It is official! The Axenic team has moved offices. We are excited to have settled into our new space which is now located on level 7, 44 Victoria Street Wellington. Over the last year at Axenic our team has been growing and we needed some more space. It feels like a while ago when we said farewell to the old office and packed up back on Saturday 15th February. A lot has changed since then including a stint at home for all of us during Covid-19 Level 4 and 3 restrictions. However we are happy to be back in our new space, it has 3 large meeting rooms, a decent boardroom, not to mention the central CBD location. Moving is an exciting change and sometimes we forget the importance of security when the move-in day arrives. In this blog we discuss building security and other important considerations when moving offices.
Building Security and Safety
- An important place to start is with an assessment of the new location. Look at the building where you will be located and what is it exposed to. Can people peer through windows while walking the street, could vehicles park near an exterior wall, or is it susceptible to environmental hazards (e.g. high winds, earthquakes, flooding).
- Consider who your neighbours are – if you must share any utilities or facilities (more below), and even what industries they work in (e.g. office worker vs radio equipment testers). Also consider what hours the building and neighbours operate and if the building has public or restricted access either late at night or during the weekends.
- Consider what happens during an emergency exit and procedures. If you have a safe or infrastructure with sensitive information ask yourself if it could be accessed during a fire drill (e.g. will emergency doors be left open? do fire wardens have unfettered floor access?).
Security of Utilities and Facilities
- Another question to ask is what utilities and facilities are in the building, where are they located, and are any of them shared? Check key utilities such as building comms rooms or switchboards, which are typically located basement areas or floor risers, to ensure they are secured from public access and are restricted to known contractors.
- If you are subletting any space or have a shared facility also consider who has access to your office (e.g. building owner, tradespersons). Many building contractors for leased offices will have access to the whole building in order to perform maintenance works.
Office and Site Security
- What is the layout of your floor? This is very important to consider if you are sharing the floor with other tenants through internal partitions. What line of sight do people have into your office? Can other people from the outside see whiteboards or confidential information? Think about the need for internal privacy walls and soundproof meeting rooms.
- Think about the access control mechanisms to your office. Are you issued keys or access cards from the building owner or can you operate your own system? Check for CCTV and office security systems such as infra-red or door sensors and magnetic locks. Check the currency of these systems, the technology used (hosted onsite or online), and if they are managed by a third-party.
- Before the move its also wise to take a full inventory of access cards and keys, test that they work, and remove/delete any that are unaccounted for. You should also set new access codes to any cabinet locks and consider cutting new keys or access cards for protected areas (e.g. ICT enclosures, supply closets, safes).
- Consider scheduling the move for a day that will minimise business disruption and provide time if something goes wrong (e.g. Start/End of the week, weekends). Also, think about asking staff to take laptops home the night before the move just in case they get lost or damaged, or so they can continue to work if something goes wrong with the move.
- Create a plan for how items will be moved and to where. Create simple checklists to help identify if something is lost or misplaced during the move, such as labels with unique numbers on furniture, boxes, and pre-determined floor plans.
- How well do you trust the moving company that will handle your items? If you need to protect any sensitive documents, equipment, or items, lock them in cabinets or move them personally (i.e. entrust to a staff member), or simply use packaging tape as a simple tamper-evident seal.
- Schedule an appropriate time to cutover your network connections and communicate these to staff or ensure alternative connectivity is available (e.g. Hotspot, 4G – Wi-Fi access point).
- Ensure your ICT systems are set up and working correctly before the next working day. For example, we moved all our ICT infrastructure and tested things on the day of the move – but our service provider still managed to misconfigure things during the weekend. It is also a good time to undertake a security review of your IT infrastructure, ensuring it is patched and up to date, and configured with secure settings.
- Advise your clients and suppliers of your new address details. Also update everywhere you state your office location (e.g. websites, calendars, meeting invitations, email signatures, document footers, branding material).
- Let the staff know that they need to be extra diligent about unfamiliar faces, tradespeople on the new site (e.g. cleaners, painters, signage, furniture) or individuals delivering packages.
Old site clean-up
- Visit the previous location and walk the perimeter to ensure no documents or equipment are left behind, and the site is securely locked up.
- Ensure any secure bins or rubbish is collected as soon as possible. You may leave a lot of rubbish and recycling that is no longer needed, and you do not want anything sensitive to be mixed amongst the waste.
- Consider sanitising any rented or leased equipment (e.g. Multi-Function printers, workstations, CCTV) that may hold sensitive information, and ensure any old network connections are truly disconnected.
We hope you found those security tips helpful, at Axenic we pride ourselves on our security guidance. Security within a new office is important as your files and data need to be protected wherever you are. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if your organisation is in need of any more security advice.
And of course, now that we are back in the office following the drop in COVID-19 restrictions – feel free to drop by and check out our new space, we look forward to seeing you at our new home.