By Jason Sowers
Developments in technology solutions for the security industry have had a positive impact on businesses, customers and employees – in more ways than one. By using manned guarding companies coupled with the latest technology solutions, it will help to improve the delivery of information regarding possible threats. I had the opportunity to interview a large security firm’s Chief Information Officer, regarding how the walls between physical security and cybersecurity are coming down, and how these formerly disparate worlds are converging.
Q: How do we operate effectively in an ever-increasingly complicated environment?
A: The answer is found in a holistic focus on the ecosystem. Today's safety and security ecosystems include lots of great tools like threat intelligence platforms, video analytics, access control systems, cybersecurity software, GPS-based patrol route management, and well-trained security professionals. Well-designed ecosystems of the future will shift the model from "detect and respond" to "predict and prevent." Enabling effective communication between an ecosystem's components is critical to maximizing efficiency and productivity and achieving the best safety and security outcomes. But communication isn't enough. We need to be able to see the "order" in what otherwise might seem like "chaos" because of the volume and variety of information.
Q: Where does artificial intelligence (AI) come in?
A: This is where the magic happens. One key challenge that future ecosystems face is enabling people and tech to work together effectively. We need AI that is not just smart like humans, but smart with humans. AI can enable efficient and effective cooperation between ecosystem components, including both tech and people. Such AI ensures the effectiveness of onsite security by reasoning over the information provided by all the different components and understanding not just what's likely to happen, but what to do to drive better outcomes.
Q: How are you currently utilizing AI?
A: Our AI driven product is able to transform data into actionable insights across a security ecosystem and then ensure they get actioned. This isn’t hype. Customers who use this product have seen, on average, over a 20% reduction in safety and security incidents through the use of AI. To generate the best outcomes, AI-enabled ecosystems need to be able to interface with all of a company's security systems and assets. Today that includes things like remote video feeds and video analytics data, crowdsourced security and great well-trained security professionals. Over time, the data sources will expand and begin to include information from IoT sensors, drones, robots, and more. Workflows today task our security professionals or client resources as appropriate via text and email. In the future, drones and other automation technology will be able to play a part and receive taskings and report results automatically. It's all about the ecosystem.
Q: What is the next phase?
A: It's clear that, as time goes on, the walls between physical security and cybersecurity will go away. The walls between people and technology will also come down. The best outcomes will come to those with an ecosystem that allows ALL the safety and security components to cooperate at light speed, thus taking advantage of the reasoning power of artificial intelligence. This is how we'll bring all the ecosystem's resources to bear in a way that drives better outcomes. We truly are on the cusp of a brave new world.
About the Author: Jason Sowers is a Business Development Manager at Allied Universal, a leading security and facility services company in North America with over 235,000 employees and revenues over $8.5 billion. www.aus.com