Top 10 Office Security Tips
1. Designate only a few employees that are allowed to open and lock your office at the start and end of the business day. Ideally, entrance doors should only be unlocked when someone is there to monitor who is coming and going. If your office is equipped with an access control system, the system should remain 'on control' until reception coverage begins. The system should then be put back 'on control' as soon as possible after reception coverage ends. Part of the closing procedure should include checking areas such as closets and restrooms where persons could hide. If it is necessary to accommodate employees arriving and departing before or after reception coverage, install electronic card access on one (or more) access doors.
2. Where electronic access control is in place, issue access cards on the basis of 'least access to perform a specific job function'. Twenty-four hour, 7-day-a-week access should only be assigned to employees who really require it as part of their job function. Delete missing, lost, or stolen cards immediately. At least annually, you should request employees to produce their assigned access card. Review access records regularly and follow-up on cards that are not used on a frequent basis. If cards cannot be accounted for, they should be deleted.
3. Request employees to wear their access cards as a method of making strangers stand out. To discourage unwanted visitors, install video surveillance systems at entrances.
4. To help prevent theft of proprietary information, a 'clean desk' policy should be
instituted. The use of a self-inspection checklist can encourage employees to keep their desks clean, and secure sensitive data when they leave their work area unattended.
5. Losses due to theft can be reduced by adhering to the following:
a. Encourage employees to only bring items to work that are replaceable and have no emotional value.
b. Purses left in unlocked, lower right hand drawers, and wallets left in unattended suit/coat pockets, are easy targets for 'sneak' thieves.
c. Wallets and purses should be kept in a locked metal drawer when unattended.
d. Lock-up the postage meter, check writer, and company check books when they are going to be left unattended.
e. If petty cash on hand is over $500.00, use money safe. Otherwise, use a metal cash box and lock it in a metal filing cabinet in the inner office at night.
6. Laptops and PC's are prime choices for thieves. Preventing computer theft begins with an effective reception security program to keep 'opportunistic' thieves and pre-attack 'probers' out. Where the use of a full-time receptionist cannot be justified, a restricted-use telephone, internal telephone directory, and appropriate signage should be located outside a suitable access door. Phone directories, which can be accessed by thieves, should not list job titles or departments. Criminals will often use the names of senior company officials to justify what they are doing. PC's in areas accessible to the general public, such as the mail room, reception, shipping/receiving etc., should be secured with cable locks or plate locks (preferable). Hopefully, this will give thieves the impression that all computers in the office are protected. Installing secure docking stations, on roller shelves that can be rolled into lockable furniture when the employee is leaving his/her work area, best protects laptops. If employees spend most of their time in the office, issuing them a PC instead of a laptop can mitigate the risk of laptop theft.
7.Keys should be stamped with a number and signed for when issued. At least annually, employees should be asked to produce the key(s) that they were originally issued/signed for. Issuance of 'master' keys should be kept to a minimum. Keys being issued to contractors and cleaners should be signed 'in' and 'out' on a daily basis. Where this is not practical, consider purchasing an automated key control cabinet.
8. When issuing access cards to contractors, they should be programmed to provide the' least access necessary to perform a specific job function'. For example, evening cleaners should typically receive cards that only work between 5:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Also, their cards should only work in a designated area or certain floors. When contractors' cards are not restricted, they become a major exposure if they become lost, missing, or stolen. Contractor cards that are being signed 'in' and 'out' should be audited daily.
9. Secure stairwells either by installing suitable electronic locking devices and card readers. Where cross-over floors cannot be 'maglocked', consider renovating the floor so that they are located outside of the protected area. Secured stairwells should be wired into your fire system to meet fire codes ensuring that they will unlock in case of fire.
Call NorthStar Security today to Schedule a free assessment of your business! 770-216-1997