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Physical Security Risk Management for Small Business Safety

Lance Guillory
November 8, 2023

The threats organizations face today are evolving and multiplying. For small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), stakes are particularly high. One successful security breach could lead to devastating financial losses, damage to your reputation, and even physical harm. Your first line of defense? A Physical Security Assessment with subsequent Physical Security Risk Management Plans.

The Role of Security Risk Management

Physical Security Risk Management employs a systematic, quantitative, and holistic approach to identify these potential threats, assess their likely impact, develop strategies to mitigate those threats, and continually monitor and adjust those strategies as necessary. This process ensures that no stone is left unturned when it comes to safeguarding your assets. 

Indicators that a small business is an open Soft-Target for attackers include weak access control, open-door policies, lack of emergency action plans, or even just dimly lit parking lots. 

The common physical threats these small businesses face include:

  • Acts of Terrorism or Extremism
  • Active Assailants
  • WorkPlace Violence
  • Vandalism/Defacement
  • Burglary and Theft
  • Unauthorized Access to Your Premises
  • Fire, Flood, and Natural Disaster

From your physical premises to assets and personnel, the management of your organization’s security is paramount. Putting your security management into the hands of a professional allows your business to make informed decisions about where to allocate resources, how to prioritize different threats, and when to implement various security measures. 

Addressing the Sources of Security Failures

Equally important, security risk management addresses the source of security failures. By understanding why and how breaches occur, your SMB can tackle these issues at their root, preventing them from happening in the future. For example, if your entrance is vulnerable to unauthorized access, you will learn exactly how this entrance is susceptible to attack and what you can do to counter this weakness.

Understanding the SMB Threat Landscape

Once a Physical Security Risk Assessment is completed for your SMB (read more on that here), Security Risk Management involves addressing the following questions:

  • What can be done to prevent a critical incident? 
  • What options are available to defend the SMB? 
  • What are the compromises of these solutions in terms of costs, benefits, and risks? 
  • And most importantly, what are the impacts on the overall security strategy and policies of the organization?

By answering these questions, your Security Risk Manager arrives at the best solutions for you and your establishment. They will then develop a comprehensive security risk management plan to address detected vulnerabilities. Having this plan protects your assets from adversaries looking to exploit weaknesses in your system. 

Keeping Your Small Business Safe

Developing appropriate strategies and procedures to protect your business from potential threats is up to you. It is important that you keep your security measures updated, fortified, and ready to protect you and employees from harm.

Three things you can to start keeping your SMB safe include:

  1. Implementing Access Control Systems: Improve your security and safeguard your location. By implementing an access control policy and establishing procedures only authorized individuals have access to, you keep restricted areas, sensitive data, and valuable assets safe. This drastically lessens a potential security breach and promotes a seamless and efficient workflow within your organization.
  1. Conducting Physical Security Risk Assessments: Be proactive in assessing and inspecting your physical security, such as access points, locks, video surveillance, lighting and alarm systems. Regularly schedule reviews of your SMB’s circumstances and establish processes to detect threats before they occur.
  1. Establishing Comprehensive Emergency Action Plans: Creating well-defined action plans is imperative to security and liability in the face of unexpected events. For instance, an effective Emergency Action Plan defines roles and responsibilities for staff members, provides detailed instructions for different types of emergencies, and specifies how to respond to potential threats when they happen.

It’s time to stop reacting and start protecting with effective, professional management. Get a monthly Physical Security Risk Management Plan for your SMB today to safeguard you, your staff, and our community.

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