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Addressing Physical Security Threats in the Digital Age – Part 1


In addition to digital threats, companies must also value physical security, which is just as important for protecting their assets, employees, and sensitive information. Physical threats refer to all those threats that can risk the company’s data and do not necessarily involve digital access, such as hacking, but rather physical access, such as theft of physical documents. Since remote work has become common, we increasingly rely on cybersecurity. However, material assets are often ignored. Remote working offers many advantages; workers spend less time commuting to the office and getting ready, allowing them to devote more time to other tasks. Nonetheless, remote work also brings some risks, one of which is information security, requiring more attention.

It is important to share knowledge about physical security awareness in the organization to reduce the risk of unauthorized access, theft, and damage to physical resources as much as possible. This blog will delve into threats to physical security and discuss key steps to establish a culture of protecting the physical security of an organization.

Addressing-physical-security-threats-in-the-digital-age-part-I

Physical Security Threats

There are many types of physical security threats, and it is important to confront them by creating an effective physical security plan and understanding the threats we face. When talking about physical security, people most often think of theft, which is one form of physical security threat. Physical security threats take different forms; they can be intentional or accidental, minor or major, internal or external, and occur either frequently or infrequently. The following are some examples of the most common physical threats.

Employee Accidents

Employee accidents refer to mistakes made by employees, which can sometimes be accidental and sometimes intentional but are certainly harmful to the company and significantly impact its physical security. When an employee leaves a secure area open or unlocked, it can have major consequences. This also applies when employees accidentally lose office access keys or cards. Security implementation errors, such as access control, can also fall under this category. One of the first steps in employee protection is restricting access to sensitive parts of the company building.

Internal Bad Actors

An internal bad actor refers to a situation where insiders cooperate with malicious external actors to harm the company. Although insider fraud is often associated with cybercrime, it can also involve physical security. For example, criminals may obtain information from employees about the company’s physical security systems and how to bypass them.

Theft and Burglary

Thefts and burglaries can be prevented if security guards anticipate attack methods beforehand. The larger the company building, the greater this problem becomes. Depending on the company’s industry, theft can manifest in various forms, including theft of vehicles, computers, electronics, specialized devices, confidential documents, or sensitive information. What is common among all these forms is that theft imposes significant damage to the company’s business, potentially resulting in substantial financial losses. Therefore, it is essential to have trained professionals and appropriate security protocols, procedures, and security product installations in place.

Vandalism in the Physical Security Structure

Vandalism is a crime that aims to threaten the physical security structure itself. This refers to any activity that involves the intentional destruction or damage of public or private property. It belongs to the same group of acts as theft and arson because it involves intentional destruction of property. The way for companies to protect themselves from vandalism is to install physical barriers such as fences, walls, and pillars. Additionally, it is crucial to install surveillance cameras on their property to observe and record any suspicious activity. It is also necessary to ensure enough lighting on the property, sometimes implement alarm systems, and employ guards who monitor the property, among other measures.

Natural Disasters

There is a wide range of natural disasters, including earthquakes, floods, forest fires, and the like, and these threats are often difficult to predict. However, it is possible to prepare as best as possible by having a plan in place to minimize damage. Protection from natural disasters as part of physical security awareness involves implementing measures to mitigate risks and reduce the impact of such events. It is necessary to conduct a detailed analysis to identify potential risks and determine the probability of the potential impact of all these types of disasters.

Tailgating

Tailgating in physical security can be described as the entry of an unauthorized person into the company due to an employee’s mistake. For example, when an employee accidentally allows an unauthorized person into the company building by holding the door open for them. This can significantly compromise the security of the company, as it grants unauthorized individual access to the building, putting assets and data at risk and potentially resulting in significant losses in terms of reputation. One way to protect against this problem is for companies to install access control systems for entrances, especially restricted areas, and to train their employees to be aware of their surroundings and take responsibility in their workplace.

Conclusion

Physical data security is as important as digital security, and it is a crucial aspect of security awareness. To protect personal or company data, we must be aware of all potential physical threats and understand ways to protect against them. It is important first to understand these threats and then have a plan in place to minimize their impact if they occur. Some examples of how to increase security against physical threats include implementing access control measures, using surveillance tools, ensuring emergency preparedness, employing security guards, and similar measures. Being proactive about physical security threats is the best way to prevent damage. Even though some threats, such as natural disasters, are unpredictable and unavoidable, having a plan in place can help mitigate unnecessary damage.

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Anđela Milenković


Anđela Milenković

I am a Cybersecurity Engineer with professional experience since 2018, dedicated to protecting organisational computer networks and systems against a diverse range of threats. Holding a master’s degree in cybersecurity and numerous certifications, I am dedicated to perpetually enhancing my skill set and expanding my knowledge base. My passion for sharing knowledge with others has led me to embark on a writing journey, where I aim to impart my cybersecurity insights and expertise to a wider audience.

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