Expert SpeakSecurity

The Importance of Access Control in Today’s Workplace

Written by Firas Jadalla, Regional Director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) at Genetec

Companies across the UAE are adapting to hybrid working models for the long-term as staff begins to return to the office. A recent survey of almost 1,100 employers and employees in the region found more than two-thirds of employers were operating with a hybrid model. However, organizations need to have a physical identity and access management system that’s adaptable and easy to use, to help manage employees’ and visitors’ flow.

Control the flow of in-office traffic throughout confinement
Securing an establishment introduces unique challenges to organizational security. With many organizations still enforcing remote work, the number of individuals allowed in a building at a given time is limited, leading organizations to apply stricter access control.

Allowing or restricting employee access to certain parts of a building is one way to maintain social distancing in an organization. Quickly and easily adjusting access management settings to control in-office flow is key, as a pandemic is unpredictable and constantly evolving.

Manage access rights remotely
The absence of on-site personnel during confinement is a crucial factor that greatly affected organizational security. Since a limited number of employees were allowed in the offices, and still are in some organizations, off-site control of an organization’s access management system is vital. With the right system, organizations can manage employee and visitor access remotely. This allows for enhanced control of organization’s access rights, no matter the location.

It’s important to trust a security system’s versatility, especially throughout an evolving situation like the one we’re currently facing. Organizations need to adjust employee and visitor access settings accordingly, to maintain the safety of employees and establishment while complying with evolving local regulations.

Maintain a flexible system
This gradual shift back to in-office work requires an easy-to-use security system that can restrict office access without delay, and help comply with local regulations while minimizing security risks. Because most organizations are entering into a hybrid work model, their access management settings will face regular updates. Organizations need to be able to control employee and visitor access on a detailed level easily.

For example, organizations can remotely manage employee access in property areas by limiting or allowing employee access to the different office parts. Also, when visitors enter an establishment, they’re able to check themselves in and notify their host using the self-service portal. This alleviates the task from the front-desk staff while also enhancing the visitor’s experience.

Genetec introduced their Occupancy Management Package recently, which includes analytics and reporting tools that enable organizations to tap into their security system to count the number of people in a business area. It also allows organizations to visualize data, and alert employees when occupancy limits are reached. Audit reports can also be easily produced to demonstrate a business’ compliance with physical distancing regulations.

Preparing for the next hiring wave
Physical identity and access management are essential to maintaining visitors and employees’ flow throughout a property area. This is especially true when new employees are being hired. Quickly and efficiently setting up access rights for new employees requires an adaptable, easy-to-use access control system — especially if a firm is hiring more employees than usual, which might be the case if hiring operations were affected by the pandemic.

An organization’s security system is a complex machine made up of many moving parts. Physical identity and access management is a gear in that machine — one that requires a flexible and easy-to-use system, especially throughout a pandemic. Access rights evolve through the confinement and deconfinement periods, which is why an organization needs a system that can evolve with it.

Genetec ClearID is another proven system that can help organizations manage their physical identity and access rights with ease, allowing them to adjust employee and visitor access rights quickly, remotely, and on a detailed level. Whether it be allowing and restricting employee access to areas of an establishment or facilitating visitors’ experience with self-check-in, ClearID is an adaptable system that can manage an organization’s access rights from any location with an internet connection.

Organizations need to reassess their security practices and implement a change of strategies in order to ensure business continuity while keeping the safety of their employees as a foremost priority through effective physical security solutions.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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