As a government agency, you have a duty to keep your facilities, people, and sensitive data secure. At the same time, you are expected to be a responsible steward of tax dollars, budgeting wisely to maintain the best security systems you can with the resources you have. This is no easy task: security in government organizations can often be complex, with multiple systems in place to protect against a variety of threats. And all those systems–plus the people hired to monitor them–can add up.
That’s why one of the most effective decisions you can make to strengthen your security is to integrate your systems, bringing together alarm monitoring, video surveillance, access control, and more. This means linking together dozens or even hundreds of different sensors, alarms, security devices, computer systems, and even legacy systems to gain a centralized overview of your security posture.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of integration is that when security threats overlap, as they often do, you aren’t caught off-guard. For example, if an unauthorized person gains access to a secured building or facility, an integrated system would allow you to use security camera footage, access control system data, and on-the-ground personnel to quickly locate the intruder and neutralize the threat. What’s more, if that intruder attempts to access confidential data, it would also be flagged by a network and data security system–and you would know about it instantly.
And here’s the best part: integrating your systems is easier than you think. You don’t have to rip up existing infrastructure or install completely new systems. Instead, a well-chosen alarm monitoring software solution, like Security Information System’s (SIS) Alarm Center, can bring together new and legacy systems, and stay flexible enough to integrate future technologies as they emerge.
With integrated systems, there’s no need to manage and monitor multiple security systems separately, sometimes even across different locations or departments. If it has a signal, you can monitor everything from a central point.
But the benefits don’t end there, because integration also gives you:
#1. Greater Situational Awareness
With integrated systems, you can combine real-time visual information with access logs and other data for a holistic understanding of any potential, emerging, and active threats. This removes dangerous blindspots, enabling your team to spot crucial or interconnected security events that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. This, in turn, leads to better decision-making and faster response times.
#2. Streamlined Operations & Threat Response
With your systems working as one, you can streamline workflows, establish clear policies and procedures, and ultimately respond faster to threats. For example, when an alarm is triggered, you would immediately receive an alert, coupled with relevant video footage and access data, allowing you to mount a fast response and prevent or minimize damage. Integrated systems, with their powerful data analysis capabilities, also drastically improve your response time.
#3. Enhanced Threat Intelligence
Bringing your systems together also means bringing disparate data points together. Instead of connecting the dots to understand your security strategy’s weak points, potential for improvement, and correlation between seemingly unrelated threats, you can visualize connections like never before. Integration can bring data together from various sources and systems for a holistic threat analysis, spotting potential threats before they materialize, identifying patterns and trends, and bolstering vulnerabilities before they become a problem. This level of insight can lead to more effective and proactive security strategies.
#4. Cost Savings
The upfront cost of integrating your systems may appear daunting, but the long-term savings can more than make up for the upfront investment. When you streamline your operations, you ultimately drive efficiency up and bring costs down. That’s because you don’t need as many people to cover as many screens at all times, and can use your staff and resources in smarter ways.
An integrated system can help you break through departmental silos, establish more efficient workflows, and mount a fast and effective response when security threats emerge. You can ultimately get greater security coverage without spending more on additional salaries or having to hire and schedule more staff. And being able to respond more quickly to threats means you can prevent or minimize security breaches that might otherwise lead to significant financial and reputational burdens.
#5. Unified Digital and Physical Security
You may rely on very different systems–and even different teams or departments–to secure your physical and cybersecurity. Traditionally, government agencies have seen these two security fronts as separate, but times have changed–and so should your security strategy. As digital and physical security become increasingly linked, thanks to the Internet of Things and rapidly-accelerating 5G implementation, it makes sense to break down silos and invest in an integrated, unified security solution.
#6. Improved Collaboration
An integrated security system also promotes interagency collaboration and information sharing. Whether you’re cooperating and coordinating with different departments, emergency services, law enforcement agencies, or even different satellite offices, you can respond to threats and emergencies as a unified force.
#7. Flexibility and Scalability
Finally, any integrated system you set up can be as simple or sophisticated as you want to make it, bringing together hundreds of signals or only a few. The right software solution can help you integrate as many systems as you need, including fire and smoke alarms, video surveillance, access control, cybersecurity, and more. And as your organization grows and new threats evolve, you’ll be ready: solutions like Alarm Center are scalable and flexible, allowing you to easily bring in future devices and systems as they’re developed.
Is it time to upgrade your security? SIS’s Alarm Center software may be the right solution for you. Contact us to get started today and see what a difference integration makes.