Security Plan

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Security Plan

Security Plan

The state of floor security

This brief case study perfectly illustrates both the good and bad news swirling around the current state of facility security.

The bad news. In the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States, security pressures are greater than ever before, but resources continue to be limited. Capturing every bit of value out of facility investments gets tougher by the day.

The good news. Facilities are safer. There are new tools to keep facilities safe, and there are means to make sure those tools provide the maximum return on investment.

Integrating security technology with core building services and enterprise systems - just like the Canadian hospital did in the above example - is the best way to maximize the value of those tools. It allows businesses to improve security, work within budget constraints, react quickly and appropriately, and increase operator efficiency.

Innovative technology is being applied today in the security market that offers significant improvements for facilities and security managers, as well as end users.

Used alone, traditional security systems comprised of standalone closed-circuit television (CCTV), access control, intrusion detection and associated monitoring stations provide clear benefits to users. But the real power lies within managing them as part of an integrated security and building management solution. Without a holistic, integrated approach to managing security solutions, information is kept in narrow silos and not completely utilized. Keeping information in silos can slow response rates and blur the facts in emergency situations.

Therefore, only pieces of the puzzle are solved instead of the whole problem.

Silos can be eliminated when building systems are integrated. Information is shared between departments and important building functions can be coordinated centrally.

Integration is able to not only automate many security functions, but also security events to automatically initiate other building functions. For example, an integrated system might tie access controls into lighting controls so lights are automatically turned off when no one is in a particular space. This improves efficiency and reduces costs.

Factors critical to success

This leads to an important point - the technical solutions that enable an integrated building management system are often much further developed than the political and procedural processes required to leverage them. That is, technology is no longer the critical path. The most challenging part of creating these integrated building management tools, and realizing their financial and operational benefits, lies in overcoming traditional design, specification and procurement processes that have been optimized to deliver standalone security system components (rather than comprehensive building management and security solutions).

Another factor to consider is the human impact of an integrated solution. The traditional practice of having standalone security systems has in many cases spawned separate departmental authorities with their own motivations, power structures, financial priorities and individual agendas. The path to the successful integration of CCTV, intrusion detection and access control with other building and enterprise systems must include building a case for how such a solution will benefit not only the business as a whole, but the individual stakeholders who must come together ...
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