Things to consider when selecting a new office

Selecting a secure office
Thinking of moving to a new location? Here are some security items you should consider when selecting your perfect office.

Location

Consider neighbourhood public health and safety issues

  • Is there an unacceptably high incidence of crimes against people or property?
  • Will employees feel safe walking alone at night?
  • Do the police or other emergency services have a high number of calls at or near the location? Fire services can get called out to deal with floods – check that the area isn’t liable for flooding (this can push up your insurance).

Other tenants

If you are sharing a building; check if the other tenants are involved in ‘high risk’ activities that could attract the attention of protestors that may break into the building or want to demonstrate outside stopping you from gaining access. ‘High risk’ activities include those done by pressure groups or companies that do work for controversial large organisations such as defence contractors or tobacco companies.

If there are other tenants on the same floor; can they see into your office and what is being worked on? If you use whiteboards, consider making them difficult to see from outside your office.

Getting in and out

Look at security measures supplied by the building management company for common or shared areas including side or back entrances. Be wary if there aren’t any measures, or the management company don’t seem very interested in security. Ask what happens if the burglar alarm goes off in the middle of the night – who gets called? Ask how any security personnel on reception, or that will patrol the building, are vetted.

Is there a way to track who has entered the office; does everyone get issued with a fob or card? If access is via a fob or card avoid putting your company logo on them. It may seem a good idea, but if an unauthorised person has it, it makes it easier for them to identify where to try and use it.

Is there CCTV? If there is, then who has access to it. Is it kept for at least 10 days?

Is it on the ground floor; you may need extra security measures on windows or doors. Always check if the windows can be locked.

Secure areas and storage

If a server room is required; does a suitable location exist? It should have a keypad lock or a way to restrict access to approved personnel. It should not be in the basement or ground floor (this reduces the risk from a burst water main). There should be air conditioning, and don’t forget to have this serviced on an annual basis.

Is there space for lockable storage to store sensitive records and portable IT equipment.

Is there a room to host visitors? Ideally, you don’t want them to see what people are working on. In reality, a separate room to host visitors may not be possible; just need to make sure visitors are escorted at all times.

 

If you want help with information and cyber security, including physical security, please get in touch via email or phone.
e: ian.grey@wadiff-consulting.co.uk
t: +44 (0)7941 188462