The 3 Levels of Exposure: Part 1 of 3
If your main theft concern is, well, not much concern at all, then you're considered to be in a low level threat environment. A "green zone", as I like to call it, has very low exposure, meaning your equipment did not cost an arm and you're not worried about it growing legs. In laymen's terms, your equipment is relatively inexpensive, your data is not highly-classified, and you trust everyone that has access to it. There's no public contact or high foot traffic. If you've ever told a co-worker that the key to the lock box was "on that table over there", then it's safe to say you're green.
Don't think you're in the clear, just because you're in the "green zone". Even in a low level threat environment, there's still some threat. How many years have you been using that "key on the table over there"? How many people have joined your team, used "that key", and then left? Did they all leave on good terms? Let's hope so. Because all it takes is one disgruntled employee and one key to turn your business upside down.
Have I scared you a little? Are you still in the "green zone" or just sick to your stomach? Let me alleviate some of that stress; I like being the good guy better. Let's say that key has been around for years, but have all your co-workers? If they have, then you haven't had the chance for your system to be compromised.
Now let's say that people have come and gone, may they be students, interns, not-quite-right-for-the-jobbers, whatever. Most of these people are honest people (or you wouldn't have hired them in the first place), but they have all had access to your key, which leaves your security system more and more vulnerable over time. Once you have used a particular key number for a few years, you should seriously consider switching it up. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that you change out all of your existing locks, but I would suggest that any upcoming purchases be made on a different keying system, to lessen future exposure.
Just for kicks, let's say that you're not worried that someone has stolen or copied a key. But, your main concern is how fast your organization is growing. (That's a concern we'd ALL love to have.) Now you don't have to secure just one department, but two or three. And maybe even multiple floors or buildings. It's not just your territory that triples, you're concerns should as well. If you have three times the locks and three times the keys, you have three times the chance of being exposed. The easy way to get the odds in your favor? Key things by group. Each department, floor, building, etc. has its own special key. So if one key gets compromised, only a fraction of the locks will follow suit.
The best way to secure your equipment is to educate yourself. Understand all of the different options that are available to you for keying your locks. Create a maintenance and accountability plan for your locks and keys to ensure they are properly maintained. Train your employees to be accountable to the security solutions you have implemented. In the event of a security breach, develop a solid backup plan to control the amount of loss or damage.
Check back soon for our midlevel security threat explanation.
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