Why Businesses Need To Rethink Physical Security Technology For The New Normal

As businesses around the world reopen with trepidation, it is becoming evidently clear that a new normal has been taking shape – one that we now see will outlive the conditions of the pandemic.

A post-Covid world looks dramatically different from life as we knew it a little under two years ago. We must all be willing to adapt to new processes and technologies as we move forward, particularly in the commercial sector. The extent of disruption caused by the pandemic has placed unprecedented demands on security teams and has also pressured the market for new technological innovations

Concerns around temperature testing, mask mandates, crowd control, and adhering to social distancing measures are just some of the issues that have complicated the area of security. Despite the pandemic loosening its grip, health and safety have never been more closely tied with physical security in commercial and public spaces.

In addition, the trend towards remote-working is another stark change set to outlive the pandemic. Many businesses are now refashioning their commercial spaces to allow for hybrid working models, but these changes do not successfully come without reviewing and altering security strategies.

Technology is critical to modern public safety

With so many changes at play, security technologies are critical in ensuring the health and safety of employees and the public at large. As a result, commercial security system trends are heavily towards touchless and contactless access control securities and cloud-based technologies that can integrate security features to design smart commercial spaces.

What is hybrid work?

The term ‘hybrid work’ refers to a workplace that operates both as a physical place of work and a hub from which remote workers base themselves. Since the lockdown enforced the need to work remotely, individuals and organisations have recognised the benefits of continuing these flexible work practices. That said, hybrid working models do come with their challenges, as flexible working makes it harder to predict workspace capacities and manage security.

Access control systems for optimal security

Many businesses are making the shift towards cloud-based access control systems for security and functionality.

Access control systems allow building managers to keep a tight hold over authorised access to the building. These systems are most commonly designed to allow employees and visitors to gain access by presenting either encrypted key cards or fobs, entering a code into a keypad, or via an integrated app on their mobile device.

These keyless system options provide many benefits. Firstly, they eradicate the need for keeping track of physical keys. The encrypted authentication details can easily be reset, re-issued, altered, or revoked at any time, making changing the locks and getting new keys cut a thing of the past.

Smart locks that utilize mobile apps for access verification take the technology one step further, allowing for touchless entry. Additionally, when paired with automatic doors, access becomes entirely contactless. Needless to say that as we journey out of the depths of the pandemic conditions, reducing the risk of disease transmission remains a top priority, making contactless access a highly desirable security feature.

Converging physical and cyber security

During the course of the pandemic lockdowns, the rate of cybercrime reportedly increased by a staggering 300%.

Very few companies now operate without some level of cybersecurity in place, but many still run their physical and cyber securities separately. Unfortunately, however, many incidents of cyber security breaches are directly linked to oversights within an organisation’s physical security systems.

The more applications and systems move towards cloud and mobile-based solutions, the greater the challenge in achieving optimal compliance when it comes to protecting sensitive data. This is where an integrated security strategy becomes invaluable in creating a combined approach to physical and cyber protection.

Merging cyber and physical security into one strategic approach strengthens a company’s security in several ways. First, restricting access to areas that house sensitive data minimises the risk of internal breaches. Second, many aspects of physical security systems are also in greater need of protection, so integrating with these two divisions minimizes this risk. Finally, merging a business’s physical and cyber security creates an interconnected approach that optimises collaboration and critical decision-making between security teams.

Final thoughts

Ensuring the health and safety of employees and the public is paramount to any business. As new security technologies continue to emerge, many pandemic-induced innovations will become long-term solutions for the new normal.

Smart, integrated security systems that can carefully control access and reduce contamination risks by providing touchless options are the way of the future. These systems also allow for remote management that supports commercial landlords and managers in terms of general flexibility and convenience.