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Securing Keys, Assets & People - News, Tech and Trends Blog

Six Signs That You Need Better Physical Security Controls

Jan 17, 2017

Your business or institution may not be as safe or secure as you imagine. Here are a half dozen signs that your security isn’t as strong, smooth or efficient as you might think.

1. Laying Off the Layersphysical-security.jpg

Your core security strategy—physical, digital and other—is informal and often ad hoc, instead of being based on the traditional layers of protection: deter, deny, detect, delay, defend. Sure, you have some things in place by instinct or accident—the chain link fence and gate are definitely deterrents—but instinct and accident are a poor substitute for planning and strategy. The lack of a formalized strategy leaves you with gaps. It makes it difficult to create standardized plans, and prevents you from covering any common ground between physical and digital security.

2. Big Data vs. Barbed Wire

You still see physical security as something separate and apart from digital security: convergence has not occurred. I don’t mean sharing systems or rewriting the organization chart. I mean bringing all security efforts under the same strategic umbrella. As new concepts and tools emerge for one type of security, it becomes easier to adapt and apply the process to another. Also, convergence opens up opportunities for cross training and for role consolidation that can cut the security budget, often by very significant numbers.

3. You Interrogate to Locate

If an asset is lost, you’re at a loss. Questions like “where did you last have it” are useless (the answer is always: “if I knew that it wouldn’t be lost!”). So, there’s disruption—a hit on your business continuity. That’s because you’ve established only a connection between the individual and the asset—one that’s easily broken. But you don’t have a connection between that asset—whether it’s the key to a forklift or the forklift itself—and its physical location.

4. Man the Processes—Full Stop Ahead

You’re still deeply invested in manual processes. Manual processes slow down the boat. If you have a guard who’s logging people in, checking IDs, issuing keys—whether on paper or on a keyboard—it’s a manual process.

5. Usually the Last to Know

Issuing alerts and notifications—whether about a simple anomaly or a current crisis—is heavily manual. When you have to wait for someone to call you or wait until you can get access to your security dashboard, you’re far too long out of the loop. You need an instant automated response sent to whatever device you’re holding at any given moment in time. 

6. Security Is Identical at Every Location. Or Not.

If you’re a branch-based company (banks, retailers, corrections facilities and more), you have a single security policy for all locations, regardless of the specific circumstances of each. Those circumstances can range from natural threats like earthquakes to human threats which change from neighborhood to neighborhood and from institution to institution.

The opposite can be just as insecure: having a different security policy for each and every office, depending on the local manager. The right choice is to have what I call “localized standards,” meaning that you establish a set of threat criteria, establish specific standards for each and then apply them, as appropriate, to each branch based on shared characteristics.

Do any of these sound familiar? If I’ve touched on some of the flaws of your existing physical asset protection policies, it’s imperative that you get started today strengthening your asset protection strategy. Real Time Networks develops a range of safety and security solutions for keys, assets, facilities and people.

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Shannon Arnold

Written by Shannon Arnold

Shannon Arnold is the VP of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Real Time Networks.