When it comes to business security, much of the attention in recent years has been given to the need for cybersecurity. With more and more companies choosing to store data and personal information on cloud services, good cybersecurity is undeniably important. Yet it is far from the only aspect of a comprehensive security protocol.
Physical security is an equally important aspect of organizational safety. In fact, without adequate physical security, no amount of cybersecurity can provide total protection against asset loss. As more and more businesses have recognized this fact, the physical security industry has grown at a rapid pace, with no signs of slowing in coming years.
In fact, according to one recent financial report, the physical security market was projected to grow from $84.1 billion in 2018 to $119.4 billion by 2023. If you would like to learn more about what has driven this incredible rate of growth, read on. This article takes a closer look at three crucial reasons why businesses are investing in physical security.
Nothing Is Unknown
Video surveillance constitutes one of the most important aspects of a physical security system, allowing you to track who is on your property at all times. With a well-placed array of cameras, you can monitor virtually all entrances and exits. These cameras provide vital records in the event of thefts or other criminal activity, giving you the evidence necessary to prosecute crimes and mitigate losses.
Furthermore, a video surveillance system actually represents a significant deterrent, with the mere sight of a security camera often being sufficient to prevent crime from happening in the first place. Integrated technology has also made it easy to manage video streams, allowing you to access a camera’s feed live from remote locations.
To fully protect your business using video surveillance, you will likely need to integrate a variety of different camera types, including any and all of the following:
- Fixed cameras (box, bullet, or dome)
- Panoramic cameras
- Positioning cameras
- Modular cameras
- Thermal cameras
As their name implies, fixed cameras offer a single fixed angle of view. Fixed box cameras act as powerful deterrents, thanks to their conspicuous, no-nonsense appearance. Fixed bullet cameras, meanwhile, offer a slimmer, more subtle alternative. Fixed dome cameras have a protective dome casing that makes them impossible to redirect, while also disguising the positioning of the camera.
Panoramic cameras differ in terms of scope. Whereas a large open space may require multiple fixed cameras, a panoramic camera can cover the entire area completely. This helps to reduce installation and maintenance costs, while also providing an effective total solution.
Positioning cameras take a different approach to total surveillance, being capable of panning in a full 360 degree direction, while also tilting up and down. Many positioning cameras also have auto-tracking capabilities, meaning they can follow a detected person or object across their entire field of view.
Modular cameras are used when discretion or space considerations are key. These tiny cameras consist of two separate parts: a sensor unit used to capture images, and a main unit where those images are processed and sent to a network. Finally, thermal cameras work by recording heat waves instead of visible light waves, allowing them to detect individuals in even the darkest settings.
Safeguarding Critical Areas
Another vital aspect of physical security comes in the form of access control. Access control systems are used in lieu of traditional lock-and-key mechanisms to secure doors and other means of ingress and egress. An access control system issues credentials to employees, allowing them to access different parts of a building using key cards, key fobs, and other transmitting devices.
Compared to traditional mechanical locks, access control systems offer far more security when it comes to protecting server rooms, safeguarding data, and restricting movement within a building. Physical keys are much harder to track, meaning that stolen or duplicated keys can represent a significant security hazard. With such systems, the only solution in the case of a security breach is to manually replace all of the affected locks.
Access control systems also allow for a far greater range of customizability. A particular employee’s credentials can be custom tailored to dictate which parts of a facility they have permission to access. And because those credentials are stored on the IT system, they can easily be reset, altered, or deleted without affecting any other employee’s permissions.
Access control systems also give building managers an excellent way to track where different people are within a building. Every time somebody enters or exists a room using an access card, the movement — and the user — will be logged in the system. This kind of information gives you an extra level of security when it comes to preventing internal theft and other suspicious activities.
Keeping Intruders Out
Perimeter protection is the third major piece of a physical security solution. The main goal of perimeter security is to prevent unauthorized access to facility grounds by creating a physical barrier. In most cases, this involves installing of one or more layers of walls, fences, gates, and other types of barrier.
Historically, perimeter protection was somewhat neglected compared other physical security measures. However, that has changed significantly in recent years, as threats of security and terrorism have grown. Since 2015, the perimeter security market has seen a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent.
The extent of a perimeter protection system depends on the level of perceived threat to the business or facility. The most robust systems combine some form of fencing with both security lights and video surveillance. Likewise, access control systems are often used to control who can pass into and out of the security layer.
Even more advanced systems contain cutting edge technologies like:
- Fence-mounted sensors
- Infrared detection devices
- Integrated fiber optic intruder detection systems
More and more, the emphasis is on holistic security solutions — in other words, perimeter protection systems that integrate seamlessly with both access control and video surveillance systems.
Physical security is one of the hottest topics in the business world today. Not only do businesses have to install the types of security measures that can best protect them, but they also have to ensure that those systems are managed correctly. A security system is a living, breathing system that must be maintained to provide its full benefit.