Reported by: banking|Updated: May 22, 2017
Banks Continue to face to robberies and attacks.Physical security heads have envisioned smart solutions to deter criminals:
The violence in Kashmir has now extended to the banking sector. Since the end of October 2016,armed robbers have struck at bank branches in the state looting nearly `92 lakh in 13 separate attacks. There have been 4 incidents in 4 days in May 2017 alone, beginning with the bloody attack on a cash van on 1 May. Five policemen and 2 bank security guards lost their lives in these attacks. Apart from the highly publicized incidents in Kashmir, there continue to be robbery attempts at bank branches, ATMs and CIT vans all over the country. Some are stealth attempts and some are violent attempts. All these incidents highlight the need for banks to continually upgrade their security to protect thier employees, customers, cash and other asets. This cover story looks at the spectrum of threats and the measures and overall strategy that banks have planned or undertaken in response.
Yes, physical security has graduated today from the mere positioning of gun carrying security person at the doors, electronic surveillance and digital locks, to include biometrics, concepts like bringing physical and logical security processes under one single platform and assessment of the risks involved and prepare plans to mitigate the vulnerabilities. Handling physical security today requires a deep understanding of the threat, the vulnerabilities that there may be to the threats, the impact these threats would make and how these threats could be treated. If not managed properly, it can seriously affect a bank’s operations, cause serious reputational damage and even result in physical injuries to staff. And physical security should no longer be seen only as protecting the assets of banks, but also in protecting the bank’s operations.
While phishers and fraudsters may be capturing the headlines, the old-fashioned bank robbers are still stealing cash. How can technology help foil a bank robbery? “The banks have taken strong preventative measures against prospective bank robbers by physical electronic barriers and remote e-surveillance,” says Capt Jagmohan Mehta (Retd), head – Facilities Administration – Corporate Services at IndusInd Bank. “Deterring bank robbers continues to be a balancing act between creating a welcoming environment for the customers and maintaining strict security measures for miscreants. Firstly, having a well-informed and prepared staff to deal with holdups, secondly adding e-layers of alarm systems, auto dialers coupled with high-tech cameras and other tracking devices, are effective in helping law enforcement officials catch bank robbers after a robbery is done,” says he.
According to Lt Col Rohit Shukla (Retd), Chief Security Officer, IDBI Bank, the good old proverb that ‘The man behind the gun matters’ somehow still holds good even today. “Though some may have divergent views, I am of a firm belief that technology is a force multiplier and offers lot of promise to augment the physical guarding, alerting, detecting, forewarning of an impending threat to the bank branch but for the present, cannot completely replace the human guard. Depending on the detailed threat perception quotient of a particular branch/premises, an effective and more importantly an economically balanced security and safety solution can be designed, incorporating technology in a big way,” he emphasizes.
USE IN COMBINATION
He says the primary electronic and electrical gadgets available in the present times can be gainfully deployed in a combination. These include: (i) laser beam boundary system, after closing till reopening of the branch. Any motion or cutting of the beam by a burglar will trigger an instant alarm; (ii) motion sensors; (iii) night vision-enabled CCTV systems, though effective only for post crime investigation and to some extent to work as a deterrent; (iv) burglar alarms; and (v) other electronically motion-initiated alarm systems.
Col K.C. Padhy (Retd), CSO and DGM, Bank of Maharashtra, too feels use of latest equipment like vibration sensors, PIRs, magnetic sensors, standalone IR camera with inbuilt memory capability, ultra-sensitive fire alarm system with requisite number of fire/ smoke detectors are effective tools in physical security.
Capt Mehta reiterates that physical security is not about only electronic security devices or guards; it is about evaluation of the security risk. “It requires a deep understanding of the threat, the vulnerabilities that there may be to any threats, the impact those threats would make if realized and how those threats could be treated to mitigate the risk. It is from this analysis that those senior executives and members of the board, who are tasked with managing and governing a bank can decide on what actions to take,” says he