When most people think of security, they think of video surveillance cameras and burglar alarms. Few people know all of the elements of physical security or how they work together for better security and operational efficiency. No matter the industry, what you know and don’t know about physical security seriously matters.
What Does Physical Security Include?
Effective physical security includes many elements working together to achieve improved security and reduced risks. Layered security involves many systems including access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection, fire alarms, locks, lighting, and environmental barriers. It also includes best practices upheld by employees, such as not propping open doors, or sharing keys or badges.
Think You Know the Elements of Physical Security?
A broad understanding of the elements of security can help ensure that everyone in the business understands the interrelatedness of security.
- Obstacles such as walls, fences, vehicle barriers, and vehicle height restrictors, to disturb and delay the action of intruders.
- Environmental design elements that consider security, such as open spaces and few vision barriers.
- Detection systems to discover intrusion attempts such as CCTV surveillance systems, intrusion alarms, security patrols, and security lighting.
- Access control components to restrict and control access throughout the facility.
- Security response system to repel or catch the intruders.
- Procedural security practices.
Today’s Threats are Sophisticated
Understanding business threats is also an important element in improving security. Every business has threat considerations based on industry, location, size of the enterprise, and more. And, contrary to popular belief, theft of product is not the only criminal objective. Today, criminals are after much more than physical merchandise, or first layer of availability. To the criminal, businesses offer diverse opportunities including holding a wealth of private information they desire to use in numerous ways, which makes physical security even more important. Additionally, threats may include sabotage, espionage, vandalism, and fraud.
Physical Security Technology is Advancing
Physical security technologies are so sophisticated that many enterprises are failing to fully utilize their capabilities. For example, whereas some businesses only use video surveillance to record events, today analytics can alert you to the potential of trouble. It can also provide additional knowledge about your business, such as customer service issues, productivity, compliance, traffic, dwelling, unauthorized presence, and far more. Access control not only restrict areas to authorized people, it can also provide detailed audit reports. Physical Security management systems today, such as ProWatch, help increase system flexibility and usability. To get the most from your system, business owners must consult a professional.
Human Interaction is the MOST Important Component
You may find this difficult to believe, but you can have the best security system ever created and one false move by you or an employee can weaken all of your efforts. If you speak with a security manager about physical security, he will tell you that staff is the most significant factor in weakening business defenses.
Human interaction and failure to follow security procedures represent the weakest link in the security chain. Personnel needs to be trained on threats and the procedure to mitigate the risk of exposure and to coordinate a response to potential attacks.