ATM Security2018-10-25T13:49:33+00:00

ATM security – myths and false promises

A number of different companies have come up with a variety of different products in response to physical attacks on the ATM estate.

Although many of these products exhibit different degrees of ingenuity, it is our firm view at Lockpoint that our Gryphon is the only ATM security product that will consistently ensure that the robbers don’t get their hands on your cash. And stopping them getting hold of the cash is, ultimately, the only effective guarantee against attacks.

Indeed it’s not without good reason that our Gryphon is named after a mythical beast. The security industry seems at times awash with fictions and myths, while Lockpoint is dedicated to exposing these myths for what they are by letting our products do the talking.

The ‘locking bars’ myth

People in the security industry have an unfortunate habit of casually referring to physical ATM defence systems as “locking bars” and apply this term wrongly to Lockpoint’s Gryphon.

This picture shows a system of locking bars – they can be relatively easily wrenched off and in at least recorded instance one of these bars was actually used as a weapon to attack a cash replenishment crew.

This picture shows Lockpoint’s Gryphon defence system: you’ll notice there’s not a bar in sight! That’s because the Gryphon deploys a set of four “intelligent” interlocking steel DOORS.

The duress myth

Although Lockpoint’s Gryphon has made surely the biggest single contribution to the very significant reduction in attacks on cash replenishment teams (CiT), it’s a myth that the problem has gone away altogether.

Only Lockpoint’s Gryphon provides any kind of guarantee against duress attacks, by ensuring that no attacker can get away with the contents of more than one of the cash cassettes in an ATM (of which there can be from four to ten).

The ram raid myth

So, no criminals bother crashing a heavy vehicle into a bank frontage or ripping out an ATM with a JCB or other kind of digger? If only… such complacency is based on a myth. Even if you count only those incidents that get into the newspapers, there are at least two such attacks every week in the UK – that’s three times the rate of ATM burglary, the next most frequent threat.

The Lockpoint Gryphon’s cunningly constructed steel doors – comprising different grades of steel with different melting points, as well as moving internal parts to thwart grinders – mean criminals will struggle to extract the cash from a stolen ATM, even if they have time on their side.

The myth that gas suppression kits are the best defence against explosive attacks on ATMs

This really is a very cruel myth indeed. First of all, these so-called defence systems have a very high failure rate: they simply don’t deploy when called upon to do so.

Secondly, when such a system injects an inert or suffocating gas into the chamber of an ATM it may have somewhat unexpected consequences. Research by explosions expert, Gexcon, demonstrates that injecting a gas at the point of ignition causes turbulence and turbulence can create a much bigger bang – not a great idea!

Gas injection systems are potentially dangerous and their installation may run contrary to health and safety or insurance requirements. On the one hand, they have the potential to leak explosively, while – on the other – they can leak suffocating gases into confined spaces in the work environment.

As recently as 2016, eight employees at Siam Commercial Bank, Thailand, were suffocated by the accidental release of a fire-suppressant gas. [Pic]

The myth that ink staining is a nailed-on way to protect cash in an ATM

We wish! Unfortunately many ink-stained or degraded notes simply remain in circulation and retain about 80 per cent of their value on the black market, or down the local pub! The Bank of England works with the industry to try and get these stolen notes out of circulation. But the fact that it has to do this tells its own story… a web poll by the European ATM Security Team found that a third of respondents either didn’t know or weren’t sure what to do if they came into possession of a stained note. And criminal gangs reportedly wash bundles of such notes at home!

Other very clever ideas include spraying the notes and the robber with an invisible DNA print. Great idea, but while it may help get a conviction, it won’t keep the robber’s hands off the cash.

Our mythical beast

The gryphon is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle’s talons as its front feet. The lion is of course the king of the beasts, as the eagle is of the birds – and so the gryphon is considered as king of all creatures, just as Lockpoint’s Gryphon is the king of cash protection. Fittingly, the gryphon is renowned for guarding treasure and priceless possessions.

When time is of the essence

Crimes against cash machines normally happen fast.

Gryphon brings crime to a halt with time-lock controlled walls of steel. It robs the robber of his most precious asset: time.

Since the Gryphon was first installed in 2010, the industry has witnessed a dramatic reduction in instances of armed robbery, saving millions of pounds and many serious injuries.

  • Easily retro-fitted in the field

  • Simple to use

  • Concealed locking

  • No obvious point of attack

  • High security key-less access

  • Time-lock controlled

  • Surrounded by a wall of steel