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For Building Security to Get to the Next Level It Needs to Be Proactive Not Forensic

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We have all seen the scene in the movie where the detective hovers over a technician while he finds the exact moment the perp’s face comes into view. These kinds of scenes are dramatic, that is why they use them in pretty much any detective movie, but they are not a good representation of preventative policing. Not by a long shot. The same technique, pouring over old film to hopefully find something that might give some helpful piece of information after an event has occurred, is what most buildings do now for their security. Likewise, this is not a good representation of what preventative security should look like.

“The fact of the matter is that most buildings today are operating in a forensic capacity,” says Adam Marlin of unified security technology company, Vaion. “We have the technology to help reduce days worth of effort in video review and case management down to seconds to eliminate the cost and time it takes to investigate an incident.” Vaion delivers on expectations with the oft cited axiom that the first few hours after an event occurs are the most important for catching someone or stopping further incidents.

Forensics is not the future

Modern building security is so much more than film review. Thanks to modern analytical capabilities of surveillance software, building security operations can alert officers to possible problems as or even before they happen. Marlin says embedded machine learning is able to assess huge amounts of video data and make a distinction between what is normal and what is aberrant behavior. He gives a number of important examples from managing homeless/criminal trespassing to the mundane (and nearly impossible) task of policing what gets thrown in the recycle bins. Advanced surveillance platforms like Vaion can even integrate to Building Management Systems to drive energy efficiency through occupancy counts.

Normal vs. aberrant

It isn’t just what is happening in the building that can help raise a red flag to possible security risks. Most theft comes from former employees, often recently terminated ones, so understanding IT behaviors can be a way to identify bad actors. The way they interact with others, the applications or networks accessed or even the files saved/printed can be a sign someone looking to do a company harm. Combining physical security networks with the cyber analysis can help buildings understand their threats before they happen.

Connecting digital and cyber security

There is only so much that can be done to keep people in buildings safe. But if a building is not using advanced technology to monitor and even prevent theft and violence they you could make the argument that they are not doing everything that they can. We have gone past the point of sitting in a room trying to find that perfect shot that will solve the case. While this might still make for a dramatic scene in a movie I think we would all agree that we would rather prevent this kind of drama from happening than have to live the scene ourselves.

Propmodo is a global multimedia effort to explore how emerging technologies affect our built environment.

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