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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Clearway Technology | Getting Smart About Your Security



Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t confined to digital ecosystems and online security; it is a valuable asset in physical security protocols. It can transform how businesses and site owners monitor, control and safeguard their sites and properties.

Security systems can become faster, responsive and more intelligent, with cost-efficiencies gained by integrating digital solutions that detect and deter, mitigating reliance on physical security (guards) to respond to incidents already in progress.

In this article we look at the diverse and varied uses of AI in physical security and the broad range of benefits available.


How Is AI Used in Smart Security Services?

Technological advancements mean that security can be reactionary and cohesive. Conventional approaches such as standalone fencing, AI CCTV surveillance and access control points worked as silos without interconnections.


Autonomous detection resources can determine that a security breach is being attempted or even preempt potential intrusions by recognising suspicious behaviour. Think of a vehicle returning to the same car park or being parked in a bay during unusual hours or for an extended period of time.


Examples of Proactive AI Security in Action
  • Facial recognition cameras: passive entry solutions can permit access to authorised individuals stored on a personnel database or trigger an alert if a banned person or somebody without the right access credentials attempts to enter a restricted zone.

  • Human detection: virtual trip wires can notify security staff if movement is detected outside of working hours, when a business is closed, or if someone is in an area that should be out of bounds.

  • Database sweeps: CCTV surveillance databases can run sweeps to find past events, count occurrences of specific behaviours, or collate footage of a particular person, vehicle or movement to map patterns.

  • Noise change detection: conventional alarm systems rely on movement or contact breaches, such as a window or door being opened. Advanced detection systems can determine unusual activity due to changes in noise levels, glass breakage, or the presence of gas, smoke or water.

Each of these capabilities lends itself perfectly to an integrated security network, helping to direct security personnel to the right place, recognise the cause of an alarm, and allow businesses to respond to unauthorised or criminal behaviour before the situation escalates or results in financial and/or business-critical losses.


How Does AI Improve the Effectiveness of Existing Security Systems?

Deep learning technology continually analyses the surrounding environment, understanding normal patterns, movements, activities, operating hours, individuals, vehicles, traffic routes and every other scenario that might occur day to day.

The advantage of deep learning is that when anything happens that does not follow the expected pattern, i.e. falls outside of recognised parameters, the AI will recognise this and decide what action to take.

While smart cameras can detect and recognise specific objects, they can also be used in static surveillance and report when anything seems out of place, enabling a security deployment to investigate.


AI Security Applications


Below we consider some of the ways AI can reduce risk in real-world scenarios:

  • Stock control: automatic alerts when an object is deemed to be in the wrong place or is removed. This alert could prevent theft of tools, vehicles or inventory, identify when an unexpected vehicle or object has been left, or help track high-value business assets.


  • Traffic management: AI provides independent tracking to count individuals on-site or in a specific area, produce live occupancy metrics, count vehicles entering or leaving and categorise traffic. Site managers use this information to improve health and safety, evaluate when higher security controls are required, and assist with future site management planning.


  • Rule-based access control: one of the most important security pressures for businesses is managing controlled access. That might be allowing entry for authorised visitors or personnel or screening attendees for security reasons. Rule-based AI cameras can automate raised bollards, electric gates and open entrance doors with simple facial recognition, biometric scanning, access passes or security codes, thus reducing the need for around-the-clock staffing, and streamlining entry protocols for verified individuals.

AI security acts like an always-on security guard; it never gets tired, calls in sick, makes a mistake, or misses a trigger that has been pre-programmed into its settings. Not only can it raise an alert for further inspection before a potential issue becomes a severe incident, AI security is a viable cost-efficiency that actually improves visitor experience and can boost productivity and profits.

One of the biggest benefits is that legacy solutions or existing hardware, if already up to specification, can be integrated with latest AI resources to optimise the use of time and personnel without the costly replacement of entire systems.


For example, a manually operated electric gate can be configured with access control cameras, scanners and linked to security databases to remove the need for physical security staff to be present.


How to Incorporate the Advantages of AI Into Your Physical Security

The first step with any security review is to schedule a professional risk assessment. This task is much more than a box-ticking exercise. It allows a skilled security consultant to analyse your premises, property or site to identify core risks, security threats and vulnerabilities in your existing set-up.


Some recommendations are simple to remedy, while others may require a more comprehensive approach. Still, the key is to begin with a thorough understanding of where improvements will make the biggest difference to the effectiveness of your safeguards.


Next, we advise clients to work on a top-down approach and verify which assets and areas of their buildings or sites are the highest priority.


From there, our consultants can craft a bespoke action plan to protect business-critical inventory, vehicles and equipment and suggest the best options to remove the potential risks of criminal activity.

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