Questions to ask when choosing physical security

SecurityIf you’re reading this blog; then the chances are that you have identified perimeter security as an area of your business that needs to be addressed. Like many businesses, you may be concerned about the massive derailment of operations that can result from a serious security breach. If this is the case then read on to discover how perimeter security is fundamental to safeguarding your income, reputation, and peace of mind. And importantly, what questions you should ask when discussing your needs with a provider.

Whether in the middle of a recession, or in times of prosperity, crime remains a constant source of worry for many businesses up and down the UK. Even the most minor security breaches can result in repairs, losses of income, delays to operations, and can be a detriment to the confidence of customers and shareholders.

What is perimeter security?

Perimeter security entails the protection of your buildings and assets through the deployment of tools and equipment designed to limit access, deter criminals, and ultimately safeguard your property. However, before you begin planning, or reviewing your current measures, you should ensure that you have a good understanding of which measures will be right for your business.

How is my business different?

One size doesn’t always fit all. One of the most common sources of headaches for businesses that we discover in conversation comes from a lack of personalisation. Without a proper understanding of their operations, owners may be “upsold” to products that are either not suited to their particular type of business, or that they don’t need at all. This is why you should always seek out an experienced supplier and discuss with them how your business works and what needs you have. Afterall, no one knows your business as well as you.

What are my current security protocols?

It is rare to find a business that hasn’t at least invested in some rudimentary forms of physical security. However, there may be blind spots in your current blueprints that need to be addressed. It is important to identify weaknesses in your current strategy, as this is exactly what criminals will aim to do. If you can beat them to the mark, then you stand a good chance of deterring them from ever trying to take advantage.

How up to date are my current measures?

Like owning a car or a computer, security measures sometimes need to be reviewed and replaced. While products may be well built, time can wear on some, and repairs might be required to maintain their effectiveness. Equally, advances in technology may mean that your current measures are now outdated and need to be upgraded with advancements such as biometrics.

How do I build a strong perimeter?

To adequately protect your business, you need to start from the outside in. In the same way that castles would rely on drawbridges to keep safe, you too need to consider your entry and exit points.

Gates are one of the strongest forms of physical security out there and offer up both a physical and mental barrier that can upset criminal plans. Installed with thought and care, and given proper levels of maintenance – swing gates, sliding gates, and bi-folding gates should be a cornerstone of any physical security approach. Other fundamentals of external security include security posts, bollards, and outdoor turnstiles which provide effective solutions in specific environments.

How do I manage vehicular access?

Unwanted vehicles can be another sore point for some businesses. This may come in the form of unwanted heavy goods vehicles, caravans, or other unauthorised visitors. At the same time, vehicles can be a powerful tool for criminals, allowing them to use brute force to enter sites, or providing them with means of escape.

To combat this, businesses can employ a range of measures. Height restrictor barriers are often seen in car parks to block access to specific types of vehicles, while allowing permitted ones to enter. Security posts offer versatility in blocking access at specific times of the day, such as when your business is closed. Elsewhere, speed ramps can be used to reduce traffic speed, and automatic rising kerbs can be used to inhibit access in a formidable way.

What about internal security?

While a great amount of thought is often put into external security, there is an ever-growing need to address internal measures. In specific sites, entry may be granted freely, which means that there is a risk of visitors obtaining access to areas that need to be restricted. Equally, you may have high-value assets that need to be accessible by specific staff members only. Adopting tools like turnstiles and access control equipment can be a good place to start.

How do I know I’m making the right choice?

A quality supplier should leave you with no doubts about the options available to your business, and which tools should be used in cracking down on crime. A comprehensive risk assessment can be undertaken to address weaknesses and advise on the best course of action.

Here at Gateway Automation we provide you with a free, no-obligation risk assessment, feasibility survey, and quotation process free of charge. We also provide a nationwide reactive callout service with engineer response times of 8 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days. This means any problems can be addressed in a timely fashion, and disruption can be kept to a minimum.

For more information on any of the security options above, or for further advice on how to protect your business premises from criminals, please contact us here or call us on 01522 682 255.

How to choose the best security gates for your business

05Most businesses need to consider having a security gate installed. Not only does it act as the first line of defence and helps to keep intruders out, it gives staff and business owners peace of mind whilst also creating a great, secure first impression to others whilst also adding value to the business. Before choosing a gate, business owners need to ensure it is the best choice for their business. Here is how to choose the best security gates for your business. 

Decide what the goal of the gate is 

Although all the gates will provide a level of security, this may not be the primary goal for your business’ gates. Whilst some may have aesthetics as their main goal which will therefore need more research into whilst materials and colours they want to go for, others may have robust security as their primary goal. If this is the case, they may need to choose a gate that can have additional access control measures alongside it to beef up the security as much as possible. Once the primary goal has been discovered, it will help narrow down which options are best suited to your business’ needs.

Choose which type 

There are several types of gate to choose from and one size does not fit all so you must do your research before choosing a gate. Here are a few of the main types you can choose from.

Sliding gates- made for areas that have limited surrounding space, these gates slide across to allow vehicle entry. Cantilever sliding gates are suspended across the gate opening with no rollers running on the ground. These are a popular option as they are considered more reliable than tracked gates. Because of this, they are often used for heavy-duty needs such as industrial gate applications. They work well in all weather conditions and are suited to those sites that need high-level security.

Bi-Folding Gates– Bi-folding gates are the ideal solution where the speed of opening and closing is essential but also where space is at a premium. Made from two panels that are hinged together, the panels fold back on themselves to allow access rather than sliding fully across. Usually installed in pairs, one on either side of the gate, these are a great option for many businesses that require the gates to open quickly. 

Swing Gates- With one side hinged, these gates swing open like a door would. They can open either in or out depending on where you have the most space to use. As they need space to travel, these are great for businesses that boast a lot of land. Before these gates are installed, you need to ensure you have sufficient space. Oncoming vehicles need space to wait until the gates are fully open and you need to ensure no collisions or damages will occur. Swing gates are great for installing alongside access control equipment and other safety messages and can be a cost-effective option. 

Automatic or Manual 

The next decision that needs to be made is whether you go for gates that are automatic or manual. Whilst manual gates are a great low-cost option, it is important businesses weigh up the pros and cons. Although manual gates are more budget-friendly, you will need to take into account the time and effort it will take for someone to open the gates manual each time a vehicle needs access. If you have a regular steady flow of vehicles, this may not be feasible. With automatic gates, it withdraws the need to have a security guard

Access Control 

There are no many sophisticated options to choose from when it comes to access control. From using electronic keys, or key cards to phone entry or fingerprint biometric readers, the options are vast. The business needs to decide how much budget they have and what level of security is required. Although they are all great options and easy to use, for those sites that need additional security, biometric options will always be the most secure.

Style 

Once the practicalities of access control and the type of gate are sorted, it is important to take into account the aesthetic of the gate as well. This is the first thing many people see when they look at your premises and you, therefore, want it to send the correct message. Sometimes businesses want a solid gate with no gaps whilst others opt for a barred / slat design instead. By talking to your provider in advance you should be able to work with them to create a security solution that matches all your needs. 

Deciding which type of security gate your business should go for is a big decision. It is the first form of business security that is there to protect your company and you, therefore, need to ensure you are choosing the best fit for your business’ needs. By following the steps stated in this blog, you should be able to narrow down your options and come to the best choice that will do the best job.

Physical security for data centres

technology-1587673_640While data centre outages can often be the result of the growing threat of cyber crime, there are also an increasing number of incidents brought about by physical perimeter breaches.

While many companies will employ seasoned IT security specialists to protect them from cyber hacks and a serious online breach, their physical security is often an afterthought. However, protecting a data centre from physical threats is just as important as protecting those posed online and could have just as serious an impact. If your businesses houses their own data centre, or indeed if you are the chosen company to outsource another businesses data then an attack could have serious consequences for your business.

Every site will have its own specific needs and a risk assessment is certainly the place to start. This will help to develop a holistic approach that covers every aspect of your physical defence needs. While many businesses choose to utilise CCTV coverage as a means of protecting their premises it does not work as a means of preventing crime. Criminals attempting to target a data centre will know the consequences they face if caught and will make efforts to either destroy CCTV equipment or hide their faces so as not to be identified. This is why a 360 degree approach to site security should be adopted rather than relying on CCTV alone.

Some ways which you can prevent a criminal from ever gaining access include fully automatic barriers, gates and automatic rising kerbs.

Automatic barriers can be controlled by push-buttons, tokens, and proximity cards, or by manned guards on site thereby preventing unauthorised access. Heavy duty gates like swing gates, sliding gates or bi-folding gates prevent unwanted entry but also deter criminals who would otherwise try and escape in a getaway vehicle after breaking into your data centre. Automatic rising kerbs can also be used to cut off vehicular access, either to your entire site or just selected areas highlighted as under threat.

Gateway Automation provides a range of perimeter security systems to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provides nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/brochure/.