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Virtual worlds disrupt building security & facility management
Virtual worlds disrupt building security & facility management

From satellite imagery to street views to indoor mapping, technology has disrupted our past world. This has left us dependent upon new ways to visualise large spaces. This new world has brought many benefits and risks. But what does that mean for the security professional or facility manager today and what technologies can be used to secure buildings and improve facility operations? A brief history of 3D technology Starting May 5, 2007 (inception 2001), Google rolled out Google Street View to augment Google Maps and Google Earth; documenting some of the most remote places on earth using a mix of sensors (Lidar/GSP/Radar/Imagery). The mission to map the world moved indoors May 2011 with Google Business Photos mapping indoor spaces with low cost 360° cameras under the Trusted Photographer program. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialisation, expensive hardware and unavailable computing power With the growth of 3D laser scanning from 2007 onwards, the professional world embraced scanning as effective method to create digitised building information modelling (BIM), growing fast since 2007. BIM from scanning brought tremendous control, time and cost savings through the design and construction process, where As-Built documentation offered an incredible way to manage large existing facilities while reducing costly site visits. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialisation, expensive hardware, unavailable computing power and knowledge of architectural software. Innovation during the past 8 year, have driven ease of use and lower pricing to encourage market adoption. Major investments in UAVs in 2014 and the commercial emergence of 360° photography began a new wave of adoption. While 3D scanners still range from $20K – $100K USD, UAVs can be purchased for under $1K USD and 360° cameras for as low as $100. UAVs and 360° cameras also offer a way to document large spaces in a fraction of the time of terrestrial laser scanners with very little technical knowledge.  Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors The result over the past 10+ years of technology advancement has been a faster, lower cost, more accessible way to create virtual spaces. However, the technology advances carry a major risk of misuse by bad actors at the same time. What was once reserved to military personal is now available publicly. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors. Al Qaeda terror threats using Google Maps, 2007 UK troops hit by terrorists in Basra, 2008 Mumbai India attacks, 2016 Pakistan Pathankot airbase attacks, ISIS attacks in Syria using UAVs, well-planned US school shootings and high casualty attacks show evidence that bad actors frequently leverage these mapping technologies to plan their attacks. The weaponization of UAVs is of particular concern to the Department of Homeland Security: "We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organisations exploit the internet to inspire, enable or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts."   Example comparison of reality capture on the left of BIM on the right. A $250 USD 360° camera was used for the capture in VisualPlan.net software What does this mean for the security or facility manager today? An often overlooked, but critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing. Most facilities managers today work with outdated 2D plan diagrams or old blueprints which are difficult to update and share.Critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing Renovations, design changes and office layout changes leave facility managers with the wrong information, and even worse is that the wrong information is shared with outside consultants who plan major projects around outdated or wrong plans. This leads to costly mistakes and increased timelines on facility projects.  Example benefits of BIM There could be evidence of a suspect water value leak which using BIM could be located and then identified in the model without physical inspection; listing a part number, model, size and manufacture. Identification of vulnerabilities can dramatically help during a building emergency. First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans and they must have immediate access to important building information in the event of a critical incident. Exits and entrances, suppression equipment, access control, ventilation systems, gas and explosives, hazmat, water systems, survival equipment and many other details must be at their fingertips. In an emergency situation this can be a matter of life or death. Example benefit of reality capture First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans A simple 360° walk-through can help first responders with incident preparedness if shared by the facility manager. Police, fire and EMS can visually walk the building, locating all critical features they will need knowledge of in an emergency without ever visiting the building. You don’t require construction accuracy for this type of visual sharing. This is a solution and service we offer as a company today. Reality capture is rapidly becoming the benchmark for facility documentation and the basis from which a security plan can be built. Given the appropriate software, plans can be easily updated and shared.  They can be used for design and implementation of equipment, training of personnel and virtual audits of systems or security assessments by outside professionals. Our brains process visual information thousands of times faster than text. Not only that, we are much more likely to remember it once we do see it. Reality capture can help reduce the need for physical inspections, walk-throughs and vendor site-visits but more importantly, it provides a way to visually communicate far more effectively and accurately than before. But be careful with this information. You must prevent critical information falling into the hands of bad actors. You must watch out for bad actors attempting to use reality capture as a threat, especially photo/video/drones or digital information and plans that are posted publicly. Have a security protocol to prevent and confront individuals taking photos or video on property or flying suspect drones near your facility and report to the authorities. Require authorisation before capturing building information and understand what the information will be used for and by who.There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today Nefarious use of UAVs There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today, such as radio frequency blockers and jammers, drone guns to down UAVs, detection or monitoring systems. Other biometrics technologies like facial recognition are being employed to counter the risk from UAVs by targeting the potential operators. UAVs are being used to spy and monitor for corporate espionage and stealing intellectual property. They are also used for monitoring security patrols for the purpose of burglary. UAVs have been used for transport and delivery of dangerous goods, delivering weapons and contraband and have the ability to be weaponised to carry a payload.Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualisation of facilities is well worth the time The Federal Aviation Administration has prevented UAV flights over large event stadiums, prisons and coast guard bases based on the risks they could potentially pose, but waivers do exist. Be aware that it is illegal today to use most of these technologies and downing a UAV, if you are not Department of Justice or Homeland Security, could carry hefty penalties. Facility managers must have a way to survey and monitor their buildings for threats and report suspicious UAV behaviours immediately to authorities. At the same time, it’s critical to identify various potential risks to your wider team to ensure awareness and reporting is handled effectively. Having a procedure on how identify and report is important. Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualisation of facilities is well worth the time. It can help better secure your facilities while increasing efficiencies of building operations. Reality capture can also help collaboration with first responders and outside professionals without ever having to step a foot in the door. But secure your data and have a plan for bad actors who will try to use the same technologies for nefarious goals.

How effective security departments bust multi-million dollar crimes
How effective security departments bust multi-million dollar crimes

It had been a particularly slow night. The plant security guard had just made his rounds on this Sunday evening shift. As soon as he passed the weighing scales, he could enter the guard shack and get off his feet. Challenging a curious incident However, on this night, he noticed the waste vendor’s truck sitting half on and half off the scale. He stopped dead in his tracks to see if the truck would back up and completely sit on the scale. It never did. The observant guard walked up to the truck and challenged the driver who seemed surprised. “Hey, you’re not weighing your truck properly.” The driver fumbled for a response before replying, “Sorry, I was on the phone with a friend. I didn’t notice it.” But this security guard had the presence of mind to demand the driver’s phone. The driver was caught off guard and surrendered the phone. The guard then pulled up the most recent incoming/outgoing calls and saw no calls during the last 30 minutes. “I don’t think so.” “You don’t think so what?” The security guard was frank, “You haven’t used this phone in over half an hour.” The truck driver sheepishly acknowledged the fact. It was decided to install CCTV covering the weighing area and scales – no easy feat due to poor lighting Preventing crime as it happens Knowing the driver was lying, the security guard ordered the truck back on the scale for a correct weighing and advised the driver that he would report the incident. The security guard wrote up his report and handed it off to his supervisor who, in turn, contacted the local corporate investigator. This investigator was soon on the phone with his boss at corporate headquarters on the other side of the world. Together with Security, they decided to install CCTV covering the weighing area and scales – no easy feat due to poor lighting. However, once completed, they waited. They would not have to wait long. For the next two months, the waste vendor trucks, filled to the brim with production waste, black-and-white paper and other waste products from the plant, would stop on the scale only for a moment and then drive the front half of the truck off the scale for weighing. It was obvious that the vendor was cheating the company by only paying for half the waste. After two months, it was decided to catch the next cheating driver “en flagrante.” Sure enough, the next truck went half on and half off the scale and was weighed. Security then asked the unsuspecting driver to park his truck and invited him inside the building to talk to a supervisor. The driver signed an incriminating statement about the scheme and his role therein. They sent him on his way asking him to keep it quiet Waiting for the driver in a large office was the local investigator and his close friend, the Head of Security. After a difficult interview, the driver admitted to cheating on the scales over a two-year period—he claimed that some of the scale cheating was done at the direction of the vendor’s management, while some of it he did himself by “ripping off” the vendor—which he acknowledged was dangerous. Working with authorities The driver signed an incriminating statement about the scheme and his role therein. They sent him on his way asking him to keep it quiet—they would see what they could do for him later on. In the meantime, Corporate Investigations had received a due diligence report on the vendor company which contained disturbing news—the company and its managers were associated with a countrywide waste management mafia. The report suggested that the vendor had a reputation for thefts and involvement in numerous lawsuits regarding thefts and embezzlement. Shockingly, no prior due diligence had ever been conducted on the vendor. Fortunately, the plant’s finance and audit team had maintained good records over the past 5 years and were able to re-construct the amount of waste going out the plant door and the amounts being claimed and paid for by the vendor. The discrepancy and loss stood at a multi-million dollar figure. After consulting with the local police authorities and company lawyers, it was decided to pursue a civil case against the vendor. Pursuing legal action The regional lawyer, the Head of Investigations, the Head of Security and the CFO invited the vendor to discuss the problem. Some of the evidence was shown to the vendor’s CEO who became indignant and, in order to save face, promised to fire the truck drivers and to repay any losses for the last two months. Inter-dependent entities - security, investigations, finance/audit and legal - combined their resources and agendas to form a unified front That was not enough for the company and a protracted legal battle ensued which lasted several years and resulted in the vendor’s paying almost the entire amount in instalments. The vendor was dropped from the contract and internal controls strengthened—the only plant employee dealing with the waste issue left the company and was replaced by two individuals. The plant also began paying more attention to the waste process and less to the production side. Several “lessons learned” come to mind. First, the tripwire came in the person of an astute and well-trained security guard who exhibited some of the best characteristics you want to see from men and women in that profession. The Security Department was also adept at installing the CCTV and capturing the fraud live on videotape. But a far greater lesson was learned—of what can happen when inter-dependent entities (security, investigations, finance/audit and legal) within a company combine their resources and agendas to form a unified front. The results speak for themselves.

How access controlled revolving doors can protect businesses from crime
How access controlled revolving doors can protect businesses from crime

Today’s security professionals are tasked with protecting the entirety of a facility or campus from every possible threat. It’s a big task, given the range of solutions available; from cybersecurity to prevent hacking, to video surveillance to monitor the goings-on within the facility, to the physical security of the building itself. For most businesses and schools, keeping the entrances and exits to a building secure is an extremely high priority—when an individual cannot get into the building they will have a harder time causing trouble for those within it. With quantum leaps happening in security technology, architectural revolving doors may not always be top-of-mind when designing a new security system from scratch. However, with recent technological advances in the last decade, and considering that they occupy less floor space and are extremely good at reducing unwanted air infiltration into an interior, it is definitely time to examine how they can participate in a complete physical security plan as well. A well-known financial company in the Midwest of America was the target of a protest, against their financing of a controversial initiative Restricted access for business continuity The exterior door to a building or premises, often a public entrance during business hours, is typically the first line of defence against unwanted persons or activity making its way into an organisation. If lobby or security staff sense trouble outside (distress, fights, weapons, protests, etc.), they need a quick and effective way to block anyone from entering the building and creating danger for those inside. Should this type of incident make its way into a building, it creates a number of risks, including the expenditure of unnecessary resources, loss of productivity, violence, and liability for the business. For example, recently a well-known financial company in the Midwest was the target of a protest against their financing of a controversial initiative. A large crowd gathered outside on the street, pushed inside the building, and took over the interior lobby. The protesters not only disrupted the retail banking business at the lobby level, but also attempted to block employees from going to work on the upper floors. The protest lasted hours, making it difficult to do business, and was stressful for employees. In addition, the news cycle around the protest created an image problem for upper management and the overall brand. Revolving doors for access control Thanks to technology employing electricity, today’s manual revolving doors can potentially save lives Beyond the immediate risks of theft and violence, crime has numerous intangible effects on employees, residents or students that can have a more profound and lasting impact. These include physical pain and suffering, along with a feeling of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty around future security. According to a survey conducted by Workplace Options in 2015, 53% of American workers have experienced a traumatic event while at work—with workplace violence or criminal activity listed as one of the top four events that cause trauma. Revolving doors can be a reliable solution for providing this necessary security. They are often deployed in buildings where public use is needed during the day, but controlled access is required in the evening—for example, banks, museums, commercial buildings, condominiums, libraries, dorms, recreational centres, and more. Thanks to technology employing electricity, today’s manual revolving doors are more capable than ever before and can potentially save lives or buy the time necessary to alert security staff or notify law enforcement to deal with a dangerous situation in time to prevent harm, stress, or liability. Secure access can be made possible via an access control device mounted on the outside of the door Enhanced security with electronic lock control The following security features are now available for manual revolving doors being deployed in buildings right now: Emergency security lockdown: Facility or reception staff can electronically lock the door in place, regardless of position, at the push of a remotely located button. In the event of an immediate security threat outside the entrance (weapons, protests, drunk and disorderly conduct, etc.), access to a lobby or entrance can be instantly denied, and those within protected. Remote locking: In an earlier time, the manual pushing of a pin was required to lock a revolving door’s wing into the ceiling or the floor. Today, you can lock a manual revolving door by using a remote pushbutton, or, an access control system can lock the door automatically at a specific time of day. If anyone is still in transit during the lock command, the door will allow them to exit before locking. Once the door is locked, staff can easily unlock it with the same remote mechanism if there is an authorised visitor. Access control integration: Integration with access control systems gives manual revolving doors even more capabilities. Secure access can be made possible via an access control device such as a keycard reader, mounted on the outside of the door. Upon valid authorisation, the door will unlock and the user can push to enter the facility. Once all compartments are clear, the door finishes rotating by positioning its door wings at the end posts of the throat opening and relocks. If tailgating is a concern, your revolving doors should be the first of several layers of physical security Efficient incident management Consider the usage of these features for a building such as a downtown high-rise condominium. During the day or night, residents can enter by showing credentials outside the door to the access control system. Any deliveries would have to stand outside, ring the doorbell and wait for reception to unlock the door and let them in. If anything threatening occurs during rotation, reception staff can immediately lock the doors to keep trouble out and call for help. At a high-rise office building, it can work differently. The door can be unlocked during the day for public entry with guards keeping a watchful eye outside, ready to lock the doors instantly if trouble happens outside. The access control system can lock the doors at 5pm until 7am the next morning, requiring employees or cleaning crew to present their credentials to enter. Access control integration It should be noted that standard revolving doors are not equipped to detect or prevent tailgating (an unauthorised person following an authorised person through an entrance). They should not be confused with a security revolving door, which is intended for individuals trained to use these doors at employee-only entrances. With this in mind, consider that with access control integration, a standard revolving door will unlock when presented with an authorised credential, but will continue to rotate as long as anyone is inside the door to prevent entrapment. Tailgating is still a possibility with these entrances, so if this is a concern, your revolving doors should be the first of several layers of physical security including, potentially, additional turnstiles, guard staff, surveillance cameras, additional locking mechanisms for restricted areas, and so on. Ensuring compliance with code requirements To keep building interiors safe, standard revolving doors can be a simple, cost-effective and easy to implement Finally, modern code requirements for revolving doors are defined by a number of different agencies—ANSI, IBC, and NFPA. All require that a revolving door’s wings be able to collapse or ‘book fold’ to create a path of escape during a fire, and that a swinging or sliding door must be present within 10 feet of any revolving door, on the same building plane. To make sure this additional door isn’t a security weak point, the extra sliding or swinging door can be ‘exit only’, or locked to those trying to enter from outside the building, but unlocked to those trying to exit from inside the building. To keep building interiors safe, standard revolving doors can be a simple, cost-effective and easy to implement solution that helps prevent unwanted entry by those looking to do harm and create unwanted liability. Considering revolving doors can be a first step into securing the entrances and exits of your building, and protecting everyone and everything within.