While many businesses are starting to wake up to the cyber risks posed by phishing and malware, it is essential that physical security is not neglected. After all, antivirus software won’t stop a physical attack. Without appropriate protection measures in place, your business is left vulnerable to threats. Let’s look at the most common security risks to companies – and how to prevent them.
Security Risk 1: Tailgating
Most workplaces are secured by some type of access control, whether a locked door or a swipe-card access point. These physical security measures are, unfortunately, easily overcome by a determined attacker. Tailgating is when an unauthorized person follows an authorized person into a secure area.
This happens naturally when multiple people pass through doors, and only the first person has to grant access. The people following behind will simply follow through – making it one of the most common security risks outsiders take advantage of.
How to Reduce Tailgating Risks
Fortunately, tailgating can be limited with the right physical security measures. If you’re willing to make the investment, anti-tailgating doors make tailgating virtually impossible. Installing them can prove expensive, especially if you’re in an already-constructed building. However, they’re worth considering if you ever move to a new office location.
Another way to reduce tailgating is by providing physical security training for your employees. This is somewhat less reliable – but a lot cheaper. It involves raising awareness among employees and providing them with a rigid physical security policy. This includes guidance such as not holding doors open to people they don’t recognize. You should also encourage employees to actively report any tailgating attempts they witness to security personnel.
Security Risk 2: Document Theft
Your office is likely to have papers and documents lying around in many places, from desks to printer stations. Sensitive documents can easily become unaccounted for – and can sometimes fall into the wrong hands. Even if they are not taken from the office, a visitor could see information that they shouldn’t.
How to Prevent Document Thefts
One of the best ways to prevent document theft or revelation is to institute a clear-desk policy. This means ensuring that all desks are cleared and all documents are put away at the end of the workday. Not only will your space feel more professional, but it’s also less likely sensitive documents are left in vulnerable locations. You should also ensure that your employees shred all sensitive documents they hold after they no longer need them.
In order to prevent the theft of documents, it is also essential to institute access control and prevent unaccounted visitors from entering your workplace.
Security Risk 3: Unaccounted Visitors
One common security risk is finding an unauthorized visitor on the premises. If you don’t know who is or was in your workplace at a specific time, maintaining a high level of security is impossible. Unaccounted visitors pose a serious risk and are difficult to track if an incident occurs.
How to Keep Track of Visitors
Access control with swipe-card-access or ID doors is essential for business security, but you should also have visitor passes to track all guests as well. This way, you will always be able to know if a person within your promises is authorized to be there – and also have a log of entry to later verify when a person was within your premises.
Of course, you do have to be careful that everyone is actually using verification that they are authorized to use.
Security Risk 4: Stolen Identification
An access control system only works if everyone uses their own identification. If people are going in and out of your promises using someone else’s identification, the result is the same as if you had no access control at all.
Educating Employees on the Importance of IDs
Employees need to be educated on the importance of protecting their IDs or access cards. Without training, employees will often share or lend each other their cards, making it hard to properly monitor access. Employees may also be careless with their IDs unless the importance of protecting them is demonstrated.
Security Risk 5: Social Engineering
Social engineering attacks can come in a huge variety of different forms. This is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to combat. Social engineering attacks rely on manipulating your employees, often using information that they have managed to gain to impersonate someone else, or abusing basic human empathy to gain access to secure areas and networks.
For example, one of the most common social engineering attacks is the ‘coffee trick’. This method is essentially a more sophisticated version of tailgating: it involves a person holding a cup of coffee in each hand while walking towards an office door. An unsuspecting employee who is passing through the door or nearby will hold the door open out of courtesy – thus letting in an unauthorized person into the premises.
Train Your Staff to Combat Social Engineering
While there is no simple way to overcome all social engineering threats, the first step toward combating social engineering is to make a thorough physical security risk assessment and consider how someone could get through the protections that are in place. Raising awareness about social engineering among your employees is also key, as understanding the risks that social engineering can pose will help your employees be more alert to any suspicious activity or contacts.
Measure, Mitigate, and Monitor
While the appropriate physical measures are necessary for protecting your business, in the end, it is not going to be security barriers or anti-tailgating doors that keep your business safe. The biggest tool in your fight against security threats is going to be employee education. Raising awareness about common security risks among your employees and encouraging them to take an active stance in defending their workplace is the most effective way to combat the whole spectrum of physical security threats.
Interested in commercial security solutions for your business? Contact Livewire today and lets make your dream a reality.