Why Now is the Best Time to Conduct a Security Assessment

John Orloff

While office are vacant, this may be the best time to conduct a security assessment and re-evaluate your security procedures.

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Offices around the world are still closed, starting to come back online or operating with limited personnel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though offices are mostly unoccupied, companies still face security risks – and will continue to – when workers return. So if you’re wondering how to get started conducting a security assessment, this may be the best time to re-evaluate your company’s security policies and procedures.

Vacant Space Makes for Easier, More Streamlined Security Assessments

A security assessment can tell you how to best protect employees and visitors. Security experts conduct several types of these assessments, such as:

  • Physical and Technical Security Assessments
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Assessments
  • Physical Penetration Tests

When offices are vacant, assessors can visit during the day or night, needing less detailed coordination with staff. This reduces the time from assessment planning to execution and eliminates the risk of interrupting regular operations. Conducting assessments now also gives assessors time to determine system effectiveness and identify gaps in baseline levels of protection and system coverage in a more sterile environment.

Update Security Policies and Procedures Before Employees Return

Vacant offices allow company leaders and security consultants to review and implement existing policies and procedures, as well as evaluate their effectiveness without any external work-driven influences. They can quickly audit policies and procedures to identify any critical missing pieces – and then test them to make sure everything functions smoothly.

When thinking about your security policies and procedures, consider whether you have protocols in place for:

  • Access control and key issuance
  • Intrusion detection
  • Video surveillance, including your system’s remote monitoring capabilities
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and emergency shutdowns
  • Security system testing and maintenance

Address Cybersecurity Risks for Remote Workers

As working from home becomes the new normal, new coronavirus-themed phishing scams are taking advantage of the workplace disruption. To stay ahead of this, ensure that your cybersecurity training reinforces the importance of diligence no matter where an employee is located. As people shift back into on-location working environments, now is the time to work with your cybersecurity vendor to increase bandwidth, expand data centers or implement virtual private network (VPN) protocols to help keep your firm’s data and intellectual property secure.

Take on Resiliency Planning When It’s Needed Most

Resiliency planning probably was not top-of-mind four months ago. No one expected the COVID-19 pandemic and now companies are either enacting or developing plans that will ensure business continuity and employee safety during emergency scenarios.

Now is the best time to look at resiliency planning to not only improve or learn from current actions but also prepare for the future and different types of circumstances. Doing this during the office downtime helps our consultants determine policy and on-the-ground security interventions, identify any threats and more accurately develop recovery time and recovery point objectives without negatively impacting daily operations.

In addition to an Emergency Response Plan, it’s a good time to review your:

  • Business and Supply Chain Continuity Plans
  • Corporate Communication Plan
  • Crisis Management Plan
  • Occupant Emergency Plan

Making a Plan for Returning to Work after COVID-19

By performing these activities when offices are vacant, leaders can ensure a safe and secure operating environment for employees once they begin returning to work. This is also an opportunity to train, or retrain, your workforce on security protocols.

The world we will all emerge into will be dramatically different from the one we knew. Organizations need to focus on the things they can control, including a security assessment and help set the foundation for re-opening.

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

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About the author

John T. Orloff
John and the Security Risk Management team are able to thoughtfully develop strategies, organizational structures, policies, technology integration and training requirements
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