The office looks different than it did pre-pandemic. Many employees value the flexibility of hybrid work and have taken the opportunity to adapt their time in the office accordingly. Instead of one large headquarters, companies are choosing to distribute their workforce across several smaller offices.

From fluctuations in onsite staff to hybrid work policies where multiple employees utilize the same work station, security teams are also facing new challenges across an ever-evolving threat landscape. To sharpen incident response capabilities and promote a safer work environment, security professionals are reassessing — and modernizing — the security technology, architecture and policies across their organization with hybrid cloud infrastructure. While security risks in hybrid workplaces can vary based on industry or business size, strategies to address them apply across the board.

Simplify management

Natively integrated systems combine more building infrastructure behind a single pane of glass to improve visibility, control and efficiency. Flexible work policies can compromise office security if not tracked carefully; a centralized management platform provides a simple line-of-sight to ensure compliance and facilitate investigations. 

With single-pane control, teams can also monitor and regulate access to multiple sites in real-time. This ensures that employees, visitors and contractors are properly managed and accounted for before they even step foot into the building.

In this way, the proper credentials are assigned to different types of employees and visitors before they even arrive onsite. With native camera integration, workplace teams can validate their arrival and departure time — and even grant temporary access to relevant workspaces during visits. Teams can also leverage centralized security tools — such as remote unlocking through a mobile app — to grant granular access to workspaces, regardless of their changing schedules.

Accelerate incident response

By aggregating data across devices, security teams have a single source of truth to streamline workplace management. To aid this further, proactive insights and professional monitoring can be powerful tools to accelerate — and even automate — incident response. 

When cameras are integrated into the rest of the building ecosystem — including alarm and air quality monitoring — organizations gain real-time visibility into important events. Using event-based alerting, users can tailor notifications to their security needs. If a notification is triggered — whether it’s a temperature spike or person of interest onsite — security managers are able to review and respond to the event in real-time. 

Modern systems also enable teams to share a direct link to live camera feeds in seconds. If a manager is unavailable to review an alert, 24/7 monitoring agents can review these events and, if needed, escalate it to the first response and share the camera footage. This way, they can automate emergency response and resolve situations without ever needing to be onsite — or even contacted.

Utilize a hybrid-cloud platform

The unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the importance of flexibility and the ability to adapt quickly to change. This shift opens the possibilities for hybrid-cloud platforms.

Onsite solutions are difficult to access remotely, and often require VPNs and complicated configurations. On the other hand, a purely cloud-based system often has high bandwidth requirements, and can put a significant strain on networking resources. A hybrid-cloud platform combines the simplicity, agility and ease of use of cloud management with the reliability and control of onsite infrastructure.

Hybrid-cloud systems provide a way to store critical footage and configure, monitor and respond to events from anywhere. They can be deployed across any number of sites, administrators and credentials.

As post-pandemic regulations evolve, organizations must be well positioned to adapt quickly and support the realities of hybrid work. A hybrid-cloud solution can be a powerful solution to improve efficiency with centralization, increase security with actionable insights and scale across any number of locations. 

No matter where they are situated in the world, security teams can leverage hybrid cloud systems to better monitor, assess and mitigate threats. At the same time, a standardized solution can reduce day-to-day workload and streamline operational requirements across various offices.

With the right infrastructure in place, organizations are empowered to provide safer workplaces — even with an ever-changing and unpredictable security landscape.

This article originally ran in Security, a twice-monthly security-focused eNewsletter for security end users, brought to you by Security magazine. Subscribe here.