How Securitas Brought High Value to Fulton Bank’s Security Investment
Securitas Technology built Fulton Bank a multisystem solution to earn a 2023 SSI Integrated Installation of the Year Award.
It has been almost three years since COVID-19 spread across the world, making its indelible mark in every industry and shifting day-to-day life in an instant.
Businesses were forced to take a step back and reassess operations and procedures in a concerted effort to help keep employees, visitors and customers healthy, safe and secure.
For the security industry, it was a rapid test to quickly adapt to the new requirements of its customers as they navigated through the pandemic. While millions of small businesses, retailers, hotels and restaurants, for example, were forced to close for what was first thought to be only a few weeks, many were considered essential and needed to remain open.
Securitas Technology — the newly formed global security firm resulting from the combination of Securitas Electronic Security (SES) and STANLEY Security and STANLEY Healthcare — is at the forefront of the electronic security industry providing customized security solutions for financial institutions, hospitals, schools, retail stores and more.
Because Securitas Technology knows that security applications are unique to each space it secures, a high level of experience and expertise is vital to the success of developing and implementing a security program to safeguard organizations, their employees and their customers and reduce risk.
“For the security industry, as a whole, the ongoing challenge of serving their customers had now escalated to meet a new, unimaginable set of circumstances that needed to be addressed in order to help deliver a safer work environment for businesses and organizations keeping our economic ecosystem intact, including the country’s financial institutions,” says Securitas Technology Global President Tony Byerly, a member of the SSI industry Hall of Fame.
“Because trusting in financial institutions is a core pillar of the United States, customers inherently expect their money is safe, leading to security being a top priority for banks,” he says. “Outdated technology and security equipment can lead to higher-risk situations for staff and visitors.”
Fulton Bank, a subsidiary of Fulton Financial Corp., is a $26 billion financial services holding company based in Pennsylvania. The bank offers a broad array of financial products and services. Opened in 1882, Fulton Bank has more than 200 financial centers and specialty offices, in excess of 230 ATMs and approximately 3,700 employees across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.
Securitas Technology has partnered with Fulton Bank for 50 years to design, implement and monitor a healthier, safer and more secure site for employees and customers, including developing an exclusive SecureStat All-Clear app in all branches.
“COVID-19 allowed us to review our security systems and plan ahead to what we wanted for the future of Fulton Bank security,” says Fulton Bank Vice President, Director of Physical Security John Illes. “The conversion to touchless solutions was going to be the next big push for security technology, making it easier for individuals to get around a building.”
The full security program, including monitoring support, onsite guarding and security technology integrations, is deployed across hundreds of Fulton Bank locations. Driven by the pandemic, Fulton Bank wanted to modernize its six floor, 332,000-square-foot headquarters in Lancaster, Pa. The main objectives were to complete a multiple-lobby renovation and make changes to its adjoining financial center; upgrade and replace the obsolete security system; provide the technology needed for what was turning into a touchless society; and integrate all security enhancements into the current Lenel Access Control System.
More insights into this banner project, which brought Securitas Technology an SSI 2023 Integrated Installation of the Year Award, follow.
Analyzing, Assessing the Application
The start of this process first began in 2019 with Securitas Technology completing a building expansion project for Fulton Bank, adjacent to the main headquarters building. With COVID forcing Fulton Bank to look for new solutions that would prove beneficial in a post-COVID world for its headquarters and financial center, Securitas got to work at the end of 2021 on a new comprehensive security plan.
This new strategy focused on touchless solutions for a more seamless operational experience for the bank and for end users. For Fulton Bank, it was imperative for staff and visitors to be able to access the building securely, but without having to touch any high-traffic areas, like door handles, key cards, etc. The goal was to allow people to have a sense of protection during the pandemic when going to work or accessing their banking accounts while also providing a more seamless experience. Touchless solutions were the driving factor for the entire robust installation.
During the time of the installation, health and safety restrictions were still in place, such as limiting the number of individuals allowed in the facility and social distancing practices. The integrator had to work around these obstacles, while also adhering to the project timeline, a strict budget and keeping everyone safe and secure while the bank, deemed an essential business, was still open.
“Throughout the renovation process, our Fulton Bank headquarters and financial center would remain occupied, which meant at no point could the security system be inactive during the installation,” adds Illes. “That required Securitas Technology to implement a phased approach to the installation to ensure there were no gaps or errors in security.”
The first phase occurred prior to bringing the completed system to Fulton Bank. Each technology component — devices, wires, cameras, turnstiles — was arranged and pretested in the Securitas Technology’s Technology Evaluation Lab. There, security technology is fully researched and evaluated to ensure no breaches in security would occur when installed onsite.
The lab is managed by the Product Evaluation Committee, a key group of Securitas Technology subject matter experts from various functional departments that evaluates and vets various facets of technology.
Once the design and engineering team confirmed that each test was successfully completed, it was then delivered to Fulton Bank’s Protection Services Department test environment to undergo additional screening and approval before final installation. These combined efforts were vital to ensure the next phases of the installation were successful.
Designed to Deliver
Although quick retrofits and camera upgrades are common solutions for financial institutions, Fulton Bank needed a complete lobby renovation. There are two lobby areas on the ground floor of Fulton Bank headquarters: Lobby ‘A’ and Lobby ‘B.’ Both could not be down at the same time, leading to phases two and three. The entire security team, including vendors, Fulton Bank Protection Services staff, Securitas Technology and more were able to start installing the upgraded systems to Lobby A, while Lobby B had full security function and capabilities.
Once Lobby A was completed and brought online, it was time to install all upgrades to Lobby B while Lobby A had full security functions and capabilities. Taking the time to complete one installation before moving on to the next was a necessity to ensure that the security system at Fulton Bank headquarters was never offline.
The project included a comprehensive integrated system design, including a few additional innovative installations. Fulton Bank’s headquarters includes a financial center with six floors of offices. After the lobby installation was complete, Securitas worked to ensure the touchless experience was extended throughout the entire building, by installing 42 new dormakaba ED900 low-energy swing automatic door operators with touchless wave readers.
The automatic operators are ADA compliant, exceptionally quiet and open at precisely controlled speeds and forces, helping to ensure safety for all users. Although not all 42 door automatic operators are integrated into the Lenel access control system, the high-traffic automatic openers are connected to the complete system.
To enhance the same touchless experience for the bank’s customers during the pandemic and maintain mandated social distancing practices, the integrator installed a self-serve safety deposit box system in the bank financial center, located on the ground floor of Fulton Bank headquarters. A biometric IDEMIA MorphoWave contactless fingerprint scanner was installed, allowing customers to access the safe deposit box area without the involvement of placing their hand in a palm reader.
“The success of Fulton Bank headquarters’ self-serve safety deposit box system prompted Securitas Technology to install the solution in 20 other Fulton Bank financial centers throughout the Northeast,” adds Byerly. “In the unpredictable world of financial institutions and their high-security challenges, Securitas Technology determined that, in addition to the above, multiple innovative technologies would create a comprehensive and secure solution.”
Sweetening the Solution
At the beginning of the installation process, Fulton Bank headquarters, driven by the pandemic, was operating at 2%-3% occupancy, which increased the concern unauthorized individuals could access the six-story building. The change in operating hours, and reduction in building occupancy led Fulton Bank to change its manned guarding hours.
To address this concern, Securitas Technology leveraged its client’s existing surveillance video system creating a VPN tunnel to the Securitas Remote Guarding Center so Fulton Bank could have remote guarding after hours or when the building was at reduced capacity. This was a key element in order to start the complete integration.
“Starting with the initial assessment process, all stakeholders were involved to ensure every aspect of Fulton Bank’s needs was discussed and considered,” Byerly states. “Direct communication throughout the entire process was imperative to the ultimate success of the integration. Securitas Technology was tasked with helping develop a security plan that allows crucial security measures to be upheld during the entire installation process.”
With multiple standalone systems integrated into one access control system, strategic coordination among all parties was critical. Once every part of the phased installation approach was completed at Fulton Bank headquarters, the turnstiles, surveillance video system and alarm system were all integrated into the Lenel access control system.
Additionally, Securitas Technology proposed and implemented SPLAN visitor management, which integrated with Lenel’s access control. This allows the Fulton Bank Protection Services team to monitor all areas of the building and provides a more streamlined visitor management process. Employees can now schedule visits, which lets the onsite security officers quickly and efficiently provide credentials to those visitors, keeping with the simplified user convenience of the MorphoWave readers.
Challenges Conquered, Expectations Exceeded
In addition to the many safety protocols that were still in place at the time of this project, the country was dealing with detrimental supply chain issues. Due to shifts in product demand, labor shortages and port congestion, there were many unforeseen factors that Securitas Technology had to overcome. However, all timelines were orchestrated and worked together to ensure the installation was completed.
“Working with an older structure that was built in 1929 added additional challenges, but by quickly understanding and addressing the needs of Fulton Bank, Securitas Technology was able to develop a comprehensive plan,” contends Byerly.
“While the installation process went smoothly and finished on time, there were a unique set of challenges that are involved when updating a 90-year-old building. That included difficult wire pulls to update some of the access control and camera systems.”
The Fulton Bank Protection Services team went through training on the new Lenel access control system, as well as instruction on the self-serve safe deposit box solution, providing them with information to utilize all aspects of their security system.
In addition, Securitas Technology Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness Group provided an onsite review that included an emergency action plan for Fulton Bank. This included an updated floor plan and correct evacuation routes based on renovations and all new security solutions that were completed.
“Securitas Technology allowed our headquarters and financial center to be fully operational throughout the process without impeding our business,” says Illes. “The partnership was very much an open dialogue where Securitas Technology listened to our wants and needs and provided their knowledge and expertise to ensure our facility had a top-of-the-line solution. We are so pleased with the outcome and the flexibility it provides when all our systems are working together.”
With the positive benefits that have already been seen with the entire integration, Securitas Technology is now working on analytics in the lobby vestibule areas regarding tailgating and loitering through the Fast Gate 150 turnstiles.
The goal for this is to send an alert to the main guard center if an employee or visitor crosses a line while the person in front of them is still being granted access. This will allow for greater security to ensure that any unauthorized individuals are prohibited from entering the building.
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