It’s an often-used movie scene: the robber comes in silently and discretely places a note on the desk of the teller demanding that they turn over all of the cash in the vault. The teller takes the note and immediately complies with the order. After handing the bag of cash across the table, the cops swarm the building and arrest the bad guys.
But how does that all play out? What are the ins and outs of bank security, and how can banks improve their security to ensure both the safety of their employees and customers?
- Install a Silent Alarm
Another Hollywood staple, the silent alarm performs with minimal action and maximum efficiency. The moment that the alarm is triggered, the circuit is broken in the control panel of the home office, even if the bank security system is located hundreds of miles away. The system recognizes the glitch and sends officers immediately. This method is not only extremely convenient, but it is relatively simple compared to many systems today.
- Use Different Buttons
Most alarms are designed for one purpose: send police officers in case of emergency. But what about when the threat isn’t a person but a health emergency? In addition to alarms that are triggered by a foot or finger, many banks are now requesting pendants that can be worn and pressed discreetly in case of a hostage situation. Those pendants can also be customized to include not only buttons for police officers but fire and medical as well, allowing the employee to call the services they need.
- Install a Passive Alarm
It’s impossible to know how employees will react in hostage situations. Some may keep their calm and act discreetly, while others may begin to panic and shuffle, creating a hostile environment that invites danger. One method to get around this is by installing a passive system in the bank drawer itself that alerts the police to threats without any extra motion on the employees part. A stack of bills that can be pulled out of a special drawer and handed to the robber can keep two metal parts separate, which triggers an alarm when the bills are removed and the parts touch. Creating multiple methods of contacting authorities in dangerous situations can be crucial in diffusing a bad situation.
- Keep Your Software Up to Date
These days, more and more banks are looking to electronic security solutions in an effort to keep their facilities safe, but all of that can be for not if the software is not current. It’s important to make sure your tablets, computers, and other devices are up-to-date to prevent security risks, fix bugs, and take advantage of all the features that can be employed.
- Implement Personal Security
The big swinging vault door is still an effective deterrent against robbers, but a much more subtle method can be used in the form of PIN codes and fingerprint scanners. If a device is stolen, the thief will be unable to get inside without your individual passcode, which could give you or the cops all the time you need to retrieve it.
- Lock Down Your Internet
Though it may seem innocent, a wi-fi network can be one of the most vulnerable parts of your business, so it’s vital that every network has its own password to keep out hackers. It’s always better to hide your wireless network from everyone, as it minimizes potential risks. Treat the network name and password as vital information and only share it with people who may need it, but keeping people off your network is a huge first step to making sure your business is safe.
- Utilize Security Cameras
No bank security is complete without a continuous feed of the sights and sounds within your institution, so make sure that you not only have security cameras posted throughout the facility, but also current models that take advantage of the latest technology. Make sure there are no blind spots within your business, and every conversation can be recorded day or night. Furthermore, engage the wireless capabilities of these cameras so that it can’t be shut off if thieves decide to cut the power.
- Connect All Security Solutions
The last thing you want as a bank owner is the right people not having access to your facility, such as the security control center not being able to notify the authorities. Make sure that your security is empowered by having a networked system that can be operated and monitored by all necessary parties at any time, and give those individuals a way to communicate with each other at any time. Not only will this create a more efficient system in times of emergency, but it will also help the reporting after an event as well.
- Invest in Upgradeable Hardware
Electronic security companies will have a myriad of different options for you to choose from when you establish your bank security system, but whatever you choose, make sure that it’s easy to upgrade and improve on over time. Having outdated hardware and software leaves your operation vulnerable and criminals can and will exploit every opportunity that they have. Invest in the solutions that can grow with you and have a regular maintenance schedule that people can inspect over time.
- Bolt Everything Down
This may seem like a simple and obvious solution, but it’s always surprising to see the number of businesses that leave papers, laptops, or keys out in the open. Without fail, there are always security protocols to “make sure this doesn’t happen,” but making sure that these items can’t be lifted in seconds can make all the difference in the world. Use cable locks to hold laptops to a table, use two people whenever you’re transporting large sums of money, and store your private and sensitive information off-site. Implementing just a few of these little steps will deter casual thieves that are looking for a quick score and make yourself less vulnerable to everyday theft.
Don’t let burglars surprise you!
Sierra Group is a service focused general contracting firm specialized in advanced bank security systems that provide a peace of mind with high-security systems to protect all your assets.