17 Jan 2019

5 Ways to Improve Your Facility’s Security Without Spending a Dime

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There are plenty of products and services geared toward improving your facility’s security beyond traditional surveillance and access control. From facial recognition, gun-shot detection, radars, thermal imaging, and audio analytics, these tools help build the eyes and ears of your facility, making you a more effective security manager. It’s important to remember, however, that new technology compliments a well-designed security protocol. Improving your property’s security with the latest gear is secondary to basic, common sense policies. Here are five ways you can implement stronger security measures to enhance your current system.

  1. A Trained and Vigilant Staff.

The reality of the world we live in is that threats to physical security are all around us. The responsibility of keeping and maintaining a robust security system for any given building shouldn’t rest solely on the security manager. Every employee in a facility should remain vigilant and be well versed in the security protocols set forth by their company. The human element within a security system is arguably the most critical component. Consider extra training courses for your staff that clearly outlines what is expected of them when it comes to security.  Make sure your team knows the visitor and credential policies so they can respond and report when something doesn’t seem right. Educate your staff on where and how your security system is implemented so they can be mindful of when it may not be functioning correctly. Have your staff be on the lookout for unlocked doors to the exterior, or rooms within your facility that should be secured.

  1. Control Your Points of Entry

On any given facility, there are multiple points of entry. On a simple office building, you may have the main entrance, side or rear access, a warehouse door, or even access from another tenant. In a larger facility, you could see dozens of entries that could pose a possible threat to your security. Controlling how and when those access points can be used will focus your vulnerability to only one or two points of entry. Achieving this requires a locking schedule that makes sense for your business. It’s important to analyze how your employees and customers utilize your access points and formulate a schedule that keeps unused doors locked.

  1. System Maintenance

We’ve all heard the phrase “a well-oiled machine.” In IP security, keeping our “machines” running and “well-oiled” means periodically performing system maintenance.  To be clear, this advice doesn’t mean to merely keep your software up to date. We should be thinking of our computer systems as only a part of the overall security “machine.” Things like keeping doors and locks functioning, replacing light bulbs in critical security camera areas, cutting back landscaping that may be obstructing a camera, and yes even computer maintenance. It’s important to be on the lookout for anything in and around your facility that could be a threat to your “well-oiled” security system.

  1. Credential/Access Management

A critical part of identifying who is in your building, what they are doing, and where they are going is a credential system. Proper identification implemented at the point of entry helps your employees know that individual has been approved for entry and knows where they are going. Credentials can be as simple as a visitor badge attached to a pocket, or a sophisticated I.D. card with an RFID chip. However you implement your credential system, it’s essential to manage that system consistently to maintain the highest level of security possible.  If you have an access control system, working with your HR department will help in activating and deactivating employee access to either the building or individual rooms within the building. Keeping on top of incoming and outgoing credentialed employees should be a top priority for any security manager.

  1. Visitor Management

Along the same lines as credential management is a solid visitor management policy. If your visitors sign a sign-in sheet and then have free reign to your facility, you need to re-think your system. It’s highly recommended that your visitors are escorted within your building, no matter the size. When visitors go unaccompanied through a facility, it can open up the possibility of sensitive information being divulged, safety policies ignored, and company property damaged.  Try a simple visitor badge and sign in system accompanied by an escort policy. For more complicated scenarios like contractors and others that will be in your building longer, consider issuing temporary or special credentials.  You can also give more trusted visitors a fob or access badge credentials with an expiration date, but only after you have mastered number 4 on this list.

We have at our disposal, the latest tools and technology to help detect, and deter security breaches within our facilities. However, there is no replacement for covering the basics in physical security.  When an entire team is devoted to the security of the building they are working in, the system as a whole remains stronger.

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