Physical security made simple: combining access control and video security
We talk a lot about looking after digital or virtual environments on this blog – but today we’re turning our attention to physical environments. How best to monitor and understand what is happening across those?
Two key components in most organisations’ approaches to physical environments are access control systems, which control who can actually get in and out of said environment, and video security, which enables remote monitoring of the environment. Together, they offer granular control and centralised visibility.
So far, so straightforward. However, when it comes to combining the two systems in a streamlined and simple solution, many organisations run into challenges – not least because any physical security incidents have to be managed in real time. How can these challenges best be resolved?
Understanding the challenges
The core problem is that many traditional access control and video security systems were not designed to fully integrate together – even those from the same vendor. They are liable to require separate management systems and often separate hardware, which may be positioned in disparate places throughout the building.
In turn, this means that gathering necessary information across and between those systems can be cumbersome and time-consuming, and even reduce key functionality. Even when management platforms are used to integrate two or more physical security systems, users can find it difficult to access and manage key events – for example, when trying to unpack precisely who access a particular area at a particular time.
Creating a centralised management platform
Furthermore, setting up such an integration between two systems requires in-depth networking capabilities, which can be complex and costly in their own right. But this is where MLR Networks comes in.
The ideal approach to combining access management and video security is a solution which natively integrates the door-based events captured by the access control system – that is, the event type, location and access credential used – with corresponding video footage. This also means that organisations can corroborate one source of information with the other, rather than assuming that a particular access credential is an infallible source of truth, for example.
We achieve this by directly associating individual security cameras with specific access points across an organisation – and, of course, integrating the cameras directly with the access control system. This then means that cameras and access points exist in the same platform, and users can hone in on any access point event they like – a door opening or closing, for example – to see the corresponding video footage.
A web-based management platform also means that relevant users can access this integrated solution from anywhere and on any device, with instant visibility into what is happening across the physical environment.
The subsequent enhancements to physical security are substantial. Whereas an access control system alone only monitors credential-based events – that is, when a key card was used or an access code entered – video offers a window into access events such as someone opening a door from the inside, or slipping inside after somebody who used their key card.
The right solution for your organisation
If you are wondering whether your organisation would benefit from integrating its access control and video security systems, it can be worth thinking about how you would currently investigate a physical security incident. How much time would you need? Which members of your organisation would be able to undertake the investigation and what resources would they need? An integration of the type that MLR Networks can offer could dramatically reduce both the cost and complexity of such investigations – whilst also making it far easier for you to monitor physical security on an ongoing basis.