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Case study: Open says-a-who?

A client recently told us the story of why they chose to move their security profile to Verifier, and it’s a classic case study of one false step having major consequences.

At one of their sites, on a seemingly normal night, a strange vehicle pulled up at a late hour. It wasn’t unusual for vehicles to come and go during working hours as this was an industrial property. The facility had been operational for years, and they had conventional security systems like on-site CCTV, guards, and armed response, and as they had never had an incident before there was no standard operating procedure (SOP) thought out for anything out of the ordinary.

On the night in question an unmarked truck pulled up after hours to the gate. The gate had a two-step access control system to prevent tailgating. Physical security infrastructure was spot on. Everything soon went wrong in the blink of an eye. Without a reliable verification source to monitor the situation, without adequate training on the on-site guard’s side, and without back-up, a situation was already unfolding.

The on-site guard manning the access control walked up to the strange vehicle to get more information about why they were there after hours. As soon as the guard reached the vehicle a gun was pulled. The guard was soon overwhelmed by armed thieves who were able to quickly gain access to the facility by manipulating and threatening the guard. The property was looted, the guard was luckily unharmed throughout the ordeal and simply tied up in the guard hut. As quick as they arrived, the thieves fled into the night with their bounty.

The guard was able to escape the constraints after some time and called the police and the site manager, but by that point it was too late.

A person opened up a gate at the wrong time, there was no back-up, no SOP followed, the person was taken captive by armed suspects, and the property was looted. The question remains…at what stage did the crime become an inevitability? When could the crime have been prevented? Yes, the guard was in the wrong, but without back-up, license plate recognition technology, and an off-site monitoring service (safely removed from physical threat), they were sitting ducks. Luckily the client realised the error in their system’s set up, and had the humility to seek a change so a life-threatening event could be prevented, and so that one false step wouldn’t result in major consequences.

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