Security Planning for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Far-flung enterprises and stringent regulations create a challenge for security executives

If possible, maintaining a clear zone between surface parking and the building or the use of barriers and planters will protect the building from ramming. The application of video cameras in combination with video analytics at the perimeter of the building and the parking area can enable security personnel to detect unusual behavior such as movement in a no-man zone, erratic movement of pedestrians or vehicles, or abandoned objects.

Potential grade level intrusion points such as windows, emergency exit doors, utility, service and loading dock entrances should be identified and alarmed as part of that outer layer of security.

Manufacturing, warehouse, distribution centers and research facilities may be standalone buildings with defined perimeters or outer layers of security consisting of natural barriers or constructed obstacles that limit the movement of persons, animals, vehicles or materials. Natural barriers could include bodies of water, "living" fences (thorn bushes), marshes or other terrain that is difficult to traverse. A structural barrier physically and psychologically deters, discourages, delays and channels the flow of authorized traffic through entrances.

Since any perimeter barrier will only delay and not prevent an entry attempt, it should be supplemented with video surveillance that is enhanced with analytics. For critical research facilities that may have vivariums or storage facilities containing toxic, flammable or explosive chemicals, perimeter intrusion detection systems that monitor the entire length of the barrier should also be considered. Where local community ordinances do not permit adequate security lighting, infrared lighting should be used to supplement nighttime video surveillance. As an option, thermal imaging cameras can be deployed which can detect would-be intruders in total darkness.

The number of perimeter gates or entrances should be kept to a minimum consistent with the efficient operation of each facility. Card reader-controlled motorized vehicle gates or barrier arms located across the access road may be used to restrict unauthorized vehicles from gaining access to the site. For critical research or storage facilities or where there is a lot of expected commercial vehicular traffic such as at a distribution center, use of security officers stationed at a gate may be the best option for screening visitors and contractors and directing them to their destination. Performing an extensive vehicle check including undercarriage inspection with the use of video cameras may be required before permitting any trucks access to the loading docks or near storage areas containing any flammable or explosive chemicals.

Visitor Management

To aid in identification and processing of visitors, many corporations in this environment have implemented visitor management systems that reside on the corporate network. Enterprise-class visitor management provides the ability for registration, tracking, validating, reporting as well Web-based pre-registration by employees across the entire network. Facilities with a high volume of guests may have a visitor center in its lobby. Through the use of walk-through metal detectors and package x-ray systems, some of them have adopted the airport-type screening method for visitors.

The integration of visitor management with the building's access control system becomes necessary when guests are allowed access to a facility without escorts. Temporary visitor badges can be issued, which provide for limited access through card reader-controlled doors or lobby turnstiles and elevator access. A recent innovation called elevator destination control (typically found in new corporate facilities), will direct visitors (as they pass through the turnstiles) to a specified elevator cab which will automatically take them to their host's floor. In corporate office buildings or research facilities, individual floors may be secured through card access-controlled portals at their elevator lobbies, and — local fire codes permitting — at each floor's stairway.