Page 26 - Security Today, September/October 2021
P. 26

Coming of Age
Innovation and automation are being built on strong data foundation
By Ajay Jain
There have been on-going discussions the past several years about how Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to modernize physical security sys- tems and operations. The truth of the matter is that digital transformation has already been taking place for quite some time, albeit in small steps with what is now a very fast-paced technology evolution.
What were once high-level theoretical discussions on min- ing data from both traditional physical security operations and scores of new and emerging IoT devices have now become a real- ity. This next generation of innovation and automation is being built on strong data foundations and data intelligence. And it is changing perceptions on how physical security systems need to be designed, implemented, and managed in this new era of data- driven physical security solutions.
Perhaps the most significant take-away from the genesis of da- ta-driven physical security is the change in mindset from reactive to proactive systems technologies – the ability to autonomously process data in real-time to reduce friction in business process execution by eliminating human intervention, and to deliver ac- tionable insights and even predictive analysis.
This has the potential to dramatically increase the overall ef- fectiveness and efficiency of physical and cyber security opera- tions, mitigating risk across the enterprise. As a result, physical security technologies and operations will continue to leverage real-time business intelligence across the enterprise to facilitate real-time decision making.
One of the biggest challenges faced by security professionals to- day is the ability to harness and analyze the tremendous volume of data being generated by physical security operations contain- ing spatial, sensor and transactional data and network of devices to derive meaningful actionable intelligence. With the bulk of such data being unstructured data, new data-driven solutions are required to contextualize this disparate and fragmented informa- tion in a seamless way.
One of the reasons this presents such a daunting challenge is that physical security operations typically employ several differ- ent point-of-control systems and associated sensors / IoT tech- nologies such as Physical Access Control Systems (PACS), video surveillance, intrusion sensors, biometrics, visitor management, dispatch, incident management systems and more. For the most part, these systems are not highly integrated and provide siloed views of activity which fail to provide a complete picture, pre- cluding intelligent insights from being drawn since all the data is not being analyzed in the same context.
The first step in resolving the fragmented challenge is to bring data from these otherwise disparate system technologies together onto a special purpose unified platform. It requires discovering, connecting, integrating, transforming, managing, analyzing, and
storing valuable data insights and enable the execution of applica- tions that are smarter and intelligent – net-net derive 5-10X value.
The next step is to understand how and where to use this newly found data intelligence to improve business processes. For example, can one apply data science to predict occupancy levels of a building or a floor to better schedule employees coming into a facility during today’s pandemic times? Can one use data intel- ligence and predict what physical security IoT sensors or devices will fail within 30 days, and make the retroactive repairs as op- posed to being reactive? There are numerous such promises of the data science discipline.
Last, but not the least, is to make this all very simple for users to consume. The data science, the machine learning and the arti- ficial learning can only work if the intelligence and insights from the myriad data sources are driven to the applications without heavy lifting or understanding of computer and statistical sci- ence. It should be very easy for users to incorporate these applica- tions into business operations. New developments in AI powered software platforms can help alleviate both physical and cyber threats by inferencing from large volumes of data, and quickly triangulate small subsets of pertinent information, provide ac- tionable insights etc. This not only simplifies and improves physi- cal security operations while delivering tangible ROI and lower- ing TCO, it also automates major security functions related to Physical Identity and Access Operations, SOC Automation and Cyber-Physical Security defense.
New data driven solutions are now coming to market that prom- ise to address many of the inherent legacy system and data in- tegration challenges that plague the physical security industry. A prime example is the recently unveiled Vector Flow platform, which is capable of processing and analyzing vast amounts of data from otherwise disparate security systems, data stores and input devices.
This innovative new solution derives actionable intelligence

   24   25   26   27   28