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  • Denied security access.

    Hello all, hope everyone is well. I have come across a problem and am looking for some advice. I work in safety and security at a steel plant. We are all EMT's and also perform security as well. ( In addition to the 100's of other things that we do! lol) Recently we switched security systems to a new system. This system controls access to all buildings, all ID swipes, and the camera system as well. We have never had access to the camera's because the boss says that's a sensitive area and only him and two others (management) are allowed to view. But we use to have access to see card swipes, monitor alarms, and other activity with the old system. Now the boss is refusing to allow us to have access to anything. No access at all. Also he now wants up to write a paper and explain why we think we should be able to have access to the system and what we would use it for. It doesn't really make any sense why people who are given the job of security are not allowed to have access to the security system. Can anyone give advice on this? Thank you.

  • #2
    Articulate the need for card swipe identification for immediate investigation for problems on-site/after-hours, alarms, response, etc. The immediate access to this information could assist in areas with fires, active shooters, and LEO/FD response.
    "The path to paradise begins in hell."
    — Dante Alighieri

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    • #3
      Sounds like the boss thinks the CCTV system is to see who's slacking off and who isn't, and thinks of you guys as potential slackers-off. The system wasn't installed for you, the system was installed for him.

      Are the cameras facing out or facing in? Are there cameras in and around the machines and other work areas, as well as in break areas or areas employees can hide in? Or are they primarily installed in places bad guys could do bad stuff?
      The CCTV Blog.

      "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

      -SecTrainer

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      • #4
        I'm thoroughly confused about your situation, and specifically about what expectations are associated with your job, so let's start from the top with a single question:

        For the moment, forget the cameras. Is monitoring the access control system one of your enumerated or assigned job duties? By this, I do not mean that having access to this information is "helpful" to you. I am asking whether it is either specifically listed as such in your formal job description, or falls under the "other assigned duties" category that most job descriptions include. From your initial post, it doesn't sound like you are being asked or expected to monitor the access control system as one of your job functions per se, but more that having this information has been "useful" in performing your duties.

        The fact that the manager is asking you to justify having access to this information is what makes me think that it must not be part of your job description, or why would he be asking you to justify it? To use an example: If an accountant had to use a database in performing his regular job duties, it would be very odd indeed to then ask him to submit a document explaining why he should be allowed to access the database and what he plans to do with it!

        Just as an aside, a second question I would ask if we were sitting on a stump somewhere in the woods: Has there been an incident at your facility in which information from a security system has fallen into the wrong hands or been misused or misappropriated in some way?

        With respect to cameras, there are some facilities that do have "sensitive" cameras, and access to the video from these cameras is closely controlled. However, the best practice in such cases is to isolate these cameras from the rest of the system. For instance, in the case of IP cameras you'd put the "sensitive" cameras on a separate subnet with its own unique access measures. Normally, you wouldn't allow access requirements for the "sensitive" cameras to drive the decisions regarding access to the rest of the system. This is what we would call "the tail wagging the dog".
        Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-30-2010, 05:54 PM.
        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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        • #5
          Let me clear up some of the confusion. We are responsible for security. We have around 1600 acres. It is a rural setting. We are not armed, nor do we carry any weapons. The mill has numerous camera's inside the mill for department use. OUR department has camera's at entry points and high theft area's. For example we have a camera in our contractor break room in which we have had numerous break ins of the vending machines. We also have camera's in our alloy warehouse which contains half a million worth of stock. We have two primary jobs, treat injured employee's and maintain security. A portion of our property is within a perimeter fence, but the rest is outside the fence. We are excepted to investigate suspicious vehicles and persons on property at all hours of the day. We also participate in employee terminations. If we are in our office, we like to see who is coming and going onsite. It is one of our jobs per our boss. My boss is a huge micro-manager. We have a big turn over rate in our department. The biggest of all departments. I'm not aware of any incident where any information has been leaked or given out (misused).

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          • #6
            Thanks for your reply. However, I am still at a loss to understand specifically who is charged with the task of monitoring your security systems - either by verbal assignment from the department manager, or as a specific duty that is enumerated in someone's job description.

            The question arises because I simply cannot wrap my brain around the notion of a security force being denied access to information being generated by security systems! It would be like telling the medical staff of a hospital who were treating a patient that they weren't allowed to view the patient's medical record because it contains "sensitive information". (Which is why HIPAA - the primary law governing health information security - specifically allows access to the patient's record for purposes of TPO - treatment, payment and operations.)

            This is especially baffling since you indicate that there has been no incident of any kind that would have given the manager a reason to distrust his security staff with such information. There might be a certain subset of the information (e.g. video from those "sensitive" cameras) that would be more closely guarded, but you seem to be restricted from access to information that no legitimate security manager in his right mind would ever withhold from his security staff. If this is an indication of your manager's general thinking process, the turnover you mention doesn't surprise me in the least. "Kindly submit a paper justifying your need for a flashlight, and what you intend to do with it."

            I offer no specific opinion, of course, but in this world of strange and marvelous things it is always necessary to consider the possibility that you're dealing here with the "WN" factor - i.e., your security manager might just be a wingnut. We have as yet found no way to ensure that the lunatics in society are all confined to locked facilities, and consequently some of them are on the loose. Does he, from time to time, imagine himself to be the left front fender from a 1948 Buick, or perhaps a kosher dill pickle? Does he sing tunes from "Jesus Christ Superstar" during staff meetings or speak of himself in the third person? These things are clues of mental aberration, although (especially these days) they would not be considered definitively diagnostic.
            Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-30-2010, 08:08 PM.
            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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            • #7
              My hotels no longer have 24 hour security so we don't have anyone to monitor the cameras most of the day. They are used for investigation purposes after incidents happen. When something happens guests always want to see the video. This is a total waste of time. What do they plan to do after looking at the video, drive around the city looking for the suspect? On fast foreward it takes about 10 minutes to watch 1 hour of video. When a car has been stolen there could be 2 weeks of video to watch. Only the Security Director (on line) & me (from the location) can view the video. This way even if a guest INSISTS he be allowed to see the video, he can't.Thus our Officers can patrol to try & precent further thefts rather than spenidng hours watching video.
              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                Thanks for your reply. However, I am still at a loss to understand specifically who is charged with the task of monitoring your security systems - either by verbal assignment from the department manager, or as a specific duty that is enumerated in someone's job description.

                The question arises because I simply cannot wrap my brain around the notion of a security force being denied access to information being generated by security systems! It would be like telling the medical staff of a hospital who were treating a patient that they weren't allowed to view the patient's medical record because it contains "sensitive information". (Which is why HIPAA - the primary law governing health information security - specifically allows access to the patient's record for purposes of TPO - treatment, payment and operations.)

                This is especially baffling since you indicate that there has been no incident of any kind that would have given the manager a reason to distrust his security staff with such information. There might be a certain subset of the information (e.g. video from those "sensitive" cameras) that would be more closely guarded, but you seem to be restricted from access to information that no legitimate security manager in his right mind would ever withhold from his security staff. If this is an indication of your manager's general thinking process, the turnover you mention doesn't surprise me in the least. "Kindly submit a paper justifying your need for a flashlight, and what you intend to do with it."

                I offer no specific opinion, of course, but in this world of strange and marvelous things it is always necessary to consider the possibility that you're dealing here with the "WN" factor - i.e., your security manager might just be a wingnut. We have as yet found no way to ensure that the lunatics in society are all confined to locked facilities, and consequently some of them are on the loose. Does he, from time to time, imagine himself to be the left front fender from a 1948 Buick, or perhaps a kosher dill pickle? Does he sing tunes from "Jesus Christ Superstar" during staff meetings or speak of himself in the third person? These things are clues of mental aberration, although (especially these days) they would not be considered definitively diagnostic.
                Our front gate shipping person is who will receive any burglar or fire alarm. They will then relay to us. No one monitors the cameras. If something were to happen, they will look at it on the next business day. That's funny that you mentioned a flashlight. We have asked several times for a flash light and he has refused. Says we do not need it. It gets awful dark sometimes. This does explain the high turn over, when we can not get the proper tools to do our job.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SteelEmt View Post
                  Our front gate shipping person is who will receive any burglar or fire alarm. They will then relay to us. No one monitors the cameras. If something were to happen, they will look at it on the next business day. That's funny that you mentioned a flashlight. We have asked several times for a flash light and he has refused. Says we do not need it. It gets awful dark sometimes. This does explain the high turn over, when we can not get the proper tools to do our job.
                  The flashlight thing baffles me on two levels;

                  1. I have never worked for a security company that provided a flashlight. I just took it on myself to buy one so I could be prepared to do my job the best I could.

                  2. If it is to be provided by the company and is not, it shows a great deal of incompetence or mistrust from the manager. When I say mistrust, I mean he appears worried that someone will steal, lose, or break it. Has that been a problem with work gear in the past?
                  A wise son hears his father's instruction,but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. Proverbs 13:1

                  "My “Black-Ops” history ensures that you will never know about the missions I accepted in my younger days, and Vietnam still shudders when it hears the name of a an assasin so skillful and deadly, he is remembered decades later. " G-45

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                  • #10
                    On the one hand I can see where some "controlled" access is necessary. I know access control systems pretty well and there are some parts of the software that only those that understand it should be able to access. This could be done easily by setting up different operator levels and proper permissions given to each.
                    On the other hand I think all employees should have access to the tools that are necessary to do their job and do it efficiently.

                    On the human side of things. Control is one thing that some managers thrive on. The control freaks usually have low opinions of themselves and feel threatened by some of their employees.

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