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Cyber vs Physical Security: Advantages & Differences

Jun 21, 2020
Cyber vs Physical Security: Advantages & Differences

Nowadays, business owners and their IT departments have to think about security from both a physical and virtual perspective. On one hand, they have to invest in devices and systems designed to keep out intruders, as well as protect employees and property. In the same breath, effective internet security measures are required to prevent cyberattacks, which can be just as devastating as physical threats.

What are the main differences between these two types of business security systems? First, let’s look at the risks associated with both cybersecurity and physical security.

Cybersecurity Risks

The most common cybersecurity risks businesses face include:

  • Hacking
  • Data breaches
  • Data loss
  • Malware attacks / Denial of service attacks
  • Insecure APIs
  • Internet of Things (IoT) weak points
  • Insider information threats
  • Weak password breaches
  • Cloud storage misuse
  • Shadow systems

Cyber risks have become increasingly problematic in recent times, with ransomware among the many new threats faced by businesses. A recent report by Kaspersky, a well-known provider of cybersecurity products, revealed that 22% of small businesses suffered cyberattacks. For the UK and Ireland, the Infosecurity Magazine published findings that indicated 46% of firms made reports of suffering a security breach in 2017.

Physical Security Risks

When it comes on to physical security for commercial properties, the most common risks are:

  • Burglary and theft
  • Tailgating
  • Social engineering
  • Sabotage
  • Identity theft
  • Terrorism
  • Unauthorized access
  • Vandalism

Physical security risks have been a problem for a long time and still persist, even with the widespread availability of access control, business alarm systems, CCTV camera surveillance equipment. This is often due to a breakdown in security protocols or the lack of an adequate security system in place. Since the COVID-19 crisis, for instance, criminal gangs have burglarized dozens of empty commercial properties in Dublin, Ireland.

Should a company prioritize one form of security over another?

The short answer is NO. Cybersecurity and physical security are important and should be used together. Below are the main benefits of both.

Cybersecurity Benefits

As mentioned before, cyberattacks can be as dangerous and, in some cases, more costly than physical breaches. Here are seven benefits for companies investing in cybersecurity measures.

  1. Safe internet browsing: Most jobs require the use of the internet nowadays. This simple action can, however, cause viruses, malware, and other dangerous software to corrupt entire IT systems. Useful cybersecurity measures help to prevent this.
  2. Data protection: Protecting non-public data for customers, clients, and employees is of utmost importance because a data breach can damage a firm’s reputation and trigger revenue loss. In the Kaspersky report mentioned earlier, 60% of small businesses that experienced a cyberattack closed down with six months following the breach.
  3. Website protection: A denial of service attack or other website hack can also do serious harm to an organization’s ability to do business with customers. It is critical for firms to secure their website content using cybersecurity best practices and also having backup copies of their platforms.
  4. Spyware blocking: In addition to viruses and malware, spyware can also prove to be problematic and result in the theft of important information from a firm’s computer system. Everything from trade secrets and formulas to company operations and protocols can be spied on.
  5. Encourages productivity: Employees who have all the tools and are encouraged to follow cybersecurity protocols are able to do their jobs without worry. This can result in higher productivity, which is essential for business success.
  6. Promotes a safe working environment: A work environment that has effective cybersecurity solutions and practices implemented will allow all parties to feel safer when carrying out duties that require the use of digital equipment.
  7. Enhances customer confidence: More consumers are becoming more educated about safe online practices. As a result, customers are increasingly paying attention to how companies go about protecting their data and are more inclined to do business with those that are big on cybersecurity.

Physical Security Benefits

With commercial properties susceptible to numerous human risks, business owners also have to pay attention to physical security. Here are seven benefits of implementing this type of security.

  1. Restricting unauthorized access: One of the main reasons for businesses to install physical security systems is to prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing information and areas that are off-limits. Access control includes the use of CCTV cameras, intercoms, biometric scanners, and card readers to aid in the identification, permission, and rejection of people moving into and within a commercial property.
  2. Deterrent to physical breaches: Data breaches are not only online-based. Criminals can also target physical files and equipment that contain important information. Physical security systems and protocols help to deter such breaches.
  3. Helps prevent theft and burglary: People with criminal intent may be tempted to break in and steal everything from cash to machinery, which can result in huge losses to businesses. The use of CCTV cameras and burglar alarm systems go a long way in helping to prevent such events.
  4. Quick response to breaches: Every second counts when there is a suspected breach. Depending on your business security system setup, the police or security team can respond quickly to alarms. This can allow you to possibly catch perpetrators or avert an attack.
  5. Gives employees a sense of safety: Having access control, surveillance, and alarm systems in place can provide reassurance to workers that they are in a secure environment.
  6. Prevents lawsuits: In the event of a security breach, investigations are often carried out to determine the cause. Having functional security systems in place removes the burden of negligence that can result in lawsuits from affected customers and employees.
  7. Protects company property: Company property such as machinery and furniture can be expensive to replace if stolen or damaged. Surveillance equipment and business alarm systems help to discourage criminal minds who may want to steal or vandalize these physical assets.

As you will probably realize, both cybersecurity and physical security are important. Businesses, therefore, need to pay equal attention and allocate adequate budgets to both. There are many options available to assist you in addressing your cybersecurity needs. However, you need to ensure any company you use has a strong reputation in the field. As it relates to your physical security needs, such as access control, business alarm systems and CCTV camera surveillance, the Power Right Security team can help. With decades of experience, they can assist you with assessing, installing and maintaining your physical security system.

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