Although protecting data nowadays conjures images of cyber-crime and online industrial espionage ensuring both sufficient IT security and PHYSICAL security of employee and client data (in addition to commercially sensitive information) are all of paramount importance.

This article focuses on the physical security of records (both manual and database held).

Access to areas where records are held

Swipe card systems, retina scanners, finger print recognition or key code controlled access can be used to secure the rooms where employee information are held.  Manual HR records in filing cabinets can be secured with key access with designated personnel only holding keys.  These keys should be signed in should a person leave the business.  Having swipe card access or key code access to physical filing systems adds another layer of security which can be changed should a person leave the organisation.

Preventing physical access by thieves, vandals or protesters

Internal, reinforced security doors can be provided which look attractive in wood effect but which have a secure steel core.  Aluminium and timber effect doors with similar levels of security can also be fitted as external doors – creating an additional physical barrier to secure data.

Fire Risk

Risk of loss of records through fire can be minimised through the installation of fire retardant shutters as well as other anti-fire measures such as sprinkler systems and fire retardant doors.  Fire retardant shutters can fall on detection of a fire.  Records which need to be given the best chance of protection can be located in areas well shielded and isolated by such fire breaking devices.

Protecting Intellectual Property

Commercially sensitive information held by businesses involved in high levels of research and development investments can be afforded better protection through a careful security risk assessment.  Physical barriers such as security fencing and gates as well as adequate CCTV monitoring and alarms can then be installed to help protect against break ins, vandalism and targeted attacks or demonstrators attempts to obtain information.

Preventing a physical attack on your assets

Any physical security risk assessment carried out on your premises will involve physical barriers being considered at least twice – 1.) in the analysis of whether an adversary can access the region or facility.  2.) To what extent will physical barriers delay any adversary (in all cases whether the adversary poses a theft, vandal, physical safety to employee or terrorism threat).   This can be critical in delaying an attack on your assets completely through deterrent or by withholding any attack on your premises until a sufficient security or police response has been activated and realised.

For more information on methods for adding better physical security to private and public sector buildings please contact us on 0800 924 7127 or 0121 544 1221.  You can also email us here.