Time to redefine physical security for Facility Managers

Building safety and security requirements have been redefined in recent years. They’ve evolved to not only protect against crime but also become key to a sustainable organisation’s digital transformation and building management.

Amthal is working closely with Facility Managers to assess physical security requirements.  We believe there is scope for the use of more advanced technologies, that offer digital tools including cloud and IoT, to help manage overall risk more effectively while improving business operations.

A unified approach to security
The primary goal of a physical security system is to keep people, facilities and assets safe. These functions are often interdependent and can be achieved when they are unified on a single platform.

Unification in this sense provides users with a consistent and intuitive interface across all security tasks. Imagine effortlessly spotting an open door, reviewing relevant video footage to identify the culprit, and generating comprehensive reports and trend analyses—all within the same platform. It’s a game-changer that boosts efficiency and simplifies security management.

And as more workloads move to the cloud, it’s important to find a truly hybrid platform that lets you run workloads where it works best for you. Unification can include cloud and on-premises solutions, native and third-party data sources, and components from a variety of vendors. All these capabilities co-exist transparently and scale seamlessly as new technologies are added.

Consider an Open-Architecture System
An open-architecture system uses non-proprietary components that can be sourced from third parties, allowing organisations to add components on a scalable basis and possibly reuse existing components as needs evolve.

Video cameras, access control modules, intercoms or other equipment with an open architecture give organisations maximum flexibility as business needs change. Open architecture is also easier to maintain because of the availability of third-party parts and is often less costly.

Open architecture does not mean that systems are unprotected; they are just easier to scale and maintain over time. Cybersecurity remains a separate, high priority for any technology, including physical security systems.

Built-in cybersecurity tools make it easier to protect against possible threats, monitor system health, and stay resilient in the face of cyberattacks. Look for solutions that hold ISO 27001 certification or equivalent and include cybersecurity features by design such as encryption for data, servers, and all communications, and granular authorisation processes.

How data can enhance operational efficiency
Modern physical security systems have a single dashboard that shows the full range of security and operational data. As data converge into a single view, insights into trends and patterns emerge that enable quicker, better decisions that improve safety and operational efficiency.

Not all shared data is specific to a security incident. Sometimes organisations want to track generalised information about visitors, employee or vehicle activity to support visitor management, employee experiences and traffic flow.

This type of aggregated data provides information about broader trends while maintaining individual privacy. Critical data insights inform a range of facility operations, such as parking space utilisation, traffic patterns and building occupancy to create more convenient, efficient experiences.

While data from unified physical security systems can provide valuable insights, organisations must also protect data privacy. Regulations establish a minimum standard for how personal data should be stored and managed, but organisations can do more than the bare minimum.

A modern security platform can include features to help you ensure that only authorised people access the data. Given accessibility management, it’s possible to control and monitor video while preserving individuals’ privacy by pixelating faces in videos to blur identities. Equally important is keeping detailed audit trails of all activities on the platform, including who accessed data and when.

Stay Informed with Real-Time Data
Physical security systems operate successfully on their own to mitigate risk. When connected with building automation tools, they provide even greater protection and efficiency for building operations.

Security systems that collect data about building usage and occupancy can feed automated building systems, such as elevator dispatch, lighting, fire or HVAC operations to streamline processes or schedule optimal maintenance.

With the rapid proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, the uses will only grow. Managers can use data across their systems to support their decision-making. A physical security system’s ability to connect seamlessly with intelligence tools is rapidly becoming an essential capability. This expansive view helps drive revenue and achieve efficiencies through smarter buildings.

Such data collection can also contribute to the delivery of a more sustainable building and promote eco-friendly practices, reducing carbon footprint and enhancing resource conservation for a greener future outlook for a business.

Work with a reliable partner
The importance of selecting a reliable technology partner cannot be overstated.

Look for a physical security partner with a strong financial track record and expertise in your industry. Consider their investment in research and development, training, product updates, and future technologies. A collaborative partnership will ensure your security systems stay cutting-edge and adaptable, growing with your organisation over time.

A forward-thinking collaboration with a physical security systems partner will be the most cost-effective way to stay current in the long run.   Taking on the advice and guidance with maintenance programmes, the goal is to be able to keep your security systems up to speed by easily adding new technology and sensors as they become available. This ensures you can continually maximise value to your business.