Integrating Security Systems for Greater Business Value
Security countermeasures, such as surveillance, address threats and if done effectively eliminate them; this is more likely the case when an integrated solution is deployed. In looking at integrated security solutions, there exists an opportunity to move beyond a view of providing countermeasures to threats toward a new perspective of security as a means of delivering critical business value.
Security systems use multiple techniques in order to achieve this. The combination of access control, intrusion detection, perimeter and video into an integrated security solution provides the best opportunity to counter threats and add value.
Traditionally security systems have been seen as providing five “D”s. That is security systems deter, detect, deny, delay and defend against threats. And while these are important functions, the value of security needs to move beyond these traditional security concepts to one of delivering value to the enterprise. In some cases this is simply learning to describe security in new terms; in other cases it is learning to leverage systems to deliver new outcomes.
While standalone surveillance systems exist, more often than not they are part of integrated security solutions. In the case of integrated security solutions, the surveillance system is used in combination with access, perimeter and intrusion detection. The value of a security solution increases in relationship to the extent of its integration with other security and information technology components.
Access control, perimeter and intrusion detection allow surveillance solutions to be focused on specific security transactions. This improves operator performance while reducing screen fatigue. It also allows transaction information to be combined with visual data, and integrated perimeter solutions to be combined with pan-tilt-zoom features of surveillance cameras.
Integrated security solutions address governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) in addition to security. This cannot be addressed by surveillance alone, but it can provide additional return on investment to the CEO, CFO and CIO while addressing sector-specific compliance regimes. These systems can bake in security across transactions and provide value to stakeholders and shareholders.
These solutions allow coupling with information technology systems to increase the details available around security events. This can be combined with information from information technology systems such as security information and event management. Access control information, along with video, can place individuals at particular locations to help determine whether or not accounts have been compromised or if in fact an insider threat exists.
Integration also talks to important current trends in the enterprise: Physical security systems have extensive logging capabilities. These logs represent not only specific transactions but also metadata that can be used not only by physical and information security groups but also by marketing and other parts of the organization. As an example, surveillance video can not only be used to guard against physical breaches or theft but also to measure customer traffic and related buying behaviors. Surveillance cameras, in addition to the balance of an integrated security system’s components, represent the same kind of connected workplace that is driving the interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data.
In looking for an integrated surveillance solution, remember that surveillance delivers its maximum value when it acts in combination with alarms, access, video, perimeter and command and control. Users should be careful not to break apart these capabilities particularly at the command and control level.
This is where the meaning of integrated security really comes into play. Video management systems provide important features in delivering surveillance solutions. Integration of these video features along with other security functions in the security operations center under the command and control function will deliver the most value and needs to be a strong factor in deploying an integrated solution. Look for an integrated security system that maximizes surveillance value and in the process you will find you have also maximized the value of security.