Where is the tipping point for IP Video?

Like enterprise telephony, the security industry is converging. Convergence has already impacted how products are built (analog cameras to digital cameras), what companies provide products (Axxon software, Axis cameras, Cisco video servers), sales channels (Data Communication distributors Anixter, Graybar) and the buying process.

Many organizations have given their IT department full responsibility for the security system. IP-enabled card readers, cameras, network attached storage systems and standard databases resemble most other IT systems. Security becomes another application on top of the existing IT infrastructure.

Understanding the current Integrated Facility Security is key to all-round approach to securing resources.


When a Nairobi Engineering firm outgrew its office space, it sought a facility that would provide adequate physical and IT security for its 350 employees, assets and sensitive client data.

This job fell to Oniali Malika, the firm’s CTO.

“Hundreds of concerns were thrown on the table,” Oniali, says. “Could the building provide 24/7 security guards? Do you need a passcode to use the elevators? How would the layout keep nonemployees from wandering into restricted work areas? How do you protect employees from disgruntled claimants? How do you apply the same protections to computer access? And how do you protect the data center and paper-based data from fire and water damage?”

The big challenge has always come from the introduction of new technology into an existing system.

Onialo had never overseen both logical and physical security, so he asked the company’s facilities manager to help him select a building and design an integrated security system. Today, in the three-floor downtown office space, physical and logical access is controlled with RSA Security’s Smart Badges and a combination of SecurID Passage software, RSA SecurID Smart Cards and RSA ACE/Server rights management software. Employees use proximity card badges to access elevators, file rooms, conference rooms and work areas. The firm also uses the badges for two-factor authentication into the network’s billing, storage, database and e-mail applications.


Crossover technologies like these are certainly pulling physical and logical security closer together. Video surveillance, badge readers and other building security systems will be increasingly integrated into IT systems over the next five years for greater information management efficiency. Regulatory compliance, risk assessments and investigations are driving this security cooperation.

But full convergence will never be a common business model, according to many analysts and IT professionals. Instead, the two disciplines will work closely on crossover projects.




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