In 2016, keeping your business premises, employees and company data safe is about much more than just installing a few CCTV cameras and locking up as you leave. Security has gone through major changes, and you’ll need to adapt your security measures accordingly. Here are the key things your business will need to do to keep safe in 2016.

Shifting sands

With globalisation and the shift to a knowledge economy, many businesses have faced tough security challenges over the past few years. Business premises are no longer the perimeter of a business’s security strategy; new strategies are needed to cope with an increasingly complex world of security interactions and threats.

Getting the basics right

Despite the evolving nature of security, it is worrying how many companies don’t even get the basics right, and fail to secure their business premises. This leaves many companies vulnerable to opportunist criminals. Locking up should be an absolute priority, not an afterthought. Have the locking up procedures clearly defined in your health and safety policy, induction procedure and training manual: this will save you plenty of headaches down the line. Make sure you include the following:

  • Key locations and key-holders
  • Alarm codes and activation instructions
  • Alarm emergency procedure
  • Emergency exits
  • Alternative points of entry: windows, back doors
  • Security lighting
  • Security staff contact details & responsibilities

Make sure you service your locks regularly and get a key safe from Fast Keys to store pooled keys. Often human error creeps into security procedures when people are allowed to lock up without proper training. Here are some common security breaches:

  • Tired lone worker– allowing people to stay on late to work often means they will be locking up alone late at night, and possibly even doing so for the first time unsupervised. Consider carefully what you stand to gain (and to lose) from this practice.
  • Contractors– giving responsibility for locking up to an outside contractor is a risky business.
  • Unclear chain of command– room for ambiguity in your locking up procedures will lead to fatal errors like people not locking the back door because they thought “someone else was doing it”.

Data security

The next major liability will be company data, whether it’s stored in a filing cabinet or behind a firewall. There are many different techniques you can use to protect sensitive data, such as data encryption or shredding of confidential waste. As with everything, there are scales of protection when it comes to data, but larger organisations should have specialist data security officers.

Though some data security measures may feel time-consuming, they are absolutely vital. A data breach is both expensive and extremely detrimental for customer and shareholder confidence.

Cyber security

Hacking is one of the number one threats to healthy business, and even huge security budgets won’t keep keen individuals from getting in and compromising your corporate security. 2015 was the year of the hacking scandal as business after business was hit by large breaches of their IT systems, from Ashley Madison to Sony and JPMorgan. The UK government has made their stance on cyber security for businesses clear, but what we are seeing in 2016 is ever blurring lines between cyber, online, physical and data security. Increasingly, there are concerns over cyber-attacks being perpetrated via physical security networks, as well concerns about the vulnerability of most mobile devices.

In 2016 businesses are going to have to integrate their cyber security with the rest of their security plans to try to stay one step ahead of the hackers.

Surveillance & privacy

Surveillance has increasingly become a part of everyday life, and despite some people’s fears of Orwellian dystopia, it is largely accepted. Surveillance at work is no longer limited to just the odd grainy CCTV recording, but can include monitoring employee internet history, email records and keystrokes.

The major issue with collecting surveillance data is storing that data and adhering to privacy laws in storage and retrieval. This is something that is going to be increasingly contested and challenged in 2016.  The counterargument to this will be that corporate security must deal with insider threat robustly, as security breaches often originate inside a business.

Rise of new tech

The days of the secure key card might be over. Robert Fee from Norwegian security firm Zwipe AS tells us how “Organisations that continue to utilise yesterday’s card technology are opening themselves to security breaches by simply doing what they have been doing the past 20 years”.  Where technology is headed is two-factor biometric authentication which uses people’s fingerprints as well as a password or PIN.  No longer just for sci-fi and action films, doors that open with a press of your finger are here to stay.

Camera technology has made huge advances in the last few years, and having better quality footage is making a big difference. Cameras in 2016 will capture more detailed pictures, increase their ranges, last longer and take up less space and energy.

Drone technology is one of the most hyped industry technologies of 2016, and corporate security is no different. Drones have already been used by the military and security services for years; and now drones could supply business premises with low cost radar and monitoring too.

Synchronised, predictive security

Security in 2016 will be all about integrating departments to achieve real security synergy. This in turn will lead to a better understanding of how to predict threats, not just react to them. The days of reactive security are not over, but predicting threats through data patterns is an exciting development in corporate security.

Risk management in an unsure world

Financial risk management is a big buzzword in corporate security. Reuters recently released this video on how investors were reacting to security in 2016; showing how an increasingly volatile world impacts financial markets. The challenge for corporate risk management in 2016 will be to reassure investors and shareholders; showcasing adequate corporate security will be a big part of that.

What are your predictions for corporate and business security in 2016? How will you keep your business

premises safe?