Access Control

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Physical Security System

is your physical security system effective in protecting you from physical threats?

The role of a security system is to minimise risks and block potential threats.

But it’s not enough for physical security systems to simply do their job – for them to be effective, they must do their job well.

Many companies are unaware of how competent their existing systems are. With no visible profits or financial returns, it can be difficult to establish whether security controls are working efficiently.

But it can be done. And it’s actually pretty important to check.

Now that security programs have become an essential part of an organisation’s infrastructure, we’re helping you make sure your organisation utilises only the best security controls.

How to measure the effectiveness of your physical security controls

  1. Security audit
  2. Vulnerability assessment
  3. Interview stakeholders
  4. Assess incident response
  5. Create processes for future risk management

1. Security audit

A security audit allows you to determine your organisation’s system by checking it against an established set of criteria.

The steps to carry out a physical security audit are:

  • Establish clear goals – What are you trying to achieve? How will this be done?
  • Identify the size of your audit – On what scale will your audit be held?
  • Carry out the security audit – Assess all aspects of your system and identify potential threats.
  • Evaluate and manage risks – Evaluate the results and look at risk management processes.
  • Identify necessary changes – Which measures can you implement to strengthen your system?

2. Vulnerability assessment

A vulnerability assessment is an extension of your security audit.

Vulnerability scans allow you to identify flaws in your system. Not only are they extremely useful for identifying weaknesses, but the findings of a vulnerability assessment also make it clear which future actions should be taken to improve system efficiency.

For instance, let’s consider access control systems.

A vulnerability assessment may show that your organisation uses outdated access control methods, such as low-frequency proximity cards, that are susceptible to credential cloning.

After finding out this information, security personnel can implement a more secure access method, such as HID’s mobile access control solution. Mobile access uses advanced mobile technology that supersedes outdated physical security technology, thus protecting your company and data.

3. Interview stakeholders

Of course, it will mainly be security personnel dealing with security-related issues. However, that’s not to say that others should not be aware of the processes.

For example, asking employees for their input can help establish issues that may not necessarily be obvious to others. Furthermore, interviewing other stakeholders allows system administrators to compile in-depth information about their security systems.

This also allows employees to feel included in the process and enhances the importance of ensuring an effective system.

4. Assess incident response

Incident response is important to minimise the impact of breaches. The two main factors to consider in assessments are:

  • The time taken to respond to incidents
  • The amount of opened cases against pending and closed incidents

While most methods on this list help prevent breaches and incidents from occurring, assessing incident response will allow you to determine how effective your system is in dealing with incidents that have already happened.

5. Create processes for future risk management

All organisations should adopt a clear security infrastructure.

Doing so strengthens safety and makes security programs easier to manage. Additionally, adhering to clear processes results in a quicker recovery process if incidents do occur. It further provides companies with the necessary steps to protect their assets and keep attackers away.

And there we have it. Following the above steps will allow your to monitor the effectiveness of your security systems.

Now, let’s consider why it’s important to measure the effectiveness.

Why it’s important

Security personnel should regularly measure the efficiency of their organisation’s security systems. Here’s why:

  • To see if procedures are sufficient and are being used correctly. Security managers can also determine whether controls have been implemented incorrectly and fix any issues that arise.
  • Ensuring a highly effective security system reduces the likelihood of future threats.
  • Audit results ensure clarity, making it easy to understand if your security system is working.
  • This visibility ensures better communication throughout. For instance, there may still be no financial return or profit; however, the system’s capabilities are much clearer.

Helpful tip: Findings should be accessible whenever necessary to ensure complete efficiency.

Alongside this, it’s vital for security personnel to be aware of the potential methods an attacker could use to attack.

Potential physical security threats

Potential threats to your physical security system include:

  • Stolen credentials – If employees don’t look after their photo ID and access control cards, attackers could steal their credentials and cause harm. Therefore, regulations around cards should be made clear in your staff ID card policy.
  • Document theft – Attackers can gain access to documents via unattended computers.
  • Unaccounted visitors – It’s important to provide visitors and contractors with temporary ID badges or passes. This way, those without visible passes can easily be spotted and questioned.
  • Advanced threats – Advanced threats could potentially lead to a failed security audit.

If security personnel don’t implement the right physical security measures, the entire organisation is put at risk.

Let’s Recap

It’s essential for companies to regularly review the competence of their security systems. This allows them to understand potential threat levels and implement necessary changes to keep staff, documents and data safe from harm. Therefore, following the steps above lets organisations recognise the gaps in their existing physical security systems and identify how to strengthen them.

And if protecting your assets is important to you, you’re in luck. We can help.

The UK’s Leading Photo ID & Access Control Provider

With over 25 years of industry expertise, we can help perfect your physical security plan.

Give us a call on 0800 988 2095 to learn more about strengthening your access control system or upgrading your photo ID cards. With over 1,000 5* Trustpilot reviews and 30,000 happy companies, we’re always happy to help.

Alternatively, learn more by reading our informative mobile access eBook.