physical security entrance control turnstiles

Physical Security’s Impact on Business Operations

The first global report on security released last year by internationally recognised experts, Allied Universal® and G4S, revealed that 25% of companies saw a drop in their corporate value following an external or internal security incident, with large global businesses reported to have lost a total of $1 trillion in revenue due to physical security incidents. The report identifies the strong link between physical and cyber security, with many cyber-attacks deliberately targeting physical systems, and security experts emphasising the need to invest in both.

With security breaches presenting significant safety, financial and reputational risks, it is clear that individuals and organisations are vulnerable if responses are inadequate. In today’s hybrid online and offline workplace environment, physical security threats remain a crucial challenge – and are a key aspect of an effective cyber security policy. It is essential to stay vigilant and implement effective protection.

Security also equals effective daily operations

Physical security centres on safeguarding individuals, plus their property and data, shielding them from theft, vandalism, and violence. Whether in commercial or public spaces, physical security is the front line of defence, working with data and online security measures to thwart threats, foster feelings of security, and confidence.

Security should go beyond physical protection too – it can also help underpin the day-to-day effective operation of any organisation. Effective connected digital systems, such as CCTV, Fastlane turnstiles and optical Door Detectives, ensure quick and trouble-free monitoring and management of employees and visitors. If you face an emergency situation, such as fire or evacuation, or intruders, terrorism threats or protestors, a strong security system will help maintain calm and order, guide people to safety, and provide crucial information to first responders.

The right system will allow your organisation to avert internal and external threats, and safeguard information and valuables. This protects your reputation, as well as your bottom line.

The consequences of security failure

The effect of a single breach can be devastating, potentially involving threats to the safety and lives of your employees, increasing risk of data breaches, and resulting in ongoing issues including legal action, reputational damage, as well as financial cost. Responsible organisations must anticipate such outcomes and have plans in place.

Various options exist for entrance security, including fast acting Speedgates. As well as controlling access throughout your space, these systems can play a wider role, eliminating bottlenecks and pointing users towards the lift, stairway or office they need to locate.

The lobby isn’t the only area where a good security system can be vital. Interior security layers can help you determine who precisely can access which area, as well as clarifying who was where – useful after an item goes missing and as a deterrent for internal data leaks, for example.

Understanding how to manage both physical and cyber security effectively is vital for all companies – learn more here.

The essentials to a strong security solution

The right technology is necessary but not sufficient – careful planning is also vital. When creating a security plan, think first about the goals. Are you protecting individuals, property or data (or some combination)? Then identify the tools and practices you think will best secure those goals. Here are some key points to bear in mind.


  1. Turnstiles and gates can control entry points, with emergency overrides available to staff
  2. Perimeter fencing provides psychological as well as physical deterrence
  3. Vehicle barriers, such as crash-rated bollards, provide additional safety



  1. Access control systems will automatically raise alerts in case of attempted breaches
  2. Use CCTV to monitor your space and analyse events retrospectively
  3. Use perimeter monitoring for early awareness of threats

In the face of more sophisticated attacks, smart layered solutions are key – we discussed the importance of this approach in this recent article.

Credentials and software:

  1. Use software to create access control groups, each set of users can have the access privileges you determine
  2. Use smart cards for straightforward control of security
  3. Alternatively, ditch cards (or augment them) with the use of biometric credentials, or the “bring your own device” solution of an app or multi factor authentication using a pin on the user’s mobile phone

Learn more about which ID credentials are best for high security environments here.

Emergency management:

  1. Create evacuation plans, with practice drills and clearly defined escape routes
  2. Use walkie-talkies and public address systems, but beware of solutions where one hardware failure means communication ceases
  3. Integrate audible alarms and panic buttons into your monitoring system

For more information on how entrance control can help you manage emergency response read our article on evacuation, invacuation and lockdown.

The right tools for the job

Turnstiles, in combination with access control solutions, mean enhanced safety for all. The best security technology, however, doesn’t just perform the traditional function better, it delivers in new ways. AI elements, for example, can assess surveillance information proactively, spotting unusual behaviour, and predicting inefficiencies and potential breaches before they happen.

Good modern systems will also automatically detect collusions such as tailgating. This trick, also known as piggybacking, involves a second person attempting to slide in behind a user who has presented a valid credential. The proprietary technology in Fastlane turnstiles and Door Detective units is also able to analyse interruptions to the optical matrix and spot “sidegating” – cases where two people attempt to pass through side by side.

Cutting risk and ensuring ROI

Updating your physical security systems will certainly cut the risk of breaches. But, even if you’re convinced of the benefits of upgrading your current entrance control system, gaining approval from other stakeholders in the business may be necessary. Often companies believe existing systems are sufficient until they fail or have concerns about potential disruption and costs a new system might involve.

Ultimately, decision-makers must weigh the cost of replacing an outdated system against the potential fallout from a security breach. A secure location minimises the risk of financial losses arising from security failures, and also boosts morale, leading to higher productivity and a thriving overall organisation, helping offset the initial investment.

The right security partner will help you evaluate the risks you face, and which system is right for your business. We work with our clients to conduct regular assessments to help reduce future hazards. Based on our experience, we can provide insights into what risks you might face, and develop plans to head off those dangers.

Get in touch on 020 8890 5550 or to discuss your physical security requirements.