Today a Smart Building is the one that is a Secure Building. Infact, security perimeter is key to the very definition of “being in or having left the building”. All amenities associated with the building are provided for the benefit of the authorized visitors only and are offered within this secure perimeter.
Physical security is the most critical deciding factor for people as they scout for new properties in the US. Building owners in United States on an average spend $1.50 per square foot to secure their buildings. Property managers globally spend approximately $120 billion annually on physical security of their buildings, which remains as one of their most important responsibilities. Property managers keep looking for ways to enhance the building security through smart ways.
In some recent interviews with Building Owners and Managers, conducted by the Cloudastructure team – we were able to isolate 5 key initiatives that are a must do best practices to secure your buildings.
1. Annual risk review
Create a security assessment task force – that not only includes property management personnel but has participation across all roles within the organization – from your receptionists, office manager, record room managers, to maintenance personnel, as well as your accounting and your IT staff. Review all incidents and identify areas which need better processes or technology upgrades. The security task force should chalk out their recommendations, create new proposals and solicit budgets and fundings from the management so that security is a proactive planned process and not a reactive fire-drill initiative after the incident.
2. Video surveillance technology upgrades
Camera technology in conjunction with cloud storage and mobile technology is evolving at breakneck speed and today, it’s no excuse to find the video surveillance footage does not have enough resolution to recognize the facial features of the intruders/vandals or that due to DVR storage constraints, the surveillance footage of the incident did not get recorded. With unlimited storage on cloud as well as ability to access video surveillance footage on your mobile device, you can monitor the facilities remotely. Technology also facilitates exception management rules to send alerts e.g. motion sensed after facility has been locked down. Video surveillance systems are increasingly getting connected and integrated with other building automation systems such as smoke sensors to quickly ascertain and record causes of fire or qualify false alarms.
3. Install an electronic physical access control system
By installing an electronic access control system, you can now monitor who entered the building, entry and exit times can be logged improving traceability of users in case of any incident and improving safety and security. An electronic security system eliminates need for mechanical keys and it simplifies the management of access credentials – you can change access privileges with keystrokes on your mobile instead of re-keying the locks, when an employee leaves the organization.
4. Install cloud-based IT infrastructure
By installing an integrated cloud-based IT infrastructure, all buildings distributed geographically in a campus, within the city and even in different cities of the world can be woven into a centralized network. This tears down the definition of a “building” as a physical entity and gives you the flexibility to define building groups as a logical assembly of sensors, access credentials and security devices – irrespective of where they may be located physically. e.g. front doors of offices in all locations can be a logical building group and cameras in records room of all buildings may be another logical group.
5. Improve training
Regular training and security drills are essential to any security program. Roles and responsibilities or various users and personnel needs to be clarified and rehearsed to minimize loss during safety incidents or security breach. A good training program can make a significant difference between a good and a great security program.
This may not be a comprehensive list of measures necessary to secure your buildings but in our conversations and surveys, these 5 initiatives seemed to be the common thread where you could get the maximum return on your efforts.