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Columns : Preventative Measure - Gamal Newry Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Security: Getting Inside is the Easy Part
By Gamal Newry
Sep 20, 2012 - 2:11:21 PM

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The biggest challenge with access control is that successful business’s want people to come inside and purchase merchandise or benefit from a particular service. Whether it is 1st Street and Main, or at a World Wide Web address, an open invitation is given to all to 'come on in'.

In addition these businesses need full time staff, contracted, service providers and vendors to operate. Filtering out those who pose a threat to commerce as opposed to those who are genuine presents a clear and present danger to its success.  When this is looked at comprehensively many organizations have just as much entry points as perhaps our archipelago of islands, thus it can be a daunting task.  How does a company screen these potential hazards, and yet keep the authentic customer and employee coming back without making them fear for their lives and being so restrictive like a prison?

The variety of possibilities is endless, and will impact physical and electronic security initiatives as well as electronic and data transmissions. In addition the hiring process must also be seen as an access control tool, considering the penetration employees have to high value corporate information.

The crime prevention planner, law enforcement personnel, security consultant, property manager, architect, and human resources professional must put theory into practice to address community disorder, workplace violence, street crime, or acts of terrorism.

Generally the applications of such procedures and strategy can be summed up as follows:
  •   Permit or deny entry to or presence in a given place.
  •   Increase or reduce the rate or density of movement to, from, or within a defined place.
  •   Protect persons, materials, or information against unauthorized observation or removal.
  • Prevent injury to people or damage to material.

It is important to be clear which objective is sought, because that influences the type and degree of reliability, and most certainly cost of the control procedures and equipment. 

You are reminded that one of the lessons from September 11, 2001, is that primary targets of penetration which received the most damage and loss were all privately owned business, not government operated facilities. Types of organizations being targeted are largely;

  1. When compared to government operations these targets are considered soft
  2. The potential for collateral damage is increased 
There are a variety of techniques to employ in granting or denying access to a given place, people or information. These techniques, some as simple as a deadbolt and pad lock on the door, others as sophisticated as coded card access systems and biometrics; all are intended to protect against unauthorized entry, use and abuse of information.

Never the less we are reminded that in far too many instances the person on the inside pose the greatest threat. By negligence or intentional acts employees account for higher rates of loss in a business. In one case, major losses from a locked storeroom occurring over an extended period of time, were traced back to a second-shift supervisor who had devised a tool to open the door to the storeroom in order to fulfill production needs. On a routine basis, he sent an employee to the area to get stock items necessary for the job. In time, all of the employees learned how to enter the locked storeroom, and some began to remove other items for their own personal use or for sale if they had an outside market value. The supervisor, an individual with a high sense of personal integrity, was shocked to learn of the role that he had played in the theft, when it was finally uncovered.

A deeply rooted fallacy among business managers and owners is that security begins and ends with the security officer at the gate or entrance. These persons feel that access control is the responsibility of the uniformed security service, and any losses can be attributed to performance failures on the part of the security staff rather than the administrative or operating departments. All employees have a role to play in protecting the company from loss, certainly for loss to occur the perpetrator must first get inside.

Gamal Newry   is the president of Preventative Measures, loss prevention and asset protection training and consulting company, specializing in policy and procedure development, business security reviews and audits, and emergency and crisis management. Comments can be sent to PO Box N-3154 Nassau, Bahamas, or e-mail  gnewry@gmail.com  or visit us at  www.preventativemeasures. org 

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