Assessing Your Building Security Protocols
Assessing Your Building Security Protocols: Is Your Business Really Safe?
Many businesses install sophisticated security systems in their buildings and then fail to schedule periodic security evaluations to make sure the facility is actually safe. Enlisting a security professional once or twice a year to perform a comprehensive security assessment of the building’s overall safeguards is critical to making sure the security tools and programs in place are operating properly.
Some security professionals offer comprehensive product support services to help enterprises make sure their security tools are operating at maximum efficiency 24/7. Such an assessment involves a walkthrough of the facility with evaluations of the visitor management system, access control systems, surveillance cameras, security guards, locks, lighting, gates, and fences.
Unfortunately, too many organizations never evaluate their existing physical security tools after they’re installed, nor do they establish and enforce a security plan that everyone should follow. Considering the high price tag that comes with a comprehensive physical security system, it makes no sense to simply hope the existing controls are operating properly.
Below are some common issues discovered during security assessments, and the problems aren’t always with the equipment:
1. Unsecured Items and Equipment can be Easily Accessed
Employees get busy; they can get so caught up in their duties that they fail to protect company-owned assets like laptops, workstations, and sensitive data. These should be locked securely away when not in use. Many times, employees forget to lock offices and secure personal items such as purses, backpacks, and cell phones. In an open office environment, personal and business items can easily be stolen or hacked because distracted employees aren’t paying attention, nor are they following established security protocols.
2. Lack of a Clear Security Program or Lack of Support from Management
Management must make it a priority to be serious about security. Common issues reported during a security assessment include neglecting needed security projects, or setting a bad example for employees by ignoring established security protocols.
3. Inefficient Visitor Management
No matter what type of business you have, all buildings must authorize and record every visitor who enters the premises. Your visitor management system should be able to verify their ID, log the time of their arrival and departure, who they are visiting, and create a visitor badge that will be worn prominently the entire time they’re in the building or on site.
4. Poor Oversight of Keys and Access Devices
Every enterprise needs to have a policy clearly stating who is and who is not authorized to handle keys and/or access control devices. This authorization system needs to be recorded and backed up regularly. In addition, there must be a procedure for dealing with lost keys and access cards, and a policy for making sure keys are turned in (or locks are changed) and access cards are deactivated as soon as a staff member leaves the company’s employment.
5. Little or No Procedures Established for Handling Confidential Information
Whether it is personnel files, social security records, customer credit card information or company data, sensitive documents or data should never be left unsecured in areas that are available to non-authorized staff or visitors.
6. All Electronic Security Tools Should be Checked Routinely
Making sure surveillance cameras, access controls and other security tools are operating at maximum performance should be a given. Weekly, if not daily, checks of all security equipment functions should be mandatory.
Whether you’re confident in your company’s security systems and protocols or not, a professional security assessment may help you discover problems that you’re unaware of. Neglecting your security system could be costing your company money and leaving employees and property vulnerable to threats.