Up until recently, security at the entry of a facility or campus would have been provided by an access control system with a card reader. 

Technology is evolving rapidly, however, and now many organizations are leveling up as new options and technologies have become available. Here are the top three trends in perimeter security today.

1. Increasing the security capability of an entrance

Most entry points can be made more secure, even if they are already protected by some form of access control. One of the most widespread challenges is tailgating or piggybacking — when more than one individual tries to enter a secured entrance on a single credential. A recent Boon Edam survey of security professionals found that 71% consider tailgating a serious security breach, while over 50% believe that a breach might cost their organizations $500 million in losses or more.

To combat the losses and liabilities represented by such a threat, many practitioners are now upgrading the security capabilities of their current entrances. For example, a security revolving door requires access control; a software solution can be added to automatically detect if a second individual is attempting to enter at the same time and lock the door in place to reject the entrance of both.

An optical turnstile, which helps with crowd management but can be jumped over, can be upgraded with taller glass partitions to minimize this possibility. The glass of revolving doors can be replaced with a bullet-resistant or vandal resistant material. There are many ways to enhance security at an entrance without the need to purchase and install new doors or turnstiles.

2. Migrating to touchless entrances and credentials

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we look at surfaces. While it has been determined that door handles and other surfaces are not typically vectors for transmission of the virus, there is a much greater awareness now of the presence of germs and bacteria. Overall, health and safety have taken a more significant role in the deployment of security solutions.

The access control systems that are currently installed use a huge range of buttons, touchscreens, fingerprint and palm scanners, and other features that require users to touch surfaces. Some facilities with swinging doors have looked to implement a quick fix by retrofitting these existing doors with wave-to-open and other automatic operators. While it might seem like a simple solution, this approach can make unauthorized intrusion much easier by keeping doors open for a longer period of time.

A better choice, recommended by integrators and security consultants, is to choose more advanced security entrance technology, such as optical turnstiles and security revolving doors and portals. These entrances, which are specifically designed to protect facilities from intrusion, have featured touchless options for decades in various commercial and institutional venues. Another advantage provided by these types of security entrances is that they are a proven way to address tailgating and other forms of unauthorized entry.

3. Integration with emerging third-party technologies

Leveraging the power of technology can help protect against intrusion and threats in new ways. For example, integrating turnstiles with surveillance cameras can enable workforce management solutions including social distancing, flexible and hybrid work schedules and building occupancy, which are all critical as society continues to deal with the pandemic.

An integrated strategy for access control, along with tailgating mitigation options including turnstiles, security revolving doors and mantrap portals, enables building security to implement even more comprehensive access control and prioritize security while making use of touchless credentials.

Entry security in a changing world

As the nature of threats and risks evolves, entrance security needs to change as well. New technology is helping to drive this migration, with advanced solutions entering the market at a rapid rate. For security professionals facing the job of making recommendations and purchases, it is wise to find a trustworthy manufacturer partner to help determine the right mix of new and existing products and solutions to create the best layered strategy for security at the entry.

This article originally ran in Security, a twice-monthly security-focused eNewsletter for security end users, brought to you by Security Magazine. Subscribe here.