It is important not to become complacent about security in the workplace. If a thief breaks into your business premises or breaches your IT security then the consequences can be far reaching as well as causing immediate inconvenience. It is essential, therefore, to regularly review your security arrangements to ensure that they are still appropriate and are being well managed.
It may not be the first thing most people think about when considering office security, but it is vital that your employees are clear about what is and isn’t their responsibility. Whilst each member of staff doesn’t need to know every detail of your business, they do need to be accountable for things that are within their remit. It’s not just about the security of business information but also practicalities such as who is responsible for ensuring computers are turned off, windows and doors are locked and sensitive information locked away at the end of the day.
Having the right access control measures in place is equally important. These will vary depending on the nature of your business but could include high-level lighting, car-park barriers, CCTV cameras, ID badges and asset tagging. It is important to get the right help and advice about door access control systems to ensure that the arrangements that you have in place are both proportionate and appropriate to the level of security that your business requires. And it is also vital to ensure that, once in place, security measures are complied with. There’s no point having a state-of-the-art door entry system if staff then prop the door open for easy access.
With increasing reliance on IT systems, it is essential to ensure that yours are as secure as possible. Use and update security software for your computer network and make sure you have a firewall in place. Have a clear IT policy about acceptable usage and communicate it to staff. Make sure that information is regularly backed up and that access to sensitive and critical information is controlled.
You should also establish and maintain good housekeeping procedures. It is a good idea to keep a record of all visitors to your office, check their credentials, accompany them whilst on the premises and make sure that they sign out when leaving.
You should also have a clear information-retention policy and regularly shred documents that have become obsolete, particularly those that contain sensitive business information. Keep an inventory of critical equipment, regularly update it and run audits of your assets.
It is essential to take appropriate security measures to protect your business. Think about physical access, employee responsibilities and IT security. Ensure that your policies and procedures are up to scratch and make it difficult for thieves to access your premises and data. Most thieves are opportunists and will move on and look for an easier target so make sure that that target isn’t you.
Kim Stone is an expert in occupational safety and security. She writes for a variety of blogs and websites about office security measures and provides help and advice about door access control systems and IT management.