In an age of increased security fears, public service facilities and high-rise buildings in Australia are seeing the value of entrance security technologies grow.
The use of such techniques by federal and state bodies also mirrors initiatives to physically protect information stored in data centres of some of the world’s biggest IT and ISP companies.
"The shift is being driven in many cases by a duty of care of employers and facility operators to protect employees, clients and public data," Boon Edam Australia managing director Michael Fisher said.
“Employers and operators have a legal duty of care to look ahead to see what might happen in their facility."
Building security — such as crowd control mitigation — is rising in multi-tenanted buildings and buildings occupied by tenants with sensitive and valuable data on their premises.
This approach to risk mitigation is based on Boon Edam’s 140 years of experience in architectural revolving doors and entrance security.
With a presence in over 27 countries, as well as a client list that includes Fortune 500 companies globally, Boon Edam's security technology installation clients include banks, legislatures, treasuries, company headquarters and public spaces.
According to Fisher, Australia's place as a peaceful country doesn't naturally extend to public buildings.
“Australia used to be pleasantly removed from the mainstream safety threats that are seen around the world.
“But behind the headlines, staff and clients in our everyday public buildings, such as hospitals and welfare centres, are subjected to levels of abuse and physical threat previously unheard of,” Fisher says.
In response to the need to provide high security, even at times when security staff are scarce, Boon Edam Australia’s latest "Tourlock", "Circlelock" and "Lifeline" ranges of entrance security technologies provide security for the entrances to data centres, head offices and designated building facility entrances.
A security breach at a building entrance is often the first sign that an organisation or asset owner needs to reconsider their security solution.
Several options are often considered, such as locks on doors or gates, access control systems to control electronic door locks, security officers posted at key locations and security cameras to monitor access.
But these solutions are not without their problems.
An access control system can manage who can open a door, but once it is open, anyone is able to freely enter or exit.
Adding security cameras does not necessarily ensure security either – it often just makes it possible to replay what happened after the security breach has actually taken place.
Employing security guards is expensive, and these guards may have a limited impact as they can be distracted, misled or overwhelmed.
Security entrance solutions provide the most effective way to allow passage of authorised people, while acting as a deterrent or a physical barrier for unauthorised people.
More than that, security entrances can provide companies with valuable metrics to determine the traffic flow, monitor tailgating statistics, biometrics, and more.
An approach to improving security entrances can be considered in terms of four groupings to achieve a variety of risk mitigation strategies: crowd control, deterrence, detection, and prevention.
The lowest level of security entrances, such as waist-high turnstiles, can count the number of people exiting or entering a facility, which helps staffed entrances to cope with a large numbers of authorised people.
These low security systems are designed to slow down and organise the entry point, while also serving as visual deterrents to potential infiltrators and preserving a relatively open appearance for authorised people.
Typical applications include sports stadium entries, factory shift changes, transit terminals and high-occupancy skyscraper buildings.
The next level in the security entrance grading is designed with an increase in the deterrent factor.
These incorporate a full-height barrier that deters casual attempts to defeat the system by means of climbing or crawling.
A full height barrier is often installed at a perimeter fence line as a first layer of physical security, or an “exit only” to allow people to leave – but deter them from entering.
When integrated with an access control system, metrics such as the number of inbound and/or outbound people, in addition to credentials, can be tracked.
Medium level security entrances rely on sensor technology to accurately detect objects moving through an opening, and can determine whether one or two people are passing through.
In this way, they can detect when a tailgating or piggybacking incidence occurs. If this happens, an audio, visual and silent alarm are activated to alert the right security personnel quickly.
At this security level, speed gates, which are particularly popular in reception areas or foyers, can be equipped with presence detection sensors, and can provide accurate metrics including the number of authorised personnel inbound and outbound as well as the number of tailgating incidents or alarms.
Certain models are equipped with dense sensor arrays and can be set up to alarm and count jumping or crawling attempts.
This is the highest level of security entrances available and it introduces true tailgating and piggybacking prevention.
Products such as high security doors and portals typically fall in this area.
The solutions in this category are most suitable for facilities such as data centres, and for locations where security staffing is impractical.
By integrating facial recognition analytics, it is possible to ensure that the person traveling through the entrance matches the credentials which have been presented.
Biometrics serve the same function by utilising the individual’s face, iris or fingerprint as their credentials.
With the integration of sophisticated near-infrared sensors and optic technologies, such as StereoVision, these entrances can provide rich metrics, including authorisation received, passage completed, tailgating, biometric access control rejections, safety rejections and emergency button rejections.
They can also detect and send alerts for a variety of events such as an object left behind.
Securing an entrance can take many forms, but the overall goal is to establish risk mitigation strategies to keep unauthorised entry at bay.
“At the end of the day, security entrances are a great investment for any organisation that needs to control access to any points in their facilities,” Fisher said.
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