Around the world, offices are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – no coffee pot gurgling, no water-cooler chitchat, no sound of the printer pumping out copies. Though these temporarily vacant spaces may seem like eerie dust collectors, it’s important to recognize that they still face security risks – and will continue to face risks when they are repopulated with workers. Fortunately, this may also be the best time possible to conduct a security assessment and re-evaluate your company’s policies and procedures.

Make Use of Empty Space with Streamlined Security Assessments

A security assessment can tell you how to best protect employees and visitors. Our experts conduct several types of these assessments, such as:

  • Physical and Technical Security Assessments
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Assessments
  • Physical Penetration Tests (i.e., Red Team tests)

When offices are vacant, our assessors can visit during the day or night, with less detailed coordination with staff. This reduces the time from assessment planning to execution, and eliminates the risk of interrupting regular operations. Conducting assessments now also gives our assessors time to determine system effectiveness and identify gaps in baseline levels of protection and system coverage in a more sterile environment.

Implement Policies and Procedures Before Employees Return

Vacant offices allow company leaders and our consultants to review and implement existing policies and procedures, as well as evaluate their effectiveness without any external work-driven influences. We can quickly audit policies and procedures to identify any critical missing pieces – and then test them to make sure everything functions smoothly.

When thinking about your policies and procedures, consider whether you have protocols in place for:

  • Access control and key issuance
  • Intrusion detection
  • Video surveillance, including video download and use
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and emergency shutdowns
  • Security system testing and maintenance

Take on Resiliency Planning When It’s Needed Most

Resiliency planning probably was not top-of-mind four months ago. No one expected the COVID-19 pandemic, and now we are either enacting or developing plans that will ensure business continuity and employee safety during emergency scenarios.

Now is the best time to look at resiliency planning to not only improve or learn from current actions but also prepare for the future and different types of circumstances. Doing this during the office down time helps our consultants determine upstream and downstream linkages, identify vital inputs and more accurately develop recovery time and recovery point objectives without negatively impacting daily operations.

In addition to a Pandemic Response Plan, it’s a good time to review your:

  • Business and Supply Chain Continuity Plans
  • Corporate Communication Plan
  • Crisis Management Plan
  • Occupant Emergency Plan

Be Proactive, Be Prepared

By performing these activities when offices are vacant, leaders can ensure a safe and secure operating environment for employees once they begin returning to work and customers and visitors when they walk through the front door. It’s a “no-lose” scenario – easier assessments, taking advantage of an otherwise unused office and a more secure workspace.

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.