We all know the importance of IT security to keep our data safe and secure from malicious online threats. The best security will secure digital information and networks.
But, even the best firewall can’t help if a hacker is able to access your physical facility.
Being a business owner is a powerful responsibility. You’re responsible for protecting your employees, property, and the place your business calls home.
Physical safety is essential for employees to feel confident and committed in the workplace. So every business, large or small, needs to be proactive about staff safety, asset security, and data protection.
Why is Security Important Financially?
Businesses lose billions each year due to crime and theft. Much of this is preventable with additional safety resources like security guards, video surveillance, and other options. Effective security can also reduce insurance premiums, liability, and operational changes, leading to a higher ROI for all on-site activities.
Why is Security Important for Businesses?
Many small businesses think their operations are too small for on-site security, but there are a few reasons to strongly consider a security guard.
Challenges related to social distancing and other changes in the workplace increase the importance of security. For example, many businesses have stopped working on site.
Retail businesses are also targets. Even if your business is in a great neighborhood, it can still be in a crime-prone location. Areas with minimal foot traffic or spaces that are busy at some times of day but empty at other times often have high crime levels.
Many high-stress, customer-facing positions can benefit from the backup and peace of mind added security provides. Security guards offer a sense of well-being. They address both the physical and emotional safety of your team at work.
Physical security can also diffuse tense situations with angry or stubborn customers. Intense customer incidents can take your employees away from important duties and hurt customer experience.
Another reason why security is important is in case of emergencies. For example, most professional security guards are CPR certified. So, if a customer or employee has a health problem on the premises, your guard can quickly assist and support in a situation that most people aren’t prepared to handle.
A security guard trains to handle high-risk situations quickly and efficiently, minimizing threats and challenges to your team and facilities.
How to Implement Security Systems
Whether your business works with customers on site or serves as a space for your employees, products, and other assets, physical security is essential. These ideas offer a clear return on investment, as well as peace of mind. These are four steps to create a more secure space for your business
1. Create a Security Plan
Figure out the safety needs in your workplace, then create a comprehensive security plan that covers those needs.
As you evaluate the needs of your business, determine what level of security you really need.
Basic security allows access to areas that are usually unlocked during business hours but requires ID access in secure areas.
Enhanced security requires ID access at all times. These sites are also monitored by additional resources including but not limited to:
- Mechanical or electric locks
- Video cameras
- Security guards
High-risk security limits access to restricted areas. This level of security often requires advanced security options like biometric control devices or individual authorization.
Also, most businesses work with a variety of external vendors, suppliers, and visiting clients. Your partners may have different security standards than you do. Think about your partners and how you work with them as you outline your plan that underlines the importance of building security. Your security plan should also cover:
Access control policies determine who can access information, as well as where and when that info is available. Access policies can help you outline who can access equipment, systems, and physical locations.
It also outlines how your facilities are:
The purpose of security standards is to protect your business. So, your plan should include an outline of who has access to resources and how your team will secure each resource. For example, your office facilities might have a key card for employee entry. But you might also want additional access fobs for your warehouse, data centers, or other facilities that may need extra oversight.
An employee in the wrong restricted area could injure themselves. They also have the potential to share confidential information or damage expensive equipment.
ID Badges and Visitor Protocols
A secure business clearly identifies each person in the building at all times. Whether you require advance notice or ID badges for visitors, a database of employee photos, or ID cards for each employee, these protocols will help secure your building.
In case you have employees wondering why security is important enough to require ID cards, let them know that this policy is also useful for emergency response. Someone should always know how many people are on site. This ensures that all people on your premises are safe and accounted for in case of an emergency.
Securing physical property often involves many layers of security which could include:
- Exterior lighting
- Video surveillance
- Alarm systems
Security equipment is an effective tool to increase the safety of your business. Lighting and video can make employees feel safer. They also allow you to track spaces prone to internal theft. Video surveillance can also offer a useful record for insurance or the police in case of an incident.
Security guards are a popular option to emphasize the importance of security in your facility. Whether you choose an on-foot, vehicle, or remote patrol, a security guard adds a flexible and trustworthy element to the security of your business.
A guard can ensure that employees feel safe if they’re the first one in or the last to leave the office. They can also secure shipments, points of entry, or other security hotspots in your building.
Once your plan includes one or all the above options, you’re ready for the next step.
2. Have Someone from a Regulatory Agency Review Your Plan
Ask an outside professional to make suggestions on best practices for your industry. An expert can walk you through different scenarios to ensure that your plan addresses the questions of anyone who wonders, “Why do we need security?”
3. Execute and Test Your Security Plan
Once you finalize your new physical security plan, tackle one priority at a time.
Begin with the most important items in your plan. It’s easy to forget the details, so plan to have a security professional on hand as you put your plan in place.
For example, if you plan to install surveillance you’ll want to use your resources wisely. Start by focusing on exit and entry points, as well as spaces with critical facilities before securing other areas.
And don’t forget about training! Security training should address common mistakes like:
- Social engineering attacks on employees who might share confidential information about security systems
- Sharing badges or access cards that allow unapproved employees, partners, or visitors to enter controlled areas
- Leaving doors unlocked or propped open
4. Ensure That You Have At Least One Member on Your Team That is All About Security
Clearly communicate your plan to your employees. Every member of your team should keep an eye out for suspicious incidents. They should also have a clear understanding of how to respond and communicate or record their observations.
Since your employees each already have a dedicated set of responsibilities, hiring a security guard who can reinforce your company security plan is a smart idea. Your security guard will dedicate themselves to maintaining your security plan.
A security guard can secure your community and reinforce the importance of safety for each member of your team.
Do You Need Security Guards for Your Business?
Retail stores are increasing security in response to increases in shoplifting and shrinkage. Curbside pickup and delivery services extend the boundaries of security beyond retail premises.
Internal threats can also be a concern. For example, terminated employees can be a security risk. A former employee will be aware of security procedures and facility maps that they could use to access your site.
A security guard can monitor and protect physical and electronic assets as well as deter violence in your place of business. For example, sites with large or poorly lit parking lots are often a concern for employees, but a guard can help by walking employees to their cars.
Has your business seen an increase in theft, emergency incidents, or building traffic? These shifts have the potential to impact the bottom line of your business. They can also lead to more incidents over time without monitoring.
So, if you have a door that doesn’t lock when it should, an employee accessing spaces outside of their scope of work, or you see an increase in vandalism, think about the purpose of security. A security guard can record incidents like these, then analyze and quickly resolve issues before they hit your bottom line.
While additional lighting, surveillance, and alarm systems serve as a deterrent for some criminals, a security guard can recognize and block crimes from happening on site.
How Can a Security Guard Help You?
Security guards can be specially trained to meet the needs of your unique business and facility. Whether you’re looking for event security or a trusted way to protect bank or warehouse assets, a security guard protects the goodwill and reputation of your organization.
Contact The Guard Alliance to learn more about what a security guard service can do for you.