Physical Security Considerations during COVID19

News and information from the Advent IM team.

Working from home had become increasingly popular over the last few years, with staff choosing to work from home 1-2 days a week, taking up that opportunity. The COVID-19 pandemic propelled all office staff to a new way of working, that some of us were not used to and we quickly had to adapt.

So, since our dining rooms have become our office and our office workplace has become uninhabited, what are the GDPR implications of working from home?

Data protection regulations must be adhered to in order to avoid data misuse at all times, should you be in an office or at home, the same rules apply. Because personal data is personal data, regardless.

Issues for employees

The pandemic caused many employees to change the way they worked almost overnight. Some people are not adequately set up to work from home and different personalities have different needs from their work environment.

Working from home under your own authority requires self-discipline, motivation, good communication, initiative, ability to work alone and even the right physical set up of their home office. Some employees will find that they first needed to meet the basic requirements of having a home office set up. A space suitable for a working environment and co-operation from others who live in the same home would be the first requirement we had to fill. That meant that the data we are handling is kept confidential as well as accurate and available to the correct user at the correct time. This is easier to achieve with digital records of course.

Issues for employers

Businesses are held responsible for data protection by GDPR and the Data Protection Act (2018) to protect the personal data they use, with permission from the data subjects. It is the responsibility of the business to ensure the measures in place to protect their data are sufficient, whilst also allowing it to be accessible to those employees who require it to complete their job requirements and responsibilities.

Due to employees now working from home, access to this data may now be restricted. If the employee is responsible for working with paper records and having unlimited access to these records, these may not be kept up-to-date. This could have knock on effects for other employees or departments who rely on updated records.

A second issue from employers would be the office premises is now closed or has a significant drop in its usage.  The premises may be without usage for extended periods of time, this has meant many businesses have had a change in their security needs. These new security needs will require new reviews and measures put in place.


Businesses may now find they are in a position where they require new security measures. Security personal within the business need to decide if their current measures are sufficient in protecting the physical aspect of their business, including office buildings and physical records stored in those buildings.

A physical security review carried out 1 year ago will not be suitable for the issues the business faces today during such an unexpected situation. Business may not have been prepared for this kind of disruption to their regular work culture.

If you require more information on physical security reviews or would like to have a review and audit of your premises by Advent IM, contact us today.


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