Is the Internet of Things Really Making Physical Security Smarter?

Beyond Connectivity: Practicality and the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection of physical objects to the web, and it’s a subject that top security systems integrators know well. Some examples of the IoT are:

  • Smart thermostats
  • Wearable technology that links to your smartphone (think smartwatches and fitness trackers)
  • Cars that communicate with each other
  • Wi-Fi connected transportation infrastructure
  • Smart pet feeders
  • Home and business security systems
  • And even this “smart” toothbrush

Like all emerging technologies, the Internet of Things is experiencing some growing pains. Understandably, some users are nervous that their data might be compromised by Internet-connected devices. And in some ways, the more devices you have connected to the Internet, the more at risk you are.

For instance, the legendary Mirai botnet attack temporarily brought down some of the Internet's biggest names: Netflix, Reddit, Twitter, and more. The Mirai malware infected vulnerable IoT devices such as kitchen appliances, cameras, and DVR players, which were then in turn used to attack other systems.

Yet contrary to what some people think, the IoT actually has the potential to make us much safer. And we aren't just talking about cybersecurity, but rather our physical security in the real world. In fact, many top security systems integrators believe the IoT will soon become inseparable from the security system market.

So how can the IoT improve physical security systems?

Physical Security Systems for the 21st Century  

Locks, cameras, motion sensors, audio detection, and alarm systems are all examples of security system technology that can be improved by smart IoT technology. Take access control systems, for example. Using nothing but a smartphone (or any Internet-connected device), a business owner can monitor and alter employees' access to certain areas of a business. This could mean something as simple as requiring workers to have an RFID card that allows them to get past certain doors, or locks that unlock with a tap of the workers’ smartphone.

Currently, the former situation is in use at many businesses, but the latter could soon become the norm. In the same way, security system contractors are connecting security cameras to the Internet. This allows business owners and homeowners to monitor their property wherever they have an Internet connection. This ensures that law enforcement officers can be dispatched more quickly, while also cutting back on false alarms. In addition, the low cost and high definition of smart security cameras make it easier to identify suspects, further enhancing physical safety.

The Benefits of IoT Security Go Beyond Bells and Whistles

Already, top security systems integrators are developing and installing IoT security systems like these. Why?

Real-Time Alerts: With an Internet-connected business security system, business owners can be instantly alerted to danger on the device(s) of their choosing. Not only can they instantly receive a text alert, phone call, email, or all of the above, but they can quickly log in, access their security system, and find out exactly what went wrong.

Enhanced Protection: The majority of alarm activations are actually false alarms, which is just one drawback of “dumb” security systems. But let’s say someone does try to break into your office by bypassing your security system. With traditional systems, they could very well succeed at stopping an alarm from going off. With an added layer of connectivity, you would be alerted the instant any information changed about your security. Even top security systems integrators would have a hard time getting past this feature even if they installed it themselves.

Data At Your Fingertips: Imagine if you could easily view every attempt to enter any door or area in your building -- even weeks after it happened. Smart security systems allow business owners to easily audit security records such as this. Not only will this level of security deter employee theft and malfeasance, but it will also make it simple to identify bad actors after a specific incident occurs.

Of course, the IoT is still in its infancy, and security system companies are still discovering new ways that this technology can enhance our physical safety. Give it a few years, and top security systems integrators will soon be installing systems beyond the capabilities that even exist as theories today. There's no doubt that IoT is the future of many industries, and physical security certainly must be one of them.

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