Published On: January 19, 2018Categories: BlogBy

Peder Berg, CEO of Accredit Solutions, talks about what football stadia can be doing to protect against the insider threat

There has been a major transformation over the last decade in stadium safety. This is one aspect of the game where England are the champions. We have set the standard, making us the envy of the international football community. Each football club now takes responsibility for the safety of all spectators entering its stadium and can boast all-seated venues, the lack of pitch perimeter and segregation fences and generally a positive atmosphere among supporters at the game.

Irrespective of league position, stadium size or attendance; the way in which the grounds of our football clubs are operated ensures that crowd safety, accessibility and enjoyment are world class. So whilst all eyes might be on the game, it’s the effort and the vigilance of the team off the pitch that ensures that football supporters across the country can enjoy the game in security and comfort.

However, the recent terrorist attacks and threats against stadiums have shown that the bar has been raised again. Terrorists are focusing on places where they can inflict as much damage to as many people with as much publicity as possible. Consequently, the role of a Football Safety Officer is changing dramatically to account for the additional threats stadia are facing.

Sporting venues and stadiums present a unique collection of vulnerabilities and challenges and statistics have shown that it’s likely to be the people inside an organisation who are the biggest threat. Harvard Business Review reported in 2016 that 60% of attacks are carried out by an insider. Consider the threat to your stadium’s reputation as well as the extensive costs if you have to deal with either a terrorist attack or a fine for employing an illegal worker. The Insider Threat Report from Crowd Research Partners recently published the following statistics:

  • 90% of organisations feel vulnerable to insider attacks with a key risk factor including too many users with excessive access privileges
  • 53% of organisations have confirmed insider attacks against their organization in the previous 12 months
  • 27% of organisations say insider attacks have become more frequent with 64% shifting their focus to detection of insider threats
  • Organisations are turning to technology to deter insider threats including identity and access management solutions

Stadiums have sophisticated ticketing operations and can account for fans coming to the game but a stadium hosts many more people – venue staff, contractors, catering vendors, security stewards, press, guests and VIPs.

Do you have a system to identify everyone who will be working in your stadium in the run up, on match day and after the game? Can you guarantee all those individuals have the right to work with all legal paperwork? Can you easily identify what access rights they should have and ensure they have the correct access control?

Mitigating against the insider threat

For football stadiums, there is no way of avoiding employing contractors and temporary staff and systems need to be in place to ensure the following key checks are in place:

  • Pre-employment security checks
  • Collection of key identification documents including permit to work, passports, relevant licences
  • Systems in place to allow only access where and when required
  • Monitor personnel movements while onsite – knowing who is in your space at all times
  • Onsite physical and digital verification of passes
  • Have the ability to block access in real time

How an accreditation platform can take you to the premiership

A robust and efficient accreditation system can help, delivering best practice, time and cost savings but not at the cost of reducing quality standards. Built specifically for stadiums that require remote scanning of staff and contractors, Accredit’s Mobile Access Control solution (AMAC) connects directly with the Accredit system and allows for real-time scanning, approval, and rejections on the spot.

With secure logins users can quickly setup their devices to pre-configured security areas to check for pass validity, zones/access level permissions, date and time restrictions, as well as cross check photos, names and pass types in real-time.

AMAC is highly efficient and pulls relevant data including name, organisation, accreditation status, and photograph from the Accredit Platform and checks for pass validity, zones/access level permissions, date and time restrictions, as well as cross checking photos, names and pass types in real-time.

Another useful facility to consider is a built-in vehicle access module designed to control which vehicles are brought into the venue. This allows external users to apply for vehicle passes by registering the vehicle details (including brand, licence number and vehicle type). Once an application is made, it can be approved/rejected and assigned correct access levels and load/unload times. Not all systems incorporate this but it is sensible to incorporate personnel and vehicle movement around a stadium or indeed any large venue or live event.

Accredit offers a self-managed platform which provides all the tools Football Safety Officers need to ensure the legality, security, and safety of their events against insider threats, reputational risk, corporate espionage and undocumented employment as well as providing operational efficiency. Accredit supports multiple users and provides an end-to-end solution to identify and register all persons requiring access in an efficient and practical manner.

Accredit has evolved rapidly to confront and stay ahead of the latest security threats and is now the preferred choice for major premiership clubs who are using our platform to ensure their venues are top of the league.

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