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Crescent Guardian Security Company
Headquarters: New Orleans
Offices: Atlanta | Dallas
E-mail: info@cgiprotects.com
1 (800) 650-0706 or (504) 483-7811
Crescent Guardian Security Company

Security Tips Blog

The Convergence of Physical and IT Security

// posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sep 13


It wasn’t long ago when physical security was comprised simply of locks and keys and the occasional fence or guard dog as a deterrent. Those days have passed as surely as vinyl records have been replaced by digital music.

Guard services serve a two-fold purpose: To deter potential security breaches via their presence, and to react to breaches as they occur. However, the technique of simply stationing a guard or patrolling an area is no longer adequate and must be augmented by electronic tools that enable personnel to increase overall coverage.

Unlike on TV shows and movies, a guard making rounds typically will not see signs of forced entry very easily. Although the move to automated access control, such as swipe, prox and smart cards, has modernized entrance points of facilities, it also becomes more difficult to identify when those portals have been breached. Access control can be fooled through the use of cloned cards or access to the network, making the facility appear as though all is well.

So, how does today’s security officer counter the potential threat? The use of video is one possibility. But how does a guard both observe video while inspecting a facility? One answer can be found in the next generation of analytics.

While video is ubiquitous today, many cameras still employ analog devices. Moving to digital IP video systems enables roaming guards to receive real-time alerts through the use of handheld devices, which allows for rapid response to potential threats. Video analytics have traditionally been rules-based systems, meaning software that allows you to write a rule using Boolean logic to anticipate suspicious behavior. The problem in that scenario is rules must be written for every camera since they will all have different views and encounter different potential threats. In addition, the operator needs to anticipate every potential threat, which is not really feasible. This setup makes rules based analytics software difficult to manage, requires enormous upkeep and still may not “catch the bad guy.”

On the other hand, next-generation behavioral analytics packages operate by “learning” behavior through observation, completely eliminating the need to write rules. Within a few hours, the software can identify ongoing “normal” behavior and only send alerts or alarms on anomalous behavior, which can be sent to a guard’s handheld unit to facilitate rapid response and stop potential breaches. This system essentially allows the user to “set it and forget it,” making it one of the easiest, most effective systems to install and use.

Remote monitoring is another way of leveraging technology with physical security. Video today is used most often for remediation, not prevention. In our litigious society, lawsuits abound on falls from spilled coffee, or broken bones from tripping on a carpet at the store. While it is critically important to be able to use video for remedying these issues, it is more efficient and less time consuming to prevent these issues in the first place. While live monitoring of video might not be able to stop an individual from slipping on a coffee spill, it might provide staff the opportunity to clean up the spot before an accident occurs.

The advent of IP video enables the monitoring of locations remotely via online IP networks. The beauty of this monitoring option is that it keeps a watchful eye and enables rapid on-site response while continuing to monitor the situation. Additionally, on-site monitoring feeds can be disrupted, damaged or even lost.
While the ultimate goal of any security system is to lower response times and increase overall situational awareness, security personnel and emergency responders must be capable and knowledgeable in how technology is used to augment those real-time events. That’s why both the IT organization and the security team must develop an easy to implement, cohesive plan that incorporates all aspects of security. The benefits of such a plan can reduce criminal activity, service disruptions and other risk factors that could impede business continuity.

As criminals become more tech-savvy, it is up to security professionals to stay several steps ahead. We will never eliminate the need for live response to situations and security personnel to deter threats. However, by augmenting the human factor with automation, overall coverage can be vastly improved, costs reduced and the ability to prevent crime before occurring substantially increased. In a peek at the future, the convergence of physical and IT security will play a huge role in better anticipating threats and adapting to trends. Now, it is just a matter of making sure everyone’s security has switched from “vinyl” to “digital.”


To see this article as published in Security Magazine, click here.

Written by Ray Cavanagh, Vice President of Crescent Guardian & ASIS Physical Security Council Board Member

Could The "$80 Million Heist" Have Been Prevented?

// posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2012

May 08

Arrests Made in $80 Million Eli Lilly Drug Theft

Two brothers were recently arrested and charged by federal authorities for their alleged participation in the largest drug heist in the history of the state of Connecticut—The theft of $80 million worth of pharmaceutical drugs from the Eli Lilly Co. distribution center in 2010. [Read more of the story here]

Could The "$80 Million Heist" Have Been Prevented?

Tom Cruise's character from the Mission Impossible movies would have been impressed with how the thieves executed their heist, but that's about it. Unlike most movies, the law eventually catches up with criminals.

CGI Protects is thrilled that the perpetrators in the Eli Lilly case were finally captured, but this is a classic example of how our approach to Security—Which is to prevent rather than remediate breaches—is incredibly important now more than ever. The time drained to identify the perpetrators of the thefts and the loss of an estimated $80M in stolen prescription drugs might have been easily avoided with a holistic Security approach that could include video, analytics and RFID tags. 

CGI has been in the business of preventing Security breaches such as this for over 20 years using a wide array of technology solutions, including remote monitoring of sites, first responder services and cutting edge video monitoring and analytics software. With a holistic approach, you not only save money, but also prevent wasted time and money after experiencing a crime.

See if you have any weak points with a Free Security Assessment

Ready to see how you can increase your overall security coverage while spending less?

CGI Protects offers free security assessments for company sites to evaluate and recommend solutions designed to prevent security breaches such as the Eli Lilly case from occurring, potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars in pursuing legal recourse and other costs, such as increased insurance premiums.

Call 504.483.811 or email us to learn more about our free security assessments.

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