In Defense of the Facility
Healthcare’s Core Business FocusEric L. Levine, staff vice president and director of corporate security at WellPoint, the nation’s largest health benefits company with approximately 34 million medical members, believes in a proactive approach to facility security. “But you also need to make sure you align with the core business of the company.” His mission statement blends with WellPoint’s.
Facilities Go AnimalisticAnd speaking of far-flung, Connie George has a diverse facility that ranges from the African savanna to an Asian forest and from foraging bears to blacktip reef sharks and a giant Pacific octopus. George, working with IT Manager Doug Jones at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, uses security technology to provide a safe experience for visitors but unique animal behavior needs for the zookeepers.
Wireless as a Facility Security SolutionAt California State University Long Beach, Chief Skipworth employs a wireless video surveillance system to watch over his campus. The system, with wireless networks from Firetide, has led to numerous arrests, including one felony weapons possession charge. The University administration and on-campus police department needed a surveillance system to supplement officers on patrol and couldn’t temporarily shut down to lay fixed cable.
Thirty-seven pan-tilt-zoom cameras, 29 of which are connected wirelessly, and 40 mesh nodes comprise the network, deployed by local installer Moore Electrical Contracting. The network operates in the licensed 4.9 GHz public safety band to reduce interference and provide extra security; the system includes Bosch analog cameras and IndigoVision encoders and video management. The majority of cameras are strategically located on light poles and other structures around campus and its parking lots. Those entering areas under surveillance are alerted via signs.
Trained police dispatchers monitor the live video feeds and communicate with police officers on patrol in real-time.
A Community EffortResidential colleges such as Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster, Pa., are inextricably linked to the surrounding community. So when Lancaster experienced a rash of vandalism incidents near college property, campus security officials took action with a new initiative to increase video surveillance and overall safety measures.
With 200+ facilities and more than 700 locations, “I really have a variety including office buildings, high rises, data centers, hotels, a hanger and the Columbus, Ohio, arena district, to name a few. Security needs to blend into these diverse areas so that it is acceptable to the people you are there to protect,” says Beighley. He sees the need for facility security to be in the “fabric of the organization. You must make sure the function fits the organization. You can teach security but it is the management of it” that makes a difference.”
Officers Protecting FacilitiesBeyond video management software, smart cards and analytics, among high-tech tools, there is facility security value in officers.
While many educational institutions have sprawling, park-like settings and young people often away from home for the first time and living on campus, Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, stands apart. According to Robert Lee, vice chancellor for support services, his college, of course, shares a mission with others. “Being located in the Midwest with an inner city environment, our 1,300 students depend on our campus security programs to create and maintain a safe and comfortable environment that is paramount to attract students, patients, faculty, and staff. Without the safe and comfortable environment, we would have no business.”
Transitioning with TechnologyTechnology includes several thousand security video cameras, about 200 DVRs, a central station for alarm monitoring and card access control at appropriate facilities, with some students having proximity cards. Projects are ongoing. A rebanding program throughout the county’s emergency and law enforcement agencies has strengthened interoperability and the schools’ partnership with public safety. “And we have begun the transition to fully electronic access control,” adds Reyka.
Thanks to technology, some facilities and their owners and managers are seeking ways to better integrate security systems and make them work for the business as well as security.
Transportation Pulls AheadIt may seem like a zoo sometimes in the transportation sector, but when it comes to security, Butch Day of YRC has his experienced hands firmly on the wheel. “Through our staff of security investigators and specialists, the YRC security department maintains a frontline ability to address the security needs of YRC and its customers immediately, both on internal and external levels. Facilities and properties are further monitored by means of security camera systems and the use of a Security Communications Center, staffed 24 hours a day, year round.” He adds that “with the downturn in the economy, available funds for new and innovative technologies are limited, requiring the need to constantly revisit current practices and procedures” when it comes to facility security.
Matching internal practices and procedures to regulations – and improving them – is one focus of Hanley Center’s Michael Counes, who says that implementation of monitoring software was an IT initiative. “We wanted to enhance the security of our patient records. We needed something to easily and quickly show generalities and trends, something to show me not just what employees do on their computer, but how the information is disseminated.”
Checking Email Within FacilitiesLuckily, Counes is ahead of the game. Many organizations, especially outside of healthcare, are often caught off-guard when thieves intrude into a facility through computer and communications systems. Travis Watson, solutions engineer, and Matt Bossom, program manager - technology solutions, at Accuvant, an information security consulting firm, agree that, generally speaking, businesses are ill prepared for big, bad events that could force in-house employees to work remotely. Recalls Watson, “There was a routine water main break. People had to work off-site. But how many? Could the infrastructure take on the increased authentication of traffic, licensing and bandwidth?”
Facility security – whether protecting the parking lot, controlling lobby access, or viewing security video – is but one part of a total picture. It can be a global assignment and one that includes cyber security.