The Future of Security and the Evolution of Situational Awareness Technology

Thanks to David Sachs with our video partner, VSS, for authoring this guest blog post.

This is a guest blog post about the future of security and how your organization may be impacted by the evolution of situational awareness technology.

If we look at the future of security, your organization likely will be impacted in these three key areas: 1) analog cameras versus network-based (IP) cameras, 2) convergence and 3) intelligent security. Let’s look at each of these areas a bit more closely and how, despite continuous technology evolution and challenges, responding to security incidents must remain the focus of any responsible organization. 

1.) Analog vs. Network Video Surveillance

The trend toward network video surveillance has dominated the security discussion for years, but we’re now at that theoretical tipping point at which, for the worldwide market, network video finally represents more than half of all implementations. Large organizations with the budgets and resources were the earliest adopters of IP-centric technologies, and they have helped drive economies of scales so small and mid-sized organizations also can implement network-based solutions because prices have come down.

2.) Convergence

The term convergence is used to describe the blurred line between physical security and logical or cyber security. As organizations move away from stand-alone analog equipment to network-based video and security monitoring, the need – and opportunity – for disparate departments or security functions within a company to come together in an over-arching strategy for situational awareness has become crucial.

3.) Intelligent Security

Emerging security technologies provide greater capabilities for enhancing security and life safety as well as adding additional value. IP cameras with on-board applications for analytics, crowd counting and facial recognition are just three examples. More and more devices will include customizable software, resulting in faster and more appropriate responses to incidents, as well as the opportunity for the security department to add value to the organization as a whole, not just be seen as a cost center.  

How You Should Address Ongoing Security Challenges

Regardless of staffing levels, organizations are still responsible for responding to security incidents in a timely manner and in the most appropriate way, depending on the situation. The only way to create opportunities for faster, more informed responses is through situational awareness technology that integrates disparate life safety and/or security systems for centralized monitoring, alerting and reporting with real-time alerts pushed to various communication end points. 

Advanced situational awareness technology pushes live video from integrated security cameras to networked computers and mobile devices.

These video-enhanced alarms – or video paging is triggered automatically when an incident occurs, freeing staff to go about their jobs without tethering them to a monitoring station, causing them to go blurry-eyed waiting to “catch someone in the act,” or succumb to human error. After all, “human attention span can drop below acceptable levels after only 20 minutes, even in trained observers,” according to Sandia National Laboratories’ report on security in U.S. schools.

With video paging, live video from the nearest camera(s) is pushed out to appropriate staff so an unfolding situation can be addressed quickly and in the best way to prevent loss of life, property, business and convenience – the instant a door opens, the moment an intruder is detected, or as soon as an environmental monitoring sensor goes off. Because right now does indeed matter most.

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