7 Physical Security Measures Every Organisation Should Implement

SONY DSCNo matter whether you are a small, medium, or large organisation, there is always a place for physical security. Your business is home to your data, your employees and more so you must ensure they are protected as much as possible. Not only does physical security help protect your premises from an in-person attack but it also helps boost the strength of a company’s cybersecurity as well. Here are seven physical security measures every organisation should implement.  

Set up surveillance  

Although a business should have other security measures to stop people from breaking into the premises, it is important to know that if the worst-case scenario were to happen, you can have video evidence of who the intruder is. When installing a surveillance camera, ensure you place it in the optimum position to get a good, clear view of the entrance and exit points. Not only can surveillance cameras monitor the site continuously, but they can also use motion detectors and only record when there is movement. Most surveillance cameras now come with a notification process where it sends a warning to a mobile to say there is suspicious activity.  

Ensure you have supporting signage near the surveillance cameras that state they are in use. People need to be warned there are cameras in operation, but they also have the added effect of being a physical deterrent for potential criminals. 

Lock the server room  

The server room is a vital location on any business premises as it contains sensitive data which would be detrimental if it fell into the wrong hands. If criminals attack your server room it can lead to significant downtime and cost to a company. Have sturdy locks on the door and have access control where possible, to ensure that only authorised personnel has access. 

Have access controls  

A business should have a method of access control in place. Access control equipment can vary in sophistication and range from a keypad that requires a keycode to be entered, to using a keycard or even fingerprint recognition. So, depending on your budget, there is still a way for you to use this technology to create a more secure environment.  

Use ID cards for staff 

Using ID cards has been proven to be an effective security measure that all companies can adopt. If you have a security guard, it should be a protocol that all ID cards are checked before they are allowed onto the premises. The ID cards can also be used in conjunction with access controls for even tighter security. For example, if a business has an entrance foyer, turnstiles can be installed that only allow access to those who have their ID card. 

Have car park security  

It is not just the building itself that should be secured. If there is a staff car park, security measures should be in place here as well. For example, gates, barriers, fences, bollards, and surveillance cameras. If there is no physical security around your car park it can lead to criminals gaining close access to your building, especially if they can park right next to the building. Having these measures also help make the staff feel safer whilst they are at work. 

Install Exterior Lighting  

Whilst it can easily be overlooked, a great form of physical security can be the lighting. This low-cost option can have a major impact. Having exterior lights around the proximity of the property can help deter any criminals as they cannot hide in the dark. Staff will also feel safe entering or exiting the premises if they know there is sufficient lighting. 

Provide regularly security training  

All members of staff should be trained to understand the importance of physical security and know what measures are in place. To remain as secure as possible, a company needs to adopt a security culture in the workplace. Everyone should understand what the risks are and what measures they need to follow. Even one staff member who does not follow the correct procedures can end up putting the whole company’s data and assets at risk. 

This list is just the start of things organisations should consider implementing to protect their business. They are the most essential security measures that businesses should implement now if they haven’t already done so. Although there is an investment, the benefits they provide outweigh the cost as they provide peace of mind that you have done everything you can to keep your business safe and secure. 

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.

Should your business still be using physical keys?

should your business still be using physical keysAs far back as the ancient Egyptians, humans have used physical keys to safely secure their belongings and their property. Using falling pins to control the movement of a security bolt and a key to free it, the Egyptians were among the first to recognise the value of lock and key systems. Improved upon by the Romans, it wasn’t until the 19th century and the industrial revolution that locks and keys became a safe way of securing anything of importance with improved resistance to fire, chemicals, explosives and brute force.

However, as a means of security, physical keys will always remain flawed in that they can be easily copied or given to someone who you do not want to have them – a common headache for business owners. This is why in recent years we have witnessed a huge growth in the number of businesses turning to other means of access control.

In the motoring sector, many of today’s manufacturers are turning to electronic devices as a means of unlocking and even starting the engine of their cars. At present more than 80% of vehicles are accessed with some kind of electronic key fob.

The hotel industry has also begun to take note of the improved security and convenience of electronic access control with the large majority of hotels now providing guests with a key fob or card rather than a physical key which can be copied and is expensive to replace. It also provides businesses with an easy way to cut down on bills as the card has to be inserted in a holder to be triggered and cuts out as soon as it is removed – when the guest leaves the room.

Here at Gateway Automation we offer a range of secure access control equipment to businesses and individuals to protect their buildings and assets. These include push button access controls, biometric fingerprint readers, keypads, proximity devices and other exciting technology.

Whereas keys can be easily copied, our technology provides a strong barrier against unauthorised access by eliminating the need for physical keys.

Gateway Automation can provide free, no obligation quotes and feasibility surveys for your premises. To get us to assess your security requirements, please contact us here.

Combating office based crime with biometrics

From driverless cars and artificial intelligence to biometric passports and contactless card payments– in today’s world technology has permeated almost every aspect of our lives.  The security industry, which tends to be at the forefront of new technology, is no exception. However, while many businesses are very keen to take their cyber security seriously, spending thousands of pounds on hi-tech software and employees dedicated to defending their online infrastructures, actual physical security of their premises sometimes takes a backseat.  This decision to favour online security over a physical approach often leaves the door open to a wide range of crime from theft and vandalism to criminal damage and even violent crime.

As a means of access, control biometrics are leading the way. Rather than using key fobs and cards, many businesses with security concerns are using biometrics as a solid method of preventing crime in their offices. Areas of importance can be locked down with fingerprint scanners and reduce the need to cut keys, cards or fobs which can quite easily find themselves in someone else’s hands.

The benefits of installing biometrics in an office environment go past the prevention of crime too. Many businesses are using biometrics to cut down on administration in the workplace, for example by registering employees’ fingerprints so that they can ‘clock in’ and ‘clock out’ of work each day. This removes the need to manually type up employee timesheets and reduces the fear that they may have been ‘punched in’ by a colleague covering for their unapproved absence.

Biometric fingerprint readers work in such a way that it takes just a matter of seconds to confirm the identity of a person trying to gain access to your site.  So, rather than having a physical security guard checking ID badges and signing in visitors you have a digital record of everyone who has entered your building each day.  A convenient, cheaper and much more secure record, as a scanner cannot be corrupted or tricked into allowing access to someone who could cause your company harm.

If you are interested in learning more about this growing industry trend then please contact Gateway Automation for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey. 

Click here for more information about FR-240 Biometric Fingerprint Readers, click here to arrange a callback or click here to download our free brochure.

How to prevent and reduce the damage of tailgating

Tailgating is one of the most annoying lapses in security that you can have happen and unlike many other security bloopers it is often it is the result of common courtesy rather than ineptitude or criminal intentions. Picture the scene – one of your employees swipes their security fob to gain access to the front door of your building, as the door is about to swing shut they notice someone else stood there and courteously hold the door open for them.  While your employee might not realise the gravity of the situation at the time, they could have unwittingly given a criminal access to your property that could quite easily go on to commit vandalism, theft, criminal damage or even a violent crime on your premises. 

What can we do to prevent tailgating?
The first place to start when it comes to defending against tailgaters is to seek out a risk assessment. A professional company will be able to take an audit of your facility analysing the strengths and weaknesses in your operations and helping to develop a security solution that protects your assets and your employees. For example a risk assessment might result in  recommendations to install waist height or half height turnstiles or biometric fingerprint readers, both of which can be effective in preventing tailgating.

While you can put lots of measures in to place to prevent tailgating, your security is only as strong as the culture you build around it. If your employees aren’t trained in the risks of tailgating, and are not told to challenge unidentified visitors then you run the risk of your systems being ineffective. 

Most businesses have some kind of important asset that they need to protect, whether that is expensive equipment, confidential information, restricted chemicals or something else. This is why it is important to not only secure your entry and exit points but also to lock down any important areas of your building with high quality access control equipment.

Whether your business runs from small retail premises or a large industrial site, we can provide you with a free, no-obligation risk assessment, feasibility survey and quotation to assess your perimeter security requirements. For more information please contact us here or call us on 01522 682 255.