Identifying, assessing and managing security risks through the implementation of technology offers 21st century businesses, governments and individuals the unprecedented ability to implement fully integrated security strategies. More than CCTV and access control, the security sector of today is buoyed by a strategic dependence on not only the edge devices themselves, but on how these devices and their associated data are both communicated and presented to the user. The interaction of the data sets is paramount in providing decision makers with both timely and intuitive data points. And when harnessed correctly, these integrated systems offer not only next-level in surveillance and safety – but they can also contribute to a business’ bottom line.
The best way to illustrate this is with a few examples.It wasn’t so long ago that a couple of guards at the front gate were the first and only points of security for educational institutions; today, schools are regularly turning to more sophisticated methods of safety and surveillance based on the demands of their customers and local regulation. In fact, private schools in Dubai are a regular client base for Transguard, with the need for CCTV, access control and PA systems, amongst others, as basic security requirements. The implication is fairly obvious: While today’s schools actively demonstrate an understanding of regulatory requirements, those schools that look deeper into the use cases and invest in security and safety solutions are far more likely to include security and safety as part of the overall feature set for the school’s investment (along with others, such as teachers and a well-maintained facility). School administrators are also aware that more and more parents consider an institution’s security arrangements when deciding on the education of their children.
Another example of technology’s impact on security – and ultimately consumer behavior – can be seen in the residential sector. Transguard recently upgraded the intercom system in more than 400 apartments for one of Dubai’s leading property developers. The old technology of buzzing a visitor in through the lobby after checking their identity via a screen in their apartment simply wasn’t keeping up with both the vision of the master developer and, more importantly, the aspirations of the customer.
Transguard installed a new and improved security upgrade that offered these same residents the ability to simply look at a dedicated app on their phone to not only identify their visitor, but also to allow him or her access to the apartment block. This is a great example of how the intelligent deployment of technology can evolve from a standard requirement into a fast, reliable and agile mobile solution that could very well make the difference between an empty apartment and a long-time tenant.
Technology also plays an integral role in the interoperability of business operations and other functions by enabling businesses to have better foresight on even more aspects than security alone. Recently we completed a design and build of 24/7 control room for a cash handling company that required more than 24 operator stations, a 15-person call centre and a secured data room, with at-a-glance access to UAE ATMs, mobile armoured vehicles, security and business data as key features. The result is a state-of-the-art facility that allows the business access to real-time data from multiple sources that can be used to better enable quicker and more informed responses, including the re-routing of operational vehicles, deploying additional personnel and dedicated Police real-time data feeds.
These are exciting aspects of technology and security, but what about the cost of investment? For many businesses, this is where the conversation ends before it begins. Thankfully, we’re seeing that as the technology matures, the financial options expand as well, with leasing opportunities now placing the potential benefits of enhanced security within easy reach for businesses of all sizes. That’s good news at every level, from consumers all the way up to CEOs, with safety being the most important byproduct for everyone.
The Author, Tim Mundell, Chief Security Officer, Transguard