Feature Article - Securing offices in the 21st Century
Being as secure as work as you are at home
What’s stopping someone casually walking in to your office and getting up to no good (for instance corporate espionage, stealing, damage or worse…)? Your reception team? What if they are busy, or distracted?
How many office buildings can you just walk into, unchallenged? Some companies operate with the theory that other colleagues will stop them. But, while this is recommended anyway, most people either don’t notice a visitor, or assume they belong there… Would you allow a stranger to simply walk into your home?
It’s said that businesses are four times more likely than homes to be broken into… which makes sense when you think about it. Some people would say there’s no ‘victim’ in an office burglary, as it’s less personal. This may be true, but that does not help a company to balance its books when it has to replace expensive equipment, or make up for losses when important information goes missing.
So, businesses need some help. That comes in the form of security technologies to help them monitor their entrances, or even control access itself.
Larger companies are looking at some kind of access control system, for example. There are a number of access control methods on the market, including controlling employee access using traditional pass cards, key fobs and even fingerprints. The latest product, which also uses deep learning algorithms to increase accuracy, are Facial Recognition terminals. These capture pictures to build face models to make them stand out among other faces. Hikvision’s new Facial Recognition terminal uses a dual-camera with IR function to prevent use of photo for false entry, since that would not generate heat as a face would. The Deep Learning algorithm means the camera can detect a face from a metre away. This can deliver facial registration within one seconds. The addition of deep learning technology means that the terminal can distinguish actual faces from pictures and videos, reducing the risk of false identification. The technology helps to give the terminal a 99% success rate, reaching international standards for false acceptance rates (FAR) and false rejection rates (FAR).
The swing gates the terminals work with are also smart – they can detect things like ‘anti-trailing’ (a second person following the first through the gate), and forceful entry through the gates.
Another technology in the arsenal of a security manager is a WiFi Doorbell. Hikvision’s Wi-Fi Doorbell provides protection 24/7 for small offices, as well as homes. Users can communicate with visitors, check for deliveries, and establish safety around the office. With its subtle, contemporary design and customisable appearance, this device will be pleasing to the eye while providing a constant view of the immediate surroundings.
When they leave an office, owners need the property to be secured. At the same time, in the event of a burglary, it’s useful for them to receive a notification remotely. Integration with the video surveillance system will allow them to check alarm events through their mobile app. Using the award-winning Pyronix Enforcer alarm system, an office manager can feel wireless flexibility without compromising on security.
Elevator controllers give an office manager the ability to control who can go to which floor, based on access cards. This dramatically reduces the risk of people going to restricted floors, or even floors which belong to different companies. The Hikvision elevator access control system comprises a master controller and distributed controllers. With the elevator control operators can also call the lift cabin to go on a floor, create a schedule for free access to a floor (shopping floors) while strictly controlling office floors.
These elevator controllers can also be integrated with video intercom systems to automatically enable the elevator to go to a certain floor, depending on the access information. This means that the visitor can only go to the correct floor. When they leave, the controller can deliver the elevator to the ground floor directly, for easy and secure exit. The system can manage up to 128 floors suitable for most large, medium, and small projects.
All of these access control technologies can be linked with CCTV footage, to provide visual verification.
But it’s not just inside – there’s also the outer perimeter of a business. Anyone trying to break in needs to get to the building first – so simple surveillance at your extremities is the first point of defence. In fact, research says that 67% of all burglaries can be prevented by installing video surveillance. PanoVu cameras can be used to see a wide area, encompassing the whole perimeter. Cameras that can penetrate the darkest areas, like those with DarkFighter and thermal technology are also useful. These can cover the boundaries of a building, and can be a crucial addition to a complete surveillance solution for the office.
And what about parking? There may be a need for the security manager to make sure only employees and genuine guests can park in the car park, especially in an area where parking is at a premium. A Hikvision parking solution using a DeepinView camera, with deep learning technology can provide intelligent access control at a parking barrier. The system can be programmed to recognise licence plates, checking a ‘white’ list to allow authorised vehicles to enter. It can also be set to automatically open the barrier when it detects the licence plate of an emergency vehicle.
The camera also captures reliable, high-definition footage for post-event investigation. The use of a DarkFighter® camera and true WDR technologies, as well as optional IR, ensures crisp, clear images and video of each vehicle for recognition and recording.
Finally, the latest in Hikvision technology – AcuSense - can help security personnel to detect and prevent perimeter break-ins and to react in real time to minimise the risk of losses. AcuSense cameras and NVRs/DVRs can also be used to monitor and protect warehouses and office areas where valuable assets are located or stored.
Trends are showing more flexible working hours which leads to much more activity around an offices foyer. At the same time, the use of technologies like biometrics (eg fingerprint/facial access to phones) is becoming more mainstream. Because of this, people are more accepting of these technologies in everyday life. Join these two factors together and the way forward for securing offices is clear. Individuals are turning to technology to keep their homes and their families safe… and companies will surely follow.
Check out Hikvision’s Access Control portfolio here.