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30 April - 2 May 2024
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08 Jan 2024

Reduce cyber security risk with a visitor management system

Matrix Booking Stand: 3a/E52

Hybrid and flexible working has become the new norm. And with it, workplaces are facing a constant flow of people. As individuals from different organisations move in and out, the risk of unauthorised access, data breaches, and cyber threats has escalated. Since 2001, there has been a 1517% increase in victims of cybercrime.

With this evolution of work, traditional security measures are becoming increasingly obsolete. As more organisations find themselves in a hybrid working dynamic, the task of fortifying digital assets and safeguarding sensitive information falls to the facilities managers.

Faced with an ever-changing array of businesses using their buildings, facilities managers bear the responsibility of ensuring that the spaces will be safe for working in , both physically and digitally. It’s vital for them to strengthen network security and ensure data protection while adapting to the nuances of hybrid work arrangements.

The issue is, cybersecurity threats aren’t always obvious. Facilities managers must take a deep dive into understanding the sneaky and sometimes hidden challenges they face.

Are visitors bringing in unsecured devices?

When it comes to hybrid and shared workspaces, the sheer quantity and variety of users can present a multitude of issues. First and foremost, there’s an unknown quantity of unsecured technology. Visitors are likely bringing in personal phones, laptops, tablets and several other devices that may not be adequately secured with up-to-date security measures.

What’s worse, these unknowns might be infected with malware or other malicious software that could be used to attack the network. With over 50% of personal devices being exposed to phishing attacks in 2022 alone, facilities managers need to ensure effective and efficient security measures are in place to protect public networks and other connected devices.

Too often, open workspaces aren’t equipped with proper security controls to protect networks from the multitude of unknown devices. This could include not having a guest Wi-Fi network or inadequate monitoring of suspicious activity.

Around 80% of organisations store their data in the cloud. If an unsecured device enters a shared network, attackers can exploit this vulnerability and gain access to internal systems. This could then lead to the compromise of sensitive data, information and credentials of all organisations within the shared workspace.

Are your employees allowing visitors to enter your workspace?

While facilities managers might know about potential risks, the hundreds of people using the workspaces may not. With around 26% of employees, especially remote workers, unintentionally acting as a catalyst for data breaches, it is essential that facilities managers take this into account, and advise their tenants to do the same.

This lack of awareness around potential cyber security threats could result in a harmless action causing disastrous consequences. It may be the case that workers invite friends and family to use the space, or simply hold the door for someone to enter. Granting visitors access, even personal guests, could lead to unknowingly disclosing sensitive information

How can a visitor management system help?

About 13% of full-time employees work from home and almost 30% follow a hybrid model. This makes it difficult to keep track of who is onsite and who is not. Without the right tools, managing the flow of people and their access rights becomes a daunting task. Add potential visitors to the equation, and the cyber vulnerability amplified.

Enter a visitor management system for office . It’s designed to streamline the visitor onboarding process, helping to reduce security risks. By enabling facilities managers to collect visitor data and monitor their access and movements, visitor management software becomes a frontline defence.

An added advantage is that a visitor management software can integrate with other security systems already in place, like network security or surveillance cameras. This means that if someone brings a device that tries to connect to the company network, the software can cross-reference and check if the device belongs to an authorised employee or visitor.

The ultimate goal? Ensuring that physical breaches don’t lead to digital vulnerabilities.

Building on this, visitor management software ensures that only authorised individuals have access to pre-booked spaces, thereby nipping most security breaches in the bud. In an added layer of safety, it aids facilities managers in spotting any suspicious behaviour. For example, if someone attempts to access a restricted area multiple times, this can be flagged for further investigation.

When we pair this continuous monitoring for suspicious activity with robust access controls, data encryption and firewalls, it is possible to spot and actively prevent potential cyber threats. If a security incident occurs, the information collected by the visitor management system becomes invaluable. Understanding who was in the building, at what time, and their location can offer vital insights during and after a cyber incident.

In the era of hybrid working, the safety of workspaces—both physical and digital—cannot be left to chance. As facilities managers navigate this complex landscape, they are the unsung heroes preventing potential cyber disasters daily.

The onus isn’t only on adopting the latest technology. It’s also ensuring everyone, from employees to visitors, grasps the importance of cyber hygiene. A comprehensive strategy includes education and ongoing communication to ensure that individuals recognise the critical importance of cybersecurity best practices. This education empowers them to identify potential threats, employ robust password management, and maintain updated software and security protocols.

As we dive deeper into this new norm, we need a balance of technology and awareness to truly secure our workspaces. In the end, a proactive approach today can prevent a cyber calamity tomorrow.

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