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Why Security Entrances Should Be Your First Line of Defense

Security entrances prevent workplace violence and crime. There may be differences of opinion about the details, but when it comes to a basic strategy for security and protection, there is almost universal agreement that a layered approach is best.

Security is Best When Done in Layers

Rock with Layers.jpgConsider the human body, which reflects the results of millions of years of improvements. Our immune systems have a three-layered defense system against foreign pathogens; the first line of defense is our skin and chemical barriers. If intruders make it past the first line of defense, then there are two more layers of protection within – white cells and acquired immunity.

Or consider the challenge of cyber security. Here the first line of defense is a firewall. If intruders find a way inside that wall, there are additional layers of protection within. The second and third layers may include virus and malware scanning, monitoring for unusual network traffic or file access, and other techniques tailored for the situation.

What these examples have in common is that each relies upon a broadly effective first line of defense. When an effective first line of defense is in place, there are a number of benefits to the overall security system, including:

  • All casual intrusion attempts are completely stopped
  • Many, or most, of the more dangerous attacks are also stopped
  • The second and third line of defenses can become more effective

The First Line of Defense is Your Entrance

For the majority of facilities, the first line of defense is the entrance. This applies to any kind of organization including corporate headquarters, data centers, manufacturing, supply storage, educational and residential. While there may be a fence around the property or a vehicle gate, for almost all cases it is possible for potential intruders to approach an entrance on foot.


To provide for authorized access, and to prevent unauthorized access, these entrances must be protected. Most buildings have standard swinging exterior doors equipped with either mechanical or electronic locks. For larger or more secure facilities, guards may be posted at primary entrances, but this extra security comes at a cost, and may not be 24/7 – so locks are nonetheless required even at staffed entry points. The security weakness with standard locks, however, is very serious, and degrades the effectiveness of this first line of defense.

The security problem with standard swinging doors with locks is that they are usually not very secure. Even if they are connected to an access control system with a high level of authentication (biometric identification, for example), if they are not supervised by an alert and effective guard, it can still be fairly easy for more than one person to enter at a time. This problem, called “tailgating” or “piggybacking”, is a critical shortcoming of standard swinging doors that makes them unsuitable as the first line of defense.

Addressing Tailgating & PiggybackingBoon Edam Security Entrances

The alternative is to use a security entrance such as a turnstile, security revolving door or mantrap portal specifically designed to mitigate the risk of tailgating while allowing easy access to authorized visitors. The key difference between a security entrance and a standard swinging door is that a security entrance will only allow one person to pass at a time, and that person will need authorized credentials to enter. While the different types of security entrances offer varying degrees of absolute intrusion protection (and some should be supervised while others need not be), this basic working principle significantly reduces the risk of both casual and more serious intrusions.

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Security entrances can be also integrated with other systems such as intelligent building systems, logical access controls, incident management systems and other analytics, which can provide a wealth of data to help optimize business operations. For example, you can monitor who is in your facility, and where they are located within the facility.

Security turnstiles, revolving doors and mantrap portals provide proactive, consistent safety and security benefits, along with useful business insights and information. Beyond that, these security entrances add a measure of prestige and attractiveness to a facility that cannot be matched by some of the more utilitarian security barriers available. For those reasons and more, they are the best first line of defense you can deploy.

We've helped hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies eliminate the risk of violence and crime by preventing tailgating in their facilities. Contact us to learn which entrance solutions could work best for you.

Greg Schreiber

Written by Greg Schreiber

Greg Schreiber has been with the company a total of 19 years and currently is the Senior Vice President of Sales. Greg’s career spans over 24 years in the security entrance and door industry in a variety of sales management roles, including National Sales Manager for Boon Edam since 2007, after the acquisition of Tomsed Corporation. Greg has successfully steered the North American and Latin American sales teams to produce double-digit sales growth in each of the last 4 years. A native of Pittsburgh, Greg graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in Business Administration and currently lives in Venetia, PA.

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