Twenty years ago, bank alarms were typically monitored by what we referred to as the “Black Box,” a centralized monitoring location there would be a separate box for each branch with red and yellow lights that would flash if an alarm was transmitted (red for a alarm and yellow for a trouble signal).
Today, technology and interactive security solutions can simultaneously monitor as many sites as necessary, over as many states or countries as needed. Some banks monitor as many as 10,000 branches and ATM locations from a signal security monitoring location. Also, several global offices can be monitored from one centralized station. Security is a key element in the day-to-day operations of any bank and has expanded from just a protection device to a cost effective management tool.
The driving force behind most of the security innovations in the banking industry was to both deter crime and to better protect assets and facilities. The consolidation of features and equipment, along with advances in IP and other network technologies have allowed all types of facilities to expand the functionality of their hardware and network, and to maximize the performance of their security systems to handle new operating challenges.
In addition, the introduction of open system architectures that easily interact with other legacy or installed-base networks have created a new level of software driven intelligence that further enhances the scalability of today’s alarm, access control and video surveillance solutions. These changes are focused on saving money and on achieving a satisfactory ROI on security system upgrades or new installations.
Equipment developmentsBuy-in from the organization's IT or MIS director to integrate the security system into the IP network also was a challenge for early technology adopters. IT managers did not trust the security technology and was fearful that it might crash their network or cause a security breach in the firewall. IT managers also were not familiar with most security solutions on the market and had never been consulted about the possibility of consolidating the two diverse systems. Early success stories for integrated security and IP network systems were those where the IT and security managers worked together to find solutions to business and security operating challenges and creates a win-win for both parties.
Today, security solutions are more than lights and event buzzers. They are part of a very sophisticated collection of alarm, access control, video surveillance, biometrics, video analytics, software tools, and integrated IP networks all working together to solve problems and protect assets. From parking lots to elevators to ID badges to perimeter defense, the collaborative intelligence built into these products and software are making the difference in providing adequate levels of protection for people and assets.
Disaster recovery is a relatively new security solution, but one that has grown in recent years with an increase in terrorist threats, natural disasters, fires, bombs and power outages as a result of interference of construction or other uncontrollable events.
Enterprise security has come a long way from the early days of the black boxes, flashing lights and loud buzzers. It has evolved into a multi-billion a year industry with hundreds-of-thousands of products, solutions, integrators and resellers to solve whatever security or communication problem you might have. However, the bottom line for this industry is still securing and protecting all types of assets and people. As long as criminals continue to break the law through the manipulation of technology, banks will continue to work with their product suppliers and system integrators to prevent future criminal activities.