Many individuals and businesses, especially small businesses, have come around to understanding the importance of cybersecurity in modern times. If you’re not aware, then you need to understand that cybersecurity is an integral aspect of any business that uses data networks and online access for their business. And, of course, that includes practically every business.
However, there’s one overlooked aspect of security that can get left to the wayside, and that’s the physical aspect of cybersecurity. Password policies, network access restrictions, and good online practices are great and necessary. Nevertheless, protecting your hardware from theft, tampering, and physical infiltration is just as important.
What Does Physical Security Mean in Relation to Cybersecurity?
You don’t have to think too hard about what physical security means when it comes to cybersecurity. If your mind automatically went to locked doors, security personnel, and access controls, then you’re thinking of physical security correctly. In cybersecurity, the physical security aspects typically comprise access controls, monitoring, and surveillance.
Why Is Physical Security Important in Cybersecurity?
It’s easy to see what makes physical security important for businesses. Many of today’s businesses have grown increasingly dependent on data networks and near-constant internet connectivity. This is especially true with the growth of and increasing reliance on cloud computing.
All the systems used to access those data networks and internet connections have physical, hardware components. Your hardware contains all your data or access to all your data. If your hardware isn’t protected, then none of your data has protection.
You can, and should, put great effort into software-based protection and human education on keeping data secure. Still, none of it will matter if someone can simply access your server physically and gain access to your data directly. This shows how physical security works as a fundamental part of cybersecurity and not something separate from it.
Equally, if your business contracts with a provider of network solutions or a cloud computing service, then it’s imperative you make sure they’re doing their part to physically protect their important systems as well.
If your server sits in a cage at a data center, all this advice about physical security applies as well. Don’t just assume these third-party services are doing what they should, make sure of it. A breach at a data center or colocation is still a breach of your business data.
What Type of Physical Security Should a Business Consider?
There is no single solution with physical security. What you implement will depend on the needs of your business, your budget, and what’s feasible. Some general physical security solutions that any business can implement include things like access control systems, monitoring, and surveillance. The classics still work well for physical security, such as locked doors and cabinets.
For a smaller business, it can help to have some sort of monitoring feature on the area that leads to your server or other hardware. Limiting access to only those who need access to the server area can also help. For a larger business or one that has to deal with highly personal data, the physical security measures should also increase.
Consider full security solutions that can include access monitoring, systems monitoring, a full surveillance system or third-party surveillance monitoring, intrusion alarms, and even security guard services.
It may seem like a lot, but you must weigh the potential risks if you suffer a loss or theft of data. Security is an investment and not one you should take lightly. This applies to both cybersecurity and the physical security that should go along with it.
What Situations Can Lead to a Need for Extra Physical Security?
Some situations can require you to employ a single or temporary-use security solution. For example, if you have guests or you’re hosting an event at a facility where you also keep important infrastructure hardware, you should also have extra physical security. It’s not out of the question to add security patrol services to help safeguard access to your facilities and your important hardware when necessary.
Anytime there’s a chance of someone other than you or your designated team touching your important hardware, then that’s a time to add additional security measures. If you’re ever in doubt, all you need to do is a simple assessment:
- What do you need to protect?
- What types of threat actors do you need to protect those things from?
- What are the chances of a threat actor accessing what you need to protect?
- What would happen if a threat actor accesses what you’re protecting?
By answering these questions, you can start toward a path of cybersecurity and physical security protocols that will help keep your important information safe.
Those protocols may include adding additional security features, implementing a wide-scale data protection policy, or various other security solutions. In the end, it will depend on the needs of your business, but it’s never too early to make physical security decisions.