School officials and corporate leaders now both agree on one thing: Shared concerns about the challenges of emergency preparedness and health and safety protocols. Current research identifies these as the main priorities in 2021. School administrators in K-12 face balancing COVID precautions with ongoing traditional security protocols. For example, how to keep students socially distanced while training for emergencies like lockdowns and fire drills will need to be addressed in reopening plans and communicated to parents.

Similarly, corporate leaders will need to include health and safety protocols alongside their traditional approach to emergency preparedness and business continuity planning. The pandemic exposed many vulnerabilities with those two issues. The weaknesses inherent in the supply chain are one obvious example. Companies will need to address the vulnerabilities that the pandemic exposed to their company’s risk mitigation strategies.

The pandemic exposed many vulnerabilities in schools in businesses and has forced school administrators and corporate leaders to adapt to sudden and unprecedented challenges. Security is about being prepared for the unexpected. Security priorities that existed prior to the pandemic will clearly become balanced with new health and safety protocols, and will likely co-exist in the future.