Back to the office in 2022?

News and information from the Advent IM team.

From Advent IM Head of Client Development, Derek Willins

So much has been said and written about the new world of work everyone is coping with, it’s hard to find something original to say about it. So, I will stick to one eternal truth. That change is constant, and therefore good security will constantly change to match the need.

My view is that working at home or in the office or a bit of both, will change and alter forever. Whatever suits the business and its customers most, will happen by evolution. The only right answer is the one that works for most stakeholders. Aware security and business continuity teams will already be on top of this fluidity, but many will not. For those that are not, here are some points to consider;

1. Bad actors see your change as their opportunity. Employees experiencing new environments or routines are vulnerable and can make more errors of judgement. Clicking links they shouldn’t could happen. Help your people re-adjust, allow them to re-acquaint with colleagues, be flexible with day start and end, make the office a good place to be.
2. Devices. At home they may have installed more software, personal files, or reconfigured their company equipment. Make sure they are checked and tested and updated before going onto the office network. Ensure asset registers are up to date.
3. Policy reminders and training refreshers. Is everyone up to date with and new office equipment, passwords, and shared drive procedures. Is access to the same files with office equipment the same as they had from home, if not ensure office devices are all up to date as well.
4. Office security hygiene reminders like clean desk policy and screen locks when away from desk are important. Working from home will have reduced this discipline.
5. Physical security. For hybrid working, knowing who is planning to be in the office and on what days will help with managing meetings and conversations which have to happen face to face. New recruits hired during lockdowns will be unknown faces. They need to be introduced and shown around to everyone who has not met them physically. The chances of opportunists slip streaming through doors may increase if there is uncertainty about who people are.
6. Awareness of new landlord policies and procedures for security passes, door access, parking, or new surveillance equipment, all have to be communicated.
7. New suppliers. Is everyone aware of all changes to office suppliers and maintenance teams. Are the decorators in your office supposed to be there? Remind people to challenge if uncertain, and remind each other when strangers are around.

For everything to work smoothly regardless of who is working where and when, security teams and team leaders need to continually reinforce good hygiene around managing information, e-mail, office equipment and physical surroundings.

Many organisations (regardless of size) should take this moment to reflect on what they have done with their workforce and security over the last two years. What worked well and what could have been better. What was done in haste and could now benefit from a second or third look. Are you confident in your security and your people’s ability to adapt and remain safe to ever changing work structures?

Advent IM is very well placed to give you an independent review of everything you have done and what should be done. It’s a low investment with a high return. Call us on 0121 559 6699.

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