Commercial real estate (CRE) continues to be the largest asset for any organization. When it comes to building properties that attract top tenants, technology plays a key role. Today’s CRE tenants want the latest and greatest, but new technology also comes with increased risks and costs, especially in the hyper-connected Internet of Things (IoT)-driven world we live in. Commercial property managers need security strategies that address the ever-evolving nature of today’s threats without sacrificing the convenience and flexibility the workforce demands.

Better together: physical and cybersecurity converge

Commercial building systems and devices are more connected than ever. So why are cyber and physical security teams still kept as separate entities? Commercial properties need to address security in a holistic way to truly be protected from today’s threats. Combining cybersecurity and physical security, or security convergence, helps unify teams and systems for improved risk management.

According to commercial access security best practices, one of the most important measures organizations should implement is physical controls to limit access to data. This includes adding access control and security protocols for spaces that house confidential information, such as server rooms and offices with unattended computers. Granular permissions are a smart way to determine who should have access to high-security spaces. Successful security convergence also uses logical security to keep physical spaces safer. These strategies include network monitoring, data encryption and regular system auditing. Together, these commercial security strategies are both proactive in preventing and identifying issues before they happen and reactive in quickly mitigating risks and addressing security vulnerabilities after a breach to minimize damages.

Maximizing flexibility in the cloud 

Many on-premise systems are getting replaced with newer, cloud-managed alternatives. And with good reason: migrating commercial security systems to the cloud offers businesses greater flexibility and scalability. Business needs are constantly changing. In commercial real estate, it’s vital that systems are agile enough to respond to these changes without incurring additional costs. On-premise systems are often locked in, making it expensive and difficult to switch out systems for new office tenants and less flexible when scaling up or back as needs shift.

Cloud-based security systems, especially those hosted and managed by the provider, can often support an unlimited number of components, users and sites. When tenants leave the building, they don’t need to take the security system with them; building managers can easily adjust the permissions, configurations and settings for new tenants without a rip-and-replace project. Should a tenant need to add offices or give access to new employees, web-based software easily accommodates these adjustments with just a few clicks. In addition, remote access and management give building operators greater control over all their properties and sites from anywhere. Better visibility leads to improved security responses and more streamlined workplace experiences.

However, third-party data breaches are among the top security risks for enterprises. To ensure the highest levels of security for cloud-based solutions, both end users and providers should follow cybersecurity best practices, including strong encryption and network security, least-privilege access models and require multi-factor authentication. 

Working smarter, not harder

Not all security technology investments are worth breaking the bank. While artificial intelligence (AI) continues to get smarter, AI is expensive and often complicated to implement. Choosing the right AI and smart technology solutions for your building keeps costs manageable and optimizes return on investment.

Automations let systems do the work to free up people, so they can focus on more important tasks. Security alerts and notifications, event triggers for alarms or video security alerts, lockdowns, syncing users between systems and regular system cleanup are all smart ways to use automation to streamline security operations.

With an AI-powered video surveillance or business intelligence system, you’ll get a better picture of what’s happening in your building at any given moment with less monitoring required. AI is a powerful tool in identifying vulnerabilities in near real-time and helping to inform critical decisions when data streams from disparate systems are analyzed together. The result is a commercial building technology stack that’s agile enough to respond quickly to the ever-changing security landscape without additional investment or infrastructure.

Key Takeaways

A smarter security strategy is one that’s efficient, fast and improves security posturing with less investment. For organizations to future-proof their security infrastructure, they need open communication between teams, as well as unified security and management systems. Applying security convergence strategies, migrating to the cloud and investing in smart, future-proof technology helps businesses create sustainable, scalable processes that protect against emerging threats in both the cyber and physical space.

This article originally ran in Today’s Cybersecurity Leader, a monthly cybersecurity-focused eNewsletter for security end users, brought to you by Security magazine. Subscribe here.