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Thursday, 01 September 2022 09:52

4 Security trends hybrid work environments should consider adopting

By Andi Krebs of Openpath
4 Security trends hybrid work environments should consider adopting Christin Hume on Unsplash

GUEST OPINION: As more businesses turn to hybrid work models, navigating security becomes trickier. People have become accustomed to physical security measures in the workplace, but how can operators implement these when employees work in different locations and remotely? 

Here are four security trends that companies with hybrid working models should consider using to keep their businesses and employees safe. 

Remote building management 

In a hybrid working model, supervisors and managers won't be at the office every day. However, they still must be able to oversee building occupancy and those requesting access from wherever they are to ensure their office and employees are safe. 

A card reader door lock integrated with cloud-based access control is a great way to overcome the problem, as managers will be able to see building entry activity in real time. In addition, having a smart desk management system in place allows employees to reserve a desk, and will help managers know which team members should be on premises at specific times and dates. 

Integrating these systems together should make managing the building much more straightforward and give managers and administrators the power to deny someone access or unlock doors if a fob entry isn’t working – without having to be on the property every day. 

Scaling satellite offices

A satellite office simply refers to any workspace your employees use that differs from the main office. For example, employees working remotely can count as satellite offices or setting up a smaller base in a different location to expand your business.

This has become increasingly popular since the pandemic, with businesses opening smaller offices in different cities, and employing staff from other countries. However, to scale your satellite offices successfully and efficiently, the correct work and security tools must be in place.

For example, ensure all staff need access to reliable and secure Wi-Fi connections, a computer system, and instant professional messaging services such as Slack, Zoom or Google for calls and collaborative projects. These measures ensure that even when a team is not together in person, there can be a sense of community, and everyone can stay in touch easily without compromising the security of the business. 

Visitor management

Access control can help managers and administrators keep track of employee visits, but the uses go beyond just authorized personnel. This tool can also be great for keeping track of any deliveries or guests to the building. 

Employees will likely have customized fobs or touchless access tools, but visitors won't. So instead, using an intercom system that directly alerts the management team that someone is requesting access to the building is an excellent way to know who is accessing the property. With a cloud-based or mobile alerting system, operators can ensure visitors can easily enter the property – or refuse access to unauthorized individuals – no matter where the team is situated.

Converging physical and cyber security together

With the adoption of a hybrid work model, businesses also need to restrategize their security to mitigate the growing risks of cyber and physical security breaches. Converging a business’s physical and cyber security strategies together will help ensure overall security is more robust. 

There is a multitude of ways to converge physical and cyber security, including:

  • Cloud-based access control: Integrating your physical access control with cyber security in the cloud creates a detailed data log for all entrants and network activity. 
  • Merge physical and cyber security teams: This will help each side of the business's security identify any loopholes or issues more efficiently, and effectively work together to devise a solution. 
  • Implement multi-factor authentication for cyber data and virtual workspaces to ensure only approved remote workers can access sensitive information. 

Summary

Although physical and cyber security were once treated as two different silos in the workplace, this is no longer the best way to ensure a safe, secure working environment. Hybrid work models require a balance of employee satisfaction and company security, and deploying the correct and efficient physical-cyber security measures can help achieve that goal. 

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