Security You Can Bank On: A Look at the Latest Banking Security Solutions in 2020

10.12.2020 - It happens in every cops and robbers film at some point: the detectives assigned to find out who robbed the bank scan through the CCTV recording to get their first clue on who the bandits might be. The older the film, the more grainy, and useless, the images are, which is in stark contrast to the high standard of today’s HD images. But looking after the event is only half the story – today’s systems can to some extent even predict a crime about to happen. Without touching on the subject of IT ‘cyber’ security – with which we could easily fill a whole issue of the magazine – GIT SECURITY takes a look at video surveillance and also other physical security solutions specifically conceived for the banking industry.

A modern surveillance camera equipped with the full panoply of features will deliver not only excellent images, but also vital information that forms the basis for critical decisions. Choosing the right type of camera for the location and situation is vital and the wide range from manufacturer Hanwha Techwin would be a good start. Their highly secure Wisenet cameras have the wide dynamic range to correctly deal with the fluctuating and adverse lighting conditions near entrances, and also impressive low-light performance for night-time operation, and deliver high-definition images that form a good basis for analysis.

Intelligence At The Edge

The excellent quality of today’s imaging electronics has enabled video surveillance to grow far beyond just watching what’s happening. The software that nowadays applies algorithms to received images is becoming more powerful almost on a daily basis. This provides us with tireless, intense and automatic analysis of video content, with objects and people being identified very accurately and conclusions being drawn from events before the camera. Hikvision’s AcuSense smart banking surveillance products available in various configurations work together to provide a complete solution that interacts with other systems to raise alarms when necessary.
Go beyond the simple recognition of people and you can analyze their movement to determine their behavior, and possibly their intentions. Learning algorithms can, after a while, establish what is ‘normal’ behavior and what is ‘abnormal’, ‘suspect’, ‘dangerous’ or even ‘violent’. So a surveillance system can give us an early warning of impending trouble. It may turn out not to be an issue, but it is obviously better to be prepared for an incident than caught off guard. Such a surveillance solution can be provided, amongst others, by the Vision Hub solution from Qognify. This VMS will generate alerts when certain criteria are met, and guide the operator through the recommended response for that type of alert.

Closed Door Policy

It is every bank branch manager’s nightmare to be called by the police in the middle of the night and asked to attend and clear up after a break-in at their branch. The first line of defense against such break-ins are security doors and windows. In Brooklyn, New York, Shield Security Doors offer the ‘Fortress’ range of doors that really don’t show their strength, but will thwart even determined and well-equipped burglars. In the UK, you might give Banham Security a call to discuss which of their special doors will provide the right level of protection for your premises. In Europe, Sälzer Building Security (Saelzer) will be happy to advise you about their wide range of security doors; they provide a useful overview of applicable norms and standards on their website. The Belgian manufacturer Metal Quartz manufactures a range of physical access prevention products in its factory in Péruwelz while Barborr Security Doors manufacture their security doors in Lithuania and also deliver all over Europe. Assa Abloy carry a range of security doors in the Middle East together with their local partner Union, who operate design centers where the products can be seen and specified.
When specifying a security door or window, talk first with your insurance company to find out what category of protection they require for your policy. The US has its own resistance rating specified by the Department of State, as does Europe with its EN 1627:2011 standard, and it is important to specify the correct protection level suitable for the specific risk to be protected. For example, ‘FE 15’ means resistant to forced entry standard for 15 minutes, while RC 4 rating certifies that a door can withstand entry from highly skilled attackers using heavy-duty tools such as crowbars, sledge hammers, axes, wedges, saws, steel cutting pliers, or power drills. In the UK, you will see ‘LPCB’ ratings developed by the loss prevention certification board. The LPS 1175 standard refers to the physical security provided by ‘intruder-resistant building components’.

Locked Up

Not every member of staff in a bank should have the same access rights to particular areas within the building and it is therefore necessary to assign specific access rights to each person, depending on their seniority and responsibilities. An electronic locking system is far preferable to a system of mechanical keys, not least because it will provide an audit of locking/unlocking activity. The 3060 system from SimonsVoss is one such system, and it provides highly flexible, individual user profiles that will already prevent ‘abnormal’ usage of access rights simply from the time of day or day of the week. If necessary, the system can be remotely and securely administered. You might also look at the Bluesmart system from Winkhaus that offers particular operational advantages through its meshed network structure and integration with other building systems.

Come Right In or Stay Out

Apart from the two systems mentioned above, many other manufacturers now offer biometric user authentication to provide and extremely high level of security. This can take the form of a facial scan, a fingerprint scan, a retina scan/iris identification, or voice recognition or, best of all, combinations of these methods. The Thales Cogent Face Recognition Platform is one such system that integrates well with others to provide seamless security, especially to high-security areas. The stylish terminals from TBS in Switzerland come with various combinations of biometric capabilities and also integrate with other higher-order systems.
Where the public and staff should not mix, physical barriers are often made of security glass. A recent live demonstration of supposedly unbreakable vehicle glass that broke, and has unsurprisingly since gone viral, demonstrated that not only the glass itself is important, but also its frame and the complete installation in general. Silatec delivers ShooteQ, a so-called ballistic glass, throughout Europe that withstands bullets, and sledge hammers. Rated P6B, it comes in various thicknesses depending on the perceived threat, but even the toughest is still remarkably thin. The Vetrogard and Polygard glasses from Vetrotech are also bullet-resistant and comply with international armed attack standards. These can provide an impenetrable barrier for would-be attackers and simultaneously peace of mind for staff taking cover behind. Stateside, Ackermann Security will be happy to advise you on the best type of security glass for your particular premises.

Wheel It Away

We are intentionally not mentioning the security methods used for the protection of cash, the operation of safes and vaults or discreet alarm buttons – the banks are already well informed and equipped in this matter. What they often cannot prevent in some cases, however, is the sort of ‘ram raiding’ and physical theft attempts of cash machines. The method used by the crooks is usually the same: a stolen 4x4 is given false license plates and used either to demolish the frontage of the bank to gain access to the cash dispenser and crack it open on site, or used as a tow truck to physically haul the cash machine out of the building for later dismantling. Preventing the vehicle from getting near in the first place is a strategy that can be agreed upon together with the pathway and building owners through the installation of vehicle bollards.
In the Americas you’ll find that TrafficGuard have a wide range of products that blend in with other street furniture. Avon Barrier in the UK have a range of static and retractable bollards to form functional ram-raid prevention, while throughout Europe you will find the attractive bollards from Perimeter Protection Group installed around many such sensitive buildings.

The Onion Principle

A combination of the methods mentioned above will provide a high degree of security, not only for the banking industry but also for others. The strategy is to put as many hindrances in place as possible, both obvious and discreet, for an affordable investment to prevent crime from taking place. Each layer – rather like the layers of an onion – has to be overcome before reaching the next, with people and property right at the center. The companies mentioned here are all specialists in their field and can work together to provide a really effective onion.


Ackermann Security -

Assa Abloy -

Avon Barrier -

Barborr Security Doors -

Banham Security -

Hanwha Techwin -

Hikvision -

Metal Quartz -

Perimeter Protection Group -

Qognify -

Sälzer Security -

Shield Security Doors -

Silatec -

SimonsVoss -


Thales Cogent -

TrafficGuard -

Vetrotech -

Winkhaus -