Security's Everyman

Security's Everyman

Friday, May 23, 2008

Did I do that?

That's the question that often needs to be asked.

I'm not responsible for physical security at my company. It is spread out over various departments depending on what it is that you are securing. One of those areas is building access. We have gates that you must go through to enter our headquarters building, a security guard at the front desk and a key card is required for entry.

When I started this position a year and 2 days ago I was issued a card with an expiration date of one year even though my contract was just 6 months. The 6 months came and went and shortly there after I became a permanent contract employee. At that time I was to be issued a new ID card given an employee number and sent on my merry way.

I did get a employee number but nothing was ever said about getting my new ID (with the employee number) and having my key card access updated. I mentioned this to my boss a few days ago and she said to wait and see what happens when it expires. We've heard "rumors" of some cards continuing to work well after the expiration date. So yesterday at 10:37 am my ID and Key Card expired. I went to leave the building and it wouldn't let me out. Good. This also meant that I should not be able to get back in this morning without being cleared by security.

This is where the problem comes in. Security is rotated regularly but it is always one of about 5 or 6 people. So after a while they recognize you. When I got here this morning my card didn't work (yeah!) so security just pushed a button and let me in. WHAT? He didn't ask to see my ID. He didn't check the terminal screen to see WHY my card wasn't working. He didn't call up to see if I was still employed here. He just let me in. Not good.

This is a perfect example of how a good system and process can be foiled by people not following procedures. All the technology in the world is useless if people mess it up.

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