As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and people return to the office, businesses are taking the opportunity to update their security policies and procedures. Since many companies are now adopting a hybrid model, a mix of remote and in-office work, there will be risks from every angle — both physical and digital threats. To protect your business, here are some security best practices to consider implementing in 2022.
1. Update your door access control system
Security starts at the front door. If you don’t have a door access control system, you should strongly consider adding one. If you already have one in place, it might be time for an upgrade.
In evaluating the best access control system for your space, one of the choices you’ll have to make is between installing an on-site access control system or cloud-based software. As the door access control experts at OpenPath explain, most legacy access control providers use an on-premise server, which takes up physical space in their facility and requires in-person maintenance. Especially in the hybrid workplace when staff may not always be around to receive maintenance people, cloud-based management platforms may be a better choice.
As OpenPath explains, “Cloud-based management platforms are preferred by most businesses, as they offer more flexibility and convenience.” This software allows you to make changes to door schedules and employees’ credentials as well as check the system status from anywhere. Troubleshooting, maintenance, and updates can usually be done online as well.
OpenPath suggests looking for the following features in your door access system:
- Real-time data and notifications so that you know what’s happening in your facilities at the time when it’s occurring
- Detailed reports and audit trails in case of a security incident
- Custom dashboards optimized for mobile devices
- Remote management, which is particularly useful when managing multiple locations
- Lockdown feature in case of emergency situations
- Touchless access, which is not only convenient but a way to improve safety in the post-pandemic workplace
- Built-in video capabilities for added security
2. Protect your business against identity theft
Identity theft doesn’t only impact individuals but businesses as well. According to Experian, “Business identity theft and fraud losses cost American companies billions each year. Both can negatively impact cash flow, cause problems with creditors and suppliers and even affect your business’s reputation.”
In their article “Here’s How To Know If Your Identity Has Been Stolen”, Aura explains the three most common ways identity theft occurs:
These involve spam emails, texts, and calls from supposedly established websites, financial institutions, or government agencies asking you to “confirm your identity,” for example, by revealing your social security number.
If a thief steals your driver’s license or Social Security card, that alone could be sufficient to steal your identity and obtain your bank or credit card account information.
Hackers can get into a company’s database to steal data, such as passwords, credit card information, and Social Security numbers.
The threat of data breaches is particularly high in the post-pandemic world, as many companies have adopted hybrid work models. Nate Need, CEO of DEV.co and SEO.co, shares some ideas on how to prevent a data breach:
- Restrict access to data by limiting the number of people who can access information or implementing a policy that doesn’t allow certain types if data, such as credit card information, to be stored.
- Improve your general security through techniques such as firewalls, VPNs, and routine updates.
- Train your employees on common threats and best practices for data security. After all, Need points out 88% of breaches can be attributed to human error.
- Audit and reevaluate. As your organization continues to evolve and cybercriminals develop new hacking techniques, your data security practices should evolve as well.
3. Use security guards
In some cases, locks and doors aren’t enough, and your business may require an extra level of protection. That’s where hiring security guards makes sense. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brick-and-mortar store, running a call center, or occupying a traditional office space — a guard can prevent criminal acts just by virtue of being around.
A guard will watch for and report suspicious activity. If an incident does occur, they’re on-site to respond immediately. Additionally, the presence of security personnel can give peace of mind to employees, assuring them that things are under a watchful eye at all times. As a bonus, in the post-pandemic workplace security guards can also help enforce COVID-19 mask and social distancing requirements as well as other safety guidelines.
4. Deliver regular security training
According to MediaPro’s 2020 State of Privacy and Security Awareness Report:
- 43% of employees aren’t aware that clicking a suspicious link or opening an unknown email attachment is likely to lead to a malware infection
- 55% of employees think it’s safe to connect their devices to a public WiFi network
- Over 25% of employees believe it’s acceptable to use a personal cloud server to transfer work as long as they perform a virus scan before downloading the files
With more and more employees working remotely or going back and forth between the office and their home on a hybrid work schedule, the likelihood of cybersecurity issues has increased. The easiest way to mitigate these risks is to implement employee security awareness training updated at least every year to include the latest cybersecurity risks.
In addition to educating employees on cybersecurity best practices, make sure your training includes general security policies at your company, such as document shredding practices.
These security training sessions can also serve as a means for employees to give feedback to management. Ask your associates if they notice any gaps or areas of weakness and encourage them to ask questions. Remind them that every associate is responsible for keeping the workplace safe and secure.
Security practices are alway evolving
Physical and digital security threats are always evolving as scammers, thieves, and cybercriminals develop new techniques and practices. As you implement these security best practices above, keep in mind that protecting your business requires constant vigilance and reevaluation to ensure your information, personnel, customers, and assets stay safe.