Layered Security: An Approach to Protecting Your People and Assets

By Tony Messerschmidt

Protecting people, assets, and facilities has become front and center for all types of organizations: hospitals, schools, government agencies, businesses, retail, and manufacturing facilities.

But when it comes to improving security, there are so many options to choose from – and so many places to start. Do you invest in surveillance? Access control? Intrusion detection? All three?

Here’s one smart way to approach it: Implementing layered security (protecting people and assets from the outside in) can be very beneficial.

How Layered Security Works

Starting at the perimeter of your property and working your way to the interior, there are opportunities to protect people and assets.

For example, at the edge of your property, your layered security could start by using:

  • Fencing to establish property boundaries
  • Barriers that restrict vehicle access
  • Surveillance cameras to record movement and vehicles
  • Intrusion detection to identify when someone tries to gain access into a protected area

Once someone approaches the building, the next layer of security could include:

  • Card readers that authenticate and allow entry
  • Additional surveillance cameras to track who’s entering and exiting
  • Secured entrances that require authorized access
  • Exterior lighting to eliminate dark or hard-to-see areas
  • Video analytics to help you quickly review the video content you capture
  • Intercoms at entrances that are capable of two-way communications
  • Zoned intercom or paging systems to make audible announcements to people inside

Then, depending on your core business and how the interior of your building is set up, you may want to provide additional security in specific areas, such as classrooms, data centers, or birth suites. That last layer of security could include more:

  • Card readers to prevent unauthorized access to specific rooms/suites
  • Surveillance cameras to track who’s entering and exiting
  • Intercoms with two-way communication options

The Importance of Assessing Risk

A risk assessment can help you identify the types of security-related threats you’re most likely to face, which will then help you tailor your layered security. To get started, ask yourself questions like:

  • How many entrances and exits does your facility have?
  • Is your space shared with any other organizations?
  • Do you have security policies in place – and do people follow them?
  • Are visitors accompanied by a staff member?
  • Does your building itself pose any inherent risks due to design or lack of maintenance?

Answering these questions will help you determine the types of threats you may face. From there, you can assess how likely you think each situation is – and the impact it would have if it did occur.

At the end of the day, layered security should be set up to deter access, delay access, detect access, and ultimately deny someone access to your people and assets.

Bandwidth Needs Intensify

In addition to more devices connecting to your network, there’s another factor that plays a role: the types of tasks being done on networks require more bandwidth than they used to.

People are no longer simply sending and receiving emails or attaching Word documents to share with colleagues. They’re capturing, storing, and sharing high-res images; streaming audio and video content (sometimes in real time); and even using web-based software to complete everyday tasks.

Training Employees to Achieve Better Security

Don’t forget to tap into your employees; they can serve as your organization’s eyes and ears. Creating a security mindset and providing education about the types of threats your organization may encounter – and how employees should respond – can truly make a difference.

Employees should also be encouraged to report anything concerning, whether it’s someone suspicious in the parking lot, a car that’s been idle on the street for too long, or a disgruntled employee who is behaving differently.

Improving your physical security through layered security can also improve your information security, too.

In some cases, preventing attackers from gaining entry can prevent them from accessing the data you don’t want them to have. Although we think of data breaches as happening via the network, they can also happen when unauthorized people gain access to employee computers or the IT area.

Embark can help you pinpoint where to begin when implementing layered security to protect people and assets. Questions? Send us a note!

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