Physical Security for Banks to Consider

Banks 2While all types of business premises can benefit from a security review, some sectors particularly need to keep their finger on the pulse. One of those is banking as banks are traditionally a top target for criminals. Here we discuss the physical security for banks to consider.

The Importance of Security for Banks

While banks are typically highly secure, the potential high reward for criminals means that they remain a top target for organised gangs and individual criminals. The result of a successful crime can go on to have long-lasting implications on their business. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways that banks can benefit from bolstering their physical security tools and take advantage of emerging technologies.

Alarm Systems

From traditional intruder alarms, manned security, and CCTV, there are several security options that businesses in the financial sector can take advantage of. Having these systems installed helps provide peace of mind to employees and customers alike. They also help provide a level of control to the business.

Access Control

Access control equipment such as intercoms, keypads, cards, fobs, or even turnstiles can all improve safety levels on-site. From protecting staff, customer files to other critical assets. This is particularly useful in banks, where the safety of employees working in restricted areas needs to be secure.

Turnstiles

Banks are busy environments and they receive heavy footfall from customers, staff, contractors, and suppliers alike. With all this coming and going, systems must be in place to restrict access to specific areas to only those who need it and are authorised to be there. Access control equipment and turnstiles can effectively cordon off areas for these purposes. For instance, for cash-in-transit firms and technicians who must be able to access secure enclosures regularly throughout the week.

Biometrics

Biometrics is another exciting development that can give the financial sector the security levels that are so essential to their businesses. Biometric technology utilises forms of identification that are more difficult to crack or clone, such as fingerprints, iris scanners, and voice recognition. Rather than relying on keys, fobs, or passwords, which can be copied or shared, biometrics offer a reliable and personalised means of restricting access robustly.

Gates and Barriers

Another consideration for banks to review is perimeter security. It is vital to be able to control access to external areas that are reserved for contractors and visitors. Barriers for instance can be used to restrict vehicular access to authorised personnel. Swing gates, sliding gates, and bi-folding gates can secure your premises between visits, and bollards, or road blockers can be used to reduce the threat of ramming.

Provide a balance

With all these considerations in mind, it is important to not overlook the fact that banks are customer orientated environments. Banks need to balance ease of access to the public with a strong and robust approach to physical security. Compromise can be found with knowledge and expertise in this area. Security enhancements can be achieved in a way that is tasteful but still achieves its target of securing assets. Providing peace of mind to both customers and employees of an institution.

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/.

7 Physical Security Measures Every Organisation Should Implement

SONY DSCNo matter whether you are a small, medium, or large organisation, there is always a place for physical security. Your business is home to your data, your employees and more so you must ensure they are protected as much as possible. Not only does physical security help protect your premises from an in-person attack but it also helps boost the strength of a company’s cybersecurity as well. Here are seven physical security measures every organisation should implement.  

Set up surveillance  

Although a business should have other security measures to stop people from breaking into the premises, it is important to know that if the worst-case scenario were to happen, you can have video evidence of who the intruder is. When installing a surveillance camera, ensure you place it in the optimum position to get a good, clear view of the entrance and exit points. Not only can surveillance cameras monitor the site continuously, but they can also use motion detectors and only record when there is movement. Most surveillance cameras now come with a notification process where it sends a warning to a mobile to say there is suspicious activity.  

Ensure you have supporting signage near the surveillance cameras that state they are in use. People need to be warned there are cameras in operation, but they also have the added effect of being a physical deterrent for potential criminals. 

Lock the server room  

The server room is a vital location on any business premises as it contains sensitive data which would be detrimental if it fell into the wrong hands. If criminals attack your server room it can lead to significant downtime and cost to a company. Have sturdy locks on the door and have access control where possible, to ensure that only authorised personnel has access. 

Have access controls  

A business should have a method of access control in place. Access control equipment can vary in sophistication and range from a keypad that requires a keycode to be entered, to using a keycard or even fingerprint recognition. So, depending on your budget, there is still a way for you to use this technology to create a more secure environment.  

Use ID cards for staff 

Using ID cards has been proven to be an effective security measure that all companies can adopt. If you have a security guard, it should be a protocol that all ID cards are checked before they are allowed onto the premises. The ID cards can also be used in conjunction with access controls for even tighter security. For example, if a business has an entrance foyer, turnstiles can be installed that only allow access to those who have their ID card. 

Have car park security  

It is not just the building itself that should be secured. If there is a staff car park, security measures should be in place here as well. For example, gates, barriers, fences, bollards, and surveillance cameras. If there is no physical security around your car park it can lead to criminals gaining close access to your building, especially if they can park right next to the building. Having these measures also help make the staff feel safer whilst they are at work. 

Install Exterior Lighting  

Whilst it can easily be overlooked, a great form of physical security can be the lighting. This low-cost option can have a major impact. Having exterior lights around the proximity of the property can help deter any criminals as they cannot hide in the dark. Staff will also feel safe entering or exiting the premises if they know there is sufficient lighting. 

Provide regularly security training  

All members of staff should be trained to understand the importance of physical security and know what measures are in place. To remain as secure as possible, a company needs to adopt a security culture in the workplace. Everyone should understand what the risks are and what measures they need to follow. Even one staff member who does not follow the correct procedures can end up putting the whole company’s data and assets at risk. 

This list is just the start of things organisations should consider implementing to protect their business. They are the most essential security measures that businesses should implement now if they haven’t already done so. Although there is an investment, the benefits they provide outweigh the cost as they provide peace of mind that you have done everything you can to keep your business safe and secure. 

How Cybersecurity can impact physical security

Gateway- Cyber SecurityThe majority of businesses are now more aware than ever that cybersecurity is vital. Cyber attacks are now, unfortunately, more common than ever and companies need to be prepared. However, what some businesses do not know is how detrimental cybersecurity is when it comes to the perimeter and physical security. Businesses need to make sure that their security has a full package, taking both of these things into account. Here, we discuss how cybersecurity can impact physical security. 

Because most physical security now includes an element of computer technology, it becomes clear that cybersecurity is automatically linked, despite it not being always obvious at first sight. For example, many businesses opt for gates which include a form of access control. Although access control through access cards, key codes, or even biometrics all provide an additional layer of security, businesses need to understand that it can also be a cybersecurity risk that needs to be included in all security plans.

If an attacker gained access to your security cameras or door controllers, your site would be at risk physically as well as remotely. This worst-case scenario is something that business owners need to consider and think of ways to keep their business’ sites as well as their online data safe. 

What should businesses do? 

When planning physical security, businesses should consider making the same level of planning as they would for their cybersecurity. Now that the majority of people use computers as part of their daily jobs and the increased complexity of more people working from home, each business should have a comprehensive cybersecurity plan that involves best practices. 

This plan should also be used for their physical security. For example, all physical security that involves computer technology should be managed using complex device passwords that are changed regularly as well as firewalls where possible. 

Whenever a business has any physical or computer equipment installed, ensure that any default codes or passwords are changed immediately. For example, access control keypads using a code should always be changed as soon as they are installed and never left at the default or a code that the installer is aware of.

Unfortunately, one of the most common forms of a data breach can be due to an insider attack. All sensitive documents should only be accessed by those who need to read them to carry out their day to day role. This is also the case for physical security. Only allow employees into the designated areas of the site that they required to visit. As soon as an employee leaves the company, access control and passwords that the employee knew should be altered.

Which is more important – cybersecurity or physical security?

Although cybersecurity is what usually hits the news and is a key focus for companies, businesses must ensure they incorporate physical security and not solely concentrate on cybersecurity. Confidential physical documents can lead to equally damaging results than if it was a digital breach. 

Although it is a terrifying thought of hackers being able to not only access your data but also overcome your physical security, it is still a great idea for a business to layer physical security with cybersecurity. The two are going to inevitably continue to be more reliant on each other than ever before and as long as preparations are in place to avoid attacks, this combination of physical and cybersecurity is one that is robust and effective.

In our world today, there is hardly any security that doesn’t contain a digital element and therefore could be a target for a cyber attack. As you can see, cybersecurity has a major impact on the physical security measures and although they used to be completely separate entities, they are now irrevocably intertwined and therefore businesses need to plan with this in mind. If companies do not see them as part of the same overall holistic security package, they could end up with devastating consequences. 

Data Centre Security- 11 Ways To Secure Data Centres

Server room interiorThe term data centre security conjures images of lines of code, hackers and firewalls. However, there is a huge requirement for physical security within a data centre too.

Data centres are used to house computer systems. They often include backup data, core data, replicated data and on the whole, are huge part of an organisation’s Disaster Recovery Strategy.

In a world where technology impacts many industries, data centres are crucial for businesses and therefore data centres security is a hot topic. Not only should data be protected from potential cyber-attacks, the physical building should be secure.

Cyber security focuses on the prevention of data theft or destruction by malicious attacks; however, this is not enough to ensure your data centre remains safe. The building also has to be protected from physical attacks.

Here, we discuss 11 ways you can physically secure data centres.

1. Use Crash Barriers

Stop unauthorised vehicle entry with the installation of road blockers. These have been designed specifically to prevent the threat of potential intruders or terrorist attacks in high-security areas. Varying in height, these road blockers will restrict the entry of vehicles.

2. Use Bollards

Avoid anything impacting and colliding into the building by installing bollards. Install permanent bollards around the building entrances. Alternatively, you could install adjustable bollards that can be lowered to allow access to authorized vehicles.

3. Limit Entry Points

Where possible, try and limit the possible entry points to only one door. If you require additional fire doors, ensure these extra doors are exit only. Limit exterior door handles to prevent any re-entry.

4. Use Security Cameras

Surveillance cameras should be installed throughout the perimeter of the data centre. Consider installing adequate CCTV signage as this can be a physical deterrent.

5. Hire On-Site Security

Threats can happen at any time. You may consider an additional layer of physical security by hiring on-site staff. Having someone monitoring the site acts as a strong deterrent to intruders and can raise the alarm if they spot any potential issues.

6. Build The Data Centre In The Best Location

Plan the best location for your data centre. If possible, choose a location away from the company’s head office or headquarters.

Ensure the data centre is set back from the main road. Consider using landscaping to help form additional protection as trees can help obscure the building from passers-by. Avoid building data centres in locations that are prone to natural disasters such as in a flood area or an area prone to earthquakes or fires.

7. Plan The Data Centre Carefully

When you design a data centre, avoid unnecessary windows. Build walls that are extremely thick as they work an effective barrier as well as improving thermal insulation.

8. Embrace Biometric Technology

Biometric technology is increasingly popular and is now part of our every day lives. Install biometric identification systems in the building to control access. This is often a fingerprint recognition device. In addition to biometric technology, ensure multi-factor authentication is in place. This method utilises two or more authentication methods. For example, someone may use their fingerprint but will still need to type in a pin code or show an access card.

9. Install Barriers and Gates

Perimeter security is also vital. Have strong fencing around your entire site. Ensure the gates and barriers are placed where surveillance equipment, a guard, or preferably both are in place. Also, use barriers to control which vehicles enter the premises.

10. Use Access Control Equipment

Data centres should adopt a Zero Trust Network. This means that no one is trusted until they can prove who they are. Access control equipment is an important element of implementing this.

While it may seem simple, access lists should also be provided to ensure that only approved individuals can access data centre. Ensure these lists are kept up to date and are stored securely.

11. Install a Sophisticated Alarm System

Alarm systems are costly. However, these costs are outweighed by the potential benefits. Some systems are linked to local police stations or security companies. Others are silent, but trigger alerts to key staff. Whatever the system you choose, it will bring peace of mind.

People value physical security. They trust places that are secure when they can actually see forms of security such as gates, barriers and alarm systems.

Many companies may forget about the physical form of security when it comes to data centres as they are concentrating on the risk of cyber threats. Although cybersecurity is vital and needs to be as sophisticated as possible, teaming this up with physical security can ensure your data centre is as secure as it can be.

As data centres evolve in the future, the need for physical measures will remain vital. However, physical security measures may also evolve. Having a multi-layer approach that considers both physical and cyber elements will ensure the best protection.

To find out more about how data centres can be secured using physical security, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

The Benefits of Biometrics in Physical Security

Fingerprint scan
Biometrics is defined as the application of statistical analysis to biological data in the Oxford dictionary and uses unique physical or behavioural traits to verify the identity of an individual. Biometrics is not a new concept.

Police have been using fingerprint identification since the 1800s, however the advancement of computer technology has allowed companies to use biometric devices to increase their security immensely. Biometrics have allowed companies to move away from less secure practices such as passwords and pin numbers to practices that are harder to hack such as fingerprints, iris scanners and even voice recognition devices. Some companies even utilize multi-factor authentication to log in to a computer.

The most popular usage of biometric data in security is a fingerprint reader. What used to be something seen only in science fiction movies is now used in every day life. Many people even use this this technology on a daily basis and a lot of people even use this technology to gain access to their mobile phones. The same technology is a great option for companies to incorporate into their security plan. Now the technology is widely available, the cost is relatively low, especially compared to other forms of biometrics such as iris scanners and facial recognition.

Here we discuss the benefits of using biometric security devices as part of an overall security plan.

•    Biometric security devices remove some need for passwords. Unlike passwords, biometrics are not easily shared or hacked. Password security issues account for many data breaches within companies.

•    Biometric security devices can be used to avoid cyber and physical security breaches- Modern devices are extremely versatile as they can not only be used to prevent hacking and other data breaches but are regularly used for access control and authorization. Unlike keys and proximity cards, biometrics cannot be stolen which makes them great addition to your physical security.

•    The technology is becoming cheaper over time. Although facial and iris recognition is still expensive, fingerprint recognition continues to decrease in price, making them a realistic option for many businesses.

•    Fingerprint recognition is more accurate than voice recognition.

•    They can increase convenience- biometric security devices are extremely efficient and convenient as an employee do not need to remember anything in order to access the building or information, only biological features such as fingerprint or are needed.

•    Can be incorporated seamlessly with other methods of security- You can team biometrics with many aspects of your existing security and doesn’t necessarily need to replace anything, it can be used in addition.

•    Biometrics are accurate- Although they are not perfect, biometrics are a lot more accurate at identification than the use of passwords or access cards. If you work in a high-risk sector, then biometrics are a perfect choice.

•    Biometrics can also help with accountability. If any security breaches take place, a biometric security system will provide data that is easy to analyse and confirm how the breach took take and by whom.

Are there any drawbacks to biometrics in security?

Despite its many benefits, there are still some areas of concern that businesses should consider. Biometric security devices can sometimes be slower in practice due to the time it takes for people to apply their finger to the device and for the reader to process the information. If you have an extremely high trafficked area, you should consider whether biometric security devices would effect building access in high-volume periods such as the beginning or end of shifts.

Although biometrics cannot be lost like access cards can, this does not mean that there are no ways to gain access to someone’s fingerprint. If a security breach does happen, you can easily replace an access card but when we are talking about someone’s fingerprint, it is another story!

The important thing to remember is that despite how beneficial biometric security devices could be, you should not rely on them as your only method of security as despite its many benefits, biometrics remains imperfect. Consider implementing multifactor security system, regardless of the advances in technology.  By teaming up biometrics as part of your overall physical and cyber security strategy, you can ensure your end to end security is as strong as possible and it can help to enhance physical security systems immensely.

To find out more about how biometrics can be incorporated into your physical security plan, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

4 main methods of securing your business more effectively

When it comes to keeping your business secure, many business owners think they have it all covered. However, with crime rates on the up, there is little room for doubt these days. Here are some commonly utilised forms of perimeter security that your business should seriously consider adopting if it hasn’t already done so.

Gates
While it may sound obvious, the first place that needs to be secure is the entrance way. You would not believe how many people forget about securing this first entrance point to their premises. It is the first point of contact with anyone that visits or comes onto your site, so it needs to be majorly secure in order to prevent any unwanted access. This is where automated security gates come in perfectly, whether it be automatic swinging gates to bi-folding speed gates, they will all do the job of helping your premises become a more secure location.

Security posts
Security posts are great for any business or even retail store. They hold a simplistic design but can have such a powerful and secure impact. How you might say? Well, although they may be simple, their solid structure can stop a lot of vandalism and damage to your business. It can stop things such as ram raids and burglaries from occurring as it will prevent anyone from being able to hit your business with a heavy vehicle trying to gain access. Even with the plethora of different options available today, security posts are still one of the best methods to secure your business.

Turnstiles
When it comes to turnstiles, the first thing that usually comes to mind is football grounds and sports grounds, where you must go through them with a ticket or card in order to access the ground. Well, they are also great for businesses, mainly large businesses that have a lot of employees that come through the door each day. A turnstile helps to prevent unwanted access from anyone that is not meant to be there and only allows employees and authorised access through. This would therefore allow your business to be fully secure as you know that everyone that passes through it is meant to be there.

Biometrics
Biomet-what? Never heard of it? Well biometric security involves measuring unique characteristics of a person, such as fingerprints, voice etc. meaning it is one of the most secure methods you can get for your business. Having this within your business will allow for maximum security as it will only allow people in with those unique characteristics assigned to them. For example, people may have to sign in with their fingerprint, so you know anyone who is not meant to be there will not be able to gain access due to this high-tech security system in place.

There are many methods out there nowadays that can help keep your business secure, but the four main methods explained in this blog are the ones you want to be investing in first to ensure your business is as secure as it can be.

Protect high-value goods with access control equipment

protect high-value goods with access control equipmentEvery delivery of cargo to your warehouse represents value, but some more than others. The loss of expensive equipment, electronics, pharmaceuticals or other items could seriously undermine your business, disrupt relations with suppliers and customers and gravely harm your bottom line. This is why it is incredibly important that your business acts to ensure that your warehouse has rigorous security protocols in place to prevent such a disaster from happening.

Best practices for warehouse security and the role of access control equipment

Security at warehouses is paramount. Your systems need to be complex and detailed in order to offer protection to your goods, both during operations and afterwards. From basic practices like ensuring your employees are properly vetted, uniformed and badged and signed in to the building, to locking off access to high-value goods with access control equipment – your plan needs to be comprehensive.

It is important to properly vet your staff. It can be tempting to relax these types of practices at busy times of the year, such as seasonal spikes, but this is a short-sighted approach that can cost you dearly. Access control equipment can not only protect goods from unauthorised hands, it can also help to monitor which staff are in the building at any given time – helpful in identifying a culprit should stock disappear.

By using cages with a keypad or fingerprint biometric access control system you can secure high-value goods and restrict access to only approved persons. Without this kind of protection in place then anyone could gain access and potentially exploit those materials.

Mirrors and cameras should be installed around the building making it difficult for employees, tradespeople or other visitors to conceal stolen goods. Proper and effective monitoring is a key way to stop opportunistic theft. However, CCTV should not be relied on solely as It only records a crime happening, it does not always prevent it.

Physical keys should be replaced in lieu of electronic methods of access. Physical keys can be easily copied or can find their way into criminal hands which could put your entire business operation at risk, with thieves easily gaining access to goods, documents and other assets undisturbed. A building, room or cage that is only accessible by biometric finger print (entirely unique to the individual) or a keypad with a code that can be changed is a much more reliable form of security.

Gateway Automation can provide free, no obligation quotes and feasibility surveys for your premises. To get us to assess your security requirements, please contact us here.

Lock down your offices with biometric security

lock down your offices with biometric securitySome types of businesses are naturally more attractive to criminals than others, and so for those companies, security options are always at the forefront of what they do. Of course, this varies from business to business, and a bank or a shopping centre will typically have very different protocols in place to a restaurant or an office-based business. Unfortunately, far too many business owners wrongly assume that their businesses are safe from crime right up until the time they are targeted. Here we will look at how office-based businesses in particular can safeguard their people, information and assets in the face of ever-rising crime rates.

One of the biggest threats to office-based businesses is that of theft. In a recent survey as many as two-thirds of employees admitted to stealing low-cost items like stationary from their employers and a high number went even further than that, admitting to stealing electronic items and expensive materials. An obvious but largely underused way to combat this type of employee theft is to lock down specific areas such as stock cupboards or equipment storage areas with access control equipment. This means only trusted parties can access those materials.

While a degree of theft can come from your own employees acting poorly, theft can also come from outside your own building. Opportunistic thefts or planned attacks can take place should your building appear to be an easy target or the goods inside of high enough value to take a risk. Access control equipment like biometric entry controls, turnstiles and gates can effectively lock down your offices against these types of risks.

Another threat that businesses face in the modern world is that of data security. Physical hard-copy materials that contain sensitive information such as financial data or personal details can prove very valuable to criminals. In fact, this type of crime costs the UK as much as £3.3 billion year on year.

Businesses that fail to take strong steps to protect the information of their clients and customers can face damaging consequences. Should data be wrongly procured they can face fines of up to £500,000 from the Information Commissioners Office. As well as having strong data security protocols in place, businesses should ensure that confidential materials are securely stored, and once again only trusted parties should be given access.

Are you interested in finding out more? Gateway Automation provide 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/.