What Is Access Control? Access Control Security Systems

Access control systems tend to be logic controlled systems that can be programmed to allow doors, gates, roller doors, safes etc to be accessed under specific guidelines. Specific guidelines and rules often include who can pass, at what time can they pass and what areas can they enter.

Inputs: The way to request passage and entry is via some type of input. An input can be as simple as a keyswitch or maybe more secure using a codepad with pin code, or higher security using a special encrypted card reader often called a proximity reader, or perhaps a biometric reader that scans your eye or finger. The best security may involve a combination of inputs like proximity card and also pin code, or eye scan and keyswitch etc.

Controller:  A controller is the heart and brains that runs the inputs and outputs. Most commonly controllers come in single 1 door models, 2 door models or 4 door models. To get more doors controlled you often simply combine a number of controllers. These controllers are commonly used in airports, buildings, warehouses, factories, offices, banks, and on gates etc.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Outputs:  Once an input is triggered it passes the information to the controller and it is the controller that determines if you have access privileges and if so then the output is triggered. An output device may be the opening of an electronic lock, or gate, etc.

Access Privileges:  The success of access control systems is determined by the access privileges provided to users. The easy way to setup access is to let everyone be able to pass everywhere at all times but easy is not good for security. You decide if convenience or security is your goal or compromise on both.

Spend time working out the critical areas with the most security required for example the vault or high risk or unsafe areas. once you decide the most secure areas you determine the least number of people that need access to those areas and work backwards to other areas adding more people as needed to less sensitive less secure areas.

Happy hunting, searching, buying, installing or repairing.


Source by Ric Mejias

Security Officer Professionalism – Do You Have What It Takes?

Security has come a long way since the late 40’s and 50’s up to the late 1980’s where it was the norm for ex-servicemen and ex police to take on ‘watchman’ or ‘security’ roles in industrial, commercial and government complexes. The industry has expanded almost beyond belief with technology that, until recently, was exclusively in the hands of major powers and governments and new laws that directly and indirectly impact upon our profession. Our threat levels and risks have changed, bringing new challenges. The type of person now being attracted into the security industry has changed as a consequence; they are a more youthful, dynamic, person who sees the industry as a career.

Business and the public now have expectations of security that the industry must meet and exceed. Of course there is a compensator for this level of professional service. The industry and clients must recognize that the higher skill levels required and the superior level of service demanded by clients must also be reflected in the financial reward afforded the officer through their wage or salary.

With increased skills and responsibilities comes the reward through increasing the pay levels. The industry must be prepared to reward officers and guards with a livable wage or salary commensurate with their qualifications and skills that they are offering to provide the client. The old adage still runs true that ‘if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys’.

What then do we demand of the Security Officer or Guard? What standards must they meet?

The security officer of this millennium must be well educated, articulate, smartly attired and professional in every way. Surveys conducted in Darwin (Australia) revealed that business and the public demanded stricter selection criteria and higher standards of professional behavior for those employed in the security industry. There is no doubt that these expectations are reflected in most other cities and towns in Australia and overseas.

In Australia, Certificate II and III in Security should be seen as just a start point for security training. Individuals must take every opportunity to enhance their professional training through specialist subject workshops, academic studies or even overseas training programs, available by correspondence. Diplomas in Security & Risk management and tertiary education courses are becoming more common both overseas and in Australia and are an excellent tool for gaining the edge in knowledge.

Individuals must have a sound working knowledge of all laws in which the security industry operates and highly developed inter-personal skills to complement their technical skills in security.

Contract as well as proprietary security staff operate in a wide range of working environments. This ranges from government work to hospital security, industrial security, commercial security, retail security, mining security, hospitality security and loss prevention in all its forms along with many other working environments where protective security is provided. The Security Officer of the new millennium must be aware of their role within these various environments and be trained accordingly.

It is imperative that officers get to know their clients business and understand its underlying culture. This knowledge will stand them in good stead when decisions have to be made quickly without having time to brief the client. By understanding the business and its culture, decisions can be made taking all into consideration ensuring that the clients’ best interests are always being protected.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Security knowledge should encompass physical security, administrative security (laws, policies and procedures etc), risk management, computer security and crime prevention strategies. Knowledge of business practices, administration and financial procedures is a definite bonus.

By having this overall knowledge professional security officers are positioned to take on advisory roles in business making them an attractive return on investment for any employer or client. One of the major complaints made by small businesses approached on the subject was that security staff did not communicate with their clients. There was no two-way communication and in many cases small business did not know what service security was actually providing apart from their physical presence.

By communicating with clients and offering advice based on in-depth security or crime prevention knowledge, the Security Officer increases their value to the client and to their employing company. In many cases they are the first person a business may see when a problem occurs. Security will make an appreciation of the incident and decide on further action, which may or may not involve Police attendance. As such their knowledge and experience is invaluable in assisting the client, thus maximizing their return on investment.

On the other hand the poorly trained Security Officer will often take one of three options:

Make the wrong decision and escalate the situation,
Do nothing and await advice from the client or their contracting company, or
Bluff their way through relying on luck to see them through the situation.

In any of these cases the temptation for the client to terminate their contract for security, based on lack of trust in the abilities of the officers’ concerned, is greatly increased.

What then must we look for in our Security Officers? They must:

be well educated.
be appropriately trained in their roles and duties.
be honest and confident in their abilities and knowledge.
be service orientated.
be curious and observant.
be mentally attuned to responding to critical incidents, without warning.
be loyal to their client as well as their employer.
have pride in themselves’ and their role in society.
have ready access to qualified and experienced Supervisors to provide mentoring, advice and guidance on situations out of the officer’s experience, thus gaining quality advice to maximize the learning value of the experience.

All the above rely on one important ingredient: training.

Training then is the cornerstone to the development of the professional security officer of this millennium.

This training can be gained through the traditional courses, tertiary studies, in-house training, mentoring, workshops and seminars or through researching published material and security trade magazines such as the one you may be reading now. All are a valuable source of knowledge.

The Security Officer or Security Manager who has the skills, knowledge, and experience back up with qualifications and excellent communications and interpersonal relationship skills will be seen as an excellent investment for any business or client.

Professionalism…. It’s more than a word. It’s an attitude that enhances capability and credibility.


Source by Raymond Andersson

Security Guard Qualifications – Basic Requirements for Getting Hired

A security guard is a demanding and ever-changing job that requires a diverse but specific skill set in order to be successful. There are really two sets of qualifications that all potential applicants should become familiar with. The qualifications and requirements set by the state or government agency that will be issuing your license, as well as the qualifications and skills that will make you a great guard.

Security Guard Qualifications – State Mandated (Unarmed)

Each state in the United States is in charge of regulating and setting the requirements for people to apply, register, and become licensed as security guards. This also make the requirements and qualifications slightly different for each state, but a broad set of qualifications that is mostly universal among the states would be:

Be 18 years of age or older.
Not have been convicted of a felony or violent crime.
Be mentally, physically, and emotionally competent.
Be able to pass a state mandated criminal background check as well as an F.B.I background check.
Be able to complete and pass any state required guard training or guard training exams.

Even though these requirements are mostly universal, the state in which you reside may have slightly different rules, so it’s best to double-check the required qualifications for your specific state.

Security Guard Qualifications – State Mandated (Armed)

Any person that wishes to become an armed guard must be able to meet the requirements of an unarmed guard and then additionally meet any extra state mandated requirements for being an armed guard. Just like the unarmed guard requirements, the armed guard requirements vary from state to state but could include any or all the following:

Able to get a state weapons license for small arms.
Able to obtain a concealed weapons permit.
Be able to successfully complete and pass any extra mandated training classes or exams for armed guards.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Security Guard Qualifications – General Requirements

Besides the requirements that a state government or agency may put in place in order to become a security guard, there are many other traits or skills that a security guard should possess in order to be both safe, as well as effective at their job. Some of these useful traits, skill sets, or certifications would be:

Being in good physical condition.
Being an effective communicator.
Possessing a valid state drivers license.
Able to stand for prolonged periods of time.
Having a good memory.
Being able to write reports and describe situations effectively for management.
Having an authoritative, loud, and clear speaking voice.

Depending on where and who you are employed with, your required individual qualifications will differ from someone else. It’s best to check with the agency issuing your guard license or employer for the complete list of required qualifications before going too far into the process of becoming a guard.


Source by Alex Wallst

Security Questions for Security Guards

People have assorted reasons for the need to hire a security guard. Perhaps you need security for your business or are planning a special event such as a wedding, anniversary party or fund raiser. Security guards are commonly hired to protect property, individuals or material goods. Most commonly you find them at banks, government offices, hospitals, museums and retail stores but they can be found in limitless locations for any reason. No matter your reason for hiring a security guard there are certain questions you will need to have answered before choosing the one for you. Will they be monitoring a room, patrolling a property or conducting surveillance via security monitors?

Generally you will go through a company in your search. Many companies employ former military or police officers because the job requires honesty and an aptitude to for remaining calm in any situation. These people are the first to respond in the case of a robbery, medical emergency or any type of disturbance. An ability to recognize trouble and deal with it promptly and efficiently is crucial. Whether you hire through a company or do the hiring yourself be sure to have the following questions answered before making your decision on the person you will trust to keep things running smoothly and safely.

What is their training? Are they former military or a former police officer? If so, they have had excellent training and you need not worry. If not, get details on how and where they received training.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Ask about previous experience and why they want you to employ them. What type of security work have they done and what experiences have they had. Was crowd control required or guarding objects? What experience have they had in the past that qualifies them for the job? How does this correlate to your needs and the job requirements?

Why did they leave their previous employment? What were the circumstances and how long were they at their previous employment. This will help determine dependability and loyalty based on how long they keep a job and how they speak about their previous employer. Applicants should be comfortable and relaxed when discussing previous employers and employment.

Give them a scenario to solve relevant to the job. For example: A security guard hired to be present for a large house party – ask what action they would take if they notice a guest searching through the file cabinets in the library? See how well they evaluate and respond to the scenario.

Have they ever had a Criminal Background check done? Is it current? If not, require them to have one.

Do they have experience in basic or armed security? Do they have a license to carry a gun? Has there ever been a need to use it?

Are they a Registered Security Guard? This requires a high school diploma, completed security training and licensing which is good for two years.

These questions should get you the answers you need to make an informed decision when hiring a security guard.


Source by Joe M Baker

Essentials of Effective Security Policies and Other Security Documentation

PREFACE

This document is prepared and presented as a basic overview of contemporary best practices regarding written documentation — primarily security policy – needed within an effective security program. It is generic in that it is developed without a specific application or facility in mind. As such, all or parts of this information may not be appropriate for every building or facility. The intent is to provide fundamental information for non-technical and non-security readers.

Security documentation is the written material used to govern all aspects of a security program. Such documentation would include, at minimum, the following;

• Policies

• Standards

• Guidelines

• Emergency Plans

• Training Material

• Informational Material

INTRODUCTION

It can be said that there are – in essence – only 3 reasons for performance failure in an organization’s security program;

(1) The is NO policy and procedure addressing the issue;

(2) There is a policy and procedure addressing the issue, but it was not followed;

(3) The policy and procedure addressing the issue was followed, but the contents were inadequate to properly address the circumstances of the particular situation.

In the triad of architectural, technological and operational security, the policies and procedures are the foundation of the later and are easily the most overlooked and most important aspect of a comprehensive and effective security program.

An organization’s policies and procedures are dynamic in that they must be continuously updated and constantly refined. Perhaps no other single aspect of an entity more clearly reflects its culture and philosophy than the body of written policies and procedures by which it governs.

STARTING AT THE TOP

Easily, the most common obstacle in any attempt to develop security policies and procedures is the failure to have the full support of top management. At the very least, the direct approval of the top position is necessary. Ideally, the policies and procedures should be reviewed and approved by the governing body – such as the Board of Directors – or a committee thereof. This support from the top of the organization must also be clearly reflected in the document itself.

Additionally, management must support the effort through “example”. This means that the policies and procedures must apply to everyone, regardless of their position within the organization. If exceptions are to be allowed, the exceptions should be stipulated in the policy and procedure document.

DISSEMINATION

If a “perfect” policy and procedure document could ever exist, even it would be of no value if the person’s subject to its contents and responsible for its implementation and enforcement are not aware of the details. Traditionally, binders of printed documents were reproduced and widely distributed so as to be accessible to the workforce. Today, fewer printed copies are prepared and there is a greater reliance on electronic media. A best practice is for the security department to have its own website on the organization’s intranet. Among the many benefits of this is the ability to make the security policies and procedures readily available for reviewing and downloading, ideally in the Adobe.PDF format.

The essential contents of the policies and procedures should also be presented during employee orientations and included in an employee handbook.

DESCRIPTIONS

Typical security documentation can be described as follows:

POLICY: The organizations stated security objectives and the requirements in general terms. Policy also establishes departmental responsibilities and cooperative interaction where issues may overlap. Most importantly, it conveys authority. Policies address specific issues, however, the statements are usually very broad and without detail.

STANDARDS: Standards establish minimum performance parameters. These are statements that are usually “actionable”, “measurable” and/or “observable”. Standards are more detailed that Policies, and can often be the same as or similar to technical specifications.

GUIDELINES: Policies and standards require writing in a very precise and special way that avoids misunderstanding. Because it is not a narrative style that most people are accustomed to reading, some helpful explanatory notes can aid in comprehension. Guidelines serve this purpose but are not “requirements” in themselves.

PROCEDURES: Procedures are directed at persons responsible for taking action under the various circumstances and conditions, or in response to certain events. These are very specific and step-by-step to the extent practical and reasonable. Where Policies and Standards may apply on an enterprise-wide basis, there will always be a large portion of the Procedures that must be specific to each individual location or facility.

EMERGENCY PLANS: Generally, a given facility will have need for several emergency plans, each addressing specific events. Emergency plans are constructed – in part – so that they may be referenced in real time during an event. The most common emergency plans are in response to such things as a fire or bomb threat. Additional plans may be needed for other events such as an attack or when the threat of attack is elevated. Procedures within Emergency Plans tell people “where” they will go and “what” they will do when the get there.

STRUCTURE

A key aspect to a good manual is that it is relatively easy for any user to find the information they are seeking. Because a policy and procedure document is continuously revised, a conventional, single document with sequential page numbering would be less than optimal. Additionally, it is desirable to numerate the contents other than through the employment of page numbers, since these tend to change during revision. It is also very desirable to facilitate later reference to individual “provisions” within the document, similar to the manner in which government laws are numerated. An example structure might be something similar to the following:

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

1 = Chapter

1.01 = Subchapter

1.01.01 = Section

1.01.01.01 = Subsection

It is advisable to create a standard format or template for the pages in order to facilitate the replacement of pages with revisions, and for readability. The template should incorporate a place for the title of the chapter and a place the date of the most recent revision. The document should contain a Table of Contents and a word index is a great enhancement.

Typically, an organization would have a general or master body of policies and procedures that are universally applicable across the entire global enterprise. Entities with multiple facilities will likely need to reserve certain subjects for further individualization for various locations such as different cities, states or countries in order to accommodate variations in applicable laws.

Additional policies and procedures will usually be needed based upon the specific nature of the organization, such as the business or industry in which it falls. Government regulatory compliance can be a major element of the document in some operations.

Where the policy manual is separate from the procedure manual – as is generally recommended – the relative procedures should reference the corresponding policy.

SCOPE

There are a myriad of subjects that might be addressed in a comprehensive set of security policies and procedures. Many of the common subjects will overlap with areas commonly addressed by the Human Resources department, and sometimes with other units as well. It is strongly recommended that legal counsel review and approve all policies prior to dissemination.

Typically, policy is written in a narrative and semi-general format and the only “rule” is that the message be clear and unambiguous. Each policy would generally state the organization’s position on the subject, and most importantly, it should delegate the necessary authority and responsibility for developing the corresponding procedures for execution and enforcement.

Procedures are typically written in a “step-by-step” format. As a guide, security procedures for security officers should be developed with a new guard on his or her first day on the job in mind.

ENFORCEMENT

If policies are important, than adherence to policy must be equally important. The policy MUST set forth appropriate consequences for violations of any policy, in the form of disciplinary action. Failure to consistently enforce policies might tend to negatively impact the legal enforceability of all policies. Where an organization lacks the collective will to act to enforce a policy, that policy should be changed or abolished. No policy should ever continue to exist for which enforcement action is not instituted consistently.

CONTENTS

No policy and procedure manual can be completely written in advance that will be applicable to any organization without customization and modification. The following is a list of basic subject areas – not in any specific order – that should be considered for inclusion in a security policy and procedure manual;

1.0 Statement from Executive Management

2.0 Security Department Mission, Purpose and Objectives

3.0 Security Department – General

3.1. Organizational Structure

3.2. Policy Enforcement

3.3. Investigations

3.4. Reporting

3.5. Background Investigations

3.6. Use of Force

3.7. VIPs

3.8. Communications

4.0 Security Department – Management

4.1. Authority

4.2. Qualifications

4.3. Liaison with Government Agencies

4.4. Periodic Departmental Reports

4.5. Security Awareness Training of Non-Security Personnel

4.6. Responsibilities

4.7. Staff Performance Appraisals

5.0 Security Department – Staffing

5.1. Qualifications

5.2. Uniforms

5.3. Equipment

5.4. Training

5.5. Post Orders

6.0 Security Department – Duties and Responsibilities

6.1. Policy Enforcement

6.2. Investigations

6.3. Response to Criminal Acts

6.4. Suspicious Persons

6.5. Emergency Conditions

7.0 Information Protection

7.1. Document Storage for Business Continuity

7.2. Document Destruction

7.3. “Clean Desk” Program

7.4. Trash Removal

8.0 Lost and Found

9.0 Courtesy Escorts

10.0 Cash Handling

11.0 Parking and Traffic Control

11.1. Vehicle Registration

11.2. Signage

11.3. Vehicle Removal

12.0 Security Responsibilities of All Employees

12.1. Reporting Incidents & Suspicious Situations

12.2. Cooperation in Investigations

12.3. Privacy and Consent to Search

12.4. Contacts by Governmental Agencies

12.5. Contacts by the Media

12.6. Cooperation during Emergencies

12.7. Protection of Assets

12.8. Prohibited Items

12.9. False Reporting Prohibited

12.10.Employee Conduct

13.0 Lock and Key Control

14.0 Material Passes

15.0 I.D. Credentials

15.1. Employees

15.2. Visitors

15.3. Vendors / Contractors

16.0 Workplace Violence

17.0 Ethics

18.0 Medical Emergencies

19.0 Fire and Life Safety

19.1. Systems Inspection & Testing

19.2. Unsafe Conditions

20.0 Audits of the Security Department

21.0 Access Control

22.0 CCTV

22.1. Overt Surveillance

22.2. Covert Surveillance

23.0 Security Screening

23.1. Pedestrians

23.2. Vehicles

23.3. Parcels and Packages

24.0 Emergency Conditions

24.1. Preparation of Emergency Plans

24.2. Incident Command

24.3. Drills and Exercises


Source by Michael Minieri

Contract Security Vs In-House

1) Increase in Competition. With more and more companies competing for market share and doing so with enhanced technology,it is imperative to have a workforce that is almost exclusively focused on improving a company’s core business offering. For example, a computer chip company probably won’t improve its position in the computer chip market due to the efforts of its in-house security officers. Top managers are deciding to utilize reputable contract security firms to be their security experts so they can focus their personnel on being computer chip experts.

2) Increased Cost/Liability. Payroll taxes and fringe benefits have skyrocketed to a national average of 48%. As our society becomes more and more litigious, the risk of liability from in-house personnel-related issues is steadily increasing. Areas of risk to consider include: Workers Compensation, unemployment, discrimination, sexual harassment and general liability. Lawsuits are costly and time-consuming. Due to this ever-increasing expense and risk of greater hidden cost, companies are choosing to protect themselves by outsourcing functions like security.

Many Directors of Security fear that switching to a contract provider will mean they are of decreased value to their company, and could potentially lose their jobs. However, a shift to a contract security can have the opposite effect. Security Directors who outsource their security program often find they no longer have to spend long hours dealing with day-to-day minutiae of managing security officers and instead they are able to offer their skills in the more prominent and visible areas of security consulting and analysis. This increases their value to the company while decreasing their headaches, as they can defer security personnel functions to the contract security firms management team.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The other cause for hesitation by some companies to switch to contract security is the perception of a lack of quality security companies. While finding a reputable firm in the massive sea of the security industry can be a challenge, there are some companies who operate on a very high level. These are companies that conduct background checks and have a rigorous process for personnel selection. Quality companies also offer competitive benefits and wages and benchmark-setting training and employee development programs. In addition, switching to contract security does not mean losing your well-established security force, contact companies will usually retain as much of the existing staff as you desire.

Cost) In most cases, the cost of security program is comparable to a company’s in-house budget. However the additional protection provide, combined with the elimination of other hidden cost actually serves to reduce a company’s long term expense. Additional cost can include overtime wages, uniforms, recruiting and background checking expenses, training, administration personnel for payroll services and depreciation of equipment.


Source by Brandon L Blue

Risk Management – Security – What is It?

Security Risk Management

How can it help me and my business?

Risk management is always evolving and becoming more important in today’s climate and in the future.

You may have a small business or large, you may be running a function or other special event.

Whatever you are doing and wherever you are, risk is all around you.

Imagine a world or your state without security risk management. Look at your city and take out all of the security systems, key pads, security staff, police, army reserve, insurances, cameras, security barriers, stop lights, car security systems, street lighting, security procedures, banking passwords and codes, doors that lock etc.

What would we have? How would we live without it?

In this brief article, I have an example of risk management, and the importance of excellent security risk management.

When planning it is advised to use a security risk professional

Security risk management in business is all about putting the correct security procedures / polices in place now, and planning for the future.

Think of a flat line

Think of a circle

The flat line represents a business with little or no security risk management.

However, the circle represents complete and comprehensive management, and correct planning for the future.

The flat line is open, venerable, and open to the elements, things can fall off or jump on and there is an end and no future. The line is venerable to poor communication, misunderstanding, security breaches, possible internal theft, and site theft from external sources.

However, the circle is complete, secure and impregnable. It has a future and everything is linked within its own organization. Management and staff are confident and understand the organizations security goals and objectives.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

How does your business or upcoming activity compare?

Do you think you may have a flat line, half circle, a circle with a segment still missing, or a complete circle?

How did the flat line work towards becoming a circle?

The flat line found that after a security risk analysis had been conducted, they were inefficient, unsecured, had possible insurance liability issues and they needed immediate change.

The flat line implemented security procedures and polices that managed these identified risks and threats.

In this example, the flat line implemented identification procedures, sign in/out procedures, secure handling and storage of records, communication between various groups and teams, and security audits that would be conducted once per year. The flat line ensured that building security, evacuation procedures, polices, and personal security being internal and external were comprehensive.

Regular meetings were conducted with the groups and teams that focused on security risk management, and associated business risk management.

However, after all of this work it was a square not a circle.

There was no complete flow, and communication still needed some improvement if they were to gain the objective of a complete circle.

How do they achieve a circle?

Through continuing to become familiar with all the procedures and polices, upgrades and security education that have just been put into place.

Continuing to be diligent, motivational, and dedicated to correct and complete security risk management.

Then they found their circle.

Is your organization, relevant department or activity a circle?, why not?

Would you like it to be a secure circle?


Source by David WB Turner

Top 10 Tips For Office Building Security

Today, businesses must address and prepare for security threats that are larger and more varied than ever before. With each technological advancement that allows innovative, effective business strategies, comes a security threat that is equally innovative and equally effective.

Any assessment of an office security system should begin with specific security needs and the impacts they will have on your business as a whole. You may need a facility secure enough for UL 2050 certification or you may simply need to ensure your employees safety before and after business hours. Regardless, here are ten important ways to improve your office security system.

Effective Communication: First and foremost is communicating information to and between employees. Many companies use email alerts to warn employees about would-be hackers. Likewise, be certain that employees remain updated on procedures and potential visitors. By letting employees know what and who to expect, they are better equipped to recognize suspicious activities or persons. In order to avoid complacency, try to use a single source of information that becomes part of an employee’s routine. This could be a daily server broadcast or informational email. Whatever the source, it should be brief, practical, and include positive news as well as precautionary information.
Key Control: Assign the responsibility of locking or unlocking the office to as few individuals as possible. Eliminating the “first in, last out” method ensures that all access points are secured regularly. Create a procedure for those responsible for opening or closing your office that includes checking washrooms, closets, or anywhere someone might be able to hide. Hard keys should be numbered and assigned to specific individuals. employees assigned keys should periodically be asked to produce their keys to verify a master registry.
Site-Wide Policies: Something as simple as a “clean-desk” policy, training all employees to clear and secure their desks of valuable equipment or information before leaving for the day, drastically reduces potential theft. Mandating employees to have and display ID badges or access cards at all times increases the visibility of any unauthorized persons. Don’t include job titles on any directory accessible to the general public as many criminals will use a name and title to justify their presence in restricted areas. Finally, make sure to maintain a “chain of possession.” Any deliveries should be handed to a person and not left in a hallway or on an unattended desk.
Small Investments: All computers, laptops especially, should be secured with cable or plate locks to avoid “walk-off.” Docking stations are relatively inexpensive ways to protect electronic devices when not in use. Pay close attention to high-risk targets like state-of-the-art equipment, postage meters, check writers, and company checkbooks. Improve doors by installing peepholes and keypads. Utilize two locked doors surrounding a small lobby or foyer. This type of “airlock” system eliminates piggybacking, a method criminals use to gain entry by catching a locked door as an employee exits.
Anti-Virus: While it is extremely unusual for a company not to have anti-virus software in this day and age, it is impossible to overstate its importance. High-end protection from viruses, spyware, malware, Trojans, and worms is one of the shrewdest investments an office can make. This includes firewall protection for your main system, security for your wireless Internet routers, and securing backups of all data, preferably off-site, for recovery in the event of a cyber attack.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Lights, Camera, Layout: Be aware of “dark spots” both inside and outside your office. Install adequate lighting in parking lots and outdoor break areas for employee safety, eliminate blind areas in stairwells, and arrange hallways and offices to remove any places where someone could conceal himself or stolen items. Short of CCTV, discussed below, it may be worthwhile to install recording security cameras at key areas like loading bays and access points like after-hours entrances.
Reception: Among the more complete solutions is to employ one or more full time receptionists. From a security system standpoint, this person allows for close inspection of credentials and identification and funnels security information through a single point. If it is impractical to have each visitor greeted and checked-in by a person, consider a dedicated phone line in your lobby or at your front door that goes only to a designated receiver. This method, combined with a sign-in station, can be a cost effective strategy for many offices.
Access Control System: One of the difficulties with hard keys is reacting when one is lost or stolen. With an access control system, businesses can issue access cards to employees while maintaining complete control over what each card will open. Moreover, access control systems minimize risk by allowing only enough access to complete a job. Thus, employees, contractors, or visitors can be restricted by area or time of day. Two things are critical with access control systems. First, allow “total access” to as few individuals as possible. This will clarify who is authorized to be where and thereby enable employees to recognize and report infractions. Second, monitor the use of each card. By reviewing card activity, you can determine who needs access to where and at which times, streamlining routines and defining access.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV): For higher end security system needs, CCTV is one of the most effective methods of protection. Through limited broadcast, each camera can be monitored through a single interface. Depending on the specifics of the system, footage can be monitored by an employee or digitally recorded. Place cameras strategically to achieve the maximum coverage for a single unit. Likewise, cameras or corresponding signs that are visible to guests and employees can be effective deterrents and create a safe environment. It is important to remember, however, that as effective as CCTV is, it should be used efficiently and in tandem with other measures. For example, installing a unit in an entry with an “airlock” door system allows extended footage of a person(s) entering or exiting the premises.
Proper Training: Above all, make sure each of your employees is adequately trained to use security equipment and follow procedures. Investment and planning in the best security system will have little impact if individuals are unclear on precaution and intervention. This may be as simple as making sure employees keep doors and windows secure or protect their personal belongings, but often entails specific training on identifying and responding to suspicious items, persons, or events.

Source by Braden Russom