As we start on the New Year it is imperative to review our security situations as corporates. With the current economic status, we have in the country at the moment; experiencing increased levels of crime particularly in office and industrial areas is a
given. We need to ensure that all our assets are safe from misuse and theft. It’s hard enough as it is to break even as a business without incurring losses from theft, either from external entities or from the workforce itself. They are a number of costless operational things that you can incorporate in your operations to improve your security. We shall look at each of them and how they can help improve your security levels. We are also going to outline what a SECURITY AUDIT is and why it is necessary.
Know which keys you have and to which locks, making sure that keys issued on a temporary basis are returned. Assign someone to keep a record of key movement by use of a logbook. This can either be a security guard at your premise or maybe your receptionist. Ideally for high security areas, do away with keys and employ the use of biometric access control systems which keep electronic records of who accessed certain areas and at what time, making it easier to track when something goes amiss. Spare keys should be located in an inaccessible place for security reasons; in many cases spare keys go missing for weeks before anyone notices and the losses associated with such a situation can be catastrophic. High value items can be snuck out the company premises bit by bit with the worst-case scenario being industrial espionage.
Locking Doors and Windows
Appoint someone to be responsible for locking interior and exterior doors and checking if all windows have been closed. Open does or windows attract opportunistic criminals and will result in unnecessary theft incidences which could well have been prevented by simply carrying out a consistent routing check of all windows and doors at close of business everyday. If there is an alarm, make sure that the last person leaving the building arms it, you can liaise with your Rapid Response service provider to notify you if your alarm has not been armed by a certain time. An alarm is a major deterrent against crime but if it is not armed its as good as not having one. We come across a lot of situations where thefts occur when the alarm has been left unarmed.
Other than only securing your premise from external threats you need to put measures in place to guard against theft from your very own workforce. Most thefts against corporate entities almost certainly involve employees. Use inventory control, keeping detailed records (Tag and inventory property) and place follow up policies. As corporates you should check inventory on all assets and stocks either once a month or quarterly depending on the size of your operation. This alerts you of any discrepancies in time to nip it in the bud and review your security measures before you incur major losses. (We shall look into Security audits further on in this article)
Use a locked cash box and never write down safe combinations. The cashbox or safe should be bolted to the floor to avoid criminals carrying it away to break it open offsite. Don’t let cash accumulate and set an amount at which it is to be deposited to a bank. If you handle large sums of money, engage a Cash In Transit service provider to secure your cash all the way to the bank.
Ask for positive identification from service personnel and verify their purpose in your area by checking work orders. Enforce a “No Solicitation” policy; these can be a trick to scope out your building interior. All employees who deal with external organizations should be cautioned to assess whom they deal with and raise an alarm if they are any suspicions.
Perimeter security is important because it is the first stand against a break-inn. Check the status of your perimeter wall, doors, locks, windows etc. If these are not secure it becomes a cakewalk for intruders to gain access. No amount of physical security is ever enough to prevent intruders from getting in but the concept is to make it difficult for intruders to gain access. Intruders do not want to spend more time than they absolutely have to when committing a crime. The more time and effort they would have to take to break-inn demotivates criminals and sets them off to an easier accessible premise.
A SECURITY AUDIT is a thorough Physical and systematic check and review of your security. This is done quarterly and involves reviewing your physical, electronic and manned security systems. Presiding the Security audit you should take inventory of all assets on site including dormant assets (these are usually targeted by employees because they know it would take weeks before anyone notices these assets are missing and by then an investigation is almost impossible to carryout). Any missing items will give you a clear picture of areas that lapse in security and suitable measures can be put in place to prevent further losses. Security audits give your room to replace failed systems with better ones and to upgrade systems as knowledge base increases as a way of continual improvement. A SECURITY AUDIT will include:
Make sure your alarm is in working order; test all sensors, magnetic contacts and beams including signal transmission to your rapid response control room. Review if they are areas that might need additional sensors to expand your alarm’s reach.
Make sure all cameras are working and lenses are clean. Cameras should also be strategically positioned in order to get clear footage of sensitive areas. Valuable items should be in clear view of CCTV cameras. Additional cameras might be necessary in areas were assets might have turned up missing in order to enhance security.
Review your security checks either those by internal security personnel or by a contracted security service provider. A checklist that is dated, timed, signed and includes major movable assets should be available. Security checks must be conducted using the checklist for increased effectiveness. That way if anything is amiss it is quickly detected and investigations can be conducted immediately hence increasing chances of catching the culprits.
Implementation is key to successfully preventing loses. Simply identifying weaknesses in security systems and not implementing the necessary measures to mitigate these weaknesses will do you no justice. This should be done with the aid of security professionals to make it full proof. Make your own independent assessment before roping in your service provider then have them make their own assessment and compare notes.
Constant monitoring of proceedings is imperative to ensure the system is being implemented as planned. As with any project monitoring is just as important when it comes to security systems.
As Corporates you have to position yourselves to deal with the risks in your business. Top management must take the first step to produce and implement security plans through the development of comprehensive security policies involving the above key aspects. The plan must be documented, communicated to all stakeholders and should be reviewed periodically. There should be definite measures put in place to mitigate the risks identified. It must have the implementation aspect clearly spelt out and in all this, management involvement is very critical.
Security is the backbone to your organization’s continual running in these tough economic times; always remember; SECURITY BEGINS WITH YOU!