Security is crucial to any Business, but understanding how to get started in this field can be difficult, to say the least. Even in small spaces, there can be dozens, if not hundreds, of moving parts that can confuse even the most seasoned business professional. Deciding how to protect your business and its assets can be a process that seems nearly impossible at first. But with the right tips and tricks, anyone can become an expert on physical security, no matter how out of your depth you feel at first. You can make the most of your skills to implement an effective plan and better protect your business. This list will help you understand physical security and to implement its best practices into your business space.

Physical Security

All businesses need a way to keep unwanted guests outside, and most organisations also need to restrict access to certain areas within their premises, even to people who have already been invited inside. Because of this, you need to adopt a set of security measures with which to grant access to protected areas to authorised personnel only, ones that have been handpicked for this privilege. These security measures should be introduced in accordance with a broader plan designed to protect your equipment, resources and any other assets within a production facility or office space. All these measures, working in together, make up your physical security strategy.

The best, most viable physical security strategies require a mix of technology and in-person monitoring that requires careful planning and placement of security staff and other tactics. For your preventive measures and countermeasures to be effective, you also need to introduce a security perimeter, the size and scope of which may vary depending on your specific needs and possible threats to your business location. Physical security bundles many needs together, so make sure you consider your space as a whole, not as separate parts.

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Physical Security System Components

The three most important components of a physical security plan are access control, surveillance, and security testing, which work together to make your business more secure.

Access control starting at the outer edge of your security perimeter, which should be establish early in this process. You can use fencing and video surveillance to monitor access to your business and secure the outdoor area, especially if you have on-site parking or other outside resources. A comprehensive access control system and strategy would also include the use of advanced locks, access control cards, mobile phones authentication and authorisation. Most businesses start their access control at the front door, where cardholders swipe their unique identification badges, or mobile phone, to gain entry. From there, you can place card readers on almost anything else, including offices, conference rooms and even kitchen doors. At the end of the day, each employee swipes out using the same process, eliminating the need for clocking out or wondering if anyone is still inside the building after closing hours.

Surveillance is another important component to consider in your space. Modern security systems can take advantage of multiple types of sensors, including motion detection, heat and smoke, for protection against intrusion and accidents alike. These sensors can be connected directly to your alarm system, allowing them to trigger alarms and alert you and other system administrators without any human intervention. Naturally, your security strategy should also include the adoption of surveillance cameras and notification systems, which can capture crimes on video and allow you to find perpetrators much more easily. Cloud-based access control systems update over the air and provide real-time reports, allowing you to monitor the system from your mobile dashboard.

When disaster strikes, you need to act fast and in accordance with your adopted procedures. That is why you need to test your disaster recovery plan on a regular basis, both on a technological level and a human one. Drills should test your ability to react both to natural disasters and emergencies caused by internal or outside threats that can threaten data or personal safety. Thankfully, access control systems allow you to tell who is still in your building and who is outside in the case of an emergency that requires evacuation. You should also check for weak points concerning access to critical business resources, such as server rooms, data centres, production lines, power equipment and anything else that may impact your daily operations. If you’re outfitting a sensitive area, such as a school you may want to consider a system with a lockdown feature.

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Examples of Best Practices

The specific security practices you should implement when creating a solid physical security strategy always depend on the specifics of your premises and the nature of your business, but many physical security plans share certain core elements. Working examples of security strategy and countermeasures in physical security have a number of best practices in common.

Your first line of defense may include fenced walls or razor wires that work at preventing the average by-passer from entering your security perimeter. Protective barriers are used for preventing the forced entry of people or vehicles and should always be complemented by gates, security guards and other points of security checks. Once you get to the main building, locks are a very effective method that enables only individuals with a key or a proper level of access control to open or unlock a door or gate. Locks may be connected to a more comprehensive security monitoring system, which is quite simple to do. You can place alarms at each of these points that are triggered if doors are held open for too long, if access cards have been swiped too many times or if a badge has been used to swipe into a space twice before being used to swipe out of a space. Even better, you can control access based on the time of day, keeping employees out before and after regular hours. Cloud-based access control systems can be programmed or integrated with a calendar so that the doors remain unlocked during certain times of day—for example, a yoga studio might find it useful to keep the door unlocked up to 5 minutes after the class begins and then the doors can automatically lock to prevent the teacher from pausing class or latecomers from interrupting.

Your physical security should incorporate surveillance cameras and sensors that track movements and changes in the environment, especially after hours. You also need to install proper security lighting to ensure all monitored areas are visible at any given moment. Security guards should cover all entry points to your facility during regular hours and even overnight, while also securing business-critical areas indoors, like labs or server rooms. Water, smoke and heat detectors, as well as a sprinkler system, are your protection against natural disasters like water leakages, smoke buildup and fire.

Your last point of defense against unauthorised access is the use of smart cards real-time clearance aimed at allowing only authenticated, authorised personnel to get into a restricted area or gain access to a certain amenity. In any event, you need to assess all possible scenarios and study past examples of successful physical security procedures before implementing feasible countermeasures for your facilities. By adding multiple layers of authentication you make sure that only the people you have approved can access certain parts of your Business. Thanks to huge leaps in technology, this is all possible now.