4 Ways to Safeguard Your Organization with Technology
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a utility company, a government agency, a chemical storage facility, or a mid-sized private organization, all points on the business spectrum need physical protection from criminals, terrorists, and other potential threats.
The link between security and authenticity may be obvious in the online world, but it’s not always as evident offline. Where user IDs and passwords ensure that only the appropriate people can access information online—and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) supports secure communications—the physical world often ignores these crucial practices.
This oversight can leave physical locations vulnerable and open to potential attacks. “You can have the best firewalls, password authentication protocols, and computers rigorously protected from malware,” IT consultancy TFE points out. “But it’s all for naught if an unauthorized person off the street can walk away with sensitive and important business data or hardware.”
The good news is heightened awareness of the importance of effective physical security is driving the need for new tools and applications that help companies address these issues. Equipment, application, and software vendors are responding to the call, and coming out with new ways to thwart a wide range of threats.
What Goes into a Good Physical Security System?
Security measures that are implemented with the goal of denying unauthorized access to a building, equipment, or another type of asset, physical security typically involves a multifaceted approach that includes (but isn’t limited to) surveillance cameras, locks, barriers, and access control systems. Working together, these components help deter threats, detect intrusions, and trigger alerts.
From inexpensive video surveillance cameras that record threats as they happen (and also provide documentation for forensic incident reviews) to sensors that detect a physical presence in a restricted area to facial recognition technology that screens out unauthorized individuals, the selection of security tools available to private and public sector organizations is vast and growing.
Modern security tools also incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, facial recognition, biometric scans, access cards, and other advanced methods of protecting facilities and their occupants from potential threats.
4 Ways to Safeguard Your Operations
For government organizations, sensitive information must be protected and only accessed by individuals who are authorized to view it and use it. In the private sector, bars and casinos must comply with age restrictions or risk losing their liquor and/or gaming licenses. The stakes are high — and very different — in these two scenarios, with the common denominator being the critical nature of good physical and data security.
Here are four different technologies that you can use to safeguard your operations:
- Multi-factor authentication. A security protocol that requires users to be authenticated through different validation procedures, multi-factor authentication (MFA) incorporates physical, logical, and/or biometric identification systems. Before an employee is granted access to a restricted area of a chemical plant, for instance, he or she will have to submit “additional” information beyond just an access card or PIN (e.g., a biometric, fingerprint, or retina scan). With MFA, users can prove that they are who they say they are, making it difficult for unauthorized individuals to break through your organization’s security defenses. For example, some Panasonic TOUGHBOOK customers in use authentication software that helps organizations enhance compliance, defend against data breaches, and eliminate unauthorized access.
- Mobile ID scanning. A quick and reliable way to collect customer information, mobile ID scanning can be used to check passports, drivers licenses, and other standardized ID formats. The mobile ID scanning solution from IDScan.net and Panasonic allows you to verify age at the door, check in vendors, and capture guest information for loyalty enrollment — all with a single scan of an ID. Using just a handheld scanner and a mobile app, the casino security guard can make sure occupants are of gambling age; doormen can let only authorized individuals into their buildings; and event management companies can match up concert-goers with their tickets. To make the solution even more secure, the scanners themselves are networked, which means if an individual is turned away from one location, a “banned” alert will be triggered across all entrances.
- Built-in hardware sensors. Because they’re untethered and usually chock full of juicy information and data, laptops are a real target for common criminals as well as those involved with corporate espionage. According to the University of Pittsburgh, a laptop computer has a 1-in-10 chance of being stolen and 98% of those devices are never recovered. Using built-in hardware sensors and Windows Hello biometric sensors, Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices help you ensure that only authorized users can access laptop applications and data. Other built-in hardware features include fingerprint readers, smart card readers, and infrared webcam (for facial recognition), all of which can be used to lock down laptops and ensure the highest levels of security.
- IoT-enabled access control. In an era where high-profile acts of violence have become common, controlling who goes in and out of your building is one of the best ways to keep both its occupants and its assets safe from harm. That means thinking beyond the basic “lock and key” approach to security and implementing tech-enabled access control measures. Access control cards, for instance, are more difficult to duplicate and can be disabled quickly, should the need occur. Using IoT, for instance, security cameras, card readers, and locks can connect via a single wireless network, allowing security managers to control those tools from various software-based platforms. “Whether it’s using a smartphone to open a door or monitoring security footage via a tablet from a remote location,” BizTech points out, “IoT has increased the mobility and scope of access control in a way never before seen on previous systems.”
Creating a Culture of Security
As technology continues to advance, the need for humans to support it, monitor it, and tweak it continues to grow exponentially. Put simply, all the technology in the world won’t keep your operations safe if the people running it don’t understand its value. “Sustainable security culture is persistent,” Security Journey’s Chris Romeo says. “It is not a once-a-year event, but embedded in everything you do.”
Whether your bouncers need to verify customer ages at the door, your security personnel are scanning badges at the building’s front gate, or your engineers are swiping their fingerprints for access into restricted databases, physical security must be a focal point both for the organization itself, and for anyone physically entering the premises. “Security belongs to everyone, from the executive staff to the lobby ambassadors,” Romeo writes. “Everyone owns a piece of the company’s security solution and security culture.”
By combining a culture of security with one or more of the advanced technologies outlined in this article, public and private organizations alike can protect their buildings, their employees, and their assets while also cultivating a safer, more productive work environment.
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