Every business faces numerous challenges every day, with some of them being short-term and some expected to be ongoing. Security issues certainly fall into the latter category, and those issues are expected to become increasingly complicated as new technologies are developed. In many instances, companies continue to use dated systems that are, at best, less than ideal. Today, security experts anticipate more companies will recognize the problem and look for unified physical security systems that provide a greater level of protection than older, less-effective options.
What is a Unified Physical Security System?
Security professionals at Genetec define a unified physical security system as a software solution designed to manage all components of a company’s overall system. In other words, the system includes a software suite developed as one unit that monitors and controls different sub-systems. A physical security system includes access control, surveillance, and testing.
Physical security systems protect an installation in several ways. First, the system serves as a deterrent. When integrated systems are in place, potential intruders quickly see their target may not be penetrated easily. Next, if an intrusion does occur, the systems are capable of locating the intruder and, in many instances, limit their ability to move by locking access points. That also means an intruder will find escaping before security or law enforcement personnel arrive difficult. In addition, the system allows communication between security personnel, other staff members, and law enforcement officials.
Four Considerations When Selecting a Unified Physical Security System
Most organizations are cautious when investing in systems that impact daily operations, as changes are often difficult to make when employees are accustomed to the existing conditions. However, there are times when installing new systems makes sense. Improving an organization’s security is one place where changes have proven to be crucial for the safety of employees and the well-being of the company itself. Here are four things to think about if a new security system is under consideration.
- Is there an ideal time to upgrade a security system? The answer to that question won’t be easy, as there is rarely an ideal time to install a new security system. There are costs involved, the business will experience some degree of disruption during the installation process, and employees must be trained to operate the various parts of the system. However, adequate security is a necessity, meaning companies need to explore their options now rather than later.
- New systems must be designed to evolve as your organization does. The technology used in unified physical security systems is already sophisticated and will continue to evolve in the future. A new system must be capable of adapting to changing company needs as well as software and hardware improvements.
- Discover the advantages of centralized data. Older systems generally included several platforms that operated independently. That means operators may have access to one system element but not others. That leads to numerous issues when events develop. Integrated systems, on the other hand, gather all information in one location. That aggregation makes it possible to monitor several functions from one control point, meaning responding to emergencies is easier and faster because operators have a complete overview of the existing conditions.
- Enhance other business functions using the supplied data. Unified systems are capable of going far beyond security. As technology evolves and expands, business owners can expect new functions to be available that enhance basic operating practices using the data provided by a centralized system. If you’ve got questions about expanding a system’s capabilities, discuss the available and anticipated options with a Genetec representative.
Industry experts expect users to integrate energy management, lighting, and other systems, making building operations flow smoothly. Planning for future expansion of a system’s capabilities is essential during the purchasing and installation process, so discuss your plans with an expert early in the process.
Don’t Ignore the Basics
While planning for the future is important when selecting a security system, protecting a business today is essential. That protection starts with access control. Today, businesses have a variety of access control options available. Some, like traditional keys, are less than ideal. Keyless systems are commonly used, as those systems are easier to monitor and change when employees are onboarded or guests need access to specific areas.
Access control systems can be relatively simple or increasingly complex as security needs within an organization change. In other words, the systems are inherently flexible, which means users can be added or deleted quickly, access to specific areas can be limited, and the system monitors movement throughout the property. As with other system components, access control options are easily customized to meet a specific company’s requirements.
Change is Coming. Don’t be Left Behind
The fact that technological changes are already occurring and more are on the horizon can’t be emphasized enough. Those changes will make it easier for individuals to challenge the integrity of less-sophisticated security systems, putting companies, their staff members, and clients at risk. Companies are encouraged to plan now to meet new challenges as they develop.
For example, cyberattacks are expected to increase dramatically in the future, which means organizations will need to respond by increasing the level of security employed throughout their facilities and including remote workers in those plans. A unified security system will protect a business from internal and external threats by integrating all security aspects. However, limitations will exist if the various types of technology employed cannot communicate effectively. In other words, interoperability limits will prevent an organization from taking advantage of a system’s potential.
Physical security systems provide a great deal of protection for a property, and those systems must be designed and integrated correctly to provide the most significant benefit. However, conditions are changing, which means planning for the future is crucial. Access controls will also evolve, and systems selected today must include the ability to change as new, improved options are introduced. To get the most from your unified physical security systems, take the time now to evaluate your current and future needs. Then, contact a Genetec security expert to determine if updates would benefit your organization today and in the future.