4 Ways Private Sector Security Professionals Can Make Peace With IoT Platforms
And harness their power.
- By Matt Johnson
- Apr 08, 2019
Internet of Things-connected devices are not just new security tools; they are tools that could spark a security revolution.
Smart security cameras are an excellent example. While they record video just like traditional cameras, they do not require a human monitor to identify threats and alert authorities of them. All of this is possible because of their IoT technology.
Everything from smoke detectors to locks improve when they are enhanced with connectivity capabilities. The chief advantage of smart security devices is that they can process and distribute data faster than staff ever could. As soon as a security event occurs, this technology notifies the parties involved instead of making them wait to learn about it after the fact.
Every second counts in security, and the IoT enables an instantaneous response.
Oversight and accountability are also just as essential. Unlike most traditional security devices that create a limited or nonexistent audit trail, IoT devices record everything in minute detail. Common IoT sensors, for instance, can not only record every time a door opens, but also track changes in environmental variables like movement or temperature.
The ability to create a true perimeter defense is what really distinguishes connected devices. Before, it took a combination of fences, locks, lights, cameras, and security staff to secure a location. Now, though, the IoT can effectively integrate all of those elements, creating what amounts to a digital tripwire.
Modern security technology allows professionals to be proactive instead of reactive. It is a true paradigm shift, and it underscores the value of private security services. But first, the industry has to get on board.
A Lukewarm Response From Private Security
Cision projects that spending on IoT technologies for public safety will grow from $979 million in 2018 to $2,045 million in 2023, driven largely by smart city projects. Those numbers are impressive but not overwhelming, which suggests that security professionals have yet to fully embrace the IoT.
Most industries are grappling with the uneasy realization that automation will disrupt the labor market, and private security is no different. As exciting as the rise of the IoT might be, stakeholders throughout the industry are anxious that technology will impact tens of thousands of jobs.
Those concerns are perfectly valid. Automation might limit job growth within certain private sector security roles, but it will never truly eliminate the need for on-site security, and it should make the job of security professionals less tedious and more effective.
When technology is doing the monitoring, a human being doesn’t have to spend 10 hours staring at a dozen screens. And because it removes boredom and fatigue from the equation, there is less risk that those watching will overlook a threat. Instead of watching and waiting, security professionals can focus on more meaningful work.
The IoT enables the industry to take a more strategic approach instead of relying purely on the boots on the ground. This strategic approach should also extend into the business side of things.
Because security is proactive by nature, using this technology is also as efficient as possible. Officials deploy security ASAP to whatever incident most requires a response. As security outcomes begin to improve, private security companies can leverage them to differentiate their services, boost their margins, and gain a competitive advantage.Said simply, IoT technology is good for security professionals — and for the industry, too.
Easy Ways to Integrate IoT
Misconceptions are not the only obstacle to IoT adoption. Security companies are also concerned about costs and the technical challenges of implementing widespread devices. These concerns do not have to become barriers, though, as long as companies integrate the IoT in the right ways.
Build buy-in. If using technology is seen as an obligation or an inevitability, companies will never embrace it fully — and they will miss out on a lot of its advantages.
Security technology is first and foremost about creating competitive advantage. The security firms of the future will not thrive based on the size and strength of their staff but by becoming technology-driven. People are more likely to buy into this technology if they see it in practice.
Drive value instead of cutting costs. When the IoT is used just to reduce head count, it creates resentment in the ranks. It also throws existing security protocols into turmoil and puts people and property at risk.
The best IoT applications create value for all stakeholders by improving efficiency, enhancing customer service, or upgrading employee security. Ideally, the IoT enhances existing operations and helps employees instead of disrupting them entirely.
Leverage data for ongoing improvements. Because IoT devices create ongoing audit trails, they also reveal the strengths and weaknesses in a company's security strategy. Regularly analyzing data to spot patterns and anomalies helps companies continually refine their tactics. Over time, they learn how to allocate resources as efficiently as possible while also adapting to urgent and emerging threats.
Make self-defense connected. Consider deploying IoT technology on devices like tasers first. The most consequential security situations happen when staff have to physically engage with someone. Recording as much of the incident as possible and instantly alerting the police and company authorities are both crucial to ensuring everyone is following best practices, even during an intense confrontation.
The IoT is not a replacement for private security; it is an ally and reinforcer. Neither is perfect individually. When they work together, however, everyone and everything is safer.