As a business owner, it is important to ensure that your organization’s security operations are constantly monitored and updated, and having the best tools and strategies in place to improve your security operations makes all the difference.
That’s where integration comes in.
Integration is about making all your systems work as one. That means integrating the signals from your security and alarm systems – including legacy systems – into one, streamlined software interface. This empowers you to respond more rapidly and intelligently to a number of threats.
How can integrated security monitoring enhance your business?
While this is one of the top ways to improve security operations, some people don’t even know that it’s possible. They take one look at their legacy systems and think, “There’s no way that’s going to connect with anything else, and if it does, it’s going to cost more than we can afford.”
Because of this, many organizations still manage and monitor multiple security systems separately, sometimes in different locations overseen by different departments.
Connecting all of these may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. The technology is here, and anything with a signal can be pulled into the same software system so you can monitor it all from one central point.
Whether you’re responsible for improving the security operations of a university, business, private residence, or critical infrastructure, better integration can lead to better results.
What happens when systems don’t work together? (and what if they did?)
Consider a government facility, large business campus, or any physical location where sensitive data is stored. Large organizations and governments often have excellent security at these sites, including network and data security, electronic monitoring via cameras and access control, and physical security guards stationed at various points.
But these different systems often don’t communicate with each other. Unfortunately, we know that threats often overlap – so shouldn’t security systems, as well?
What happens, for example, if an intruder successfully gets past a physical security barrier, like a guard at a gate? They may then be tracked by surveillance cameras as they move through the property. Finally, that intruder might partner with someone on the inside to access confidential data, which is flagged by a network and data security system.
In this scenario, three different security systems will have detected a threat: the guard called reinforcements and is searching for the intruder; the surveillance cameras captured footage of their whereabouts; and the data security system flagged unusual activity.
But if these systems don’t work together, the intruder may get away with it. That guard may still be roaming the hallways while you’re reviewing video surveillance to find the time-stamped footage that corresponds to the unauthorized entry alert.
If your systems worked as one, that wouldn’t be an issue. They would have detected the threat across three different layers of security, working together to help pinpoint the intruder’s exact location and detain them.
That’s why having an integrated system is so important: it can detect and allow rapid follow-up on issues across security segments – issues that may not seem significant on their own, but can (correctly) be identified as major threats when taken together in real-time.
Benefits of integrated security monitoring
Everyone’s security situation is unique, and your biggest threat may not be intruders rushing in to steal your confidential data. But other things–including system inefficiency, poor communication, and siloed responses–can steal your time, energy, profits, and ability to respond quickly to real emergencies.
An integrated security system is a smart solution because it can:
- Streamline your operations. When systems are centralized, you can streamline workflows, establish clear policies and procedures for threat detection, and break down siloed functions that would otherwise follow their own processes and procedures.
- Improve your real-time response. Integration also makes your organization better at real-time analysis, reporting, and, crucially, response times.
- Bridge the gap between physical and cybersecurity. Many organizations still operate separate systems for this. However, the two are now increasingly intertwined, especially as the Internet of Things brings multiple devices together, and 5G accelerates the speed and volume of data relayed between devices (and that can be intercepted, potentially, by cybercriminals).
- Reduce opportunities for error. Unconnected systems can invite threats in, especially if your staff can’t monitor everything all at once, or misses crucial gaps that an integrated system would have spotted immediately.
- Be cost-effective. The technology for better security integration is here, and many applications and devices can integrate into your alarm monitoring system. You just have to bring it all together.
- Be simple or sophisticated. Depending on how many different signals you need to integrate, you can set up a system that is as simple or complex as your organization needs.
How to integrate your security operations
Fortunately, you don’t have to tear out your existing infrastructure to make sure all your systems play well together. The key is choosing the right software that can integrate independent legacy systems for a cost-effective and smart solution.
The right software solution should be able to integrate many systems, including fire and smoke alarms, video surveillance, access control, cybersecurity, and more. Just remember that as your organization grows, so will your security needs. The key is making sure you can bring a new system into the fold, integrating it in a centralized system for maximum efficiency.
Combining multiple systems enables you to do more with less. You won’t need as many people on the ground, physically, and you won’t need as many eyes on multiple screens.
Most of all, it will be the #1 decision you make to improve your security operations. Ready to make the move to greater integration? Bold Group can help!