Toward a More Perfect Union

I spent the beginning of this week at an ADT conference, hearing the company’s vision for the future of the security industry. One of the presentations came from Tony Mucci, ADT’s director of process/policy engineering. Mucci presented his vision for where he sees security going, and his specific vision of the future included solar-powered megapixel cameras that host analytics, save their data to solid-state drives and stream it to the cloud wirelessly.

It was his big-picture vision for what lies ahead for the security industry that most resonated with my experience. Mucci painted a picture of a holistic approach to security – one in which the business of keeping data, people and physical property secure was not divided into separate systems for physical and logical access control, perimeter defense and surveillance, but rather where security was viewed as an interlocking system.

It harmonizes with what I’ve seen going on with the Department of Homeland Security’s CFATS regulations, and to an extent the new Food Safety Modernization Act. Both of these are outcomes-based, rather than prescriptive programs. Chemical facilities that “screen in” to the CFATS program are required to satisfy a number of Risk-Based Performance Standards, such as a restricted area perimeter; secured site assets; the ability to screen and control access. DHS doesn’t tell facilities how they are to do this; facility owners must make these arrangements themselves.

The broad, general nature of these RBPS essentially dictates a holistic approach. A restricted area perimeter is accomplished with more than a fence and barbed wire; it also requires a human guard, as well as perhaps surveillance cameras to monitor the perimeter when that guard is not in a particular area.

Another example of this holistic approach can be found in the brewing revolution in smartcards (notably the PIV-I cards local governments are investigating). These access control tokens allow a person to gain access to multiple physical locations – the parking garage, the building, the closet that houses the supplies specific to his job – as well as to logical assets – his computer, the company’s network. Governments at all levels are looking to use PIV-I cards for multiple functions across their communities: accessing community centers, checking out books at the library, even paying fines or purchasing items with the cards.

What do you think of this vision of the future? Will all this interconnectivity bode well for your business?

Posted by Laura Williams on May 13, 2011

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