Control Rooms Guidance document 2016

Control Rooms Guidance document 2016
CPNI Control Rooms Guidance
Helping you get the most out of your control room
Understanding
and planning
Exercises
Design and
build
1
2
5
Incident
response
4
3
Read disclaimer
© Crown copyright 2016
Business as
usual
© Crown copyright 2016. This guidance is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Disclaimer: This guidance is issued by the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Security (CPNI) with the aim of
helping organisations that make up the national infrastructure improve their protective security. It is general guidance
only and needs to be adapted for use in specific situations. To the fullest extent permitted by law, CPNI accept no liability
whatsoever for any expense, liability, loss or proceedings incurred or arising as a result of any error or omission in the
guidance or arising from any person acting, relying upon or otherwise using the guidance. You should make your own
judgement as regards use of the guidance and seek independent advice as appropriate.
© Crown copyright 2016
1. UNDERSTANDING AND PLANNING
OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENT
Create a strategic plan of your security needs
and define measures required
CULTURE
Clarify the role of security within your organisation
USE CASE
Determine your control room’s aims and what success looks like
THREAT
Decide if you need to protect against extremists, foreign
intelligence services, protestors and organised criminals
HOSTILE RECONNAISSANCE
Deny information, detect suspicious activity,
deter an attack
© Crown copyright 2016
2. DESIGN AND BUILD
TYPES OF GUARD FORCE AND CONTROL ROOM
Consider whether to employ a guard force or
use contractors, and if they’ll be on- or off-site
SECURITY OFFICERS
Determine the size of the team and what activities they need to carry out
CONTROL ROOM
Plan the physical space, from location to layout and equipment
CCTV SCREENS
Ensure your detection system is fit for purpose and legally compliant
WINDOWS AND EXTERNAL LIGHTING
Balance security within the control room with
the needs of people working there
RESILIENCE
Mitigate risks and plan your fall-back systems
to cope with adverse events
TECHNICAL INTEGRATION
Optimise your coverage and network security,
and increase your operators’ effectiveness
USER INTERFACE
A well designed user interface can help increase
awareness and improve incident response
© Crown copyright 2016
3. BUSINESS AS USUAL
COMMUNICATIONS
Improve your response to a security incident by making
communications more effective
MAPS
Top tips to help you create maps that everyone can use
VISUAL WARNINGS
What should you do when you’re creating a visual warning?
AUDITORY ALARMS
Alarms should cause alarm! They should be impossible to ignore
VISITORS TO THE CONTROL ROOM
When you have a visitor, do you follow these key rules?
TRAINING
Training is not just for newbies. There’s a lot more to learn
SHIFTS
Maximise your team’s wellbeing and performance
with shift and task rotation
RECRUITMENT
Structure your recruitment and understand how
many people you need
© Crown copyright 2016
4. INCIDENT RESPONSE
INCIDENT RESPONSE PLAN
Plan ahead for incidents where initial information may be very limited
VERIFICATION
False alarm or the real thing? Check whether to escalate and investigate
ESCALATION
Put clear escalation procedures in place with defined conditions and responses
RESPONSE
Determine the decision-making criteria for your incident response plan
EVACUATION PLAN
Identify critical team members, roles and responsibilities during an incident
DEBRIEFS
Highlight lessons learnt with hot and cold debriefs
to improve your future response
MEDIA AND OUTSIDE COMMUNICATIONS
Consider how you communicate with your
stakeholders, staff, media and local residents
© Crown copyright 2016
5. EXERCISES
EXERCISES AND SIMULATIONS
Practise typical scenarios to ensure your team knows what
to do and who’s in command
© Crown copyright 2016
1. Understanding and planning
Operational requirement:
overview
A Level 1 Operational Requirement (OR) is used for protecting critical assets against security threats. When you
carry out a Level 1 OR, you:
• assess security risks
• identify risk mitigation options
• evolve and justify the actions that need to be taken and investments to be made.
A Level 2 OR addresses individual security measures. It should be carried out when there are any:
• alterations
• design changes
• new control rooms.
Read more about Operational requirement
You may also want to read about Culture: overview
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Hostile reconnaissance: overview
Go to 1. Understanding and Planning
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
© Crown copyright 2016
7
1. Understanding and planning
8
Culture: overview
When planning a control room you should consider the security culture of your organisation as it has an effect on how the
control room functions.
It is useful to clarify the role of the security department within the organisation to prevent any misunderstandings from
the rest of the organisation.
SECURITY IS
• everyone’s responsibility, not just the security
department’s
• there to keep you safe
• there to enable operations.
SECURITY IS NOT there to
• provide dialling codes
• receive parcels
• take in lost property.
Read more about Culture
You may also want to read about Operational requirement: overview
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Hostile reconnaissance: overview
Go to 1. Understanding and Planning
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
© Crown copyright 2016
1. Understanding and planning
Use case: overview
The modern control room is usually more than a CCTV monitoring station. It may:
• use PIDS (Perimeter Intruder Detection Systems) to maximise security and response
• monitor events live or after the event
• link with other control rooms.
You may also consider whether you want to use CCTV footage as evidence, such as images for identification.
Depending on the size of your site and your guard force, you may also want to:
• determine defensive lines
• decide on points at which an attacker should be detained to stop them reaching any critical asset.
Read more about Use case
You may also want to read about Operational requirement: overview
You may also want to read about Culture: overview
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Hostile reconnaissance: overview
Go to 1. Understanding and Planning
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
© Crown copyright 2016
9
1. Understanding and planning
10
Threat: overview
Your site might be a target for many types of hostile intentions, such as:
•
•
•
•
extremism
espionage
protests
organised crime.
Each type of threat will need to be considered separately – what is useful to counter one threat may not work
against another threat.
You should tailor the measures for your site to the threat profile for that site, and consider highly likely and high
consequence threats.
Read more about Threat
You may also want to read about Operational requirement: overview
You may also want to read about Culture: overview
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Hostile reconnaissance: overview
Go to 1. Understanding and Planning
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
© Crown copyright 2016
1. Understanding and planning
Hostile reconnaissance:
overview
Hostile reconnaissance is the gathering of information that can be used to plan further action.
Information gathered is used to:
• identity weaknesses
• assess the likelihood of success
• plan an attack.
This gives security managers an absolutely crucial opportunity to block any action by:
• disrupting the hostile reconnaissance
• getting the message across that your site is a tough target and an attack is unlikely to succeed.
Read more about Hostile reconnaissance
You may also want to read about Operational requirement: overview
You may also want to read about Culture: overview
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
Go to 1. Understanding and Planning
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
© Crown copyright 2016
11
1. Understanding and planning
12
Operational requirement
Why carry out a systematic Operational Requirement (OR)?
• To record user and operational needs.
• To recommend appropriate security measures that manage risks to an acceptable level.
• To structure the way you determine security.
There are two levels of OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENT – Level 1 and Level 2
Taken together, they will provide a full picture of the integrated security solution. This will include security and nonsecurity considerations.
Level 1 Operational Requirement
Level 2 Operational Requirement
A Level 1 OR is the main statement of the overall
security need.
A Level 2 OR covers individual security measures
such as fences, CCTV or control of access in more
detail.
It should involve all stakeholders – security managers,
building owners, the people who work in and use the
building, those responsible for maintenance and support
requirements, and operators of the current and proposed
technical security systems.
In a Level 1 OR, you define:
• The site or building that the OR covers
• Assets to be protected
• Perceived threats (and probability of their occurrence)
against the assets or adjacent facilities
• Consequences if assets are compromised or
damaged
• Physical areas that contain the assets to be protected,
and perceived
• Vulnerabilities of those areas to the threat(s)
• What success looks like.
© Crown copyright 2016
The Level 2 OR will be the basis for your systems
requirements document, or technical specification
that can be used for tendering and during test and
evaluation.
Whenever there’s any alteration or design change in a
control room, or you are building a new control room,
you’ll need to carry out a Level 2 OR.
The Level 2 OR enables you to create checklists
that inform the detail that the designer needs, for
performance specifications covering possible solutions.
These performance specifications will spell out
parameters for proposed systems, and help people
involved make informed decisions when procuring
security risk management on the site.
1. Understanding and planning
Operational requirement 2/2
13
It’s important to integrate your new Level 2 OR with other relevant Level 2 ORs, and ensure that all technologies in
the control room are compatible and work together.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CARRY OUT THE CONTROL ROOM OR?
Ideally you should consider the control room Level 2 OR while the site is being planned, before construction begins.
During the initial OR process – the design overview
If the control room is considered as early as possible in the design and construction phase, you can achieve a control
room that is fit for purpose, and maximise security and value for money.
If you only start thinking about the control room late in the design and construction process, you may find that you end up
squeezing it into the last remaining bit of space (and a less than ideal location). This in turn may mean the control room is
unproductive and poor value for money.
Mapping the details during the site design process
If you START by carrying out a control room Level 2 OR, (before other security Level 2 ORs) you may limit the capacity
of the overall security solution to the specifications of the control room. (You could end up with a control room just big
enough for two security officers, or limit your site security to 100 CCTV cameras with no other functions.)
If you wait to do a control room Level 2 OR until AFTER other ORs are completed, you’ll have a better overview. You’ll be
able to specify the control room to maximise the overall security solution and provide best value for money.
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Culture: overview
You may also want to read about Hostile reconnaissance: overview
Go to 1. Understanding and Planning
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
© Crown copyright 2016
1. Understanding and planning
14
Culture
When planning a control room you should consider the security culture of your organisation as it has an effect on how
the control room functions.
It’s useful to clarify the security department’s role within the organisation to prevent any misunderstandings. This
can help your security team’s motivation and performance, and increase the understanding and status of security in
the wider organisation.
START BY MAKING IT CLEAR TO EVERYONE WHAT SECURITY IS AND WHAT IT DOES
NOT DO
Security is
Security does not
• everyone’s responsibility, not just the security department’s
• there to keep you safe
• there to enable operations.
• provide dialling codes
• receive parcels
• take in lost property.
As well as the physical, technical and information aspects
of security, the people within an organisation shape its
security culture by the way they act and how they think
about it.
Where the culture is strong, employees will tend to
be more aware of security in how they think and act.
They’ll be likely to:
• remember the values of the organisation
that they work for
• behave in ways that protect its reputation
• be aware of what might threaten business impact
and ultimately national security.
This behaviour might include following a clear desk policy,
and managing their digital footprint.
© Crown copyright 2016
When managers and staff at all levels understand
and respect the organisation’s security culture, it will
be more effective and strengthen the planning and
implementation of security values, behaviours and
actions. That will lead to:
• greater employee engagement
• reduced risk and vulnerability where employees are
encouraged to think and act in more security conscious
ways
• reduced risk of reputational or financial damage as
staff are security conscious
• improved organisational performance where people
are trained and understand the security aspects of
their role.
1. Understanding and planning
Culture2/2
15
If your security culture is effective, your organisation may see wider benefits such as improved team working,
increased employee satisfaction, and higher levels of commitment to the organisation. And that can all add up to a
healthier bottom line.
And there’s another important asset that stems from strong security culture and associated work behaviours: the deterrent
effect. Where visitors and VIPs see staff who are clearly alert and vigilant, this can deter people with hostile intentions.
further reading
• SeCuRE 3, CPNI’s security culture survey tool
• My Digital Footprint asset library
You may also want to read about Visitors to the control room: overview
You may also want to read about Staff training
You may also want to read about Shifts: overview
You may also want to read about Recruitment: overview
Go to 1. Understanding and Planning
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
© Crown copyright 2016
1. Understanding and planning
16
Use case
What is your control room there to achieve? Does it have a primary use?
Many modern control rooms are not simply CCTV monitoring stations – they are linked with other security solutions to
maximise security and response, such as:
• Intruder Detection Systems (IDS) to maximise security and response
• Monitoring events as they happen – well-motivated and proactive security guards will be required to detect and
respond quickly to situations
• Links with other control rooms such as an operational control room to maximise the information flow
• Post-event monitoring where you may want to analyse what happened
Depending on the size of your site and your guard force, you may also want to determine:
• defensive lines
• points where any attacker should be detained to stop them reaching a critical asset.
Success criteria
A realistic approach is essential, so you’ll need to agree the critical (‘must have’) and aspirational (‘nice to have’) points of
defence and intervention. Depending on your site, it may not be practical to consider the perimeter as the line of defence.
For each scenario, work through the logical sequence
Event
Location
Event type
Action
Protestors
At the outside perimeter
Information
Monitor what’s going on
A potential intruder
At the fence line
Potential
Send a security officer to
check it
Someone has breached the
fence
At the fence line
Perimeter breach
Send a security officer to
check it
Someone has breached an
administrative building
Non-vital building
Non-vital breach
Phone staff for
confirmation
Someone has breached
a secure building
Vital building
Vital breach
Phone emergency
services
It’s also important to work out what success looks like – again, this will depend on the size of your site and its type. You
may be monitoring a single building, a railway station, a shopping centre or a power plant: your success criteria will
depend on what you want to achieve or what you must prevent.
For example, if someone with hostile intent may be heading for a critical area, your control room will need to be able to
detect and track them.
© Crown copyright 2016
1. Understanding and planning
Use case
2/2
factor in detection time when CALCULATING target response times
Inevitably the total delay until an event is resolved (for example, when security officers can report on an
event or intercept a potentially hostile intruder) will be longer than detection time + officers’ response time.
You’ll also need to take account of any obstacles (fence, wall, access control systems) that could delay the
officers on their way to the event. In the same way, response time may be longer if security officers have to
search the entire site rather than focus on a 50-metre section of fence.
Detection time may depend on how frequently a security officer checks that specific point – for
example, a guard checks the front gate at 10:00 and then at 10:10, there could be a delay of up to 10 minutes
before an event is detected and the response is set in motion.
Where an IDS (Intruder Detection System) is in operation, the number of guards required to secure the site
may be reduced.
Test your plan
Whatever your plan to protect your site, it’s a good idea to carry out simulations and exercises from time to time,
to check:
• response time
• delay time
• whether the response is efficient and appropriate.
At the end of the exercise, the people involved should be debriefed and any lessons learnt should be collated and
incorporated into the overall plan.
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Types of guard force and control room: overview
You may also want to read about Security officers: overview
You may also want to read about Control room: overview
You may also want to read about Exercises and simulations: overview
Go to 1. Understanding and Planning
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
© Crown copyright 2016
17
1. Understanding and planning
18
Threat
If yours is a CNI (Critical National Infrastructure) site, it could be the target for many types of hostile intentions.
These could include:
• extremism – maybe because the site has a lot of people
• espionage (cyber-espionage or ‘old-fashioned’ physical spying) – maybe because your organisation/site is of
considerable commercial interest
• protests – for example when the organisation has been the focus of negative media coverage
• organised crime – particularly where significant financial and personal data is held in the institution’s data centre,
or a lot of cash is kept on site.
This is not an exhaustive list, but below you’ll see an idea of topics to cover when you are considering possible threats
to your site.
EXTREMISTS
• Ideological or
religious beliefs
Possible
motives
• National or
political interests
SPIES AND
COMMERCIAL RIVALS
PROTESTORS
• Ideological beliefs
To gain economic
advantage
• Political motives
• Financial gain
• Social and peer
pressure
• Power
• Improvised explosive
device (IED)
• Robbery
• Demonstrations
• Firearms
Possible
methods
• Chemical, biological,
radiological or
nuclear (CBRN)
• Cyber-attack
• Political positioning
• Insider attack
• Hoax attack
• Cyber-attack
• Cyber-attack
• People – employees,
visitors and customers
• The organisation’s
reputation
© Crown copyright 2016
• Kidnap
• Cyber-attack
• Coercion
recruitment of
insiders
• Criminal damage
• Insider attack
Possible
targets
ORGANISED
CRIMINALS
• Information
• Personal data
• People – employees
• The organisation’s
reputation
• Finance (electronic
or cash)
• The site and
infrastructure
• Personal data
1. Understanding and planning
Threat
2/2
It’s best to consider each threat (and ways to mitigate it) separately, and to tailor the threat profile to your site by
considering which threats are more likely and would have the most serious consequences.
You may also want to read about Hostile reconnaissance: overview
You may also want to read about Types of guard force and control room: overview
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Response: overview
Go to 1. Understanding and Planning
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
© Crown copyright 2016
19
1. Understanding and planning
20
Hostile reconnaissance
Hostile reconnaissance is the gathering of information that can be used to plan further action against a site or an
organisation.
Ways that people with hostile intent may gather information
011101000
1010101010
011101000
On-site visits
Online research
?
Insider knowledge
The information gathered is used to:
• identify weaknesses in security
• assess how likely they are to be detected during the reconnaissance and any action
• plan an attack.
Security managers have a crucial opportunity to block any action by disrupting the hostile reconnaissance and
getting the message across that your site is a tough target.
As well as understanding the assets that your control room is there to protect, it’s worth considering what might motivate
people with hostile intent to attack your site:
• intent – their overall aim and the effect they want to achieve
• capability – the resources they have access to (equipment, time, personnel, skills, finance and location)
• culture – their personal motivation and their appetite for risk.
These three words sum up the main ways to disrupt hostile
reconnaissance.
DENY
© Crown copyright 2016
DETECT
DETER
If your team can detect hostile reconnaissance, it may help you
in situations where the attacker might reach key assets faster
than a response team could get there.
1. Understanding and planning
Deny
Hostile reconnaissance
2/2
Online
On site
• Remove useful information about site
and people who work there
• Unpredictable security
• Staff not susceptible to social engineering
• Robust entry processes
• Create uncertainty about security
measures
• Prevent external access to IT systems
Detect
• Cookies tracking
• Vary security routines – don’t be predictable
• Use of virtual assistants/ avatars (“Hi I
see you’re looking at our security page,
can I help?”)
• Encourage everyone (staff and members of the public)
to report anything suspicious
• Encourage staff to report spear
phishing (emails that seem to be from
known contacts, designed to access
passwords or financial information)
or other attempts by hackers to trick
people into security breaches.
Deter
• Publicise DENY and DETECT – let it
be known that you use a range of
integrated detection capabilities from
staff vigilance to CCTV
• Vigilant security officers are effective
• Proactive CCTV
• Deploy maximum detection measures in key areas
• ‘Join the dots’ – integrate your security measures
• Posters and other on-site communication tools such
as public audio announcements publicising DENY and
DETECT
• Staff/public vigilance posters
• Be seen to be vigilant
• If anyone is watching, they’ll see CCTV cameras
moving, security officers who are vigilant and
integrated security measures in key areas.
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Monitoring CCTV
Go to 1. Understanding and Planning
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
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21
2. Design and build
22
Control rooms: overview
Ideally your control room should be located away from the site perimeter.
Where you choose to place it will depend on:
• the use of the control room – whether it needs to be co-located with operations or another function
• the threats to the site.
It’s a good idea to consider where to locate your backup control room, too.
Your people are your prime asset: when you plan the physical design of your control room, it’s important to consider
their needs and comfort as well.
You may also want to read about Location of your control room
You may also want to read about Incident rooms
You may also want to read about Security officers: overview
You may also want to read about Room layout
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
Go to 2. Design and build
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
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2. Design and build
23
Types of guard force and
control room: overview
How your control room works will be largely
determined by the people within the control room and the
type of guard force you use.
• An employed guard force may cost more, but have
higher vetting levels, understand your business and
potentially make more relevant decisions.
• A contract guard force may be cheaper and able to
cover sick leave, but may only have basic training and
have inappropriate Key Performance Indicators.
Where your security officers are based is also a factor:
• Securityofficersinanon-site SCR (Security Control
Room) may have better situational awareness and
quicker response times.
• A guard force in an offsite SCR will have reduced
situational awareness and an extended response time.
• An ARC (Alarm Receiving Centre) will only monitor
and respond to what it is paid to monitor, and will be
covering a number of sites and businesses.
You may also want to read about Location of your control room
You may also want to read about Security officers: overview
You may also want to read about Room layout
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
Go to 2. Design and build
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
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2. Design and build
Security officers: overview
How many security guards do you need?
It depends on what they have to do – that might include any or all of these tasks:
•
•
•
•
monitoring CCTV – the busier the scene, the more people you need to monitor CCTV.
guardingon site
carrying out patrols
managing keys and passes.
While they are doing these tasks they will be identifying potential intrusions, keeping an eye on vulnerable areas, and
dealing with suspicious people, objects and events. They are also there to help manage incidents.
Read more about Security officers
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
You may also want to read about Training: overview
You may also want to read about Shifts: overview
You may also want to read about Monitoring CCTV
You may also want to read about Recruitment: overview
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24
2. Design and build
25
CCTV screens: overview
REC
12:59:03:45
It’s important not to overload the people who are
monitoring the screens – remember that desk displays
should be used for primary duties.
Site CCTV screens should show targets at a minimum of
10% for detection tasks. That’s the limit of human vision
to distinguish between a person, a car or an animal.
In most cases, three screens on a desk are the
recommended maximum:
• one for CCTV monitoring
• one for alarms from detectors
• one for reviewing recorded CCTV.
If you have a video wall, take care that it doesn’t distract
people monitoring the CCTV at their desks. It’s best
used by supervisors for overview and to inform incident
management.
You may also want to read about Monitoring CCTV
You may also want to read about CCTV operation
You may also want to read about Screen display
You may also want to read about Visual inputs
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2. Design and build
26
Resilience: overview
Loss of the SCR (Security Control Room) can cause major
disruption. Recovery from that loss can be expensive both
in money and people’s time.
Don’t rely on technology alone. Make sure you have
basic equipment (whiteboards and paper log books etc)
as backup so you can collate information when screens
aren’t working or systems are down.
It’s important to train security guards how to work with
your backup system (just as they need to learn how to
use the everyday equipment).
Your control room should be resilient enough to cope
with:
• power outages
• extreme weather conditions
• loss of heating or air conditioning.
It’s also worth considering setting up a backup SCR. This
could be used in the event of a failure of the main SCR.
It’s essential to train people to work in the backup control
room too.
Read more about Resilience
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
You may also want to read about Network security
You may also want to read about Network function
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
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2. Design and build
27
Technical integration: overview
Integration can increase the effectiveness of a control room. It can take the form of linking technical security measures
at different levels:
• locally at the component level (dual technology IDS detectors)
• locally at the node (such as swipe card controls)
• centrally in the control room (security management system).
It’s worth considering how to maintain security, and asking questions such as:
•
•
•
•
Is all security on a single point of failure?
Can the technology fall back to individual systems?
Are there any unintended effects of integration, and of joining two systems?
How does integration of non-security systems increase the site’s vulnerabilities?
Read more about Technical integration
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
You may also want to read about Network security
Go to 2. Design and build
Go to start of Control Rooms Guidance
Go to Glossary
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2. Design and build
28
User interface: overview
The way information is supplied and shown to the security officer in the control room is critical to maximising the
control room’s day to day efficiency and its response to an incident.
A well designed user interface can provide:
• greater situational awareness
• better detection
• a faster response to a situation
• a more tailored response to a situation.
Read more about User interface layout
You may also want to read about Monitoring CCTV
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
You may also want to read about Screen display
Go to 2. Design and build
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2. Design and build
29
Windows and external lighting:
overview
When you’re designing a control room, you’ll need to balance security within the room with the needs and comfort of the
people who work there.
In most cases you’ll want to ensure that:
• people outside the room can’t see in
• at night, the lights inside the room don’t make everything inside visible to someone looking in.
You may want to consider whether windows are a good idea – they may make the room more vulnerable, but the people
who work in the control room may be happier if they can see out.
Read more about Windows, lighting and temperature
You may also want to read about Room layout
You may also want to read about Screen display
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
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Security officers
The number of security officers that you need will depend on what they have to do. This can range from monitoring CCTV,
dealing with suspicious items or people and identifying hostile reconnaissance (especially at vulnerable points on the site).
It’s important that everyone on the security team – whether they are monitoring CCTV, patrolling the site
or managing the control room – has a good knowledge of the site and the perimeter.
When everyone has a clear idea of where the cameras are sited, what the weak points are in the perimeter and
where critical assets are located, they’ll be better informed and it will help them to communicate with the rest of
the team when an incident does occur.
Monitoring CCTV and assessing vulnerable areas
The security officers who are monitoring CCTV screens are usually the first to identify an intrusion or an alarm at the
boundary.
Typically they may conduct CCTV patrol of an assigned section of the site perimeter, barriers and access control around
the secure area.
Bear in mind that if a security officer is covering the maximum number of images, they should not have other
tasks to complete at the same time.
If someone really has hostile intentions they will almost certainly prepare for an attack by carrying out hostile
reconnaissance beforehand, and they will be looking for the most vulnerable areas.
It’s worth thinking about your site’s vulnerabilities, for example:
• Look at the fence and gates, and spot any gaps, holes, places where someone might get a hand grip.
• Are there any climbing aids outside the fence, such as street furniture, overhanging trees, vehicles parked
beside the fence?
• Identify quiet areas that are not overlooked, where access would be relatively easy. This might vary depending
on the time of day and whether the site is working.
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Dealing with suspicious items or people
Security officers are usually the first people on the scene when there are people acting suspiciously or suspicious items
that need to be investigated.
It’s important that everyone working in the control room and dealing with incidents on the ground understands:
• how to communicate with their colleagues and managers
• how to gather useful information
• how they intend to block the progress of someone with hostile intentions.
Administrative duties
Ideally, admin staff will carry out admin tasks such as issuing passes – otherwise this sort of work can distract security
officers from their main duties.
If these tasks have to be done by security officers, it’s a good idea to rotate the responsibility and use it as a break from
monitoring the CCTV display screens. These tasks should be done in a different dedicated area away from the main
control room to avoid distracting distract those officers working on core security tasks.
Further reading
• CPNI Guard Force Motivation document
• CPNI CCTV best practice guide
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
You may also want to read about Shift lengths and task rotation
You may also want to read about Other control room functions
You may also want to read about Staff welfare at work
You may also want to read about Staff recruitment and promotion
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Location of your control room
Where should your control room be located? Does it need to be co-located with operations or any other function? What
are the main threats to the site that you protect? External factors such as availability of power or networks may limit your
options.
If you locate the primary control room in the centre of the site’s secure area, this can provide layers of protection for the
control room, maximise security and reduce response time.
It’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of locating a control room on the perimeter or near the site’s reception area. The
control room may be at greater risk from outside threats but it will be safer if an incident occurs at the centre of the site
and senior managers might get there faster.
Plan a specifically designed backup room as well – don’t just use
any old leftover space
It’s important that the IT connectivity is secure between the main control room and the backup. If your backup
room is unmanned and only used for emergencies, it may be more vulnerable – so make sure it can only be
accessed by authorised security officers.
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Incident rooms
You may also want to read about Rest areas
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Evacuation and critical staff
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How secure does your
control room need to be?
Is your control room less critical, as critical as or more critical than other aspects of the site? In most cases (unless you
have very robust fall-back options) consider giving it the same security level as the most critical asset on the site.
Perhaps you can separate any non-security functions (such as lost property, parcel delivery) from the control room. This
can reduce the cost of the control room.
Alternatively you may rate the control room itself as critical and restrict access accordingly, but leave associated support
areas such as toilets, kitchen and rest area outside the restricted zone. In this case the security team leaves the high
security zone for comfort breaks and rest periods.
The most secure but more expensive option is to cluster the control room, associated support areas, the incident room
and other security functions in a separate protected environment, where the security team remains even during rest
periods and comfort breaks. This can enable faster response and communication during an incident.
Access should be via an electronic access control system.
It’s easy to defeat visual pass checking – the security guard can’t know for sure whether the pass holder is still
employed or authorised to access the control room area.
who comes into the control room?
Here are three key things to bear in mind when you plan the policy for access to the control room:
• You’ll probably need a signing-in book. (Check with your legal team – you’ll hold personally identifiable information,
so you’ll need to comply with the Data Protection Act.)
• Limit the number of people who have access to the control room. The everyday access will obviously have to
include the security guards who work there. Bear in mind that during an incident, if more people are in the control
room they risk distracting the security guards from doing their job.
• If possible, during an incident move the people who are focused on the strategic overview to an incident room, so
that they are not distracting the security guards.
What about biometrics?
If you use biometrics as a second/third factor authentication for access to the control room, this must raise the levels of
assurance that it’s the authorised person (rather than the authorised card) who is entering the control room. Done poorly,
adding biometrics could even reduce security!
You might want to zone working areas to show the level of security clearance needed – perhaps colour coding the floors
and the passes: for example, red = SCR authorised list / prox and pin; amber = facilities / prox and pin; green = rest of
site / wear pass only.
more information
• CPNI Biometrics Guidance (CPNI, YouTube)
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How secure does your control room need to be?
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Location of your control room
You may also want to read about Windows, lighting and temperature
You may also want to read about Room layout
You may also want to read about Network security
You may also want to read about Resilience
You may also want to read about Visitors to the control room: overview
You may also want to read about Access to the control room
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Incident rooms
What should your incident room include? It’s a good idea to have input at the design stage from the people who are going
to use it. You may need several incident rooms, each with its own purpose.
The room(s) should be included in incident practice as a matter of course. This will help ensure that the right equipment
is there, and that it is designed in a way that does not disturb the core team. If you practise realistic day-to-day incidents,
as well as incidents that would be high impact but are less likely, your team will be better prepared for the real thing.
Low level and fast-paced incidents
Usually the control room will deal with low level incidents, monitored by the supervisor, and there will be no need to
set up a dedicated incident room.
The initial stages of a fast moving event will also be managed in the control room – this can mean that the control
room becomes very busy and crowded. To avoid this, you may want to brief senior managers beforehand not to go to the
control room during an incident: in this case it will be vital to ensure an effective flow of essential information to senior
managers during an incident.
As a rule, it’s best to discuss an ongoing incident away from the continuing work of the core team, to avoid
disturbing them.
escalation of an incident
It doesn’t have to be a major incident to be dealt with by the incident room, and it doesn’t necessarily have to
involve high-level personnel. It is simply a practical way to ensure that the everyday business of the control room
can continue efficiently.
Your incident room should be up and running as soon as possible after an incident is escalated.
Control of the incident will then pass to the incident room team (this may include people from outside agencies)
which will allow the control room to go back to normal operations, maintaining the ongoing security of your site.
The incident room should hold lists of individuals who may need to be contacted in the case of an incident. This
may add efficiency to the management of the incident once it occurs.
A strategic incident room
During major incidents you may need a board-level strategic incident room, where strategic decisions are made that set
direction and policy, as well as liaison with the media.
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All incident rooms will need feeds in and out to keep in touch with the latest information on the incident. They
will also need to liaise with each other and with external agencies.
It’s important to identify the inputs and intelligence feeds required for each level of incident room and to exercise
these.
If you keep the technology consistent across different levels of incident room, this makes it more straightforward
for people to move between rooms as needed.
Remember:
• People need regular practice with any unfamiliar kit before they have to use it during an incident.
• All equipment should be tested regularly to ensure that it is fit for purpose, and that the software is up to date.
Different rooms will need different amounts and types of data, and your plan should include ways to ensure that this
information is secure, up to date and clearly displayed. You may find video walls and news programmes useful in the
incident rooms.
You may also want to read about Location of your control room
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
You may also want to read about Network function
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Verification: overview
You may also want to read about Escalation: overview
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Rest areas
What makes a good rest area?
Ideally it should be a room should be located away from the control room, so that when you take a break you
can relax properly.
No TV. You may be surprised by that! But it makes sense – you spend a lot of time watching monitors, so what
you really need is a screen break.
A quiet space – for some people it’s important to have a bit of peace, free of conversation.
With a nearby toilet for comfort breaks, as recommended by HSE.
With appropriate comms – if necessary, the control room needs to be able to get you back on duty..
You may also want to read about Location of your control room
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
You may also want to read about Staff welfare at work
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Room layout
Effective communication is a key part of a well-run control room. And that starts with the layout – people can’t see round
corners in an L-shaped room, or see through pillars! Aim for an open layout with clear lines of sight.
It’s a good idea to start by reviewing existing processes – a user interaction study will help you to understand
communication paths and critical interactions.
If your control room needs windows, consider applying specialist films that obscure the view from outside
and protect the information within, while allowing good lighting inside.
Depending on your assessment of likely threats to your site, you may decide that your control room should not
have windows.
Consider carefully where the supervisors will work – the traditional position at the back of the control room is not
necessarily best except when managing an incident. Communication generally improves where the supervisor is in the
middle of the control room and the distance to all desks is minimised.
Any equipment that is only used from time to time can be located in a separate secure room. This has the added
advantage of reducing the noise and heat in the control room.
Bear in mind that the control room is likely to be working 24/7, so maintenance or equipment replacement will probably
happen while the control room is operating. For this to happen without causing major disruption, you’ll need to allow
sufficient access and space for large equipment to be moved in and out.
CCTV monitoring is best done primarily on desktop monitors where each security guard can review images
without discomfort.
A video wall is not the primary tool for detection – it should only be used as a supplementary tool for incident
management or supervisor overview. It’s important that a video wall does not distract security officers from their
main task. If they need to monitor an image on the video wall it should be transferred to a workstation display to avoid
discomfort.
Access points
Consider the entry points to the control room. Nobody should be able to enter the control room directly from public
areas such as the site reception. When someone enters the control room, passers-by should not be able to see what the
security officers are doing or view CCTV displays.
Of course you’ll need to consider how the control room will work when it’s ‘business as usual’ (BAU) and during an
incident. You may want to consider setting up a separate incident room. Where that is not an option, the control room will
need to cover both BAU and the incident response (which may mean a sudden influx of people including senior managers
to lead the response).
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You may also want to read about Windows, lighting and temperature
You may also want to read about Desk layout
You may also want to read about Screen display
You may also want to read about Incident rooms
You may also want to read about Rest areas
You may also want to read about Other control room functions
You may also want to read about Effective communications
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Desk layout
Some basic principles for a good office working environment are the same for a control room:
• Everyone needs to know how to adjust their chairs (especially important for security officers who may sit at their desk
for long periods).
• Surfaces should be non-reflective to reduce visual fatigue.
• People should be able to adjust their desk to the height they need – this might mean the desk being adjusted when a
new person comes on shift.
• Lighting should suit the task: people will need more light for written work, lower lighting levels for viewing monitors.
But there are some principles that are specific to control rooms. Work out the primary and secondary roles for each
desk, and tailor it accordingly. A workstation used for CCTV monitoring should have a different layout from a desk used
for writing tasks such as logging.
A security officer monitoring CCTV needs the screen significantly further away than someone working on
word processing.
With the CCTV display too far away, the security officer might miss an important detail in an image.
If the display is too close, they will not be able to see all the display properly – the outer part of the image will be
in their peripheral vision.
As a rule, you should position the display at a distance that’s equivalent to 3 to 5 times the screen diagonal. That
means a 20 inch (0.5m) display should be 60 to 100 inches (1.5-2.5m) from the operator.
It’s important that the person at the desk can easily reach the computer peripherals they need to use for the task.
Consider whether a joystick and buttons are better tools than a keyboard and mouse.
Wherever practical, keep non-essential computer equipment off the desk (for example, computer base stations
should be away from the hands and feet of the person at the desk) and preferably out of the central control room area.
As well as keyboard and mouse, consider whether the people on your team need other tools such as function keys,
touch screen, joystick, control panel (with buttons), voice-activated software, auditory feedback (eg a button beeping in
response to an input) or haptic feedback (a device vibrating in response to an input).
You may also want to read about Monitoring CCTV
You may also want to read about Screen display
You may also want to read about Visual inputs
You may also want to read about Map essentials
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Windows, lighting
and temperature
People are your main asset
When you’re designing a control room you’ll need to balance its main purpose – security – with the needs and comfort of
the people who work there.
Generally you’ll want to make sure that people outside can’t see what’s going on inside the control room. On the other
hand, people are often happier working if they can see out.
If your control room needs windows, consider applying specialist films that obscure the view from outside
and protect the information within, while allowing good lighting inside. Depending on your assessment of likely
threats to your site, you may decide that your control room should not have windows.
It’s important that screens and work surfaces don’t reflect light as this can increase eye strain and could lead to
security officers making errors.
Everyone’s idea of ‘the right temperature’ is different
Room temperature is important.
• Get it right and you help people to work at their best.
• If it’s too warm, they might struggle to stay awake.
• If it’s too cold, their sensitivity to touch can be affected.
You’ll probably find that people don’t all agree about what is good lighting, or what’s a pleasant temperature in the
office. (In general women are more likely to notice sudden temperature changes and prefer a warmer workspace
than men. People need different light levels when they are monitoring CCTV or reading paperwork, for example, or
if they are older.) So it’s a good idea to enable people adjust the temperature and the lighting for their workstation.
further reading
• Fenestration Obscuration Guidance (how to obscure your windows)
• CPNI Guide to Security Lighting
You may also want to read about Room layout
You may also want to read about Desk layout
You may also want to read about Screen display
You may also want to read about Staff welfare at work
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
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42
CCTV operation
The purpose of your site’s CCTV should be clearly defined and documented. This will inform your control room’s
operational requirement (OR) and the way the control room operates. It’s also a legal requirement.
You’ll probably have CCTV in order to achieve one or more of these aims:
•
•
•
•
To detect an intruder as early as possible.
To verify an alarm from a Perimeter Intruder Detection System (PIDS)
To support security officer(s) or a security force
To use with video analytics to classify activity
As humans we need minimum image sizes, however good the picture
quality
• To detect an intruder, the target image must be at least 10% of screen height.
• To recognise someone, their image needs to be 50% of screen height.
• To identify someone, their image needs to be 100% of screen height.
Where the security officer’s CCTV display is a ‘quad’ screen (showing four images stacked two-high, two-deep) on
one monitor, this reduces each image to half the height of a full screen. For detection, the target image will need
to be at least 20% of the full screen height.
Each camera image should be actively viewed at least once every FIVE minutes to maintain full security of the site if
its perimeter is protected by other physical security measures such as PIDS or fencing.
In some cases you’ll need to view the images more frequently – this could be due to operational business needs, or
where you are monitoring particularly busy or cluttered scenes or vulnerable points.
If part of the perimeter is damaged, or an entrance point is poorly protected, it’s worth considering increased
CCTV surveillance of that area. It doesn’t necessarily mean installing more cameras – simple but effective measures
could be increasing frequency or time spent monitoring the area, keeping the area’s screen constantly on display or using
video analytics for the area.
Where detection analytics are combined with CCTV, when an alarm is activated the security officer’s screen should
immediately show recorded footage to show the area before and after the alarm was set off. This may help them to
determine the cause of the alarm and any follow-up action. At the same time they should see a live view of the alarm
area on their second monitor.
Where CCTV and detection analytics are used in a blank screen configuration, the monitor will only show an image when
an alarm is triggered. Blank screen technology is not a complete solution to replace active monitoring (checking each
camera’s view once every five minutes),
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There are good reasons for using fixed cameras for a perimeter security CCTV system.
1. Fixed cameras provide a known and consistent image.
2. They can be configured to work for each specific location’s particular characteristics.
3. You can tailor the lighting to that position and the light levels there.
Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras are versatile but have inherent weaknesses.
1. The security guard can use the camera to follow an intruder or zoom in on an alarm location.
2. As the focus moves, the security guard may be less sure of exactly where the camera is pointed.
3. The camera may be left pointing in the wrong position.
4. Someone with hostile intent could distract the security guard and get them to move the PTZ cameras so that
an event is not spotted.
For the best security, you may want to combine fixed cameras to cover the perimeter with supplementary PTZ cameras
to investigate or track an intruder.
Depending on the acceptable level of risk, you’ll need to consider how to cover blind spots where there is no camera
coverage. These should be known to everyone involved from security officers to managers, and covered by other
methods such as patrolling security officers on the ground, or CCTV patrol with a PTZ camera.
Note: if your CCTV monitors a public space, you must hold an SIA public space licence. There are certain exemptions, for
example, if CCTV is solely there to identify trespassers or if there are in-house guards.
You may also want to read about Monitoring CCTV
You may also want to read about Screen display
You may also want to read about User interface layout
You may also want to read about Detection analytics
You may also want to read about Visual inputs
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Monitoring CCTV
How many images can you expect a security officer to check over a 5-minute period? That will depend on where the
CCTV cameras are located.
If someone has hostile intentions they will almost certainly prepare for an attack by carrying out hostile
reconnaissance beforehand, and they will be looking for the most vulnerable areas.
The tables below summarise maximum number of images you can expect an operator to review in various situations
to comply with that 5 minute review rule, when they are monitoring fence lines or monitoring crowded areas.
Bear in mind that if a security officer is covering the maximum number of images, they should not have other
tasks to complete at the same time such as critical site operations or first aid while monitoring CCTV.
What is it covering?
Fixed camera
image
PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom)
camera images
Fence line with PIDS* looking at an area or location that is sterile
(nothing should be happening) or relatively inactive; where there are
no dedicated eyes-on security officers
50
35
Fence line without PIDS, active monitoring in busy or vulnerable
areas where there are no dedicated eyes-on security officers
15
10
Fence line active monitoring looking at an area or location that
is sterile (nothing should be happening) or relatively inactive;
wherethere are no dedicated eyes-on security officers
20
15
Fence line secondary assist role to support ground positioned staff
30
20
Primary monitoring of crowded areas (e.g. shopping centres) for
hostile acts, suspicious items etc. with no dedicated guard force.
(Note: crowded areas are only crowded at specific times – not 24/7)
5-10 depending on
scene
Secondary role for monitoring of crowded areas (e.g. shopping
centres) for hostile acts, suspicious items etc. to assist dedicated
ground staff (Note: crowded areas are only crowded at specific times
– not 24/7)
10-15
* PIDS perimeter intrusion detection system
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You may also want to read about Desk layout
You may also want to read about Screen display
You may also want to read about Visual inputs
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Screen display
When it comes to the number of screens at a workstation in the control room, less is more. If you have to keep an eye on
too many displays and CCTV images, the chances are you’ll miss something significant.
The recommended setup for a desk in the control room has three screens: one for CCTV monitoring, the second
to check alarms, access control or a Security Management System, and the third for reviewing recorded CCTV.
If the security guard has other general duties (such as emails or filling in time sheets) they will need to do these at a
separate workstation, or at a time when someone else is responsible for monitoring CCTV.
It’s important to think about the tasks that you want security officers to carry out, and to specify the displays according to
those tasks. You’ll need to do this at the planning stage (when you work out your operational requirement) and when you
change equipment. For example, when you change the cameras on your site, you should review the whole CCTV system
including displays.
A human cannot detect an intruder that is less than 10% screen height, no matter how good the quality of the
image – they won’t be able to see if it is a person, a car or an animal.
Avoid screens that ‘upscale’ images – if the display resolution does not match the resolution of the transmitted image,
there may be visual anomalies that make it harder for the security officer to detect intruders.
A video wall is not the primary tool for detection – it should only be used as a supplementary tool for incident
management or supervisor overview.
It’s important that a video wall does not distract security officers from their main task. If they need to monitor an image
on the video wall it should be transferred to a workstation display to avoid discomfort.
You may also want to read about Desk layout
You may also want to read about User interface layout
You may also want to read about Monitoring CCTV
You may also want to read about CCTV operation
You may also want to read about Visual inputs
You may also want to read about Visual warnings: overview
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Visual inputs
It’s important not to overload people who are monitoring screens
But you will need to consider some logistical factors:
1. If you’re trying to watch too many screens or too many CCTV feeds at one time, it’s harder to detect an event.
2. If you have a video wall, take care that it doesn’t distract security officers from their main focus – monitoring
CCTV on their desktops.
3. Desk displays should only be used for primary duties. Other tasks, such as email or timesheets, are best
done at a separate workstation.
4. You need regular screen-breaks to help reduce visual fatigue.
5. Screen refresh rates below 50Hz tend to flicker. This can cause eye strain, so higher rates are advisable.
What’s on the desk?
In most cases, three screens on a desk are the recommended maximum:
CCTV monitoring
Alarms from detectors
Reviewing recorded CCTV
The viewing angle of the screens and the distance the viewer sits away from the screens both need to be adjustable so
that each person can work at their best.
Video walls are best used for incident management and overview – it can cause discomfort if you have to view images
there for long periods. If you need to monitor a particular image from the wall, it’s best to transfer it to a CCTV monitoring
desk.
further reading
• HSE guidelines on Seating at Work
• HSE guidelines on Display Screens
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You may also want to read about Auditory alarms: overview
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User interface layout
The user interface is where the user ‘meets’ or interacts with the information. It can be anything from a simple
paper-based system (a CCTV monitor, a paper log book and an alarm panel) to a fully integrated Security Management
System (SMS) with computed mapping.
The way information is supplied and shown to the security officer is critical. If it’s well designed, the user interface can
make the everyday control room more efficient and improve the response when there is an incident through:
•
•
•
•
Better situational awareness
Better detection
Faster response to a situation
Better tailored response to a situation.
five top tips that apply whether your user interface is simple or
sophisticated
• Keep maps simple and consistent in style.
• Users need to be able to log incidents as free text (in a paper logbook or a text file on screen).
• A set of example camera views helps the security guard compare each one with live footage and check that
each camera is still covering the right area.
• Additional text information about each camera view can give a security officer essential details about the area
covered by the camera they are monitoring.
• Security officers tracking an incident will be able to respond faster if they can access additional information
about the area covered and other cameras offering views.
It’s also worth adding Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and response information to the interface so that
security officers know where to find the information quickly to help them deal with incidents quickly and correctly. (On an
integrated SMS this information may be accessed on a second screen alongside the main CCTV monitor, while a security
officer using a paper-based system would find the information on printed information sheets.)
Image on screen
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Supporting info
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Network security
Your IT network security is absolutely critical to your operation. It’s important to have a specific IT policy that applies
to the security system – in some aspects this will be more stringent than the wider corporate IT security policy and it may
require more advanced functionality.
The highest level of physical security IT network is independent of any other network or system and has not external
connections outside the protected area. (For more details see CPNI Cyber Assurance of Physical Security Systems CAPSS
Guidance.)
If your physical security system uses IP connectivity with engineering remote access mode, this may use
identifiable account credentials. It’s a good idea to replace any default accounts with custom accounts; if some
core accounts cannot be removed, be sure to set up a secure password.
Maintenance
The way engineers access your IT system can make the system more vulnerable. If they log in remotely (usually
much cheaper than deploying an engineer to the site) to fix problems and offer first line maintenance, this could be an
opportunity for someone with hostile intent to acquire a trusted login and a very powerful account. If it’s impractical to
disable a remote engineer login, it’s a good idea to restrict the login rights to viewing logs, and to ensure engineers are
not permitted to change settings, read or write to personal data or perform any other functions on the network.
Updating and patching of the security infrastructure should be overseen by both IT experts and security experts, and it’s
essential to keep accurate records. Updates should always be tested in a test environment before being applied to the live
system.
When installing manufacturer’s updates, be sure to monitor the import carefully and use the virus checker. (Manufacturer
or integrators often use the same laptop or USB device to update at multiple sites with varying levels of IT security – this
could potentially transfer a virus to your security network.)
Backing up your files
Whileitmakessensetoallowathirdpartytoholdabackupcopyofyoursite’sgenericsoftwareimplementation,
sitespecific keys should only be held on site, not by a third party.
Your absolute priority, when keeping your backup key information secure, is to ensure it’s not
accessible to third parties.
Backup security should apply to items such as electronic key / lock information, passwords to software logins (eg
for security management systems), automated access control system card information, site keys and personal data,
intrusion detection system access information, encryption details and so on.
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Exporting data
Your IT security policy should cover procedures for exporting CCTV clips or data to external parties, such as the police.
It’s essential to control any media that is connected to the physical security system to reduce the risk of introducing
unauthorised software or malware onto the system. If data has to be downloaded from the system it is advisable to use
a new USB drive or a new removable disk each time for this purpose. Any peripherals such as USB ports that are not
required should be disabled or removed.
You may want your control room to have access to the internet for news, intelligence and maps. Internet use should
follow company policy. For maximum security the internet connection could be restricted to a standalone machine that is
physically separate from the security network.
You may also want to read about Network function
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Data retention
You may also want to read about Maintenance and repair
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Network function
A well run physical security system, run over IT infrastructure, requires specialist skills in both IT and physical security.
Ideally:
1. The security team defines what they require of the network.
2. The organisation’s IT department delivers it.
3. The IT department and the security team work together to manage the security network and systems.
Depending on the systems run over the IT network, substantial bandwidth will be required to run the security
systems. Alarm and notification systems mostly run on fixed bandwidth, but for CCTV it can vary widely, depending on
compression, resolution of the images, and frame rate of the footage.
Reducing bandwidth
You may find that you are asked to reduce the security bandwidth. In that situation each of these functions will
need to be carefully balanced to ensure that the images viewed in the control room are fit for purpose.
Compression (reducing the file size) – generally speaking, higher compression needs lower bandwidth, but means
lower picture quality. ‘Lossless’ compression (very few techniques are truly lossless) reduces the bandwidth with
little effect on picture quality. ‘Lossy’ compression reduces the size of the picture but reduces picture quality as
well.
• Resolution (the number of pixels in an image) – more pixels, the better quality image, and the greater your
ability to zoom in and see detail. High resolution images are better quality but need greater bandwidth.
• Frame rate (the number of still images per second in a video). The human eye interprets 25 frames per second
(FPS) as moving images, and this is the recommended frame rate. You can reduce the FPS to lower the
bandwidth required but some of the action within the scene will be lost. If a CCTV camera takes 1 picture every
second it may not capture an image if someone crosses the area it covers in less than 1 second. Very little
contextual information is captured from 1 image a second – even if you see the target they may be facing away
from the camera.
Too much data can cause the system to crash
If the system is trying to transmit more data than the bandwidth can cope with, it will result in bandwidth lag: data in the
network backs up and takes longer to transmit. This may only mean a minor delay on alarm notifications but where CCTV
data is continuous and the system is overloaded the network may crash or even cause data to be deleted.
A network running close to capacity will show lag on the control of Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras, with slow response
when a camera is moved, and less precise manoeuvring. This can seriously affect the capacity of security officers to find
and track objects within the scene.
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IT network support
Security is a 24/7 operation. Ideally the IT support infrastructure needs to be available 24/7 too, so that any problem with
the server or other equipment in the middle of the night can be fixed promptly and good security maintained.
If your security department has to manage the installation and support of the security IT network, these are the main
items to consider.
• Monitoring
• Servers
• Storage / back-up
• Workstations
• Data centre management
• Patching / service packs
• Data transfer
• Antivirus
• Privileged access
• Removable media controls
• Active directory
• Development environment
• Service level agreements
• Unsupported systems
• Networks
• Patching
IT costs
When you’re looking at the costs for IT, you should generally assume that any part of the IT infrastructure will need to
be replaced or renewed every five years. As well as staff costs and any support contract, you’ll need to cover the cost of
software user licences, monitoring software, development environments, test beds and admin costs.
You may also want to read about Monitoring CCTV
You may also want to read about Screen display
You may also want to read about Technical integration
You may also want to read about Network security
You may also want to read about Data retention
You may also want to read about Maintenance and repair
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Detection analytics
Your Operational Requirement (OR) Level 1 will set out the level of detection required for your site. It’s essential that you
use this to clarify the kind of detection system you require and the specific purpose of that system.
You’ll probably want to automatically alert security guards if there is an alarm. That first alert can be activated by
automated analytics (detection system): the human security guard will need to decide which alerts need to be followed
up.
Detection technologies pros and cons
Detection systems are good at covering well defined areas – a perimeter wall or a door, for example – and for specific
tasks. Unlike humans, they work 24/7, they don’t lose concentration when they get tired, and don’t need rest breaks. But
humans are much better at analysing complex scenes, and interpreting what’s going on.
Any detection system installation has to balance two key measures that are interdependent:
1.To maximise detection rate you increase the sensitivity of a detection system.
2.To minimise false alarm rate you decrease the sensitivity of a detection system.
In the ideal world you’d be able to detect 100% of attacks. A more realistic target might be 95%, though your site
may be OK with a lower figure.
And in the ideal world there would be no false alarms! But depending on the size and scope of your site, and how
many people you have patrolling the perimeter, a more realistic daily target might be 5-10 per kilometre of fence,
for example. Many more than that and you may find that people start to ignore the alarms.
Video detection analytics
Video analytics (often referred to as video based detection systems, motion detection, or video content analysis) uses a
computer system to monitor and look for changes or patterns within a CCTV image. When this is detected, the system
alerts the security guard in the control room.
It can include:
• Real time monitoring to trigger or increase recording. The system will only record behaviours it is trained to
recognise, so other behaviours may be missed or recorded at a lower quality.
• Identifying events for a human to interpret. ‘Black screen technology’ that only shows an image on the security
guard’s screen when video analytics system defines as being of interest
• Analysing events and generating alarms for a response
• Acting as a PIDS (perimeter detection intrusion system) and filtering pre-recorded footage after an incident
While the system is being set up each video channel (camera view) will be individually tuned, and it’s normal to see a
higher number of false alarms.
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Intruder alarm analytics
Intruder alarm analytics are mostly used as part of Perimeter Intruder Detections Systems (PIDS). These systems use
sensor wires attached to perimeter fences to detect a potential attack. The system analyses the sensor signals to work
out if they are indicating an attack. This is only useful for real-time monitoring but can be effective, enabling one security
officer to monitor a greater area. Intruder alarm analytics is not foolproof or comprehensive so alarms should be verified
by CCTV.
AACS and IT Analytics
Analytics applied to other systems such as Automated Access Control Systems (AACS) or IT systems can identify
patterns in people’s work behaviours over a longer period. They may be useful in spotting security concerns when people
access buildings or IT systems out of usual hours.
further reading
• CPNI Testing installed video analytics guidance
You may also want to read about CCTV operation
You may also want to read about Network security
You may also want to read about Personally identifiable information: internal review
You may also want to read about Personally identifiable information: external review
You may also want to read about Visual inputs
You may also want to read about Visual warnings: overview
You may also want to read about Auditory alarms: overview
You may also want to read about Escalation: overview
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Data retention
Your site should have a clear written policy on the retention of data and personally identifiable data. This policy document
should cover security, privacy and other relevant regulations (for example, financial institutions are required to keep logs
of some data for seven years). The policy document will be subject to review by the Information Commissioner’s Office. If
your site is a public body, it may be subject to Freedom of Information requests.
The data retention policy document should be based on the Operational Requirement (OR) for the system and its use. It
should define uses of the system, the purpose of the data collected at your site and the maximum period data is required
to be kept.
Depending on the purpose, the terms of data retention will vary
• If the system is designed to protect against terrorism and mass casualty events, the recording could be deleted 24
hours after recording
• If the system is designed to capture long term hostile reconnaissance, the retention period may be 30 days or longer.
• Shorter retention periods may mean that other matters such as low level crime are missed, but if the system is not
designed to capture that, it would be against the data retention policy.
Any CCTV imagery that is retained should conform to the CCTV code of practice. This will help with end user assurance
and should assist with implementing a fit for purpose systems
12 guiding principles for CCTV system operators
The Home Office’s Surveillance Code of Practice spells makes the following recommendations.
1.
Use of a surveillance camera system must always be for a specified purpose which is in pursuit of a
legitimate aim and necessary to meet an identified pressing need.
2.
The use of a surveillance camera system must take into account its effect on individuals and their privacy,
with regular reviews to ensure its use remains justified.
3.
There must be as much transparency in the use of a surveillance camera system as possible, including a
published contact point for access to information and complaints.
4.
There must be clear responsibility and accountability for all surveillance camera system activities including
images and information collected, held and used.
5.
Clear rules, policies and procedures must be in place before a surveillance camera system is used, and
these must be communicated to all who need to comply with them.
6.
No more images and information should be stored than that which is strictly required for the stated purpose
of a surveillance camera system, and such images and information should be deleted once their purposes
have been discharged.
7.
Access to retained images and information should be restricted and there must be clearly defined rules on
who can gain access and for what purpose such access is granted; the disclosure of images and information
should only take place when it is necessary for such a purpose or for law enforcement purposes.
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8.
Surveillance camera system operators should consider any approved operational, technical and
competency standards relevant to a system and its purpose and work to meet and maintain those
standards.
9.
Surveillance camera system images and information should be subject to appropriate security measures to
safeguard against unauthorised access and use
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10. There should be effective review and audit mechanisms to ensure legal requirements, policies and
standards are complied with in practice, and regular reports should be published.
11. When the use of a surveillance camera system is in pursuit of a legitimate aim, and there is a pressing need
for its use, it should then be used in the most effective way to support public safety and law enforcement
with the aim of processing images and information of evidential value.
12. Any information used to support a surveillance camera system which compares against a reference
database for matching purposes should be accurate and kept up to date.
Once data is no longer required, it should be destroyed appropriately – it should not be stored just because you have
the space to store it. This will usually mean that old data is overwritten with new data. It’s important that the overwriting
function is checked regularly and your site is confident that data is not being kept longer than the time specified in the
site’s data retention policy.
Your policy on data handover should differentiate between passing data to internal departments (where the security
department will be able to follow up and check that the data has been destroyed) or to external people/organisations,
where the site is unlikely to be able to verify its destruction.
You may also want to read about Monitoring CCTV
You may also want to read about Network security
You may also want to read about Personally identifiable information: internal review
You may also want to read about Personally identifiable information: external review
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Personally identifiable
information: internal review
Personally identifiable information will be captured in CCTV footage, AACS logs, IDS logs (which could show someone’s
daily habits) or other information.
Your site should have a policy document setting out the circumstances in which personally identifiable information may
be requested for review by a person working at the site. This could be for security issues, discipline issues or other legal
reasons.
If there are instances where CCTV may be used other than for its stated purpose, this should be noted as a condition of
employment or condition of entry onto site and should be clearly stated to all employees and visitors. If this is a condition
of employment, careful consideration needs to be given to visitors and other non-employees.
Any access to personally identifiable information should be logged.
The location where personally identifiable information is reviewed should be carefully considered to avoid distracting
the other security officers from their main duties. For potentially sensitive cases, or where it is essential to restrict the
viewing to specific people, it may be best to review the personally identifiable information in a private office. Take care
that this does not lead to unauthorised viewing of personally identifiably information or breach the data protection policy.
It will be important to have the option of saving data for investigation: this would mean overriding any auto-delete
or auto-overwrite functions, but ensuring that a robust policy is in place to ensure the data is duly destroyed after its
required use.
Date and time stamps
An important aid when reviewing CCTV is the date and time stamp to pinpoint when an event takes place. You may want
to show the time zone as well, for example 22:15 (GMT) or 23:15 (GMT+1).
You may also want to read about Personally identifiable information: external review
You may also want to read about Room layout
You may also want to read about Network security
You may also want to read about Data retention
You may also want to read about Resilience
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Personally identifiable
information: external review
Whenever data is requested by people or organisations outside your organisation, it’s important to establish that this
request is legitimate. Personally identifiable information will be captured in CCTV footage, AACS logs, IDS logs (which
could show someone’s daily habits) or other information.
In some instances a court may require you to provide personally identifiable information or footage. You’ll need to
consider the implications, as well as what may be revealed if the court then orders that information or footage to be
released.
If you hand over data to an outside organisation, always include instructions on how it should be stored and, most
importantly, how it should be destroyed.
Any transfer or copying of data should be logged by the control room; if correct instructions have been passed on to the
recipient, you should assume that the data will be destroyed accordingly.
Date and time stamps
The date and time stamp is an important aid when reviewing CCTV - it pinpoints when an event takes place. You may
want to show the time zone as well, for example 22:15 (GMT) or 23:15 (GMT+1).
When information is reviewed by external agencies the information should be given across in a standard easily readable
format (not as a proprietary encoded video file).
If it is appropriate you may also be required to supply other information from your site about an event, for example,
control room logs or eye witness accounts. In this case you are advised to provide copies rather than the original files,
and to log the action accordingly.
File format
If you are required to hand over data for external review, you will need to provide it in an easily readable format,
preferably open-source.
You may also want to read about Personally identifiable information: internal review
You may also want to read about Room layout
You may also want to read about Network security
You may also want to read about Data retention
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Resilience
Building resilience can be costly: in most cases the backup control room will rarely be used. But when you consider what
the loss of the main control room would mean – major disruption to the site and significant costs in terms of staff time
and equipment – it’s essential.
If you’re a security manager, you’ll need to work out the level of resilience your site requires, and mitigate risks to a level
that you consider acceptable.
The control room is the first level of resilience. If the integrated system fails, you’ll need to ensure that the
control room can fall back to individual systems or to manual methods. This could mean accessing a standalone
CCTV viewing area, being able to monitor IDS and PIDS panels, and manually logging in a book.
It’s important that everyone on the team is trained on these fall-back systems and practises using them,
otherwise valuable time will be lost at a critical time when an integrated system is down.
Where external factors pose significant difficulties, your control room should be resilient enough to keep running.
For example:
1. Power cuts – your control room needs a backup power supply.
2. Extreme weather – it’s important to protect against flooding and other weather events.
3. Loss of heating or air conditioning and other environmental problems – this could be simple responses such as
providing extra clothing or water supplies.
4. Staff shortages – where there aren’t enough people available, control room managers should be able to call on extra
staff or call in additional staff from outside the organisation (such as contract staff or from another organisation on a
staff share agreement).
You can design in resilience by providing two control rooms: the primary control room for use under normal operating
conditions and a secondary backup control room for use in the event of a failure. To maximise the value of the
secondary control room (which may otherwise considered an expensive duplication) it could be used as the incident room
unless the primary control room is unavailable.
Ideally the primary and secondary control rooms are interchangeable, with duplicated security capabilities including CCTV
feeds and hardware, IDS alarms, access control, all supporting infrastructure and IT. Both control rooms should be tested
and regularly maintained to the same standard.
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It’s important to test the effects of a power cut on both primary and secondary control rooms, to ensure that
moving to the backup power supply causes minimal disruption to the control room and its systems, as well as
security systems around the site.
It’s a good idea to test various scenarios such as power failure to the control room, security management
system failure, and individual system failure (such as intrusion detection systems, access control, lighting).
Testing should include moving to the backup system and any alternative actions such as deploying security
officers to the perimeter.
If your site needs to be highly resilient, you may need to employ an on-site specialist maintenance engineer for the
security systems and associated infrastructure.
If an on-site specialist maintenance engineer isn’t appropriate, you’ll need to set up a service level agreement with your
supplier (including callout times) and consider other ways to cope when the control room is down, such as having a
secondary control room and holding critical spares on site for rapid repairs.
If your secondary control room is located off-site, it can give added resilience against terrorist threats or
natural disasters. But you will need to consider some logistical factors:
• Will there be trained staff in both primary and secondary control rooms during an incident? How will your
trained staff get between the two locations?
• If you use contracted-out control room staff, is the response guaranteed? Will you be competing with other
companies for the staff resources?
• Is your secondary control room sufficiently resilient if it is also affected by the same incident, such as localised
flooding?
The design of your primary and secondary control rooms should be consistent. People who work there should use
both control rooms regularly to get to know the setup and test the equipment. This helps to reduce the chance of security
officers making errors under pressure when they switch from one control room to the other.
In both primary and secondary control rooms, it’s important to have a secure method to deactivate the other control
room. This may be needed during an incident or where the other control room is overrun. However it’s important to
secure the ‘legitimate’ control room so that it cannot be deactivated by an overrun control room.
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further reading
• CPNI CCTV best practice guide
You may also want to read about Network function
You may also want to read about Network security
You may also want to read about Security officers
You may also want to read about Location of your control room
You may also want to read about Maintenance and repair
You may also want to read about Shift lengths and task rotation
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Exercises and simulations: overview
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Technical integration
Integration can have significant impact: it can increase the effectiveness of a control room and minimise the time needed
to verify and respond to an incident. It can range from the basic (such as using the same number for a PIDS zone and the
camera view that covers it) to a full-scale Security Management System (SMS).:
You can integrate (link) technical security measures at different levels:
• locally at the component level
• locally at the node (such as swipe card controls)
• centrally at the SMS control, for example such as Automated Access Control Systems (AACS) for large sites or PIDS
activated blank screen CCTV.
When you integrate systems, make sure you don’t end up with all the security on a single point of failure.
It’s a good idea to ask these questions:
• Are there are any unintended effects of integration?
• If the integration fails, can the technology fall back to individual systems?
• If you join two systems, what are the weak points?
• Where / how would someone with hostile intent be able to get access?
• If you integrate non-security systems, such as building management systems (BMS), will vulnerabilities
increase?
Technical integration can be very positive in increasing detection rates and reducing workload for the security officers. For
example, linking CCTV to PIDS/IDS using alarm-activated blank screen technology could help draw the security officer’s
attention to an event and improve the detection rate. But it’s not a good idea to rely completely on technology –
human detection and understanding are essential.
Integration can also help technologies work better together but you need to consider whether the outcome is what you
want. Similarly it’s important to consider the implications when one system depends on another.
Consider these scenarios:
1. You link CCTV to an automated access control system (AACS) to increase picture quality on CCTV recording when
someone on registered on the AACS enters through a door. (Likely result: an attacker who is not registered on the AACS
would not trigger the higher resolution image.)
2. You link a PIDS system to the perimeter security lighting, so security lights go on whenever a PIDS alarm is received.
(Result: CCTV will have no useable pre-alarm footage as the site’s perimeter will be in darkness until the alarm is
triggered.)
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But it’s important to be aware that integration may make your systems more vulnerable. If one system malfunctions,
this may prevent a linked technology working. It could mean that a person with hostile intent only needs to defeat one of
the linked systems to beat the other part of the integrated system
If it is done correctly, further integration of security systems onto IP networks (linking systems across multiple sites) can
have a massive security bonus and offer additional benefits for physical, personnel and cyber protection. Always consult
the IT department and IT security specialists when planning large-scale integration or SMS linking IP systems across
multiple sites.
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
You may also want to read about Network security
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
You may also want to read about Visual inputs
You may also want to read about Map essentials
You may also want to read about Visual warnings: overview
You may also want to read about Auditory alarms: overview
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Maintenance and repair
When your security system needs maintenance, this will inevitably have an impact on the control room.
Unless the system is well maintained, you will experience increasing false alarms, but have reduced ability to verify
alarms – and the security team’s workload will increase.
Whether maintenance is proactive (ensuring regular maintenance checks are made) or reactive (waiting until something
happens, compromising security and disrupting operations) will probably be down to your site’s organisational policy.
Proactive maintenance is always the better approach
A well maintained security system will greatly reduce the workload of the control room and therefore increase the
security of the site. Maintenance issues should be logged as a security issue and raised in a daily report.
On-site or on call support?
If possible, it’s an advantage to have on-site technicians / engineers who are familiar with the site and its security
technology and will understand the culture and risk appetite of the site. It can also mean that repairs are carried out
faster.
On-call contract engineers may be cheaper but will probably only respond within the quoted time frame. Where contract
engineers are used, Service Level Agreements are essential – this should include ‘Time to repair’ rather than ‘Time
to attend’ (it’s not enough for an engineer just to turn up, maybe without knowledge of the system and without the right
parts). It’s also worth specifying the service level outside office hours.
Replacement, repair and maintenance
One certainty is that any form of IT system will need replacement and maintenance. This will probably need a specialist
resource from the organisation’s IT department, so you’ll need to have Service Level Agreements in place for this.
It’s a good idea to hold any critical spares on site for rapid repair in case of failure. Security equipment is
often bespoke or has long lead times for delivery of parts. Availability, reliability and maintainability factored into
the design. You may need to have a back-up device in place for some products.
Be prepared: plan the replacement life cycle so you know which equipment is ageing or out of production and you can
set aside budget to replace it.
Your security guards should not have to check lighting levels, top up washer fluid bottles or check PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom)
motor heads – this kind of ongoing, cheap maintenance is better contracted to a dedicated department, allowing your
security team to focus on their key tasks.
If maintenance work is likely to disrupt security operations, the control room should be notified and the event logged.
When the work is completed the control room should be notified and confirm that the equipment is fully functional again
– this would include checking camera positions and resetting alarms.
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Regular checks are important
Camera views should regularly be checked and audited to check that they still fulfil the intended use and cover the
expected view (a screen shot of this view should be on file). This audit process should use the Rotakin test target.
It’s important to check logs for automated systems such as AACS and IDS and examine them for anomalies. If any
alarms have been inhibited, check them and clarify why.
Check daylight and night-time performance of equipment
The maintenance team should check that the security system and individual components are working correctly
both in daylight and in darkness, and that they fulfil the Operations Requirement. This could be done by:
• reviewing CCTV from night-time
• reviewing CCTV from daylight hours
• reviewing historic logs
• performing physical checks in daylight and at night.
As well as the obvious maintenance tasks (fixing broken or empty items) the maintenance team should consider aspects
such as lighting and colour rendition.
Bear in mind that over time, sensitivity of a detection system may be turned down to reduce the number of false
alarms. It’s important to check that the detection rate is still sufficiently high – simple attack trials will show whether that
is the case.
further reading
• CPNI Testing installed video analytics guidance
You may also want to read about CCTV operation
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
You may also want to read about Network function
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
You may also want to read about Exercises and simulations: overview
You may also want to read about Follow-up after exercises and incidents
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Monitoring the control room
As the control room is a working environment, it is normal to monitor it to check that it is working as effectively as
possible. This should aim to maximise security – it should not be about maximising the number of tasks security officers
have to complete.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be used to gain a quantitative understanding of the control room. These should be
based on the Operations Requirement for the control room: they should focus on what the control room aims to achieve,
rather than what it is doing now. For example, ‘The control room should be detecting 95% of attacks on the fence’ rather
than ‘Fence alarms should be resolved within 5 seconds.’
The control room Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be security specific. Other departments such as
finance or human resources will have different requirements.
KPIs could cover items such as:
1. Number of alarms received and the actions from these alarms
2. % of operator time spent on any one task
3. Target response time to certain incidents (this will include exercises where the KPIs cover incidents
that don’t often occur)
4. Training undertaken
5. Replacement of control room systems
6. Maintenance repair times
7. Maintenance issues (such as non-functioning cameras)
8. Picture quality
9. Personnel (attendance, sick leave, holiday and so on)
10. Persistent problems
You should ensure that records are kept of performance monitoring of the control room and any outcomes for audit
purposes.
further reading
• Human Factors Checklist: Manager Survey
• Human Factors Checklist: Operator Survey
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You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about CCTV operation
You may also want to read about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Other control room functions
You may also want to read about Access to the control room
You may also want to read about Maintenance and repair
You may also want to read about Staff training
You may also want to read about Escalation: overview
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Communications: overview
Good communication between security officers in the control room and on the ground is vital.
• It may increase the speed of response to a security incident.
• It can improve the chances of detaining an intruder.
Training is essential, so that everyone knows how to use radios effectively, and what the procedures are (especially if
the usual communication tools aren’t working). It’s also very important that everyone uses the same names for places
and assets on the site.
Everyone (supervisors, security officers in the control room and on the ground) needs to know:
• who communicates with whom during an incident
• how messages reach supervisors
• what backup procedures are if primary communications tools stop working.
Read more about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Room layout
You may also want to read about Shift handovers
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
You may also want to read about Response and decision-making criteria
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Maps: overview
In your control room you’ll probably need one or more maps that are specific to your site.
Here are our top tips when you create a map:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Keep it simple – restrict the detail to the essentials.
Show where North is (usually at the top of the map).
Use consistent points of reference and names for assets, places on site, roads and paths.
Make sure your map correlates with emergency plans.
Use a key (legend) to explain colours and symbols and a scale that people can relate to (eg 100 metres).
Always test your map with people from each group that’s going to use it – their feedback can help improve it.
Make sure everyone uses the same version of each map, whether they are in the control room, on the
ground or offsite.
Read more about Map essentials
You may also want to read about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Evacuation plan: overview
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Visual warnings: overview
A visual warning that an alarm has gone off must attract the security guard’s attention.
This kind of warning often fails because they are unclear, with complex text, and appear in unsuitable positions.
What should you do when you’re creating a visual warning? Here are five tips:
1.
Keep it simple.
2.
Use simple, clear text.
3.
Use symbols where you can – symbols get the message across faster than text.
4.
Use red for the highest level of warning (everybody knows the traffic lights colour code).
5.
If your warning is in black and white, make the words TWICE the size of warning text in colour.
Read more about Visual warnings
You may also want to read about Auditory alarms: overview
You may also want to read about Visual inputs
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Auditory alarms: overview
Alarms should cause alarm! They should be impossible to ignore.
There are often lots of false alarms in control rooms – security officers may tune out from the warning sound if they think
it’s probably a false alarm. If only one auditory alarm is used, people are more likely to miss the alarm or ignore it.
So here are some top tips for your auditory alarms:
1.
The more urgent the alarm, the more frequent and faster it should be.
2.
Use a different sound for each type of alert wherever possible.
3.
Consider if adding a verbal warning message to the alarm will be useful.
4.
It should be loud enough to be easy to detect, but not be irritating.
But don’t overdo it! Too many alarms can mean people ignore them at critical moments.
Read more about Auditory alarms
You may also want to read about Visual warnings: overview
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
You may also want to read about Verification: overview
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Visitors to the control
room: overview
A visitor to the control room should have a defined and clear purpose, and should be authorised by the supervisor
or manager.
For each visitor:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Always sign them in AND out.
Check their ID before issuing a visitor’s pass.
Appoint a named contact to meet the visitor and escort them during their visit.
Consider whether some parts of the control room should be obscured during their visit.
Monitor where they go during their visit.
If the visitor is doing sensitive work within the control room, they may need to be vetted.
Read more about Visitors to the control room
You may also want to read about Culture: overview
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
You may also want to read about Access to the control room
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Training: overview
Training helps people to carry out their jobs effectively. People should be trained when:
• they’re new
• systems have been updated or changed
• they’re returning from extended absence.
It’s worth thinking about the whole picture in the control room, and training your security officers across the board,
including:
•
•
•
•
•
security systems
operating procedures
radio communications
what to do when an alarm goes off (including false alarms)
what to do when there’s an adverse event.
Read more about Staff training
You may also want to read about Response staff
You may also want to read about Exercises and simulations: overview
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Shifts: overview
Shift work can affect people’s wellbeing and performance, so supervisors should be aware of problems people
might experience when they change to new shift periods.
Eight-hour shifts can mean a lower risk of errors and accidents but some people may prefer 12-hour shifts to fit their life
routines. Continuous night shifts may be harmful to health.
Ideally shifts should rotate clockwise early > late > night.
Where you require a high level of vigilance of your security officers, it’s best to keep tasks to a maximum of 20-30
minutes.
Read more about Shift lengths and task rotation
You may also want to read about Shift handovers
You may also want to read about Staff welfare at work
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Recruitment: overview
People are only human. When you design a job, remember that people vary in the way they process information and
share it.
It’s also worth planning ahead – your team should be large enough to cover people being off sick or on holiday.
A job analysis will help you create accurate job descriptions and work out how many staff you need, and at which levels.
A structured interview is more effective than an unplanned one. It’s a good idea to have the same people interview the
candidates and apply ratings and checklists to assess candidates’ suitability for the job.
You may also want to read about Security officers: overview
You may also want to read about Recruiting security officers
You may also want to read about Staff recruitment and promotion
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Effective communications
It’s vital that there’s clear and effective communication between everyone – the security officers in the control room,
those who are on patrol and the response team.
This is even more crucial during a security incident: it can increase the speed of response and the chances of stopping
someone with hostile intent before they reach the site’s critical assets.
Everyone on the team needs to know
1.
How to communicate – is there a separate radio channel for incident reporting and alarm verification?
2.
Who they should talk to during an incident – their supervisors or should they use the comms to make sure
everyone on the team knows what’s happening?
3.
What to do if the primary comms tools (eg radios) aren’t working – what are the backup procedures?
Backup procedures
If your radios aren’t working you’ll need to have backup procedures in place, such as a site
map. Everyone in the control room and on the ground should use the same version of the
map.
Your site map should show navigation points and the locations of all cameras on the site
– this can help guide the response team to the location of an incident. Make sure navigation
points and camera positions are logically labelled (from left to right or in a clockwise direction).
Everyone on the team (in the control room and beyond) should use the same
terminology for points on the map and areas of the site. This will help avoid confusion and
make it easier to give clear directions from the control room to the people on the ground.
Consider which type of communication is best for each situation
In a fast-moving incident, you’ll almost certainly want to communicate verbally, but this may be harder to log, spoken
instructions may not always be clear and details can be lost.
If you’re using email, it will be important to have no delay in the message getting through. (Some sites may have
an automatic 5-minute delay before emails are transmitted.) You may well need to send multimedia images or videos to
the team on the ground, especially if you need to help them identify people.
If your communications include classified material or sensitive information, you’ll also want to consider specifying the
cyber assurance for your email system.
Good communications across all levels
Your control room, incident room and operation room should be located within easy reach of each other – the
teams will need to talk during an incident.
A large open space can be problematic. If noise travels, it’s a good idea to have blinds or noise deadening partitions that
can be used during an incident.
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Further reading
• CPNI CCTV best practice guide
You may also want to read about Types of guard force and control room: overview
You may also want to read about Control room: overview
You may also want to read about CCTV screens: overview
You may also want to read about Windows and external lighting: overview
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
You may also want to read about User interface: overview
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Access to the control room
Visitors to the control room can distract the people who are working there and may even make the control room less
secure. It’s important to limit access to essential visitors only.
Your control room itself may be a target so you’ll need to limit visits as far as possible.
• The control room should be electronically protected and it should require a higher level of security.
• A low throughput is fine: security – not speed – should be your top priority when checking authorisation.
• Monitor anyone who does have to visit the control room.
If you are using biometric access, make sure that it’s easy for people to use and that it works properly. (A complex
biometric access system can mean people look for workarounds to avoid using it, and that is going to be bad for the
building’s security.) Keep an eye on the failure rate of the system – that will help you measure its effectiveness.
Keep a list of authorised visitors
It’s important to be clear who is allowed to add names to the list of authorised visitors. People added to the list should be
authorised for a limited time.
Make sure you regularly review the list of visitors and people who are authorized to access the control room.
• Anyone no longer requiring access should be removed from the list
• Anyone requiring continued access should be asked to affirm their access requirement before authorisation is
renewed.
Police access
You’ll need a policy and process for dealing with the police when they need to access the site for any reason, such as
forensics.
You’ll also need to have a specific contact or duty officer for them to deal with. This could be a rotational duty. This will
help reduce disruption for the security officers working in the control room.
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Personally identifiable information: external review
You may also want to read about Visitors to the control room: overview
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
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Visitors to the control room
Visitors should have a defined and clear purpose for the visit. All visits should be authorised by the supervisor or
manager.
Depending on the purpose of the visit, you may need different levels of authorisation. If the visitor is coming to see
the workings of the control room, you may need supervisor authorisation. If the visitor is there to work within the control
room, you may need security manager authorisation.
The visitor’s credentials (organisation, vetting level and so on) may also inform you about the level of authorisation
needed for the visit. If the visitor is doing sensitive work within the control room, you may need to get vetting information
from their employer.
If your visitor is going to be treated as a full-time member of staff for the duration of their time with you, you may want to
vet them independently of their employer.
Before your visitor arrives
Before the visit begins, consider the assets that might be on view. Are they sensitive? Is the visitor OK to see all the
functions/equipment/areas of the control room? You may need to screen some areas or equipment off to avoid the
visitor seeing them.
You’ll also need to consider the safety of the visitor and make any preparations necessary.
Here’s a quick checklist:
Always sign the visitor in AND out.
Check their ID before issuing a visitor’s pass.
Appoint a named contact to meet the visitor and escort them during their visit.
Monitor where they go during their visit. Use access control methods such as passes to monitor
where the visitor goes.
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Culture: overview
You may also want to read about How secure does your control room need to be?
You may also want to read about Location of your control room
You may also want to read about Access to the control room
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Recruiting security officers
When you’re considering candidates for the job of security officer, it’s important to have a rigorous and thorough selection
process.
In a structured interview, each applicant is asked identical questions. You can then score their answers using ratings and
checklists to help you make an objective decision.
Here are some points you may want to consider when recruiting team members.
Communication skills: Do they have good spoken and written communication skills? Security officers need to
communicate clearly in their work, particularly when they are dealing with an emergency.
A control room works best when there are strong team relationships and that means good communication. When the
control room team and the security team on the site communicate well, this can increase situation awareness.
Physical fitness: Are they physically able to cope with the demands of the job?
Shift work: Can they cope with shift work? It can have an impact on people’s health and on their personal life. If they
support a young family or if they are a career, you may need to take that into account.
Using technical and specialist CCTV equipment: Are they comfortable using this kit?
Coping with change in the chain of command: Are they OK with reporting to someone who isn’t their usual manager or
who doesn’t normally hold a more senior position in the control room? This may be necessary during an incident.
As part of the selection process you may want to ask candidates to complete specific tests.
1.
Cognitive ability psychometric test includes aptitude tests and mental ability tests, assessing numerical
and verbal/non-verbal reasoning skills.
2.
Personality psychometric test may help to indicate potential responses to tasks. If a candidate scores
highly in conscientiousness, for example, they may be more determined to see tasks through to completion.
3.
Home office English language test to comply with SIA licensing, as control room staff must be able to
communicate competently in English. This test is the required level for that work.
4.
Vision tests. Security officers need good eyesight, with glasses or contact lenses if needed. Visual acuity
tests the clarity of vision. This can be tested wearing glasses or contact lenses if needed. (Candidates will
need vision at least at 6/20 on a Snellen chart, equivalent to reading a car number plate from 20.5 metres).
Dynamic acuity tests eyesight with the head moving up and down as if looking at a screen. A colour vision
test is particularly important if your control room warnings are colour coded. (This test is often done using
the Ishihara 38 Plates.)
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FURTHER READING
• British Psychological Society psychological testing
You may also want to read about Security officers: overview
You may also want to read about Staff recruitment and promotion
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
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Shift lengths and task rotation
People who do shift work may find that it has a detrimental effect on their wellbeing and performance. Supervisors need
to be aware of orientation difficulties for people who change to shifts to a period that they are not used to.
Ideally, people work eight-hour shifts: this can mean they experience less fatigue and stress, and they cope better with
their workload. As a result you may see a decreased risk of errors and accidents. But it’s not always practical to move to
eight-hour shifts and some people will prefer 12-hour shifts to fit in with their other commitments.
It’s best to avoid continuous night shifts (it has been linked to higher risks of heart disease).
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Early
Early
Late
Late
Night
Night
Off
Shift rotation
If possible, rotate people’s shifts from early, to late, to night (for example a pattern might be 2 early, then 2 late, then 2 or
3 nights, followed by a 24 hour break after a night shift). This may reduce the negative effects of shift working.
task rotation
If you need to ensure people remain highly vigilant, it’s a good idea to keep tasks within a shift to 20-30 minutes. Any
longer risks a reduction in their level of vigilance.
You may also want to read about Security officers: overview
You may also want to read about Staff welfare at work
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
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Shift handovers
Handing over from one shift to the next is important: well done, it can make your control room more effective.
Handovers help your situational awareness: a good handover means the people coming on duty will be up to date with
what’s going on in the control room.
It’s important to overlap shifts so that the people going off shift can hand over properly to the people starting the
new shift. The time for handover should be included in people’s paid shift periods.
What information should you share during a shift handover?
If you’re a security officer you will probably cover information such as:
Incidents that happened and were dealt with during the shift that is ended
Incidents that are still ongoing
Changes to staff / contact details
Any technical or site issues
Anything that is unusual or “out of the norm”
How many security officers there are and their duty positions
If you’re a manager, your handover briefing with the next shift manager may be different as it will include information
specific to your role, such as details regarding management of staff and buildings.
Useful tools for handovers
You may find it useful to include screenshots of incidents, sketch maps and bullet point summaries of what’s been
happening.
You may also want to read about Security officers: overview
You may also want to read about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Response staff
You may also want to read about Staff welfare at work
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Staff welfare at work
Taking a break
Just like everyone else, the people on your team – whether they are in the control room or on patrol – need regular
breaks and access to essentials such as toilets, hand-washing facilities and drinking water.
When they take a break, people need to have a place where they can relax, chat and eat their meals, well away from
anything that might contaminate their food.
Safety at work
Where necessary, your security officers need access to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Regular breaks from computer screens will help reduce eye strain, so it’s a good idea to encourage this as a good habit.
Cultural and religious requirements
It’s important to take account of people’s cultural and religious needs, such as fasting during Ramadan, the Jewish
Sabbath or bank holidays.
If the people on your team feel confident that you respect their cultural and religious needs, this can help their motivation
and they are more likely to support your organisation’s security more effectively.
Further reading
• HSE: A brief guide to Working with Display Screen Equipment
• HSE: Welfare at Work
You may also want to read about Rest areas
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Staff recruitment and promotion
Here are some top tips on staff recruitment and promotion.
A job analysis will help you create accurate job descriptions
It’s a good idea to create a list of jobs for each role. This will help you map organisational priorities, write person
specifications, interview questionnaires and design pre-selection tests.
• Consider whether to include observation, interviews and questionnaires when recruiting staff and supervisors.
How many staff do you need, and at which levels?
Site vulnerabilities, risks and threats to your organisation are key factors when you’re looking at the essential
competencies your staff need.
With those defined, you can write a clear person specification describing the key competencies required for a role to carry
out tasks that secure the site.
People are only human
When you’re designing a job, bear in mind that people vary in the way they process information, and how they
share it. How they process and share information can also affect their awareness of situations.
• It can help to think about how people absorb information, particularly when they are under stress, or have
different workload levels.
• When people need to work on tasks as a team, it’s a good idea to introduce clear role divisions.
A structured interview is more effective
Not all organisations have the same priorities – your analysis of the job and the person specification will be specific to
your organisation.
• A structured interview has been found to be more effective one that is unplanned.
• It’s a good idea to have the same people conduct the interviews throughout the selection for a role.
• Structured interviews mean you can apply ratings and checklists to all candidates so the selection process is fairer,
and on their suitability for the job.
Plan ahead for staff sickness and holiday
It’s important to plan ahead for times when people are ill or on holiday; your team should be large enough to cover those
absences. The supervisor needs to understand the tasks covered by each role in order to manage cover during their
absence.
Accreditation: a positive step towards consistent staffing
Schemes such as the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) exist to maintain performance standards, and ensure up-todate training is provided in line with SIA requirements.
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Raise the profile of security staff within your organisation
When your wider organisation sees your security team as an essential part of the whole organisation, it can increase
your team’s effectiveness.
Good relationships with all departments can give your team members a wider overview of situations and security
concerns on the site. This can also help to build trust, so that people feel able to report any security concerns about their
workplace.
Security matters – and so do the people who ensure your organisation’s security
• Security officers’ clothing should be fit for purpose – but it can also fit with the overall image of your
organisation.
• By offering relevant training, you support positive career development and increase the skills base.
• If your security team is to be seen as an essential and respected part of the organisation, they need to be
valued.
• This is more likely if they have a safe and healthy working environment and a clear reward structure.
People work better in a healthy working environment
The right equipment and a healthy work environment can support your security team and help them to be at their best.
HSE guidelines are there to help you provide good working conditions so that your team can be most effective at work.
• It’s important to support your team with the right types of display screen equipment, seating, noise levels, room
temperature and light levels.
Further reading
• HSE: Welfare at Work
You may also want to read about Culture: overview
You may also want to read about Security officers: overview
You may also want to read about CCTV operation
You may also want to read about Recruiting security officers
You may also want to read about Staff training
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Staff training
Training is not just for new recruits. Everyone benefits from training when systems or procedures have been
updated or changed, or to make sure they are up to speed when they return after a long absence.
Topics you will need to cover during training include:
• security systems
• operating procedures
• alarm response procedures.
Exercises
It’s important to carry out security exercises regularly (at least once a year) to help you spot any gaps in your
procedures and identify areas where training is needed.
Exercises help people in the control room and on the ground to experience a security incident in a safe environment, to
familiarise themselves with response procedures and improve their performance as a team.
You may also want to read about Security officers: overview
You may also want to read about Exercises and simulations: overview
You may also want to read about Follow-up after exercises and incidents
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
You may also want to read about Effective communications
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Roles and responsibilities
Here is an outline of typical roles and responsibilities in the control room. Some roles may be combined into one post.
Your control room policy should offer clear guidance about which role takes priority in certain circumstances.
Security manager (SM)
• Responsible for overall security plan security
• Responsible for delivery of security provisions, long
term physical measurers and staffing numbers
• Liaison to the board level incident room
• Member of the incident room
Deputy security manager (DSM)
• Supports the Security manager
• Responsible for workforce deployment
• Organises operational reposting as required
• Liaison to the board level incident room
• Member of the incident room
Control room supervisor
• Manages day to day functions of the control room staff
• Deploys personnel within the control room
• Responsible for initial response to fast acting incidents
• Liaison to the incident room
• Escalates incidents to Incident rooms status
• Produces report to DSM or SM
Incident liaison officer
• To co-ordinate with the incident room when stood up
• The liaison officer will need to be separate from the
control room supervisor, who will be running the control
room during any incident.
Loggist
• Logs security issues as and when they arrive
• Logs alarms activations / cancellations and reasons why
• Logs decisions made
• Logs potential security issues, such as hostile
reconnaissance
• Produces daily reports for control room supervisor
Communications officer
• Monitors and manages a dedicated radio channel
• Passes radio messages to the loggist
• Escalates issues to the control room supervisor
Integrated security systems officer
• Responsible for operation of the integrated security
system (Intruder Detection Systems, CCTV)
• Escalates incidents to the control room supervisor
• Passes information to the loggist
Logging
• You’ll need two logs – a daily log and a decision log.
They can be electronic logs, but it’s good to have a paper
logbook in case of system failure.
• The daily log records events that have happened
throughout the day, such as an attempted intruder;
CCTV system down; alarm activation on PIDS zone.
• The decision log is kept for management or incident
response and records the decisions taken.
You may also want to read about Incident management
You may also want to read about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Response staff
You may also want to read about Response and decision-making criteria
You may also want to read about Exercises and simulations: overview
You may also want to read about Follow-up after exercises and incidents
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Map essentials
One of the control room’s essential tools is the map.
Any map that you use and share with your team needs to be relevant, simple and consistent. This will help you
effectively direct security officers and response teams to the location of an incident. And it will also help you direct people
away from danger and towards a place of safety.
Remember to correlate your map with emergency plans, especially when you are creating an internal building map
showing security features.
It’s important to make sure that all the people and electronic management systems have the same map(s) – and the
same view (portrait or landscape).
Top tips to bear in mind when you create maps for the
control room team and security officers on the ground
1.
Keep it simple. Make sure everything on your map is
essential, and don’t clutter it with anything irrelevant.
2.
Show where North is. Conventionally it’s pointing
towards the top of the map.
3.
Give the map an informative title. ‘Barley Road CCTV
positions’ is better than ‘Map 37/232’.
4.
Be consistent. Use the same language, points of
reference and search areas across all your maps.
5.
Use a legend (key) to explain colours and symbols.
6.
Show the scale with distances in whole numbers.
Barley Road CCTV positions
N
200m
Always test a new map with users. Their feedback can help you improve the map.
If you’re using a map or data from elsewhere, be sure to credit the source as maps are protected under UK copyright law.
You may also want to read about User interface layout
You may also want to read about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Evacuation plan: overview
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92
Visual warnings
A visual warning that an alarm has gone off needs to be clear, with simple text. Where it appears is important as well – it
needs to catch the security guard’s attention.
Here are our top tips to bear in mind when you’re
creating a visual warning.
1. Keep it simple.
2. Use simple, clear text in a plain font such Verdana
or MS Sans Serif that is easy to read.
3. Use symbols where you can – symbols get the
message across faster than text.
4. Use red for the highest level of warning (everybody
knows the traffic lights colour code);
green indicates safety.
5. If your warning is in black and white, make the words
TWICE the size of warning text in colour.
You may also want to read about Windows and external lighting: overview
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
You may also want to read about User interface: overview
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For example, turning the edge
of the computer screen red will
alert the operator.
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93
Auditory alarms
Alarms should cause alarm! They should be impossible to ignore.
There are often lots of false alarms in control rooms – security officers may tune out from the warning sound if they think
it’s probably a false alarm.
If only one type of alarm sound is used, people are more likely to miss the alarm or ignore it. So think about using
different sounds and speeds for each type of alert.
Here are our top tips to bear in mind when you are creating an auditory alarm.
1.
The more urgent the alarm, the more frequent and faster it should be.
2.
Use a different sound for each type of alert wherever possible.
3.
Consider if adding a verbal warning message to the alarm will be useful.
4.
The alarm should be loud enough to be easy to detect, but not be irritating.
5.
Make sure everyone knows what each alarm sound means.
And don’t overdo it! Too many alarms can mean people ignore them at critical moments.
You may also want to read about Visual warnings: overview
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
You may also want to read about Verification: overview
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Which type of key?
An electro-mechanical key lock is a mechanical key lock with added electronic control and audit function. Elements in
both the key and the cylinder give assurance that the correct key is being used. If an individual key is lost, its details can
be removed from the system so you don’t have to replace the entire suite of locks on the site. This also means you can
enable timed or one-off access for visitors.
Electronic keys are issued and programmed at a computer or programming station. Ideally this is a function for the
site’s pass office rather than the control room. Where the control room has to cover this function, you should make
sure that issuing and programming of electronic keys is done on a dedicated computer station with access restricted to
properly trained and cleared personnel. All staff dealing with electronic locks should be briefed on proper use and care of
electro-mechanical keys and locks.
Lost keys are less of a problem with electro-mechanical locks – simple reprogramming can usually
invalidate a lost key.
A master key system will help to control access at varying levels to authorised users. Typically it will comprise:
1.
2.
3.
Grand Master – unlocks all doors
Sub Masters – for doors on individual floors or zones
Standard – individual room keys, each specific to one door.
Further reading
• CPNI Key control
• CPNI Secure destruction of sensitive items
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
You may also want to read about User interface: overview
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Key control
As with anything that might risk distracting security officers from their main tasks, the task of holding and issuing keys
for access to the site should (in an ideal situation) be kept away from the control room.
If your answer to the next three questions is ‘No’, it probably makes sense to assign part or all of the key
control task to the control room.
1.
Do you have a pass office issuing electronic passes? They will be ideally placed to deal with the issuing and
control of keys.
2.
Can you site key issue and control elsewhere, such as an operations room?
3.
Can access to different areas of the site be controlled by technology? If so, what security is needed for that
system?
Next, consider these questions:
• Which keys need to be held within the control room?
• Does it make more sense for the control room only to deal with security-related keys? And for other operations and
convenience keys to be held elsewhere?
Key control and issue is NOT just a casual responsibility, dealt with by whoever is not busy at that moment. It’s best to
assign the specific role of key control and issue to one post.
Key control and audit
When a key is lost or a lock is compromised, your site’s security is also at risk. Consider where each key should be
held, and the asset it is protecting and level of protection it needs.
A master key system will help to control access at varying levels to authorised users. Typically it will comprise:
• Grand Master (unlocks all doors)
• Sub Masters (for doors on individual floors or zones)
• Standard (individual room keys, each specific to one door).
Your key control policy should cover each category of key (Grand Master, Sub Master, Standard), and the issuing and log
requirements for each type of key.
With careful planning, you can limit the number of high security keys (and thus limit the cost) so these locks are
strategically placed rather than installed on every door.
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96
Key control and issue is a significant drain on resources in the control room
It’s useful to think of the impact of key control and issue on the work of the control room team when you are
designing your key control policy.
Key control and issue are dealt with elsewhere (not by the control room team).
Keys are personally issued to individual people for long periods; control room staff may have to
keep a log of keys issued.
Keys area kept locally at each door, in a key safe (codes known to users and/or control room).
Control room issues security keys; less critical ‘convenience keys’ (e.g. to store room or
cleaners’ cupboard) issued elsewhere.
Control room issues all keys, and keys are mustered at the end of the day.
rules for key control
If your control room is responsible for key control, there are some essential rules to observe
1.
Define your policy for control and distribution of keys and locks – and limit access to approved users.
2.
High security keys should never leave the building they protect.
3.
Restrict the number of keys issued to the minimum.
4.
You should know where each key is at all times. Unless issued, they should be kept securely (eg in a key-keeper
cabinet).
5.
Only release keys to an approved user.
6.
Whenever a key is issued, log that event with date, time and person to whom it was issued.
7.
Instruct users never to lend keys to anyone else and to store them out of sight.
8.
You’ll need a policy and process for dealing with lost keys and replacing locks. It’s important to specify if spares are
held on site with sufficient keys for all authorised users, or whether a supplier is on call to cover the work.
9.
Locks and keys that are no longer needed should be disposed of securely.
10. Every 6-12 months, it’s a good idea to carry out a random muster of all keys to check that each one is still with the
person who signed them out.
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Further reading
• CPNI Key control
• CPNI Secure destruction of sensitive items
You may also want to read about Personally identifiable information: internal review
You may also want to read about Personally identifiable information: external review
You may also want to read about Monitoring the control room
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Exercises and simulations: overview
You may also want to read about Staff training
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Other control room functions
Time away from CCTV monitors is essential for all security officers: too long staring at CCTV screens can lead to
fatigue, loss of concentration and even boredom.
Shadowing colleagues
When you shadow colleagues it can help everyone involved: you can form good working relationships and
gain a broader understanding of roles and procedures.
Shadowing colleagues on the ground can improve communication between the teams. Walking the plot with
the security officers who patrol there every day can help you understand how each camera view relates to the
real ground. Whether you’re in the control room or on the ground, it helps to know the position of each camera
and this can then improve communication between teams during incidents.
Other computer tasks
There will also be other work-related tasks that everyone in the control room will need to do, such as completing
timesheets and answering emails. These are best done at non-CCTV computers to avoid distracting colleagues.
Distractions
If security officers are also required to carry out non-related administrative or reception tasks, these should be done
away from the main control room to avoid distracting the rest of the control room. These tasks could include:
• attending car parks
• managing lost property
• answering phones
• managing reception
• receiving personal deliveries.
It’s worth considering whether these tasks are a good use of security officers’ time: you may find it is more costeffective to employ an administrative person to cover them.
You may also want to read about Types of guard force and control room: overview
You may also want to read about Control room: overview
You may also want to read about CCTV screens: overview
You may also want to read about Windows and external lighting: overview
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
You may also want to read about User interface: overview
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4. Incident response
Incident response plan: overview
An incident response plan should include:
1.
Information specific to the site
2.
Escalation procedures
3.
Who is in overall control and makes decisions
4.
Who responds to an incident
5.
Where to move to during an emergency
6.
Evacuation procedures.
Read more about Incident response plan
You may also want to read about Incident management
You may also want to read about Response and decision-making criteria
You may also want to read about Response: overview
You may also want to read about Evacuation plan: overview
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100
4. Incident response
Verification: overview
In some cases, when an alarm is triggered an automated, low level response can be deployed automatically.
Verification may be done:
• by CCTV – this is the most common way to confirm a perimeter or automated alarm.
• by a human – a security officer on the scene can give a richer picture; they can interact with the scene, ask questions
and interpret behaviour.
• All alarms should be verified as either a false alarm or a real alarm.
Be aware that repeated false alarms may be ignored – and could lead to people ignoring the alarm that is triggered by an
event.
Read more about Verification
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Escalation: overview
You may also want to read about Response: overview
You may also want to read about Evacuation plan: overview
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4. Incident response
Escalation: overview
Escalations procedures should be written with clear, consistent language. Incident levels should be useful words that are
clear to people without specialist knowledge – High, Medium, Low and Information.
An incident management checklist should be available.
Structures and reporting lines should be clear. These may differ for day and night shifts. Reporting lines may be
different for varied events.
Security officers should be encouraged to report incidents – they have the responsibility and autonomy to report issues.
Short reporting lines minimise the likelihood of information being altered between the incident and the top of the
reporting line.
Read more about Escalation
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Verification: overview
You may also want to read about Response: overview
You may also want to read about Evacuation plan: overview
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4. Incident response
Response: overview
The response to an incident should be proportionate and necessary.
If you need to bring in other agencies, you’ll want to take account of each agency’s powers, policies and limitations.
You should log actions, hazards and decisions. This may be useful for the lessons learnt and evidence.
Be consistent when you decide what takes priority – saving lives will usually be at the top of the list.
You may also want to read about Response and decision-making criteria
You may also want to read about Response staff
You may also want to read about Incident management
You may also want to read about Evacuation and critical staff
You may also want to read about Surrendering to and retaking from other agencies
You may also want to read about Evacuation plan: overview
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103
Evacuation plan: overview
Each site should have an evacuation plan that covers:
1.
a full site evacuation – all staff evacuate to the nearest exit, or are directed to exits away from an area that is
currently dangerous
2.
an evacuation based on role or criticality of job, determined by the control room.
Each evacuation plan should include a simple map on the wall with information about exit throughputs. This helps the
control room to manage an evacuation.
Different incidents may require different evacuation orders.
If staff need to be evacuated based on role or criticality of job, their roles and posts will need to be assessed first and
mapped against a specific set of incidents.
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Response and decision-making criteria
You may also want to read about Response staff
You may also want to read about Evacuation and critical staff
You may also want to read about Surrendering to and retaking from other agencies
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4. Incident response
Debriefs: overview
Every person involved (at each level) should be debriefed after an incident or an exercise. If someone involved has been
negatively affected, you may need to offer support.
Managers should consider any lessons learnt and update plans accordingly to improve future responses.
Hot debriefs take place within an hour of the incident. You should try to:
• establish ‘Who, What, Where?’ while information is still fresh in people’s memory
• record the facts (though different people’s views of the facts may conflict)
• note opinions about the incident.
Cold debriefs occur once the incident is over. Generally, they:
• collate details or evidence that may inform the final report
• provide conflicting accounts as people begin to forget details and maybe fill in gaps.
Read more about Post-incident debriefs
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Media and outside
communications: overview
A good relationship with the media is useful: the media knows they are welcome to receive information, but understand
their responsibilities.
If you provide a dedicated area of the site for members of the media to witness events, it can help the control room
to monitor their access and keep people safe.
When you keep local residents informed about an incident, it can help build trust. If local people know you will update
them, it may mean that fewer people will come to the site for more information.
Mass messaging (such as a phone line with a prepared message) may be useful in this situation.
You may also want to read about Incident management
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Escalation: overview
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106
Incident response plan
When developing a security plan, sites will need to take into account the culture and risk appetite of the organisation,
and any organisation-wide security policy decisions. Individual sites will then need a site specific plan, detailing where to
move to during an emergency, site specific evacuation procedures etc.
There should be a clear understanding of who is in overall control during an incident. All staff should know who
has the authority to make decisions. This may change between business-as-usual and an incident, but the change of
authority should be clearly communicated.
Your site policy for the incident room should define how long an incident can run for before it is escalated. For example:
Duration
Measures
Up to 1 hour
Managed by on duty staff
1 – 4 hours
• Escalated to ongoing incident; additional functions dropped to increase staffing levels
• Admin staff allowance, refreshments provided
• Notify the team that they may have to work additional hours
4 – 8 hours
• Additional staff bought in
• Notify families that staff may be delayed due to the ongoing incident
8 – 24 hours
• Extra facilities staff brought in, for example kitchen staff to provide more meals
Over 24 hours (if
threat dealt with)
• Incident now a long term issue – moves to rebuild / re-secure project
• Incident room stood down
• Control passed to facilities team
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Response: overview
You may also want to read about Verification: overview
You may also want to read about Escalation: overview
You may also want to read about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
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Incident management
When an incident occurs, it may be necessary to inform staff both on and off site. Those remaining on site will need to know:
• What their role is
• The role of any external teams called to the site
Always keep acronyms and site-specific jargon to a minimum. This helps keep communication between both
internal and external parties clear.
Informing staff and families
Inform staff about the incident and what they should do (if anything). If the incident occurs out of business hours, it helps
if you have a pre-planned communication route, for example each manager is responsible for contacting their team.
Remember these three key points:
1.
2.
3.
Keep information clear and concise.
Inform staff on other sites.
Update staff when necessary.
Informing the media
A good relationship with the media is beneficial: they know that they will be kept updated with relevant, timely
information, but with an understanding of their responsibilities during an ongoing incident. Having a dedicated area of
the site where the media can witness events can also help you to control access.
Informing local residents and stakeholders
Informing local residents and stakeholders about an incident helps maintain a good relationship and generates trust: they
will know that an incident is being dealt with, and what action, if any, they need to take. If people trust that you’ll keep
them informed, this may mean fewer people contacting or coming to the site directly to find out what’s going on.
You can pre-plan this kind of mass communication with these groups by simple means such as a phone line with a
prepared message, or bulk text messaging.
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Response staff
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
You may also want to read about Effective communications
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Response and
decision-making criteria
The response to an incident or operation should be proportionate and necessary. When you are working to develop
an incident response strategy, the partners involved should consider the policies, responsibilities and powers that are
available to help resolve it successfully.
Where a multi-agency response is required, check if partner agencies have any specific powers, and policies that they
are required to follow. You may find that your partner agencies have greater (or more limited) powers to undertake a
specific role in the response.
Health and Safety
All partnership agencies have a duty in law to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and other relevant
statutory provisions and recognised codes of practice to provide, as far as is reasonably practicable, a safe working
environment.
• Those in command are responsible for ensuring that health and safety risk assessments have been completed for all
tasks, and that safe systems of work are in place and communicated to all staff.
• Managers should understand and be able to supervise the health and safety risk assessment process.
• During an incident, an on-the-spot assessment of the hazards should be undertaken and noted in a risk assessment
document to provide an audit trail. (Note that this on-the-spot risk assessment is not a substitute for a formal risk
assessment for all anticipated scenarios.) All risk assessments should be regularly reviewed.
• The person recording the assessment should record any health and safety decisions made during an incident.
decision-making criteria
Sometimes during an incident a choice has to be made between two competing sets of priorities.
To take these decisions swiftly and effectively, you need to apply a consistent set of criteria to help you to prioritise
correctly.
priorities to consider when making decisions
It’s a good idea to assign priorities in accordance with a basic hierarchy like this:
1. Personal safety – threat to life and possible medical issues or consequences
2. Event success – issues that could affect the outcome (operational success) of an event, including how
the community would respond to the event
3. Media impact – issues that could have high media and broadcast visibility or significant impact on the
your organisation’s reputation
4. Financial – issues that could have a significant financial impact
5. Clients – issues that affect your organisation’s relationships with client groups.
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You may also want to read about Types of guard force and control room: overview
You may also want to read about Control room: overview
You may also want to read about CCTV screens: overview
You may also want to read about Windows and external lighting: overview
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
You may also want to read about Technical integration: overview
You may also want to read about User interface: overview
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4. Incident response
110
Verification
When an alarm is triggered, an automated low level response can be deployed in some situations. If an alarm needs a
more committed or costly response then it needs to be verified.
All alarms should be verified and recorded, whether they are real or false alarms.
Verification by CCTV is the most common way to check what triggered a perimeter or automated alarm.
When the alarm is triggered, the CCTV display will automatically show the related view. For this to work properly:
1.
2.
3.
4.
CCTV and alarm systems must be accurately linked or cross-referenced.
CCTV picture quality needs to be fit for purpose. (Do you need to spot someone on the scene, or do you need
to see what is happening in more detail?)
Lighting or infra-red illumination should be in place to give the required visibility.
Pre-event footage, if needed, must be good enough quality (resolution and frame rate) for security officers to
understand what is happening.
Verification by thermal imager will probably show not enough detail to help resolve an alarm, as details in the picture
are lost and it is harder to interpret. Most views of a fence line will look very similar, especially at night, so it’s important
to display CCTV camera numbers and PIDS zones on the screen.
Verification by a human can give a richer picture than verification by CCTV. People can interact with the scene, ask
questions and interpret behaviour when they are on the spot. If there is no CCTV coverage of the area or interest, or if
more information is needed, a security officer may be deployed to verify an alarm. Before you send a security officer to
an alarm notification, consider if it’s safe to do so, particularly if it looks like it may be a site attack.
When someone reports an incident directly to the control room, this information should be recorded and assessed
immediately then, if credible, followed up with verification by CCTV or a security officer.
Repeated false alarms
If there are repeated false alarms, people can be lulled into a false sense of complacency. So the causes of regular false
alarm should be investigated. Often it will be due to an incorrectly installed or configured system or an inappropriate use
of technology. Make sure these problems are dealt with as soon as possible.
False alarm rate
The number of false alarms you are likely to experience will vary. One factor is the length of your site’s perimeter and the
proportion of security guards on patrol per km of perimeter.
If there are too many false alarms, the people monitoring the system will be unable to cope – they may simply
ignore an alert, or silence the alarm but not investigate it, or find ways to inhibit the alarm.
Generally, between 5 – 10 false alarms per day / per km of perimeter monitored by the detection system is acceptable
and achievable without overloading the people monitoring CCTV screens.
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111
Dealing with false alarms
You may need to consider inhibiting an alarm during working hours (for example a door contact) or the retuning
the system to allow for local conditions. Sometimes during bad weather, false alarms are excessively high and it is
acceptable to inhibit an alarm – but this should happen no more than 5 times (24 hour period) a year. If your system is
false alarming more than these values, check the installation or consider changing it.
• If an alarm is verified as a false alarm, this should be logged and details of the cause noted.
• Don’t ignore repeat false alarms: escalate and investigate.
Dealing with true alarms
With true alarms, what happens next will depend on the type of incident.
If the incident is static, for example a VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device), verification will be a simple
task. The control room can then pass the management of the incident to the Incident room, allowing the control room to
focus on their work.
If the incident is a complex or a fast-moving attack, the control room may well need to deal with the immediate
response rather than escalate it to the incident room.
You may also want to read about Visual warnings: overview
You may also want to read about CCTV operation
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Escalation: overview
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112
4. Incident response
Escalation
It’s important to define levels of incident and clear procedures for escalation.
• Escalation procedures should be written with clear, non-specialist language that is clear to everyone.
• Incident levels can usefully be defined in everyday terms: High, Medium, Low and Information.
• Security officers have a ‘crib sheet’ version for quick reference.
a sample escalation plan
Level
Definition
High
Medium
CRISIS
INCIDENT
• A situation that results / may result
in: serious harm to people, substantial
damage to property or significant disruption
to operations;
A situation which has occurred or is ongoing
that could have a negative impact on
operations
• OR: a situation that has occurred / is
ongoing, that could have a major negative
impact
• Your site has stopped operating or is
severely impacted
What is
happening
• Many/all client groups impacted (including
general public/local community)
• All functions affected
• Major media coverage
• Your site’s operations are impacted;
possible consequences to other
operations / events
• Significant number of client groups
impacted (including general public/local
community)
• Affects a significant number of functions/
sites
• Significant media coverage
Control room
response
Incident room
response
Board level
response
© Crown copyright 2016
Immediate escalation to Incident Room
Immediate escalation to Incident Room
Immediate escalation to Board level + Incident
room set up + Operational management of
incident
Briefing to Board level + Incident room set
up + Operational management of incident +
Strategic management of incident
Strategic management of incident
4. Incident response
Level
Definition
What is
happening
113
Escalation2/3
Low
Info
ISSUE
For information only
• An event that may trigger or escalate an
incident or crisis
No action required
• Operations delayed but no consequences to
other operations / events
• Change to normal operations but with
simple workaround
• Small number of client groups impacted
• Solved on the spot
• Affects a small number of functions or
venues
• Affects a single client, function or venue
• Not visible to the media
• Little media coverage
Control room
response
Incident room
response
Include in daily report
Include in daily report for trend analysis
Perform trend analysis + Ensure issue
is resolved + Where necessary, provide
resources to resolve issue
Perform trend analysis
Board level
response
Know who you report to when there’s an incident
It’s essential that everyone knows who they report to in the event of an incident. If there are different reporting and
escalation structures for daytime and night-time, this should be clearly identified. And make it clear what times when
these become effective (for example, you may need to spell out whether 17.30 comes under the day or night structure).
Incident management checklist
There should be a generic issue / incident checklist available as a reference tool for the security and management
team. This provides a framework for issue resolution and escalation, and should include:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Potential need to escalate for information or action
Impacts for liaison officers in the Control Room
Impacts for other sites
Impacts on any other partners
Corporate impacts
Reputation impacts in the media
The need for further analysis
The need to share information with delivery partners
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a clear organisational chart
It’s important to have a clear organisational chart available: this helps with the escalation and management of incidents.
It should detail all security stakeholders (in the security team and beyond) and how they relate to each other.
Stakeholders outside the security department may include the operations department, facilities management, senior
board, external agencies, regulators, media outputs, intelligence inputs and so on.
All staff need to be clear about the procedures for escalating
incidents
Here are some key points to bear in mind when planning how to escalate an incident:
• A clear reporting process identifies what is required of each member of the team during an incident.
• Short reporting chains reduce the risk of information being lost or altered between the original report and the
top of the reporting line.
• Depending on the type of incident, you may need different reporting lines. Sometimes you may find that
advice on handling the event comes from a colleague, not a manager.
• Security officers can be encouraged to report issues and incidents by reminding them that they have both the
responsibility and the authority to do so.
• Some events don’t need to be escalated as they can be managed by on-site supervisors. However, it needs to
be clear what types of event fall into this category, and the list reviewed regularly.
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
You may also want to read about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Incident management
You may also want to read about Verification: overview
You may also want to read about Response staff
You may also want to read about Evacuation and critical staff
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Response staff
The response to an incident may require staff levels over and above business-as-usual operations. You should
prepare for this increase in incident planning.
Roles that may need a surge in staff should be identified in advance. As well as security officers you may need to plan for:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Managers (security officers will be less effective if their managers are tired)
Admin staff
Facilities management
Catering staff
Other departments will need to understand what will be required of their team during an incident, so they can plan
accordingly.
• IT support and maintenance may need additional staff or longer hours to support the control room during an incident
• While facilities management may not need additional staff, they may require a call out function in order to prepare and
support an incident room.
• While 24 hour catering may not be practical, catering staff may need to work later to provide an evening meal, for
example. Where an incident runs through the night, you may need to nominate someone to bring food and drink to the
incident room to maintain staff performance levels.
During an incident, normal rotation of staff will probably be halted and those who are in post at the start of
the incident will remain in position. It’s worth bearing in mind that:
• During periods of heightened alert staff can maintain focus longer than during business and usual activity.
• If the same people remain in position, situational awareness will be higher.
• You may need fewer staff in total if rotation is not taking place (as there are no staff ‘between posts’). This can
free people to man an incident room.
If it can be done securely, it can be a good idea to have incident room members join the discussion by tele/video
conference. This may be particularly useful at board and strategic level, or at the beginning of an incident. It can allow
decisions to be made and implemented much more quickly than waiting for people to reach the incident room in person.
It may be useful to have jackets or tabards (with names on the back or front, or name badges) so that everyone
is easily identifiable in the incident management room. This is particularly important in a large organisation where
people may not know each other or when you are working with outside agencies.
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Response staff 2/2
You may also want to read about Network function
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
You may also want to read about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
You may also want to read about Shift lengths and task rotation
You may also want to read about Evacuation and critical staff
You may also want to read about Incident response plan
Go to 4. Incident response
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117
4. Incident response
Evacuation and critical staff
full evacuation
If a full site evacuation is ordered, you may want to declare an ‘evacuate to the nearest exit’ order, or to have the control
room manage the evacuation.
1.
Staff are directed to a specific exit or away from an unusable exit.
This approach should be used if a specific section of a site is currently dangerous or a given route would lead to staff
becoming trapped. You need to have assessed routes and exits in advance for this type of evacuation, so that you
know how many staff can use an exit safely in a given timeframe, and the number and distribution of staff across the
site.
To manage this kind of evacuation, the control room needs a simple map on the wall with information about exit
throughputs. This will enable them to decide which exits to open and which to keep closed to maintain a secure
perimeter.
2.
Staff are evacuated based on criticality of role. To enable this, roles should be assessed and mapped against a set
of potential incidents, as different incident types may require different evacuation orders. For example:
Evacuation order
1.
Incident: Protestors intent
on damage
2.
Cleaning and facilities
management staff
Admin staff
3.
4.
5.
Operations staff
Maintenance staff
Security staff
STaged evacuation
A staged evacuation allows the minimum number of people to be evacuated for a given incident, and allows the
fastest possible return to normal operations after an event.
Bear in mind that some staff may need to ‘lock and leave’ (prepare for evacuation and then leave) rather than leave
immediately.
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Response and decision-making criteria
You may also want to read about Escalation: overview
You may also want to read about Surrendering to and retaking from other agencies
You may also want to read about Incident management
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Surrendering to and retaking
from other agencies
To manage some events you may need the support of other agencies.
You’ll need to decide what will be taken over (for example, control of an ongoing incident) and what will not be taken
over such as safety functions of the plant.
All staff, regardless of their reporting lines, have a duty to report and escalate incidents: the route for that escalation may
vary depending on the situation (an active shooter would demand rapid escalation; a protest incident might at first be
managed by the existing control room).
Here are some points to bear in mind.
Keep communication and roles clear
1.
Create a clear procedure for surrendering control to external partners. And practise using it during
exercises.
2.
Agree on common terminology to aid communication across agencies.
3.
Provide clear briefings to the new agencies. Appoint an individual from the site to do this.
4.
Ensure that there is a formal handover of control to the new agency and that roles of all staff are clear.
(Everyone needs to understand that their original roles may change when external agencies are on site.)
5.
Log issues as they arise, so that they can be avoided during future incidents.
When the incident is over and you retake control from external parties, they should similarly give you a clear
briefing and formally hand over the control to your team.
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
You may also want to read about Shift lengths and task rotation
You may also want to read about Personally identifiable information: external review
You may also want to read about Response staff
You may also want to read about Incident management
You may also want to read about Evacuation and critical staff
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Post-incident debriefs
A post-incident debrief is an opportunity to reflect on and learn from an incident, so that everyone can improve responses
in the future.
Hot debriefs review the response immediately after the event, while cold debriefs take place a little after the event,
allowing time to collate any further information required for inclusion in a final report.
The sooner a debrief occurs, the more likely it is that witnesses will remember the facts as they happened.
People lose a lot of detail about what they witnessed within 20 minutes of an event being witnessed, and
this process continues over time.
So it is logical that people can often recall considerably more detail is likely they are asked to describe what
happened as soon as possible after an incident occurs.
Keep witnesses separate. When people start to discuss incidents in a group, facts can become blurred as each
individual’s own memories converge towards a consensus view of what happened.
The human mind tends to unconsciously “fill in the gaps” when questioned if there is no clear memory of the details.
Witnesses may inadvertently create memories so that what happened makes sense to them.
green or red? A true story
People witnessed an individual fleeing from the scene of a crime at night time holding a
petrol can. The witnesses saw this under high pressure sodium lighting.
When questioned, some of the witnesses (primarily those over 45) reported that the petrol
can was red. Others, mainly those under 45, said it was green.
In fact, under this type of lighting, the can would not present a definite colour, so the
witnesses unconsciously filled in the gaps from their memory.
The older witnesses ‘knew’ the can was red because when they were growing up petrol
cans were always red. The younger witnesses assumed the can was green because that
has been the standard colour for petrol cans since unleaded petrol became the norm.
Hot debriefs
These are the main things to bear in mind for hot debriefs. They should:
1.
Take place within an hour of the incident.
2.
Establish what occurred and where it happened.
3.
Be factual as opposed to being based on individual opinion.
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It’s important to ensure that anyone involved is not negatively affected. If staff have been distressed, it may be
necessary to offer support. This may include sending staff home. In that case, you may need to draw on extra staff as laid
out by any existing contingency plans regarding staff illness or absence.
It may be useful to make a template for use in a hot debrief. This can help the witness to provide answers to the main
Who?/What?/Where? questions about the incident while the information is still fresh in their memory. It’s also a good
way to ensure that all staff are asked for the same basic information.
Cold debriefs
Cold debriefs happen after the incident is over. They allow you to collate any further details or evidence that may support
the final report.
Bear in mind that cold debriefs may provide conflicting accounts. Managers will need to be aware that:
• There are likely to be differences in people’s accounts and variations from the reports provided at the time of hot
debrief.
• These differing accounts are those individuals’ perceived memories (not intentionally wrong information) as witnesses
begin to forget details and ‘fill in’ gaps.
You may also want to read about Training: overview
You may also want to read about Exercises and simulations: overview
You may also want to read about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Staff welfare at work
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Follow-up after exercises and incidents
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121
Exercises and simulations:
overview
Exercises and simulations help your team to understand what is suspicious and how to respond.
It’s a good idea to practise typical scenarios faced by the organisation. An exercise should:
•
•
•
•
include control room staff, ground force and external agencies where possible
incorporate elements such as communications, handover and escalation
reflect real incidents
include test scenarios where the unexpected can occur.
Table top exercises help staff practise scenarios within a secure environment and can improve performance during a real
incident.
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Exercises and simulations: overview
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Read more about Exercises and simulations
You may also want to read about Planning exercises
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Staff training
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
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122
5. Exercises
123
Planning exercises
When you’re planning exercises – and when you’re carrying them out – it’s important to remember that the site still has
to function normally.
Keep watch for real incidents
While some of your team are carrying out exercises, you still need security officers to maintain vigilance in case a real
incident happens. Make sure everyone knows how any incident should be managed.
Spell out your expectations. Be clear when the exercise is starting. Be specific about whether you are testing the
response, or whether you are starting from a point where the response has already occurred.
Plan your staffing requirements
You’ll need more people on shift so that the site’s day-to-day running is not affected while people are carrying out the
exercise.
You may need to plan for additional contingency staff to cover for people who need time off after completing the exercise.
If some people offer to carry on working after they finish the exercise, consider whether this is a good idea. Will they be
too tired, less alert? How will it affect their shift pattern?
As you plan your exercise, bear these points in mind:
1.
Staff welfare is important so make sure that everyone has access to refreshments and toilet breaks
during the exercise.
2.
Do you need more room? You may need more space to cover the admin and direct the exercise.
3.
It’s useful to log the exercise to inform forward planning and technical maintenance requirements.
4.
Be aware of other exercises. There may be other exercises such as fire drills planned.
Media and visitors
You may want to give advance warning to local businesses and the media about exercises, and to brief them during real
incidents.
If appropriate, consider having a clearly designated area where media and VIPs and authorised visitors can watch the
incident as it unfolds. This area should be situated away from the working areas to avoid distracting people from their
work on the site and in the control room.
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Planning exercises
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You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Staff training
You may also want to read about Roles and responsibilities
You may also want to read about Effective communications
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
Go to 5. Exercising
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5. Exercises
125
Exercises and simulations
Exercises and simulations of different potential events are an important part of continuing professional
development.
They help your team develop a consistent approach to situations, to understand what is suspicious within a
particular environment, and to familiarise themselves with different working structures.
By exercising typical scenarios, you can test work practices, procedures and individual roles within each incident.
Training should cover each role’s part in:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Communications
Logging
Escalation
Handover
Operating procedures
Security systems
Alarm response procedures
Who takes part?
You’ll need to include security officers who work in the control room and on the ground, as well as external agencies
(where possible).
What should you cover?
• At guard level, e.g. training in specific technology
• At individual technology / machine level, for example testing alarms
• At systems level, eg penetration testing
Remember to test fall back systems as well as the main system.
Where should you carry out exercises?
It’s important to carry out training on site so that it reflects real incidents in the place that your team is responsible for
securing.
When and how often should you carry out exercises?
It’s useful to practise incidents that need both internal and external involvement. Establish a schedule for exercising, and
involve agencies that would be expected to take part. So you might agree to practise:
•
•
•
•
•
Major incidents every 5 years (with external agencies)
Site wide incidents every 2 years (up to board level participants)
Incident room exercise once a year
Table top external exercise every 2 years (with CTSA involvement, no wider agencies)
Table top incident room once every 6 months (internal participants only)
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126
Table top exercises are a useful way to practise scenarios in a secure environment, and they can help people to perform
better when faced with a real incident. Always monitor table top exercises in real time.
Humans are not always logical
So it’s a good idea to test scenarios where the unexpected happens, and in different circumstances, such as:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Busy periods
Operations systems at full load
Operations systems at half load
Different phases of a constructions period
Practice with Gold and Silver command structures so that security officers understand the reporting routes and are
comfortable with this type of communication.
Bronze responsibilities include tactical roles; silver is more procedural. Usually this means that supervisors contact
bronze counterparts, and the head of security communicates at silver level.
Always keep a log of the training: this will list actions and decisions taken (and any gaps encountered).
It’s a good idea to practise post incident events such as report writing, investigations and lessons learnt from time to
time.
You may also want to read about Follow-upa terexercisesandincidents
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Threat: overview
You may also want to read about Staff training
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Resilience: overview
You may also want to read about Maintenance and repair
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5. Exercises
127
Follow-up after exercises
and incidents
Training exercises are also an opportunity to examine any gaps in procedure or technology. It’s important to combine this
with a culture of no blame, as this can be an effective way to maintain robust systems.
Always follow up after you’ve carried out an exercise, simulation, table top exercise or other event.
Everyone benefits from a learning culture: the feedback you get can highlight gaps in procedures or pinpoint
where training is needed.
Debriefs after the exercise/simulation help people to reflect on and learn from incidents. They can help to
improve future responses.
Examine the log of the exercise/simulation: this will list any gaps encountered, and inform any actions that are needed
to remedy them. Then in the debrief you can discuss communication issues or staffing issues that may have arisen.
Assess the training: you can use standard operations procedures for this.
Did any equipment show up as faulty?
1.
Make sure that maintenance and repair teams get a prioritised list of items that need immediate attention, such as
the CCTV / tech systems.
2.
Report any technology glitches to manufacturers.
You may also want to read about Use case: overview
You may also want to read about Post-incident debriefs
You may also want to read about Maintenance and repair
You may also want to read about Incident response plan: overview
You may also want to read about Staff training
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128
Glossary
Glossary, acronyms and
abbreviations
Here we explain some of the terms used in CPNI’s Control Rooms Guidance.
AACS
Automated Access Control
Systems
An electronic or electro-mechanical system that requiring the entry of personal
identification information before allowing access to people/vehicles/objects to a site.
Access is only granted if this information matches data on the list of authorised
users.
Ambient temperature
The air temperature of an environment or object.
The air temperature around computing equipment should be 16-24 degrees Celsius.
Anti-passback
A security mechanism that prevents an access card/device being used more than
once without its exit being registered by the system – so an entrance card cannot be
shared by two people entering the site at the same time.
ARC
Alarm receiving centres
Off-site monitors of alarms and CCTV systems across multiple sites. The centres
filter activations to prevent unnecessary responses to false alarms, and they alert the
site control room when situations need to be managed.
BMS
Building management
system
An automated system used to maintain a balanced, efficient and workable climate
within the building by monitoring and controlling lighting, temperature and security.
Also alerts relevant staff teams when maintenance or other actions are required.
Biometrics
A device to confirm an individual’s identity using physiological and/or behavioural
measurements.
Bronze
Bronze command
The operational tier of command which controls practical response on the ground
during the management of an incident.
It is the third tier of the Gold / Silver / Bronze structure for response to an
emergency or incident.
CCTV
Closed circuit television
Cameras linked to monitors for surveillance and security monitoring on a site. The
closed circuit limits transmission to a closed group of authorised people.
Comms
Communications
DDA
Disability Discrimination Act
UK legislation that makes it illegal to discriminate against an individual with a
disability with regard to employment, education, transport, provision of goods, and
facilities, premises and services.
Digital footprint
The trail of information left behind whenever you access services online.
This might be passive (your personal information collected passively when search
engines store your search history) or active (when you share information on blogs or
social media).
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Double knock system
A system where a security detecting device has to sense two separate events within
a set time frame before activating an alarm.
DSM
Deputy security manager
Fenestration obscuration
Blocking the possible view through windows in order to prevent hostile surveillance
into the building on a secure site.
Generally done by adding window frosting or installing and using blinds.
Gold
Gold command
The strategic level of command and control during an incident.
At this level policy, strategy and the overall response framework are established and
managed for individual agencies responding to the incident.
It is the top tier of the Gold / Silver / Bronze structure for response to an emergency
or incident.
Haptic
Haptic feedback
Feedback from a device which gives the user enhanced information through their
sense of touch.
For example, a touchscreen mobile phone can be set to vibrate when user touches
areas of the screen to register when a button is pressed and a task activated.
HR
Hostile reconnaissance
Research and investigation into a site by a person/people with hostile intent, who
may use the information to harm the site, the people working there, its assets or
reputation.
HSE
Health and Safety Executive
The government agency that deals with health and safety at work
IDS
Intrusion detection system
A security system which consists of sensors that are able to detect attempts to
compromise a secure area
IED
Improvised explosive device
A ‘home-made’ bomb
Ishihara 38 plates
A series of 38 printed circular images to check whether the viewer has full colour
vision. Usually in a booklet.
Each plate show a circle with coloured dots, and embedded in each circle is a
number or pattern of differently coloured dots in the shape of numbers or patterns.
Depending on the colour combinations, people with specific types of colour blindness
may not be able to distinguish between certain numbers or patterns and the
surrounding dots.
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Lossless compression
Compression of a digital file (reducing the file size) that does not significantly affect
the quality or quantity of the data recovered when the file is unzipped, so all of the
data in the file can be restored.
Lossy compression
Compression of a digital file (reducing the file size) that results in a permanent loss
of data.
This is sometimes acceptable and can be useful when sending a complex image as a
.jpg, for example. It’s up to the sender to decide which is a priority – reduced file size
or retaining the full quality and level of detail of the image.
NPCC
National Police Chiefs’
Council
OR
Operational requirement
A statement of what a site needs in order to fulfil its aims, with a systematic
assessment of possible problems and the solutions required to achieve those aims.
PEN testing
Penetration testing
Testing an organisation’s information security by using techniques and tools to
simulate an attack on that IT system.
PIDS
Perimeter intruder detection
system
An electronic detection system designed to detect and alert when a site’s perimeter
is attacked or crossed. Can be either barrier/fence mounted or free standing.
Prox and PIN
Proximity card and PIN
verification
An access control system that ensures users can only pass through that point if they
swipe or present an authorised magnetic card to the reader and enter the correct PIN
(personal identification number).
PSA
Personal search area
An area where security officers are searching people and their bags
PSIT
Physical security over
information technology
Protecting IT systems from cyber and other risks.
PTZ
Pan-Tilt-Zoom
A type of camera that can be moved and focused by remote control, allowing the
image to follow a moving target or scan a wider area.
Quad screen
A CCTV monitor screen showing four images at the same time in four quarters of
the screen.
Red teaming
Deploying a team set up specifically to test an organisation’s systems and plans.
Their purpose is to identify limitations, risks and vulnerabilities which can then
inform decision making within the organisation.
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Rotakin test
A Home Office-designed test to assess the performance of CCTV security systems.
The main aim is to measure whether a site’s cameras are capable of producing large
enough images of intruders within the video detection zone.
Home Office recommended image screen heights (as a proportion of the available
screen) are:
To detect a moving object or person – 10%; To recognise a moving object or person –
50%; To identify a moving object or person – 100%.
SCR
Security control room
Silver
Silver command
This is the tactical tier of command and control within a single agency that coordinates the response to an emergency or incident.
It is the middle tier of the Gold / Silver / Bronze structure for response to an
emergency or incident.
Situational awareness
Being aware of, and understanding, what’s going on – and what’s the right action to
take in this situation (given what you know about it and what your resources are).
Snellen chart
A chart to test how well you can see at a distance (‘visual acuity’).
It usually shows 11 rows of letters, each row smaller than the one before.
SoP
Standard operating procedure
SM
Security manager
SMS
Safety management system
VBIED
Vehicle-borne improvised
explosive device
A car bomb (or a bomb on any type of vehicle)
Video analytics
Computerised monitoring and analysis of images on CCTV systems
Vigilance decrement
As people get tired in the course of the work, their attention wanes and they are less
likely to detect a person, object or other change in the environment.
This ‘vigilance decrement’ usually happens after 20- 30 minutes of continuous work,
depending on the level of concentration required.
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