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September 27, 2021

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Whitepaper: Effective Techniques for Robust OT Security

Unified security

“Unified security systems are futureproof, cost-effective solutions”, argues Genetec

The coronavirus pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of physical security systems, as many struggled to connect remote employees to the office. Moving forward, businesses need to be creative about how they use, update and redeploy security systems. Country Manager at Genetec, Paul Dodds, discusses the cost efficiency of these solutions. 

When deciding on a new security system, cost is always one of the most important factors as many security leaders are faced with the challenge of finding an optimal security system, suitable for the company’s complex requirements, whilst operating within a restrictive budget.

Unification: minimum expenses, maximum performance

A unified platform is a viable software solution that can help organisations meet their immediate and long-term security needs. It provides connectivity between multiple systems, including video surveillance, access control, intercom and intrusion detection systems, and helps security leaders get all the business intelligence they need for day-to-day operations, in a single interface.

A key benefit of unification is its cost-effectiveness. According to a representative study by Genetec, 77% of respondents were able to reduce the footprint of their infrastructure through unification, 78% were able to reduce maintenance costs, with 89% able to reduce maintenance time.

A unified platform is less expensive to acquire and maintain than individually integrated and proprietary solutions. Companies can benefit from an open system architecture as it enables the integration of third-party systems and endpoints, without having to make separate customisations or upgrades to each integration.

Modern unified solutions offer the possibility of implementing third-party applications using software development kits (SDK) or an application programming interface (API). This allows companies to not only continue to use existing integrations, but also to develop and maintain individual integrations without having to rely on single platform manufacturers. With a unified solution like Security Center, employees only have to get to know and use one system. Administrators save time configuring the system and only have one manufacturer to contact – Genetec – with any questions or issues.

Optimised use of existing resources

Today, many companies have problems maintaining security applications and the associated hardware infrastructure, which often operate independently of each other. A unified solution optimises the use of resources by sharing existing hardware such as servers and databases. With unification, security operators no longer have to manage, configure, update and secure disparate security systems and technologies.

Moreover, all data and services are stored in a central location and can be accessed immediately, saving operators significant amounts of time. With proprietary systems, maintenance staff have to manage each individual system on a separate computer and must often travel to additional locations to update software or perform a system check, all of which can prove time-consuming and costly.

Reduced hardware costs

The costs associated with on-premises IT infrastructure have also become a significant issue for companies. The server rooms, local cabling, and appropriate cooling systems, all take a toll. The security infrastructure also takes up a lot of space, because video surveillance files must be stored, access control information must be deposited, and the chosen systems also have to be installed on the servers themselves.

For this reason, more and more companies are switching to cloud-based services. Cloud services relieve IT departments of the responsibility for server space, cooling, power supply and hardware maintenance. At the same time, the protection of data stored in the cloud is significantly enhanced, because leading providers such as Microsoft and Amazon have implemented stringent security measures. With the cloud, companies can not only avoid high fixed costs for equipping and operating their own server rooms but can better protect their internal data from increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Optimised operating processes

A unified platform can also benefit other departments within an organisation, even if their role is not centred around security. As the data is gained within the unified system, this can help improve operational efficiency and yield strategic and actionable business intelligence.

With the help and integration of intelligent tools such as analytics, it is now easier to identify trends and patterns from data within multiple systems. In an airport setting for instance, a unified solution that feeds data into associated analytics software, can present a better understanding of terminal usage and density, as well as traveller and visitor flow, allowing departments to take action and eliminate unnecessary waiting times.

Unification can open up a new world of collecting and using actionable business intelligence that can greatly enhance business operations. Moreover, it can help encourage cross-departmental collaboration and break down what may have been a typically siloed culture.

Every second counts 

In critical situations, every second counts for security teams. A unified platform is the best solution to help operators validate and correlate alarms from all sensors within their environment. This can help determine quickly whether an alarm is real or false, and whether it requires an immediate response. If the control center receives an intrusion alarm on the premises, video surveillance within the unified system can be used to assess the situation on site and, if necessary, block all access points in the vicinity. Monitoring the entire site on one interface can reduce complexity for security teams and protect against avoidable stress-related errors.

The data collected within the system is also prioritised by the unified platform. As a result, security personnel do not have to deal with secondary issues that may be less important. Every minute the team loses due to inefficient operations can be enormously costly to people’s lives and the organisation itself, so it is important on-site personnel make decisions quickly and respond to events appropriately. With unification, companies can avoid unnecessary damages and reduce personnel costs at the same time.

 

‘Secure by Default’ in the Age of Converged Security: Insights from IFSEC 2019

From data security to the risks and opportunities of artificial intelligence, the conversations at IFSEC International shape future security strategies and best practices. This eBook brings you exclusive insights from these conversations, covering:

  • A Global Political and Security Outlook from Frank Gardner OBE
  • Surveillance Camera Day: Tony Porter launches ‘Secure by Default’ requirements for video surveillance systems
  • Using Drones to Secure the Future
  • Autonomous Cars and AI: Relocating human incompetence from drivers to security engineers?
  • The Ethical and Geopolitical Implications of AI and Machine Learning

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