Distributed Intelligence for Access Control
Increased security threats, environment concerns, budgets cuts and the need for greater operating efficiency are leading many organisations to review existing security arrangements. Robert Chapman of Borer puts the case for integrating access control alongside other services and information.
For large corporations especially, this review process is long overdue. Many companies have security systems and procedures that were implemented a decade or more ago and are in need of re-examination. Often these legacy systems were installed before the communication revolution changed the way we do business. Efficient communications is now the lifeblood of an organisation, and businesses that have embraced new communication technology have gained a competitive advantage.
Instant communications such as the smartphones and email have transformed the business landscape. Today, systems are connected worldwide via the internet, LAN and WAN network with data managed from a central server and shared amongst different locations to create a common information resource.
This increasingly deployment and standardisation of networking and database technology has given organisations the opportunity to re-examine the way they manage and integrate into the infrastructure such activities as security, access control and CCTV.
The biggest benefit of integrating access control with other functions such as the ID card system, alarm system and CCTV network, is that it can locally administered but centrally managed.
Running these applications over a network with administration from a desktop PC can save both time and cost savings. For example, Borer’s FUSION system can installed on the central server allowing access to premises, monitor alarms and other functions to be controlled and monitored from a central location with the capacity to combine several sites into a single security network.
The database can be accessed from any PC connected to network provided the user is authorised to so. This allows a central administrator to monitor activity and report on the status of security points at any location. In addition, each site can work autonomously as a subset of the system database is held at each site controller. This distributed intelligence allows control to be exercised at each site but also enables all locations to be managed from a central point.
Integration is the way ahead and it is clear that the future will see more integration between an organisation’s communications network, telephone system, and IT infrastructure with the division between CCTV, intruder monitoring, alarm management and access control becoming increasingly blurred.
So what does this mean in the real world for those companies currently reviewing their security arrangements? For a start it means building an "integrated security information network" instead of having separate systems for access control, surveillance, alarm etc. And going down this route has a direct impact on the bottom line, as there are significant savings to be realised in having just one integrated system, both in the initial outlay and the ongoing maintenance costs.