How Security Integrators Can Help Access Control Clients Rebound Better

To successfully provide security at on-site locations during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, building owners need to reevaluate their properties’ ecosystem.

In the decade between 2010 and 2020, our society adapted to rapid and constant technological change. For security professionals tasked with advancing security measures, this meant purely adding on more and newer technologies, without much change to the overall security strategy.

However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, it completely shifted the world on its axis, and old plans and strategies no longer hold up.

The way we live, work and play all changed, along with the threats that challenge our safety. Criminal behavior changed due to the drastic shift in societal behaviors, and a new threat emerged, one to our health and safety.

To continue to successfully provide security at on-site locations, building owners and managers need to reevaluate their properties’ ecosystem and gain a new understanding of today’s challenges in order to build a holistic plan to address those challenges.

The cost of not keeping up

Security plans and procedures created even a few years ago are now outdated, given that they don’t account for newly emerging threats.

In 2020, major metropolitan areas experienced a skyrocketing of commercial burglaries due to business closures. Philadelphia experienced a 134% increase, and similarly, New York saw a 169% increase. And these breaches are costly. According to the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report, 10% of malicious breaches in the study were caused by a physical compromise, at an average cost of $4.4 million.

And that’s just the human threat. Another significant change is the way that we have to adapt to the contagion that is the new coronavirus. Large gatherings, enclosed spaces and highly utilized surfaces are now a threat to our health and safety that must be considered.

A holistic security plan is one that outlines user behavior, current threats to security (including the threats that you think “could never happen here”), and the latest prop-tech products to address each of the potential threats.

So how has our behavior changed?

The pandemic spurred significant change for everyone. Business closures, stay-at-home orders, and the fear of a rapidly spreading virus all contributed to society developing a ‘new normal’ overnight.

High-touch objects like doorknobs suddenly became a threat to health and because of many cities instituting stay-at-home orders, citizens were turning to ecommerce for everyday essentials — ranging from food to household and pet supplies. According to Business Insider, UPS alone delivered an average of 21.1 million packages daily in the second quarter of 2020, a 22.8% increase from 2019.

The impact of this is that more people are coming and going every day to make these deliveries. From a security standpoint, these are individuals that require some access for efficient deliveries but need specific restrictions to avoid security breaches.

Data provides insight into tech solutions

For systems integrators to help their end customers understand what the new normal looks like for their properties specifically, turn to the data. Don’t guess how people are behaving; instead utilize tools that provide real-time data into how people are interacting with commercial property in 2021.

Record the number of people that come and go from the property each day. How many is that per day or week? On average, how many people are on-site at the same time, and what type of personnel are moving about the premises? Be sure to take note of the areas of the property that are most heavily populated, and at what times of the day.

Technology such as remote access control will provide this data. Remote access control records how many people are on-site, who those individuals are, and where they are on the premises. In real-estate specifically, administrators can update directories in real-time so that only their most tenants have access to the building.

Centralized video surveillance allows managers of large properties, or with multiple properties, to view every access point under their control within the same dashboard.

Building safety plans and procedures

Simply collecting the information and having an always-on monitoring system is not enough. Clear procedures need to be in place for when things go awry.

Intelligent video surveillance is able to capture and understand anomalies in user behavior by combining on-site video surveillance with remote access control systems.

Access control tech also addresses new health-safety protocols. Replacing door handles with mobile app access provides a touch-free access point, significantly reducing germ spread and enabling more health-safety features into your plan, while also providing property managers with a second layer of protection.

Mobile phones also provide a level of two-factor authentication, since users have to go through a layer of biometric security via facial recognition or fingerprint scan, and then a second layer of authentication through the access control app itself. By leveraging mobile access control, buildings reduce the instances of lost or stolen keycards, preventing unwanted individuals from gaining easy access.

And while the process of data gathering and building new safety procedures is time-consuming, it is necessary. Safety is perhaps the most basic human need, and naturally, needs to continue to evolve along with society to address the threats we face. The safer our commercial and residential buildings become — both physically and medically — the better we can rebound to a new normal.

security access controlSteve Van Till is President and CEO of Brivo. He was inducted into the SSI Industry Hall of Fame in 2019.

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