Author: Justin Chappell

Encore was recently approached by an existing client to help design and implement an improved integrated access control and video surveillance system. Due to the sensitive data they maintain for their own customers we’ve chosen not to disclose the client’s name, but our relationship with them spans several years. The client in question needed to upgrade their current security system which is spread across multiple office buildings on several campuses, presenting a unique challenge for Encore’s physical security team.

There were several issues the client faced that needed to be addressed. Firstly, staff members were not individually presenting their ID badges when entering a building. Often one staff member would present their badge and then hold the door for multiple people; though common courtesy, in the event of an emergency this would make it impossible for security staff to determine who was inside the facility. Secondly, staff were using a building’s side doors when entering at the start of their shift, which prevented posted security guards from verifying their identity. Lastly, the client wanted to prevent employees from returning from break through a building’s side doors, again to make sure the headcount of those inside the facility was accurate in case of an emergency.

To resolve the first of these issues, Encore’s physical security team installed anti-tailgating devices on all exterior doors and integrated them into the existing access control management system. This setup utilized laser barriers, audible and visual alarms, and email notifications to encourage staff to enter one at a time, each presenting their ID badge to the proximity card reader. When someone did follow another person through the door without first presenting their own ID badge, however, the system would flash red lights and sound a beeping alarm to alert nearby security personnel. Cameras installed by Encore would capture video footage of the event, which was emailed to the head of security as well as time-stamped and stored in an event log for future reference.

To solve the second and third issues, Encore designed a policy in the client’s access control management software that restricted general staff members to entering a building through only the main entrances at the start of their shift. After verifying their identity at the main entrance, employees’ access privileges would then be activated for the rest of the facility. Encore also installed additional proximity card readers on the side and rear exit doors to serve as “exit readers”. This was done so that when exiting the building through any door other than the main entrance, staff members could present their ID badge to the card reader, which would then allow them to re-enter the building through this same doorway. If the staff member did not present their badge before exiting, they would be forced to go back through the main entrance.

The solutions designed and implemented by Encore greatly increased the overall security of the client’s facilities, as well as reduced their need for additional security staff. Encore’s physical security team continues to support and design systems of this caliber for all of our existing and future clients.