Your facility’s security helps protect your people and your property. And just as your assets can be physical or digital, so can security threats and solutions.
It’s crucial to keep track of who enters your facility and its private areas, as well as when visitors and employees leave. This type of surveillance can both prevent security breaches and aid in investigating breaches later on.
Below, we’ll look at seven ways a visitor management system (VMS) like Sine’s can help you prevent security breaches to protect your business.
How visitor management systems protect your assets and people
Businesses tend to be more concerned about data security than physical security. But the truth is that they’re closely related, and security experts advocate a holistic approach to business security. Without physical security on your worksite, you can’t keep your machines and servers safe. That’s why it’s crucial to consider both types of security when considering how to protect your equipment, networks, servers, data, and other assets.
Sine offers among the most comprehensive VMS systems available, thanks to integrations that extend your data collection and security measures. Here are seven of the many ways you can use our VMS to improve your on-premise security and protect both physical and digital assets.
1. Protect guest information by going paperless
Despite the trend towards digitization, you’ll still find businesses of all sizes and organizations like schools and healthcare facilities using paper check-in forms. This isn’t just inefficient; it’s a security threat, especially when you’re asking people to write down their names, phone numbers, and any other personal information in a place where prying eyes can easily see it.
Paper check-in isn’t doing your business any favors when it comes to data collection and physical security anyway. It’s easy to write down the wrong information (especially if a guest is trying to protect their privacy), lose sign-in sheets, or enter data incorrectly into digital files later on. When this happens, any reporting or investigations that require knowing who was on site on a specific day will be incomplete.
Instead of relying on paper, Sine’s visitor management system allows guests to check in digitally. Depending on the information you’d like to collect, they can use an app to fill out forms in advance, use their phones to scan QR codes, scan their IDs, or enter their information on an iPad, so it’s easily “read” and stored for later use. With roughly 50% of commercial real estate inhabited by filing cabinets and other paper storage, digitizing your check-in data can also save you space and the money you use to maintain it.
2. Track your entrants to prevent security breaches
Asking people to sign in when they arrive on site (or even asking employees to scan ID badges when they’re on the premises) helps you maintain control of your property and assets. Sine’s VMS can be used to track the entry and exit of visitors in the workplace and ensure visitors and contractors are provided with guidelines upfront about what they can and cannot do on-site. The formality of a digital check-in system, especially one that requires ID scanning, can also help deter bad actors.
With the Sine Pro app, you can add another layer of protection by verifying digital IDs, tracking people on your worksite, revoking guest access to private areas, and programming the software to send your business manager or employees an alert when their guests arrive. You can even track when guests check out to ensure no one is present after hours or wandering around after an appointment has ended.
3. Use visitor badges to verify all occupants
Physical and digital visitor badges can be a great way to identify people on-site you may need supervision. This can be for security purposes or simply to help your employees make them feel welcome and find their way around. Badges can even include QR codes that allow guests access to only certain parts of your facility.
Physical visitor badges in particular help your employees spot newcomers, check credentials, or to help usher visitors away from areas with valuable or sensitive equipment or data. Whether they’re color-coded or printed with appointment information for added security, a visitor badge helps you keep visitors in safe spaces for everyone’s protection.
4. Employ geofencing technology to protect sensitive areas
Server rooms, laboratories, construction sites, and storage facilities are just a few of the many places you may want to prevent visitors from entering. That’s where Sine’s geofencing features come in handy.
Geofencing employs GPS-based technology to build a digital perimeter around your worksite. You can use visitor badges or phone tracking to gain visibility over anyone who is around a geofence so you know who is trying to enter. You can also bar their entry by putting up access points so you don’t have to send security to fetch a visitor every time they unknowingly miss a sign and enter a dangerous or private area.
These custom virtual boundaries can also help you send reminders or emergency messages to people in a specific area who are at risk or need to leave.
5. Use preregistration forms to ensure compliance
Whether you need to prevent visitors or employees without proper training or credentials from entering a sensitive area or your construction site is off-limits on certain days to those without prior authorization, using Sine’s preregistration features helps you maintain control of your site without physically guarding the entrance.
Asking visitors and contractors to preregister for site access with Sine’s VMS helps you stay compliant with OSHA and other safety regulations, ensures everyone has the appropriate safety training to be in a specific location, and even serves as a reminder of on-site protocols guests need to follow. Sine can even collect acknowledgment signatures for liability waivers before guests arrive on site.
Sine’s VMS can also prescreen workers and streamline onboarding to help manage contractors and ensure they’re familiar with facility protocols.
6. Utilize watchlists to keep out bad actors
If a bad actor is not deterred by the mere presence of a check-in system, you can still use Sine to identify individuals you put on a watchlist. When a visitor who is flagged on your watchlist tries to enter your site, a designated “watcher” will receive a notification and choose how to act on it. It can be as simple as denying access or calling security, or it may trigger a site-wide emergency alert, depending on the threat level.
Watchlists can be further enhanced through Sine’s integrations, including Descartes MK Denial and the US Offender Search.
7. (Re)assess access control measures
Perhaps the most important role a VMS plays in a company’s security is that it forces site managers to think about how to organize access control. It raises questions about which areas should be off-limits, who belongs on site, and how much protection businesses need to keep their assets safe.
Sine’s tools allow your business to move beyond discretionary access control (DAC), which tasks someone in a reception area with granting entrance to individuals, to more sophisticated access control measures such as mandatory access control (MAC) or role-based access control (RBAC). MAC provides access based on a person’s identity credentials, while RBAC requires more data and an access control administrator to grant or deny access to assets based on a person’s role within an organization (whether they’re an employee, guest, delivery person, or contractor).
Protect your worksite with Sine
Better security not only prevents accidents and thefts, it boost employee productivity and helps you retain them in the long run. According to a 2022 State of Employee Safety Report, 73% of people said that feeling safe is “extremely important” when at work, yet only 53% felt their employer considered their safety of equal importance. The good news is that 55% of the report’s respondents said their employers were putting more effort into security than in previous years. This is just a reminder that episodes of workplace violence and public health threats like COVID-19 pose a security threat alongside things like robberies and cybercrimes.
Limiting access to a worksite in order to keep people and property safe involves deterrent, detective, and protective measures. Surveillance, intrusion detection, and electronic access technology are all part of Sine’s suite of VMS tools. We also provide you with actionable insights so you can be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to workplace security.