Amanda Powell, Marketing Specialist at Boon Edam USA explains how the advantages of security entrances extend into most aspects of a business.
There was a time when security entrances were perceived as a solution reserved for specialized applications such as government buildings, nuclear power plants, correctional facilities and other facilities where high security is critical – but times have changed.
Today’s businesses and organizations face new and evolving challenges that threaten the safety and security of people, property and assets.
The risks and liabilities associated with these threats are also driving the need for businesses and organizations of all sizes, across virtually all vertical markets, to seek better ways to fortify their facilities both at the perimeter and for sensitive interior locations.
As a result, security entrances are now widely considered to be a physical security imperative to better control and manage access to facilities – from public facing retail stores and medical facilities to office buildings, data centers, warehouses and other critical infrastructure operations.
Virtually every classification of facility can benefit from the addition of security entrances and the many advantages they offer.
Here are just a few of the reasons why secured entry solutions have gone mainstream.
Secured entry solutions have long been established as proven tools in the fight against shrinkage, theft and unauthorized entry into protected areas.
From revolving doors and turnstiles for high-traffic stores to interlocking portals for high-end merchandisers, retailers are increasingly deploying security entrances to help curtail losses while maintaining welcoming, secure environments for their customers.
When deployed in large retail box stores and warehouses and distribution centers, a layered application of secured entry solutions can eliminate shrinkage caused by insider threats, external operators and employee collusion.
As a result, secured entry solutions are now widely considered mainstream security imperatives for luxury retailers, as new and emerging threats continue to chip away at profits.
For demanding retail applications where expensive merchandise is sold, like jewelry and watch stores or designer handbags and clothing shops, secured entry solutions, such as security revolving doors and interlocking mantrap portals, can offer the highest level of preventative security by thwarting unauthorized entry attempts.
This level of secured entry is also ideal for back-areas such as cash rooms, vaults and storage areas that are off limits to unauthorized personnel.
Smash-and-grab robberies, wherein individuals smash through a door or window, grab readily available valuables and then make a quick getaway is a growing tactic.
These crimes occur quickly with the associated costs often far exceeding the cost of the goods that are stolen.
Luxury retailers often have trouble keeping up foot traffic sales with plywood in their front doors.
Many more are spending thousands to hire on-site security personnel to safeguard their facilities while awaiting repairs.
While advanced security entrances are not immune to smash-and-grab attempts, there are solutions available that can be applied to glass facades and security entrances to help further fortify retail establishments while adding another layer of protection for employees and patrons inside.
Smash-resistant laminate film, for example, is a type of glass solution engineered to withstand a range of impact forces, from blunt objects to sharp tools.
When applied, the laminate film causes glass to crack like a spider web when hit, instead of shattering into multiple pieces.
As the treated glass cannot be easily broken, it can act as a deterrent to assailants looking for fast and easy targets.
The challenge of maintaining a secure environment is continuing to grow for businesses and building owners.
Perhaps one of the most significant risks that has grown over the past decade has been workplace violence.
The statistics on this hazard are alarming. According to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately two million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year.
In the year 2020 alone, workplace assaults resulted in a startling 20,050 injuries and 392 fatalities.
While many of these attacks are personal, they can take the form of an active shooter or other type of assault that impacts many individuals within one organization.
The rates are highest for jobs that involve direct contact with the public, including law enforcement, healthcare and the service industries.
The opportunity for an attacker to carry out this kind of assault is predicated on their ability to gain access to the premises of a campus or the interior of a building.
Many corporate lobbies now deploy biometric access control solutions with traditional swing doors as a security entrance.
However, criminals can still easily gain access through the common practice of tailgating, wherein a second person slips through an entrance on the credentials of the person preceding them or piggybacking which typically involves the collusion of two individuals attempting to pass through a security entrance at the same time using only one authorized credential.
Only security entrances can proactively deter, detect and prevent unauthorized access attempts.
Today’s organizations are planning more carefully around the concept of sustainability, choosing technology solutions that align with their corporate charters.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is increasingly included among design priorities, while helping to demonstrate sustainability achievement and leadership.
Security entrances such as revolving doors are an excellent solution that contributes to this objective while also supporting risk mitigation goals.
When a traditional swinging door is opened, there can be a significant volume of air exchanged between the interior and exterior of a building.
This can put a greater burden on HVAC systems to maintain a comfortable interior temperature.
In contrast, with a revolving door, eight times less air is exchanged than with a sliding or swinging door.
Furthermore, when integrated with direction motion sensors, revolving doors only rotate when a user is exiting or entering the building.
This kind of security entrance helps to promote sustainability, along with energy savings, lower maintenance costs and improved temperature stability within facilities.
Organizations have long seen the value in designing corporate entrances and lobbies that reflect brand values and aesthetics while acting as the first impression for potential new customers, employees and guests.
People are quick to judge a book by its cover and great lobby design sends a message that a corporation takes pride not only in how the lobby looks, but how it is being used.
Today’s secured entry solutions can be designed with a variety of different materials, glazing options and architectural finishes to complement a facility’s design aesthetics.
Some of the greatest cybersecurity vulnerabilities stem from bad actors gaining physical access to server rooms, IP phones and on-site connected devices.
Often these criminals will slip through an access point using tailgating or attempt to present fraudulent credentials.
Security entrances can effectively mitigate these risks through technology.
As mentioned above, tailgating can be identified and access denied as it is happening, instead of relying on alarms and security officers to prevent a criminal from entering a facility.
Dual-factor portals with facial recognition can ensure that the person attempting to enter matches a valid set of credentials before the second door is opened.
Cybersecurity is a hazard on many levels – it damages short-term profitability and long-term business continuity while exposing the organization to liability, both professional and personal.
Security entrances have a unique ability to prevent this danger.
A key element of today’s smart lobby design is to better manage pedestrian traffic flow and patterns.
Congested lobbies are both inefficient and ineffective, creating confusion in a space designed to promote structure.
The opportunity for confusion has only grown in the time of hybrid working that sees some employees come into the office on some days while not on others.
Traffic flow is also an important concern for business with a large population of workers who are paid hourly and whose time doesn’t begin until they scan their ID upon entrance.
Should a crowd gather and the entrance process move slowly, it can cause frustration for those waiting to scan and start their hours.
The best secured entry solutions can help maintain swift, orderly entry and exit.
There are many different reasons to deploy secured entry solutions at facilities’ entrances and interior locations.
With the wide range of value and benefits they deliver across the enterprise, it is no surprise that secured entry solutions are now a mainstream physical security solution.
Amanda Powell is a Marketing Specialist for Boon Edam USA.
Amanda recently rejoined Boon Edam after a short two-year hiatus and is going into her second year with the company.
In her current role she is tasked with supporting the sales team across the country, organizing tradeshow logistics, producing website content and helping with tech center operations.
Prior to her time at Boon Edam, Amanda worked in marketing in college athletics for over eight years.
This article on executive protection was originally published in the December edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.