A lot of companies tend to focus on digital data breaches when prepping their defenses. The quasi-magical nature of accessing information through a few lines of code and an investigation into a network’s security infrastructure can make cybercriminals seem like modern-day wizards. Despite their malicious intentions, it’s hard not to be impressed by the skills of hackers these days.
That said, the public’s fascination with digital hacking has allowed many administrators to shift their focus away from physical security. Cyber security is flashy and exciting, and as such many officials forget that improperly protecting the facility itself can lead to data breaches. Criminals don’t care how they get private information as long as they can make a profit from it, and they sometimes break into offices to steal what they need.
Although the notion of some outside criminal burglarizing your company is an unsettling thought, there are a few things administrators can do to ensure the physical security of their facilities.
“Administrators should look to authenticate employee identities as often as possible.”
The more levels of authentication, the better
Verification of a person’s identity and security credentials is absolutely vital to ensure the physical security of any office. The more barriers there are between the outside world and secure areas, the more chances a criminal has of slipping up and getting caught. Administrators should look to authenticate employee identities as often as possible. We’ve already discussed the three ‘What’s’ of physical security in length, but their importance bears a quick recap:
- What you have: These are the physical items that you use to gain access to an area, such as an ID card.
- What you know: This has to do with phrases or codes you memorize to pass a security checkpoint, like a password.
- What you are: Your physical attributes, such as your fingerprints or DNA, are extremely hard to forge. As such, they are great ways to authenticate your identity.
Ideally, every single part of a facility should have all three of these security measures. However, this simply isn’t feasible for more client-friendly areas. Regardless, administrators should install at least one method of authentication for even the least secure areas of the office. Areas that require higher levels of security should have as many authentication barriers as possible, with the optimal setup using a combination of all three.
Employee education is key
Once you’ve set up the physical infrastructure of your authentication systems, it’s time to train employees on the importance of proper security. Even the best biometric scanner in the world can’t prevent a worker from holding the door open for a nefarious stranger. It’s vital that staff members understand their role in all of this.
The first step in this is to train workers to see the difference between compassion and gullibility. Buzzing in an employee that forgot his or her ID badge is fine if this person has been working at the company for 10 years, but doing the same for an unknown “repair man” that left his credentials at home opens the office up to a breach.
What’s more, it’s important to stress that staff members are the last line of defense against theft. Security experts at Social-Engineer stated that they have a perfect record when it comes to physical break-ins at companies they test, with a portion of their success being attributed to impersonating employees. Workers need to know who has access to specific parts of the building, and they should be able to recognize an unfamiliar face if they’re in an area containing sensitive information or expensive equipment.
You’ll need security cameras, too
Finally, administrators intent on ensuring the physical security of their facilities need to invest in top-notch security cameras. In a perfect world, every company would have several employees with the sole job of watching security camera footage to ensure nefarious individuals don’t make their way into the office. Sadly, this isn’t possible for a majority of organizations, which is why surveillance equipment is generally used after a crime has taken place to identify the burglar.
While this is still an incredibly useful function, it does pose the problem of video data storage. Cameras should be placed at all entrances and exits as well as in high-security areas. For larger facilities, this is going to result in hundreds of hours of footage every week.
All of this data is going to need to be put somewhere for a certain period of time, as break-ins aren’t always immediately apparent. Considering the fact that TechVision has estimated that companies generally double their data storage needs every 12 to 18 months, adding even more to the pile can add unneeded strain to a company’s IT department.
This is why company officials looking to decrease the chances of a burglary in their office should look to partner with ISG Technology’s physical security experts. Not only can we help set up authentication and surveillance systems, we can also store and manage the data created by cameras to ensure the recordings are quickly and easily accessible if a break-in were to occur.