Businesses today face a growing number of increasingly sophisticated threats, both to their physical and digital assets. Therefore, making the right decision over which security measures and technology to invest in, is more important than ever.
Whatever size or industry your company may operate in, the damage and potential downtime that can be caused if you’re the victim of crime could be devastating.
Ultimately, the aim of any security measures you put in place will be to manage perceived security threats – where possible to eradicate them entirely, or at the very least to minimise the risk and delay the progress of any would-be criminal.
One analogy that’s often used when talking about security is to think of it like an onion with layers. You want to put in place layers of protection that together combine to stop, or as a minimum slow, a criminal in their tracks.
This should include measures designed to:
Should you invest in technology or people?
From advances being made in artificial intelligence (AI), to other digital and technological developments, there are now many options available when it comes to workplace security.
So, is it better for a business to invest in technology or people?
The short answer is - you need both. One simply cannot work as effectively without the other.
The best place to start when deciding where to invest, is to go back to basics. You need to be clear on what the individual threats to your business are. List them out and for each one think what will be the most appropriate layers of security you can add, to help protect against them.
For a highly comprehensive plan, consider engaging the services of an independent, physical security consultant. They are trained in assessing all risk and can effectively model different scenarios, while always being able to see the ‘big picture’.
Here are some of the key questions you need to consider:
Here is a run through of some of the most popular security measures on the market and what you need to think about with each.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
CCTV is one of the most popular security measures around. It can prove a cost-effective choice for many businesses, with options available to suit a range of budgets.
The benefits can be broad reaching, from acting as a deterrent, to increasing visibility across a site and providing vital evidence that can be used to settle disputes and within criminal proceedings.
Surveillance of this nature can also help deter petty criminals and shoplifters, and capture employee-related activity.
However, one of the biggest problems with CCTV is the quality of the footage being recorded. Everything from the weather, to the time of day and lighting will have a profound effect on the clarity of the images (and therefore their usefulness).
For a system to be effective and helpful for crime prevention, it needs to be part of a wider security strategy. Key to its success is that its monitored and any issues are reacted to quickly. If there’s no one managing the system and responding, then there’s no point having it in place.
It also needs to be adequately fitted to ensure it provides good coverage, without blackspots or gaps that can be used to bypass it.
Entrances and access areas
Another area that businesses often look to invest in are entrances and access points. For example, by upgrading to heavy duty steel doors or implementing a form of controlled access security system.
While these types of measures can offer protection against theft, vandalism and other attacks, they again won’t work well in isolation. Would-be criminals, especially sophisticated gangs, will always look for the easy route to get past any such security system.
If a door is strong but surrounded by a wooden frame, then it poses little in the way of a challenge. Equally, if the entrance to a building is secure but windows, fire exits and other doors located around the site remain untouched, then they present an obvious opportunity.
The other thing to bear in mind is that even the most comprehensive access system will be vulnerable at certain times. For example, if employees are often on site alone, such as first thing in the morning or at the end of the day, and unlocking or securing the doors. Overpowering them would be a far easier option than to attempt a break in during the night.
Specialist fencing and barriers can again act as a strong deterrent, making accessing and exiting a site far more difficult. This may include metal fencing, barb wire, spikes, bollards and electric fences.
There are many different types and styles available, but they will often come at a substantial cost, depending on the size of the area that must be covered.
As well as reducing the potential for criminals to drive on to your site and start moving out equipment, goods and other assets, perimeter security can also prevent traveller groups from pitching up on your property - something which can be a real headache.
Again, you need to think how the system will be actively managed and maintained.
Security guards and mobile patrols
Having trained security professionals on site at times of high risk – such as to lock and unlock the premises, or to accompany a lone worker – is another popular security measure and one which is successfully used by many businesses.
So too are mobile patrols, which can be a very cost-effective way to boost site security out of hours. Mobile patrols work by having a security officer make an agreed number of site visits and checks at random times throughout the night. This can be a strong deterrent, while limiting the time criminals have available to cause damage or steal property.
Security officers can also be on call to handle and attend the site following an alarm activation. This removes the need for any employees to enter the site and make sure it is secure, with professional guards also being trained in crime scene preservation.
For advice on choosing a security company who can provide these types of services, see our handy checklist, which includes everything you need to ask and look out for when choosing a security provider.
Another area you need to consider when choosing which security measures to invest in, is your insurance. Some insurers will specify the type and scope of security measures you must have in place, so make sure you are meeting their requirements.
Ultimately, it’s about investing the budget you have available in those measures which will have the greatest impact. Work out what the key threats to your business are and what may cause you the biggest amount of financial pain and disruption, and work back from there.
Plus, don’t forget about your team and their behaviour. Everyone can play a part in keeping the workplace more secure. Check out our blog: 10 TOP TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR WORKPLACE SECURITY for more ideas.
For more information, or expert advice on your own security requirements, please call the team at Venture on 0800 021 3949.
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Every business needs to make decisions about where best to invest its hard-earned cash and in the face of increasingly sophisticated criminals, security is often high on the priority list.