Apr 062012

The majority of small business do not require extreme physcial security measures such as biometric access controls, mantraps, 24/7 physical presence monitoring, etc., but there are some relatively inexpensive physical security measures you can put in place to protect your small business assets.  Please note the physical security measures discussed in this blog post to do not pertain to a retail setting.

Physical Security

Physical Access

Whether you are in office building or a standalone office, the physical access considerations are generally the same.  Unless you have a receptionist constantly monitoring the front door, you should consider some type of controlled access such a key card/key fob access swipe.  If you have frequent client visits to your office, then you can add a door buzzer, and you might also want to consider glass doors.  Security Tip:  Many times with physical access control equipment, the vendor will add a motion detector to trigger the release of the door upon exit.  This makes it a little easier to exit the office instead of having to do a card swipe or punch a code.  If you have the French type double doors, and the motion detector device is placed on the ceiling near the door, it is quite easy to slip an object in between the doors and trigger the motion detector from the outside to gain entry.  Make sure you have a block inserted between the doors or the motion detector is placed elsewhere.

Camera Monitoring (CCTV)

CCTV monitoring is a fairly inexpensive and easy security measure to put in place, but there are a few considerations. 

  • Placement:  You want to place the cameras near entry/exit points and near areas with sensitive equipment, documents, etc.
  • Recording:  If you have ever had to review CCTV footage, you will understand that it can be quite tedious and time consuming.  99% of what you are viewing does not pertain to what you are looking for, and it is never as easy as they make it look on TV.  In order to avoid viewing a lot of dead space consider using motion detector recording so the camera is always idle unless there is movement.
  • Storage and Auditing:  You should at least archive your footage for 90 days.  In addition check the cameras periodically to ensure they are recording, and they are positioned correctly.  It is quite easy for a camera to get “bumped” and moved out of position.

Miscellaneous Considerations

  • Keep sensitive documents  in locked cabinets.
  • Keep sensitive equipment behind locked doors.
  • Lock office doors.
  • Limit key access to sensitive areas, and keep all keys locked up in a lock box.
  • If you use a third party cleaning crew, make sure to audit the vendor and their security measures.
  • Alarms and monitoring are a given due to the low cost.
  • Physical access auditing – Check a list of current/former employees against the physcial access to make sure former employees still do not have access to your office.  Audit frequency will depend on the number of employees you have and how often you have turnover.

Follow these simple physical security steps in order to protect your small business assets.  And as always if you any questions, please feel free to comment below.