In the coming days and weeks, many businesses across the country will be navigating a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: reopening.
While this process will look different from business to business, each will need to ensure security is a central component of their plans to reopen. That means taking the best practices and lessons learned over the past two months and evaluating how they should be applied to reinforce safety and security on-site.
Take the time now to plan for what your security program should look like in your new norm, so you’re prepared to take action once your business reopens. To help, we’ve summarized our key takeaways and compiled resources that we developed both during and prior to the pandemic. These resources, organized below, should help you better understand the security systems, policies and procedures that you may want to consider as you plan for reopening.
One of the greatest areas of interest among businesses with security systems in place has been how to leverage these systems to reinforce business policies and mitigate health, safety and security risks.
From enhancing access control systems and updating visitor management software to investing in alarm verification and human temperature detection devices, security technology has been a hot topic for businesses that have remained open as well as those that temporarily closed.
Additionally, the importance of remote security and remote management capabilities became even clearer, as businesses sent employees to work from home in droves. Not surprisingly, this begged the question: How do I manage my organizations’ security while I’m off-site? With an influx in demand for cloud-based technologies and more businesses operating remotely, concerns around network security emerged as well.
All of this has provided organizations a good look at where their security program excels and where there are gaps that need to be addressed. As you prepare for reopening, review the resources below to make sure you’re identifying gaps that may exist in your security program – both now and in the future – and developing a plan to address them.
- Remote Security Resources
- In-Demand Technologies
- Best Practices
- 10 Simple, Cost-Effective Ways to Enhance Your Access Control
- Physical and Network Security Tips for Small Businesses
- Checklist: Your Guide to Ensuring Site Security While You’re Away
- 8 Tips for Protecting Your Business from Cyber Attacks
- Security Best Practices for Acute Care Facilities
- Cybersecurity: Best Practices in Video Surveillance
Policies and Procedures
When it comes to policies and procedures, it’s important to look at this area from two perspectives:
- As your organization develops plans to reopen, are you ensuring any new policies and procedures are reflected within your security systems?
- As your organization leveraged, enhanced or added security systems to your program, did you update or develop corresponding policies and procedures that will govern those systems in the future?
Nearly two months ago, when many businesses were just beginning to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wrote this blog post about using security systems to reinforce business policies. In the blog, we noted that as organizations changed their visitor policies or modified their hours of operation, they should ensure these operational decisions were reflected in their security systems.
The same holds true now, as you potentially reopen your doors to staff, customers and visitors. Are you revisiting access control privileges and door schedules? Do you need to update your visitor management software by either adding or removing screening questions? Should you turn back on your guest Wi-Fi? Identify any changes you made – or need to make – and be sure your security systems reflect them.
Next, how did the pandemic impact the policies and procedures you have in place that govern your security systems? Did you take time to evaluate your video retention policy? If you’ve added security systems, did you develop standards around how, why and where those systems are used, how you deploy, maintain and audit them and who has authority to control and access them?
As you consider what the future of your business looks like – beyond your immediate plans to reopen – be sure to keep security front and center in these discussions. New challenges will always arise, and you’ll need a robust security program with proper policies and procedures in place to help solve them. The resources below can help you build those out and ensure you have the right people, processes and standards for your business to thrive in the good times and in bad.
- Collaboration & Communication
- Continuity of Operations
Most importantly, don’t wait until your business is reopened to start thinking about these things. Use the time you have now to identify areas of opportunities to implement best practices and apply your learnings from the past several weeks.