More Than Just Security
Follow the sequence of events for success
As technology has advanced,
security has branched out
beyond simple surveillance
and intruder deterrence. A
security system can now be
made up of multiple sensors that provide
data about the environment. For example,
a door position switch is a sensor that tells
you whether a door is open or closed, a
thermometer is a sensor that gives you
temperature data, and water pressure and
flow sensors provide data about your water
As systems have migrated to the use of
Ethernet as a communication protocol and
interfaces with other systems have been developed,
the data that each system provides
can now be more readily used in another system.
Security is one of these systems that migrated
to the use of Ethernet and we are just
starting to see some of the possibilities that
this is offering far beyond security purposes.
Imagine the following sequence of events:
1. You enter your company’s parking
lot. By either presenting your badge at a
gate (access control) or a camera identifying
your license plate (video surveillance
with analytics), the system identifies you as
being on the property.
2. You enter the building at your usual
entry point (access control). If at an unusual
entry point or at a different time of day, the
system recognizes an anomaly and flags that
data for observation by those concerned. Facial
recognition verifies that it is you using
the associated credential.
3. At the time of your entry, the temperature
(HVAC) and lighting (building automation)
adjust your work area to the level specified
4. When you attempt to log in to your network
device (network administration), it first
checks to verify that you are on the property
by interfacing with the access control system.
5. If you leave the property for lunch or
the end of the day, facial recognition and access
control at building ingress/egress note
that you are exiting and send that data to network
administration. The logical security system
is locked for your network account. The
HVAC and lighting adjust as appropriate.
This sequence may have been possible
in the past, but it would have been done
through many inputs and outputs on the
various systems. Now that these systems can
link via the Ethernet protocol, the software
links provide network intelligence that can
automate the events.
One of the challenges to creating these
links is that software is constantly being updated
and improved by the manufacturer. We
have not gotten to the single pane of glass
for end users to see every system in their facility
at the same time. They currently must
jump from one system to the other for correlation
of data. As that software system is
developed, many standards will need to be
developed to maintain those links.
Standards in building automation and
communication are developing in each subsystem.
IEEE provided us with 802.3 for
wired Ethernet and 802.11 for wireless. Now
each subsystem needs to develop a standard
interface to software that uses that protocol.
That single-pane software will need to communicate
with the interface that each subsystem
provides as a standard. For example,
video surveillance uses the ONVIF video and
access control profiles to offer an interface,
whereas lighting, HVAC, and other systems
will be offering systems that use an open interface
for integrating data to a single platform.
As new technology continues to enter the
market, you can expect to see even more devices
join the Internet of Things
to bring building intelligence
and automation to a whole
This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Security Today.
About the Author
Bob Dolan is the director of technology security solutions at Anixter.