Years Later: The Impact of 9/11 on Visitor Management
Most people will never forget the morning that forever changed America’s consciousness about personal safety, the safety of loved ones, friends and co-workers, our sense of immunity to outside threats and the responsibility of U.S. leaders and business owners to watch over the safety and well-being of employees and visitors.
Making People Feel Safe Again
9/11 significantly impacted the importance people place on security. One of the earliest challenges placed on the security industry following 9/11 was attempting to make people feel safe in high-rise buildings. Many multi-office enterprise buildings and public buildings, like Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), seemed vulnerable to anyone who worked or visited these facilities – not only to threats coming from the sky but from threats on the ground as well.
As security professionals began assessing vulnerabilities in high-traffic buildings, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) emerged to handle anti-terrorism strategies, border security, immigration and customs, cybersecurity, and disaster prevention and management. The key for security professionals became preparation for the absolute worst-case scenario, as well as security staff and employee training.
Improved Access and Visitor Management Security
Countermeasures to reduce, mitigate, and eliminate external and internal threats from domestic and foreign terrorists continue to be a top priority. The introduction of personal identity verification smart cards (PIV cards) in 2005 responded to the need to create and improve physical access and resource security amidst everyday access. Since then, new technology and processes have evolved, been updated, and refined to include access and visitor management security. These measures prioritize ID scanning, along with other protocols, in order to keep outside threats away while visitors continue to gain access to your building.
Today, visitor management policies are more sophisticated. They can electronically identify every person who enters a building, maintain a permanent record and audit the trail of each visitor, as well as assist with maintaining government regulated safety compliance demands.
Current electronic visitor management systems serve multiple security functions from checking visitors in and out of a building to establishing evacuation lists that include every person within a facility in case of an emergency. The four areas of security that have evolved the most since 9/11, include:
- Situational Awareness – Training all employees, not just security staff, to identify a potential threat.
- Perception – Improving the way security staff is viewed by the public.
- Emergency Preparedness – Minimizing the impact an incident can have on an organization’s ability to respond.
- Technological Advancement – Utilizing technology to enhance access and visitor management security.
Ensure your employees and guests are secure when they visit your building. If you are seeking a simply smarter visitor management and site access system for your business, contact Veristream at 888-718-0807 to view a demo of our products and services.