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    7 steps to integrate a visitor sign-in system into your workplace security strategy

    Tony Harper

    These days, it's not uncommon for businesses to place a heavy emphasis on cybersecurity, while overlooking physical security.

    Overlooking the importance of physical security threats means you could be leaving your business open to unauthorized access to IT facilities and security breaches with potentially damaging consequences.

    So, what can you do to ensure your workplace sign in system is effectively integrated into your security strategy and applied across all your sites?

    Here are the 7 key steps 

    1. Make a list of your security weak points
    2. Consider how tasks can be automated
    3. Create clear employee and visitor policies
    4. Develop a risk and contingency plan
    5. Think about compliance
    6. Train employees on how to use the technology
    7. Communicate the processes to visitors

    1. Make a list of your security weak points

    When planning your security strategy, it's critical to start with a clear understanding of where your potential weak points are.

    Make careful observations and monitor the movements of people within your offices.

    Some things to look out for:

    • Are all visitors signed in?
    • What are the typical movements of visitors within the premises?
    • Are secure areas accessible to authorized personnel only?
    • Is there someone monitoring the CCTV system?
    • Are there sign in kiosks at the entrance of your workplace?
    • Does your office have multiple access points?


    visitor management - facial recognition
    2. Consider how tasks can be automated

    Your sign in system can be a powerful tool in helping you automate existing processes within your organization, from checking in visitors to managing employee in out and even desk booking.

    Make it work for your operations by identifying functions that can be automated, including:

    • Visitor logbooks
    • Visitor badge printing
    • Signature capture
    • Employee meeting schedule
    • Message forwarding for out-of-office employees

    When these processes are automated, you can reduce overheads while improving workplace security and overall synergy.

    This way, your staff can focus on more important tasks within your organization.

    3. Create clear visitor and employee policies

    Setting up an employee and visitor policy can help you gauge whether everyone in the organization has the same understanding of workplace security.

    Your visitor policy should clearly indicate what is expected of everyone once they step into your office.

    Some points to consider for the visitor policy include:

    Check in process:

    Visitors must be prompted to sign in and provide their name, contact information, employee they are visiting, the reason for the visit, and check-in time. If required, it should also indicate that every visitor must wear the guest badge while on the premises and what to do in the event of an emergency.

    Privacy policy:

    Privacy concerns should also be addressed by establishing privacy guidelines, including signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before entering the office.

    As part of tightening your security procedures, you should also state whether visitors must be accompanied by a company representative while moving through your office.

    It may also include details about taking photographs and video recordings of your office.

    Network access:

    Your visitor policy should define the level of access the visitors will have to your company’s network systems. Setting up guest Wi-Fi access is advisable.

    Access restrictions:

    Ideally, visitors should not have access to your server rooms and data centres.

    Once you’ve created a detailed workplace visitor policy, ensure that all employees understand and adhere to it.

    Require supervisors to discuss the policy at least once a year. This practice will help you mitigate potential workplace security issues while providing a positive visitor experience.

    visitor management access gates

    4. Develop a risk and contingency plan

    No security strategy will be 100% secure, especially if you're only just starting to implement one.

    Therefore, having a risk and contingency plan allows you to remain agile and proactive in addressing potential issues before they cause irreparable damage to your company.

    For example, In the event that an incident does occur, companies using a workplace sign in system with photo capture to manage visitors, would be able to easily identify the perpetrator of the breach by cross-referencing the data from their visit with CCTV footage and timestamps.

    These plans should include actions for your employees in case of a security breach. Essential details include informing relevant departments (i.e., IT department, security officials) and activating lockdowns and restricted access (if applicable)

    Interestingly, according to a study conducted by IBM, 77% of security and IT experts have reported that they do not have any risk and incident response plan applied within their enterprises.

    cybersecurity response rates graph

    Source: https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/GAVGOVNV

    5. Think about compliance

    When setting up your workplace security measures using your VMS, don’t forget to consider compliance. Some organizations must report to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to check if guests are U.S. citizens.

    Others may require NDAs. An effective VMS should have a feature to ensure compliance with these requirements. When visitors fail to comply with the required legalities, the software should notify relevant authorities.

    6. Train employees on how to use the technology

    One effective way to ensure that sign in system benefits are maximized is to require all employees across departments to have proper training on how to use the system.

    This helps ensure office-wide compliance and strengthened workplace security management.

    Automated visitor notifications
    7. Communicate the process to visitors

    A workplace sign in system is no longer a new technology. However, a lot of people are still not aware of how to get the most out of them, which can cause some confusion for visitors.

    If visitors get confused or misunderstand the process, it can have a significant impact on your business perception.

    If it’s the first time you’re implementing a sign-in system into your company operations, take the time to educate your visitors on how the process works.

    Doing so can help increase compliance and give your visitors a positive experience when visiting your office and ensuring your assets are protected.

    Discover more about the Space Connect Visitor Management module.

    Image sources
    https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/GAVGOVNV
    https://unsplash.com/@lianhao

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