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Security of commercial space & data top priorities for property owners, tenants

insightsOwners and occupants of commercial properties must continually take stock of their emergency preparedness to protect human and intellectual capital. In the latest edition of Insights, Transwestern explores how security within data centers, office buildings and leased space has advanced to meet evolving threats from natural and man-made sources.


Data centers are among the most secure structures in the private sector. The past 15 years have brought dramatic advancements in storage and the data speeds available from internet service providers (ISPs), along with a proliferation of third-party data center developers.

  • Hosting information technology infrastructure on-site is losing favor among organizations as risks have grown and third-party data centers have become more prevalent.
  • Co-location, or sharing a data center facility, offers the benefits of redundancy and professional management.
  • Building and operating free-standing data centers provides users with the greatest degree of customization, control and privacy, but typically entails a higher cost and lengthier timeline.
  • Operating on an outsourced, cloud-based system takes advantage of the provider’s computing, memory, storage and bandwidth, as well as its cybersecurity and physical security measures.

Click for more about data center security.


Properties today are more likely to employ multitiered access control systems and to prepare response protocols for a variety of threats and emergencies. Depending on the tenant’s preferences or government-mandated security requirements, the management team follows a written protocol that spells out how it will provide security and incident response.

  • Lobby ambassadors are trained in the customer-service skills of the hospitality industry as well as crisis response.
  • An enthusiastic lobby ambassador will instill a positive atmosphere while learning the building occupants, which elevators they use, and their usual arrival and departure times.
  • Making eye contact and engaging people is more than customer service; it is a key practice in screening for threats and detecting suspicious behavior.
  • The entire management team today rehearses its responses to bomb threats, active shooters and other crises once deemed too remote to merit special training.

Click for  more on how security is vital for effective property management.


Leased offices come equipped with basic security measures, but it is chiefly up to the tenant to choose the systems that will safeguard employees and property. Fortunately, evolving technology and competitive pressure on prices have placed an unprecedented assortment of tools at tenants’ disposal.

  • Keys pose challenges that increase with the number of locks, clearance levels in the system, and number of keys issued.
  • Proximity readers, which identify an embedded microchip from several feet away, can grant access to a garage or unlock an elevator lobby’s doors when an authorized employee approaches.
  • Biometric readers, which scan fingerprints or retinas, are still rare due to the price of equipment and the necessity of contracting with a service provider.
  • Turnstiles, rotating doors or other physical barriers offer added protection, while cameras provide color, high-resolution recordings that can extend the security team’s view throughout the property.

Click for more on what options are available to protect leased space.