Strategic Security Planning for Modern-Day Banking

Bank 2019 Blog


Consider the existing physical security measures at your bank. Does it employ proactive strategies, or is it reactionary to an event? Is it driven by edicts from regulators? Is it sufficient?


The Bank Protection Act of 1968 addressed the concerns of the day, primarily focused on burglaries, robberies and larcenies. While robberies and larcenies continue to rise, the act does not address physical security strategies for modern-day banking. Bank products have evolved and so have their delivery systems and customer habits. ATMs did not exist in 1968. Vault lighting, alarms and tamperproof locks no longer suffice as deterrents. Present-day challenges, such as hacking, skimming, phishing and information breaches, as well as advanced weaponry, demand more than the Bank Protection Act covers or requires. Banks now require access controls; high-resolution network CCTV cameras; video analytics; physical security agents who are present and visible 24 hour a day; and security-centric designs for branch entrances, parking and ATMs.

While bank boards are accountable for compliance, the rules for opening and closing procedures, training and designated security officers are vaguely written, which allows the flexibility to address the different needs of banks by markets and size. There are several areas of focus for security within the banking community, so it may be time to invest more action towards stronger physical security measures with robust planning and proper funding. After all, operating risks, reputational risk, and human and property resources are at stake.

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