Visitors pose one of the largest risks to an organization or building. Security teams in a variety of sectors must be prepared to handle large numbers of visitors and VIPs on a daily basis. In addition to the human element, visitor management systems can help organizations of all sizes by enhancing security, improving efficiency and increasing accountability. They can also provide useful data to amplify a security program.
Many visitor management systems offer contactless check-in options, such as QR codes and facial recognition. The systems can notify hosts via automated emails or texts when a visitor arrives at a building. This feature allows for better oversight, reducing security risks in the circumstances requiring immediate contact with a person. It adds an extra layer of security to a facility by requiring visitors to check in, show identification and receive a visitor badge that identifies them as a visitor.
Visitor management systems collect data about visitors' identification, such as their name, photo and contact information. This information can be used to help security personnel quickly identify and screen suspicious individuals.
Integration with access control systems and surveillance cameras can help security teams unite data across security technology. The access control system can be configured to allow access only after the visitor has been approved and verified through the visitor management system, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. Integration with surveillance cameras allows security professionals to monitor visitor movements and behaviors, which can help identify potential security threats or suspicious activity. The visitor management system can also trigger alerts for security personnel when a visitor enters a restricted area, providing an additional layer of security. Integrating the systems can provide detailed records of visitor activity, including entry and exit times and areas visited. This information can be used to investigate incidents or track the movements of visitors who may have been involved in security breaches.
Visitor management systems help to identify what types of identities are in a building, for example, a contractor or guest of an employee. Understanding the visitor type allows security teams to understand better who is in the building, why they are in the building, how often they are in the building and at what times of the day.
Having this level of security and access data can help security professionals proactively manage access control and prevent incidents. This visitor management data can determine access levels for visitors. By limiting visitors' access to specific areas of a building based on their purpose for being in the building, organizations can improve overall security, minimize risk and prevent unauthorized entry or theft.
Visitor tracking tells what and when visitors are in the building, done with their visit, or still waiting. Details about their whereabouts provide critical information if an unexpected event, such as a medical emergency or active shooter incident, happens in the building.
By analyzing visitor management data, stakeholders can identify patterns or abnormalities that may indicate a security breach or other issues. By knowing who is in a building, how often they are in the building and when, a security team can track abnormalities, such as if there are an increased number of alarms when a guest is in the building. Further, analysis can help address these concerns through an improved protocol, such as increasing the number of security staff or extending security coverage.
Visitor management systems help organizations comply with relevant regulations and standards and meet compliance requirements, such as data protection regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), by providing a secure and centralized way to manage visitor data and ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive information. They also help with health and safety regulations, such as OSHA regulations, by capturing information about visitors and ensuring that they are aware of any potential hazards or safety procedures they need to follow while on the premises.
Visitor management systems can help organizations comply with security regulations, such as the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), by providing a secure and auditable way to manage visitor access to sensitive areas and information.
Depending on the industry, organizations may need to comply with various regulations and standards, such as HIPAA in healthcare, Sarbanes-Oxley in finance and ISO 27001 in information security. Visitor management systems can help organizations meet these requirements by providing a secure and auditable way to manage visitor access and ensure compliance with industry-specific regulations.
Improve business operations
Pre-registration of visitors helps with resource and logistical planning, which is important on days with a large influx of visitors. Onsite restaurants can order more food and employ more staff on days when the 150-person salesforce is in town for a conference.
A dashboard shows visitor activity by the hour and reports provide data on all visitor activity. Visitor management systems can tell security teams if there are more or less people in a building than originally expected.
Organizations can enforce company procedures by having visitors acknowledge and sign corporate policies or non-disclosure agreements before they can check-in for their visit. A visitor found on the internal watch list can be denied entrance to the building, creating a safer environment.
Metrics help with planning
The metrics provided by visitor management systems help security teams make proactive and long-term decisions that continuously improve the security of an organization.
As mentioned previously, knowing visitor arrival times can help security personnel know when to expect visitors and plan accordingly, improving business operations.
Knowing visitor demographics such as the age, gender and profession of visitors can help to identify potential security risks. Different approaches are needed for a Friday night rock concert versus a large seminar about health insurance in a commercial-use auditorium on a Tuesday afternoon. Understanding why visitors are coming to the facility helps security personnel identify potential security issues and take necessary precautions.
Tracking visitor behavior can help security personnel identify suspicious or unusual activity and respond accordingly. This will help the team operate better in the future. Visitor management systems can gather feedback from visitors which can help security personnel to identify areas for improvement and address any concerns or issues.