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What if Someone is Determined to Get into Your Building?

September 12, 2016

What if Someone is Determined to Get into Your Building?

Does your security system only detect tailgating? What if someone is determined to infiltrate your building? Would you be interested in a truly preventative solution?

As you enter the exhibits hall at ASIS or ISC West, take a moment to pause and scan the exhibits on the floor. I find that about 80% of the floor space and displays seem focused on video surveillance and access control and related products. Every year, there are new technologies and improvements that make surveillance more accurate at identification, and access control more integrated with other building technologies. Biometric technologies are no longer science fiction but instead are maturing and becoming a feasible option for more and more businesses.

Surveillance and access control systems have been essential for decades. Yet despite great strides in these technologies, we have seen time and time again security breaches where these systems are not enough. If someone is truly determined to get into a building, what will it take to prevent them from gaining access?

A great example of a determined individual happened a few years ago: a 16-year-old boy from New Jersey gained unauthorized entry at about 4 am to One World Trade Center, in New York, and roamed the premises for two hours before being caught. The building had a security system estimated to cost $20 million when it was installed. But none of that mattered when the security guard on duty fell asleep and the young man took the elevator up to the top floor to access the roof, take photos, and then brag on social media.

It was a big wake-up call because everyone realized that even after a significant investment, this landmark building was still vulnerable, and it could very easily have been someone other than a teenaged parkour addict looking for a thrill. Building owners and senior executives very often don’t realize how vulnerable they are to infiltration—that they have a dangerous gap in prevention.

I use the word “prevent” very purposefully. If you have surveillance and access control systems, even biometrics, are you preventing infiltration? If the building has swinging doors at its access points the answer is, “No.” Indeed, this is a deterrent situation, but it is not a preventative one. One of the most common methods of gaining unauthorized entry to a building is known as “piggybacking” or “tailgating.” Many of us have badged into our building, and then held the door open for someone who looks like they also work there. You just created a serious security breach and you put yourself, your colleagues, the business and its future at risk. The best access control systems in the world can be defeated by exploiting the fact that people are nice and will often allow others to follow them through a door they’ve unlocked.

When we surveyed security professionals about tailgating, we asked them to estimate the potential costs of a physical breach from unauthorized entry: 54% believed the cost would range from $150,000 to “too high to measure.” It doesn’t take much imagination to think about the worst case scenario—sadly, they happen about every week. Without prevention, you are relying on human beings to remain vigilant, never get distracted or tired, remain at their post, follow the rules and never let anyone tailgate behind them. You are also assuming that no one is determined to get into your building. So, when a physical breach occurs, how will you know it happened and how quickly could you respond? One of our survey respondents put it this way, “[You] cannot depend on one technical solution to mitigate the risk...you need barriers, followed by surveillance, and appropriate response plans.”

Only a small percentage of the exhibits at ASIS or ISC West offer such “barriers,” also known as pedestrian security entrances, or turnstiles and security doors. I strongly encourage you to evaluate your current risk of infiltration and to learn more about the various types of barriers available. Some will need human supervision and will provide an alarm if breached. Others can physically prevent tailgating and operate without manned supervision, creating quicker ROI.

What is your stance on tailgating: do you want to detect it or prevent it?

Company: Boon Edam Inc.

Of: Mark Borto

Source: http://www.boonedam.us/blog/what-if-someone-determined-get-your-building



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