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10 workplace security tips to protect employees

Your workplace should be safe for everyone. Here are ten tips for developing a workplace security program that protects employees and their big ideas.

COVID-19 wasn’t the only virus that affected workplaces during the pandemic. Cybercrime and data breaches have been on the rise too. In fact, 49% of organizations suffered a cyber attack over the past two years. 

Workplace security is top of mind for everyone, especially office managers and IT leaders. 44% of security professionals worry about external hackers, and 56% worry about internal employee mistakes. 

But, don’t let the statistics get you down! Before you stress about your digital security, check out 10 security tips for the workplace to protect your people and their work. 

1. Arm your office manager with the right tools

Your office manager is your front line of defense. Make sure they’re armed with the tools they need to protect the office against unknown or unwanted visitors. According to our workplace security study, one-third of companies place workplace security on the shoulders of office managers without training them first. 

Your office manager has to recognize fake IDs, respond to intruders, and stop intellectual property from leaving the building. All superheroes need practice before they can stop crime, so make sure you’re providing regular training opportunities and high-quality security tools for your office managers

2. Offer unique Wi-Fi credentials for visitors

Visitors are a key part of conducting good business. You want to make sure everyone who walks into your building feels welcomed and safe. That means checking them in and providing them with the amenities they need such as Wi-Fi access. But, allowing guests Wi-Fi access can open up the potential for security threats. 

To reduce any risk of hacking or cyberattacks, follow the lead of HP enterprise subsidiary Aruba and assign a unique access code to each visitor. Doing so will allow you to safely provide Internet access to your visitors and not worry about any potential risks. 

3. Cross-reference visitors against a block list

Allowing competitors, disgruntled former employees, and unsavory characters onsite is a big security risk to the physical workplace. Consider a visitor management solution that lets employees pre-register their approved guests, so you can check them against blocked or watch lists. You’ll protect your physical space and intellectual property while meeting compliance standards. 

4. Streamline the delivery process

Your employees order high-quality technology and personal items to the office to help them live and work better. Having a package stolen or lost because of a poor delivery system is a terrible feeling and can contribute to recurring crime. 

Make sure you protect your employees’ deliveries from theft or loss with efficient mailroom management software. When you require individuals to register and accept their packages, you’ll be able to store a digital record of all incoming items and have a better pulse of what’s coming into your workplace. 

5. Know who is on-site at all times

Your workplace houses the heart of your business: your employees. So you want to make sure those coming in and out of the building are supposed to be there. This means you should have an easy way to track employee and visitor registrations for the day. 

Also, knowing who’s on-site can be crucial in case of an emergency. First responders and safety professionals will know exactly how to steer everyone towards safety if they know how many people they’re dealing with. 

6. Focus on workplace security for remote workers

Hybrid work has allowed people to work from anywhere—whether at home, in coffee shops, or in the office. Ensure that your employees can safely log in and out of their work, no matter where they are, without worrying about digital security issues. 

Here are a few ways to set your remote employees up for success:

  1. Set up antivirus software. Since your employees will be working from different locations, you’ll want to make sure their work devices are set up with a comprehensive antivirus program. 
  2. Use a VPN. Your remote team should log in through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Even with a high-quality VPN, you’ll still want to remind your employees to use complex and strong passwords, store passwords in a password manager, and only access the VPN when they’re doing work.
  3. Beware of Zoom attacks. When your remote team joins a meeting, they’re likely using Zoom or another video conferencing software. Those video calls can open the floodgates for uninvited persons to enter the room. Make sure you set up ground rules for Zoom calls. Ensure meetings are private and keep your software up to date with the latest patches. 

7. Install a badgeless access system for employees

Badge entry systems are not as secure as you may think. With the right tools and wrong intentions, anyone can clone a badge and use it to enter a workplace. 

Luckily, modern technology has come a long way in creating an easier solution: smartphones! We carry them around all day and now we can use them to safely and securely enter a building or room. By using phone-based access control software, you can keep your workplace secure while making it convenient for your team (who may have forgotten their badge a time or two). 

8. Use a password protection tool

Every employee uses several platforms and apps to get through their day’s work. Keeping track of all those passwords is not only a headache but also a workplace security concern. Consider investing in a single sign-on tool like Okta that secures a bunch of login credentials under one main password. This will help keep your employees’ passwords secure in one place and limit the possibility of hacks. 

9. Make a plan, then rehearse it

Your company likely has a safety plan for earthquakes, intruders, or electrical issues. You should treat digital security in the workplace the same way. Create a response plan in case of any kind of digital threat or workplace security threat, like a stolen laptop or hacked social account.  

Be sure to think about what protocols your employees and your IT leaders are each responsible for. With clear protocols and expectations, the right folks will be able to quickly and effectively solve the problem. 

10. Train your employees regularly

With tips 1-9 in place, it’s time to train your team on the necessary security in the workplace tips they need to stay safe at work. Employees often make mistakes that may seem harmless, like leaving their laptop screen unlocked while they’re away from their desk or using a common password on work accounts. But, these “harmless” mistakes can actually open opportunities for hackers to access sensitive data. 

Your employees are the most important pieces of your security task force. So be sure to arm them with helpful tips to stay protected. By hosting regular training sessions on topics like password protection or email phishing, your employees will feel confident getting through their day.

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There is no one-size-fits-all approach to security in the workplace. Regularly assessing the state of your security practices and looking for ways to improve will ensure your employees are protected and safe at work.

Want to learn more about how to modernize your cybersecurity and physical security infrastructure? Hear from a panel of security and IT leaders in the emerging security strategies webinar.

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Maria Akhter
Author Bio Maria Akhter

Maria is a content marketing manager at Envoy, where she helps workplace leaders build a workplace their people love. Outside of work, her passions include exploring the outdoors, checking out local farmers' markets, and drinking way too much coffee.