Your physical security solution should be flexible and scalable. It should be able to change and evolve with your business and employees’ needs. There are steps to take to make sure that the solution you have is one that can change to meet new needs. At the rate that technology is advancing now, the time to start thinking about a move to a flexible cloud-based physical security solution is now.

Here are the steps to take for scalable and integrated smart security.



Step 1: Move to the Cloud

The cloud makes it more convenient and cost-effective to use business apps, store data, manage security, and communicate with other people. The secondary benefits are as important as the direct benefits because technological forces such as mobile, smart data, and IoT are all built on the cloud. If you’re not moving towards a cloud strategy, you’re closing yourself off from new opportunities and technology that keeps pace with security mandates.


Step 2: Adopt Mobile

IBM asked over 5,000 C-level executives which technologies will be important in the next three to five years. Most agree that cloud computing and mobile access solutions are the biggest forces at play. The main reasons to adopt mobile access for physical security are:

  • Reduced costs: Achieve a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) with numerous cost savings for your company
  • Advanced situational awareness: Use real-time mobile access to manage security and stay safe when faced with daunting demands, physical threats, and emergency responses
  • Improved efficiency: Use smartphones as the key to your facilities and leverage additional benefits like ease of issuing and revoking credentials and added protection with screen unlock pins/biometrics that don’t require updates to door hardware 

The security of a door is only as strong as the security of the credential used to enter it. Put your credential behind the most encrypted device most people own – their smartphone. When done right, mobile access combines with the power of the cloud to increase productivity and competitiveness.


Step 3: Plan IoT Strategy 

The growing number of devices connected to the Internet has set a new standard for business. You have the opportunity to know who accesses your building, when they access it, and their behavior once inside your facility. Property management systems, facility management systems, HR systems, light control, and HVAC data can all be captured and analyzed for a holistic view to improve physical security. 

Integrated API solutions can help you create a cohesive security ecosystem. One that connects identity management, visitor management, video surveillance and much more to ensure efficient and effective security and operations for you as well as a convenient and connected experience for employees and tenants. This should be considered a mid-term strategy for your business.


Step 4: Understand (and Prepare for) Smart Data

Collecting large amounts of security data is useful up to a point. Until now, the limit for data collection has been event monitoring and reactive investigation because it requires someone to sit and review a sea of information to find the important signals. With new smart security tools, the answer is adding machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze large datasets for faster recognition of abnormalities and proactive identification of threats. 

While machine learning and predictive analytics in AI are still emerging technologies in physical security applications, it’s clear that this new wave of smart security technology will be driven by the cloud, not on-premise solutions. Your organizational security technology should evolve as the sophistication of and opportunities for threats evolve. In physical security, the big goal is to be preventative, not to aggregate logs of what happened after the fact.


Step 5: Adopt Social Media 

The future is connected and social. Social media has powerful and largely untapped potential in our industry. 

Social media offers three main benefits: communication, collaboration (coordination of rescue events), and community (putting people back in touch after a crisis/disaster). We’ve seen social media’s positive impact to help people during natural disasters and to spread important health and social welfare information When traditional infrastructure becomes, overwhelmed people have turned to social media for help and to spread critical information. 

Social will become a part of our strategies for physical security in the future because it gives people the ability to help themselves in the event of a large crisis. In our connected online environments, queues from social media could impact the actions you take to protect your people in a disaster. A growing amount of your workforce uses social media as a primary means of communication. Some of the most powerful life-saving organizations in the world have policies on the use of social media to address disasters. You can follow their lead to develop procedures that use social media to help keep people safe. 

Smart security technology of the future will continue to become more integrated, flexible, and social. Moving your physical security solution to the cloud will enable you to adopt and implement mobile technology for your security staff and your employees whenever they are ready. 

Cloud solutions also enable you to make physical security part of a connected IoT environment which allows for more efficient and convenient security. A connected security ecosystem means comprehensive data that can be used to better understand traffic patterns and identify suspicious behavior. Cloud-based physical security will stand the test of time because it can continue to evolve and integrate with new smart security technology.