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Closing Loopholes for Large-Area Compounds

Source: a&s International | Date: 02/02/2010

Related tags: industrial park, military sites, embassies, business districts, security

Large sites, such as military sites, embassies, business districts and industrial parks, contain a cluster of buildings with shared purposes. These spread-out sites require a thorough security solution, from perimeter to building-based safety measures. The vast coverage area, dispersed systems and transmission infrastructure add complexity to security solution design.


"To accurately detect intrusions with low nuisance alarms in widely varying environments, which includes changing light, wind and weather conditions, has been a common goal of all outdoor security applications," said John Romanowich, CEO of SightLogix.


Poor installation results in security gaps. "Often, loopholes in perimeter detection are the result of a sensor being applied inaccurately," said Tom Coxford, Canadian Sales Manager at Senstar.


"Solutions designed for the outdoors address the fundamental problem of nuisance alarms. In situations where nuisance alarms are a problem, it is often because indoor solutions are misapplied for outdoor usage," said Romanowich.


Wide-area defense mitigates threats with layers of protection, making convergence a daunting task. Different parts of a single compound may be commissioned and in different stages, making integration of legacy equipment challenging. "The complication lies within the management of signals from dispersed systems, rather than the security tasks," said Udi Segall, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Nice Systems. Although IP-enabled systems offer flexibility and remote monitoring, true interoperability will not be realized until standards are adopted.


Security priorities are determined by project and aligned with facilities and assets that are being protected. "Typically, facilities, buildings, operations are categorized by risk, asset values and mission criticality, to determine appropriate protection level and security countermeasures," said Mike Webster, CPP Branch Manager, Global Security Engineering and Consulting, Johnson Controls. Security planning should begin with a site survey with risk and threat analysis, said Udi Segall, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Nice Systems.


Real-life challenges are not always anticipated. "A large site is often adjacent to several areas, such as culverts and woodland, resulting in an obstructed view for approaching individuals or vehicles," said Ivor Lane, Business Development Manager, Sphere Security. "Given those areas are hardly under supervision, a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) survey is critical to understand the ground undulations to position sensors and cameras."


The five aspects to consider for surveillance systems are deter, detect, delay, assess and respond, said Tom Coxford, Canadian Sales Manager at Senstar. Stopping potential intruders from entering protected areas is ideal, as early detection provides more time for intervention. Intruders should be delayed with structural barriers which create a physical deterrence that must be penetrated. Assessment and security operations should verify and resolve threats based on established procedure.


"Clearly planned security guidelines for pre- and post-event mitigation enable effective security operations," said John Romanowich, CEO of SightLogix. Tying predefined security priorities with early-alert systems allows operators to manage threat response effectively.


Perimeter profile, number of users and controlled access points are parameters to consider, said Anand Mecheri, CMO of Siemens Building Technologies.


For military and embassy compounds, perimeter access takes center stage, said Scott Conner, PSP, Senior Government and Military Sales Representative, Onity (a UTC Fire & Security company). Access permissions are granted on building and facility levels.


Layers of Protection
"No one perimeter technology is infallible and multiple detection technologies are required to ensure comprehensive protection," said Coxford. "A systematic, layered detection approach is utilized for high-security applications, where intelligent sensors equipped with adaptive processing algorithm are sought after to determine real threats."


Perimeter and access points are the first line of protection. "Areas with no physical barrier for entry and unmanaged access via public footpaths or rights of way should be given extra attention," Lane said.


Depending upon the types of threats and assets that are being protected, a combination of physical security and human resources are employed, said Conner.


Perimeter and Access Points
Perimeters are large, often poorly lit and require constant vigilance. "Perimeter intrusion detection system (PIDS) form an integral part of a holistic security approach. It involves deployment of multiple fencing and sensor systems and virtual perimeters through video analytics," Webster said. Real-time
PIDS updates to the site's control room enable timely responses, with one-to-one redundancy for communication.


Subject analysis is critical for operators to identify the threat and respond accordingly."Video systems for perimeter protection are often used at facilities that are remote or difficult to patrol, or by companies that wish to minimize the use of manned patrols," said Jennifer Mapes, Industry Analyst at Freedonia Group.


"For government and military sites, the entire perimeter is typically a lockdown with a single or few access points and are patrolled and guarded by armed personnel," Lane said. Well-defined ingress/egress locations can funnel traffic into a centralized area manned by security staff. LPR and video register vehicle details, and the use of queue measurement allows operators to open other entrances or search lanes to reduce traffic at peak times, Lane said.


Public roads require careful planning. "Any area where a run-up is possible needs to be controlled to mitigate the risk of vehicles crashing through a fence or barrier," Lane said. "Entrance gates should be kept well back from any building inside the compound and outside of potential blast areas."


Physical barricades and X-ray machines for individuals offer added protection from explosives, vehicles and suicide bomber attacks. "Visitors are preapproved with a minimum of 72-hour notice for background checks," Conner said.


Tenant Area
"In general, guarding services and perimeters are under surveillance by the industrial park authority," said Rio Christian, Senior Manager,
System Integration and Market Development, Secom Indopratama.
"Inside, each building and facility usually maintains an independent surveillance system to address company-specific security issues."


Based on the threat analysis, perimeter technologies are used at the facility level. Motion sensors are placed inside a building, coupled with the infrared beam towers, surveillance cameras and video analytics to detect intrusions.


Customers need to understand the equipment's limitations. "Some critical problems are the result of unrealistic expectations of what technologies can achieve," Segall said.


Integration on Request
Effective protection demands situational awareness and integration of incident management and command and control capability, Mecheri said. However, few industrial and manufacturing facilities have this implemented.


Stand-alone systems account for most current operations, while integrated systems meet only 10 to 20 percent of the market demand, Christian said. "This makes it challenging for system integrators to propose integrated security systems to end users."


"The level of integration is based on the complexity and openness of the systems, the number of sites and operators, the distances between sites, and the system functions to be implemented," said Robert Wu, Senior Director of Market Strategy at Barco.


Integration mostly occurs at command and control centers. Operators often manage several disparate systems that are controlled by independent computing platforms. An open management platform can interface with various systems to centralize command and operations.


Another option is visual integration, with disparate systems presenting on a single platform without integrating their functions. "A wide variety of signal types can be captured through the control room management software and hardware controller to provide a composed view of all or selected signals on demand," Wu said.


Mecheri added that intelligent video coupled with advanced visualization techniques presents information generated from video on a 3-D map, enabling operators to have a bird's eye view.


On the product front, integration can be achieved through software or hardware. "SDKs and APIs provide the software interface and terminal servers convert RS-232/RS-485 signals to TCP/IP signals," said Se Gyun Baik, Technical Director, ADT CAPS (Korea). "For quick and cost-effective integration, a combination of software and hardware configuration should be adopted to fulfill system requirements."


The delivery of any integrated solution depends on careful planning and relevant information from product manufacturers. "End users also play a key role in providing in-depth details of legacy systems and business process information for workflow and event management," Lane said.


Moving Inward
In a compound environment, it is most beneficial to begin integration from the first level of protection — the perimeter — and work inward toward the protected area, Webster said.


"Perimeter security systems are generally integrated with facility management systems with the use of a SDK/API that resides on the facility management," Coxford said. "Through event-level integration, verification on intrusions, fire and life safety events, utility and operations equipment alarms can be automated with video cameras."


Each building's integration is usually between the access control system and other devices. "Current technology allows access control software to serve as a core platform to integrate intrusion, access control and video systems," Christian said.


For systems with multiple servers, server-level integration ensures redundancy for perimeter and building management systems and reduces hardware for nonintegrated systems, Coxford said.


IT-enabled Systems
"Cross-discipline collaboration and system flexibility is best addressed over IP architecture with a common management platform," Mecheri said. "As far as a park authority is concerned, a management platform should allow partitioning of the database to support multiple virtually segregated buildings and facilities on the site."


"The most common approach is to enable Web-based viewing of selected video," said Webster. While viewing can be made available on the Web, the video images should be recorded locally to save bandwidth. At the edge, adding video servers or network DVRs leverages existing equipment.


In the meantime, the provision of interface tools and protocols are required and platform consistency enterprise-wide should be considered, Baik noted.


As dedicated cables are often installed for secured transmission, interfacing with external networks can be achieved through data encryption, virtual private networks and a private leased, dedicated line, said Lane.


The overall cost of IP-based systems is 10 to 20 percent higher than the analog systems, Christian said. However, the savings on cabling is sizable for future expansion.


Any investment on networked system brings up common issues — numbers of signals, bandwidth and operator points. "Typically, the more dispersed the systems, the better the economic justification it achieves, and the cost saving can be as high as 200 percent," Wu said.

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