Exclusive: Why integration is key to security success


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Justin Hawkesford, Operations Director, Comelit-PAC discusses true integration and the role it plays in creating efficient processes across organisations.

In today’s business world, terms like convergence, synergy and integration are used so frequently that it’s easy to dismiss instances where they actually are occurring. Security systems are a case in point.

The term ‘security system integration’ can take on a variety of meanings. Historically, most security system integration projects have involved linking access control and alarm systems and then integrating the CCTV system.

Once these systems were connected, a violation of the access control system would cause the alarm to sound and prompt the camera to switch on and record the incident. This often was accomplished by installing hard-wired connections between the systems.

Security system integration also refers to the trend within a growing number of organisations to merge physical security applications, such as access control and logical security applications. Moreover, this includes biometric identification programs that allow employees to use the corporate network, into a single, comprehensive system.

Employees responsible for physical security may join the same department as those responsible for network and computer security. As more executives recognise the need to put in place systems that protect both their facilities and their information systems and databases, this approach is gaining greater acceptance. Convergence is really happening now.

Comelit-PAC for one is constantly looking to the future. Innovation through continuous investment in people-power and technology finds an outlet in the design of new solutions dedicated to improving the quality of an integrated everyday life by maximising simplicity and functionality.

And, as the practice of security integration becomes more sophisticated, the term will likely come to indicate an even more comprehensive approach to linking different systems.  

For example, over the past year or so, a growing topic of discussion among industry experts has been to link the security system with human resource applications. That way, when a person either joins or leaves the company, the security system would be automatically changed when the human resources department updates its records.

Why integrate?

Integrating different elements of an organisation’s physical and logical security systems offers a range of benefits. For starters, it provides a more comprehensive approach to security that’s less vulnerable to incidents and better able to respond if one occurs. 

Ultimately, today, a smart system must be open to offer integration options or integration into other systems must be possible. An access control system can be programmed to automatically change, based on the type of alarm that sounds. If the system determines that an intruder has entered the facility, it may lock down the security in place.

An integrated approach also offers better protection against the reality that “you can perpetrate physical threats logically and logical threats physically.” 

In addition, an integrated system typically provides operating efficiencies. As a starting point, calls to the technical help desk generally drop when employees can use one credential to access both their computers and their workspace. The more credentials or passwords they have to manage, the greater the likelihood that they’ll forget one and need to call on the information systems staff.

As new open-standard software applications come onto the market, it’s becoming increasingly feasible to manage an integrated system from a single software package. You have one interface to deal with, so there’s less training and it’s easier to support.

One system visibility

There is another key factor that blends with the fast-paced adaption of integrated security systems and this is the advances in one system management capability to offer greater efficiencies. 

It is something we have become accustomed to in our home security, where, taking a mobile first app approach, such as Comelit-PAC’s home security app that is free to download, provides users with one simple and effective place to go to control their home. 

From a business perspective, this expectation is no different to offer a seamless security solution that is easily controllable from a single management platform, accessible by authorised personnel with 24-hour coverage, without compromising on innovation or compliance to the latest legislation.

Comelit-PAC offers a management integration system, Horus, which presents an innovative platform that integrates intruder alarm, fire detection, video surveillance and door entry into a single integrated software system capable of targeting alarm management.

Horus allows users the opportunity to monitor each system from a single location and show the updated status of all devices on graphic maps, simplifying the work of dedicated staff. This includes viewing live or remotely the video recordings, allowing operators real time monitoring options of sites under observation as well as viewing images recorded by the system.

Evolving technology

Such efficiency, resource and time savings will be critical to success, allowing teams to re-evaluate where staff and resources are most needed and redeploy them accordingly to ensure a great returning customer experience.

In summary, it can be critical that the security system be designed to accommodate future growth and integrated technology. “If you don’t plan, the system may not keep up with technology and expansion.”

Comelit-PAC works with an organisation right from initial design to establish the integration capabilities of security systems. It is here that we can simply work in behind the scenes operations. Comelit-PAC’s Intercom module offers the option of integrating Comelit video entry functions into other apps, for the unified management of services in your building.

Further on this evolutionary path, Comelit-PAC has invested in and created the Comnect integration programme, with the aim of creating a single solution that includes all the products designed to be open to integration with the outside world and therefore to products developed by other manufacturers.

Here, the value of cloud-based security solutions is more apparent now than ever before. The ability to access on-site security systems remotely and rapidly respond to emerging threats or changing environments is key to ensuring an organisation’s security.

Evolving technology means that, today, cloud-based services can be combined with an integrated approach that will lay the foundation for a more secure future. And it’s critical to keep an eye toward the future when implementing and integrating new security technologies.

In considering these technologies as part of a long-term strategy, as opposed to a short term solution, organisations can develop a more resilient and coherent security program that can propel them forward and prepare them for the future.

For more information on Comelit-PAC’s integration capability, please visit: www.comelitgroup.com

This article was originally published in the June edition of ISJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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