.

4.    Train your staff well

A security induction can be implemented to ensure staff are all provided with the same knowledge as well as ensuring that staff are all aware of the organisation’s security concerns and efforts. Identifying suspicious behaviour or even areas of weakness could prevent a future security breach.

5.    Keep staff safe

It’s important to take measures that improve the security of your staff. Bollards, speed ramps and adequate lighting can be considered to ensure the workplace is safe.

6.    Carry out regular checks

Carrying out regular audits will help maintain a high level of security. Security requires continuous attention and effort to remain proactive.

To find out more about how you can improve the security of your business, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Protecting your business this Christmas

Securing your business at ChristmasMany businesses such as offices, schools and factories are are shut between Christmas and New Year. Although this break is much appreciated by employees, business managers need to ensure that security is up to scratch as it is often during this quiet period that criminals target business premises, they believe to be unoccupied.

Here we discuss some tips that managers should consider in order to ensure their premises remains as secure as possible during this time.

•   Create a procedure in advance for the last day in the office. Nominate and agree an individual to secure the premises. Communicate the plans thoroughly to avoid any mistakes or confusion about what the plan is.

   Keep track of visitors- Christmas, for many establishments is a busy time for guests due to more deliveries for example. Ensure you know who is in your building or premises at all times. Having access control barriers and panels for your building can help ensure no unauthorised vehicles or personnel can access your premises.

•    Decide which key holders will be contactable during the Christmas break- Although the likelihood of them being needed is relatively small, always confirm which members of staff who have keys will be available to deal with any emergencies. Share a list with relevant staff to confirm.

•   Turn off electrical items or put in safe mode. If your premises will be empty during Christmas, carry out thorough checks prior to the break to avoid risk of fire.

•    Check heating settings- Although there will not be anyone in the building, you might want to have the heating on for a short time each day just to ensure its being used regularly. This is especially important is certain stock needs to be temperature control.

•    Consider employing security guards- Depending on your organisation, you may decide if it is worth the investment to have a physical security guard on during the days the office is closed. For many companies this may be unnecessary.

•    Ensure nobody is left on their own- On the last day, try and avoid having one person closing the office or building on their own. It is a lot of pressure for them to remember everything and can also make them vulnerable to any criminals that are watching the premises. If you decide to close early, ensure everyone leaves at the same time.

•    Keep the perimeter well lit- Having strong security lighting is not only protecting your employees during dark mornings and evenings, it is also a good deterrent for potential criminals as it can scare them away but also means any CCTV footage will be clearer.

•    Install barriers, gates and signs- Barriers and gates create a physical barrier that can protect your company but they, along with strong signs such as “CCTV in action” act as a strong deterrent.

•    Do a trial run- You can always do a trial run to ensure all protocols are met. You should also carry out a trial security threat to test reaction times.

The tips above are just some of the ways you can ensure your security levels remain high over Christmas. Of course, these tips and precautions can and should be implemented all year round. Having a permanent high level of security all the time ensures the security remains a part of everyday life and will reduce the vulnerability of your business throughout the rest of the year.

To find out more about how we can help with your business security needs, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation call and feasibility survey to assess your business needs.