Any business with a physical location is exposed to physical security risks. But with the proper security measures, you can prevent (or minimise) the risks that your business, your employees and your customers are exposed to.
Here are the top 5 physical security risks your business may face and how to prevent them whether you’re in a shop, office or industrial complex.
Potentially one of the first security risks that come to mind for most business owners is theft. This can be the theft of sellable stock, valuable equipment or information.
How to prevent theft
To prevent theft you should ensure anything valuable (in price or information) is securely locked away e.g. in locked offices or storage, in safes or locked tills.
While prevention is always best, thieves may still find ways around your security measures so it is worth implementing safety measures like CCTV and security pens so that you can identify any thieves and stolen property in the future. Additional security measures such as these can also serve as deterrents for any thieves or opportunists (such as employees who feel like risking it).
Break-ins are often the start of a larger crime such as theft, assault or vandalism so the more you can do to prevent intruders on your business premises, the less risk you have of being a victim of a more serious crime.
How to prevent break-ins
Similarly to theft, CCTV acts as a good deterrent to anyone considering breaking into your business premises. Alarm systems can also deter people from intruding and alert you to when an intruder has gone ahead anyway.
Windows expose a weak point to any physical premises so using grilles and shutters can prevent an intruder from breaking through them to gain access to your business.
Unknown visitors on your business premises will always pose a security risk. They could steal from you, break something or spy on your business for later use and it would be significantly more difficult to track them down. Knowing who is on your premises is one of the best ways to minimise the risk of many other security issues such as theft.
How to prevent unknown visitors from accessing your business
Implementing access control systems allows you to restrict access to specific areas. Each person can have a personal key card or fob that grants them access to the necessary areas. An intruder would have to steal this access mechanism from an authorised employee to gain access to your business – which while not ideal, is still easier to track than someone who breaks into a business with no access control.
Be mindful of ways that unknown visitors try to bypass access control systems during opening hours:
- Tailgaiting – following on the heels of someone authorised, e.g. in a big group
- Social Engineering – using social cues and information to gain access without authority e.g. walking towards a door with their hands full knowing that polite people will hold the door open for them
Even with an access control system, CCTV is a good security measure to implement to help you identify anyone not authorised or recognised if a crime occurs.
Vandalism comes in many forms – while a little graffiti at the back of your building probably isn’t going to be the end of the world to your business, something like slashed tires or broken windows can be more serious and costly.
How to prevent vandalism
CCTV once again serves a dual purpose by deterring those considering vandalising your business premises and can help you identify those who cause any damage.
Restricting access to important areas (if possible) will also make it more difficult for vandals to have the opportunity in the first place. Use access control systems to ensure that only authorised employees can access restricted areas and implement high fences with sharp or barbed tops around outdoor areas containing valuable equipment or vehicles.
As with break-ins, grilles and shutters can prevent damage to your doors and windows.
As a business owner, you need to ensure your employees and customers feel safe from attacks (particularly as we head into darker months). While unfortunately, it’s not something that can ever be guaranteed, there are a few things you can implement to deter potential attackers.
How to prevent attacks
CCTV helps to deter potential attackers and identify culprits in the event something happens. Security lights can also help your customers and employees to see around them when it’s dark outside and deters attackers.
In employee car parks, access control systems can prevent outsiders from attacking employees on their way to and from their cars.