A Secure Workplace: Why Visitor Verification is Your First Line of Defense

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The Importance of a Secure Workplace

At any workplace, the most important asset is the people who work there. That’s why every workplace should strive to be a secure workplace. While many security measures can be used to keep a building safe, the best way to stop a threat is to prevent it from ever crossing your threshold. Workplaces need to have tools and procedures in place that enable them to verify the identity of everyone who comes through their doors. This is one of the crucial first steps in creating a secure workplace because once a threat is inside, there is no telling what kind of damage it can do. In this blog post, we’ll outline how unauthorized people get into buildings, the threats they can pose, and how a visitor verification tool can help.

How Unauthorized People Get In

It’s important to verify visitors before letting them inside your workplace. Most people enter because workplaces do not have any formal way of stopping them. But even with procedures in place, unauthorized persons employ several strategies that prey upon people’s emotions and assumptions to gain entry. Understanding these strategies and how to prevent them can help you better secure your workplace. These strategies can include:

  • Tailgating: An unauthorized person follows an employee into a secure area without them noticing. Consider someone unlocking a door to enter an area, and forgetting to lock the door behind them.
  • Piggybacking: Similar to tailgating, this is when an authorized person follows an employee into a secure area with their knowledge. This could be someone holding a door open for someone else, not realizing that person is not permitted in that area.
  • Disguises: It may sound silly, but people posing as delivery persons or maintenance personnel can use these disguises to get access to your workplace without verifying their identity. People assume they are supposed to be there, so they do not verify their identity.
  • Intimidation: Unauthorized persons may badger employees into letting them into your facilities or threaten that they may get in trouble if they are not let in.
  • Assistance: Unauthorized persons may pose as employees or guests who have simply misplaced their IDs, badges, or keys, and ask people for help getting into secure areas.

Any of these techniques can pose a serious risk to your workplace, so having procedures and tools in place that require identifying and verifying visitors every time they enter your workplace can help reduce the chance of these occurring.

Threats Unauthorized Visitors Pose

Unauthorized visitors can have different goals when attempting to enter your workplace. These unknown motivations should be reason enough for any to implement physical security measures to create a secure workplace. Threats can come in many forms, including:

  • Violent attacks: Perhaps the most obvious, but still the most dangerous. Unauthorized visitors may want to cause physical harm to your employees. Violent attacks can leave people injured or killed and greatly disrupt your daily workplace operations. Being able to stop threats at the door can at best prevent these types of incidents from occurring and at worst minimize their impact.
  • Cybersecurity threats: You might not think about physical security measures when considering cybersecurity, but unauthorized visitors may not be trying to cause physical harm to others. Instead, they are looking to cause reputational or monetary harm to your organization. If left unattended, once unauthorized visitors are inside your workplace, they have the opportunity to steal sensitive information like company documents, passwords, and customer data. They could then sell this information online or use the access they’ve gained to cause more harm, which could humiliate or damage your company.
  • Facility damage: It might not just be people an unauthorized visitor is trying to harm. They may want to disrupt your employee’s ability to work by causing physical damage to the workplace. This damage can result in costly repairs and downtime.

Each of these threats comes with its own set of risks. Your workplace should be prepared to address any of them, and visitor verification can be your first line of defense by keeping out unauthorized persons with ill intent.

How Visitor Verification Works in a Secure Workplace

Now that you understand the risks of not verifying visitors, it’s time to understand how these tools actually work. Many visitor verification solutions are currently on the market, catering to different workplace needs. The most important aspect is to have a tool that establishes a policy of screening and verifying every visitor that enters your workplace to ensure a secure environment. Robust verification tools feature:

  • ID scanning: Visitors are required to present their ID card and have it scanned before being permitted into your workplace
  • Encrypted facial recognition: This helps minimize false positives when verifying against government watchlists and custom-banned visitor lists
  • Quick verification: Once an ID is scanned, it should take only a few seconds to either verify a visitor or ban them from entry.
  • Preregistration and QR codes: Enable visitors to preregister ahead of time to streamline the verification process when they arrive.
  • Multi-site insights: Maintain a digital visitor log across buildings so visitors only need to be verified once.
  • Terms of entry: Present terms and conditions for visitors to be granted access to your workplace so they understand policies and procedures before entering.
  • No proprietary hardware: Have the flexibility you need to set up your visitor verification in a way that best suits your workplace environment. Use the tools that best fit your budget and place them in areas that keep your building protected from unwanted guests.

These capabilities can help you quickly verify or flag visitors, but should an issue arise what can you do next to maintain a secure workplace?

Adding Mass Notification to Visitor Verification

It’s important to be able to identify visitors that should not be permitted into your workplace, however, you need to have tools in place that help you alert others that there is an issue at your entrance. Using a visitor verification tool that integrates with a mass notification and incident management system can help make the right people aware an issue is occurring and help facilitate the next steps to bring about a successful resolution.

When a visitor is flagged by the verification system, it can initiate an automated mass notification targeted at workplace security. This notification can be text, audio, or visual and be sent to a wide range of devices, such as desk phones, desktop computers, mobile devices, overhead speakers, and digital signage. Once the notification has been received, security and intervene and ask the person to leave or determine if an escalated response is necessary. Letting the right people know about an incident the moment it happens means people respond faster, reducing the chance that the situation gets out of hand.

With these tools in place, you can create and maintain a secure workplace where safety starts at the front door. Visit our Business page to see how your workplace can benefit from our Visitor Aware verification tool and InformaCast mass notification and incident management software.