It’s now time to start focussing on regular business concerns, particularly security.

Businesses are now finally able to operate with minimal COVID19 restrictions. This means that it’s now time to start focussing on regular business concerns, particularly security. With that in mind, here are some tips on how you can improve your business’ security.

Secure your perimeter(s)

The easiest way to prevent security problems on your business premises is to stop security hazards from getting through your perimeter(s) in the first place. This means that you want to secure your perimeter as robustly as possible.

At a minimum, you want to delineate it clearly. This denies malicious actors the opportunity to say that they didn’t know they were on your property. Ideally, you should use a physical barrier such as a security fence or a door. If this is not possible, then make sure that there is clear signage to let people know that they are crossing from a public area into a private one.

Secure your access points

You need to secure all of your access points as robustly as possible. Insecure access points are easy targets for malicious actors.

Access points in perimeter fences and walls

For external perimeters, electric security gates are generally by far the best option for maximizing security while still maintaining a reasonable degree of convenience. Electric security gates are effective against all forms of traffic from HGVs to pedestrians. They can also be opened and closed remotely and/or with fobs.

You can get electric security gates that open sideways as well as ones that open forwards. Even so, some businesses may find that electric security gates are impractical for their spaces. If so, rising-arm and swing-arm barriers, rise-and-fall bollards and turnstiles may be more suitable alternatives. These are still all effective against motor vehicles.

External doors and windows

Doors and windows also need to be protected especially if they are near a public street. If a door needs to be kept unlocked then it should be continually monitored. This doesn’t have to mean CCTV although that’s often a good option. It can mean having an alert sound when it’s opened or just having someone keep an eye on it (e.g. a receptionist).

Even if doors can be kept locked, it’s preferable if they can be monitored as well. This is particularly important if you’re still relying on traditional keys. It’s still very helpful if you are using more sophisticated access-control systems such as fob access. All security features tend to work best when used in layers.

It’s often advisable to protect external doors and ground-floor windows with steel shutters, at least when they are out of use (particularly at night). All windows should have robust locks regardless of what floor they are on. They should be kept locked unless there is a specific reason for them to be unlocked.

Having alarms on doors and windows can be a helpful precaution. You do, however, need to be realistic about the fact that they are only likely to be a minor inconvenience to intruders. Unless you’re running your own security, they are highly likely to be ignored by the intruders and anyone around.

Internal doors

Relatively few businesses need to grant all employees access to all areas of their building. Even if you do, it can still be highly advisable to subdivide your premises with access-controlled internal doors. This helps to give you visibility of who was where at what time. This can be very useful for all kinds of purposes, including security.

Implement effective monitoring

You need to monitor constantly for all likely hazards. In the UK, for example, all businesses should monitor for both intrusion and fire as standard. Some businesses may have to monitor for additional threats such as gas levels.

In general, by far the most effective approach to monitoring for threats is to combine automated systems with human oversight. Automated systems take over a lot of the routine workload from humans. Humans provide oversight and judgment when required.

It’s also worth noting that CCTV now makes it possible for buildings to be monitored by humans working remotely. This can massively reduce the cost of running effective security. CCTV is, however, only effective if it is implemented properly.

The basics of CCTV

Implementing an effective CCTV system starts with identifying which areas need to be monitored. When making this decision, keep in mind that a person’s image is legally considered to be personally identifiable data. This means that it’s covered by GDPR. You, therefore, need to ensure that your use of cameras is proportionate to the security threat you are addressing.

Once you’ve identified the areas you wish to monitor, you will be able to choose the most suitable camera types for the task. You’ll also be able to determine what infrastructure needs to be in place for your cameras to work effectively.

This essentially boils down to ensuring that your cameras have sufficient lighting, power, usually internet connectivity and protection from the elements, wildlife and humans. For legal reasons, you will generally need to ensure that your CCTV cameras are highlighted by signage. This can also act as a useful deterrent.

You will also need to have processes in place to address subject access and deletion requests. Additionally, you will need to store CCTV images securely and delete them within a reasonable time period. This needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis but 6 months is a useful guideline.

The importance of lighting

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of lighting for security (and safety). To begin with, regular CCTV cameras are literally useless without it. Insufficient lighting also creates shadows and shadows are hiding places. This is why you should ensure that the area around your business premises is clear of any obstructions that block lighting.

Protect your infrastructure

A lot of your security equipment will probably need electricity and/or internet connectivity to function. Much the same is true of your human staff. At a minimum, therefore, you need to ensure that your infrastructure is protected against attacks. Ideally, you should have backup systems in place. This could be something as simple as mobile data, batteries and torches.

About Newgate
Lucinda Thorpe is the Business Development Executive at Newgate, which are specialists in providing businesses in the UK & overseas with secured access solutions such as security barriers and gates, bollards and road blockers.

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