Listen to this article now

As an organization expands in size and spreads out its network, it’s exposed to a greater threat of security issues – both cyber and physical.

Cyber security is at the heart of every organization’s measures against data theft and leakage of sensitive company information, but this doesn’t render redundant the requirement of physical security measures.

Good security combines digital and physical to create a safe and protected company environment for all company assets and personnel. And today we’re going to talk about the top five physical security measures that your organization absolutely needs.

What Is Physical Security?

With digitizing your organization comes the risk and paranoia of hacking, phishing, malware attacks, and more. So you certainly need a robust digital security system. But this won’t prevent criminals from entering your premises and simply stealing the data they need on-site or causing harm to your employees.

Physical security measures ensure that no unidentified person can sneak in and put your organization’s security in jeopardy. It also prevents internal threats from unauthorized personnel seeking to misuse company property for nefarious reasons.

This is why physical security is as important as ever and needs considerable investment to protect your organization from future harm.

5 Essential Physical Security Measures

1. Monitoring And Surveillance System

The first step in securing your organization’s premises is a robust surveillance system. CCTV cameras with clear warning signs not only catch criminal activity but also deter it. A person is less likely to commit a crime when they know they’re being watched.

Secure guard huts and patrol officers also serve as a solid deterrent and monitoring system. Hiring security officers to patrol the premises can be expensive but if your organization’s security is worth it, then it’s an investment that should be made. If there’s a security breach then the cost of damages would be much more than what you’d have to spend on professional security firms.

Setting up a personnel log book is also necessary to deter criminals who may have gotten in through any blind spots or loopholes in your security. Every security staff should be equipped with a log book with all the details they need to identify who has access to what. This will prevent internal security attacks as well.

2. Access Control

Physical access control systems allow you to limit who can access certain critical areas of the premises such as server rooms which hold all of your company’s data as well as confidential information that you wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands.

Consider the business value these areas hold and the consequences that unauthorized access to them will bring to your organization. Depending on these factors, you can invest in physical access control security measures ranging from simple digital door locks and pin code keypads to high-end fingerprint or cutting-edge biometric authentication.

3. Photo ID Cards

The biggest threat to your organization’s data privacy and physical security is criminals posing as employees to access sensitive areas or employees trying to surpass their authorization to access something they shouldn’t. Photo identification cards are a measure against these.

Every staff and employee should have a photo ID with color-coded lanyards that tell what level of authorization they have. This extra level of visual identification allows security staff and employees alike to identify suspicious personnel within the facility.

4. Secure Servers

Servers are highly susceptible to physical attacks. If they’re left physically unprotected, your cyber security measures will not prevent criminals from entering the server room and hacking into your network to intercept and steal data. A data breach of this level would prove catastrophic for your organization.

All network devices should be secured in a locked room with the highest access control measure so no one can just simply walk in without authorization. Using rack mounts for servers will also prevent physical theft as they can be securely bolted to prevent displacement.

5. Staff Training

No matter how much you spend to install the best physical security measures, there’s still a huge gap in your security if your staff isn’t trained to identify potential risks and threats. Humans have some set behavioral patterns that make them vulnerable to social engineering methods that exploit human error using manipulative tactics.

Your employee may get a call from a scammer posing as you to divert company funds or access sensitive data. Or everyone on your company’s network may receive a password-protected zip file packed with malicious code to hack into your system. There are many ways your staff can endanger the organization’s security without intending to.

Even the largest organizations in the world fall prey to social engineering attacks. During 2013-2015, tech giants Google and Facebook fell prey to a sophisticated phishing scam that cost them over $100 million.

You cannot completely prevent social engineering attacks but you can train your staff to be more alert and double-think every action they take that may be critical to the company’s security. It’s important to train them to identify and report suspicious individuals and activities if you wish to have an iron-clad security system.