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Security infrastructure – why it matters to flex-space operations

January 2021 by James Shannon, Chief Product Officer at essensys

Understanding the critical components of security infrastructure is paramount to your flex-space operation. As more enterprise workers look to flex, having the right tools and partners in place will be integral to attracting new tenants.

Hierarchy of Security Needs

Tech and security can be abstract, but taking a measured and phased approach can help bring your strategy to life. In research conducted by Instant Offices and essensys, we found common pain points in a flex-space operation that overlap with security challenges. For example, how you approach security infrastructure can alleviate frequent challenges with Wi-Fi and wired connectivity, door access and network access.

Varying Tenant Requirements

While enterprise tenants tend to be the most demanding, the panellists agreed size isn’t always the determining factor when it comes to strict IT and security requirements. They also highlighted that larger tenants aren’t necessarily the only ones with enterprise requirements. For example, a start-up may scale quickly and request more tech to fit growing needs. The pandemic has changed how enterprise companies think about their HQ. They may take multiple floors or smaller spaces across various locations.

The Education Process

Some occupiers that are new to flexible office don’t realise there are significant differences and implications for security when they connect to a network. Connecting to Wi-Fi at a coffee shop is not the same as the Wi-Fi at a flexible workspace with proper infrastructure in place. Other occupiers have specific needs dictated by their HQ or compliance departments, such as bringing their own equipment or network.

Not all Risks are Apparent

Security risks are not always visible, making them difficult to quantify, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. As a space provider, you’re liable for ensuring that your space and infrastructure are safe from possible breaches.

Avoiding Security Breaches

You won’t know the impact of a security breach on your business until it happens, and it’s better not to go down that road. According to IBM the global average cost of a security breach in 2020 was $3.8M. While the cost varies per industry, the biggest hit is to lost business and weakened brand reputation, not to mention the time and operational resources to correct the damage.

Balancing Security and Occupier Experience

Making space and service access simple and frictionless for customers is essential. Anything from printing and adding devices to door access and logging onto Wi-Fi can make or break productivity and a seamless experience. Your tenants will have to interact with the space and at some point, touch the security boundary – think adding a device like a printer, Alexa or a Sonos speaker. The fewer systems and touch-points in the process, the simpler it is to bring new devices onto the network with minimal friction.

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