Security Camera at a Facility

People, Process and Technology: An Integrated Approach to Physical Security for Your Facility

Security for your pharmaceutical facility must take into account three parts: people, process, and technology. Any discussion of your security has to include this integrated approach to make sure all three parts work together to keep your company’s information safe. CustomVault Convergint’s pharmaceutical vault experts explain in today’s blog. 


People are your greatest asset, but also your greatest risk. Security starts with managing the workers and vendors coming in and out of your facility. You need to protect your employees and your information. 

Training. Minimizing your security risks from people starts with training. From Day One, train your employees. Then make this a point of emphasis on your internal security processes, best practices for safeguarding proprietary information, and making sure they know the importance of due diligence with intellectual property. 

Reporting. You should have protocols in place for how to report potential security threats at your facility.

Identity management. Another aspect of security comes from identity management. Do all of your employees have badges they can swipe to access their workspaces? What about your third-party vendors on the premises? Does your IT manager and HR executive have administrative access to instantly disable someone’s badge in the event they suddenly quit? 

These are just three of the many concerns you should have regarding the people in your pharmaceutical company as they work to protect your proprietary information. 

It takes these people to understand security processes in place to proactively prevent a breach.


Security processes talk about how people interact with physical security. Any breakdowns in the process for your integrated security system can lead to a breach.

Mobile devices. Company laptops, tablets, and mobile devices must stay on the premises unless someone higher-up gives an employee permission to take them. Laptops are some of the most-targeted devices stolen by thieves, and it only takes a moment’s lapse in a crowded train, cafe, or restaurant to have a thief steal a laptop. 

Access to software and rooms. Not everyone should have access to every physical or electronic asset. Your identity management system controls this through the badges your employees wear. Outline that there are “no mistakes” and you have a zero-tolerance policy for someone borrowing another person’s badge or using that badge to clock in or clock out. Because you have such tight security protocols, there should be no exceptions.

Personal cellphones. Depending on your levels of security, it’s up to your security experts how best to handle workers’ personal cellphones on the property. You can’t necessarily check everyone’s phones for photos or downloads as they leave. But you can make it where they can only use cellphones in designated areas, such as break rooms. Again, outlining this process up front is the key to implementing this process.

How your people interact with your technology becomes the third major part of an integrated approach to security.

Measures to Take

You need to keep your facility safe from security breaches by paying attention to all of the details. It’s not just about perimeter security, but also what happens inside the gates and in your building.

Secure doors and windows. Doors and windows to the outside world should be secure and unable to open. Consider tinted or reflective windows to keep outside onlookers from peeking into your facility. If someone is looking for photographs of the inside of your place, you have to consider someone using a telephoto lens from hundreds of yards away.

Access control systems. Your identity management system and associated permissions must align with your access control. You don’t want entry-level employees to gain entry to locked areas that only upper-level managers or other departments should have access to.

Vaults, safes and wire cages. The cornerstone of your physical security is the vault. Vaults hold larger scale product quantities for Schedule I and II. Safes can harbor paperwork with proprietary formulas or more limited controlled substance inventories. And wire cages keep your Schedule II-V pharmaceuticals in compliance. Limiting access to safes, vaults and cages to only appropriate staff represents one vital link to keeping your products and formulas secure.

Bringing It All Together With CustomVault Convergint

A multi-layer integrated approach to security is essential. CustomVault Convergint can help with this thanks to our consultative pharmaceutical team with decades of experience. Contact CustomVault Convergint, and we’ll start discussing your needs.