5 Steps to a More Secure Workplace

Workplace safety is always a concern on a number of fronts, from preventing intruders to responding in the event of a fire or other emergency. And an increasing number of cyber events are the result of physical infiltration of workplaces as well.

There are several simple steps you can take towards a more secure workplace. Here’s a quick look:

Control access. Holding the door open for the person behind you is polite, and is more than appropriate if you’re entering a store or restaurant. But it’s a bad idea to let a stranger follow you into the workplace, as they may not be authorized to be there. Let the door close so that person has to demonstrate they have a valid access card or another legitimate reason to be there.

Check ID: In one well-known incident, two people posed as fire inspectors to enter an office and while “checking the wiring” under desks were able to insert USB thumb drives into a number of PCs. Fortunately they were good guys who had been hired to probe for security weaknesses, but social engineering ploys like this are increasingly common. Make sure that whoever’s visiting is who they say they are.

Don’t display important information: We still see passwords written on Post-It notes and stuck to computer monitors. This is primarily a cybersecurity concern, but hackers with access to your systems can gain control of physical security apparatus as well. Hide any sensitive login credentials.

Have an exit plan. Do all your employees know where all the exits are, and how to get out quickly in the event of a fire or other emergency? Have an emergency response plan ready to go, communicate it to all involved, and practice those evacuations so everyone knows what to do before a crisis happens.

Be aware. “If you see something, say something” is good advice not just for airport security but for your workplace as well. Employees should be encouraged to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity and to report it immediately.

Questions about creating and maintaining a safer workplace? Contact Heart to Beat.

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