Low-Tech Threats: How Physical Security Measures Can Protect Your Business

Watchful IT


While high-tech cybersecurity measures are crucial for protecting businesses against cyberattacks, it’s equally important to address low-tech threats. Dumpster diving, mishandling sensitive documents, and careless storage of company badges or parking passes can put your business at risk. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of physical security and provide practical tips for employees and business owners to minimize low-tech hacking risks.

Secure Document Handling

Sensitive documents, if not properly managed, can expose your business to potential threats. To mitigate this risk, establish clear policies for handling, storing, and disposing of sensitive information:

  • Use secure storage, such as locked cabinets, for sensitive documents when not in use.
  • Implement a clean desk policy, requiring employees to clear their workspaces of sensitive information at the end of the day.
  • Shred sensitive documents before disposal to prevent dumpster diving and ensure that confidential information does not fall into the wrong hands.

Badge and Parking Pass Security

Company badges and parking passes can be targets for low-tech hackers seeking unauthorized access to your facilities or for reconnaissance. To minimize this risk, take the following precautions:

  • Encourage employees to keep their badges and parking passes on their person at all times, or store them in secure locations when not in use.
  • Advise employees not to leave badges or passes visible (when not necessary) in their vehicles, especially when parked in public or unsecured locations.
  • Implement a system for reporting lost or stolen badges and passes, and promptly deactivate and replace them.

Password Hygiene

Avoiding the use of physical reminders for passwords, such as sticky notes or writing them down, is a simple yet effective way to protect your business from unauthorized access. Encourage employees to practice good password hygiene by:

  • Creating strong, unique passwords for each account and changing them regularly.
  • Using a password manager to securely store and manage passwords.
  • Avoiding the use of easily guessable information in passwords, such as names or dates.

Be Aware of Reconnaissance Techniques

Low-tech hackers may use various reconnaissance techniques to gather information about your business. Train employees to be vigilant and report any suspicious behavior, such as:

  • Unfamiliar individuals attempting to gain access to restricted areas.
  • Strangers loitering around or taking photographs of your facilities.
  • Unexpected phone calls or emails requesting information.

Encourage a proactive security culture among employees by emphasizing the importance of reporting any unusual or suspicious activity. By adopting the principle ‘If you see something, say something,’ you can help ensure the prompt detection and mitigation of potential security threats.

Secure Workspaces

Ensure that your workspaces are physically secure, both during and outside business hours. Implement security measures such as:

  • Access control systems, such as keycards or biometric scanners, to restrict access to sensitive areas.
  • Security cameras and alarm systems to monitor and protect your facilities.
  • Adequate lighting and clear visibility around your premises to deter potential intruders.
  • Implement sturdy perimeter fencing to deter intruders and restrict unauthorized access to your business premises.

Employee Training and Awareness

Creating a culture of security awareness is crucial to protecting your business from low-tech threats. Regularly conduct security training for your employees, focusing on topics such as:

  • Identifying and reporting potential security risks.
  • Best practices for handling and disposing of sensitive documents.
  • Proper storage and management of company badges, parking passes, and other access credentials.


Protecting your business from low-tech threats requires a combination of physical security measures and employee awareness. By implementing policies for secure document handling, badge and parking pass management, password hygiene, and workspace security, you can minimize the risk of unauthorized access and safeguard your company’s sensitive information.

It’s important to remember that no security measure is 100% foolproof. However, by employing a defense-in-depth approach, combining multiple layers of physical and digital security, you can significantly enhance the protection of your business. Implementing a variety of security measures not only creates a more robust defense but also serves as a deterrent for potential threat actors. The mere presence of security barriers, access controls, and surveillance systems can discourage intruders from targeting your business, as they are more likely to seek out easier targets with weaker security.

Remember, a proactive approach to physical security is essential to maintaining a comprehensive defense against both low-tech and high-tech threats. By staying vigilant and encouraging employees to “Stay alert and speak up” when they spot suspicious activities, you can effectively reduce the risk of unauthorized access and protect your company’s valuable assets.