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Banking on security: How banks get protection from security solutions

Banking on security: How banks get protection from security solutions
Banks are places where cash and other valuables are kept in large quantities. As such they are subject to various types of threats. Security, then, becomes critical.
Needless to say, banks and financial institutions are an important part of the everyday life. As these are places where cash and other valuables are kept in large quantities, they are subject to various types of threats. Security, then, becomes a critical component in bank operations.
What can we do without banks? These are places where we get money, make deposits, and perform other financial operations. Since banks keep large quantities of money and valuables, they are inevitably subject to various threats and risks that can emerge both internally and externally.
“Clearly, many of the risks that banks face are systemic and relate to credit risk, the regulatory environment and operational issues. Cybersecurity is an increasing concern, especially for retail banks, where much customer activity has moved online. But this shouldn't detract from the continued presence of physical risks and the fact that these may originate externally, in the form of robberies, as well as internally, where theft of assets, data and money can occur,” said Richard Joslin, Senior Director for UK/I, Central Europe and MENA at PACOM & 3xLOGIC.
“With high-value assets, banks are vulnerable to both external and internal risks. In the physical security world, theft of money and other physical assets are a first concern. Banks are frequently highly trafficked locations with predictable, high-peak hours, so threats of robberies against employees and customers are also critical issues. Banks are also home to highly-sensitive areas where access by unauthorized personnel could be catastrophic. No one threat outweighs the other; it’s the combination of all that makes bank security especially complex,” said Jake Stauch, Director of Product at Verkada.

Areas that are vulnerable

It’s also important to point out that there are certain areas in banks that are particularly vulnerable to threats. These may include parking lots, ATM vestibules and banks’ server rooms/datacenters.
“The open and closing of a banking institution are potentially vulnerable areas, as people can enter the building with the possibility of others following in and holding them hostage, or collateral damage occurring if someone discharges his/her weapon during a robbery and causes injuries to bystanders. ATM facilities and the replenishment of ATMs are also vulnerable to crimes and threats, as well as homeless people sleeping/loitering in ATM vestibules,” said Chris Meiter, Chief Sales Officer at Salient.
“ATM theft is a huge problem, not only in the form of skimmers but in physical, brute force attacks. The machines are inherently accessible, located on sidewalks and in drive-thrus, with very little physical protection. In the case of brute force attacks – where an ATM may be broken open or forcibly removed from its location – early detection and intervention becomes even more critical. Fraudulent access at ATMs is another occurrence that can be difficult to identify and remedy. Further, the bank’s physical assets — computers, servers, and other equipment – are also frequent targets. 24-hour security personnel aren't cost-effective so after hours, there’s very little deterring criminals from targeting and attacking financial institutions,” Stauch said.

How can security help

That said, security plays a vital role in protecting lives and assets at banks. Below we take a look at what security solutions are currently available to help secure banks.

Video surveillance and analytics

Video surveillance is critical in bank security. Camera systems record and store video for monitoring and forensic purposes. More and more, there are advanced cameras, for example lowlight and panoramic cameras, that can cover wide areas – for example bank parking lots – and in lowlight situations.
Further, video surveillance coupled with AI analytics will be an even more powerful tool for security personnel at banks.
“The use of AI ‘at the edge’ is revolutionizing security technology as it allows users to spot activity that deviates from the norm and so presents a potential risk. Everything from vehicles waiting outside bank entrances and exits to individuals in bank lobbies displaying suspicious or unusual behavior can be detected and users notified. Another benefit to AI is that users are only alerted to incidents that present a real cause for concern, eliminating false alarms and keeping operators focused on genuine risk,” Joslin said.
“There’s a few ways analytics can help customers run more sophisticated security programs and increase the speed in which they handle investigations. Take for example ATM vestibules, which are a hot spot for loitering. With Verkada, you can use cameras as smart motion sensors that will trigger an alarm if a person is detected lingering in one “region of interest” as defined by the user. An alert can trigger a response flow, for example, sounding horns or using lights, to deter the loiterer. Or take bank lobby and teller areas, areas prime for fraudulent behavior like fishing or counterfeiting. Here, facial analytics are very important,” Stauch said.
Stauch adds that license plate recognition is another important tool. “We can view and log vehicles for the individuals involved, and set alerts to find out when bad actors show up. These details can help fill in critical details for reporting and investigation to law enforcement to help catch criminals,” he said.

Access control and intrusion detection

Besides video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection also have an important role to play.
“Access control can keep track of employees' movements within the facility and prevent unauthorized access to data rooms,” Meiter said. “Security operations centers with intrusion alarms provide more accurate alerts. When security operation centers are used with intrusion alarms, these reduce false alarm dispatches and prevent incidents such as ‘swatting.’”
It should be noted that the systems should be well integrated to make bank security officers' job easier. “The deep integration of these and other technologies allows users to manage risk more comprehensively, while it also provides users with a single point of view over geographically disparate bank estates,” Joslin said.

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