How to keep your wholesale or retail premises secure

Over recent years, there’s been a massive push to get companies to invest in robust digital security. On the one hand, this is perfectly understandable given that cybersecurity is the “new frontier” for companies and is therefore the area where there is likely to be the steepest learning curve.

On the other hand, it is rather unfortunate that this emphasis on digital security has taken the spotlight off physical security not only because good digital security actually starts with good physical security but also because the real world still has many “old-school” threats which can only be addressed by physical security.

Theft and tampering, the main threats to any modern wholesaler or retailer

In the old days, most security was about deterring thieves and hence protecting the staff who legitimately handled the goods. This is still a concern, however, these days, tampering is also an issue.

This may be as a political statement or intimidation tactic, but it may also be as a stupid prank for social media. For example, the U.S. recently saw a wave of people opening ice cream tubs, licking the contents and then closing the tubs and putting them back in the freezer.

This particular “viral prank” appears to have stopped, probably thanks to the police taking real-world action against the “jokes”, but it is entirely possible that it will simply be replaced by another one in the due course of time.

No amount of cyber-security will protect against these sorts of threats, but good physical security can be a very effective deterrent.

The number one rule of security – secure your perimeter

The fewer people can get access to an area, the fewer people are able to cause problems for you. Physical security and traffic barriers at the perimeter of your premises allow you to control who comes in and out of it.

They deter opportunists and prevent genuinely accidental trespass. Modern external security systems are both affordable (even for SMEs) and easy to use (ditto).

How to choose an external security barrier

The choice of the right external security barriers will usually start with three questions:

What can I actually fit in my space (given the need for legitimate access)?

What can I afford?

How much security do I actually need?

It’s advisable to approach the questions in this order, since it immediately focuses you on what you can actually do within your space and if you learn that you cannot implement sufficient security for your needs, then the best solution would be to move your business to another location where you can (even if this is a short-term inconvenience).

After this, it is recommended to think about what sort of staff requirements you will have for your increased security. The good news here is that it is increasingly possible for security to be managed remotely, at least to some degree. For example, you could use a robust wall (or even a fence) with an electric security gate, which could be monitored with CCTV and an intercom and operated from a control room. Similarly speed bumps, rising kerbs and road blockers all require minimal to no human intervention.


Latest Issue

BDC 311 : Dec 2023