Safeguard your world with modern physical security technology

Industries around the world are focused on cybersecurity. But while cybersecurity is indeed critical, often overlooked is its prerequisite: physical security.

Many businesses, organizations and industries are seeing an increase in physical security incidents. One example is heightened attacks on U.S. electrical substations.

In a report filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in April 2023, “…the North American Electric Reliability Corp. noted that physical security incidents resulting in a measurable grid outage as of the end of 2022 had increased 71% since 2021 and 20% since 2020. Those include high-profile attacks on substations in North Carolina, which left 45,000 customers without power, as well as attacks in Washington state and California. In February, federal prosecutors filed charges against two Maryland individuals for conspiracy to destroy a substation in Baltimore.”

There are many reasons for the increase in physical security incidents, including economic and social unrest, local and global conflicts and even the effects of climate change — leading to a loss of $1 trillion in revenue for organizations and businesses.

But physical security incidents don’t just impact the bottom line.

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Protecting an organization’s people, places, or assets from physical threats is often overlooked, and physical risk mitigation is often under-resourced. Yet the consequences of physical threats are severe. These include unplanned operational downtime, product loss, customer churn, brand reputation damage, broken vendor or supplier relationships, and loss of investor confidence. The risks can even include human injury or loss of life.”

Businesses and organizations need to be prepared and make sure they have adequate measures and tools in place to protect people, assets and infrastructure.

Shortfalls of today’s technology

Many organizations have inadequate systems that cannot cope with increasing demands.

“The goal of physical security systems is to minimize the impact of incidents,” said Andreas Conrad, VP of marketing, physical security for Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial division. “However, physical security systems are often still siloed today, forcing operators to switch between different systems and manually combine information. This is time consuming and prone to errors.”

And even if these systems manage to aggregate and correlate information, according to Conrad, they often fail to provide support on how best to respond to an incident.

“Unfortunately, standard operating procedures in static documents — or even in a binder on a shelf — are still common,” he said.

The good news is that effective management of physical security events is achievable with the right technologies in place.

Orchestrating physical security management

To optimize the response to a physical security incident, it’s important to orchestrate the process of managing it. This applies to all four main phases of the incident lifecycle:

  • Detect: When an event happens, every second counts. It’s critical to detect it as quickly as possible and report it to lead systems. Many technologies can accomplish this — anything from a simple emergency call button to an alarm from an intruder alert system to intelligent video analysis to advanced volumetric perimeter protection with LiDAR technology.
  • Understand: When an event is detected, it needs to be validated and understood. Where is it happening? Is it a critical situation or a false alarm? What are the effects, and how is the situation unfolding? To achieve this, information from different sources and systems must be combined. Video management software (VMS) plays a crucial role in this phase.
  • Act and collaborate: Once the nature and extent of an incident are clear, it’s time to take appropriate action. Processes can differ fundamentally depending on incident type and evolve dynamically over time. What are the next steps? Who needs to be involved?
  • Review and document: To effectively track incidents — and for continuous improvement — it is important to fully document the incident management process.

“It’s important for organizations to create a technology ecosystem that represents a holistic approach to physical security,” said Conrad. “This is the only way they can effectively meet the growing challenges, protect assets and create a safe and secure environment for people.”

Hexagon helps organizations safeguard their worlds

Hexagon offers a broad portfolio of solutions, covering the entire lifecycle of a physical security incident with a strong focus on providing actionable information and guiding operators through the response process. These solutions are designed to be part of an overarching physical security ecosystem. To achieve this, they have open, well-documented interfaces to devices, sensors and systems, enabling all components of the ecosystem to work together seamlessly.

“Hexagon solutions form the core of a modern physical security ecosystem designed to cope with ever-increasing threats,” said Conrad. “Your world is complex, and we help you safeguard it by protecting people, assets and infrastructure.”

Discover how you can safeguard your world with Hexagon’s physical security solutions.

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