Your businesses weakest security spots - by Waldon Security

What are the weakest security spots in your business?

When it comes to security systems we tend to focus on the locks we have, security alarms and cameras and perhaps our access systems. But it’s important to be aware of weak spots and to take simple steps to avoid anyone exploiting them.

Here are five security issues which many businesses tend to overlook.

1. Friendly staff

We all like to have friendly teams who welcome visitors and customers and who feel secure and safe in the workplace. Unfortunately, criminals who employ what is known as ‘social engineering’ tend to exploit this fact. Social engineering is where those with criminal or malicious intent use simple psychology to manipulate or trick others to breaching security rules. A simple example is where an individual might walk towards a secured entrance with a cup of coffee in each hand just as a staff member with legitimate access is going through. The natural thing for the genuine staff member is to hold the door open, and the criminal can enter the building and bypass security very easily this way.

Simple training about social engineering and notices reminding staff that everyone who goes through the door needs to use their ID card or pass code individually to get into the building can help here.

2. The photocopier

We’ve all done it. Gone to copy or scan and send documents and left them on the copier. Or, we’ve made a slightly crooked or an unwanted copy and left the document on the machine. It’s easy to do and while we are usually careful with very sensitive information, if someone wants to gain information that can assist in fraud or theft, it’s extremely easy to pick up this information from the photocopy machine. Even if documents do not hold all the sensitive information someone might need to breach security, enough information can be leaked via what is known as the ‘jigsaw effect’. On one day someone might leave a document with an individual’s personal email address, a few days later, someone might leave a document with that individual’s date of birth etc. 

Again training and signage to remind people to check the copier for documents is helpful. Also just position a recycling bin nearby with a reminder notice to always tear and recycle any unwanted copies of documents before they leave the area.

3. Messy desks

Sensitive information can not only assist individuals to carry out fraud, it can also be of value in its own right. For all of the above reasons, having a clear desk policy, where every individual puts documents into locked drawers if they leave their desk for any significant period of time is just a good security habit to get into.

It will also help to remind staff to put valuables such as phones, laptops and wallets away safely if this is a general practice in the workplace.

4. Staff ID cards

A casual approach to security is hard to combat, and if this is the case in the workplace, it’s very common for staff to leave ID cards unattended on desks or to lose them, or lend them to other staff members. This of course undermines any security system and process which a company might have invested in.

A new way around this nowadays, which is becoming increasingly affordable, is to invest in biometric elements such as fingerprint recognition for security systems.

5. Former staff members

Finally, a common factor in security breaches involves former staff members who still have access due to security protocols not being set up when they leave employment. As well as having the advantage of being recognisable to staff, former employees often retain ID and their passcodes may still work for some time before the security systems are updated.

The simple and important way to update this is to have a strong security policy and process in place when individuals leave employment, including removing security access for individuals who have left the organisation (even on friendly terms) and a keyholder policy which is updated quickly once employees leave, so that an individual cannot gain access once they no longer work for the organisation.

Find out what Devon and Cornwall Police have to say about prevention of crime within you business, click the link below:

If you’d like a review of your security systems, we’re happy to give you honest advice about what kind of security measures and systems you need to have in place. Call us on 01726 65636 or email us at 

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