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December 21 2022

Top Access Control Security Tips for the Holidays in 2023

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Deck the halls access control and video management systems?!

That’s right, the holidays are just around the corner and while you might be looking forward to kicking back and sipping a glass of eggnog, it’s important to make sure your office building stays protected. Genea and Grid Squared Systems want you to stay safe this holiday season, so we compiled a checklist of the top security tips when preparing your building or office for the holidays.

Tip 1: Double Check Your Security Cameras

During the holidays, it’s likely fewer people will visit the office. Empty buildings become targets of crimes like break-ins and theft, so equipping yourself with a robust access control and video management system is essential.

Using cloud-based systems like Cisco Meraki or Rhombus Systems can give you the ability to monitor your facilities off site (while lounging near a toasty fireplace, perhaps). If you’ve already installed these cameras, make sure to double check that they are working and recording. Bonus Tip for IT and Security Teams using cloud-based Solutions: If you have a cloud-based system, take a look at your access control dashboard to ensure that cameras are properly synced to their corresponding doors.

Tip 2: Make Sure Decorations are Not Blocking Cameras

It’s easy to go overboard with decorations; that’s half the fun of the holidays. However, before you head out to enjoy the winter wonderland make sure your cameras haven’t been blocked by any mistletoe or holiday lights.

Sometimes in the rush to decorate, employees will forget to consider security cameras. Doing a thorough check will help keep IT and security teams from overlooking any changes that may be obstructing a camera’s line of sight.

Tip 3: Update Your Access Control Schedule and Permissions

It's important to update your access control schedule and permissions for the holidays. Irregular office hours often mean property managers want the building closed at irregular times. Be sure you coordinate well in advance so that everybody is on the same page.

Providers like Genea offer ways to customize and preprogram holiday building schedules. In just a few clicks, select which doors will remain locked and which will open. When creating the building plan, consider keeping the doors further away from manned security posts closed. Teams can also adjust the specific times doors open or close to better align with potential holiday foot traffic.

User permissions should be revisited during the holiday season as well. Make sure that only the people needing access to the building have it. For example, if you are responsible for security at an enterprise, you might limit the hours employees can get into your building at your corporate headquarters, but allow employees overtime access at your commercial retail locations. Additionally, you may want custom reports generated during this time period. These reports help pinpoint vulnerable areas and may be delivered directly to your inbox.

Regardless of the permissions and schedules you choose, revisiting these aspects of security can save you from significant risk during the holiday season.

Tip 4: Update Your Alarm System Call List

Has there been significant turnover at your company? Do you know who to contact if an emergency occurs? A call list is a list of emergency contacts and their contact information used by IT and security personnel during a fire or burglary.

As of late, many companies have begun laying off workers due to the impending recession. Consequently, the remaining employees take on new roles and responsibilities. IT and security teams must ensure their call lists are up to date in case of emergency.

It is recommended that you include the emails and phone numbers of your access control and video management system providers, as well as any internal team leaders and emergency responders.

Tip 5: Check Your Security Systems Frequently

There is only one way to truly ensure your security is doing its job – by monitoring it. Cloud-based access control systems sync otherwise separate security systems together.

Additionally, cloud-based access control gives users the capability to monitor these systems from afar. So, you can check up on your enterprise, school, healthcare facility or commercial real estate property without ever getting out of your Holiday pajamas.

To learn more about preparing your building security for the holidays or upgrading to a Genea cloud-based access control system, reach out to us at Grid Squared Systems for a free consultation!

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