What is an Integrated Security System?
Modern organizations are increasingly moving toward an enterprise-wide view of almost everything they do. Rather than operating in silos with disparate systems, companies are now seeing the benefits of having one centralized platform to log into and manage all physical security needs.
Integrated security and surveillance has definitely become a part of this movement. Many top organizations today are working toward an integrated solution that combines key elements such as video surveillance cameras and door access control systems.
The primary goal of treating it all as one solution is to improve security. But there is a lot more at stake. An Integrated Security approach will help you make efficiency gains, improve visibility across the organization, enhance ease of use amongst end-users, leverage combined data insights, and simplify management with a unified solution
Jump to each section to learn more:
- The Challenge of Integrating Physical Security Tools
- The Benefits of Integrated Physical Security
- Connectivity Solutions
The Challenge of Integrating Physical Security Tools
Enterprises face a lot of challenges when they have disparate solutions all under one roof. Just one example: If the system isn’t integrated, it can take forever to find the associated video footage when an access-related event needs to be reviewed.
By contrast, you can do the same investigations much quicker and with way less effort if you’re using an integrated access, security, and sensor system. The video footage is automatically synced—leaving you with less time wasted hunting around and more time to figure out exactly what happened. This is just one of the many benefits of evolving to a more modern approach.
Still, there are some challenges to completely overhauling everything. You might have to purchase new hardware, rewire the facility, set up new infrastructure, redeploy everything, and retrovision and re-onboard all your users. Even when the upside is very compelling, taking on that level of project could be daunting.
Fortunately, there is a happy medium that can give you the improvements you need while avoiding the hassle you don’t. Look for an access system that integrates with existing door hardware. This way, all you’re really doing is swapping out the brains of the system: the controller. And look to integrate a security camera system that is easy to deploy, won’t require complex configurations, and is intuitive to navigate and manage.
This is a great way to make a relatively painless upgrade that won’t create major implementation problems. The result will be a single centralized solution that offers security, access, and environmental monitoring. eliminating the operational downsides of having disparate components that you have to log into and maintain.
Benefits of an Integrated Physical Security System
Simplify Security Management
An integrated system centralizes physical security management onto one platform. Once the setup and connectivity is taken care of, it can all be operated through an on-premise solution, cloud-based video management software (VMS), or a combination of the two. Compared to on-premise, cloud and hybrid cloud systems offer easier remote access from any browser or device. Advanced systems also provide automatic software and firmware updates, reducing the cost of manual configurations and limiting the hassle of keeping all kinds of disparate components functioning around the clock.
Shorten Incident Response with Remote Monitoring
Integrated security allows CCTV cameras and access control to communicate with each other and operate in tandem. This makes remote monitoring easy, as something that affects one element can then trigger an appropriate response in the others.
Consider real-time motion notifications from a video security camera. If the camera detects something out of the ordinary—like unexpected motion in the middle of the night—it can provide a real-time notification to the appropriate users. This will put the personnel and the access control system on high alert.
And that will lead to quicker incident response times and allow for immediate remote monitoring—with security camera access on mobile and web applications—to keep track of the situation as it occurs.
Combine Data Insights to Improve Facility Management
One great way to improve your overall security is to add more data and insight to the equation. This becomes much easier within integrated security systems that can funnel intelligence into a centralized dashboard—where it can be analyzed and utilized to its full potential.
Facility management, in particular, can be greatly enhanced. Patterns and trends will be seen in terms of motion tracking and heat maps. This will provide a better view into space utilization, which not only allows for your resources to be deployed in the right places but will also help you to improve overall space management in any facility.
Data on access patterns and users is valuable as well. This will help you maintain proper vendor management and maintain strong controls over office access.
No matter how good your building manager and physical security management team is right now, giving them a wealth of data will only make them better. And it all becomes simple when surveillance camera systems, access control, alarms, P.A. systems, and security personnel are all working as an integrated system.
Event Audit Log
Good data can come in many forms, and having a strong, reliable, easy-to-access event audit log is a major benefit of an integrated security system. Many organizations already maintain video access logs and door access systems logs for compliance and other reasons. But having them together in one place only improves the UX and makes these powerful tools even more useful.
The video access log will allow you to identify active users who have modified footage or otherwise accessed video feeds. This helps provide more context into access events by including the corresponding video evidence as well.
For door access systems, an event audit log will allow you to authenticate users and maintain a record of who has been granted access—and when. This can also help you know when it might be necessary to remove keycard access if that becomes appropriate, and provides the needed evidence for ensuring compliance with requirements like PCI.
Camera Connectivity Solutions
Along with the conceptual and physical integrations, any integrated security system will also need to have the right connectivity solutions. There are various options, and each can be appropriate for different applications, organizations, and facilities.
In general, there are three connectivity solutions—PoE, Cradlepoint, and WiFi—that will likely serve you well. The following is a rundown of what each one is and why it might make sense for your integrated security approach.
PoE: Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a wired solution that allows you to plug in any components of your integrated security system to the network. It is the most reliable and trusted connectivity solution, and the one that most organizations will choose to use for certain aspects unless it becomes infeasible.
WiFi: WiFi is the default wireless connectivity solution that most organizations will be using in most facilities. It can offer a bit more flexibility and convenience than PoE without many practical drawbacks. There may be more small outages, which could compromise some aspects of security, but reliability is generally very high in most locations, so it is widely seen as a viable option in many applications.
Cradlepoint: One other option favored by some organizations is connecting through a Cradlepoint wireless network router. Technologically, this isn’t difficult and can be easily achieved with the right system. You can even scale cameras using cellular connectivity or limited network bandwidth. If this is the best method for you, setting it all up is as easy as following a few simple steps.
What is integrated security?
Integrated security is when various components—which were in the past generally viewed as independent components—work together within a unified security system. It is a multi-layered approach that incorporates everything into one solution. The number and nature of the different components can vary by organization and location, but they commonly include Video Surveillance, Access Control, Environmental Sensors, and Security Personnel.
What is CCTV access control? What are the benefits of combining access control with a CCTV system?
Blending CCTV security camera systems with access control provides constant, real-time vigilance and heightened security. In most cases, these are two of the fundamental aspects of any integrated security system—and now they can work together in harmony. In addition to these benefits, the combination also speeds up response times, improves system efficiency, provides centralized management, enhances theft prevention, aids in conflict resolution, and helps to realize cost savings.
How does CCTV integrate with access control systems?
There are various ways to combine CCTV systems and access control into an integrated security system. With modern technology, solutions from the same provider typically integrate very well and work together seamlessly. Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) software and open-architecture technologies can also be great tools to help coordinate various components under the same umbrella.
What are some best practices for securing an integrated access control and CCTV surveillance system?
Cybersecurity is critical when working to create an integrated system that combines CCTV video security and access control. Strong passwords, user permissions, identity management, and encryption usually make up the foundation of protecting your system and network. Firewalls can also have a role to play as well as general due diligence and ongoing vigilance by the IT team to keep firmware updated and software patched. To ensure that your system is always up to date, look for a solution that deploys automatic updates containing security enhancements.