With the world in the midst of what many have dubbed the fourth industrial revolution, the onset of new technologies is about to permanently transform the audio visual (AV), security, and communications industries as we know them. But as technology evolves for our benefit, so does the complexity of the threats that face your organization.
To adequately protect yourself against the threats of the future, you’re going to need to move out of your comfort zone. While traditional security methods may be able to stand the test of time, it is wise to take advantage of digitally intelligent solutions that facilitate the flow and exchange of information without the need for human involvement.
By implementing forward-thinking security solutions, you can not only secure IP devices, communications infrastructure, and physical safety within your building, but you can also take the first step on the journey to a safer and smarter world. But what are these so-called “solutions of tomorrow,” and what are the specific benefits associated with them?
Facial recognition is already permeating many aspects of modern society. For instance, 54% of Americans already own a device that can be secured with facial recognition. What’s more, 59% of Americans believe it’s acceptable to use facial recognition in public spaces for security purposes.
As with all biometric solutions, facial recognition works by matching unique identifying facial features with those stored in a template database for the purposes of authentication.
Those looking to enhance security with the addition of this technology gain the benefit of being able to integrate it with existing video equipment seamlessly. Once in place, organizations can automatically manage visitors (with instantaneous verification), prevent unauthorized intrusions, and provide security personnel with crucial information when dealing with threats.
Facial recognition can provide an additional layer of security to a wide range of buildings and organizations, including law enforcement, airports, educational establishments, hospitals, offices, and shopping malls.
Indoor Wireless Door Locks
Viewed by many as the future to commercial entry access, next-generation wireless door locks allow proprietors to secure one, or over one hundred, entrances and exits from anywhere in the world.
Rather than using traditional wired systems, these automated smart systems can harness the power of Wi-Fi connectivity to control everything from temperature to the current shade of a window. What’s more, they provide compatibility with other intelligent devices, opening up the potential for organizations to grant access through critical doors by phone authorization.
Another advantage is that this technology is not preclusive. Wireless locks are installed in addition to existing deadbolts and door locks, which means that in the event of a power outage, traditional keys can still be used to access critical locations within a building. This solution benefits organizations with sensitive areas within buildings that require customized access, analytics reporting functionality, and higher security levels than standard.
While the use of traditional cigarettes is declining, vaping continues to proliferate across the country unchecked. Just as with the smoke detectors that preceded them, vape-detection solutions are proactively helping educational facilities across the nation to detect and deter vaping activity.
Leading wireless technology company Soter has produced the FlySense™ sensor, which is capable of reporting vaping incidents in real time in areas from which the use of microphones and cameras is precluded. Together with leading IoT provider Ruckus, Soter provides a vaping solution that can notify specific teachers of any vaping incidents on specific days.
This system has already detected 75,000 unwanted vaping incidents since schools have taken the opportunity to place FlySense™ in sensitive areas such as locker rooms, bathrooms, and other secluded hotspots that are safe from the penetration of audio visual equipment.
By investing in these solutions, schools can build positive environments, thereby repairing the mistrust between teachers and students. It also increases the safety of other students by reducing instances of bullying and ensuring restrooms are safe spaces, free of potentially toxic chemical vapors.
Wireless Mesh Networks
On the leading edge of IoT technology, wireless mesh networks may finally bring the dream of a totally interconnected world to fruition. Piggybacking on existing technology, mesh nodes can quickly and efficiently connect whole cities.
Unlike traditional wireless networks that require frequent wired access points and hotspots, this innovation can establish a medium-range, stable network by transmitting just one signal to a single mesh device. The device then retransmits that signal to any other mesh device in range, which in turn communicates to any other devices within its own field. The pattern repeats for up to thousands of meters.
Wireless mesh networks provide a complete solution for covering large areas without sacrificing the quality of the wireless network. Their introduction eliminates the problems associated with no-line-of-sight (NLOS) issues while eradicating the need to install thousands of meters of fiber wiring on campuses, company headquarters, or retail parks.
Better still, they are entirely adaptable to radiofrequency requirements. Each new node self-configures without the help of a human administrator, and they cost far less than traditional wired networks to install. They provide a perfect solution for schools, universities, outdoor music venues, business parks, and other institutions that require a stable wireless network over a large radius.
It is an unfortunate fact that active shooter incidents are on the rise. During the 1970s, there was an average of 1.1 mass-murder shootings (as defined by the FBI, those that result in the death of at least four people) per year. In the 1990s, that figure rose to four per year, with the period from 2000 to 2014 exhibiting an increase to 11.4 per year. Last year that figure stood at 31, demonstrating the disturbing unabated uptick in deadly mass shootings.
The elevated threat of an active shooter situation has driven the demand for a technological response, which isn’t surprising considering the fact that 60% of all active shooter incidents end before the police arrive.
State-of-the-art gun detection systems consist of acoustic sensors and IP surveillance cameras. Sensors located on walls, ceilings, or light fixtures actively listen for the sounds of gunshots and wirelessly triangulate where they are in the building complex to set up a live stream from the nearest camera.
Gun detection systems can also send alerts to students, employees, or customers during an active shooter situation by proactively detecting and locating occupants in the immediate vicinity of the gunshots, which saves lives. Once the system triggers, law enforcement is immediately informed, drastically reducing response times. Counteractive operations are also much more effective thanks to the information provided by the sensors and surveillance cameras within the building.
Organizations with a gun detection system in place can not only deter would-be shooters from attempting an attack but also drastically improve outcomes for unfolding active shooter situations.
OSDP vs. Weigand
Once the industry standard for access control installations, Weigand has not kept pace with today’s evolving security demands. Worse still, it has been demonstrated to be a security protocol at risk from both hacking and tampering. In response, the Security Industry Association (SIA) has developed the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) to offer a more secure way of linking control devices and smart cards.
The development of this protocol helps to implement, monitor, and maintain a more stable and secure system of access control devices, which includes the use of advanced smart card technology applications and biometrics.
It makes use of AES-128 encryption and constantly-monitored wiring to protect against all types of threats. It also meets all federal access control requirements, such as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and Credential and Access Management (FICAM), unlike its counterpart, Weigand.
But OSDP doesn’t just bring improved security to the table; it also increases interoperability between access control and security devices, through the use of bi-directional communication. Even better, OSDP is cheaper to install because it requires less cable, and it enables a reader to function from up to 1,200 m away from the controller, compared to Weigand’s range of just 150 m.
Those of you looking to improve security in keycard-access buildings (particularly within governmental departments) can make considerable strides in both threat protection and functionality by upgrading to systems that make use of OSDP protocols.
Install Forward-Thinking Security Solutions Today to Protect Your Organization Against the Threats of Tomorrow
The arrival of automated, interconnected technologies is set to change the face of many industries over the coming decade, but perhaps none more so than security. Technological innovation, paired with the enhancement of IoT applications, provides a range of opportunities for organizations to upgrade their existing arrangements against modern-day threats.
At NCS, we’ve evolved continuously over the last 30 years to keep pace with the latest developments in structural cabling, security, and audio visual technologies. Today, we set the industry standard for a seamless installation of local, regional, and national safety and security products. We take the time to understand the complexities of each project, and we adapt our implementation strategies to reflect your individual needs, without ever compromising quality.
So, if your business or institution needs to upgrade existing security arrangements, please contact us to speak to a member of our team to discuss your requirements.