The increase in protective security features in ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) and ITMs (Interactive Teller Machines) means that your fleet is safer than ever. However, there are still some vulnerabilities that your financial institution should consider. In recent years, a rising number of would-be criminals across geographies—North America, Europe, Latin America, and so on—have resorted to using explosive devices to open ATMs and ITMs with brute force.
Below, we will discuss this and other potential threats to your ATM/ITM fleet, best practices for crime prevention at your branch, and a few Wittenbach-recommended products to promote ATM/ITM and overall branch security.
Staying abreast of threats to your ATM/ITM fleet
It is not easy to plan for unthinkable circumstances such as an explosive attack on your ATM/ITM machines. However, an understanding of how to protect your fleet and deter crime will keep your investment safe, and your employees and customers comfortable with transacting. Cennox explains, “Advancements in defense around ATMs may also have played a part in the rise of explosive gas attacks. Naturally, and with time, new security solutions are being developed, from a hardware perspective, to combat physical attacks and from a software standpoint, to combat digital attacks. These advancements in technology negate or render the previous methods used by criminals on ATM devices less effective, making it more difficult to get their hands on the cash. With chances of winning reduced, they may have been forced to turn to more drastic methods to continue to gain success.”
In most reported cases, the explosives are set off by criminals at the scene without others around; while the ATM/ITM and surrounding outdoor branch property sustains damage in this type of attach, injury to bystanders is atypical. In a 2020 string of ATM explosions in the Tampa Bay area, the culprits managed to break open the units, but mostly failed to access the internal safes containing the cash they desired to steal. This is costly to your branch or business, not only in terms of repairing or replacing the machines themselves, but the potential reduction in customer transaction volume and possible departure of in-house talent.
Ways to prevent ATM/ITM explosions at your branch or business
In an interview with ATM Marketplace, VP Kristen Williams of One Nevada Credit Union gave three suggestions for protecting your financial institution’s ATM/ITM fleet and branch footprint. Wittenbach experts also weighed in, adding further insight to insulate your fleet from explosions and other attacks.
- “Utilize sensors that can detect forceful openings of the chassis and shutters to detect the attack as early as possible. In combination with CCTV, sensor detection gives security and law enforcement more time to react,” Williams said. An ATM or ITM’s internal camera can provide a layer of detection and deterrent, on top of your institution’s existing surveillance system. Internal alarms may also draw attention from witnesses, and/or alert local authorities of the breach.
- “Delay the attack with a strengthened chassis and safe. The more time criminals are forced to spend trying to get into the ATM, the more likely they are to abandon the attack.” At the risk of being spotted by a security system or a witness, criminals can be deterred by the strength of the ATM or ITM body, as well as any locks.
- “Neutralize the objective of the attack: the cash within the cassettes. If an attacker does manage to gain access, ink-staining solutions will render the banknotes useless to the criminals,” Williams said. In active ink-staining systems, the ink cartridge can be damaged in the event of an attack, preventing the full effect of the ink. In passive ink-staining systems, contends TMD Security, “does not have electronics or sensors. As soon as the explosion happens, the shockwave ruptures the ink containers and the notes are instantly covered with ink.”
Products and services to keep your ATM/ITM fleet safe
- Kaba Mas Cencon ATM lock: Native to machines such as the Hyosung 8300 series ITMs, the Cencon ATM lock fortifies your units from external threats. Per the manufacturer, “Cencon offers total access control and accountability with its ‘One Time Combination’ feature. The One Time Combination is dispatched from a central location and cannot be reused at a later date, thus eliminating temptation.”
- Other security features in the Hyosung 8300 series ITMs: Whether you purchase the MX8300D drive-thru model, MX8300T through-the-wall unit, or MX8300I island format ITM, they contain additional security measures to outsmart today’s criminals. They meet UL291 Level 1 or CEN 1 security targets, meaning they live up to a high standard of durability and resistance to explosions and other attacks. An internal camera can also capture the details of potential criminals and back up to the cloud, meaning that even if the unit is damaged, you can still access the footage.
- Verint EdgeVR 300: This NVR (Network Video Recorder) system offers protection both in and outside your branch, keeping an eye on your ATM or ITM, drive-thru lane, and more. Using high-resolution IP cameras that can be mounted virtually anywhere, this state-of-the-art NVR system not only is compatible with facial recognition technology but stores data on the cloud, meaning that you can access it anywhere, from any device with the appropriate user permissions.
Branches and other businesses containing exterior ATMs or ITMs can arm themselves with the knowledge above to prevent criminals from stealing cash and damaging property in the process. If your financial institution is seeking new products and installation services to manage your physical and electronic security needs, contact Wittenbach to learn how our team of experts can support your upgrades!