Security is not an option but a necessity for any bank institutions. Every day, the bank manages a large sum of money and involves many financial transactions. Banks welcome the public but they are highly exposed to threats and crimes. The bank institution finds it challenging for the right security measures to be incorporated and that their security layers will provide protection and safety to their staff, clients and assets. Here are the banking sector’s biggest challenges against security threats;
Armed or unarmed guards
Armed security is the most common professional services that the banks would be employing for their security measures; the hired armed personnel would be carrying firearms and weapons for them to use the deadly force legally against intruders. Unarmed general guards, on the other hand, would also increase the general safety of the frontline banking premises and provides a friendlier and safer environment to the customers but nevertheless, they are still effective in handling limited security-related tasks. Both types of guards shall be manning the banking premises and the loading/unloading facilities with CCTV cameras, the surveillance system which is linked to the police and armed guard’s security centres nearby and the sophisticated alarm system as well on a 24-hours and 7 days’-a-week basis.
Armed and unarmed guards are prone to dangerous and life-threatening situations in their daily routine work always and they are aware of such risks in their profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 63 security guards who died during their duties in 2009 alone. The statistics also stated that most security guards suffered severe injuries during their work in an evening and overnight hours. From 2003 to 2009 period, 93% of security guards involved in fatal assaults by client, customer and people who intended on robbing (Wiatrowski, 2012). The Centre for Investigative Reporting has identified that armed security guards who possess guns are highly exposed to risks in violent situations during bank robberies. Armed security guards are riskier than unarmed guards because robbers usually know that the armed guards are the first line of defence that must be brought down before any burglaries (Gabrielson, 2018). Nevertheless, properly-trained armed security guards are usually sourced out as third parties and they are hired to step up the security level of the banking industry. Untrained armed security guards can potentially cause harm to others and even innocent people. The management should educate them during appropriate times to use the gun and to respond with common sense when the situation arises. Their risk is their own lives and the lives of the people and property whom they defended.
The security guards must control the access of the bank facilities by allowing only authorized personnel, guests, visitors, materials and vehicles to enter or to leave the banks with proper checks using the security cameras and surveillance system. Criminals or people who intend to commit criminal activities in the banks’ premises may avoid such banks’ premises that are fully-equipped with security professionals detecting and guarding the bank buildings all the time. Basic equipment on physical security is an alarm system, sign-in or sign out logs and locks for examples. Security guards can also hold up people such as visitors, contractors or employees entering the bank buildings and accesses. Some open areas such the lobby area where the ATM machines are usually located allows customers to undertake basic transactions without the presence of the bankers’ representative and spaces whereby people may routinely enter and exit as many times they are pleased. Security does not have to control the access but some measures and procedures are to be in place at all times such as;
- Any guests or employees must show their approved photographic identifications.
- Certain individuals are given key cards which basically allow them to access all the secured and locked areas.
- The security guard must escort individuals who are entering the banking facility.
- The banking institutions usually provide access with a list of names who are authorized to enter with valid photo identifications.
- The security guard may conduct some screenings for all visitors through placing bags on x-ray machines or by walking on magnetometers.
- Visual checks can be conducted through telephones, computers or bags, etc.
It is challenging to manage security guards who respect and are familiar with people’s culture, religion and customs. Some people may wear religious long garments that may be suspected with weapons for stealing money. It is difficult to detect potential threats and not showing prejudice against common people because guests may feel uncomfortable with undue unwelcomed experiences when visiting the bank. Therefore, explaining the reasons for inspections, respecting other faiths, conducting such inspections with the same gender and inspecting private rooms are the very routine considerations that the guards usually do.
The insider threats
The internal threats in any banking institutions could also become the main criminal targets. The insider threats are usually disgruntled employees who want to harm the bank institutions. Some employee intends to steal money and plan for attacks while working in the bank. These threats may enter undetected and has full knowledge of the banking assets and access to resources. The management can impose a tighter security policy which may lead to reduced employee satisfaction and some unproductive sessions. Employees with a lower position such as cashiers may act on criminal activities first then secondly, would be the blue collar high-level positions like the senior management offenders. Financial pressures and offender roles may be encouraged to conduct fraudulent and criminal activities in banks.
Parking lot security risk
The biggest challenge and threat is the parking lots which are risky and constantly changing. No matter what size is the parking lot, this zone always attracts violent activities. Drivers tend to expose dangerous harassment, assault and theft in the parking lots. From 2004 to 2008, more than 2.4 million crimes took place in the parking lots stated by the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (Morton, 2015). The statistics also stated that 84% were personal property and motor theft, as well as 16%, were a violent incident like robbery, rape and assault (Morton, 2015). As a building manager or owner, strategies must be planned to avoid criminal breaks in the bank and to avoid parking lots as a hub for threat. The security team always find a way to step up safety and always evaluate the parking areas from time to time. The security guards can offer an escort to the parking lot for the staff and guests during evening hours and night times.
Atalian Global Services ensure our clients are able to have all protection needed for their premises such as video surveillance, access controls, intrusion alarms and manned guard services, 24 hrs support and more. Do contact us for a free consultation today for more information about our security services. Atalian offers the best security service that is tailored to your specific needs and provides a suited package for you. Contact us for a free consultation!