Physical security is the protection of people, structures and property from physical circumstances and events that could cause serious losses or damage to an enterprise, agency or institution. This includes protection from fire, natural disasters, burglary, theft, vandalism, and terrorism.
The technology has evolved over the past 20 years from low-res analog cameras and a VCR, to high-definition IP-based cameras plugged into a global digital network. At first, surveillance systems were a tool used to passively watch a situation unfold, be it a normal activity such as employees entering or exiting a business or capture a crime. The systems we have now can not only predict criminal activity through behavioral analytics software, but prevent certain crimes from happening in the first place.
Physical Security expert Todd Cabot has worked extensively with school districts. Cabot believes there are absolute physical security necessities for the safety and security of students, staff and school facilities. “That would start with perimeter fencing around the schools, surveillance, and electronic access control; limiting the places where people can get in and out of the campus. I’ve seen too many schools with open gates everywhere and that allows anyone to get on the campus and potentially do harm to children.”
The high-definition cameras coupled with video analytics can assess situations in real time allowing the opportunity to deter an event before it escalates. The information can be pushed out to a smart phone allowing people to manage their businesses and facilities more efficiently than ever before. The surveillance, electronic access control and various other systems can all be tied together in a way like never before.
“The added benefit of access control is you have an audit log of who comes in and out of the doors…” – Todd Cabot, VectorUSA, Physical Security Program Manager
Access control can be as sophisticated as a centralized identity and access solution that ties an enterprise’s network access policy and surveillance cameras, or as simple as keeping track of who accesses your facility – something that can’t be done with a standard lock and key. “The added benefit of access control is you have an audit log of who comes in and out of the doors day in and day out,” says Cabot. “There’s no ability to find out who came through a door when a key is used. Electronic access control leaves a digital signature and allows the schools to know who the last person on that facility was.”
If your campus, business or facility has a Physical Security system that has been in place for more than five years, it’s time to update. To start, your security solution should be flexible. By deploying a system that subscribes to global standards for open integration and architecture, you will be able to take advantage of either a dedicated or existing IT infrastructure. The ability to integrate with third-party software and hardware field devices promotes freedom of choice in deploying a comprehensive solution that can be delivered in any combination for increased workplace performance.
According to Cabot, “What is needed for effective physical security are surveillance cameras that can drill down with clear images and software that can predict behavior, recognize faces and license plates – the things that are needed on a day-to-day basis.” Cabot adds, “The capabilities of the technology are endless but at the same time, they are extremely complex and require the expertise of a true systems integration partner.”
For more information email Todd Cabot, VectorUSA, Physical Security Program Manager or call Todd directly on 310.436.1018.