4 Security Challenges for Corporate Campuses
and the Solutions
Today’s corporate campuses are not unlike small towns. With an average population of 5,000, modern facilities house cafeterias, vendor shops, even services like dry cleaners and coffee shops. In addition, these campuses often have extensive grounds, with thousands of people coming and going every day. This environment creates unique security challenges. Security Challenges for Corporate Campuses
- Internal Violence. The greater the employee population, the greater the chance of violent acts, either against other employees, or against company property.
- External Violence. Disgruntled former employees sometimes seek retaliation or attempt theft. Some companies might be the targets of activists groups, theft, or vandalism.
- Unauthorized Access. With a high volume of daily traffic, facilities can quickly lose control of who is coming and going.
- Perimeter Control. Corporate campuses often lack a perimeter fence, which makes intrusion–both accidental and intentional–more likely.
How to Overcome Those Challenges
Sunstates Security has many years of experience meeting these security challenges. That experience has helped refine a number of best practices for large corporate campus facilities.
- Planning is always the first step. Have teams already in place and functioning on a consistent basis.
- A senior-management level security team to oversee security procedures, with the authority to make decisions.
- A crisis management team to develop contingency plans and take charge when a crisis occurs.
- An emergency response team to enact contingency plans ensures employee safety and protects company resources.
- Contingency plans that include crisis response, lock-down procedures, and emergency evacuation procedures, with regular drills.
- Safety protocols for the prevention and intervention of employee violence. Such protocols include placing HR interviewers with their backs to the door of a meeting room to prevent their being cornered by a potentially violent interviewee, along with discreet security officer presence, training in the use of pepper spray, and other measures.
- Training Security Officers in non-violent, verbal resolution of conflicts. Sunstates President Glenn Burrell says that mutual respect is the key to resolving disputes: “My experience over the years has been that 99% of the time if you show respect and offer a quality verbal resolution, you can defuse the situation. For the remaining 1%, we use training to contain the situation and call in reinforcement.”
- Security badge awareness is critical. Encouraging personnel to challenge people who do not use proper badge entry helps prevent “piggy-backing” the social niceties that allow holding open the door for someone who might not have a badge, such as a potential intruder or a former employee who no longer has access. Communication between HR and security personnel is critical to retrieve and deactivate the badges of terminated employees. This requires the cooperation of top-level management, who should not be immune from having to use their security badges.
- Educating employees that security is a company-wide responsibility. The workforce must understand that flow of intelligence and communication is critical. Sunstates encourages companies to build a culture of security and safety through training classes and brown-bag lunches, whereby employees learn that security is a personal responsibility.
- Early detection of intruders when the campus lacks a fence line more vigilance is required. Security personnel must ascertain whether the intrusion is accidental or intentional, and this requires early detection, tempered by strong public relations skills. As a final thought, President Burrell recommends vetting applicants thoroughly as a proactive way of preventing problems. Background checks, drug testing, personal and professional reference checks are excellent tools; potentially dangerous people rarely resort to violence without prior warning signs. Logging more than a decade of experience at such facilities, Sunstates Security understands specialized security requirements for large corporate campuses.