Branch security is a 24-hour operation that requires careful planning and maintenance on the part of your financial institution. During the day, a combination of physical and electronic security products, such as the Verint EdgeVR 300, plus the keen awareness of your staff, protects your branch footprint and the precious lives and assets within. Outside normal business hours, and especially after dark, having a solid layer of security measures will help to deter and detect crime, even when the human presence has left for the day.
Below, we will explain some best practices and industry-leading products to keep your branch secure after business hours. Two of Wittenbach’s foundational pillars are physical security and electronic security, so expertise in selecting, installing, and maintaining security products is ingrained in everything we do.
What threatens my branch after normal business hours end?
Vandalism is one concern that your branch should prepare for. A particularly insignificant incident, such as someone spray painting graffiti on the side of your building, may not have much impact on your daily operations other than the cost and time to remove it or paint over it. However, vandalism can also include smashing screens of ATMs (automated teller machines) and ITMs (interactive teller machines), destroying drive-thru equipment, damaging doors, and so on—all of which can be extremely costly and interrupt the normal flow of transactions.
Break-ins and theft occur hand-in-hand after hours, and the first point of vulnerability to consider is the time when your employees are leaving for the evening. They should be well-versed in branch security procedures, including how to watch for possible intruders, arming and disarming the intrusion alarm system, and how to effectively use the panic button in the unlikely event of a breach. ISG says, “There’s also an important difference to note about the crimes that generally happen during opening and closing procedures. The perpetrator who knows when these procedures take place has likely taken the time to case the property, learn employees’ routines, and carefully plan the robbery. These criminals tend to be more sophisticated and better prepared than those who approach a teller during normal business hours—and your security plans should reflect this.”
If an employee returns for the evening, possibly to retrieve an item or complete a responsibility, they should also know how to arm and disarm systems to prevent false alarms, and how to alert emergency services if a would-be criminal tries to enter during off-hours.
Once your branch is fully closed overnight, different vulnerabilities emerge. Without physical bodies present to defend the space or alert authorities in the event of a breach, your choice in physical and electronic security measures must be more self-sufficient than at other times of day.
Means to ensure branch security after hours
- Video surveillance systems can provide a layer of crime deterrence simply by existing. When potential vandals or burglars see surveillance cameras, it is a clear sign that they are being electronically monitored. The industry-leading surveillance system is the NVR (network video recorder), which is the modern answer to its ancestor, the DVR (digital video recorder). NVR systems such as the Verint EdgeVR 300 use digital or hybrid IP cameras that can be installed virtually anywhere inside or outside the branch, offering eyes on every inch of property. Verint’s IP cameras are also compatible with its FaceDetect technology, which can run security footage against a database of faces to help identify the perpetrator of a crime.
- Intrusion alarms detect unauthorized entry in your branch premises, using contact switches and motion sensors to trigger a noise alarm that draws attention to the building. If an intrusion alarm is monitored, a highly trained professional will address the alarm, try to determine whether it was a legitimate or false alarm, and even contact emergency authorities if necessary. In a recent blog post, we covered Wittenbach’s alarm monitoring partnerships with Security Central and CheKt, two services which provide video monitoring and entry statistics for your branch around the clock.
- Access control systems use a reader or keypad for passcode input, and a control panel determines whether entry into your building should be permitted or denied. Broken down into its components, Wittenbach partner DMP offers a Virtual Keypad that ensures you can lock and unlock your branch sites at any time of day, from anywhere. Since it runs on a strict user management system, you can ensure that only those employees who need to access the branch in off-hours can do so, and that their access is immediately terminated if they leave the company. Another manufacturing partner, security titan Hamilton, provides a top-of-the-line suite of access control systems and complementary products such as secure entry vestibules to ensure that your branch is protected and unenticing to burglars.
- Kaba Mas Auditcon 2 Series locks have a time-lock feature that prevents safes and vaults from opening outside business hours. Available in round or vertical housing, this extremely durable lock’s time delay functionality means that would-be thieves, whether external or internal to your branch, cannot open the vault or safe for a preset amount of time, even if the correct passcode is entered.
Understanding the threats to your financial institution both at closing time and beyond will help you to protect your staff, assets, and security investments. Contact Wittenbach to help support your lift: we have the tools and expertise to upgrade your security systems and protect your branches at any time of day.