The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to connect our every moment to the tools they require, from barbeque to bathtubs. These developments offer huge strides in convenience and efficiency. Perhaps more significant than the convenience of self-timed thermostats and pre-warmed baths, though less recognized, are the many enhancements to security systems as well as to the monitoring and procedural aspects of these IoT-integrated physical security solutions.
By utilizing advanced networking and sophisticated data-linking protocols, the systems that provide physical security and access control can be successfully integrated with data-focused networks to create a unified system that safeguards information, operations, facilities and people in one centrally managed network.
For example, existing IT data networks that guide the information environment can be linked seamlessly to physical security elements that include:
- IP cameras
- Access control systems
- Video surveillance software
- Incident reporting systems
When security features such as these become fully integrated to the common flow of information controlling operations, the organizations that rely on them gain a new level of security from both internal and external threats.
Enterprises and institutions aren’t the only users who can benefit from this increased intelligence for informed decision making. Think of a city that, like most, has limited resources that must be allocated to protect a large area. With input from networked cameras and sensors, certain behaviors could trigger specific risk-based responses. For example, the network might recognize the presence of a person entering a high crime area and notify an alarm patrol to check out the situation, thus preventing likely crimes before they occur.
Not only does this centralized management system reduce the threat of unauthorized access, it allows for greater real-time awareness and responsiveness should a threat materialize. With combined feedback from IT and operational technology (OT) networks, assuring cyber and physical security becomes easier and more successful in both environments.
The rapid evolution of the Internet of Things is endlessly fascinating, as we witness unprecedented levels of interconnectedness and personal and organizational control. Even more valuable is the amazing revolution in security that it promises.
The ability to create a fully networked environment to protect everyone and everything that’s important to your organization and bring it together into a single, centrally managed information stream is an amazing feat. The Internet of Things can do many things, but the most important one is making you more secure.