Security must remain a constant in the evolving workplace

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The workplace has changed dramatically in recent years. The increasing use of mobile working, remote working, hot-desking, and job sharing means that in many cases, organisations exist as ‘central locations’ or bases that employees visit only when they need to. People don’t always work 9-to-5 Monday to Friday from the same desk anymore.

While working habits change, and the actual layout of the workspace adapts to accommodate new ways of working, it is a mistake to devalue the important constants such as security.

When an office space has a known and constant number of users, each in a predictable physical location, managing the security of that site is somewhat easier than when people are coming in and out, working from different areas, and where you can never know from day to day who is on site, where and when. The opportunities for intruders are much greater, and consequently the challenge for security is also much greater.

There is probably an increased need for security in the modern working environment, as the traditional security stance put in place in the old days may simply no longer be adequate in the modern work place.

Organisations, business managers and facilities managers have their work cut out to adapt the workspace for modern working methods. Cyber security in particular has been a major focus in recent years to enable corporate IT systems to be well defended and measurable in a world of remote working and Bring-Your-Own-Device. But while a great deal of thought and resource has been expended on IT security, modern working habits are opening up whole new areas of physical vulnerability for organisations. It’s all well and good ensuring your IT network is secure from cyber-intrusion, but it’s all for nothing if somebody can simply walk onto site unnoticed and sit at a computer workstation to achieve their goal.

As the workplace continues to evolve, the application of physical security also needs to evolve in parallel with online security.

As published in FMJ Magazine

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