The Time Has Come
Security technology is set to play a pivotal part in this rapid transformation
- By Jason Burrow
- Oct 01, 2021
Despite the rapid rollout of vaccines, the impact
and ramifications of COVID-19 will be long
felt in almost every part of the economy. Many
businesses have needed to pivot and adapt quickly
to new ways of working. They have felt the
pressure of operating with fewer staff and the burden of having
to monitor and manage operations remotely.
In addition to the impact of the pandemic, each industry
sector also needs to contend with its own set of specific challenges.
Among them, brick and mortar retail adapting to the rapid shift
to e-commerce; logistics operators ramping up operations to
meet unprecedented demand; the pressure for oil, petrochemicals
and energy producers to cut CO2 emissions; corporate enterprises
attracting and retaining talent; or healthcare and assisted living
providers dealing with an increasingly aging population.
Beyond these myriad challenges, all businesses also need to
be prepared to deal with the uptick in extreme weather events,
the shift to green energy, the increasing sophistication of
cyberattacks, potential civil unrest, insider and terror threats and
the continued need to manage with day-to-day safety and security
Analyst firm Grand View Research predicts systems integration
to dominate the physical security market through 2027, even
before factoring in COVID-19 and the need to migrate operations
and workforces to a virtual environment. Deloitte reports the
acceleration of digitization, as a result of COVID-19 pointing
toward technology for improved preparedness, cybersecurity,
identity and access management, and flexibility.
Tech-savvy security and facility managers know that, in order
to evolve and adapt, they need to eradicate disparate systems and
silos of information. Systems integration is not confined to only
the realm of large businesses - small to mid-sized organizations,
and even homeowners, are realizing the benefits a more integrated
approach for video, access, and audio can deliver to them.
A CENTRALIZED APPROACH
Upgrading to a centralized security and safety solution will
help staff and control room operators respond to incidents and
threats quickly, while also improving workflow to manage dayto-
day operations. Even a minimal level of integration, such
as pulling together access and surveillance, makes security and
safety operations easier to operate from a single interface. This
also allows for a rapid and practical way forward for complex,
Additionally, organizations can benefit from integration
with dozens of building management systems – from IP audio, intruder systems, fire detection to asset tracking – and streamline
identity management by exchanging data with popular databases.
The data intelligence and comprehensive reporting provided
by multiple systems also gives heads of security insights and wellinformed
decision-making power when it comes to orchestrating
changes to manage staff and facilities.
Here we take a closer look at some of the other specific benefits
a centralized security and safety solution can provide and share
some insights on ways that security systems integrators can help
customers realize them.
REAL-MONITORING AND SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
Real-time monitoring of single and multiple sites gives security
staff instant situational awareness about what is going on within
their facilities. Integrating alarms from multiple systems also
gives operators an improved ability to visually verify notifications
and automatically capture events using video, ensuring critical
incidents are never missed.
Integrated solutions also offer remote access capabilities that
allow security managers to maintain oversight even when they are
away from the control room. From any location, single or multiple
facilities can be monitored, and problems can be addressed as
soon as they occur.
TACKLING DATA BREACHES AND THE INSIDER
The latest Kroll Global Fraud and Risk Report found that
“employees more than any entity are responsible for internal
fraud and leaks of internal information” as well as perpetrating
the greatest share of data theft.
Deficiencies in cybersecurity and one siloed digital system can
put organizations at risk. This has caused IT departments to take
on an increasingly significant role when it comes to the purchase
of physical security technology. They understand, better than
many, that integrating systems allows for a more comprehensive
approach to maintaining cyber protection across disparate
systems and siloed databases. Integrating access control with
standardized databases such as Microsoft Active Directory also
provides businesses with the ability to better manage physical and
logical identity management, which enables improved detection,
and faster responses and recovery.
Integrated access control and video system can also pack a
punch in detecting suspicious activity, such as when employees
try to access server rooms or change their behavior patterns,
which are often precursors to breaches.
BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY
Inefficiency is a time-zapper and comes at a cost. The economic
impact of COVID-19 has led businesses to recognize that integrated
solutions have a key role to play in making operations run more
efficiently – from reducing pressure on their control room and
frontline staff through to minimizing hassle for employees. Staff,
for example, often face frustration when trying to access multiple
sites or organize meetings that require booking associated parking
spaces, meeting rooms, and organizing guest ID badges.
By integrating previously disparate access control and video
systems across different facilities, and combining them with the
latest visitor management solutions, allows staff to leverage the
security benefits and convenience of license plate recognition
(LPR) and IP intercoms.
Integrating visitor management solutions is also proving to be
an effective tool for contract tracing, a key requirement in the
COVID-era. It also provides long-term enhancements, as it can
streamline operational efficiencies that also improve the employee
and visitor experience. This will benefit enterprises not only
during the pandemic, and well into the future.
END-TO-END AND FLEXIBLE SOLUTIONS
Integration certainly has its perks and is clearly helping to tackle
industry-specific challenges. In the retail sector, for example,
forward-thinking stores can now integrate video tech with pointof-
sale systems to take ‘sweet heart’ and internal shrinkage head
on. Adopting these latest AI analytics will allow users to gain
intelligence into customer behavior and turn browsing into sales.
The logistics sector is also finding that integrating video with
asset tracking and inventory systems is better securing their
supply chains. That is because it enables the visual tracking of
goods, which, in turn, increases efficiency and improves customer
service. For data centers, integrating HVAC systems with access
control to detect when adjusted temperatures allow staff and
engineers working in server rooms to reduce energy consumption.
Additionally, intelligent analytics or sensors will alert staff when
cabinet doors are ajar when an engineer is not present.
Sectors ranging from hospitality, healthcare, education
and manufacturing are seeing for themselves that integration
is delivering ever more capable and flexible solutions. These
solutions are applicable to every type of medium-to-large
business, from those that operate standalone large buildings and
campuses to those with complex, dispersed, multi-site estates.
Users are looking for scalable, flexible, and future-proof
solutions that can be adapted to meet new requirements and
changing priorities without exponentially increasing license fees
or complexity. They also are looking for solutions that give them
the ability to easily integrate additional third-party systems, allow
them to add sensors and IoT devices, and adopt new functions such
as deep learning analytics with minimal expense
and disruption. The time surely has come to
unite disparate security systems. The benefits to
end-users are many and far-reaching.
This article originally appeared in the September / October 2021 issue of Security Today.