You need to be aware by now that, for small businesses as well as large enterprises, security is one of the most crucial aspects of the modern workplace. It serves as your first line of protection against trespassers, natural catastrophes, and other unforeseen calamities that can ruin your company. However, if you’re like most business owners, you’re probably unsure of the precise steps to take to ensure that your security system is adequate. The response? carrying out an evaluation of physical security.
This is a thorough physical inspection and assessment of all the controls, features, and aspects of your security system throughout your area or facility, as the name suggests. This is carried out at both the individual and the macro levels, providing you with the information you require to manage your facility more effectively. In general, the physical security risk assessment, which is relevant to the complete physical security system of a specific building, combines the processes of conducting a thorough audit and evaluating the findings. Use these pointers to ensure that you’re approaching the task of keeping your place safe from danger in the right way.
Comprehending Audits of Physical Security
As the name suggests, physical security refers to the methods, technologies, and hardware system that safeguards the tangible assets in your location, such as files, hardware, and other items. When these systems are audited, every component of the bigger system—which, even in smaller offices, is frequently very large—must be thoroughly examined. It is a well-defined and essential procedure that is frequently used in accordance with standards organizations’ and regulatory bodies’ requirements, including those of government agencies and certifying authority. When performing a physical security evaluation, every type of installed physical security system is thoroughly inspected.
Physical security vulnerabilities and threats come in various forms, ranging from human-caused burglaries and natural disasters like fires to threats to the critical data and resources that run your company. You definitely want to avoid putting your company in danger of significant losses or perhaps legal action by putting these in jeopardy. The most frequent dangers have the ability to enter your system physically or over your wireless network.
If a hacker can physically enter your site, it will be much easier for them to compromise the software and other internet-enabled resources than if they are operating remotely. This means that your space’s physical security system needs to be operational, efficient, and vigilant at all times. Frequent physical security audits are implemented to monitor this responsiveness. With the use of our security audit checklist, you can quickly identify any weaknesses in your security system and take appropriate action to fix them before they seriously compromise public safety. To protect your assets and sensitive data, you need a strong security system.
Comparing Physical Security Assessments and Physical Security Management
Although they may appear comparable at first, physical security assessments and physical security management differ fundamentally in a few key areas. While security management frequently maintains a security system on a daily basis, physical security assessments analyze the availability, implementation, and upkeep of the security systems. Security audits identify the vulnerabilities and security gaps in the current security system and then recommend solutions for certain issues. However, security management is a more consistent procedure that maintains the online functionality of your system. If you want to increase the safety of your facility, auditing and evaluating your physical security system is crucial, even if both are required to operate a successful business.
Finding Physical Security Vulnerabilities
Physical security audits might reveal many issues related to your protocols or system. Many security measures, including intelligent locks, physical locks, fences, CCTV, enough lighting, and alarms, are possible included in a strong security system. Performing a physical security audit reveals all of the security weaknesses in your establishment, which may need you to make improvements to your operating procedures or purchase additional equipment.
Though they might take many different forms, operational problems are always related to the individuals in charge of your access control system. Inadequate guidance, oversight, and supervision of your facility’s security officers may result in incorrect compliance with security policy protocols. Employee negligence in taking care of your costly assets, including shared amenities, office equipment, laptops, and furniture, might make theft easier. Poor asset management may result from staff members’ and employees’ inadequate training or from their ignorance of the current security policies and procedures. It’s possible for your staff members to forget or refuse to wear their ID badges at all times, which leaves the cards vulnerable to theft and makes it more difficult to verify the identities of those who work there. It is possible that higher management left gaps in the system by neglecting to put into practice the correct processes that were recommended by an earlier audit.
It may also prove to be problematic for guests. Numerous independent contractors and staff members frequently forget to wear their given access cards, which disrupts the effective operation of the system. On their temporary badges, their photographs might also be unrecognizably altered. Inadequate oversight of who enters your facility is another significant issue that security audits frequently uncover. Many staff members either accompany their visitors or fail to properly record their visits in the visitor books.
Another crucial concern for companies is the security screening of third-party contractor staff, a procedure that frequently needs to be maintained by outside professionals. In most cases, a large number of workers who collaborate with contractors are not thoroughly vetted. Hire only those contractors you have personally vetted or who you already trust to get around this problem. If time restrictions prevent you from doing this, make sure you are reading reviews and verifying the legitimacy and reputation of the service you have chosen. Even though it’s improbable that someone would pretend to be a contractor in order to enter your building, a dishonest guest might be enticed to take or see confidential data. By doing your investigation before signing any papers, you can reduce the likelihood of encountering this type of problem in your physical security risk assessment.
The hardware in your security system is the source of further issues. A common issue faced by facility owners is a lack of security when managing and moving papers and files within the organization, outside its borders, and online. Another problem that can lead to a lot of issues is when inexperienced system administrators monitor your security system improperly or erratically. It is common for the routine testing, upkeep, and constant observation of the security apparatus to be carried out in a manner inconsistent with your policy. An easy target for theft and burglary can include the parking lot, entry points, and interior and outside of the structure with inadequate lighting. Among other pieces of equipment, intrusion detection systems, fire alarm systems, and CCTV monitoring systems are frequently not adequately checked, which increases the risk that they will stop working without anyone realizing.
Setting Up Physical Security Evaluations
Physical security assessments are required in different ways depending on the kind of business you run, the neighborhood you live in, local laws and ordinances, and even industry compliance standards. An annual security evaluation proves to be the most efficient and convenient option for several firms. Larger companies or those with stricter security regulations often do physical security assessments twice a year, or even more frequently—quarterly.
The planned security evaluations ought to be carried out in compliance with leading industry best practices as well as the laws and ordinances of your local government. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also mandates certain assessments, but the requirements vary by industry. Do a thorough audit at least once a year to err on the side of caution. However, you can opt to conduct your own smaller inspections once a month or even once a week, which can assist identify problems before they become security hazards.
Performing Audits of Physical Security
It’s time to get your first thorough security evaluation planned. In light of everything said above, you should exercise some caution when making plans to ensure that nothing, no matter how minor, is unintentionally overlooked. Your physical security audit checklist should cover a few key areas, and you should delve deeper into each one by elaborating on its implementation at your workplace. The following categories should be carefully considered: technology, emergency communication, quick response, staff security, data and information security, risk assessment, physical security policy, access control, management policy, and staff security.
List all the components or policies that correspond to each facet of your physical security system. To begin, follow these easy steps that will help you better understand your building. Evaluate the degree of physical security risk associated with each deployed piece of hardware or technology. If you haven’t already, create a security management policy, and then make sure your controls align with this updated framework. To ensure that no one has more or less access than they truly need, audit and evaluate each employee’s security level or access level. If you discover any significant problems, make the necessary corrections as soon as you can.
Examine each fire extinguisher in the area you occupy. Examine windows for fractures. In each card reader, swipe a card. Check the lock strength on your doors. Attempt to set off every alarm. You may expand sustainably by evaluating the results of each audit and making necessary adjustments. You learn how everything functions as a whole and what, if anything, needs to be updated or modified by getting up close and personal with every component of the bigger system.
IT Security Assessments
Digital security is just as important to the safety and viability of your company as physical security. IT security evaluations are simple to incorporate into your physical plan since, despite the fact that your assets may be digital, they still require a lot of physical protection. Make sure all the cables and wires are plugged in correctly and that every system functions as it should by checking the connections of all the hardware and software related to access control. Make your system more efficient by eliminating any extraneous parts that could cause it to lag, particularly during crises.
Ensure that none of your passwords can be guessed, and try to create a system that notifies you when to change them. Invest in the right hardware for your server room, such as smart ventilation and cooling systems, as well as access control locks for the doors. Inform your staff about phishing scams and take precautions to make sure they don’t click on any URLs that could crash your internal system. Even while physical security is your main concern, IT security is equally crucial and the natural progression for a contemporary firm.
Making a plan for your first thorough physical security assessment can be difficult, particularly for newly established organizations or those that have relocated. However, the advantages of this procedure are just too great to ignore. Physical security evaluations that are conducted on a regular and consistent basis are essential to protecting your company’s resources and the workers who report to you and depend on a secure environment in which to complete their work.
Managing your organization without running significant risks is almost difficult without a complete policy of physical security evaluation. It’s important to review every facet of your physical and IT safety strategy and make any necessary improvements if you want your staff and clients to feel comfortable entrusting you with their data. In the long term, this procedure makes facilities significantly safer when combined with an access control system. Thus, put in the effort up front and relax as your office becomes safer over time thanks to your physical security system.