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.
Feb 7, 2024
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Content Marketing Manager
10 workplace security tips to protect employees

Securing the workplace isn't getting easier. It's actually getting worse for most companies. A staggering 56% are experiencing an increase in the number and severity of threats. Workplace security is top of mind for everyone. And, when you consider what's at stake, it's easy to see why. Security attacks can cost organizations a lot financially. Spending on workplace security is set to increase by 14.3% this year, totaling $215 billion. But don't let the statistics get you down. Before you stress, check out these 10 security tips for your workplace.

1. Secure your front desk with the right tools

The front desk is one of your first lines of defense. Make sure you're armed with the tools you need to keep it secured against bad actors. A visitor management system (VMS), especially one that integrates with the tools you already use, can help you create a more secure and cohesive workplace. Beyond security, a VMS solution offers insights into space usage and occupancy trends. This can come in handy when designing your lobby layout and finding potential security gaps.

2. Offer unique WiFi 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 granting access to WiFi automatically. But, allowing guests WiFi 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 automatically assign a unique access code to visitors who meet entry criteria. 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 blocklist

Allowing former employees and unsavory characters onsite can lead to catastrophic results. A visitor management system can screen visitors and cross-reference them using a blocklist. When someone on a blocklist tries to sign in, a VMS can send alerts to the necessary point of contact. You can also screen visitors against custom blocklists and third-party watchlists, from assault records to sex offender registry to property theft or global watchlists. This can help protect your workplace and intellectual property while meeting compliance standards.

4. Monitor who is onsite 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 onsite is crucial in case of an emergency. First responders and safety professionals will know exactly how to steer everyone toward safety if they know how many people they’re dealing with.

5. Find out which compliance standard you need to follow

Compliance is not fun, but it is essential for securing your workplace. The first step is understanding the laws and regulations that apply to your workplace. This may vary depending on your company’s industry, workplace environment, and location. You’ll want to keep updated with changes to these regulations and laws. Below are four common compliance standards:

  1. The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is a set of U.S. government regulations that control the export and import of defense-related technology and services. ITAR is mainly relevant to businesses in the manufacturing industry.
  2. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a U.S. government agency responsible for ensuring safe and healthy working conditions. Compliance with OSHA helps prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths.
  3. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data protection law in the E.U. that sets guidelines for collecting, processing, and storing personal data. All businesses that process the personal data of E.U. residents must comply with GDPR. 
  4. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a state statute that enhances privacy rights and consumer protection for California residents. This is relevant for all businesses that handle personal data from California residents.

6. 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 badges).

7. 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 number of login credentials under one main password. This will help keep your employees’ passwords secure in one place and limit the possibility of hacks.

8. Capture data to better understand your workplace

Access to real-time workplace data wasn't really a consideration a few years ago. But modern tools have changed the calculus. A visitor management system can sync with your broader workplace tech stack and reveal key insights about your space. By pulling data from several sources (including digital check-ins, ID scans, and visitor pre-registrations), these solutions give you a better understanding of your workplace. Here are a few examples of metrics you can monitor with a VMS:

  • Entry and exit data. This can provide insights into peak hours, visit duration, and overall space usage, which can inform staffing and resourcing decisions.
  • Visitor patterns. Analyzing visitor data helps identify who's coming onsite and pinpoint security needs.
  • Volume of denied entries. Tracking this shows you how effective your security plan is and highlights areas needing additional coverage.

9. Protect your workplace with an emergency alert system

Emergencies often happen when you least expect it. Don't get caught flatfooted. No matter the industry, companies need a reliable and automatic way to keep employees and visitors safe and accounted for. Emergency alert systems can help. These systems allow for quick, multi-channel communication during emergencies. This ensures all impacted employees and visitors receive essential information in real-time.

You can send alerts—via SMS, email, and push notifications—so folks get the info they need wherever they are. It's important to note that just sending out an emergency notification isn't enough. You also have to verify whether recipients received that critical alert. In some industries, being unable to do so can lead to compliance issues. Lastly, make sure to have up-to-date contact information for all onsite personnel. That way, no one ever misses an emergency alert.

10. Provide security training and resources to employees

Employees often make mistakes that may seem harmless, like letting unauthorized guests in. But, these "harmless" mistakes can actually open opportunities for bad actors. 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 training sessions on topics like tailgating, you can feel more confident about securing your workplace. 

Additionally, it's a must for employees to know where emergency exits and first aid kids are at. Interactive maps can help employees and visitors better navigate your workplace during emergencies.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to security in the workplace. But the right tool can make it a lot easier. Check out our buyer's guide for workplace security software to find out what to look for when evaluating solutions.

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AUTHOR BIO
Content Marketing Manager

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.

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