Protecting a workplace is about more than protecting the computers, proprietary information, or equipment inside. In fact, that list leaves out what might be the most critical to protect: your people. With employees back to workplaces on a regular basis, it’s crucial for organizations to prioritize workplace security and take proactive steps to protect their employees and assets. This doesn’t mean leaving all the security in the hands of your security guards. This means empowering your employees to become security champions and increasing their awareness of your security protocols.In this blog post, we’ll explore 3 steps you can take to improve workplace security awareness.
Workplace security awareness step 1: Empower employees to be security champions
The first step in creating a security-aware workplace is to empower your employees to be security champions. Your people are your most important assets. Not just to protect, but to utilize too. They’ve got eyes and ears on the workplace and can easily identify threats with the right training. Here are a few tips for empowering employees to be your onsite security team:
Provide regular security awareness trainings
You’ll want to ensure that all employees get regular training on security best practices, including topics like password management, email phishing scams, emergency drills, and more. You should host regular, quarterly or bi-annual trainings to keep employees up to date with new information. Plus, consider ways to make the training a bit more engaging using more interactive digital tools or in–person workshops.
Encourage employees to report suspicious activity
Create an environment where employees feel comfortable and empowered to report any suspicious activity they observe. This could include anything from a suspicious person on the premises to an email phishing attempt. Encourage employees to report any concerns they have and ensure that they know who to go for what. For example, if an employee notices someone lingering around the front desk without signing into the visitor management system, they should know to flag security personnel to check out the situation.
Incorporate security into company culture
Make security a part of your company culture. What does this actually mean? Don’t talk about security as if it’s something that only concerns your security and workplace teams. Workplace security should concern every employee. This means reiterating how important security awareness is to employees and ensuring that it's integrated into all aspects of your business. If you create a culture of security, employees are more likely to take security seriously and report potential threats.
Workplace security awareness step 2: Implement a visitor management system
Another important step in creating a security-aware workplace is implementing a visitor management system (VMS). When you think of a visitor management system, you may think of a tool to sign guests, business partners, or job candidates into the workplace. A VMS does do these things but also is an essential security-awareness tool for workplaces with an open campus. Why? Here are a few things your VMS can do to improve security-awareness:
Provides real-time alerts and notifications
With a VMS, visitor screening and security alerts happen instantly and discreetly in the background. This helps you balance a welcoming feel for your visitors with strong security for your physical building. For example, your VMS will automatically notify hosts of visitors who appear on watchlists or scan an invalid ID.
Maintains a record of the comings and goings across all of your locations
The best way to stay security-aware is to be in the know of what’s going on across all your locations. This includes who’s onsite, when, and how often. Over time, the data helps you get a sense of the happenings around each of your locations. For example, by knowing what times of day each of your workplace is busiest, you can make better decisions for your security, such as when to have more security staff onsite.
Integrates all aspects of your building security
A VMS can integrate with other aspects of your building security. Together, they provide a robust, protective layer across your workplace. For example, you can connect your VMS to your access control system to help ensure that only invited visitors can come on site.
Workplace security awareness step 3: Invest in and audit your physical workplace security
Along with a visitor management system, you’ll want to make sure the rest of your workplace is fastened with the highest quality and most intuitive security tools. Start with the basics. Do you have the proper surveillance measures around your workplace? This could include things like cameras, security guards, and alarm systems. Next, take a look at your access control. Access control is a physical security method that controls or limits who have access to a space. In other words, it’s a way to make sure everyone who walks through the door is meant to be there. Your access control can be a key card, biometric scanner, PIN code, or another form. Lastly, a workplace is only as good as its last security audit. Conduct regular security assessments to find if there are any gaps in your awareness plan. Where could a potential threat have slipped through without someone noticing? By conducting these assessments on a regular basis, you can stay one step ahead of potential threats. Plus, isn’t it a great feeling when your workplace does fully pass a security inspection?—Creating a security-aware workplace is crucial for any organization. By empowering your employees to be security champions, implementing a visitor management system, and prioritizing physical workplace security, you can help ensure that your organization is protected against potential threats. Just remember, workplace security awareness is an ongoing process. It's important to continually assess and improve your security measures to stay one step ahead of potential threats.