Looking for a general office security guide? Scroll down for an overview of office security.
Providing workplace security where all employees feel welcomed, yet allowing for the company to be rest assured that security is guaranteed, is a difficult balance.
Since security starts at the door, let's first dive into access control systems:
Click on a category to read more about specific office security guides.Scroll below to read a more general guide to office security.
Office security systems are essential for many different type of businesses, regardless of the industry. You might initially think of door locks or surveillance cameras, but beneath these are about your employees being able to feel safe and secure at the workplace so they can stay productive. Coupled with your protected facilities, your business will be able to grow effortlessly. Most people agree that a secure work environment is needed, but choosing the right office security systemamong the many different options can be confusing.
At Kisi we have helped thousands of different sizes of companies design, specify and implement the right security system that fits their office and budget. Finding installation partners including locksmiths, resellers or integrators to install new access control; training companies on the system is part of our services as well.
Based on our experiences, we created this guide to make it easier getting a headstart in understanding security needs, thus deciding which system to choose to provide a secure workplace for your team.
Here's why it’s important to protect your staff, assets and business operation.
Very often, workplace managers don’t take office security seriously until an incident like break-in or theft happens. By then, it’s already too late with physical and data losses, interruptions to workflow, and concerned employees.
According to Verizon’s Security Report, 22% of cyber hacks involve abuse of physical access. On average these break-ins costs $38,000 for small businesses up to $551,000 for larger businesses and often severe dents a business' reputation and operations.
Creating a plan for office security can help prevent these situations and incidents to keep your office not only secure but a productive and happy place to work. Having a secure office makes your team feel trusted, comfortable and efficient. It provides peace of mind for your entire company to make it a great place to work at.
Typically in office security, there are three important areas when coming up with a strategy to protect your office -- your employees, assets and business operations.
Since the main goal of a secure office is to provide an environment for your employees to be productive and your business to grow in, people need to be able to stay secure, focused and efficient.
The first step to plan your office security is to find out your building, guest and access security policies:
You will need to work with your co-workers to come up with the right security policies and create a solid and agreed upon office security plan including:
Many of these might seem obvious but if you are able to set those policies with everyone on board you’ve done a big step towards a secure office and it will help you make decisions around workplace security that will be a better fit for your company.
Employees need to know what is expected from them with regards to keeping the workplace secure. Employee security awareness policy training is the most effective tool to ingrain your policies into the behavior of your staff. All policies should be public -- ideally in an employee handbook or shared drive so they can be referred to and be held as standard towards your peers, guests and vendors who visit your space. The security behavior guideline should include:
As soon as someone new is hired, the security onboarding begins: You need to make sure they are informed about the security behavior guidelines, understand them and agree with them to act to their compliance. They need to know exactly what is permitted and what not - including signing an expected visitor in and out, the opening hours, and when the office can be accessed and when not.
A receptionist or front desk representative can be key to creating a secure culture among employees, help orient visitors and create a welcoming experience for everyone. They are also a gatekeeper to enforce policies at the door including making sure NDAs are signed.
To ensure data security in your organization, you need to go beyond securing the office and make sure employees use encrypted hard drives, leverage Two Factor Authentication on their devices and log-ins and don’t leave their devices in open areas or even unlocked at their desk.
When designing the a robust security system, you will need to consider access control, surveillance and alarms.
We’ve written about access control in our “Introduction to Access Control” -- access control is the system that allows you to manage who is permitted to access your space. By setting permissions and rules around access control you can define which time periods are allowed for access and the levels of access someone needs to have to access a certain door. It also keeps track of who accesses the space, producing event logs which help with compliance.
The most traditional form is having locks and keys, but keys can easily be copied or lost. There is also no events log that you could check to see what happens.
A slightly better option would be an electronic access control systems which send a signal to an electronically wired lock to unlock the door. To unlock the door you either use a keycard, fob, keypad with code. However, you will still be unable to specifically track down who has access to your doors as these keycards or fobs can be easily passed around. You will also be unable to remove access from specific people.
The best type of access control is in the form of a mobile app. Its benefits are multifold -- simple yet comprehensive management of access, remote access control management, real-time events log.
A comprehensive and robust access control keeps your staff and company assets out of reach from unauthorized guests, and allows you be aware of who is in your offices in event of theft or emergency.
In addition to access control, you will need video surveillance simply because access control only tracks unlock events and does not provide a visual proof of that entry or exit.
Surveillance cameras are connected to internet to record visual activity around entry and exit points of your office or critical high traffic areas such as the front desk or package room.
When choosing video surveillance you should look for some of the following features:
Advanced solutions also provide alerts based on motion tracking or face recognition which might add another layer of security.
Video surveillance systems are crucial for growing workplaces and offices where not everyone is known to all employees. Typically you should install one camera for each door and then one or two on top of that for high-transit areas.
The third aspect of office security are alarms and alerts. Alerts can help notify you to suspicious changes in your environment such as someone breaking in or opening a door during off-hours. Some companies also use temperature or humidity alerts to protect valuable electronics.Of course alarms are most efficient when integrated with video and access control. An access control system allows to control who is coming in and the alarm system notifies you when something is off. You can then use cameras to see what is going on in the space to confirm any activity.
Alarm systems are a great enhancement of the other two components of office security which are access control and video surveillance. They allow to monitor your office space to know if an incident might be about to happen and be able to step in before damage occurs.
Companies who have expensive inventory or sensitive data in their facilities such as medical or financial companies need alarm systems and are sometimes legally required or asked by the insurance to install it.
It is most important to select a system that fits to your size and needs. Typically, we see a few scenarios for office security:
Here are some factors to take into account when deciding for a new access control system:
To easily decide on a new office security system we provide a quick technical checklist to evaluate these solutions:
Here are some of the cost components of security systems:
Unfortunately, businesses typically look at security at the very last minute as getting a new space is extremely time consuming.
However, planning, configuring, installing and testing security systems typically take a few weeks up to several months. The sooner you can start planning your workplace security, the better and smoother the roll-out to your organization will be. Since security systems often require pulling cables and drilling in walls, you want to factor that in during renovation or construction phase.
At Kisi we have worked with thousands of companies to evaluate their security and connect them with trained and licensed installers and integrators to get their office security setup and keep their business running smoothly with an effortless security culture and a productive work environment.