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. 

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. 

Tips on Boosting Your Physical Security

Boosting Physical SecurityBusiness security needs to be at the top of the list for companies, both in terms of physical and cyber levels. Here we share some tips on boosting your businesses physical security and how it can help make the company’s overall security more robust.

Device Inventory  

When it comes to cybersecurity and data protection, physical security is not always considered. However, it is just as important as a preventative measure. Businesses should keep an inventory of all the devices that contact company data. Ensuring you have this physical check-in place will allow you to keep control of the devices, learn immediately if there has been a theft and deal with it accordingly. Knowing who has what device and with what information can help damage limitation. 

Limit access to certain areas 

 It is important that members of staff do not automatically have access to all areas of the business if it does not directly relate to their job. Rooms that should only be accessed by certain members of staff should be out of bounds to other employees. There is a myriad of physical security options to achieve this. Barriers, turnstiles, and keypads are all effective ways to achieve this. 

Go one step further with biometrics 

Businesses should also consider the use of biometrics. Used alongside the traditional physical security measures, you can have peace of mind that only authorised people are entering certain areas of your business. Biometric keypads, for example, will only work for that individual, meaning no intruders can enter.  

Have sufficient security documents 

A business’ security efforts can sometimes be wasted if they are not used properly. Always train staff sufficiently on all aspects of business security through training sessions and security documents and policies. If employees are not trained correctly they may be putting the business and others at risk, potentially not even realising they are doing so. Ensure security documentation covers at least the following: 

– Door locking process and times 

– Who has what access 

– Who manages security 

– Password policy  

– Visitor Access policy and procedure 

Always update these documents regularly and hold a training session with employees ideally once a month as security methods will continue to change and people need updating. 

As you can see, these tips can help businesses improve their overall security. By using physical security, the premises are not only secure but the company’s data as well. It only takes one breach of security to severely affect a busy. Using these tips can help a company get started on ensuring their premises and data remain as secure as possible. 

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. 

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.

Lock down your offices with biometric security

lock down your offices with biometric securitySome types of businesses are naturally more attractive to criminals than others, and so for those companies, security options are always at the forefront of what they do. Of course, this varies from business to business, and a bank or a shopping centre will typically have very different protocols in place to a restaurant or an office-based business. Unfortunately, far too many business owners wrongly assume that their businesses are safe from crime right up until the time they are targeted. Here we will look at how office-based businesses in particular can safeguard their people, information and assets in the face of ever-rising crime rates.

One of the biggest threats to office-based businesses is that of theft. In a recent survey as many as two-thirds of employees admitted to stealing low-cost items like stationary from their employers and a high number went even further than that, admitting to stealing electronic items and expensive materials. An obvious but largely underused way to combat this type of employee theft is to lock down specific areas such as stock cupboards or equipment storage areas with access control equipment. This means only trusted parties can access those materials.

While a degree of theft can come from your own employees acting poorly, theft can also come from outside your own building. Opportunistic thefts or planned attacks can take place should your building appear to be an easy target or the goods inside of high enough value to take a risk. Access control equipment like biometric entry controls, turnstiles and gates can effectively lock down your offices against these types of risks.

Another threat that businesses face in the modern world is that of data security. Physical hard-copy materials that contain sensitive information such as financial data or personal details can prove very valuable to criminals. In fact, this type of crime costs the UK as much as £3.3 billion year on year.

Businesses that fail to take strong steps to protect the information of their clients and customers can face damaging consequences. Should data be wrongly procured they can face fines of up to £500,000 from the Information Commissioners Office. As well as having strong data security protocols in place, businesses should ensure that confidential materials are securely stored, and once again only trusted parties should be given access.

Are you interested in finding out more? Gateway Automation provide a range of perimeter security systems to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provides nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/brochure/.

How access control can help keep hospitals secure

how access control can help keep hospitals secureHospitals – both private and public, offer unique challenges when it comes to security. Whilst maintaining a welcoming nature and easy access for patients and staff they simultaneously need to be able to preserve the security of their assets and the people they are looking after.

In terms of assets, many hospitals have experienced problems with the control of drugs and expensive equipment which have been the target of thieves and criminals. As hospitals are traditionally busy environments, with low-key security protocols in place, they have increasingly been seen as easy targets by opportunistic thieves where there is low risk and high rewards.

A recent example of this is the rise in theft of nitrous oxide – commonly known as laughing gas – with theft of cylinders occurring at hospitals in East Kilbride, Bridlington, Crawley, Dumfries, Lincoln and Kidderminster in recent years. Despite being recently banned publicly under the Psychoactive Substances Act, laughing gas is now the second most popular recreational drug in the UK and therefore a high target for criminal drug gangs who have begun targeting hospitals.

However, it’s not just theft that is a concern for hospitals. There are also problems with assaults against both patients and hospital employees. A problem which has even led some hospitals such as Camden and Islington to employ a team of Local Hospital Liaison Officers to offer protection.

One of the key techniques that hospitals can employ to make their hospitals more secure is to install quality access control equipment. By using biometrics and other cutting-edge technology such as audio/visual intercom they can lock down specific areas of the hospital where equipment, assets such as medical files, important hospital infrastructure or vulnerable patients can be kept safe from criminals.

Gateway Automation provides a range of products including access control equipment to help businesses and individuals secure their sites against crime. We also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more please call us on 01522 682255.

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. 

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