The demand for integrated security solutions has quickly grown in recent years due to the widespread adoption of the internet of Things (IoT) and IP-enabled devices. Indeed, interconnectivity between security devices, networks, servers, and storage is key for improving workflows and creating a unified security network, but what happens when there is a break in the chain? Failing, faulty and inactive physical security systems pose a direct threat to organizations, leaving holes in a physical security network and providing a false sense of security. 

Automated verification and service assurance solutions ensure that every physical security and IoT device on your network is visible and performing as expected it’s also the starting point for making sure they are cyber secure. Here are the benefits organizations and security teams can expect from deploying such solutions

1. Improved Security Posture

Physical security systems failing can happen for several reasons, including improper installation, cybersecurity attacks, changes in network functionality, and a host of unforeseen circumstances. Unfortunately, many of these issues are not visible to the naked eye, leading security professionals and management to believe systems are functioning as normal when they are not. Even in cases where malfunctioning devices are identified, often, the manual solutions enacted to rectify the issue do more harm than good. For example, an alarm system issuing frequent false alarms may lead security personnel to disable the device to avoid repeat alarms, negating the very purpose of the alarm system. 

Automated service assurance solutions constantly analyze and verify data from all networked devices and applications to alert security teams to device failures as they happen. Beyond detecting problems, advanced service assurance solutions even diagnose root causes of failure and recommend solutions. Not only does this reduce system downtime, but it also ensures that the proper measures are being taken to get the system up and running as soon as possible. 

2. Improved Operational Efficiencies

Prior to the introduction of automated service assurance, organizations relied heavily on human labor to physically monitor security system performance. However, manual processes are known to suffer from human error and inefficiencies, and system monitoring is no different. Security teams may be unable or ill-equipped to diagnose a system failure, leading to trial-and-error repairs. Traditional preventative maintenance is also labor inefficient.

With an automated system verification solution, security personnel can receive alerts automatically, diagnosing a system failure as it occurs. Security teams are provided with suggested solutions, allowing them to take swift corrective actions. Similarly, there is no need for manual preventative maintenance as service assurance uses real-time system data to instead indicate to security administrators the best time to schedule maintenance and plan it to maximize efficiencies. Security teams are now free to focus on critical security tasks such as responding to alarms.

3. Improved Regulatory Compliance

Many industries have strict requirements regarding the use of security systems in business operations. Law enforcement agencies, casinos, cannabis operations, hospitals and other organizations have strict physical security regulations they must follow. If any part of the applicable physical security system infrastructure is found to be functioning improperly during an audit or major security event, the deploying organization will be at fault. Audit failure, compliance infractions, and even lawsuits are damaging an organization’s bottom line and reputation. 

Automated service assurance’s compliance and regulatory benefits are two-fold. First, service assurance proactively reports on system disturbances, allowing the issue to be addressed even before a system is taken offline. This helps organizations maintain compliance while performing maintenance, so there is little to no downtime. Secondly, these solutions replace significant manual efforts with a push-button compilation of compliance reports, saving organizations significant time during audits.

As physical security systems continue to become more interconnected and grow to more devices, so will organizations’ inability to maintain manual system oversight and maintenance. Automated verification and service assurance solutions can help to ensure the integrity of a physical security system. This allows organizations to move from a reactive security approach to an efficient, proactive approach to physical security.

This article originally ran in Security, a twice-monthly security-focused eNewsletter for security end users, brought to you by Security Magazine. Subscribe here.