Security Dealer & Integrator

NOV 2018

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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54 Security Dealer & Integrator / November 2018 Alarms & Monitoring much information to security operators than they can realistically process in an efficient way. While the use of augmented reality is probably still four or five years away from becoming more widely used in an SOC environment, it is not too early for integrators to start learning about the technology and how it can be used in different applications. At the end of the day, communication and collaboration technologies are going to remain the backbone of security control rooms for the foreseeable future; however, anything that can be used to supplement those efforts – such as AI or augmented reality – need to be thoroughly vetted by the security channel. Shifting Job Roles Historically, SOCs have been staffed by security guards or in-house dispatchers/operators who are well versed in using the various systems that come under the purview of physical security and/or emergency response However, the roles of these traditional SOC operators have begun to change in recent years – with many organizations opting to staff their command centers with security analysts who can do more than simply verify alarms and notify a chain of command. In the future, dispatchers and guards may be replaced with or trained to become these types of analysts in addition to other roles. This shift will predicate the construction of larger control rooms or the tying together of smaller, separated spaces into a single, federated unit. In addition to overhauling the roles of staff, there has also been a trend towards leveraging technology to communicate with a wider variety of organizational stakeholders in the event of a security incident. With an ever-increasing number of mobile workers, not everyone that needs to be part of the decision-making process resides in the same building or even on the same campus. Still, there is a need for these stakeholders to share the same content and visualization tools – surveillance cameras, dashboards and software applications – so they can leverage the same operating picture as those in the command center. With today’s technology, it is easier than ever for integrators to bring these distributed users into the SOC fold, and it is something that will likely continue to be needed by organizations for years to come. Convergence Comes to Fruition Aside from the new influx of data, perhaps the second biggest evolution in SOCs has been the convergence of physical security with IT and cybersecurity. With more and more physical security systems making their way onto the network, convergence has been talked about for years, but this much-ballyhooed trend has finally manifested itself. Many organizations are even bringing these two sides of the security house together under the same roof within new SOCs or are making accommodations for both inside their existing command centers. The mission of cybersecurity and physical security are the same: to protect the enterprise. While they obviously have different responsibilities and areas of expertise, organizations today realize that these two segments of their security program are intertwined and convergence will likely become a business goal moving forward. This starts first and foremost with policy and aligning business objectives, but ultimately convergence is going to drive organizations in both their personnel and budget decisions. If you thought that having just enough IT skills among your workforce to install cameras and card readers was going to be adequate to meet the needs of customers in the future, think again. Having these two departments together in security command centers is going to be essential to improving overall responsiveness to incidents, and it will require integrators with skill sets in both areas to satisfy the needs of the marketplace. » Dan Gundry is Director of National Control Room Sales for Vistacom Inc. Request more info about the company at

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