February 26, 2014

7 Mistakes Business Owners Make With Security

iStock_000007931464SmallSo you are the executive of a business or may one tasked with making certain that the business facilities run smoothly. Many organizations are taking steps to making sure their facilities are properly protected but often we see that there are aspects of physical security that get missed or are not covered well enough.

Aesthetics over protection
This mistake can be made during the design phase, build or renovation of the building. Many architects can design a pleasing-to-the-eye structure but it may not be the most secure. Many facilities lack enough lighting or improper lights. While other facilities have traffic flow that may be easy for an intruder to gain entry or egress from a facility. Many business owners focus on how pretty or pleasing the building or property looks on the inside and outside but fail to consider the introduction of security technology to make the facility less prone to theft, fire or crime. The best approach is to consult with the security consultant of your choice early on in the project.

Let the environment help your cause
In the security industry we use an acronym call CPTED or Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Law enforcement, municipal planners, architects, and security consultants feel that proper environmental design can lead to a reduction in crime to a facility. Through the use of proper lighting, landscaping and technology such as a surveillance we can reduce the affect that crime has on a facility.

Neglecting to properly secure certain entrances
When it comes to theft, the fewer entrances into a building, the better.  Every door is another opportunity for someone to get in or a thief to get out with your inventory.  While it is important to enough doors for emergency exits and proper customer traffic flow. many are all too often neglected. We suggest alarms at all doors that have been designated as emergency exits. Depending on the type of business you have, photo ID badges should be carried by all employees and anyone onsite without one should be questioned about their purpose. This questioning is known as situational awareness and should be everyone’s responsibility. Many research has been done on 9/11 and some say if we were more vigilant on our awareness this event could have been prevented.

Management should be part the security plan
Many business owners are too busy to be bothered with the security decisions and as a result they delegate this aspect of the business to someone in their organization. The truth is, if your delegate sees that you are involved in this decision it shows you are concerned about security and that person will take the same point of view. Security is contagious. If you are going to have everyone wear a badge and follow security policies, then you should too. It is a top-down decision.

Too busy to learn about the technology
We have installed many security systems from surveillance, alarms, electronic access to fire alarms only to find that the CEO doesn’t have time to learn how this stuff works. “I am too busy. Let my go-to-guy handle it.” But all too often we get the call from the CEO when the cops are at the door because he couldn’t turn off the alarm or open the doors. Security technology, such as CCTV Electronic Access Control and Alarms, has come a long way. The problem is many people tasked with the physical security, including executives don’t know how to use it. A good surveillance system will be worthless if there is an incident and staff doesn’t know how to find the recording they need. We often see our customers install surveillance cameras, and then there is no follow up to learn how to really use it. Then we get the call to get the right video of a theft or vandal.

Not enough data security
Companies of all sizes have to think about the ways in which they are be vulnerable to hacking attacks and other common types of data breaches. The fact of the matter is that many private businesses simply don’t do a good enough job of protecting themselves. We see a lot of businesses ranging from retail and automotive to healthcare using a $40 home router to protect their business network. Many routers like these from Linksys are vulnerable to attacks and you may not even know you have been compromised. The best defense is to use of a business class firewall such as a SoncWall or CISCO. Before you trust your business to a $40 router, consider how much a data breach will cost your business in lost reputation and legal costs.

Focusing on price alone
We get many business owners that often want the cheapest system for their security project and never consider what an appropriate scope of security. We find many business owners who shave the security quote they get down to a skeleton without considering what a complete security solution will cost. Just like any purchase, there are different levels and the cost associated with that purchase can vary depending on the scope. The level of security a property will need should fit the level of risk an organization faces. It is important to strike a balance between protection and overbuying.

Many security providers focus on just making the sale and filling their pockets. By choosing a consultative security provider you will get a security company that listens to your needs and can create a custom security solution to fit your needs and budget.