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Security Entrance Design 101: Retrofit vs. Upgrade

As security professionals aim to maximize physical security budgets in an era of increased cybersecurity spend, the appeal of upgrades and retrofits to physical security components grows stronger.

However, the modern considerations required for a simple physical security retrofit are no longer as straightforward as they used to be. Thanks to an evolving threat landscape stemming from a rise in hybrid work models, workplace violence, and compliance mandates, organizations are realizing the urgency to update or replace outdated equipment and legacy systems.



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To navigate these challenges and create an effective path forward, organizations must turn their attention to the front lines—the entryways of their facilities. These entry points serve as the crucial first line of defense against a wide array of physical security and health-safety threats. Making the right choice between a security entrance upgrade or retrofit can be complicated, requiring meticulous evaluation of the organization's specific needs, risks, and goals.

Whether driven by the limitations of existing security technologies or the growing need for enhanced security measures, retrofitting or upgrading facility entrances with secured entry solutions offers organizations the opportunity to fortify their overall security posture.

To determine the best course of action, the first step should be to clearly define the organization’s security goals and gain a solid understanding of the facility’s existing infrastructure. Ask questions related to long-term security budgeting and emergency provisioning. Consult with stakeholders from the C-suite down to the employees using the proposed solution to understand challenges related to adoption. With this information in hand, the decision to upgrade or retrofit the facility entrance will quickly become apparent.

Reasons for Retrofitting

For organizations needing to introduce security entrances into their facilities, retrofitting offers a cost-effective and practical solution to enhance their security infrastructure without the need for extensive renovations or construction.

Retrofitting facility entrances with security entrances—such as optical or full-height turnstiles, security revolving doors, or security interlocking portals—can proactively tackle multiple threats and concerns right at their doorstep. These retrofits provide a custom solution that aligns with the organization’s unique needs and helps create a secure environment for employees, visitors, and assets.

Thumbs-Up for Upgrading

There are also many reasons why customers choose to upgrade the operation of their security entrance, whether that be an unexpected security mandate, an increased need for security, or to promote a touchless, healthy work environment. To address these instances, entrance upgrades can range from minor yet impactful modifications to large-scale security and safety upgrades.

For example, access fobs are a quick and cost-effective solution for customers looking to enhance security at the door, offering touchless entry and improve visitor management without the hassle of changing or integrating hardware into the unit.

Optical turnstiles can likewise be upgraded to easily integrate with third-party access control systems with variations ranging from card readers to mobile credentials and biometric access. 


Joseph Seagriff is the vice president of sales for the east region of Boon Edam USA, and he has been in the security entrance industry for nearly 20 years. Seagriff graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and since joining Boon Edam has held various positions, including director of enterprise accounts.