Tips for Assessing and Identifying Your Business Security Needs
By Sam Moxey
Nov 11, 2020
Businesses are up against a variety of risks, from minor crime right up to devastating attacks. So that you can adequately protect your property, your people and your valuables, it is vital to put the right security measures in place. But precisely what are the ‘right’ security measures? How to identify your unique business security needs?
Here’s how to go about conducting a security assessment so that you can efficiently allocate resources in the best way possible and, where needed, request the appropriate advice on security.
The objective of a business security assessment is to identify the weaknesses that need addressing, so that you can put appropriate measures in place, and avoid wasting time and money on strategies that don’t serve you on an individual basis.
The assessment will reveal the threat potential of your business and its premises, and also help you identify your valuable assets so that you can put measures in place to protect them. There are two main areas to cover with your security assessment: people, and property.
Assessing the ‘people’ risk
You’ll need to identify how people could potentially pose a security risk to your business. Staff sabotage and employee theft for example are very real threats to any organisation. But it doesn’t end there. Contractors, visitors, people who share your workspace and pretty much anyone who enters your premises should all be considered as potential threats to your business. By the same token, you will also need to take steps to ensure that all these people are suitably protected from external risks themselves.
Here are the questions to ask to help you prepare your business security risk assessment:
How secure are your entrances and exits?
Access control will allow you to manage precisely who is permitted to enter your premises, or any particular parts of it that may be restricted. It will also make it possible to lockdown your premises, or selected areas of it, in the event of a major threat arising.
When access control is combined with CCTV systems, London businesses can enjoy an additional layer of protection, with the ability to monitor entrances and exits and take immediate action should an issue arise.
Have you chosen the right places for your CCTV cameras?
CCTV has many benefits, but it’s only ever going to be effective when the cameras are placed in such a way that they cover all the most vulnerable points of your premises where people may enter undetected, leaving no blind spots.
The best way to assess where to place CCTV cameras is to do a thorough walk-around of your premises. Start with the perimeter, seeking out things like ground floor windows, outbuildings, bin stores, car parks and concealed entrances.
You’ll need to take care when placing covert CCTV cameras, as privacy laws dictate that cameras cannot be placed anywhere there is an expectation of privacy, such as bathrooms and dressing rooms. Always stay within the law when using CCTV systems London wide.
Do you have lone workers?
Lone workers are particularly vulnerable and it is therefore vital to put specific security measures in place to protect them. Again, access control will provide control over who enters the premises when people are working alone. Door entry systems provide the same type of protection, and electronic locking systems, when integrated with CCTV and intruder alarms, provide a sophisticated safety net.
Panic buttons, in particular smart panic buttons that are not fixed in a single location, are capable of protecting anyone under threat of intimidation or violence anywhere they may be within the building. They will also allow tracking of the individual, plus they have additional abilities, including triggering flashing lights, opening blinds, locking exit doors and deactivating access control.
Assessing the ‘property’ risk
Your property, not just the actual building in which your business operates, but also your plant, technical equipment, stock, vehicles and anything else of a physical nature owned by your organisation all add up considerably in value and must therefore be thoroughly protected.
Property is generally more likely to be targeted than people. Opportunistic burglary is one of the most common types of intrusion, where for example a window is left open, or valuables are left on show. But smash and grab burglaries, where heavy items are used to force entry, are also widespread.
Here are the important things to include in your business security assessment in order to avoid the different types of intrusion:
Thieves who enter on a whim will generally not stop to avoid alarm sensors or CCTV systems. London wide, this type of burglary is only too commonplace, and the implications when it comes to making an insurance claim are very concerning. This is because unforced entry attacks will rarely see a claim honoured.
Therefore, it’s vital to ensure any opportunity for an intruder to gain access to your property is removed. So, ask yourself:
Are staff easily able to lock windows and doors when they vacate the property? Are the locks secure, or could they do with reinforcing?
Are there blinds you can pull or shutters you can close when the building is left unoccupied, so that passing intruders aren’t tempted by any valuables on show?
Is there somewhere to lock valuables, cash and documents away, such as an insurance graded, fireproof safe? Do you have a clear desk policy in place? This is a must for data protection as well as protecting physical assets, so it should be something that’s adopted company-wide.
Finally, have you taken the opportunity to make it clear that you have a number of security measures in place? Signage works well as a deterrent to keep opportunistic intruders at bay.
Smash and grab burglaries
This type of attack can be very damaging, with extensive financial losses usually resulting. If there have been reports of such intrusions in the business neighbourhood, or you have a shopfront that could be prone to this sort of attack, it is important to ask:
What measures do you have in place to protect the front of your building? Perhaps consider metal window shutters or a grille.
How sturdy is the glass on your windows and doors? Consider reinforcing with a high-quality, durable alternative.
How vulnerable is your main point of entry? Is it open to heavy footfall? If so, you may wish to think about installing a rotating door.
Are your CCTV cameras positioned so that there is a clear view of any particularly large doors or windows that could be vulnerable to a smash and grab attack?
The following are general points to cover in your security assessment:
How would you prevent plant and machinery being taken? Think about bolting valuable assets to the floor.
How would any stolen items be identified should they be recovered? Consider an asset marking system such as SmartWater that uses a unique forensic code registered to your address, allowing the police to trace any recovered property back to you. In addition, you may want to attach security tags to valuables so they can be tracked should they be taken.
Where are keys to vehicles stored overnight? Is there a safe available?
How would you provide evidence of ownership to an insurer should any of your assets be taken? Consider keeping a property asset inventory.
How do you manage key holders and keep track of all sets of keys? Perhaps think about a professional key-holding service.
What measures do you have in place to ensure your security equipment remains in full working order? Do you have professional servicing contracts in operation?
Professional advice on security London businesses trust
If you are looking for expert advice on business security, and for assistance in co-ordinating a thorough business security assessment, talk to Barry Bros Security. We’ve been helping to protect organisations, their people and their property for several decades, offering a highly sophisticated level of advice on security London wide, together with a vast range of quality-guaranteed solutions.