Check your office and residential condo buildings to know what other mistakes building security may have committed.
1. Building design is not based on security and safety risk assessments
Security and safety does not mean simply employing security guards and installing CCTV cameras. An in-depth understanding of risk management concepts at the schematic stage saves the building developer or owner the high cost of retrofitting, and prevent from paying unbudgeted costs of possible mishaps, security breaches and civil or criminal litigations. Most of the eyesore physical security measures include cameras with protruding wires or cables and obtrusive security guards inspection tables or podiums.
2. Consultants also sell CCTV systems, gadgets, and provide security guards
There are very few independent security consultants. Objectivity is lost among consultants when they are promoting specific brands, dealers, suppliers, or security guard agencies. Most consultants represent consultancy companies that own or are owned by security agencies and logistics supply companies.
3. Security systems are based on vendor specifications, brand loyalty, marketing brochures, or owners’ whims
Although this may be similar to Item number 2, this primarily deals with technicians and handymen. An experienced consultant can balance comfort and convenience with risks and threats (assuming an assessment was done). An experienced consultant is one who has corporate background and certification from reputable organizations.
4. Failure to secure critical areas of the building
Focus is firmly grounded on the entry doors. Exit doors are the weakest link of physical security. Most of the time, these are neglected and left unsecured. Air intake ducts are located at street levels and are easily accessible to sabotage or poisoning of air that goes into a building.
5. Dependence on security guards instead of security management system
This is what the marketing brochures meant when they say 24×7 security. Most people think that security is nothing more than security guards. Sadly, most people are quick to blame security guards on suspected breaches when guards are restricted by building management policies.
6. No ID, No Entry mindset
This is the most common notion regarding access control, as if the IDs cannot be faked or falsified. Seldom do the entry guards check the ID cards or badges if these are authentic and if so, authorized in the property. Rarely do receptionists or guards compare the ID details with what are being written on their logbooks. Mickey Mouse has been signing his name in dozens of building logbooks.
7. Lack of technical understanding in the use technology
A lot of focus is spent of CCTV cameras instead of configuring the entire security system. Most of the systems used do not match the value of assets or areas protected. A lot of properties like hotels and high-end office buildings use a lot of metal detectors and X-Ray machines, which are nothing more but psychological deterrence to petty crimes.
8. Allowing use of building without appropriate security and emergency management plan in place
Only big companies with professional property management teams develop building emergency plan out of corporate best practices. Most of the building emergency plans are generic copies of another building. A lot of buildings do not have a risk-based and property-based emergency plan development. They leave such matters to the security agencies.
First published in the Real Estate Security section of Volume 1 Issue No.6 of SecurityMatters Magazine – Print Edition