Security Solutions for Museums and Art Galleries

 / Apr 08, 2020

Neuchâtel Switzerland – Latenium Archaelogical Museum

“Museums should be places where you raise questions, not just show stuff.”, said William Thorsel, Royal Ontario Museum Director. What happens when items are lost? Do we risk losing the thought-provoking heritage that inspires us to wonder about the past and dream about the future?

Museums are not just about protecting items inside a glass dome and showcasing them to visitors. A collection tells a story about us, where we are and how we got here. Museums offer much more: through our material heritage, they play a role as investigators, restorers and guardians and their work impacts not only our understanding about history but also contributes to scientific advancement. Inside, there’s way more than you can see on display tucked away in cabinets, coffers and containers.

Alarming situation in museums

Museums are non-profit organizations and depend on the goodwill of funders and the good sense of governments to survive. Security and asset protection are key considerations in museum management. However, many museums are underfunded and thus some security measures in place are dangerously outdated. Some vaults are almost a museum piece themselves. The current situation is far from ideal, and regularly we come across news of theft, lost material, and even rediscovered property thought to have long been lost. Furthermore, accidental loss of property is rather common. A piece is moved to be studied or investigated elsewhere and then forgotten in an inconspicuous drawer. What measures do museums consider in securing access to their material?

According to an article by Security Baron, museums rely on a mixture of physical, electronic and personal components. Still, these are often disconnected and outdated. Therefore, it becomes crucial to take a holistic approach to security, which includes a system truly integrated with video surveillance, sensors for motions and vibrations, detectors of smoke and temperature. The integrated security concept also needs to include a contingency plan with “what if” scenarios.

One crucial aspect in security surrounds access. Not only to the museum itself but also to restricted areas inside. Since not all museum pieces are kept in view, but also backstage to be preserved and studied, it is important to control access to those as well. That is where biometric access control comes into play.

Biometrics, which are individual biological traits that cannot be copied, shared or lost, allow for identification and consequent access in a unique way. It prevents not only unauthorised access, but also provides true traceability of who accesses or leaves a room at a given date and time. A biometric-based system can secure access to repositories, labs, offices, control and server rooms.

Secure and user-friendly

Touchless Biometric Systems (TBS) is a reference when it comes to providing solutions for museums. Our experience with installations across highly critical infrastructures has helped us identify critical needs relevant to the sector. TBS devices are a synergy of accuracy, convenience, security and elegance and convince customers throughout the world. Exceptional sensors lead to the highest level of user acceptance with touchless and touch-based solutions. Device screens can be customized to accommodate interactive functions. System administrators can use different options for enrollment and define user rights and access zones. The TBS web-service approach allows for seamless integration with many ERPs and software providers. Simultaneously, security is never compromised thanks to integrated spoofing detection by the devices and SSL encryption preventing a data breach. TBS devices offer assurance and user-friendliness inside a carefully designed Swiss-made device.

TBS is the specialist behind the world’s largest security integrators and countless resellers – providing biometric expertise, products and solutions in Access Control and Time & Attendance. Timeless aesthetics, flexible functionality and radical simplicity – that’s what makes TBS stand out from the rest.

If you would like to understand how a biometric integrated access control solution could help you meet your business needs, please get in touch. One of our experienced engineers will be glad to support you in finding the best solution.

Think Biometrics – Think TBS!

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