Behind the Shield-August 2019

Smart Cameras, Smarter People

New technology, especially security cameras with analytics features, are adding new capabilities and providing more reactive and proactive options. Today’s systems have capabilities previously seen only in the movies: pattern-based analytics, self-learning and AI (artificial intelligence) that can find security threats and suspicious patterns incredibly quickly and accurately. The new technology won’t replace security officers, but it will enable them to provide even greater security.

Spotting Potential Security Issues

Scenario 1: Looking Back for Clues

For example, you know a white van with green stripes was involved in an incident, or is suspected in an incident, on a corporate campus with 200 security cameras. Analytics software and a skilled security officer can find every instance that van was recorded by a security camera over the past few hours, days or weeks, typically in less than an hour. The security officer can build a timeline of the vehicle’s movements on the campus, as well as identify when anyone entered or left the vehicle.

Scenario 2: Looking Forward Proactively

Today’s cameras and software can also reverse-engineer that scenario. The security officer can use the software and camera system to be on the lookout for a white van with green stripes, and send an alert as soon as a vehicle matching that description is spotted.

If, say, a recently terminated employee is deemed a potential threat, and the security officer knows what type of vehicle that person is driving, the system can alert security as soon as that person drives onto the corporate campus.

Building and Managing a Complete System

Most importantly, software can now bridge different systems and different cameras from multiple manufacturers to build a complete, seamless system. Even older cameras can have the same capabilities as the latest generation, albeit possibly with lower resolution. Even if the images aren’t as sharp and clear, those cameras can still be an integral part of an early warning system, saving the costs of replacing equipment.

Cameras and Access Control

With facial recognition technology, the future won’t rely on keys, badges or card swipes, but on cameras and software that “recognize” employees and flag intruders and anyone not known by the system. This technology will be both more secure—an intruder could steal an employee’s badge or key card, but not an employee’s face—and more cost-effective.

The Human Element

Security cameras, software and other technology won’t replace security personnel. Instead, security officers will be more highly skilled in using that technology to provide higher levels of both reactive and proactive security.

For information on how Sunstates Security can combine technology with skilled personnel for a higher level of security, please call 866-710-2019 or email us.

 

SECURITY BY DESIGN: BEST PRACTICES IN SECURE ENVIRONMENTS

Image for Security by Design PostMost commercial buildings begin with an architect and a designer. Outside, a landscaper or landscape architect will usually be tapped to provide the esthetic surroundings.

Open floorplans. Glass walls. Lots of windows. Outside, beautiful plantings.

These features may be pleasing to the eye. But they also can significantly compromise safety. Security would be greatly enhanced by including a security expert on the initial design team.

The Four Aspects of Designing for Safety

There are four key elements to corporate security:

  • Access control, especially in shared spaces
  • Landscape design that emphasizes security
  • Interior design that mitigates potential threats
  • Security-minded policies and procedures

Element 1: Access Control

Access control can be challenging when a building or campus is shared by different organizations. But there are several best practices that can mitigate the potential for security issues:

  • Individual access control for each office or tenant
  • A centralized communication system, such as a PA, to warn all occupants of potential or actual threats
  • Building-wide access control, so only those who belong in the building can enter
  • Security systems or personnel that can flag unusual activity

Consider, for example, the auto mechanic who was terminated at a West Coast auto dealership after weeks of poor performance, threats to co-workers, and other red flags. He went to his vehicle, retrieved a gun and returned, killing two former colleagues before committing suicide. Incidents such as this highlight what many businesses are now following as a best practice:

  • Have employees park in a secure area with controlled access
  • Restrict employees from visiting their vehicles during the workday or monitor employees who do so

Element 2: Exterior Design

Parking areas, pathways and landscaping should be designed with two goals in mind: perimeter security and elimination of hiding places.

Perimeter security means establishing layers of security, typically with multiple checkpoints and many opportunities to spot potential security issues. Ideally, this strategy positions the initial access control so that a would-be intruder would be stopped before being able to enter or penetrate a facility or campus.

For landscaping, the key is to eliminate not only hiding places for intruders attempting to enter the building, but also places where someone could attack or otherwise harm employees and visitors heading towards or away from the building.

Element 3: Interior Design

The same glass walls and bullpen-type seating areas that give a space a light and airy ambience have a serious drawback. In the event of an active shooter or other incident, employees have nowhere to hide. Walls, offices and secure doors make it possible to hide from an intruder.

Employees have three options when confronted by an active shooter: run, hide or fight. Interiors should be designed to maximize all three of those options. In addition, entrances should have a holding area that can be secured to prevent an intruder from entering the inner offices.

Element 4: Policies and Procedures

None of these steps, of course, will effectively mitigate potential security threats without employee training in the proper policies and procedures to spot and react to security issues.

For organizations without an internal security chief, a security consultant that offers employee training can be an invaluable resource. Security training should be part of every new employee’s orientation, and refresher training should be mandatory and regularly scheduled.

For information on how Sunstates Security can use technology and personnel to provide greater security, or for an evaluation of your existing security systems and strategies, please call 866-710-2019 or email us.