Safer Federal Workplace – Why Screening is Getting More Difficult

Whether you’re talking about individual facility security teams or the Federal Protective Service as a whole, there’s no question that their responsibilities for screening federal buildings are becoming exponentially challenging. The constantly evolving landscape of new threats, risks, and patron expectations puts these teams in formidable positions of trying to reactively create a safer federal workplace — often with outdated technology.  

To make matters worse, security teams feel the pressure of balancing the thoroughness of their safety protocols with developing a positive experience for the government employees, contractors, and general visitors during the screening process. Longer wait times caused by bottlenecks during pat-down and bag-check stations make unhappy patrons more anxious due to the typical invasion of privacy from a standard check-in.          

So what exactly has caused federal workplace screening to become as difficult as it is today?

Recent Events & Trends Demand New Safety Protocols

Starting with the obvious, we have encountered significant events over the last decade or so that call on new processes and safety protocols during screening. While some of these trends are seen exclusively in the United States, others have had a worldwide presence. 

For instance, the COVID-19 global pandemic caused certain federal buildings to implement stations for checking vaccination statuses. In addition to updating safety plans with these types of controls, facility security teams have now had to account for barriers to screening efficiency such as social distancing and combined effects of limited personnel with the return of larger crowds.

Next, we are more concerned about weapons-based attacks through shootings or bombings as a form of domestic terrorism or other motivation. Specifically, due to the spike in mass shootings over the last few years, federal security teams must show more diligence by investing in elaborate weapons detection systems — demanding a more complex screening process.

Lastly, global conflicts such as the Ukraine-Russia War have put our national-security information at risk through an influx of cyber-attacks. Targeting government agencies and federal contractors, 46% of Russia-backed activity during this time targeted the United States. The physical side of data security puts facility security departments at the forefront to ensure malicious visitors and insider threats aren’t entering certain areas of federal buildings or bringing in unauthorized devices.

Technological Advancements Reshape Expectations

Despite many government buildings still utilizing dated screening technology, with some systems nearly four decades old, modern-day solutions are available to improve security and the visitor experience. Patrons understand this very well, which has caused another challenge for federal workplace screening — adhering to new expectations within a safety plan. 

Everyone entering a federal building wants speed and convenience. These same patrons have some of the most robust and secure technology at their fingertips in smartphones and tablets. Therefore, they demand some of the same capabilities during their screening experience. 

Lucky for security teams, advancements in screening technology can help adhere to some of these expectations. Weapons screening systems, for instance, are becoming elaborate to the point where they can covertly detect potentially threatening objects such as an explosive, blade, or firearm. 

In this scenario, most visitors not carrying anything threatening can walk through the facility with no issues or checkpoints. The embedded system is behind objects like a hallway wall giving off data to the security analysts, so patrons won’t even realize they are undergoing a screening process. Plus, the system will become increasingly sophisticated through artificial intelligence (AI) constantly analyzing more and more environments to provide new and valuable insights.

Keep Your Screening Technology Up-to-Date with MathCraft

Staying current with federal workplace security trends while juggling visitor expectations is daunting. Luckily, our ViSi Commander solution to visitor management brings system centralization between Facility Security Officers (FSOs) and cleared employees — creating a secure and proficient visitor registration process and remaining compliant with all the major federal requirements. 

Additionally, MathCraft Technologies is proud to announce that we will soon offer Watch List integration options! With a watch-list database incorporated into ViSi Commander, you will have access to current data on denied or restricted visitors to your facility directly within the application. To extend these security capabilities further, MathCraft is also working with other deny entry vendors to expand its integration for global organizations.

Contact us today to learn more about how our solutions assist FSOs throughout the defense contracting industry and how we can help you with industrial-security compliance, automation, and oversight.