Your team has gone remote and your location is either not in operation, or only partly so. However, your office space is still home to valuable equipment and data. While you’re away from the office, don’t neglect oversight of your business location security.
Here are some of the areas you should consider when auditing your business location security in the context of changes to the workplace during COVID-19:
Entry point security
While not the domain of your IT department, per se, entry point security is still an important aspect of your overall security strategy.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when analyzing entry points and location access:
- Are all entry points secure, including windows and doors?
- Do you maintain a current list of keyholders?
- Do you have business access control systems in place (such as card-swiping or biometrics)?
- If your operating hours have changed, have you updated your access systems accordingly?
- Do you have a system for updating access control when employees are hired or leave the company?
- If your company is returning to location-based work, have you considered using automated temperature scanning technology, such as Fever-Defense or Seek Scan?
Alarm systems and surveillance systems
If your company is teleworking these days, alarm and surveillance systems are of particular importance to maintaining good security for your business location.
Here are some areas to cover if you’re auditing your security systems in the context of COVID-19:
- Are alarm systems in place to manage the integrity of your location security?
- If your operating hours have changed, have you updated your alarm systems accordingly?
- Are you using video surveillance to monitor who enters and exits the premises?
- Are fire detection systems properly installed and regularly tested?
- Have you reviewed the contracts for all of your alarm and surveillance systems, and are they easily accessible if there is a crisis?
Coronavirus has brought many changes to the work environment, and some of these changes may effect your service agreements. Whether you have direct service agreements or they are being overseen by a managed service provider (MSP), now is a good time to review your contracts and confirm things are in order. It is far better to be proactive than reactive, should your business face a crisis.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you review your service agreements in the context of changes to the workplace during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Are there still janitorial, security, or IT services under contract, and are you familiar with the terms under COVID-19, including sanitation, cleaning procedures, social distancing, and related response procedures if there is an outbreak or localized exposure?
- Are your service providers conducting background checks and due diligence in their hiring practices?
- What are their training and management protocols, to hold their employees or contractors accountable in the case of a security breach at your location?
- Do they have good worker protections in place, and are their business practices ethical in the context of a global pandemic?
Physical security of data and files
Your IT team is responsible for ensuring the physical security of your data. This applies especially to your server room, the hub for your data networks. Even if your company, like many, is increasingly moving data to the cloud, it is worthwhile to maintain redundancy by continuing to also keep your data in-house.
Here are some of the questions you should ask when ensuring the security and safety of your server room:
- Are your servers, network switches, and firewall safely and securely housed in their own server room? Are they mounted on a locked rack? Does your IT team use proper cable management (ie. not a spaghetti fest of cables and wires)?
- Does your server room have controlled access with one or all of the following: electronic lock, card swiping, access through biometric scan, ID scan, video surveillance, or a logbook?
- Do you have a proper cooling system to control heat levels and reduce fire risk?
- Do you have a fire detection and suppression system specific to your server room?
- Do you have a backup power supply in the case of power outages or surges?
Businesses of all kinds are facing massive change this year. Your business is undoubtedly facing challenges, too. However, it is to your benefit to take a moment to step back and review things from a broader perspective. Taking the time now to audit your business location security will save you time and stress over the longterm.
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