When you’re managing a commercial building for a client or own commercial real estate, one of the factors that are always top of mind is security.
Although you may not be responsible for day-to-day security operations, it’s essential that you are aware of the latest trends in security so that you can provide advice and guidance on issues that will help your clients protect their property, people, and data.
In this article, we look at the trends impacting commercial building security in 2022 and explain how and why these trends are relevant to your clients.
There are two main branches of security – physical and information security. As information security, also known as cyber security, is a highly specialized discipline, it’s unlikely that you will have any direct involvement or influence on that.
However, your understanding and familiarity with the building and its surroundings means that you can help clients identify any weak points in their physical security.
One approach is to work with your client to carry out a building security audit by assessing how entrances, landscaping, lighting, and other factors provide opportunities for criminals to gain unauthorized access to a building and enter restricted areas to steal data or attack critical infrastructure.
One of the key trends of commercial security systems that we will see in 2022 is the increasing adoption of smart locks for controlling access to specific doors.
Smart locks are electromechanical systems that enable employees or authorized visitors to lock or unlock doors. Signals from different types of wireless or Bluetooth-enabled user device, such as smartphones, key fobs, wearables, or touchpads, communicate with the smart lock to present credentials that allow or deny access. More sophisticated systems offer access through different forms of identity verification.
Smart locks can be used at the main entrance to the building, in the car park or at the entrance to secure areas such as data centers, labs, conference rooms
Another important trend for 2022 is the increasing adoption of cloud-based security solutions. Traditional security systems require physical infrastructure on the premises, which can take up valuable space. Encouraging your clients to move to the cloud will provide both operational benefits and more efficient use of space.
Cloud-based systems require no physical infrastructure and servers on site and can be managed and monitored from any location with an Internet connection. That means security teams no longer must be on site to manage access systems, support authorized users encountering problems, or monitor the building for incidents.
Cloud-based systems provide your clients with other important benefits. Threat data is updated automatically in the cloud so that security teams are always aware of the latest risks to the business.
The increasing importance of energy efficiency and waste reduction will see tighter integration between security systems and building management systems during 2022.
The data available from security systems, particularly smart locks and video surveillance systems, can be integrated to provide valuable information on building usage. The data lets owners and building managers understand when and how specific areas are being used.
That can help provide greater control overheating, lighting and other environmental factors for spaces that are heavily used or under-utilized. By automating control processes, building managers can minimize energy wastage in areas that are only used occasionally.
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns introduced millions of employees and businesses to the potential benefits of remote working. Although there has been a slow return to the office, many businesses have chosen to move to a hybrid working model where employees have the flexibility to choose how many days they work at home or in the office.
Through 2022, this will have significant implications for property management in general, as well as for security. Depending on the balance of home and office-based employees, owners may have to reconfigure the workplace to accommodate permanent and temporary workers while maintaining social distancing.
Access control also becomes more complex. Security teams have to manage access to the building for permanent office staff as well as home-based employees making occasional visits. That makes it important for security teams in 2022 to develop solutions that are relevant to the different scenarios in a remote working environment while adopting a converged approach for the office.
Although you will have greater influence over physical security in commercial buildings, you should be aware that 2022 will see greater convergence between the traditionally separate physical and information security teams.
Where that occurs, your knowledge of physical security throughout the building can help the converged team fill in any gaps that attackers could exploit to steal data or threaten critical infrastructure. That makes it important to share knowledge and contribute to the work of the converged team.
The emerging trends in commercial building security will have a significant impact on property management in 2022. With changing building occupation levels and increasingly complex threats to the business, it’s essential to prioritize security in the property management portfolio.