access control
Have you reviewed your current access control arrangements recently? Many businesses use the same access control system for years and it’s always worth periodically taking stock of just how effective it continues to be for a business or organisation that is very likely to have evolved over time. There might have been a change of company structure for instance. Or perhaps there could have been a specific event, such as a security incident or near miss that needs to be factored into the way you’re managing access. Perhaps it’s simply a case of you’ve used the same system for several years and it’s timely to reflect on whether there’s anything more you could do to improve security and keep all building users safe. Here are a few questions to help you think through whether your access control arrangements are as effective as possible.

How up to date and well maintained is your current system?

Some businesses still choose to use a basic paper pass system – and in some instances that could still be appropriate. But with so many low cost and considerably more secure options available, it makes sense to think whether it’s really delivering the necessary levels of security on its own. Even if you do have an electronic system, keep an eye on how regularly the system is tested and if applicable, how frequently the software has been updated.

Does your system still give access to the right people at the right time of day?

Depending on your building and business or organisation it may be that not everyone needs access everywhere. Look at how well your access control arrangements cater for that and whether you need to manage who has access where to a greater extent.  What about timings: does everyone at your premises need 24 hour access or is that something that should be controlled more closely? It’s also worth reflecting on how well your system could cope in the event of suddenly needing to prevent access into certain parts, or all, of your premises in an emergency situation.

Can your current access control system be integrated?

Even if you already have an electronic system installed, it’s worth reviewing whether you are getting the most from it in terms of an overall approach to managing security. Is it integrated with other systems and, if not, could it be done? For example, some access control systems can work alongside other equipment like CCTV to improve surveillance. They can also be integrated with time and attendance and HR systems giving visibility into, for example, employee and visitor whereabouts in buildings and potential problems with timekeeping.  They can also enable the rapid revoking of access if an employee leaves.

How is your current access control system performing as part of your wider security plan?

Access control is ultimately a key component of an overall security plan. No matter what system you have in place, is it being used properly or is this something you need to address? One of the biggest issues with the effective use of access control is the risk of ‘tailgating’ where someone tags along in the hope of having the door held open for them to gain access into an area they shouldn’t be in.  This can be tackled through training and education and even having multiple access control points in areas that are highly sensitive. Examine all of your other security processes and procedures to ensure your current system continues to work cohesively with them. If you need some guidance about improving access control and security in your organisation, then please do give us a call.