Many organisations overlook physical security risks when dealing with network security. Networks primarily exist as a set of complex connections revolving around physical anchors such as hard drives and servers that hold sensitive data. These components are vulnerable to physical security breaches that can jeopardise the core of your business network.
Let’s take a closer look at the five ways physical security breaches can threaten your business.
Access to the server room
Server rooms act as the physical nexus of most business networks. Unauthorised access to server rooms by criminals can be extraordinarily harmful for businesses because it makes the entire network extremely vulnerable to security breaches. Remote access can be set up such that sensitive data can be retrieved and manipulated at any time and place; data can be transferred onto third-party devices; hardware can be sabotaged.
If robust security measures are not put in place for server rooms, unauthorised access to information can take place without being detected. Server rooms need layered security measures that can identify intrusions and raise alerts.
Unlike installing ransomware and spyware, smashing up hardware does not require much skill or effort, and has the lowest barrier to entry. Criminals’ carelessness and frustration often results in damage to equipment in the case of physical break-ins.
Servers and computers can also be vandalised, which can result in data loss and service downtime. While replacing the gadgets and equipment can be a burden on the organisation’s budget, the business also loses money because it is unable to conduct business activities.
If your devices are not broken, chances are they’re stolen. Laptops and hard drives are relatively compact and may carry sensitive information that can yield great benefits to the criminals. Stolen devices can be used to access private and classified information concerning employees, customers, partners and the company itself – a major blow to the organisation’s reputation.
Like damaged equipment, stolen hardware need to be replaced, which restricts business operations until the setup is restored. Backing up data is essential for data recovery; a significant amount of data can be lost if it is not backed up. Backups should be kept apart from the server room in safe locations or locked up with additional physical security to ensure they don’t get stolen or misused.
In physical security breaches, passwords can be stolen from computers if the user is logged in or keeps them saved on the device; they might also be stored in stolen computers or written down on paperwork. This can compromise personal data and enable criminals to use your account without your knowledge. Use strong and complex passwords and keep them secure.
Blow to business reputation
Business networks extend beyond computers and servers to include connections with stakeholders, partners and customers. Since privacy protection is a major concern for people, physical security breaches threaten your organisation’s reputation because customers and partners can lose their trust in you. This loss of trust can be amplified if the exact nature of a physical security breach cannot be determined by the organisation – “I don’t know” is not an acceptable answer when it comes to business!
Physical network security requires more than cyber security measures. Organisations need to ensure that every loophole that can possibly be exploited by criminals is addressed so that their business is protected from the inside out. Having locks within your building is very important. It creates multiple barriers to entry. The locks should be high quality and designed to withstand both violent entry and surreptitious methods of entry (lock picking, bump keys, shimming, etc.). Make sure that the lock installation is done correctly, as obvious physical security weaknesses present a greater possibility of internal threats. Network security takes more than just cyber security, so make sure you are as protected as possible.