Whether we want to admit it or not, COVID-19 is redesigning our world around us in a way that no other external force has before.
From the roped off beaches and enforced mask-wearing to the number of people working from home, not even World Wars have had such an immediate impact on how we live, work and socialise.
For those of us in the physical security sector, it’s offered some significant pause for thought. Society has changed but protecting critical assets remains a vital consideration for all businesses – regardless of size. Security is also, without wishing to get too hyperbolic, essential in keeping society functioning.
But there are certainly ways that COVID has changed the world that have forced us all to reassess how we develop a complete physical security solution.
Considerations for remote working
Perhaps the most obvious and significant change COVID has driven is a move towards remote working. Adapting to this ‘new normal’ doesn’t only mean that employees are set up with a more secure remote working infrastructure, but that the security scales alongside it. When it comes to cybersecurity, there needs to be a significant investment in security solutions that go beyond multi-factor authentication and strong passwords.
Securing information and data has always been crucial but in a world where so much is going to be sent back and forth from the office to remote workers, it’s even more vital.
The ‘rule of six’ means that in a social setting, people are not allowed to congregate in groups larger than six at any time and to keep your employees secure, this should also be encouraged at work.
This could mean moving offices and desks around to create more space and it could also mean updating security systems so they can more clearly track individuals and ensure they are maintaining social distancing.
To achieve this whilst maintaining the privacy of employees and the general public (in a retail setting) could be tricky, but it’s a balance you might have to find somehow.
Compartmentalisation is the key
When rethinking physical security to abide by the ‘new normal’ the first sectors that come to mind are healthcare and construction, both of which have remained largely operational throughout the pandemic. In these sectors, key areas have often been sectioned off to limit access points and provide areas that are sealed off from the public for worker safety.
In these situations, access controls and CCTV are, of course, a big help but facilities might also want to consider controlled entrances and exits, occupancy limited and real-time tracking systems. Thankfully, these can all be integrated into an existing electronic security system.
Looking towards the future, businesses are going to have to reevaluate how public gatherings are allowed to happen. Sensors, traffic management and more options can be used, but implementing such measures without coming across as authoritarian could prove problematic.
We are in the middle of a paradigm shift in security, to the extent that all security plans must now seriously consider COVID security as a primary objective. Who knows exactly what the future will bring, but there’s one thing for sure – physical security will need to continue to evolve and adapt as the situation develops.