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If you are considering using coworking or hot desking office space, here’s a handy checklist.

You’ve picked the right address / location.

  • You’ve negotiated the right price.

  • You’ve picked the right IT and telephony services.

So, what have you not considered?

Maybe IT and general office security?

You *really* need to ask how secure the building and its IT infrastructure is. You may end up sharing network infrastructure with other clients (who could also be competitors of yours).

Here’s a check list to help you grade the security level of any given building:

  1. Do they have proper access control on external and internal doors? Whether it be by good old-fashioned keys or proximity/swipe access cards etc.

  2. Is the reception staffed 24 / 7? How do you gain access out of hours if you lose your access key or access card?

  3. Are the meeting rooms mixed in with office the space? If so, how do you stop people recording your presentations from their offices? The most secure meeting rooms are built directly off corridors and all glass should be obscured by plastic film or have LCD glass which can be obscured via a switch.

  4. Are the meeting rooms soundproofed sufficiently to prevent eavesdropping?

  5. Do they have quiet spaces away from noisy areas, so you can make personal/private phone calls?

  6. Is the Local Area Network (LAN) shared with other clients? Can these clients see your devices? If so, what’s going to stop them getting easy access to your data and even print on your printers?

  7. The same goes (point #6) for any wireless networks.

  8. Consider using VPN software to encrypt your traffic on any shared networks you use.

  9. If the internet bandwidth is also shared can they guarantee reasonable internet performance or is it a free-for-all fight for bandwidth?

  10. If they offer a communal (shared) printer/copier/scanner are your documents secured? If they give you a 4 to 6 digit PIN to release your documents - this is NOT secure and other people can easily guess the PIN or observe you entering it. A better way is using the building access cards to release the print jobs whilst you are standing next to the printer.

  11. If they offer an Electrical Waste disposal service, do they provide you with official certificates of destruction to prove all your data was destroyed by a licenced WEEE disposal company?

  12. Do they provide lockers to store your possessions in whilst you are out of the office? Have you checked that each locker has a unique key?

  13. If you have your own IT infrastructure equipment in their comms room how do they prevent other clients from touching it or accidentally knocking out the power.?

  14. Is the comms room protected by CCTV, UPS, air-conditioning and is access audited and secured?

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