Electronic security systems are only as good as their design, implementation, adoption and ongoing maintenance. They must account for the health and safety of employees as well as the value of property and equipment. According to the Electronic Security Association, organizations should also ensure that security systems provide protection against fire, vandalism and other unforeseen incidents.
Electronic security can be daunting, so here are a some things to take into account when updating or implementing an electronic security solution:
- Buy-In from Employees: Electronic security (including cameras, access control devices, etc.) is a powerful and effective security tool, but unless an organization can get buy-in from all employees and staff, it will remain vulnerable. Sharing key cards, propping open doors, sharing login information or letting visitors into the building with no verification are just a couple of things that employees can do to sabotage an electronic security system on a daily basis.
- Train the Staff: Make sure all employees know how to use the security systems and what is deemed acceptable and absolutely not acceptable.
- Perimeter Protection of the Facility and Property: In addition to the organization’s facility, system coverage should extend to easily accessible areas such as parking garages and outlying structures. Since the general public usually has access to these types of areas, monitoring and protection should extend to these areas.
- Install Multiple Types of Security Devices / Hardware: Security systems should adequately cover all access points including fire exits, stairwells, elevators, and rooftop hatch openings. To achieve this, an organization should install multiple types of security devices (e.g., video surveillance, access control hardware, intrusion monitoring, hold open door alarms) working in tandem to ensure all bases are covered.
- Passwords Must Be Safeguarded and Strong: If a password is written down on a sticky note and attached to a monitor for easy observation, your security system is useless. Make sure employees are trained to create strong passwords (14 characters long with alpha-numeric and at least one special character is recommended). Require that they change their password at least every 90 days. When an employee is no longer with the organization, immediately revoke their access to all systems and change shared passwords immediately.
- Use Security Experts During Design: Choosing, installing and training your organization on your existing or new security system is best handled by security experts. There are many aspects of security that the layperson just may not be aware of or may lack the knowledge to fully understand. Look to the experts to make sure that your time and money are being used wisely.
The Big Picture
Electronic security systems are a serious undertaking. Most often the biggest mistakes are made when the organization loses sight of why they are implementing an electronic security system in the first place. Remember the following:
- Security needs to focus on “controlling” and “protecting” your people flow which is your employees, visitors, clients AND unwanted Guests.
- Security is ONLY as good as your employees understanding it, supporting it and realizing the benefits to them as individuals.
- The best security programs starts with the physical security at the front door entrance and the security message delivered each time anyone walks into the business.
About SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc.
The SACS team can assist your organization with electronic security from the design phase through the training of your employees to ensure there is proper buy-in for your solution. Call us at 330-255-1101 to speak with one of security experts today.