Jul 19, 2021
Apr 9, 2024

The top 5 cyber and physical security considerations for hybrid work

Use this cyber and physical security checklist to make sure that your workplace is ready for a hybrid work model.
Envoy logoAndi Hendrickson
Openpath Security
Marketing Specialist
The top 5 cyber and physical security considerations for hybrid work

The rise of hybrid work has changed how organizations need to approach cyber and physical security in the workplace. Companies are adopting hot desking and staggering employee schedules to make work more flexible. And in a flexible work environment, security remains a top priority. As you adapt hybrid work, make sure you consider these five practices for a more secure workplace.

1 - Modernize to the cloud

On-premise security systems are no longer the best option in a hybrid work model. Employee schedules are more flexible and people work in and out of the workplace. Security systems should be able to move as fast as your business. Cloud-based systems use automatic over-the-air updates to address the latest vulnerabilities and concerns. These software upgrades remove in-person maintenance and downtime that interrupts business. Moving security to the cloud also offers greater flexibility. For example, you can adjust permissions from anywhere, at any time. Any changes to access credentials reflect immediately for enhanced security, too. As hybrid work models continue to shift, a cloud-based system can scale up or back to suit your needs. Deploying cloud-based solutions in new workplaces is often a matter of a few clicks.

Another benefit of cloud-based security systems is the ease of integration. Want a more complete picture of your security? Connect your physical access control, video surveillance, cybersecurity systems, and tenant apps. A future-proof system consolidates and simplifies security. Take advantage of AI-powered analytics and IoT automations to ensure efficiency at scale.

2 - Remote access is an essential

In a hybrid work environment, teams need to be able to access their data, tools, and controls from anywhere. Vulnerabilities and breaches are a constant threat in today’s IoT-connected world. So security needs to be 24/7 as well. Remote access to security systems minimizes risk by ensuring responses are fast.

Remote access centralizes management without inhibiting flexibility—especially for multi-location and enterprise organizations. Unlock the door, confirm identity, issue credentials, and approve registration requests from anywhere. This removes the burden from IT teams. Remote access also empowers individuals in a hybrid work model by letting teams check connected platforms at the same time. They can use any device to:

  • View security camera footage for specific access events in real-time
  • Verify if the credential used to unlock the door has authorization
  • And mitigate issues like tailgating

All without setting foot on-site. Remote access also offers a better experience for employees, tenants, and visitors. No more waiting around for somebody to drive out to the property if you get locked out. Need to let a visitor into a meeting space? Unlock the door from anywhere on your device. You can book desks, reserve meeting rooms, and issue visitor credentials with ease.

3 - Smarter access, organization, and auditing

To keep hybrid work models organized, pre-registration and access approval are necessary. Using tools like desk mapping and app-based registration helps streamline hybrid work operations. Pairing registration with access control makes getting into the workplace easier for employees. Plus, this integration also reduces administrative burden. Visual verification with digital ID badges and video at the door adds security without interrupting your flow. A win-win!

With the cloud, registration and access data is available 24/7. This means workplace teams can track and audit who’s in the workplace and when, at any time. This helps with contact tracing efforts. It also improves space management over time. Real-time reporting is a great way to spot abnormal behavior. Automatic notifications can also alert teams to potential security issues as they happen. For example, if an event occurs, your access control system can notify the right personnel. If someone unlocks the door without approved registration, the right teams will know and can take action. Cyber and physical security systems also need regular auditing. Cloud-based software with detailed reporting streamlines this process. Intuitive reports give teams granular views of security at every workplace and location.

5 - Rethink your visitor management

In a hybrid work model, visitor management is more important than ever. Client meetings, interviews, maintenance, and deliveries need workplace access. Organizations need to be able to accommodate visitors in a way that’s convenient and secure. With fewer people in the workplace, a visitor management system is essential to fill in the gaps:

  • Have a record of who’s visited the workplace
  • Ensure guests can easily check in and out
  • Be able to open the door without being onsite
  • Control where and when visitors have access

The first step is making visitor credentials easy to access and intuitive. Issuing a guest pass should need no in-person interaction. It should be instant and digital. This means doing away with outdated and insecure key cards. Mobile guest passes let visitors use their smartphones for check-in and access instead. You can also link visitor registrations and check-in to instant access links and QR codes. This will enable ease of use and scalability to every location.Integrated visitor management tracks visitor activity through the physical access control system. This is an important part of protecting data and confidential information. Real-time reporting keeps security teams informed if visitors go anywhere they shouldn’t. With more information, it's easier to mitigate potential security risks before they occur.

6 - Address cyber and physical security together

Security convergence strategies are the new norm for hybrid work. The best way to prepare your security policy for the long-term is to view all systems as a single entity. The first step for successful cyber and physical security convergence? Merge siloed teams. Open communication between IT and physical security teams is essential. Cyber and physical security systems should also work together. Interoperability is key to understanding how cybersecurity affects physical security and vice versa. Systems that can “talk” to each other improve security posture and operational efficiency. Employing automation across systems reduces redundancies, enabling faster responses and more scalable practices.

Deploying a safe hybrid workplace goes beyond scheduling when people come on-site. A smarter security system is a key piece of successfully adopting this model of work. It starts with intuitive software for booking desks and accessing the space. Real-time alerts and multi-factor authentication ensure employees feel safe and secure. And remote access makes managing the whole system more efficient. IoT and cloud technology are only getting smarter. Taking action now future-proofs systems against evolving threats.

Want to learn more about how to secure your hybrid workplace? Check out our ebook, An executive framework for scaling hybrid work security.

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Andi HendricksonEnvoy logo
Andi Hendrickson

Andi is the Marketing Copywriter for Openpath Security, the leading provider of touchless mobile access control for the built environment.

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