With frequent warnings about hackers, digital theft, and general cybersecurity, it’s easy to overlook physical security as a concern of the past. But crime hasn’t gone completely digital and never will. Most companies wait until they face a major threat before conducting a physical risk assessment. By this time, the company has lost not only dollars but may have taken a hit to their reputation and harmed consumer trust.
Don’t wait for a security breach before you reevaluate safety procedures in the workplace. Take these five steps to perform your own physical security risk assessment and protect your business:
1. Identify Risk
Your first step is to know your risks. Different businesses and locations have varying levels of risk. While any business is at risk for crime, the crime likelihood differs, and you should scale your security measures up or down accordingly. A bank in a high crime neighborhood will naturally require stricter safety procedures than one in a sleepy rural town. Both should take measures to deter crime, but the high crime neighborhood may choose to install mantrap systems or increase the visibility of their security personnel as a preventative measure.
Potential risks might address:
• Rate of crime in the neighborhood
• Types of crime most commonly committed
• Number of people with access to your facility
• Whether your space is shared with other organizations
• Number of entrances and exits to your facility
• Insecure entrances or exits
• Lack of monitoring systems
• Lack of personnel
2. Assess Threats and Vulnerability
After considering a list of risks to your business, your next step is risk analysis and threat identification. Ask yourself which risks are more likely to occur than others. You can define a highly probable risk as a threat.
Then, consider any risks that your security measures do not address or only address to a bare minimum. Risks that fall within this overlap – highly likely but not properly addressed – are your company’s vulnerabilities. But simply addressing analyzing risks won’t tell you which areas of your company are vulnerable. To gain an accurate picture of business vulnerabilities, you’ll need to complete steps three to five: review your site and facilities, operating procedures, and physical security systems.
3. Review Current Site and Facility Security
Your first step in assessing vulnerabilities is to take a look at your physical site and facilities. A site assessment includes the immediate area or neighborhoods around your business. Facility assessments take a look at any vulnerabilities in your physical buildings or other structures.
When reviewing the security of your physical location, start with functionality and maintenance. Any aspects of your company that haven’t been maintained could pose a security threat. Doors that no longer lock properly, gates that don’t latch, or even problems with a bathroom window are open loops that increase your risk. Basic maintenance can go a long way in keeping a location security.
However, there may be other areas where your physical security is lacking. Is it too easy to enter and exit your facility? Is it too easy for customers or unwanted personnel to enter secure areas? Consider changes you can make to your physical space to improve safety procedures such as security doors or safety entrances.
4. Review Facility Operating Procedures
After considering the physical security of your space, you should evaluate the procedures in place for your staff. Do you have greeters at entrances or security personnel positioned strategically throughout your facility?
Most institutions are very secure during typical business hours but grow lax with night staff such as cleaning personnel. Do you keep checks in place for personnel in the building after hours? If not, you may be giving criminals easy access to your building. For example, janitors may leave doors unlocked or propped open for convenience. Even if your exterior doors are locked, set procedures that ensure it is never too easy for anyone inside your building to access secure materials. Work with your staff to ensure your business isn’t left completely open to outsiders when no one is around to monitor.
Finally, review emergency plans and procedures. Do you have procedures in place for in the event of a robbery or bomb threat? Is your staff trained in handling these situations?
5. Review Physical Security Systems
The last stage of your assessment should address your security systems. Are they fully functional? Do they leave any gaps? You might consider camera blind spots, doors to secure areas that are too easy to access, or a lack of personnel dedicated to security.
Review the comprehensiveness of your systems. Risk can range from simple theft to terrorism to internal threats. Establish not only safety procedures but physical security measures that cover multiple threat levels.
Performing an in-depth risk assessment is the most important step you can take to better security. Once you’re aware of your strengths and vulnerabilities, you can take the necessary precautions for a more secure business. To learn how to upgrade your physical security with measures like security doors or mantrap systems, contact our team at Isotec today.