FIs' electronic and physical security systems aren't complete without door tamper alarm technology.

FAQs and Benefits of a Door Tamper Alarm System

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State-of-the-art security technology has revolutionized banking, but not without blowback. On one hand, the rapid development and improvements of high performance security cameras, intelligent alarm systems and smart-enhanced contact sensors have enabled financial institutions to dramatically reduce break-ins. Indeed, for the past several years, bank robberies nationwide have remained well below the 5,000 per year threshold, according to the FBI. It wasn't unusual for them to be much higher than that in the 1980s, 1990s and even into the early 2000s.

Yet on the other hand, technologically advanced devices – sold on the black market – make bank crime a daily occurrence, evidenced by the use of skimmers, jammers and "black box" devices. While the latter are typically used to hack ATMs, the former can allow for unauthorized access through locked doors or windows.

Fortunately, try as they might, bad actors can't keep up the pace of the good side of technological security enhancements, such as door tamper alarm systems. If you're interested in reinforcing your current physical security infrastructure – while simultaneously diminishing the occurrence of false alarms – a door tamper alarm can complement your current strategy.

What is a door tamper alarm?
A door tamper alarm is an umbrella term that is used to describe security systems that detect foreign devices used to override methods of blocking access to a facility or "personnel only" room. Typically paired with a centralized access control system, a door tamper alarm helps identify when entrances are tampered with, hence the name. This includes recognition of skimming devices, unauthorized wireless entry attempts or forced entry.  

The doors and windows at FIs today aren't what they used to be. They're better – much, much better. Outfitted with a variety of contact sensors, entrances installed with these devices audibly inform personnel of when customers are coming inside during operational hours and also trigger alarms overnight when a security system is armed.

Door and window sensors aren't new; in fact, they've been around for awhile now. They come in many different varieties, including hardwired and wireless for doors, supervised and non-supervised for windows. While sensors work, their legacy status is part of the reason why they're not foolproof.  Black market technology has enabled thieves to catch up and exploit vulnerabilities over time.

Door tamper alarms help to even the playing field by actively identifying when thieves try to counteract security technologies with their own illegal instrumentation.

Why might a bank branch need this type of alarm?
First and foremost, bank robberies are a reality. Sure, they may not happen as often, but as the FBI documents, over 3,000 took place in 2018 alone, the most recent year in which data is available.

Door tamper alarms serve as a proactive, next-generation way of staying ahead of the technological improvement curve. And because they're fully scalable, a door tamper alarm can be customized to fit a branch's design. They're also ideal from an operational perspective by providing verification of door entry positions to staff who have access to the control panel of a centrally managed security system.

What are the best solutions overall for bank branches?
"Best" is a relative term; what one FI considers the most optimal for them may not make sense for another given their setup, needs or capabilities. This is why financial institutions often implement a wide variety of security solutions, including video alarm verification, entrance control vestibules, enterprise access control systems that are PCI complaint, surveillance cameras paired with cellular or remote technology and specialized solutions involving staging or integration.

In short, the security systems installed should meet the needs of the location. Ideally, they should also feature a dual means of commutations with network and cellular. Because door tamper alarm systems are fully scalable, they can align with the needs and requirements of the existing security architecture.

How do you clear a tamper alarm?
Alarm systems are a lot like insurance – you hope you never have to use it, but it's important to have in place. In those instances in which a tamper alarm is triggered, the alert can typically be turned off by entering a PIN code, which may be numeric or alphanumeric. How many buttons you press may differ. Resetting an alarm system – perhaps due to a false alarm – is also typically done by entering a unique PIN code.

What is a tamper loop?
If you've never used a door tamper alarm before, you may not be familiar with certain functions or notifications on the control panel. "Tamper loop" is a classic example. This is a supervisory condition that informs personnel of the fact that the system is off of normal conditions. Some will say "zone tamper." They're pretty much the same thing. The user manual will provide added context.

Door tamper alarm systems are great and getting greater; but the Skim-Assure with NFC technology from BranchServ makes our version the best in its class. It's fully customizable and includes functions that our competitors don't, such as remote system configuration, firmware updates and unified hosting for multiple sites.

Contact us today to learn more.