Office Administration

Physical Security Essentials for SMBs

Written by Lillian Connors

Cybersecurity has been a burning issue for businesses small and large, especially with the rise of the digital era, when no brand can imagine a future without an online presence. While your digital existence does indeed require a smart, calculated approach for the sake for protecting yourself as well as your customers, the physical, brick-and-mortar aspect of your security calls for the same amount of attention. Especially if you consider the fact that many businesses tie in their digital with their physical presence and utilise digital tools to enhance physical as much as their online safety.

On another note, small business owners often feel lulled into a false feeling of security, thinking that running a small business comes with lower risks. On the contrary, since small businesses make up the majority of the modern business economy, small businesses are often the main target of various threats. Here are the key methods in which you can increase your SMB’s physical security.

An all-encompassing surveillance system

Whether your store or office has a high level of visitor traffic, or you work with a select few employees under your wing, adding video surveillance is a must-have for any aspiring business. Make sure to look into a variety of systems in order to find the one that will be the most suitable for your particular situation. Some cameras cannot work both inside and outside your office, some can produce excellent-quality videos even in poor lighting, while others can only produce a decent picture in daylight.

Other factors to consider in choosing your video surveillance include audio options, storage options (such as cloud-based solutions or physical recordings), and of course, frame rate for a smoother video recording.

Access authorisation essentials

Running a business wasn’t always this complicated in terms of giving someone permission to come to your office or enter your office building at all. Nowadays, when SMBs work with a complex networks of partners and customers, ranging from suppliers, vendors, clients, cleaning crews, to investors, you need an authorisation structure for each group of people entering your business. This is particularly relevant for startups where they have a tendency to expand fast and new people join the ranks on a regular basis.

For the sake of stronger security, relying on key cutting and pairing it with a tracking system to keep an eye on how many keys are handed out and to whom is vital. Additionally, more businesses opt for visual identification such as laminated ID cards, and color-coding level of authorisation for each member of the personnel. The same applies when some of your employees leave your service, and you need to make sure that their key copies are returned safely to you or their supervisor.

Installing reliable alarm systems

If your office holds all of your employees’ computers, sensitive data, as well as plenty of costly equipment you use on a daily basis, you should consider an intrusion detection system for your office, preferably before you actually experience a break-in. The typical systems for detecting unwanted entries include motion detectors placed in specific places around your office, together with sensors that can detect any glass breakage.

These systems are typically monitored by a third party that provided you with the service, and you should always train your employees on how to avoid needless false triggers and disruptions that may not only be costly, but also wreak havoc on your office productivity.

Keeping track of your visitors

Whether you run an office or a store, too many people meandering through your store can always pose a risk to your overall security. Keeping your doors open for everyone to enter should not prevent you from introducing added layers of security. Even simple steps such as adding clearly marked indicators warning of off-limit areas can go a long way in helping protect your sensitive data and equipment.

However, you should also consider a sign-in option for all those who enter the building. In case of a public event, everyone from the catering crew to your keynote speakers strolling about, you should ensure photo IDs on colour-coded lanyards are present to help establish everyone’s level of authorisation for the occasion. With predetermined guest lists, make sure you have people on site who can verify the identity of each person on the premises.

Have a security team standing by

On a final note, with all the tech you can install and use to your advantage, there is still a need for many small businesses to utilise third-party security teams as well. While people might find a way to trick an ID machine, trained security personnel should always be prepared to spot an intruder, prevent a conflict, and make sure that your employees also feel safer due to their presence.

While cybersecurity remains essential in this day and age, modern small businesses should also invest in different measures to increase their physical security as well. Use these methods to prevent security threats and handle them with care in the future, and your business will be able to thrive.

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Lillian Connors

Lillian is a senior business consultant and the co-editor at She's mainly focused on business optimisation and sustainable growth. In her leisure time, she likes to lose herself in a good book or drink a couple of hoppy pale ales.

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