If you ask any experienced security professional, “What’s the most important part of a security system?” then you’ll probably get a chuckle as a response. Why? Because it’s really a trick question.

The real answer is: There is no single “most important” part of a security system.

Security systems have changed significantly in the last 20 years. So much so that modern security systems are so widely integrated with multiple security solutions working together. This means that the effectiveness of security systems ultimately depends on how well all the moving parts are working together. These “moving parts” can include hardware, software, and human-driven security policies and procedures put in place.

However, there’s also an order to what needs to be done…

It takes a village…

There’s an old saying, “It takes a village…” that was made popular years ago. The adage implies that it takes a community, a collective, to do a job right. Organisational needs are shifting away from siloed security strategies. We can say the same for security components including, but not limited to:

  • Sensors and detectors: Devices that are used to detect potential security threats such as motion sensors, cameras, and alarms.
  • Access control: To control who has access to certain areas or resources.
  • Communication and networking: Dedicated security networks built to allow communication between technologies.
  • Monitoring and response: Whether this involved human security personnel or automated systems that are able to detect and respond to threats in real-time.

Taking this approach to the design and implementation of a security system, especially in today’s increasingly connected world, only makes sense. Having a sound security system in place is critical for protecting against both physical threats and cyber threats, providing peace of mind, and for reducing the risk of financial losses because of security or data breaches. The sooner that organisations come to this realization, the sooner they can be on their way to truly protecting themselves from potential threats.

Design must come first

Even something as important as compliance can’t be truly achieved without the ability to set the rules and definitions in your access control system from the start. And this should be done based on, and in the form of, data. Otherwise, how will you know what your benchmarks for success are?

This is about the aforementioned “order” to things that must be followed.

You’ve got to create the plan the kind of the data line for what you want to achieve, even before you start to do it. This will serve as a system of checks and balances that you can refer back to so you can be clear why are you are setting up rules and definition, and so that you know when you’ve achieved your goals.

There is a lot of talk across every industry about being “data-driven.” But we should all be sure about what we want the data for. When it comes to your access control system, this will be your design principle. These are questions that will guide you in determining your design principle:

  • What do you want your access control system to do?
  • How should your reports look?
  • What does automation look like for your organization?
  • Which processes will be automated?
  • Is there a specific user interface you have in mind?

In essence, you must start this process with the end in mind.

Reviewing and reevaluating your security system

Once your security system has been put into place, your work isn’t quite done. It’s always important to review and update security systems regularly (especially when it comes to your access control software). How else will you know how effective it is in meeting the changing needs of your business? Plus, these reviews will be able to help you:

  • Learn about new possible security threats and new types of attacks
  • Help you identify and address any weaknesses or vulnerabilities in your current systems
  • Update/upgrade to an additional layer of protection

As technology continues to advance, new tools and techniques are becoming available that can improve the security of a business. So, it’s key that you stay up-to-date with these kinds of developments (and incorporate them into your existing security systems when and where appropriate). The good news is, there are professionals you can consult with. When it comes to access control, our AEOS experts are always on standby so you don’t have to go it alone.

The future of security systems

We’re likely to see security systems evolve with a continued focus on the development of more sophisticated and effective technologies. Some of the key trends and developments that are likely to shape the future of security systems include:

  • Greater integrations and automation: The future will bring continued adoption of the best-of-breed approach is most effective in seamlessly bringing together different technologies.
  • Wider spread adoption of the internet of things (IoT): Connected devices connecting people and places is already happening, but we anticipate that security systems will further incorporate and make use of data from a wide range of IoT devices.
  • Faster development and deployment of new technologies: As the need for more effective security systems grow, we can anticipate the market for solutions to meet the rapidly-changing needs.
  • Increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning: Some security systems have already started using AI to analyze data and identify potential threats in real-time.

With the convergence of physical and cybersecurity, the future is bright for security professionals. Businesses can now have deeper insights and better protection than they’ve ever had before. But it does, indeed, take a village…

If you’ve enjoyed this take on approaching security from a design and data basis, we encourage you to scroll down to the bottom of the page and sign up for our monthly newsletter! That way you can catch our future insights on the path of the data journey in access control.