The award-winning Store & Secure business that operates in Bournemouth and Basingstoke is serious about its security.
That is why its Associate Director Lucy Maidman contacted leading cyber-security firm C3IA Solutions to ask for assistance.
Little did she realise how thorough and in-depth the service would be, and her company is now enjoying the fruits of a Security Management Partnership (SMP).
Not only does the cyber service include the digital and electronic side of security, but also the physical security and staff training.
“I didn’t understand at first how much C3IA Solutions could do for us,” said Lucy.
“We agreed a bespoke 12 month plan which we have now extended, and having C3IA Solutions as a partner has given us great reassurance.
“It is also a service that adds value to our business and we are proud to tell customers about it and it gives them added peace of mind.
“Our business is about keeping people’s possessions safe in our storage units while also allowing customers free access to them.
“And while our procedures have always been robust we wanted assistance with our whole security strategy.”
James Moos from C3IA Solutions said: “It is good to work with a business that sought out our expertise without having experienced any type of issue.
“Store & Secure understood the risks and wanted added security to protect themselves and their clients on an on-going basis.
“Too often we get called after a business has been compromised through some sort of cyber-attack.
“With Store & Secure I had time to carry out a full security assessment on both their sites and develop a bespoke security plan.
“One part of this was getting Store & Secure Cyber Essentials-certified. This is a government-backed scheme that provides a level of security and comes with free cyber insurance.
“It is a relatively inexpensive thing to do and government agencies and big businesses are increasingly demanding that their suppliers have it.
“While the term ‘cyber-security’ implies that our work is with computers, at C3IA we look at the whole issue of information assurance.
“We carry out regular computer and network audits but have also advised Store & Secure on physical security such as CCTV and have analysed and updated their procedures.”
The weakest point of any security is the people, so training a workforce is crucial.
Lucy said: “Having good procedures and regular network audits is all very well, but if staff are not trained then you have a weak link that can be exploited.
“All our staff are trained regularly by C3IA Solutions so they know what to do – and what not to do.
“They understand the importance of looking out for suspicious emails and other types of electronic attack, but they are also trained about how to deal with people.
“While it is in our staff’s instinct to always help, they must also know when to ask questions.
“C3IA Solutions is so thorough that after our staff were trained they sent in a member of staff to try and breach our security.
“They call it ‘social engineering’ and it is really an attempt to blag their way in to our premises.
“The would-be intruder had fake ID, a cover story and the blarney but thanks to the training our staff had received they spotted inconsistencies, made some calls and prevented him from getting in.
“To have our procedures tested for real certainly focuses our thoughts and those of our staff.”
The security management partnership is on-going and James added: “I meet monthly with Lucy to discuss security matters and to advise them of new threats that might have emerged.
“With 47 per cent of all crime reported being ‘cyber’ crime it is really important for businesses to face up do it. The threats are real and it is far better to prevent an attack rather than deal with the aftermath of one.”
Lucy agreed: “We don’t consider the cost an outlay, but an investment. We are protecting our information and by extension our clients’ possessions.
“And being in a partnership with C3IA Solutions means I can pick up a phone at any time and give them a call about any issue we might have.
“We are also planning expansion and to have experts on board to ensure our security is managed correctly as we open a new site takes a weight off our shoulders.”