Safe as Warehouses
Having just exited Cyber Security Awareness Month - October 2022 - narrowly coinciding with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the UK, Singles Day in China, as well as accommodating the build-up to the festive eCommerce demand, it is no wonder that this is the perfect time of year to be assessing your in-house and outsourced security measures for integrity and reliability.
Whilst physical security measures continue to be important, technology is the crucial core of all facility operations. So, this quarter, with all things digital pushed to the forefront of importance, and eCommerce activity at an all-time high, SCN wants to take the time to review just what you should be doing to ensure ongoing warehouse safety, robust processes, and of course, managing your vital, successful order fulfilment during this busy period.
To scope this review, an annual audit is a good place to start to assess the systems you use, whether updates are required and to help you identify any potential new aspects of the business that you may need to protect.
Secure your Data
You will hold a variety of different types of confidential information, all from different sources. Whether it be personal employee data or financial data, this needs to be protected by both general data protection regulations (GDPR), and ideally, further strengthened by additional measures such as company policies, for example, industry-standard centralised compliance like Security Operation Centre (SOC).
A good first protective method is to ensure that access to sensitive data is restricted, and only authorised persons and provided permissions to view confidential information. This way, data can be protected not only company-wide, but also kept private inter-departmentally, and avoids breaches like data potentially being exposed to unauthorized users.
Methods like setting strict network permissions for confidential folders, password-protected files, and companywide password managers such as LastPass can make great secure additions to bolster potentially vulnerable business data.
Physical entry, ID badges, and Passcodes
A more physical than digital approach, this measure ensures that only authorised persons are granted access to your facility site, and therefore prevents any data breaches from being initiated from untrustworthy, external sources.
Warehouses, by their nature, receive and distribute goods each day, whether it be for manufacture or shipping. This means that managing the people who enter your facility is vital. While initial screening of staff before hiring can be a good first step to minimising company threats, additional measures such as managing all visitors and staff by operating diligent sign-in processes and alongside name badges can help you identify who has authorised access to be on-site, and their designated tasks.
Larger organisations may find it easier to differentiate between staff and delivery drivers and visitors, by providing employees with an easily recognisable uniform, or lanyards and badges that need to be always visible and present while on the company site.
Software Updated and Systems Protected
Maintenance is just as essential as the initial installation of your security systems. Without following the regular and mandatory software updates, leaves patches open and vulnerable to being compromised. In the best case scenario, your data is stolen, but you have backups. Worst case, your company experiences a breach that not only steals data, and denial of service, and but also puts up a hefty paywall for its return, or data is lost forever.
While measures like firewalls are vital in business and can go some way to fortifying your systems when needed, malicious attacks like ransomware and malware can continue to threaten your business. Implementing thoroughly password-protected databases and security integrity throughout your business is the first step to minimising the risk of security violations.
Despite all precautions, digital attacks, can still pose a threat. In any case, it is also, therefore, vital to have sound business continuity plans in place. These could look like data backed up on hard drives, documents printed to refer to when they cannot be accessed online, and informing staff thoroughly of the correct processes and procedures should such an incident arise.
Smoke, Mirrors, Security Cameras, and Alarms
Physical and internal safety measures in your facility should also not be overlooked. Literal and figurative blind spots in business and on-site can intensify the likelihood of the occurrence of fraudulent behaviours and heighten company vulnerability. Any measures from mirrors and cameras to alarms can deter when blind spots are being exploited.
Some companies may also opt for external measures such as physical security, with guards employed to patrol premises and report any suspicious activity. Guards can also act as a deterrent and often prevent security breaches from occurring in the first instance and report anything that looks questionable and against company policy.
Stay Safe and Cyber Secure with SCN
As many changes across all sectors continue to develop, the supply chain industry is also constantly adapting as best it can to much-needed - yet as recently unprecedented - technology and labour shifts. Experts in all aspects of warehouse and network design, The SCN team understands the importance of remaining protected and up to date with all new technological development in what is a very dynamic industry.
Specialists in Warehouse Design and Fit-Out, the SCN team can help you reach your facility’s fulfilment potential in 2022 and beyond. Visit www.scnuk.com to learn about the work that we do and to ensure you are ready, and future-proof and secure your business plans and warehouse design. We work with our clients and ask questions about their supply chain at all levels. Email: email@example.com or call: 01529 455340
*All images soucred from Pexels