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Trending Now: Technology Advancements Re-Shaping Security

Facility safety and security is light-years beyond the days of one guard and an alarm system, and navigating the complex array of the technologies available can be daunting. Whether you’re focused on compliance and driving efficiencies, or simply looking to bolster efforts already in place, it’s important to be aware of the trends currently shaping security and how they can benefit your business. Following are five developments to watch.
 
Biometrics Goes Mainstream
Biometrics is no longer the domain of sci-fi movies and top-secret bunkers, and is increasingly employed for mainstream security purposes. This authentication method uses unique human characteristics, such as fingerprints, retina scans and even the veins in your hand. And it can help drive greater operational efficiencies, like getting people through facilities quicker, while enhancing security. When biometric technologies are in place, losing or forgetting an access card is no longer an issue.
 
Intelligence Moves to the Edge
Gone are the days of relying solely on Security Story.jpga central server for powering applications. Now, the

storage and intelligence can be found in the device itself — or at the “edge.” This concept is coming to life through enhancements to video that provide the processing power to run advanced analytics and capture high-resolution images within cameras. This helps speed identification of potential issues and gives security personnel a crystal-clear view of the situation.
 
Edge intelligence is also shaping new innovations like electronic locks, or e-locks, which provide wireless access control for doors. Rather than have to run wires from individual readers to a central panel, which then communicates with a building management system, the “smarts” embedded in an e-lock cuts out the hardware in the middle, providing a quicker response and saving the need to run miles of cabling. It’s better control that typically costs less to install.
 
IT and Security Converge
Central decision-making is no longer limited to a security or facility manager. Physical and network security are converging, and IT is becoming more involved as security, building and enterprise systems connect. As a result, both sides need to learn new competencies and develop the expertise to manage processes and technologies that merge physical and logical security. One of the benefits of convergence is the unification of identification and credentials for easy, more accurate management.
 
Mobility Reigns
When was the last time you forgot your smart phone at home? We increasingly rely on our smart phones for everything from checking the weather to hailing a car to the airport. So it makes sense to use these ubiquitous devices for access and other security applications. Leveraging mobile technology allows security personnel to manage systems from anywhere, improving control and speeding responses. From an end user standpoint, mobility provides a more seamless experience. And, since there’s no need for a badge or other ID, it means one less thing to remember in the morning.
 
The User Experience is Paramount
The idea of taking a class to learn how to operate a smartphone, tablet or laptop probably sounds absurd, but complex user manuals and start-up guides are standard with facility technologies. The standard in the consumer world is an out-of-the-box experience, however, and people are bringing the same expectations to their places of work. As a result, the commercial and industrial world is starting to see easy-to-understand interfaces and intuitive technologies that don’t require significant training to operate, instead introducing new ways to visualize information and manage processes. While simple in concept, the impact is significant. When it comes to security, specifically, an enhanced user experience helps minimize operator error, speeds incident response and ensures technology remains an enabler to maintaining facility security.
 
At its core, security ultimately comes down to quickly identifying issues and mitigating risk. These trends are a sampling of the ways technology is providing a more efficient, effective means to those ends. And, in many cases, they’re also reducing the resources and costs necessary to get there.