When it comes to security, every business needs some type of system to keep assets and people safe. Companies have an obligation to protect employees, clients, and client data, and therefore must be prepared for breaches, break-ins, and more.
Integrated security strategies work best. An integrated strategy is one that combines multiple approaches or applications. Having a system that safeguards credit card information, along with cameras and security guards would be a good example.
It’s great to see that so many companies have become privy to the importance of cyber security; the zero trust security model is becoming more and more popular. But physical security cannot be forgotten. In the event of a crime, security guards are the first to respond, and guards can be some of the most effective deterrents.
While any business can benefit from physical security, there are a handful of industries to which security guards are essential.
Banking and financial institutes
Banks have a lot of money on site, which is why they need several visible and hidden security features and procedures. Armed security guards may be necessary to deter criminals and/or combat armed robbers. Moreover, these professionals offer a sense of security to employees and customers.
Malls and retail stores
Uniformed security guards are an invaluable component of loss prevention strategy for retailers. Malls have tons of foot traffic (as well as exit points) and retail stores are highly susceptible to theft. In fact, retailers lose millions of dollars every year due to shoplifting.
In addition to positioning uniformed guards in strategic locations, larger stores can also create a more elaborate loss prevention strategy with “plain-clothed” guards to blend in with other customers.
Schools have an obligation to create and maintain a safe and secure learning environment for students, teachers, parents, and other staff members. While there is some debate about whether armed guards belong on campus, unarmed guards are more readily welcomed.
Guards who work in educational facilities can help to prevent fights from escalating, and can keep unauthorized visitors from entering the building. They can also accompany college-aged students or professors from a building to their dorm or vehicle late at night.
Hospitals, psychiatric wards, and other medical centers need security guards more than ever. There is a lot happening during the day and at night, and suspicious activity could easily go unnoticed. Furthermore, sometimes patients who are mentally unwell will attack staff members or other patients.
Guards who work in hospitals must be ready for almost anything. In addition to vetting and monitoring visitors, they are also expected to intervene if staff are being physically harmed or threatened by a patient. Guards working in these environments must be sympathetic and rational in order to properly defuse certain situations.
Assembly plants and warehouses can become targets of vandalism, inventory or equipment theft, and mechanical emergencies. Hiring guards with specialized warehouse training will minimize the issues listed above from occurring.
Security guards can help to direct traffic (both people and vehicles) since they will be deeply familiar with the facility. Some companies will even install discreet checkpoints so that security managers can create strategic routes for guards to follow while on duty. Patrol Points, for example, allows supervisors or managers to make and change routes, preschedule routes, and even add notes to specific checkpoints. Guards complete patrols using just their phones and the app. They can also create incident reports, add photos to checkpoints, and much more.
When security teams use a guard tour system, they are more likely to notice when something’s not right. The software system also allows for better communication and greater transparency.
Construction sites might now sound all that interesting, but the equipment, materials and large trucks can be very valuable. Sites are sometimes right beside busy sidewalks, making them vulnerable to trespassing, theft or vandalism. The results are delayed projects and/or significant revenue loss. Security guards can effectively protect assets and materials to ensure projects can be completed without unnecessary complications.
Like hospitals, there are always people coming and going at a hotel. Having trained security can help prevent unwanted guests from entering the building. They may also come in handy if guests are being too loud or rambunctious.
Going beyond security guards
If you believe your company needs better physical security, but you don’t know where to start, there are actually professionals who can perform security audits for you. The audit will identify your company’s security strengths and weaknesses, and help you figure out what steps to take next.
Not every company can afford to hire a security guard. That doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Companies may also consider:
Implementing access control
Access control is all about controlling who is allowed to enter a building, office or space. Going beyond the traditional lock and key, companies can look at fobs or ID cards, security alarm systems, and even apps that interact with access control software. Just make sure to remove access when a contractor, visitor or employee completes the job or leaves the company.
Creating a security culture
Security tools can make a big difference, but they are most impactful when combined with a team that values and cares about security procedures. Create clear, actionable policies that employees can follow, and make sure that the policies are explained. It’s not enough to send out an email or post a notice somewhere. Get new hires started on the right foot by properly briefing them about the company’s security policy on their first day.
Installing security cameras
Security cameras can be very effective in deterring crime. However, they work best when there is someone available to monitor them in real time. Otherwise, they’re only able to provide companies with evidence that a crime occurred.
Some people may be reluctant to post notices about the presence of security cameras, but they tend to have more of an impact when people know that they’re being recorded.
Your company should have a camera policy as well so that it’s clear to everyone why and how the cameras are being used. It should include clauses about who can review footage, where video data is stored, and for how long.
Virtually every company will benefit from having a security team on their side, but some businesses need these professionals more than others. Even having guards present on a part-time basis can make a real difference for customers, staff and the business.
Passionate Writer, Blogger and Amazon Affiliate Expert since 2014.