What Can Video Solutions Do to Boost Security in Logistics?

Posted by Mark Artis on October 13, 2021

In the past 18 months, shipping and logistics have been dealing with a lot of changes due to the supply chain backlog. Cyberattacks, especially ransomware attacks, have surged in 2020. This isn't something to take lightly as it can be an expensive problem or one that can endanger public health.

Thus, not only do logistics companies need to worry about cybersecurity but also physical security.

How Cyberattacks Affect Logistics Physical Security

According to ZDNet, one trucking and freight logistics company had to shell out $7.5 million to deal with a ransomware incident. The attack forced the company to shut down its IT systems. Unfortunately, the trucking company isn't the only one dealing with threats.

Even the COVID-19 supply chain has encountered enough threats that IBM created a task force devoted to monitoring COVID-19 cyber threats against organizations involved in its supply chain. IBM reports a global phishing campaign that has been targeting the cold chain. For example, vaccines need to be stored in temperature-controlled settings.

The goal of these attacks is to commit cyber espionage and steal information about the vaccines. Fortunately, IBM's researchers intercepted the emails. While these have a cyber component, they affect physical security. Security cannot exist in silos. It demands having a multi-layered cyber and physical security solution.

One of the reasons for the growing cyber threats in logistics is the use of Internet of things devices. While IoT has helped improve safety and productivity, it puts the company at risk for hacks. That's why logistics companies need to choose their vendors carefully.

They need to ask their vendors to sign service-level agreements (SLA) that require vendors to have security processes and complete a risk assessment. The vendor will need to follow security best practices and have an incident response plan on how they will address a security breach. If they don't sign the SLA, then there is no partnership.

It's critical to avoid taking an ad hoc approach to fighting cyber threats as many companies end up doing. To get ahead of the threats, logistics companies need to create a security strategy that includes human factors. Just like any other business risk, they must identify and understand the cyber risks.

They'll want to adopt a cybersecurity framework that takes an IT approach to minimize threats and a physical security approach with video surveillance to watch over operations.

If a hacker breaks into onsite technology, the monitoring operator watching security cameras can report any change in visible equipment and technology behavior before damage occurs. An access control system can manage access to computers that may have vital company information.

4 Ways Remote Video Surveillance Helps Optimize Logistics Security

Logistics companies have huge properties. Security cameras can see far more than security guards patrolling the property. The cost of a security guard multiplies for each person hired. Covering the entire perimeter of the logistics company could require multiple security guards.

While security guards can patrol the area, criminals know how to avoid being seen by them. By the time the security guards notice something is wrong, the suspects are long gone. The security guards have no recording or anything to help them identify the suspect.

Security cameras, on the other hand, can see everything at once including hard-to-access areas. When you combine analytics and human intelligence, it increases the chances trained operators will catch suspicious activity before it happens or as it happens. Logistics security cameras will save everything for reviewing and use as evidence.

The people watching the cameras are located somewhere away from your logistics company in a safe location. You won't have to worry about them running away when they see something happen. Security guards do not have the same kind of training required of law enforcement. In some states, guards receive no training.

Security guards are not equal to police officers. Police trainees undergo months and months of training. Security guards don't. Every state has its own rules for what it takes to be a security guard. You can’t be sure security guards will handle a dangerous situation the way you want them to respond.

Remote video surveillance offers many more advantages aside from being more affordable and effective than security guards. Here are some of the notable ones with which it can help.

1. Deters crime and damage

Video monitoring adds a nice thick layer of security that no other security technology can match. Don't let your company be one of the hundreds that deal with thefts and losses from shipping. With so much happening in your logistics company, you have a lot of things to watch over. Security cameras can be placed anywhere on your property including the loading docks and warehouse.

Additionally, since many trucks come and go on your property, you can add license plate recognition technology to your video surveillance system. The technology records identifying information on all trucks and other vehicles. It confirms that all the drivers and vehicles are who they say they are.

A trained operator watching the cameras can see everyone on the property. They can observe anyone who acts suspiciously. However, be aware that sometimes people committing the crime are employees or vendors. As soon as they see a problem, the operators can issue an audio warning on the speaker system. (If it's integrated into the system.) In some cases, this causes the person to stand down or leave.

At other times, the suspects continue toward their goal of stealing something or causing damage. If this happens, the monitoring operator can call to dispatch police and stays on the line for as long as needed. As the police make their way to the logistics property, the security professional can follow the suspects with a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera. This helps track the suspects for as long as they're within the perimeter where the cameras are located.

When you catch crime before it happens or early in the process, it saves you a lot of money on repairs and replacement. Insurance does not always pay out or quickly enough.

Sometimes, the side effects of the crime force the businesses to temporarily close because the property isn't safe for employees and visitors. Insurance will not likely reimburse you for the cost of lost business due to closure. In turn, it can cause delays and that can lead to penalties.

If the criminals get away before the police arrive, then you have their likeness and other identifying information captured on a recorder. Trained security analysts can review the video and note distinguishing information. This information often results in the suspect's capture.

2. Protects employees and assets

The cameras can see everything including where the employees work, truck entry points, loading docks, parking areas, and more. You'll gain peace of mind knowing that a trained operator has fresh eyes on your logistics business. Unlike security guards who grow tired from the long walks and the long hours, operators work in shifts to avoid fatigue.

If you integrate an access control system with security cameras, you can manage who enters and exits the property. Some areas of the logistics building may have limited access. Access control can manage that too.

All shipped products have a classification with an associated cost. These costs vary based on the product's value, insurance, risk, and other variables. If products are misclassified, then it could cost you more. Video surveillance can help prevent accidental product misclassification. They can check for inconsistencies between billed amounts and package sizes.

Of course, the security cameras can't look inside the cargo. But they can find anomalies to alert the onsite inspector to check the contents of a cargo. Catching these problems can save millions in revenue.

Moreover, video cameras can watch for potential hazards that could put someone at risk for injury or death. The monitoring operators can review the scenes to ensure there are no Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) violations.

It'll be hard for anyone to get away with a false claim when the cameras record and save everything that happens. Catching these violations and hazards before anything happens helps reduce the risk of insurance lawsuits, payouts, and false claims.

3. Prevents internal theft

Employee theft is a huge problem. A report from NBC states that workplace crime costs U.S. companies $50 billion per year. It's a serious problem as internal theft cost businesses an average of $1.13 million in 2016. Limiting access and observing everyone on the property decreases the chances of internal and cargo theft.

Why is employee theft so common and costly? Employees know the security system, company, processes, and all the gaps. Video surveillance will plug those holes points as nothing can escape the eyes of the cameras and the monitoring operator.

4. Increases revenues

Logistics companies typically have shipping managers who need to inspect each trailer before it leaves the loading dock. The purpose is to verify the packages are secure and to determine if the truck can take on more inventory. It's common for a logistics facility to have many dock doors in a standard-sized facility and at least 10 trucks waiting to depart. Yet, there are only a few people available to do the inspections of every shipment.

Because of these inspectors' heavy workload, about 20 percent of the trucks don't get inspected at all for security and inventory size. Any truck that leaves without an inspection is at risk of packages not being secure enough. When this happens, the chances of their arriving at the destination damaged are greater. Full container loads are less likely to encounter damage than less than a container load.

Moreover, these trucks may not be full. So, companies are paying more to carry fewer items. Apparently, the loss of revenue from damage and under-packed trucks is very expensive.

"It goes without saying that shipping goods in FCL (full container loads) is preferable to LCL (less than a container load); it’s safer and more cost-effective," writes AACB. "Also, your goods are loaded according to your specifications in a space that is not shared with other vendor goods. Otherwise, you may experience customs delays through no fault of your own."

A video surveillance system can monitor inspection and shipment size. This will help the shorthanded inspectors do their jobs better as they'll be supported by trained monitoring operators.

Investing in Logistics Security

The right video surveillance system depends on your needs, budget, and other requirements. A security consultant can customize a system that meets your logistics security needs and budget.

A good place to start is with a professional security audit. While video surveillance is a proactive security solution, no security system can work alone. You still want to implement simple, affordable things like fencing and lighting.

Ideally, you want to choose a remote video surveillance company that has worked with the logistics industry. The industry's security requirements differ from other industries' requirements. Security firms with a logistics background understand your biggest threats and vulnerabilities. They can create a solution to overcome them.

Stealth Monitoring has worked with logistics and distribution companies. You will see a faster ROI. To see what can be done for you, pick up your free copy of The Effects of Crime on the Transportation Industry or contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Security Guards & Savings, Video Monitoring