In the realm of running a business, one of the most critical aspects is the maintenance of a safe workplace. Ensuring the safety and security of all employees, data, hardware, networks, software, and physical property is paramount to the smooth functioning of a company. In order to achieve this level of safety, one of the most crucial first steps is the installation of an access control system.
When it comes to protecting a workplace, a common definition of safety is the absence of risk that comes from unauthorized intrusion. This includes safeguarding against fraudsters, property theft, and workplace violence, among other concerns. Physical security measures, such as access control, are essential for ensuring the safety of buildings, occupants, and sensitive data.
However, it is important to note that even the most advanced cameras, scanners, and visitor management systems can be rendered meaningless without proper guidelines for their use. This is where access control strategies come into play, allowing security guards to perform their duties in an efficient and effective manner. Yet, it is also imperative for companies to establish policies that outline and document the physical access control procedures.
By taking these measures, companies can be confident in their ability to maintain a safe and secure workplace for all employees and stakeholders. In doing so, they can mitigate potential risks and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and property, ensuring the continued success and growth of their business.
Let us understand what it means and how to get started.
What is a physical access control policy?
It’s a document that details the people and situations that are allowed entry to various parts of your premises, such as different buildings and rooms. It also details the procedures to be followed while handling such access privileges.
Access control systems and visitor management systems are two examples of technologies that often work in tandem with it. And some of the key particulars of your access control policy will be set by the access management system you adhere to.
You, your security staff, and your customers can all benefit from clear guidelines laid out in an access control policy. It will lay out a system for regulating who has access to a given property and their responsibilities.
Trust and responsibility may be maintained when you and your client work together to create this policy. They’ll know what you anticipate from them regarding access control. You’ll also know what they’ll expect of you and your guards.
(Also read: Security challenges and predictions for 2023)
Tips to manage your physical access control policy
The following are some suggestions for enhancing the security of your organization’s access points:
Establish requirements for an access control system
To establish the requirements for an access control system, it is important to document the procedure for seeking, approving, granting, updating, reviewing, and revoking access in an official Access Control Policy. This policy should reflect the company’s information permission, distribution, and consumption policies and must include explicit procedures with strictly defined roles and responsibilities.
Protection from environmental and external hazards
To protect against environmental and external hazards, the organization should take physical precautions to prevent losses due to natural or man-made disasters. Fire alarms and detectors that respond to smoke or heat should be installed, and sprinklers or other suitable fire suppression systems should be set up in all parts of the building where sensitive information is stored.
Security training is crucial for the proper implementation of an access control policy. Therefore, security personnel and any relevant internal stakeholders within the company should be briefed on the policy’s specifics. Standard operating procedures are essential to the smooth functioning of a private security policy, and training all employees on how to operate and interact with any access control system before installing it is crucial.
Store and manage passwords
Managing passwords is one way to prevent hackers from gaining access to a company’s systems and the sensitive consumer data it stores. A good password management system should be user-friendly and encourage users to adopt strong passwords. In addition, best practices for password selection, use, and security should be enforced and followed by all users.
Assure the safety of power and communication lines
Ensuring the safety of power and communication lines is essential for data and information systems. Security teams should label all cables clearly to reduce the likelihood of unintentionally disconnecting or rerouting the wrong patching or network connections. Controlling who can enter a building and access data distribution and transmission networks is also important for any firm.
Keeping data assets secure when offsite
Keeping data assets secure when offsite is critical, and organizational information assets should not be removed from the premises without proper authorization. The best practice is to encrypt the whole hard drive of every portable device, and employees must be made aware that they are not permitted to use these resources for personal or social purposes.
Allow remote access management
Allowing remote access management can reduce the risk of intrusion or unauthorized access, and businesses should adopt controls to secure remote access to their networks, systems, and applications. Before permitting remote connections to your network, it is crucial to verify the identity of each user.
Shield physical media while in transit
Shielding physical media while in transit is essential when moving data outside the company’s immediate premises. It is crucial to safeguard the data’s storage medium from theft, misuse, and corruption. Therefore, it is best to encrypt the media before transferring it to an offsite location and keeping track of all the physical media that leaves the company is important.
An effective access control strategy takes into account all of the factors that may have an impact on security at a given location. An all-inclusive strategy takes into account access controls, regulatory compliance, employee education, and practical application to guarantee the safety of everybody involved.
There needs to be a standardized approach to developing and implementing an access control program across your organization. Non-compliant businesses risk leaving a vital security function unattended or a control neglected. Key access control problems can be avoided, and effective security can be achieved by implementing a complete Access Control Policy backed by all individuals in the organization.