A Look at Trends and Advances in Security During 2017
Trends and advances in the security industry are examined, including the latest in AI, video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection.
Intrusion Alarm Trends and Advancements
There’s both good and bad news where it comes to traditional intrusion detection. First, from a hardware standpoint, some professionals believe there’s more that should or could have been done to move traditional alarm technology forward during 2017.
Wayne Alarm’s Sevinor says, “Frankly, we have a significant concern that the limited number of manufacturers of intrusion products are not keeping up with technology or customer demands. New entrants have more consumer savvy products. I don’t know if they’re asleep or blind, however this is a concern. If they don’t increase their product lines, keeping up with technology, we’ll be looking at unconventional product channels.”
In response to Sevinor’s concerns, over the past year, access control manufacturers have worked to accommodate intrusion detection devices and report functions in their operating system.
AMAG’s Takahashi says “We have our own detection system built into our panel. However, the way I see it, it’s another silo in an estate. The question is, when those alarms come in, how much info do you have and what are you able to do with it?”
It’s more helpful when security is able to integrate alarm systems into an integrated platform (see JCI’s DeSousa’s comments in the video surveillance section) that’s capable of rapid analysis and communication with in-field security personnel, thus providing them with good, better and best actions to take in an effort to create an amiable, safe and secure resolution.
“At AMAG, we focus on the operational aspects, such as how to manage alarms. We provide a strong operational solution providing we have a myriad of data to work with at the center of our integrated system. By making room for intrusion detection we have added considerably to the overall body of information that’s now available to those who manage security in real time,” says Takahashi.
On the positive side, the industry has witnessed an upturn in the use of network technology to process, validate, manage and report alarms to proprietary and public central monitoring stations. Network technology allows advanced information management platforms to channel moment-by-moment information into an information management platform’s data flow, which is essential to security when an incident takes place.
This includes the continued development of system compatible Internet of Things (IoT) devices as well as most needed cybersecure protections required to secure connected networks from hack-attacks.
Trends and Advancements in Access Control
Probably one of the most important areas where we’ve seen a huge effort in forward motion is in the area of standardization. According to Mike Simon, managing partner of Connected Technologies of Crystal Lake, Ill., access control-related manufacturers and service providers have had to look for ways to distinguish themselves from other players in the security industry by creating value-added elements designed to catch the eye.
For example, Simon’s own company has eliminated the need for readers altogether. According to Simon, “Cloud computing has helped the industry. The smaller players are now able to compete with larger companies, offering unique services for very little money.”
The development of a Cloud-based offering designed to level the playing field is a significant development that not only adds to alarm dealer’s ability to provide benefits beyond the norm, but it also offers all concerned with an additional opportunity to earn a monthly residual in the process.
“The result of all this is manufacturers who have created value-added elements within their technologies provide a huge monetary incentive. They attract end users who end up buying them. Those dealers who use these value-added technologies/equipment enjoy it in many ways, other than financial,” says Simon.
“There also are dealers out there who use one panel for one thing, an entirely different panel for this other thing, so on and so forth. They have a handle on labor and equipment costs [to the point where they] know all too well that they need to focus on what they do best. Along with this realization comes a profound need to limit one’s self to one piece of equipment that fits their overall need, thus saving time and money.”
Hence, the single-panel philosophy presented by Takahashi, Gonzalez and DeSousa, centers on standardization. “Instead of conducting training and programming classes on several panels, they have one panel to worry about,” says Simon.
And this is exactly what some access control manufacturers have sought to do — create a single platform that uses the Cloud. Another trend in access is the development of a bi-direction communication standard that allows a central access control system to update cards, fobs and other access credentials when these devices are used.
With two-way communication at the reader, when there’s a change that occurs that requires an access card to undergo reprogramming, the host computer can update, upgrade, or erase the card’s internal firmware while it’s in use.
Another change, driven by the popularity of today’s mobile devices, is driving the industry toward the use of an effective bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program where it’s the user who decides what to use as an access credential. ‘Do I use my smartwatch or my tablet?’
“Access control is moving towards BYOD, open card structure and new consortiums changing the way encryption is handled. Also I believe access control is dying as we know it. Identity management is the future conversation,” says JCI’s Hunt.
Mobile devices and a variety of communication protocols, along with the Internet, is what’s driving the BYOD effort. This enables each user to apply a single, common credential, like a tablet, smartwatch or a smartphone to any number of physical access control systems as well as logical access setting.
“The industry can expect to see double-digit growth in mobile credential use, even though this type of credential won’t outpace traditional cards, fobs or other physical credential versions in the short term,” says Jason Ouellette, access control product manager with Johnson Controls. “Increasingly, mobile credentials have been integrated with various access control security systems during 2017 and the move toward industry standards should cement their use in the future. Likewise, mobile keys, which send a pulse to a door to open it, are a small, but growing segment driven by ongoing hardware changes.”
Many of the inherent challenges associated with the BYOD effort have been addressed over the past 12 months assuring its controlled use in the months and years to come. Although there are certainly more trends and technology advancements that we can discuss, those presented in the preceding pages represent some of the more notable.
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