With more people working from home as of late, there are more and more concerns regarding your office’s security situation that need to be dealt with as soon as possible. With fewer people in the office, there’s a higher risk of it being broken into or misused. So to help you out, we’ve put together a couple of the most common office security concerns and how you can deal with them.
With businesses all over the world shut down due to fears of spreading the Corona Virus, offices and other workplaces are empty. This raises security concerns over protection of both your physical workspace and your online information. In today’s post, we’ll discuss ways to address these security concerns to give you peace of mind.
Security concerns: Physical property
People who aren’t part of your team entering your office
With no one around, or a skeleton crew holding down the fort, there’s the concern with unauthorized people entering your offices doing God knows what.
Hence, one of the very first things to do is ensure that all of your employee IDs are up to date and held in a plastic badge holder. Obviously, this is something you need to set up in advance, as current restrictions preclude setting up new protocols for taking pictures needed to create badges.
To best protect your office from such intrusions, badges must be encoded with information specifying what type of access the individual employee has. This ensures only specific staff members can enter the building and get past security. The badge even determines exactly which spaces are available. For instance, at a former employer, our badges unlocked certain rooms where we had a legitimate need for access while denying access to rooms we had no need to enter to perform our jobs.
Our badges even coded for access for a limited amount of time in case we lost them. Hence, the badge would only work for, say, 30 days before automatically deactivating. There were hotspots around the building and employees would touch these hotspots to reactivate their badge for another 30 days. However, if a badge were reported stolen, it could be deactivated immediately and the hotspot wouldn’t allow reactivation.
If a staff member needs to return to the office to pick something up or access hardware that is only available in the office, up-to-date ID badges allow only required and approved building access to only those individuals authorized to have such access.
Employees misusing the office while it’s empty
Since keys and ID badges give employees complete access to your office, you might be concerned that they’re using your office for something that isn’t authorized. For instance, maybe they’re inviting someone to the office who isn’t an employee, sleeping in the office or causing general issues of concern. Especially dangerous is bringing children into a workplace where it might not be safe for them. While understandable as employees struggle with closed schools and childcare facilities, a business opens itself up to a potential lawsuit if such people are injured in the facility.
Misusing the office is a breach of trust unless they have spoken to you in advance and you have given them clearance to use the office in a specific way. To prevent this, make sure the office is equipped with CCTV cameras and security gates to track who has entered or exited the office. This will help create logs of employee activity and, especially when monitored in real-time, to confront those misusing the office hopefully before the situation becomes dangerous.
Becoming a target for burglaries
Offices are typically secure enough to prevent any burglaries when people are working in the facility. After all, it takes a really brazen criminal to break into an occupied office.
However, now those offices are empty, and you might become the target of a burglary. It’s a daunting task, but one you must undertake to try and prevent a burglary from happening. To deter burglaries, we highly suggest you use effective security lighting, security monitoring, and CCTV that’s monitored. This ensures that your CCTV cameras can see any would-be thieves and it will also make it appear as if there are people inside the office, thus keeping any thieves away from your premises.
Locking important documents away
Of special concern to certain types of businesses is the security of documents, whether online or papers. For instance, law offices, medical facilities, and social services companies have legal penalties if information becomes public and require additional protection at this time when no one is home at most of these places or, as in the case of medical facilities, needs overcome the ability of personnel to manage even the most routine care and leave documents less secure as they prioritize care.
A major concern is a possibility that someone, such as maintenance staff or even an employee, gains unnecessary access to sensitive data and documents in the office when there are fewer people around. To prevent this, make sure you lock important documents away in cabinets and ensure that all computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets are password protected. Make sure your staff takes home their belongings, as well to prevent any potential theft.
Security concerns: Electronic protections
You now have thousands of offices
Over the last few years, high profile intrusions forced businesses to develop more secure electronic portals to make intrusion less likely. That worked in centralized locations working through a secure server within secure buildings. Now, you have thousands of locations dispersed throughout the country — maybe even the world. And most of us don’t have a secure workspace to preclude access to sensitive information.
Sure, maybe we’re still using the secure servers located in our corporate offices or cloud storage protected by passwords and other security. Still, remote work makes this more challenging by removing the tool of controlling access to specific IP addresses. The rapid transition to remote work, with almost no warning, means many of us are working from our individual WIFI networks, which may not be very secure, using our personal devices, which also might be leaky as hell.
A talented and motivated hacker can access almost any private WIFI and device, sometimes as easily as using a device to intercept signals from outside your home. This is especially true with smart speakers, cameras, and other devices that have notoriously weak security.
While it doesn’t involve hacking, at this time when your listening programs might be unmanned and competing priorities mean less attention is paid to everyday reputation management efforts, such security concerns rise. For instance, perhaps you’re receiving threats on social media due to recent actions you’ve taken regarding your products and services. While these threats range from simply annoying to reputation destroying, some might rise to the level of physical threats to your people or space.
Hence, this is not the time to allow other demands to draw you away from reputation management efforts. Instead, ensure some members of your team continue monitoring your brand for mentions.
A bigger issue than immediately addressing threats to your brand is the insidious threat to your financial security as ineffective communication might encourage customers and prospects to switch to brand more effectively addressing consumers’ concerns in this time of stress and uncertainty.
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