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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

Office Security: Protecting Your Commercial Property

by Hugo Reed October 11, 2017
Office Building Entrance

Commercial security is often overlooked in comparison to automotive security and home security. I believe the main reason behind this is simply the fact that people prioritize other things over commercial security. More often than not, personal preference is the deciding factor for what gets prioritized and what doesn’t. When this happens, commercial security is usually left on the bottom rung, even in the minds of some business owners.

Truth be told, commercial security might be slightly more complicated than home security or automotive security. The reason being that when it comes to commercial property and businesses, there are a lot more moving parts that have to be accounted for and weighed. Even if it is only small business security, there are many factors to consider. This simply means that businesses owners have the potential to be much more vulnerable where commercial security is concerned.

At times it can be tricky because you might be unsure of where to start, but as always we are here to help. The first step in learning how to properly implement office security and learning how to protect your commercial property is being able to identify the threats to your commercial property. Here’s what you need to know and here is how a commercial locksmith can help:

Office Security Threats

When you are discussing commercial security and building security threats, it is important to take the time to analyze all your weak spots. Weakness come in all shapes and sizes for businesses of every caliber. Even small business security is likely to have some weaknesses. It might sound like overkill or extreme paranoia, but being able to identify your vulnerabilities and meet them head on is the key to success.

This type of commercial security is usually accomplished by performing a security audit which helps you take all of your potential threats into account. I have always found that information can be absorbed easier if it is broken down, so I will take the time to split office security threats into two sections.

These sections will discuss internal building security threats and external building security threats. Each of these aspects impacts office security in a different way so it is important to outline the threats they may pose. This will allow me to explain the necessary business security solutions that will help you minimize these threats and enhance your office security.

Internal Office Security Threats

  • Employee TheftEmployee theft is a common internal office security threat that many companies face on a daily basis. As I mentioned earlier on, one of the many hurdles of commercial security is the fact that there are so many moving parts that you have to consider. Even if the discussion was centered on small business security, there would still be a considerable number of things that you have to take into account. Employees will have more access to your business and your commercial property than just about anyone, so it is important to make sure that your employees are not making your business vulnerable. There are many companies who are seemingly unaware of the threat that employees can pose to office security and commercial security. This is not to say that every employee is a security risk, but it is still better for building security to be safe rather than sorry.
  • Negligence – No one ever really likes to say this, but negligence is a big part of the reason why office security is sometimes jeopardized, and why property and lives are put at risk. In addition to your employees, negligence is another internal building security threat that is often overlooked, or swept under the rug. Negligence can occur on the part of the employer or the employee. In this case, it is a two-way street and both parties need to ensure that they are being kept on their toes in order to ensure that office security is not adversely affected. In this instance, negligence refers to oversight and people not taking the proper time and care to carry out security procedures that are meant to boost business security. Negligence is easier to detect if you are focused on small business security, and gets harder to address as a company grows. This will be discussed further in the sections below.
  • Lack Of Proper Security Maintenance – In some cases, offices will have security measures implemented that are meant to enhance their business security. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing, but failing to properly maintain these security measures is not. It is one thing to implement effective security measures, and it is another thing altogether to properly maintain these security measures. Being able to properly maintain your security measures is a clear indication of just how long they will be able to last. It is also a factor in determining how effective they will be at preventing unauthorized actions and protecting your commercial property. It is crucial for businesses to have systems in place that allow them to constantly check up on the way their measures are holding up over time. As I mentioned above, security audits are extremely helpful for tasks such as this. Business owners can take a cue from the playbook of homeowners who use security audits to strengthen their home security.
  • Lack Of Security Training – Security training should go hand in hand with security maintenance, but in most cases, it does not. I think it might even be safe to say that security maintenance gets much more attention than security training. If you’re wondering how proper security training helps boost office security and help protect your commercial property I will explain. As I mentioned earlier on, there are a lot of moving parts that have to be factored in when you are talking about business security. This means that there are essentially more present vulnerabilities and points of access for criminals to exploit. This is the reason why it is crucial for every employee to be well versed in security protocols so that there are no weak links. There will be very little use in having a robust security plan in place if your employees cannot even properly execute it.
  • Subpar Verification – Verification methods are crucial to internal office security because you want to prevent people from gaining unauthorized access. Access control can even be an issue for small business security, but there will be less protocols involved in finding a solution. Some of the best solutions to this issue come in the form of electronic locks and biometric locks. Without having the proper verification methods in place, your commercial property can be put at risk. This is especially important for offices that have a large number of employees as well as a large number of clients that they might meet on a daily basis. If you are working with more people, you want to make sure that you have adequate physical and cyber verification methods in place to prevent or minimize the extent of any wrongdoing.

External Office Security Threats

  • Lack of Perimeter Security – Perimeter security is a crucial factor that has to be addressed anytime you are talking about office security or business security solutions. The perimeter of your commercial building is the first line of defense for building security and commercial security. Many commercial buildings use gates to fortify their buildings. Without a secure perimeter, everything else in your commercial property has the potential to be put at risk. There are many people who often forget to factor in a secure perimeter into their building security because they are so focused on other facets of commercial security. A secure perimeter equates to a much more secure building security protocol.
  • Lack of Equipment Security – Not all commercial properties keep their equipment inside like offices commonly do. There are many companies who use other forms of equipment on a daily basis, and these can range from forklifts to company cars. In terms of small business security, there may be one or two high priced pieces of equipment that company actively uses. It is crucial to make sure that these kinds of assets are kept secure when they are stored on your commercial property. It is best to have a business security solution in place that caters to external assets that cannot be stored inside. Even if there is adequate perimeter security in place, the fact that something might be stored in the open makes it vulnerable. As such, companies have to outline measures that should be used to rectify these situations.
  • Lock Vulnerabilities – Commercial properties utilize locks just like the average homeowner does. After all, you want to be able to have a business security solution in place that prevents anyone from walking into your property and damaging it, or making off with something that does not belong to them. It is crucial to make sure that you are using the right locks so that your building security is not vulnerable, as opposed to helping you out. There are some brands that security experts prefer over others, so make sure you take the time to do the adequate research. The lock can pose a danger if it is installed in the wrong way, or if an incorrect lock is used. Also, if a commercial grade door lock is improperly maintained, there is an increased chance that the lock will be more susceptible to damage as time goes by.
  • Lighting – Lighting is often grouped in with perimeter security, but I decided to tackle it on its own because I believe that it needs some more light shed on it (see what I did there?). Exterior lighting is important to companies that want to ground their commercial security and building security. Many burglars and criminals prefer to operate under the shroud of darkness, especially when it comes to commercial properties. This is mostly because they know that most businesses are closed for the day and that there is no one around. If your commercial property has poor exterior lighting, you are placing your employees, clients and your property at risk. Lighting may sound more like a decorative add-on, but it is an essential part of effective business security solutions.

How To Protect Your Commercial Property

Office Access Control

We have talked at length about some of the threats that office security faces on a regular basis, but who would I be if I only left it at that. It helps to be able to identify the vulnerabilities and flaws that you might face, but being able to do so is rather pointless if you do not know how to adequately combat the issues that you face.

1. Risk Assessment

Many people are familiar with the term risk assessment, but very few take the time to figure out what it actually entails, and what it demands. Essentially, a risk assessment simply involves taking the time to conduct an evaluation of your company so that you can identify its weak points and work to rectify them. If you recall, I mentioned that earlier on in the post before I began to discuss the different threats that companies face.

Please keep in mind that the threats discussed above are not a form of risk assessment. The types of risks that companies face vary a great deal, so it is important to make sure that you conduct a risk assessment that is tailored to your company. This risk assessment should focus on the vulnerabilities that are apparent to you, and your staff, so that you can put measures in place to negate these vulnerabilities.

2. Implement Maintenance Schedules

Even the best commercial security plans require proper maintenance. This is where the use of maintenance schedules come into play. These kinds of schedules can be utilized by companies to ensure that they are always on top of things and it helps ensure that no security maintenance goes undone. A maintenance schedule should be adhered to, and it is something that both the employer and employees can get involved in. At the end of the day, it helps protect your commercial property and it makes it a much more safe and secure working environment for your employees.

3. Perform Security Audits

A security audit is somewhat similar to a risk assessment, except for the fact that it narrows in more on the security aspect of things. In the process of performing a security audit, it is crucial to pay close attention to the way in which your security interacts with the various types of threats it is meant to guard against.

This is one of the best ways (and opportunities) to see whether your security is holding up, and it also gives you the opportunity to adjust anything that proves to be a weakness and a vulnerability. Any company that is even remotely serious about building security should take the time to perform a thorough security audit. Security audits also allow you to pick out the weak points in your office security, which then helps you effectively fortify the sectors where security may be lacking.

4. Install Access Control Systems

The great thing about access control systems is that they can be used to combat both internal office security threats and external building security threats. They are great tools that can be used to limit the access that people have to certain items and areas, and they can help you keep your property much more secure. Additionally, access control system allows you to introduce security hierarchies (similar to master key systems) into your commercial property, and they also help you track the way people interact with certain spaces.

This feature helps commercial properties better protect their assets, and it also helps in tracking down any wrongdoing that might have occurred. It enhances the manner in which businesses can restrict and grant access to their commercial property, and it also allows you to handle multiple access points in a much more efficient way.

5. Security Training

As I mentioned earlier on, security training is important for companies, from both the standpoint of the employee and the employer as well. No matter how much you try to plan for eventualities and vulnerabilities, you are only as strong as your weakest link. This is the reason why it is crucial to ensure that all your employees are well versed in your business security protocols. This will ensure that they are not carrying out any actions that will potentially jeopardize your commercial property and building security.

Training should be an integral part of your company and it should be undertaken by all employees and staff members, from security guards to administrators. Security training is a great asset to help keep your commercial property well protected. Proper security training should cover the protocols that are necessary for protecting commercial property during any number of possible outcomes.

6. Increase Perimeter Security

Perimeter security is one of the most important aspects of properly protecting your commercial property. This is simply because your perimeter is your first line of defense. The same way a homeowner won’t leave their front door vulnerable, commercial property owners and business owners should not leave their building security to chance. There is no universal solution to perimeter security since all office buildings vary in some way shape or form. It is important to take the layout of your building into account so that you can choose a business security solution that is appropriate for you.

In designing your perimeter security, you should not only pay attention to the way employees and patrons access your property, but you should also be cognizant of the ways a burglar might attempt to access your building. Essentially, you want to fashion your external perimeter security in a manner that determines any criminal action without sacrificing the ease of access that your employees and staff have to the premises. In the sections below I will talk about some solutions that can be implemented as part of building security.

7. Utilize Proper Lighting

Proper lighting is an integral part of office security and it should be implemented as a part of perimeter security, as well as internal security. Commercial properties can take advantage of motion sensor floodlights as well as other forms of general lighting. Motion sensor floodlights should be tacked on when you are designing your perimeter security because they help get rid of some of the blind spots that criminals and burglars might try to take advantage of.

It is always best to pair these motion sensor floodlights with general lights that help illuminate parking areas or other open spaces that might be around your building. Motion sensors are a bonus because they are triggered by motion to turn on, which increases the possibility of catching a burglar off guard. For internal purposes, lighting should be installed in areas of the commercial property that are not well lit, but that still receive a considerable amount of foot traffic. Examples of these places include stairwells and hallways that may lead between different parts of a building.

8. Install Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras go hand in hand with proper lighting and perimeter security. However, they should also be used for the interior of commercial buildings to help increase building security. Surveillance cameras affect security in multiple ways and each of these aids in the improvement of building security. For instance, the presence of security cameras within an office will help deter theft by employees and patrons alike.

This will mean that there is now a much smaller chance of your commercial property being stolen or damaged. However, if some wrongdoing is committed, the presence of a surveillance camera makes it much easier to track down the responsible parties. There are many benefits to using surveillance cameras within commercial properties, and most of these benefits are geared toward protecting your commercial property. These benefits range from being able to monitor situations and act accordingly, to being able to gather evidence of any wrong acts.

9. Security Guards

Security guards help enforce perimeter security and they are also instrumental at making sure nothing goes wrong with the property in general. Not only are they meant to enhance perimeter access and verification methods, but they can also be used to keep tabs on the commercial property and ensure that nothing is awry. It might help to think of security guards as the physical embodiment of all your physical security measures. They will be able to spot things that inanimate security measures will not, and they will also be able to assess and judge situations much better than any other security measure. However, do not be fooled into thinking that security guards are the only security measure you need. If you have security guards, they will amount to very little without proper training and a system of great security measures around them.

10. Upgrade to Commercial Door Locks

The importance of commercial door locks cannot go unsaid. There were several early moments within this article where I compared their importance to house door locks. The reason is that although the perimeter is the first point of access, your door locks are the cornerstone of your office security. If there were no door locks in place to bar access or grant access, then all the other aforementioned security measures will hardly be important.

Although I did compare these entities several times, there should be no mistake that commercial grade door locks are different than residential door locks, and any locksmith will tell you as much. Commercial grade door locks are built to last longer, due to the fact that they normally come into contact with more people. This means that they deal with much more foot traffic, which equates to more rotations and cycles by the door lock, so it has to be built to last much longer than regular house locks would.

Also, many commercial door locks have built in measures that make it much more difficult for burglars and criminals to bypass them. Many of these locks are anti-bump locks as well as anti-pick and snap proof. In choosing your commercial door locks you should pay attention to the various access points that your building security has. Remember that almost every access point will need a lock, and this goes for offices, emergency exits and gates alike.

You will have to take into account the medium that the lock is being used with, as well as the manner in which that particular access point is used. It is important that you do not use the wrong lock. Ideally, you would be best suited to install grade 1 commercial locks on your doors with some variation between the interior and exterior doors. By this, I mean that you should consider using keyed locks for internal purposes and keypad door locks for most exterior locks. This allows you to hone in on access restrictions on the inside of your commercial property which will help you better guard assets like server rooms etc.


Protecting your commercial property is no easy task, and that is something I have tried to point out since the beginning of this post. However, the fact that there are so many bases to cover does not make it impossible, it simply makes it slightly challenging. If you follow the steps listed above you should be able to navigate your way through identifying your threats and then promptly securing them. Office security is important and not just as a measure for deterring damage or theft of your property, but also as a measure of keeping people safe.

Category: Commercial, How To's, Safety & Security

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