How To Develop A Building Vulnerability Assessment Checklist

building_architectureSecurity gaps are what intruders look for. They look for vulnerabilities in your building’s security, weaknesses worth exploiting and assets worth damaging. By updating your security policy, you expose these vulnerabilities and create procedures paired with technology to close gaps and reduce risk. Creating a building vulnerability assessment checklist helps streamline a consistent evaluation of your site layout, security system design and the technology involved in your current setup. While most checklists are designed to provide an end-to-end assessment of your facility’s full security force, below are some common questions to get you started developing your own checklist:

Assessing Your Building’s Architecture

The following questions are intended to uncover security weaknesses related to the architectural elements inside and outside your facility:

  1. What major structures surround your facility?
  2. Is your facility equipped with perimeter security in the form of fences or other barriers?
  3. Where are your facility’s main access points and what secondary access points exist?
  4. Does the outside of your facility contain anti-ram devices?
  5. Does the parking lot and site circulation contain barriers against high-speed approaches or reductions of speed?
  6. Does the outside of your site contain objects that might be used as hiding places?
  7. Do the inside and outside of your facility contain Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) elements?
  8. Do entrances and exits require significant queuing due to design or visitor management procedures?
  9. What critical assets are located near the main entrances or other entry points of parking lots, parking garages, loading docks or other areas? Are these critical assets protected from public areas?
  10. Do interior barriers create levels of security inside your building?

Assessing Your Building’s Security Equipment

The following questions are intended to uncover opportunities to use your security technology more effectively:

  1. Do your CCTV cameras provide high resolution in low light, and are they monitored and recorded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? How long do they record? Who monitors the recordings? Are the recordings analog or digital? Can they be viewed remotely from all devices?
  2. Are your surveillance cameras capable of detecting motion and proactively alerting you to potential threats? Are they integrated with your other security solutions onsite (i.e. access control system, alarm, etc.)?
  3. Do your cameras possess zoom capabilities with clarity? What added specifications are necessary for monitoring and assessing threats via video?
  4. Does your building contain an intercom system to be used throughout the facility? Is it IP-based? Can it function through your PDA devices?
  5. What type of hardware is used on doors and other entry portals throughout your facility? Does your access control system provide lock down functionality?
  6. Are you equipped with a reporting system to generate specific, detailed data on security incidents? Are these reports generated automatically? Is there mustering?
  7. Are security guards able to conduct virtual tours of your facility?
  8. Are your security technologies integrated and monitored through a centralized platform?
  9. Do your security technologies operate through their own cabling and wiring, or do they use your existing network infrastructure? Is there a wireless component?
  10. What backup power supply is in place for all security technology?

Designing A Stronger, More Connected Security System

While a building vulnerability assessment checklist produces specific areas for your facility to focus on when ramping up your security efforts, the broader symptom revealed through this kind of assessment is often poor security design.

Proper security system design is critical to the functional and efficient use of security technology. These documents convey connectivity details as well as the application and location of specific security technology relative to the layout and architecture of a building. Plus, design documents also streamline troubleshooting, replacing and adding other security technology at your facility. Without the proper design in place, you might leave your facility and its occupants vulnerable to unanalyzed weaknesses.

Before you develop a building vulnerability assessment checklist specific to your facility, we recommend starting with a security risk assessment.

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