For Peace of Mind, Check Your Bank's Security System
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We have lost a whopping ₹65.3 crore to bank robberies, thefts, dacoits and burglaries during 2016-17. Moreover, 393 such cases involving ₹18.48 crore have already been reported in the first half of the current fiscal. With the advancements in technology, security solutions have also evolved. We have moved from locking valuables in almirahs/wardrobes at home to lockers in the banks. Banks have seamlessly become an integral part of our security system. However, if banks are also being robbed – how do we feel safe? How do we protect our peace of mind?
Essentials in a Bank
Essentially, banks must have a security and safety policy. This policy should meticulously outline how employees should access the premises and means of their identification – detailed procedures for visitor’s access; outline facility requirements; restricted access to sensitive files; clear guidelines on how to access systems and electronic devices, etc. Several organisations have security camera policy workplace control and use CCTV cameras to prevent unauthorized access, burglaries and theft.
To Check the Things Internally
Banks should also inculcate a system of conducting regular audits of its safety and security solutions because threats are dynamic in nature—what was a threat yesterday has evolved by ten folds today. For instance: we had safes with stronger locks because robbers broke those locks open, then we had safes with digital locks because robbers found a way of cracking open those safes too. Hence, it is of utmost importance that our security solutions are prevalent not just for the present but for the future. There are enormous security solutions that help us to mitigate ‘Internal threats’ – human-made threats. However, banks should opt for solutions that provide a more holistic approach, i.e., have security measures in place for both internal and external threats; external threat includes fire, earthquakes, flooding in underground lockers, pest attacks, etc. Banks must anticipate prevention of human-made and natural calamities and secure the environment accordingly with the right burglary and fire-resistant products. Further, banks should proactively adopt security audits, wherein crisis-centric policies can be drafted that provide relevant solutions in real time.
Furthermore, while ensuring security, banks should also have an attitude that possesses ‘Don’t risk human life’, wherein banks have to adhere to specific regulations to ensure optimal security to its customers and employees. Security solutions that provide utmost security, optimum privacy with little or no human intervention, anytime access, advanced technology, optimum space utilization of banks property are the need of the banking industry. With the continuous growth in E-commerce, ‘Robotic Lockers’ are the next big solution in the banking industry. It provides convenience at its best and is a leap in the traditional locker business. With high-end technology, there is no compromise on the physical aspect of security as the lockers are placed under sturdy room doors. Also, product standards are increasingly becoming important for safety and security products.
Key government bodies are aiding the safety and security of safes in the country with standard benchmarks. Banks must imperatively install standardized solutions to safeguard its customers’ prized possessions.
BIS – Bureau of Indian Standards – is a government body that gives the rating to the Safes and other physical security products; all physical security products like ‘Safes, Strong Room Doors, etc. should be BIS certified
RBI – Reserve Bank of India – controls the operations and usage of safes in banking as well as non-banking sectors
IBA – Indian Banking Association – has made guidelines on secure banking where the bank is requested to follow those guidelines to ensure proper safety and security
SEBI – Securities and Exchange Board of India – has specific policies for fire compliant products
Most banks appoint security officers who have some relevant Defense background to guide the institutions toward stringent and secure operations. Standardization of products will help us, the customers, to choose our safety options with ease. Along with standardized products, companies should invest in innovation of futuristic safety and security solutions, simply by harnessing the available technologies. There are many such futuristic safes, locks and currency chests already available in the market; few of these are:
Innovations in Safes: Banks can use a product like Defender Plus Neutronics Safe, which is not only physically strong, as per BIS standards, but is intelligent too. It has a unique feature that enables the safe to communicate with the customer if it, the safe, is under an attack or duress.
Innovation in Locks: There are new age technologies in ‘Biometric Locks’ with duress integration and One Time Password (OTP) Locks that can be controlled and monitored centrally with integration in Central Monitoring system of the institution.
Innovation in Lockers: Auto Vault, Automated Locker system, is a futuristic technology where the customer can access lockers 24/7/365 days. Here, the end customer is made to sit inside a private cabin, and the locker is automatically retrieved from the secure room to the end customer where he receives complete privacy to access his/her locker.
Innovations in Currency Chest: The reinforced cement concrete (RCC) walls of the currency chest can be integrated by vibration/seismic sensors that can trigger alarms when in attack and notify the concerned people.
We need banks that have an extensive understanding of both dynamism of thefts and possibilities of innovations of safety and security solutions. Further, banks should positively have policies that enable regular audits of its safety and security solutions and is always updated with the latest technologies as that will help us achieve utmost security thus leading to utmost customer trust. Safety and security solutions should possess both ‘Manageability’ and ‘Flexibility’. Quintessentially, to harness the optimum potential of the best available systems and solutions in the field of security, we need a productive workforce and effective utilization and implementation at all levels.