Components of Physical Security Control for Buildings

Components of Physical Security Control for Buildings

The three most essential components of your physical security control for offices and buildings are access control, surveillance, and security testing methods. While the other layers of physical security control procedures are essential, these three countermeasures are the most impactful in intrusion detection and threat mitigation. 

Access control

Securing your entries keeps unwanted people out and lets authorized users in. A modern keyless entry system is your first line of defense, so having the best technology is essential. 

There are a few different types of systems available; this guide to the best access control technology will help you choose the right plan for your building. The main things to consider in terms of your physical security are the types of credentials you decide if the system is on-premises or cloud-based and if the technology meets all your unique needs.

The most common are keycards and fob entry systems and mobile credentials for access methods. Some access control systems allow you to use multiple types of certificates on the same system, too. Access control that uses cloud-based software is recommended over on-premises servers for physical security control plans. Maintenance and system updates can be done remotely, rather than requiring someone to come on-site (which usually results in downtime for your security system). 

Cloud-based technology also offers great flexibility when it comes to adding entries and users, plus makes integrating with your other security systems much more accessible.

Surveillance tools

Surveillance is crucial to physical security control for buildings with multiple entry points. The most common type of surveillance for physical security control is video camera surveillance. 

Video management systems (VMS) are an excellent tool for surveillance, giving you visual insight into activity across your property. When adding surveillance to your physical security system, choose cameras appropriate for your facility, i.e., exterior doors will need outdoor cameras that can withstand the elements.

Consider the necessary viewing angles and mounting options your space requires for indoor cameras. Another consideration for video surveillance systems is reporting and data. To get the most out of your video surveillance, you’ll want to be able to see both real-time footages as well as previously recorded activity.

In physical security control, examples of video surveillance data use cases include running audits on your system. It provides video footage as evidence after a breach, using data logs in emergencies, and applying usage analytics to improve the function and management of your system. Suppose you’re using an open-platform access control system like Openpath. In that case, you can also integrate with your VMS to associate visual data with entry activity, offering powerful insights and analytics into your security system. Because Openpath runs in the cloud, administrators can access the activity dashboard remotely, and setting up new entries or cameras is quick and efficient.

Emergency preparedness and security testing 

Education is a crucial component of successful physical security control for offices. If employees, tenants, and administrators don’t understand the new physical security policy changes, your system will be less effective at preventing intrusions and breaches.

Once your system is set up, plan on rigorous testing for all the various types of physical security threats your building may encounter. It would be best to run security and emergency drills with your on-site teams and test any remote features of your physical security control. It makes sure administrators have the access they need to activate lockdown plans, trigger unlock requests, and add or revoke user access.

Communicating physical security control procedures with staff and daily end users will not only help employees feel safer at work. But, it can also deter types of physical security threats like collusion, employee theft, or fraudulent behavior if they know there are systems in place designed to detect criminal activity.


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