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Archive for the ‘Security Technology’ tag

From Boots to Bots: Supporting Advanced Technology with Skilled Humans

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Increasingly, providing the highest levels of security and peace of mind for clients requires more than boots on the ground.

It requires technology.

While human beings will always be at the core of our security strategy, we increasingly use technology to extend our security and threat mitigation capabilities.

Human beings can do many things technology cannot, such as sizing up certain types of threats. But technology can also outperform humans in certain tasks, such as monitoring the Internet to identify potential security issues in real time.

Day-to-Day and Global Security Technology

We use two basic types of technology in serving our clients.

First, we use many tech tools to manage and enhance our security officers. We track activities, ensure that all security checks are done as they should, and provide reports and analysis for clients to demonstrate that we’re meeting and exceeding their expectations.

In addition, some members of our security staff are gaining the skills required to operate Global Security Operations Centers (GSOCs). More and more companies are using GSOCs to:

  • Monitor potential threats in real time
  • Protect people and assets
  • Predict and mitigate emerging risks
  • Monitor and protect threats to corporate operations and reputation

As an example, a large church with missionaries around the world wants to analyze threat levels and potential issues in every location with church personnel, to mitigate threats and to ensure their safety. Companies with executives who are travelling to other countries for business want the same. Many areas where companies might want to set up operations, open a manufacturing facility, or visit potential partners have such threats as political unrest, terrorists or kidnappers.

Here in the U.S., one client GSOC continuously scans the internet to see if the company or its executives are mentioned anywhere, including on the Dark Web. This company, for instance, could be affected if a pending strike in Argentina threatens to affect the power grid. Skilled Sunstates analysts review compiled intelligence around the clock to not only spot potential threats, but also to judge how likely and severe they are. The most credible risks are immediately flagged for further action.

The growing use of technology offers almost infinite opportunities for Sunstates’ security officers to advance their careers and to take on new challenges.

Upgraded Training

Another area where Sunstates uses technology for ongoing upgrades is training in general. Sunstates has a rapidly expanding library of online training courses and materials for officers and supervisors, including both general and site-specific programs. Many client sites have specific security needs and challenges, which are carefully documented for all officers and supervisors to understand.

As a client-driven organization, we continually meet with clients to gain insights into the skills our security officers need to have, and our corporate training department develops materials to ensure Sunstates employees have the necessary competencies.

To discuss the impact of these trends on your organization, please call Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or email us.

 

Written by Sunstates Security

February 10th, 2020 at 8:31 pm

Smart Cameras, Smarter People

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Smart Cameras, Smarter People

New technology, especially security cameras with analytics features, are adding new capabilities and providing more reactive and proactive options. Today’s systems have capabilities previously seen only in the movies: pattern-based analytics, self-learning and AI (artificial intelligence) that can find security threats and suspicious patterns incredibly quickly and accurately. The new technology won’t replace security officers, but it will enable them to provide even greater security.

 

 

Spotting Potential Security Issues

Scenario 1: Looking Back for Clues

For example, you know a white van with green stripes was involved in an incident, or is suspected in an incident, on a corporate campus with 200 security cameras. Analytics software and a skilled security officer can find every instance that van was recorded by a security camera over the past few hours, days or weeks, typically in less than an hour. The security officer can build a timeline of the vehicle’s movements on the campus, as well as identify when anyone entered or left the vehicle.

Scenario 2: Looking Forward Proactively

Today’s cameras and software can also reverse-engineer that scenario. The security officer can use the software and camera system to be on the lookout for a white van with green stripes, and send an alert as soon as a vehicle matching that description is spotted.

If, say, a recently terminated employee is deemed a potential threat, and the security officer knows what type of vehicle that person is driving, the system can alert security as soon as that person drives onto the corporate campus.

Building and Managing a Complete System

Most importantly, software can now bridge different systems and different cameras from multiple manufacturers to build a complete, seamless system. Even older cameras can have the same capabilities as the latest generation, albeit possibly with lower resolution. Even if the images aren’t as sharp and clear, those cameras can still be an integral part of an early warning system, saving the costs of replacing equipment.

Cameras and Access Control

With facial recognition technology, the future won’t rely on keys, badges or card swipes, but on cameras and software that “recognize” employees and flag intruders and anyone not known by the system. This technology will be both more secure—an intruder could steal an employee’s badge or key card, but not an employee’s face—and more cost-effective.

The Human Element

Security cameras, software and other technology won’t replace security personnel. Instead, security officers will be more highly skilled in using that technology to provide higher levels of both reactive and proactive security.

For information on how Sunstates Security can combine technology with skilled personnel for a higher level of security, please call 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

September 10th, 2019 at 6:31 pm

Replacing Security Personnel with Technology? Not So Fast

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Boots on the ground. Eyes in the sky.

As cameras, access controls and other security technology become more and more sophisticated, some companies wonder whether technology can replace personnel.

“We’ll upgrade our cameras, add a few to make sure the entire building is covered, then cut back on security personnel,” the thinking goes. “The payroll savings will pay for the additional technology in two years.”

But technology has its limits, and security vs. cost savings isn’t always a good trade-off.

What Technology Does Well

Cameras and security systems are getting smarter and more analytical. Backed by a command center with highly trained, skilled personnel (often former military), some aspects of security can now be accomplished with fewer people.

Well-trained experts can analyze camera feeds and other information and produce results quickly. Review the last 72 hours of parking lot activity to spot a suspicious vehicle? Note patterns that suggest employee theft or supply chain disruptions? Those are things that technology, backed by experts, does well in ways that human beings alone cannot. (Would several security officers, each working a different shift, be likely to collaborate and deduce that the same red Chevrolet has circled the parking lot several times but never parked? Not likely.)

The Downsides of Technology

Cameras, recorders and other security technology alone won’t spot suspicious patterns or activity. That analysis requires human intervention by highly skilled professionals. Former military personnel are good choices because they tend to have both the technical skills and the discipline. But training, especially training specific to a certain site or campus, takes time, and a good command center is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.

There are two things that technology alone doesn’t do as well as security personnel.

  • Emergency response. Response time is critical, and the greater the threat or emergency, the more important that becomes. If the closest personnel are several buildings away on a large campus, critical minutes will be lost.
  • Public relations. Employees, clients and visitors feel safer and more reassured when they see professional security personnel. Reduce the number of officers, and employees often feel less safe. For visitors, first impressions are critical: polite, service-oriented security officers make an important statement about your facility.

Security technology can extend and enhance the security of any facility, whether it’s as simple as electronic locks that require key cards or a sophisticated network of cameras, motion detectors and a command center.

But technology alone, or security personnel alone, can’t provide as much protection and threat mitigation as the two together.

About Sunstates Security Command Centers

Sunstates Security manages command centers for clients across the country, ranging from single-campus systems to global operations.  With thousands of hours of experience, Sunstates can provide an in-depth analysis of facilities and security operations to seamlessly integrate technology and personnel.

The following tips are often overlooked when establishing a command center:

  • Provide redundant hardware and systems (including power) to mitigate downtime from equipment failure
  • Location is critical; choose a central, secure site separate from regular operations.
  • Employ “clean sheet” technology designed around the organization’s unique needs, and avoid proprietary hardware and software for greater flexibility.
  • Staff centers with highly trained, competitively compensated personnel to manage data and identify potential hazards before they become incidents.

For information on how Sunstates Security can use technology and personnel to provide greater security, or for an evaluation of your existing security systems and strategies, please call 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

May 6th, 2019 at 4:07 pm

Security Technology for Today—and Tomorrow

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At last month’s ASIS International Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Dallas, technology dominated the showroom floor. Vendors showcased robots and drones, along with the ubiquitous access-control and surveillance systems. In the real world, however, even sophisticated organizations are waiting before taking the technological plunge.

This article highlights emerging technologies, as well as familiar systems that are doing more than ever—often for less money.

New Technologies

These advancements are emerging from science fiction novels and films into 21st century reality.

  • Robots. Several companies featured security robots as an alternative to human patrol officers. While these mechanical sentries offer cost savings and other benefits, such as the ability to capture video, they’re not likely to replace security personnel entirely. Robots may gradually find their way into corporate security forces, but they’ll ultimately report their findings to skilled humans. Still, continuing advancements in robotics will spark interesting debates in the coming years.
  • Drones. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are generating a lot of interest as the technology improves. While future restrictions inevitably will govern where, how and when these devices can fly, UAVs add a new dimension to surveillance, especially when conducting vulnerability assessments. Drones allow security teams to not only focus on their facilities, but also on potential threats beyond the site perimeter. Some companies are marketing drones that capture other drones, highlighting some of the privacy concerns created by these vehicles.
  • Facial Recognition. This technology recently went mainstream with the announcement of iPhone X. Apple’s $1,000+ smartphone will replace the familiar fingerprint reader with facial recognition, which is reportedly 20x more secure. Already, the technology is changing the security game. Last month, Chinese police used cameras equipped with automated facial recognition (AFR) software to arrest 25 wanted criminals at a beer festival, including one who had eluded authorities for a decade.

Improved Technologies

While not as exciting as the previous advances, the following technology improvements are transforming security in more subtle ways.

  • Investigative tools. Online proliferation of public data has enhanced investigations in recent years, while creating its own challenges. Consulting multiple sources for information consumes time, as does sifting through the results for relevance. New technologies are making it easier both to collect data in a single source and to narrow results for human analysis. Some of these tools remain prohibitively expensive for smaller organizations, but prices will fall as the technology evolves.
  • Access control. Today’s access-control systems offer increased security and efficiency, in addition to improving the user experience. Electronic systems can integrate with other and personnel management security systems. Plus, a missing access card can be quickly deactivated and replaced. New access-control technologies are amplifying these benefits, replacing cards with smartphones, mobile devices and biometrics.
  • Audio/visual recording. High-definition cameras, digital recorders and cloud computing have made it easier, and more affordable, than ever for businesses to upgrade their security systems. Many clients are replacing decade-old closed-circuit televisions with state-of-the-art systems that allow remote monitoring.

To discuss how these technologies can help your security program, call Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

October 19th, 2017 at 4:05 pm