Facility security and operational excellence has always been an important concern for organizations, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges and trends to the forefront. As businesses converted to hybrid working, it is crucial to have the right measures in place to protect the health and safety of employees and visitors, while also maintaining the security of the facility.
1. The rise of mobile access and biometrics
One trend in access control that has gained significant momentum in recent years is the use of biometric authentication methods. These methods, which include fingerprint scanners, facial recognition technology, and iris scanners, provide a higher level of security than traditional methods such as badges and keycards. Biometric authentication is more difficult to forge or steal, making it a secure option for access control. In addition to biometric authentication, mobile devices are also being used more frequently as a means of access control. This allows users to access facilities using their smartphones or other mobile devices, rather than traditional keycards or fobs. These technologies have numerous advantages towards outdated RFID badges:
- Improved security: biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprint scanners and facial recognition technology, provide a higher level of security than traditional methods such as passwords and keycards. This is because biometric data is unique to an individual and is more difficult to forge or steal than a password or keycard. Mobile devices can also be more secure than traditional access control methods, as they can be configured to require multiple forms of authentication.
- Convenience: mobile devices and biometric authentication methods are more convenient for users than traditional access control methods. With a mobile device, users do not need to carry around a separate keycard or fob, and biometric authentication methods such as fingerprint scanners are quick and easy to use.
- Integration with other systems: both biometric authentication and mobile devices can be easily integrated with other systems, such as time and attendance tracking or building management systems. This can improve efficiency and provide a more seamless experience for users.
- Customisation: Biometric authentication and mobile devices can be easily customized to meet the specific needs and requirements of an organization. For example, access can be granted or restricted based on the role or position of an individual, or the time of day.
- Scalability: both biometric authentication and mobile devices can be easily scaled to meet the needs of organisations of any size, from small businesses to large enterprises.
2. Digital check-ins to increase efficiency
Visitor and contractor management software can also play a role in increasing efficiency and security. These systems can streamline the check-in process by eliminating the need for paper sign-in sheets and manual badge creation, and can automate notification and approval processes for granting access. A visitor management system can also serve as a central repository for all visitor and contractor information, making it easier to track and manage this data. By requiring visitors and contractors to check in using a visitor management system, organizations can ensure that they have a record of who is on site at any given time, which can help to improve security and facilitate incident response in the event of a security breach. Here are five reasons why organisations need to implement visitor and contractor management solutions:
- Streamlining the check-in process: a visitor management system can eliminate the need for paper sign-in sheets and manual badge creation, streamlining the process of checking in visitors and contractors.
- Enhancing security: by requiring visitors and contractors to check in using a visitor management system, organisations can ensure that they have a record of who is on site at any given time. This can help to improve security and facilitate incident response in the event of a security breach.
- Improving efficiency: visitor and contractor management solutions can automate notification and approval processes for granting access, improving efficiency and reducing the time and effort required to manage these individuals.
- Centralizing information: a visitor and contractor management system can serve as a central repository for all visitor and contractor information, making it easier to track and manage this data.
- Enhancing the visitor experience: by providing a more streamlined and efficient process for checking in and obtaining access, a visitor management system can enhance the overall visitor experience. This can be particularly important for organisations that receive a high volume of visitors or contractors on a regular basis.
3. Technology that drives compliance
Complying with all relevant legislations, such as the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) guidelines, Authorized Economic Operator (AEO), and Known Consignor can be a real hassle. One effective way to do this is by utilising technology and software to streamline the compliance process. Here are five advantages of using technology and software to comply with legislation:
- Improved accuracy: with manual processes, it is easy to make mistakes, such as transposing numbers or forgetting to complete a required step. By automating the compliance process, you can reduce the risk of errors and ensure that all necessary documentation is completed accurately and on time.
- Increased efficiency: technology and software can help you streamline the compliance process, allowing you to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently. This can free up time for you to focus on other aspects of the business.
- Enhanced security: using technology and software can also help improve the security of your compliance process. For example, by storing documentation electronically, you can reduce the risk of physical documents being lost or stolen. Additionally, software can track changes and provide a clear audit trail, which can be useful in the event of an audit.
- Better organisation: with technology and software, you can easily store and organize all of your compliance documentation in one place. This makes it easier to find and access the information you need, and can help you stay on top of any deadlines or requirements.
- Reduced costs: by automating the compliance process, you can save on manual labour costs.
Overall, using technology and software to comply with legislation can provide numerous benefits, including improved accuracy, increased efficiency, enhanced security, better organisation, and reduced costs. By adopting these tools, you can help ensure that your business is compliant with all relevant regulations.
4. Insider threat
Insider threats, or risks posed by individuals who have legitimate access to a facility but may abuse that access, are a significant concern in physical security. Insider threats can take many forms, including employees or contractors who steal sensitive data or physical assets, sabotage equipment or systems, or engage in other malicious activities. Insider threats can be particularly difficult to detect and prevent, as these individuals often have a level of familiarity with the facility and its security measures, and may be able to bypass them more easily than an outsider. Here are five measures your organization can take to mitigate the risk of physical insider threats:
- Implement security awareness training: providing security awareness training for employees can help to educate them on the importance of security and the potential consequences of insider threats. This training can cover topics such as the proper handling of sensitive data and assets, and the importance of reporting suspicious behavior.
- Conduct background checks: conducting background checks on employees and contractors can help to identify individuals who may pose a risk as an insider threat. This can include checks for criminal history or financial problems that may make an individual more likely to engage in malicious activity.
- Implement monitoring measures: implementing measures to monitor employee activity can help to detect unusual or suspicious behavior that may indicate the presence of an insider threat. This can include monitoring of computer usage, physical access to restricted areas, and other activities.
- Use modern access control measures: implementing access control measures, such as mobile access or biometric authentication, can help to ensure that only authorized individuals are able to access sensitive areas or assets. These measures can also provide a record of who has accessed a particular area or asset, which can be useful in the event of an incident.
- Establish incident response protocols: having established protocols in place for responding to security incidents can help organisations to quickly identify and mitigate insider threats. These protocols should outline the steps to be taken in the event of a security breach, including the involvement of law enforcement and other authorities as needed.
5. Hybrid working is here to stay
The trend of hybrid working, or the combination of remote and on-site work, has created new challenges in terms of security. Here are five measures that your organisation can take to secure hybrid working environments:
- Implement multi-factor authentication: implementing multi-factor authentication, which requires multiple forms of authentication such as a password and an authenticator app, can help to improve the security of remote access.
- Provide secure access to company networks and data: ensuring that employees have secure access to company networks and data is critical to protecting sensitive information. This can include implementing virtual private networks (VPNs) and other secure remote access solutions.
- Train employees on security best practices: providing employees with training on security best practices, such as the proper handling of sensitive data and the importance of strong passwords, can help to reduce the risk of security breaches.
- Implement security measures for home offices: organisations take the security of employees' home offices into account and provide guidance on measures such as the use of firewalls and antivirus software.
- Establish incident response protocols: having established protocols in place for responding to security incidents can help organizations to quickly identify and mitigate security breaches. These protocols should outline the steps to be taken in the event of a security incident, including the involvement of law enforcement and other authorities as needed.
By staying up to date on the latest trends and challenges in facility security and implementing appropriate measures, organisations can protect their facilities and the people within them. Whether through the use of biometric authentication, visitor and contractor management software, or physical security measures, it will be of crucial importance to stay up-to-date, now more than ever