Driving a Security Transition

Physical Security

​Illustration by Andy Martin​

Driving a Security Transition
 

​When Christopher Martini, CPP, took the wheel as Jaguar Land Rover North America’s regional manager for corporate security and business protection in 2013, he knew he had a long road ahead of him. He was the first person to serve in the role, which focused on keeping the British automotive company’s American and Canadian administrative facilities safe. Jaguar Land Rover North America had been previously owned by Ford, which provided general security functions but did not have an onsite security professional dedicated specifically to Jaguar Land Rover. After Ford sold the company, a few years passed without a leader to organize safety, security, or asset protection. “Security functions were under the stewardship of the site services facilities department but there was no functioning security department,” Martini notes.

Jaguar Land Rover North America has more than a dozen facilities, including service and sales training academies, regional offices, and driving experience centers throughout the United States and Canada. “We’re not the manufacturing company but we directly help facilitate the sale of our products and the ongoing use of our products through training dealer personnel, and importing vehicle parts and accessories,” Martini says.

After years without any organized security approach, Martini faced two distinct challenges: building a culture of security and equipping facilities with up-to-date access control and perimeter protection technology.

“It was a mature organization—people had been operating in a certain way without the influence of an organized security and safety and asset protection structure around them,” Martini explains. “Those behaviors were set because people had been here for a while, and there was a lot of organizational resistance to having a security professional start to change how people did things, even something as simple as accessing the building.”

Similarly, Jaguar Land Rover North America facilities were equipped with legacy security systems so out of date that facilities personnel had been buying spare parts from eBay because they were no longer produced or supported by the manufacturer. The access control system had an inaccessible database, so some employees had multiple access control cards in multiple formats. “It was exactly what you would imagine—it had been left to decay,” Martini notes.

Technology Tune-Up

Martini had a lot of work to do, and quickly. A brand new facility in Portland, Oregon, was scheduled to be built within six months of Martini’s arrival at the company—and he knew whatever security solution he chose would ultimately be used at other facilities, including the company’s regional headquarters in New Jersey. “What I didn’t want to do was deploy the solution that was currently in place at the other locations—it was out of date and not supported,” he says. He was familiar with S2 Security Corporation from visiting its booth at ASIS International seminar and exhibits, and he ultimately decided on its platform for regional security monitoring, administration, and operations management, as well as for standardizing access control and video. 

“What really guided my selection was the fact that I knew that I wasn’t going to have a tremendous ability to call upon internal resources for maintenance, upkeep, or even operation of the system, so it had to be something that was easy to train people on—resilient and very reliable—and that didn’t require constant updates to stay current with desktop and operations software,” Martini explains. The S2 system is accessed via Internet browser and does not require any dedicated client software. Martini said it was the “perfect fit” for the Jaguar Land Rover North America environment.

The new, cutting-edge infrastructure—including HID access cards and Axis cameras that integrated with S2’s Enterprise access control and NetVR video management systems—was installed at the Portland location. After that successful deployment, the solution was installed in the Irvine, California, training office; the Mahwah, New Jersey, headquarters; and a new facility in Mississauga, Canada, that opened in 2016. The New Jersey facility has an enterprise-level system that allows for round-the-clock monitoring of the other three locations.

“We do all the administration here in New Jersey, and we do monitoring for those other locations,” Martini says. “I have 24-hour staff that is interacting with the system, and any alarm or information that comes back to us requiring a response gets escalated from here out to the location.”

Martini’s responsibility to protect Jaguar Land Rover’s American and Canadian facilities and fleet of more than 900 high-end vehicles was made easier with the new technology. “The most direct benefit that I get is I now know what’s happening at my facilities,” he notes. “Prior to having this technological capability, I had to rely on people in those locations to report issues and incidents to me as they occurred. Now I have more direct visibility to what’s happening to those sites in real time, which gives me a much better sense of situational awareness to what’s really happening.”

At the remote facilities, an intrusion panel—integrated with the S2 system—allows the first employee to arrive at the facility and the last to leave the ability to deactivate or activate the alarm system with a swipe of an access control badge. After the system is armed, it will dial out to a third-party monitoring company if an alarm is triggered, as well as alert the security officer on duty at the company’s New Jersey headquarters. 

Martini explains that the local monitoring company will call headquarters to discuss what action to take. “The officer starts looking for video associated with that alarm, and the alarm company will call in and ask whether it should dispatch police,” he says. “The officer can see if it’s just the new housekeeper who forgot to use the control panel, or whether there is evidence of intrusion.” Then the officer can tell the company to send police. 

The officer would then go through an escalation process, which could involve reaching out to staff at headquarters  or a local site contact, depending on the situation. “Officers have a detailed escalation list as to who they need to notify about the range of things they may notice or be called about for one of those remote locations,” Martini says.

This chain of response went according to plan when someone tried to break into the company’s Irvine location. The security officer on duty in New Jersey was watching the remote video feeds and noticed a man walking around the outside of the facility after hours, trying to open the doors. The officer was able to switch the view to pull up all feeds of the site to gain better situational awareness and observed the man trying to pry open one of the patio doors with a crowbar. 

“Irvine is a regional office collocated with a training center,” Martini notes. “Training centers are like really nice, clean automotive garages where we bring service technicians and train them on our cars. The first level has a nice main lobby and a couple automotive bays and things like that, and the second level is basically office space. Likely what was drawing this guy was that there was a vintage Jaguar just inside those doors.”

The man had not triggered any alarms because he hadn’t yet managed to open the door, but the security officer contacted the local alarm company and had it call the police, who responded within a minute. 

“It’s not a huge incident, but the quality of the video is so excellent and the ability for the officer to quickly switch and bring up everything associated with the site and get a better sense of where the guy was located and what his target was going to be is really quite interesting to see,” Martini says.

Culture Change

The changes at Jaguar Land Rover North America facilities haven’t just boosted situational awareness—they have helped change the employee culture as well. While Martini was upgrading the physical security, he was also striving to get employees on board with working together to create a more secure workplace. 

“It’s really difficult, in my experience, to create a controls-based environment if the environment doesn’t have good controls,” Martini explains. “It’s one thing to tell people ‘It’s important that you wear your badge, you don’t leave doors propped open.’ If the system doesn’t provide you with the information necessary to know when those problems are happening, then it’s difficult to address the behaviors.”

Understanding that employees were not used to wearing access control badges, Martini solicited employee feedback and created a team to help design the look and feel of the new badges. As part of the rebadging strategy, employees were encouraged with contests and could take selfies to use as their badge photos.

“Rather than us taking your photo and making it like getting a driver’s license, people took their own, as long as they met the criteria—it was a really fun experience,” Martini says. “It allowed people to send me the photos they were the happiest with, and my opinion is that if I want you to wear the badge, then you should be happy with the photo.”

Once the S2 system was in place, it was easy for Martini’s officers to be alerted when doors were propped open or other security protocols were not followed and make a call to the facility and correct the behavior in real time. “It sends a subtle message, not that Big Brother is out there watching, but it reinforces the behaviors you’re expecting from your employees, and lets them know that as an organization we take it seriously,” Martini says. “The messaging has been augmented by the fact that we now have an environment and infrastructure that supports the application of administrative and policy controls. That’s a huge benefit.”

It’s been almost a year since the updated S2 solution was installed at the facility in Canada, and the organization is planning a second rollout to several facilities across North America. Martini says he considers the first deployment a success—both in tightening the physical security at the facilities, and in evolving company culture. Jaguar Land Rover North America conducts pulse surveys among its employees, and Martini says that during the last two years employees’ perception of health and safety has increased. He also notes that, anecdotally, false alarms greatly decreased because employees are following protocol. “It’s a good indicator that we’re on the right path and people understand the organization is making an effort, and what we’re doing is effective,” he notes.

When he started at Jaguar Land Rover North America, Martini approached security as an amenity to the business and hoped that a stronger physical security footprint would benefit company culture—and vice versa.

“We have really talented people and we hire you to apply your talent to the work, not to be worried about security or personal safety,” Martini says. “Your job is to come in and contribute all your talent and energy to the task at hand. Because the system is providing us with intelligence about what’s happening at our sites, we can let people know that our sites are secure and we’re taking security seriously. Employees feel more secure in the workspace, they have a better understanding of what their individual responsibility is to contribute to the security program, and that reinforces the kind of culture I was trying to build.” 

(Editor's note: At press time, Martini began a new position as an area security and safety manager for PayPal.) ​