Security seals play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of various shipments and assets, providing an extra layer of protection against tampering and unauthorized access.
Yet, despite their importance, understanding the complexities of security seals can be a daunting task, especially for those who may be new to the industry where seals play an important role.
Here at Alta Max, we are committed to helping companies and businesses keep their shipments and assets secure. We know that using the correct security seal can mean the difference between a safe delivery and a disaster - and that’s why we make sure all of our customers are provided with the highest quality seals that meet their needs.
A Quick Primer on Security Seals
Today’s security seals come in many forms, shapes, sizes, and colors and are used across a wide range of purposes. They help secure freight, protect cargo, safeguard equipment and assets, and provide evidence that a shipment has not been tampered with.
There are two main types of security seals: indicative and barrier. Indicative security seals reveal tampering, whereas barrier security seals provide a physical indication if a shipment has been tampered with or opened.
Indicative Security Seals
Also known as tamper-evident seals, indicative security seals are one time use and designed to provide visible evidence of tampering. Indicative seals are the most used and found in most applications. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t effective at deterring tampering.
Barrier Security Seals
Barrier security seals provide a higher level of security compared to indicative seals. They serve as a one-time lock to slow down and deter theft or vandalism. These seals require large tools to remove and are typically used for high-value shipments. As a result, they are more expensive than indicative seals.
The Role of Security Seals in Modern Industry
In today's globalized world, the use of security seals has expanded across various industries, including:
• Retail and finance
• Military and government
Security seals are also used to protect sensitive data, documents, and records. These seals offer a degree of control over access to important information that can be tracked in case of any suspicious activity or theft. By using security seals, organizations can reduce the risk of mishandling or theft of confidential data.
Security seals are also used to protect inventory, assets, and equipment from unauthorized access or tampering. They provide an extra layer of security that helps organizations maintain control over their property and assets. Seals can be used in combination with other security measures such as locks, cameras, alarms, and motion sensors for added protection.
Best Practices for Security Seal Use
To maximize the effectiveness of security seals, companies should adhere to a set of best practices. These practices can help enhance the security of shipments, ensure the correct use of seals, and maintain their integrity.
Selecting the Right Security Seal
The first step to ensuring that your cargo remains untouched during shipment is to use the correct security seals. Factors to consider when choosing a security seal include what you will be shipping and how vital its integrity is - as these will determine the type of security seal that you need - as well as its cost and level of tamper-evident protection.
Keeping All Seals Numbered Consecutively
When preparing your freight for shipment, you need to ensure that a unique identifier is placed on each seal. This is done using a consecutive numbering system that matches the numbers placed on each seal with those indicated in an accompanying document.
Making Sure Security Seals are Completely Visible
The security seal needs to be easily visible to anyone handling the freight. Also, make sure to mention the type of security seal used on the packing list or invoice accompanying your freight. This will help to ensure that any discrepancies can be reported quickly and easily.
Regular Training and Oversight
Regular training and oversight are essential for the effective use of security seals. Staff should be trained on how to correctly apply and check the seals, and there should be a system in place for monitoring the use of seals. Don’t underestimate the importance of regular reviews and spot checks to ensure that security seals are being applied correctly.
Finally, you should keep records of all security seal-related activities, such as when they were secured and how they were opened. This will help provide an audit trail in case any issues arise with a shipment.
The Importance of Security Seals in Counter-Terrorism
In the wake of increased concerns over terrorist acts, high security tamper evident security seals have become essential in identifying containers of goods opened after being sealed at their loading point. Effective use of security seals in counter-terrorism requires more knowledge, control, and attention throughout their use and placement.
International standards for the production and practices in the supply of security seals are regularly updated. These standards, such as ISO-17712, mandate the use of high-security barrier seals for certain applications. For example, military cargo must be marked with tamper-evident seals placed on containers to prevent unauthorized access.
How to Choose an Effective Tamper Evident Seal
Choosing an effective tamper-evident security seal involves understanding the internal locking mechanism, especially for cable seals.
Numerous cable seals imported from overseas utilize a "disk" and spring configuration that can be effortlessly seized with pliers. This enables an attacker to “slide out” a cable and potentially reseal the device without visible signs of tampering.
It's also important to authenticate the ISO 17712:2013 (Clause 6) test results, utilize barcoding for unique identification number tracking, invest in personnel seal training, and not neglect to secure empty tanker trucks and railcars.
How Technology is Enhancing Security Seal Effectiveness
Technological advancements have introduced new features to security seals, enhancing their effectiveness. For instance, barcoding, whether it’s 1D, 2D, or a QR code, offers many advantages.
With most petrochemical shipments requiring multiple security seals, simply scanning the security seal's barcode before applying it ensures employee safety, speeds up the process, and confirms the accuracy of the numbering.
Recent advancements in electronic devices have brought forth a range of features like RFID data, remote reading, GPS tracking, and more. These functions not only enhance tank monitoring but also contribute to heightened security by minimizing the risk of tampering.
As the global economy becomes more interconnected, the need for secure and tamper-evident seals will continue to grow. New technologies, such as advanced tracking and monitoring solutions, GPS security seals, and RFID security seals, are already changing the landscape of security seals, offering improved security and tamper-evidence.
Alta Max: Your Guide to Tamper-Evident Security Seals
Selecting the right security seal for your needs can be a complex process. However, with the right guidance, you can ensure that your shipments and assets are protected. The key is to select a security seal that meets your needs, is reliable, and provides tamper-evidence.
Alta Max offers an extensive range of cost-effective and high-performance security seals, designed to meet the most demanding applications. Our line of tamper-evident security seals are designed to provide maximum protection and security, while also providing a high level of detection integrity.
At Alta Max, we are here to guide you through the process of selecting the right tamper-evident security seal for your application. Please reach out to us for guidance.