In today's world, there are dozens of daily threats to your company’s safety.
That’s why you need to make protecting your property, your data, and your employees a top priority—whether it’s from unauthorized visitors, criminals, violent actors, natural disasters, or even thieves.
Many office buildings use a paper visitor sign-in process or badges to restrict access to sensitive areas of the building. However, these security measures can be easy to overcome.
Take for example a polite employee holding the door for someone they think is a colleague. That single action can put the entire building at risk. And that doesn’t even take into account natural disasters or hackers who can threaten your business without coming anywhere near your building.
Let us guide you through these and other top workplace security threats as well as why a more high-tech solution like visitor management software may be just what you need to keep your business and its workers safe.
The Biggest Office Security Risks
What comes to mind when you think of office security risks? Stolen reams of paper—maybe a hacked email account? Unfortunately, the leading office security risks can result in a lot more bad news than just stolen office supplies.
Unauthorized Access Leaves Data Unsecure
Unauthorized access occurs when an outsider or employee gains access to an area they are not explicitly permitted to enter. For example, an unauthorized person enters the server room or an employee logs onto another worker's computer.
Unauthorized access can be the result of a well-meaning employee holding the door for a friend, computers that don't auto-logout, accidentally leaving a door unlocked, or even a stolen key card. However innocent the cause, unauthorized access is a major cause of dangerous data leaks and costly security breaches.
If you think your current security solution is enough, consider these facts:
- 40 percent of senior executives and business owners said employee negligence was the root cause of their most recent security incident.
- 25 percent of United States workers admit to leaving their computer on and unlocked when they go home at the end of the day.
Automating these systems can improve security because you are no longer relying on humans who forget and make mistakes.
Office Theft Costs Billions
According to Statistics Brain, employee theft costs U.S. businesses $50 billion annually. That is enough stolen property to give every person in the world $150 every year. And, it’s on the rise according to an article in the Atlantic.
In addition to sticky-fingered employees, office theft can occur due to improper disposal of documents, unattended items left in a personal vehicle, or outside people gaining access to your business.
The most commonly stolen items include office supplies, laptops, portable devices, and even paper documents.
The healthcare industry is particularly rife with theft due to the sensitive information they handle. Thirty-six percent of thefts in the healthcare industry occur from work areas, while 32 percent of items are stolen from personal vehicles.
With visitor management software, companies may be able to track, for example, whether a certain employee or contractor regularly enters the building after hours.
Violence in the Workplace Can Be Deadly
Workplace violence is more common than many may expect.
According to a recent study, 25 percent of HR professionals report at least one incident of workplace violence in the last year. It’s no wonder that many employees do not feel safe at work.
According to OSHA, workplace violence is any threat or act of disruptive behavior, threats, harassment, or physical violence. While workplace violence does cover a wide range of events, from harassment to active shooters, it is worth noting that up to 25 percent of workplace violence goes unreported.
Despite low reporting numbers, each year an estimated 2 million American workers are victims of violence in the workplace. An alarming portion of these violence events result in fatalities. According to the National Safety Council, 16 percent of all workplace deaths occur as a result of violence.
While statistically uncommon, active shooter events are a rising concern at the workplace. According to the FBI, out of the 160 active shooter incidents that occurred in the U.S. between 2000 and 2013, nearly half occurred at a place of business.
Implementing visitor management software at your front desk helps businesses account for every guest in the building at any given time—even the unexpected ones.
Natural Disasters and Other Office Emergencies and Risks
Though less common, other office emergencies leave employees, assets, and data at risk as well.
Fire, flooding, acts of terrorism, chemical spills, and weather-related emergencies can also impact the safety and security of the workplace.
It is important to remember that many of these events are, statistically, quite rare. There is no point in being anxious about all every single threat your office may face. However, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say—which is where selecting the right visitor management system comes into play.
How a Visitor Management System Can Protect Your Office, Your Employees, and Your Data
If improving security at your office is a top priority (and it should be), you may have considered a visitor management system—a technological solution that tracks everyone who enters your building, monitors where they go, and notes when they leave.
Whichever visitor management system you choose, here are the key tasks you want to make sure it can perform to protect the people and data that matter most.
Verify Visitor Identity
This situation plays out in office buildings every day: A person approaches the reception desk where the receptionist is swamped with work. The person jots down a name on the sign-in sheet and heads to an elevator.
Is the visitor a worker, a contractor, or an invited guest? Where are they going? Who knows.
A visitor management system can scan the visitor's driver's license or other government ID and cross-check that data with a customizable database. This could prevent, for example, the return of an employee who was let go or an abusive partner the business has been warned about.
Visitor management software also creates a log of everyone who enters the building, not just an ineligible signature on a paper sign-in sheet. Some systems even offer pre-visit check-ins, which makes the process even easier for reception and expected guests.
Minimize Security Breaches
Visitor management software makes it easier to know who is in your building, when they arrived, and when they leave, which can minimize security breaches. In addition to identifying visitors, the system can turn away unauthorized persons.
In addition, customizable rules and notifications can reduce security threats by notifying employees of an arriving guest, which can prevent a visitor from being able to wander into unauthorized areas.
Manage Contractor Access
If a visitor arrives at your front desk claiming to be there to fix a server issue, would your staff know what to do?
On a normal day, the receptionist may call IT to verify their arrival before granting them entry, but what about on a busy day when everything is going wrong? What if the person was able to provide the name of the IT manager?
If presented with enough information to seem legitimate, even the most security-conscious front desk employee may grant access to an unauthorized guest—risking data and, even more importantly, lives.
Visitor management software allows guests to be pre-registered, which speeds up the sign-in process, and verifies visitors are supposed to be there. Some systems can also be used to restrict access. For example, it might prevent a visiting social media consultant from accessing the server room.
Verify Employee Location in Emergencies
If a fire breaks out in your office, how will you know if everyone made it out safely? Did the IT team make it out of the server room? Was the plumbing contractor fixing the office kitchen sink able to make it out?
If you are unable to tell emergency responders whether there are people in the building, it could cost people their lives.
Using a visitor management system, your team will know exactly who entered or exited the building and where they were planning to spend their time while inside.
Will You Invest in Your Business’ Security and Safety?
The first step to business security and safety is training employees on visitor management procedures and to question anything or anyone that looks suspicious. Establish a reporting process for employees to report anyone who seems out of place—especially if that person is in areas where sensitive data is stored.
And the next step is investing in visitor management software.
Make a positive first impression, increase the efficiency of your front desk, and give guests a quality experience with a modern visitor management system.
Learn more about AskCody’s Visitor Management Add-On for Outlook and Office 365. And if you’re looking for even more ways to optimize your front desk resources and and improve the visitor experience, click here for our ebook on 10+ effective and easy-to-implement tips.