An Overview of Physical Security Inspections

A comprehensive physical security inspection is essential for protecting your business. A physical security inspection is a process of checking your asset against set criteria and the evaluation of all security systems and access controls. These help you to prove compliance and to uncover any potential risks for your organization.

These inspections serve a dual purpose of making sure you’re implementing positive practices and also avoiding negative practices.

The Importance of Physical Security

Due to both human initiated and natural threats, physical security is absolutely necessary for business continuity. Some companies falsely believe they can rest easy after installing electronic access controls to buildings and critical rooms, or utilizing digital audio/video systems. While these steps are beneficial, you’re left vulnerable without a comprehensive security plan that looks at all possible risk.

In 2014, a California power station was the victim of a criminal attack. The facility lost 17 transformers to gunfire, nearly blacking out all of Silicon Valley. Had the facility properly performed physical security inspections, the damage could have been less severe. The incident sparked momentum, causing the facility to take a more careful look at their security, such as adjusting security cameras so there aren’t any blind spots. Had this been done prior to the incident, they may have had evidence to catch the perpetrator(s).

Remember that you’re protecting your people, your property, proprietary information, as well as your brand’s image to the public.

Potential Problems in Your Security

Common issues with your security will include inadequate lighting, both inside and outside your facility, and ability to properly survey the perimeter of your asset. This can be with a full-time guard or different intrusion detection systems that support your security efforts. Another common issue is the failure to regularly test and update security equipment. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are useless if they aren’t functioning when you need them to.

Problems with existing procedures can often go unnoticed when they become routine. As an example, employee badges are great for controlling access and knowing who goes where and when, but lenient procedures can quickly render the process useless. Blurry badge photos or sharing badges are common faults that often get ignored.

Conducting Your Assessment

A great starting place in your physical security assessment is to check compliance against all required and relevant standards. These include GLBA, DEA, FEMA, CIP-104, and ASIS. Requirements will vary for your industry and location, but it’s never bad to make sure you’re safe. After assessing your physical security risk, you’ll need to choose your options for mitigating that risk and set a timeframe. To cement your changes, your company should incorporate these changes into your policy so it is easy to check on defined intervals and becomes a part of your routine assessments.

Take a free trial of SecureWatch to better understand the physical security inspection process and how it fits into your organization.

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