Getting physical

Physical security is a key element to consider when it comes to protecting your enterprise.

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By  Sean Robson Published  June 2, 2008

The DIFC is another example of an end-user who has gone with an integrated solution to their physical security needs.

"We use a combination of CCTV, smart cards, secure containment under lock and key, and secure rooms with guards. We try to keep things separate and managed by us," explains Sabunchi.

Emerging anew

As physical security technologies continue to increase, vendors are beginning to realise the need to provide customers with reliable standard-based technologies that can ensure interoperability.

Recently, Axis together with Bosch Security Systems and the Sony Corporation have risen to the challenge and are working together to this end as they prepare to create a new standard for the interface of network video.

The main goal of the new standard currently being worked on would be to facilitate the integration of various brands of network video equipment and to help manufacturers, together with software developers and independent software vendors, ensure product interoperability.

The companies state that the framework of the standard, incorporating the key elements of network video product interoperability, will be released in October 2008 in Germany.

Meanwhile, enterprises continue to face challenges internally - namely with the management and amalgamation of physical elements in security.

Integration of the physical security aspect into the overall security of the enterprise has led to the increasing emergence of chief security officers (CSO) in the Middle East.

"As a security solutions provider, Axis has witnessed the emergence of CSOs in large companies. Their responsibility covers both IT and physical security. In addition, they often manage IT and security owners in any particular enterprise and define the overall policy together with both specialists," Ortega confirms.

This has brought an added dimension to what has traditionally been a thorny issue in the world of physical security. Responsibility for physical security has long been divided or held by either the facilities team or the IT team which has often times led to conflict and confusion.

Sabunchi and his team at DIFC have taken a holistic approach to their management of physical security. The facilities department along with the IT department and in-house security all play a role in security management.

Sabunchi says, "The IT department sits down with the security team and explains our requirements and justifications, they then come back to us with possible solutions and when we both agree on the right one for implementation, we take it to the facilities management team. We find the system works quite well this way."

The RTA has gone a step further in embracing integration of the departments with the administration department in overall charge of security. The facilities management team and the IT department both give input and assistance.

Most industry insiders side with the thought that there is increased integration between the security team and the general administration team in most enterprises.

Many hold the view that the future will see no differentiation at all between these teams and that there will be one unified team that will manage the overall security system.

Anthony Fulgoni who is vice-president of international strategic sales at Proxim Wireless, which is increasingly seeing a demand for products that support the IP security market puts it succinctly, "It is the play of IP. Bringing it all together makes a solution that is more powerful than the sum of its parts."

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