The Benefits of Biometrics in Physical Security

Fingerprint scan
Biometrics is defined as the application of statistical analysis to biological data in the Oxford dictionary and uses unique physical or behavioural traits to verify the identity of an individual. Biometrics is not a new concept.

Police have been using fingerprint identification since the 1800s, however the advancement of computer technology has allowed companies to use biometric devices to increase their security immensely. Biometrics have allowed companies to move away from less secure practices such as passwords and pin numbers to practices that are harder to hack such as fingerprints, iris scanners and even voice recognition devices. Some companies even utilize multi-factor authentication to log in to a computer.

The most popular usage of biometric data in security is a fingerprint reader. What used to be something seen only in science fiction movies is now used in every day life. Many people even use this this technology on a daily basis and a lot of people even use this technology to gain access to their mobile phones. The same technology is a great option for companies to incorporate into their security plan. Now the technology is widely available, the cost is relatively low, especially compared to other forms of biometrics such as iris scanners and facial recognition.

Here we discuss the benefits of using biometric security devices as part of an overall security plan.

•    Biometric security devices remove some need for passwords. Unlike passwords, biometrics are not easily shared or hacked. Password security issues account for many data breaches within companies.

•    Biometric security devices can be used to avoid cyber and physical security breaches- Modern devices are extremely versatile as they can not only be used to prevent hacking and other data breaches but are regularly used for access control and authorization. Unlike keys and proximity cards, biometrics cannot be stolen which makes them great addition to your physical security.

•    The technology is becoming cheaper over time. Although facial and iris recognition is still expensive, fingerprint recognition continues to decrease in price, making them a realistic option for many businesses.

•    Fingerprint recognition is more accurate than voice recognition.

•    They can increase convenience- biometric security devices are extremely efficient and convenient as an employee do not need to remember anything in order to access the building or information, only biological features such as fingerprint or are needed.

•    Can be incorporated seamlessly with other methods of security- You can team biometrics with many aspects of your existing security and doesn’t necessarily need to replace anything, it can be used in addition.

•    Biometrics are accurate- Although they are not perfect, biometrics are a lot more accurate at identification than the use of passwords or access cards. If you work in a high-risk sector, then biometrics are a perfect choice.

•    Biometrics can also help with accountability. If any security breaches take place, a biometric security system will provide data that is easy to analyse and confirm how the breach took take and by whom.

Are there any drawbacks to biometrics in security?

Despite its many benefits, there are still some areas of concern that businesses should consider. Biometric security devices can sometimes be slower in practice due to the time it takes for people to apply their finger to the device and for the reader to process the information. If you have an extremely high trafficked area, you should consider whether biometric security devices would effect building access in high-volume periods such as the beginning or end of shifts.

Although biometrics cannot be lost like access cards can, this does not mean that there are no ways to gain access to someone’s fingerprint. If a security breach does happen, you can easily replace an access card but when we are talking about someone’s fingerprint, it is another story!

The important thing to remember is that despite how beneficial biometric security devices could be, you should not rely on them as your only method of security as despite its many benefits, biometrics remains imperfect. Consider implementing multifactor security system, regardless of the advances in technology.  By teaming up biometrics as part of your overall physical and cyber security strategy, you can ensure your end to end security is as strong as possible and it can help to enhance physical security systems immensely.

To find out more about how biometrics can be incorporated into your physical security plan, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Securing Your Premises For The New Year

Securing Your Premises For the New YearEnsuring your business premises are as secure as possible is vital. However, even if you bought the latest security equipment, technology advances quickly so it is important to carry out annual audits to see what ways you can strengthen your premises for the year ahead.

Here we discuss 6 best practices to consider when carrying out a security audit.

1.    Start with a risk assessment

Before any security decisions can be made, a full risk assessment should be carried out. A business that has experienced security breaches should use the experience to identify weaknesses. A security risk assessment should be thorough with each potential scenario given consideration. Third part security companies will be able to offer professional advice or even carry out the risk assessment. Areas that require particular attention include side or rear entrances, loading bays, windows and roofs in addition to the more obvious main entrances.

2.    Secure your premises

A thorough risk assessment will identify areas of weakness. Perimeter security can be improved by installing gates or barriers. 

3.    Secure your equipment

A combination of cyber security and physical security will reduce the risk of theft. Considerations could be made to CCTV, access control systems and internal security forming a high-level security program.

4.    Train your staff well

A security induction can be implemented to ensure staff are all provided with the same knowledge as well as ensuring that staff are all aware of the organisation’s security concerns and efforts. Identifying suspicious behaviour or even areas of weakness could prevent a future security breach.

5.    Keep staff safe

It’s important to take measures that improve the security of your staff. Bollards, speed ramps and adequate lighting can be considered to ensure the workplace is safe.

6.    Carry out regular checks

Carrying out regular audits will help maintain a high level of security. Security requires continuous attention and effort to remain proactive.

To find out more about how you can improve the security of your business, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Protecting your business this Christmas

Securing your business at ChristmasMany businesses such as offices, schools and factories are are shut between Christmas and New Year. Although this break is much appreciated by employees, business managers need to ensure that security is up to scratch as it is often during this quiet period that criminals target business premises, they believe to be unoccupied.

Here we discuss some tips that managers should consider in order to ensure their premises remains as secure as possible during this time.

•   Create a procedure in advance for the last day in the office. Nominate and agree an individual to secure the premises. Communicate the plans thoroughly to avoid any mistakes or confusion about what the plan is.

   Keep track of visitors- Christmas, for many establishments is a busy time for guests due to more deliveries for example. Ensure you know who is in your building or premises at all times. Having access control barriers and panels for your building can help ensure no unauthorised vehicles or personnel can access your premises.

•    Decide which key holders will be contactable during the Christmas break- Although the likelihood of them being needed is relatively small, always confirm which members of staff who have keys will be available to deal with any emergencies. Share a list with relevant staff to confirm.

•   Turn off electrical items or put in safe mode. If your premises will be empty during Christmas, carry out thorough checks prior to the break to avoid risk of fire.

•    Check heating settings- Although there will not be anyone in the building, you might want to have the heating on for a short time each day just to ensure its being used regularly. This is especially important is certain stock needs to be temperature control.

•    Consider employing security guards- Depending on your organisation, you may decide if it is worth the investment to have a physical security guard on during the days the office is closed. For many companies this may be unnecessary.

•    Ensure nobody is left on their own- On the last day, try and avoid having one person closing the office or building on their own. It is a lot of pressure for them to remember everything and can also make them vulnerable to any criminals that are watching the premises. If you decide to close early, ensure everyone leaves at the same time.

•    Keep the perimeter well lit- Having strong security lighting is not only protecting your employees during dark mornings and evenings, it is also a good deterrent for potential criminals as it can scare them away but also means any CCTV footage will be clearer.

•    Install barriers, gates and signs- Barriers and gates create a physical barrier that can protect your company but they, along with strong signs such as “CCTV in action” act as a strong deterrent.

•    Do a trial run- You can always do a trial run to ensure all protocols are met. You should also carry out a trial security threat to test reaction times.

The tips above are just some of the ways you can ensure your security levels remain high over Christmas. Of course, these tips and precautions can and should be implemented all year round. Having a permanent high level of security all the time ensures the security remains a part of everyday life and will reduce the vulnerability of your business throughout the rest of the year.

To find out more about how we can help with your business security needs, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation call and feasibility survey to assess your business needs.

4 Physical Security threats to your business and how to prevent them

Physical security threats
There is a myriad of potential threats that can impact a business. Here we discuss some of the most common threats to businesses along with how business owners can be proactive to ensure maximum protection. 

1)    Theft

Theft is one of the most common types of physical security threats a business can face but is also one of the easiest to protect against. It is a threat you should never take lightly, the reason why it is easier to protect against is that you can often predict the ways in which thieves might steal from you. You know the entrances and exits to your building for example. This allows you to invest in equipment that will improve security in these areas.

Cyber security is a huge focus for many businesses and while businesses need to tackle this severe threat; it is also important not to overlook physical security. The amount of time a company has to devote to tackle cyber security threats that have increased over the past few decades can leave resources too thin to think about physical security in as much detail. However, having strong physical security as part of your overall business security plan can also help with cyber security.

Access control systems around the entrances to your building mean that only people with the correct key card or passcode can enter. Ensure this is even more secure by considering the use of biometric fingerprint readers.
Unfortunately, many businesses also should consider that the threat of theft can be internal. Therefore, you will have to consider internal processes to help reduce this possibility, such as CCTV cameras.

2)    Vandalism

Vandalism may not be seen as a security threat; it is as it deliberately damages property. Not only does it cost money and resources to rectify the problem, it creates a bad image for the company from a physical point of view. Implementing the correct measures can reduce the risk significantly. Having strong perimeter security with use of gates, efficient lighting, CCTV and even a security guard can all help.

3)    Tailgating

Installing an access control systems can reduce the danger of unauthorised people accessing your premises. Tailgating is when an unauthorised person follows an authorised person through a secure door. It is easily done, especially during busy periods with lots of foot traffic. People could easily mistake an unauthorised visitor as a genuine visitor and hold the door open out of politeness. Investing in anti-tailgating doors or turnstiles can help reduce this problem. Always ensure employees know the correct protocol and only let in people who can prove should be there. Ensuring your visitors are given official temporary access badges can help with this.

4)    Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are difficult to plan for.  Due to the nature of floods, earthquakes and wildfires, advanced warnings can be limited and damages hard to forecast. Although we are lucky in the UK to not have high risk of major earthquakes or wildfires, we are at risk of flooding which can cause significant damage to some companies. If you are in a high flood risk area, ensure you have considered the threat when creating a security plan to try and mitigate as much of the risk as possible.

There have been threats to business security as long as businesses have existed. The concept is nothing new, it is just that new threats appear over time that businesses need to prepare for. The good news is, that our level or protection has also advanced over the years. There are a suite of devices and systems that can help improve security. If a business is not prepared for these security threats, then both their company and it’s employees can be adversely affected as a result.
Having a comprehensive business security plan is the first step to ensuring that you have made the necessary precautions to ensure your businesses’ security.

To find out more about we can help you improve your business’ security, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation call and feasibility survey to assess your business needs.

How to improve public car park safety

Car Park SafetyPublic carparks can be extremely convenient for people as it provides a secure place for them to leave their car. However, despite the convenience of them, they can in fact be dangerous places. There are a lot of cars and people moving around car parks at any one time and all it takes is one person not paying 100% attention for an accident to happen. As the car park owner, although some things are out of your control, there are many things you can do in order to improve public car park safety. Here we list just some of the safety methods you could implement.

•    Bike Racks- Not only do bike racks provide a convenient additional service for those travelling by bike, the bike racks also act as a physical barrier between cars and pedestrians.
•    Height Bars- A lot of car parks cannot handle the manoeuvring of large vehicles but without a physical deterrent or barrier, you have no control over which vehicles enter the car park. Height restrictors are highly visible and act as a visual deterrent. They also physically stop larger vehicles from entering which will reduce the amount of car incidents you would have if they were not in place.
•    Speed ramps- Having speed bumps or ramps strategically placed throughout the car park will ensure cars are slowed down, allowing more time for all drivers and pedestrians to react.
•    Signage- Ensure you have large, clear signage throughout the car park. Reflective car park signs are a must if your car park is open during dark hours. You need to communicate clearly the rules of the car park, which direction the cars should be driving, what the speed limit is and where pedestrians should cross
•    Parking space protector- Depending on the type of car park you own and who uses it, you may need to keep some spaces reserved. Having parking space protectors can do this. They lock in the up position whilst they are not in use and lower on demand, ensuring unauthorised vehicles cannot park there.
•   Flow control plates- Flow control plates can be great in car parks. They ensure cars enter and exit the correct way, reducing any accidents due to drivers not paying attention.
•   Barriers- Having barriers at the entrance or exit can really help make traffic flow smoothly in and out. You can even have an automated access control system that streamlines this. Next to the barriers you could issue tickets which when re-entered at the exit, will operate the other barrier.
•    Pedestrian only zones- You need to create pedestrian only zones to help improve safety for pedestrians when they are nearby cars. You can indicate where these areas are by using clear signage on the walls and floor and reinforce the areas with bollards so cars cannot access

Whether the car par is at a shopping centre, in a town centre, at a factory or other business, having a carpark that is considered safe and secure is vital. It will in the long run create more business for you and mean your car park will run more efficiently. A lot of the methods mentioned above are value for money as the safety they can provide is priceless.

To find out more about what you can implement to make your carpark safer, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation and feasibility survey to assess your business needs.

How you can benefit from Pay and Display Machines

pay and displayIf you own a carpark, having an automated pay and display machine can reap many rewards. Here we discuss how they can benefit your business. Automated pay and display parking machines are popular across the country and one of the most popular options for all types of car park (whether they are public or private).

•    Saves cost of hiring- Having an automated system means you do not require a parking attendant who is constantly on duty.
•    More convenient for customer- The machines also benefit the customer. Without the need to deal with a parking attendant directly, they can get their parking ticket with ease, especially when the machine accepts several forms of payment. They also know in advance how much their parking costs which is preferable.
•    Flexible- Automated pay and display machines allow customers to pay with cash or by card, making the payment process a much smoother process.
•    Easy to Use- Because the payment process is seamless, customers will end up being more satisfied with the service. This reduces the number of customer service issues you will encounter. The time it takes to pay and receive the ticket is also quick, which customers will appreciate.
•    Maximize park revenue- Having a machine, rather than a person, issuing tickets means your carpark can become a 24-hour stream of revenue as you will not need to ever have closing times.
•    Secure- Having a pay and display machine not only benefits the owner, it also can benefit the customer. Parking their car in an official car park with a ticket machine provides a more secure environment and they are happier to leave their cars here.
•   Sturdy- Not only are the machines sturdy with reinforced doors, you can have additional Anti-Graffiti coating applied to it to ensure your investment remains in great condition and safe from vandals and thieves.
•   Easy to run- The machines have ticket capacity for thousands of tickets and a large cash box, meaning it can last a relatively long time without needing to be refilled which saves your time.

These are just some of the benefits you can gain by investing in an automated pay and display machine. They are cost effective installations which will benefit you as the owner of the car park but also the customers as having a car park they know they can enter, park, pay and exit quickly is important.

To find out more about which pay systems and features are available for your business, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation and feasibility survey to assess your needs.

Job Vacancy: Skilled & Semiskilled Gate & Barrier Engineers

Due to continued expansion, an opportunity has arisen for SKILLED & SEMISKILLED gate & barrier engineers to join Gateway Automation Ltd.

You must have previous knowledge and experience of Gateway Automation systems and Access Control systems. Experience in Welding would be beneficial. You would be involved in installations of new systems, retrofit and fault finding so experience is essential.

Job Overview

This field-based role will be a demanding role, working under pressure and to strict deadlines. You will have the responsibility of installing new Gate Automation Systems or undertaking the maintenance of existing systems, working individually or as part of a team as required. Fluent English both spoken and written is a must as you will be dealing with residents and customers and delivering detailed and accurate reports to the office.

An ideal Service and Installation Engineer will hold the following skills and experiences:

•    Must have previous experience within the Gate & Barrier industry
•    Valid UK Driving License
•    Knowledge of Door Entry Systems / Access Control Panels / Door Automation systems would be beneficial
•    Fluent English spoken and written is a must
•    Have good knowledge and understanding of Health and Safety aspects related to any gate/door automation
•    Ideally would live in the Nottingham/Sheffield/Leeds area
•    Act responsibly and with necessary care for himself, the property of others and his team

Salary is negotiable depending on your experience.

The working hours will be 42.5 hours per week. Monday to Friday 08:00- 17:00. Overtime will be available.

You will also be provided with a company vehicle, fuel card, mobile phone, uniform, Health & Safety training, in-house training on company products and 28 days paid holiday including bank holidays.

To apply please email your CV to kevinf@gatewayautomation.co.uk or call Kevin Fairclough for an informal chat on 01522 682255