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Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Physical Security Procedures for Small Companies

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Nov 6, 2017 7:37 PM

Physical security procedures aren't just meant for large companies; they are essential for small businesses as well and will help your business enhance its financial image over an extended period. As many small businesses become victims of data breaches, it is reasonable to invest resources in beefing up your cybersecurity. However, it is also essential to enhance your physical security to protect your business against theft and vandalism.

Here are a few guidelines to implement to improve your company's physical security.

1. Monitor everything in and around your vicinity

When you see your security guards roaming around your business premises, you get a sense of relief. Ensure they move around the whole area and not just at the entrances. Although this seems obvious, most organizations don't take this procedure seriously.

Physical monitoring of everything that happens around your company helps you detect suspicious behavior before a problem occurs. So get into the habit moving about often and be keen around your workplace. You can also install CCTV cameras to monitor your premises. Remind your staff to be keen when arriving, working, or leaving. Also, train your staff to stop and question any individual who is not an employee of your company, especially when such people try to gain access to back office areas.

2. Keep an inventory of your devices

Many businesses use mobile devices in their transactions. While this is convenient, it may also cause security issues. Loss or theft of devices and gadgets such as laptops, tablets, or servers often culminates in data breaches. Thus, ensure you have an inventory of your devices that contain or can connect to card data. You should be aware of who has them, where they are, and whether they can be carried from your business premises. And as always, you should encrypt your card data storage. Having this inventory can help you in keeping track of all of your devices. And if someone walks out with something, a well-documented catalog can help you to swiftly identify the stolen item, when the theft occurred, the extent of stolen data, and the actions that you should take.

3. Set up proper access procedures

Controlling physical access to particular places in your place of work is a sure way to keep your business safe. So establish a strict procedure for key distribution, including who gets a key and how to track the key when an employee ceases to work for your company. Also, if you keep valuable or confidential information, equipment or products in the workplace, secure these items in a locked room and only allow access to those who use these things. Ensure entrances to buildings are locked to prevent strangers from entering and limit access by clients to one central entry that should continuously be monitored.

Again, you need to ensure every staff member has an identification badge before they are allowed into the workplace. You can implement this by creating identification badges for all your staff, and only allow employees with the ID badges to access your premises.

4. Set up and document security policies

You need to create a set of principles for your staff to address physical security. Doing this will prevent intentional and unintentional data breaches. Some of the items to consider in your policy include:

• Who is given what access

• When doors are locked

• Who oversees the security implementation

• Which devices should always remain on the premises

• Who has physical access to the network gear and CDE server hardware

• Visitor access procedures

• Password change procedures

It is crucial to document these procedures and policies because having them written down will help answer any questions your staff may have and mitigate liability in the event of a breach. You should also update and revise these policies regularly.

5. Set up a communication system

You need to institute a communication and reaction principle in the event of an emergency. Outline how your employees should counter threats such as an attack, suspicious behavior, and an intruder. Set up the procedure for communicating such threats to the rest of the team, which may include a telephone system, intercom, or alarm system that can be manually activated to denote danger. You also need an efficient backup system of communicating with others. It is also crucial to designate an emergency assembly area that has vital supplies such as a first aid kit.

Proper physical security measures in your company premises ensures you and your employees are safe, and your data and electronic gadgets are protected. It also helps protect you from financial disasters. Thus, monitor your premises, keep an inventory of your devices, and set up proper access procedures for both your staff and your clients, and you will have peace of mind knowing your business is secure.

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