Sensitive Areas Within Office Buildings — Part II

(Editor’s note: This is Part II and our concluding blog from H&S Protection’s Jeff Lukasavige. If you’d like to contribute a guest blog, please contact Mike Horgan at [email protected].)

In our last blog, I addressed access control issues for office buildings. This week, I want to drill down into specific areas within an office environment and discuss those unique security needs.

Human Resource Departments often handle sensitive and personal employee information that must be protected. Documents with employees’ information may be lying on desks in view of others walking through the area, where someone could use a smart phone to snap quick photos to steal sensitive information. To prevent that, businesses should consider the need for special access to HR departments. Not all companies require this, but if the need for privacy, discretion and/or sensitive conversations is a concern, you might want to consider restricting access to the department with effective access control.


The executive suite is another area where you may need to pay particular attention. Disgruntled employees or even customers could find their way to this area. Work interruptions may also be a consideration. While many companies have open door policies, if you are in an industry involved in controversial issues, restricted access to the executive suite may be necessary.

Similarly, the mailroom is an area you should look at closely. Depending of the size of your company, you could be getting thousands of pieces of mail a day, including personal information, account numbers, social security numbers and birth dates or other protected information. Don’t place your company at risk for customers’ identity theft. Unauthorized individuals or employees could steal personal information and use it to hack your company’s accounts, employees’ personal information, or steal a customer’s identity. Lock it down and control access – that protects your information.

Good access control requires you to consider who should be onsite and when. You should also look at who (employees, contractors, customers) should be in specific areas inside your building, and the time of day that they should be granted access.

Think of access control for your office building as employee, customer and company protection. Taking measures to provide additional protection demonstrates your company’s genuine concern for its employees. The security/access control measures you implement could prevent a difficult situation from occurring.