There are seven key issues for a law firm to address when creating a convenient, functional, cost-effective security program for the firm and its clients.
Provide convenient after-hours office access
Legal professionals have always worked long, unpredictable hours, often around the clock. Today, law firms tout their 24/7 operational capabilities. Each office must be secure, yet accessible at all hours of the day and night.
Trained professionals should monitor alarms, propped doors, as well as fire and life safety, and critical systems. Environmental conditions in the server room must also be monitored on a 24/7 basis to prevent damage from high temperatures, humidity, flooding, and power outages.
Protect confidential client records
Traditional lock and key systems are obsolete and ineffective. Firms need an integrated method of tracking access to sensitive areas. Card readers are increasingly positioned outside file rooms, conference rooms, and human resources offices.
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Facilitate card administration and reporting
Access cards must be issued and revoked in real time to reflect new and terminated employees, additional access privileges, or lost cards. Customized disaster recovery, roll call, and activity tracking reports need to be readily available and updated in real-time over the Internet, from any location.
Offer convenient single card access to multiple offices and buildings
Law firms often have multiple offices, and legal professionals frequently travel between them. One card can be programmed to access multiple offices, which reduces card distribution and tracking. In most cases, that same card can also be integrated with each building’s access system.
Integrate security firm-wide
Law firms are increasingly establishing consistent standards for security systems and service across offices. To ensure business continuity, they need a single database of information and an expert who is responsible for all aspects of their security system.
Consider who will run the system
Law firms must perform several critical functions on an ongoing basis to ensure the security system remains functional. Such functions range from issuing and administering access cards to initiating the appropriate response to alarms, programming and operating the system, and upgrading equipment and software. If these functions are not addressed, a security system will fail. Law firms can elect to staff and run the system themselves or they can outsource to experts. With a run-it-yourself system, a firm must create a technological infrastructure and hire or assign staff to perform the requisite functions. With outsourcing, an expert performs each of the various critical functions of ongoing system management on behalf of the firm.