Australian organisations need to future-proof against security threats

| June 20, 2018

Australia’s security industry has evolved considerably over the last decade. With the rise of terrorist threats around the globe, the government has ramped up security measures and announced what Malcolm Turnbull describes as the most “significant reform of Australia’s national intelligence and domestic security arrangements” in more than 40 years.

In line with the government’s heightened focus on counter-terrorism, 2018 has seen a push for more innovative solutions to counter security threats and terrorist activities. As more complex security systems are introduced, new high-tech jobs will emerge, with new skills required to navigate Internet of Things (IoT) and smart building technology.

According to research by Info Security, the security market in the US – one of the most high-security nations in the world – is currently worth over $US 6 billion and nearly every large enterprise or government facility has some level of “smart” functionality. By 2021, the security market in the US is projected to grow to $US 24.7 billion.

Here in Australia, the government has pledged to spend $AU 34.6 billion on defence, national security and law enforcement in 2017-18 alone. According to IBIS World, despite a general decline in reported crime rates in Australia, cautious businesses and households continue to invest in security services and crime-prevention measures.

Australia’s physical security protocol mandates that physical security must be upheld at all times through a “combination of physical and procedural measures designed to prevent or mitigate threats or attacks against people, information and physical assets.” With national security top of the agenda for the Australian government, there is a clear focus on the mitigation of risk.

Technology, innovation and the rise of smart buildings
Technology, innovation and smart buildings now play a key role in crime prevention in Australia. To future-proof in an environment of disruption, forward-thinking organisations are prioritising technology implementation as a way to safeguard against security breaches.

The shift from physical security to automated security protocols will also mean that the systems running such protocols must have ironclad reliability.

To guard against security threats and disruption, Australia must get future-ready with the right strategic tools. Innovation and collaboration with industry players will be fundamental in generating new capabilities year-on-year. At the same time, new skills and expertise will be needed amongst the current talent pool.

Australia’s security industry must prepare to safeguard important facilities, such as major corporate and public buildings, against threats from intruders. Ensuring safety at volatile sites such as mines and hazardous material handling plants should also be top of the agenda.

There is an increasing need to monitor and protect assets using a multilayered approach around the clock 24/7. This approach should address security from the perimeter to the door access points through to intrusion detection within the building.

Key insights on future-proofing Australia’s security industry
Stratus, a leading fault-tolerant software/hardware provider, and Gallagher, a New Zealand-based electronic security provider, have been working extensively in the security space in Australia and are now extending their partnership around the world.

Drawing from their 10-year relationship and ongoing project work, Stratus and Gallagher’s share their expert insights below on how organisations can future-proof their security protocols through technology, innovation and collaboration.

A fault-tolerant solution is key
Modern security solutions have evolved into management platforms that deliver a range of functionality to various staff roles within the organisation they are designed to protect. For larger firms, this could take the form of a fully integrated Security Operations Centre with integrated video and intercoms to providing mobility to the security staff alerting them of incidents whilst on the move.

Protecting a site’s operational continuity through solutions such as fatigue management, visitor registration kiosks and the ability to provide proactive notifications before certifications lapse are an integral part of the modern platform.

Different organisations will have their own set of unique requirements with an ecosystem of interconnected devices and functions that all users rely on with a minimum of conscious effort.

It is only during a failure when users of the system realise the importance of ensuring the underlying framework is consistently maintained and available. Having a solution built on a fault-tolerant platform allows for full functionality, 24/7, 365 days a year.

High reliability, low downtime, easy to deploy systems are best
Organisations using state-of-the-art systems expect easy-to-deploy systems that provide ironclad reliability as missing a critical alarm or event can jeopardise the safety of every employee.

Although technology is becoming more sophisticated, there is also an increasing expectation that the technology must be easy to implement and integrate to existing platforms, and that it will improve the reliability of their overall system.

Highly secure or remote locations that often have little information technology expertise on-site require hands-off, yet always available, systems that are simple to operate and service.

Downtime at the wrong time should be avoided at all costs where security is concerned, as it can damage an organisations’ business continuity, safety and reputation. You cannot afford downtime that interferes with the organisations ability to respond to incidents where fast and accurate evacuations of staff are required.

Meet increased regulatory and compliance pressures head-on
Collaboration with sensitive government programs demands fulfilling a range of strict requirements. Rather than looking at products and solutions that can simply meet these requirements, the most forward thinking firms deploy solutions that will exceed them.

Exceeding regulatory frameworks and compliance standards will provide enhanced security for your organisation and ensure that service offerings outstrip those offered by competitors.

Call for industry-wide collaboration and skills development
Perhaps the most important driver of business growth for security organisations is industry-wide collaboration.

Stratus and Gallagher have teamed together to deliver a best-of-breed access control system being deployed on a simple, yet robust platform, for example. Typically this platform is then handed over to a Gallagher accredited security partner that deploys the complete security solution.

Beyond the vendors there should also be a focus upon equipping internal people with the technical skills to deploy and oversee the use of new technology systems. The simpler the system is to use, the better – especially if it is reliable and cost-effective.

Technology is the way of the future
In an environment of heightened risk and constant security threats, technology is a key future-proofing tool to help security organisations minimise the impact of any evolving attack. Given that physical security cannot be deployed at every single level, seamless technology systems and the right people to oversee them can offer more protection against future vulnerabilities.