Even before the COVID-19 crisis struck, the consensus was that protective security technologies still had a long way to go to ensure maximal security, in a timely manner, for people and physical assets.
The reason? Hardware-intensive physical security management equipment had proven unable to keep up with the physical security threat as it had evolved.
Now, that threat is even more mobile, rendering traditional equipment even less effective. Why?
Well, the workforce has never been more mobile and mobile-reliant. COVID-19 alone has caused an unprecedented surge in remote working, with repercussions we can’t even imagine.
According to Gallup data, nearly seven in ten employees in the U.S. are working remotely all or some of the time. The percentage of employed adults specifically saying they had worked from home out of coronavirus-related concerns rose sharply from 31 percent in mid-March, to 49 percent mere days later, then to 59 percent the subsequent week, before leveling off at around 62 percent.
The uptick was even sharper in other advanced economies. In Australia, for instance, a Gartner HR survey found that a staggering 88 percent of Australian employers had encouraged or required employees to work from home due to the coronavirus.
In both the U.S. and Australia, the starting points were low. Pre-COVID-19, regular teleworking arrangements were common among a mere six percent of the workforce in Australia and five percent in the U.S., according to the best available data.
What does it all mean? Well, we can conclude that there are more mobile devices than ever for IT organizations and other security officials to secure, especially in smaller businesses, where the data shows that 57 percent of remote workers were less likely to receive a company device for working remotely, compared to those employed by companies of different sizes (45 percent).
Not only do Security organizations need to do more (with less time to prepare), they are seeing businesses lose focus on security best-practices, just as the drive to return to work (even of a rump staff) will almost certainly presage the reemergence of latent threats against which those same teams were already struggling to address.
Further, rates of mobile operational security app adoption remain persistently low, creating a gap between what officials need to enforce security best practices and what they have. Precisely because not mobile optimized, the tools and practices that constitute the security apparatus are simply unable to keep up with the security threat as it stands today.
Fortunately, these pop-up mobile security capabilities can. Here’s a checklist:
- Make your security guards your data centers. To better leverage guards’ data-gathering potential, security teams need mobile physical security software that gives field personnel the ability to easily capture rich logs for patrols, shift-changes, parking infringements, lost and found property, security escorts, and other activities.
- Add geospatial functionality to a mobile solution. Geographically dispersed asset systems are quickly becoming the rule, especially in this age of coronavirus. Overcoming that particular challenge takes physical security software that gives teams real-time spatial information, via fully integrated mapping features. That way guards and the rest of the security team can better visualize the locations of risks, incidents, people, and other assets.
- Enhance information flow, enable multi-channel communication. Mobile security apps can enable teams to communicate, share information, and follow-up across a variety of in-app channels, like dedicated, event-specific chat rooms, email, SMS, and app notifications. Additional, advanced features to improve collaboration in a mobile setting include workspace dashboards for security managers, supervisors, dispatchers, and patrol officers.
- Meet duty of care obligations. Physical security threats exacerbated by increasing rates of mobilization often compromise legally-mandated occupational health and safety protections, which are only getting harder to maintain with the Covid-19 crisis. Since mobile allows security personnel to capture information faster, it brings much-needed speed and efficiency to health incident response, especially when integrated with WHS and EHS software.
And we’re only scratching the surface, here. Because of mobilization, company assets remain incredibly vulnerable. While it might not currently be on the radar of the harried C-suite – busy dealing with the COVID-19 crisis – the uptick in security incidents is serious. What’s needed to come out ahead: mobile protective security software. To learn more about the capabilities that will make the difference, download our Guide to Optimizing your Physical Security Management System for Mobile.