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Security and IoT: More tied together than ever

Security and IoT: More tied together than ever
Today, British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton's connected vision has become quite a reality as IoT has found its way into different parts of our lives, from safe cities to smart buildings. What does all this mean for security players? Some of our Security 50 companies share their views.

The term Internet of Things (IoT) was first coined by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton back in 1999 to describe the concept of a globally connected network of RFID devices. Today, the connected vision has become quite a reality as IoT has found its way into different parts of our lives, from safe cities to smart buildings. What does all this mean for security players? Some of our Security 50 companies share their views.

For starters, physical security is intricately tied to IoT – this is especially the case after security’s migration to IP, which allows devices to be all integrated on the Internet. “The security product is a part of IoT,” said Allen Liu, Product Manager at Dahua Technology. “Video surveillance, mobile devices, access control, and alarm systems are all tied to loT, and we are surrounded by them in our daily life.”

“Security devices will be tied to the IoT as ‘sensors’ in the same way that other devices like phones, cars, and refrigerators are sensor sources – all bringing data to inform our lives,” said Lars Nordenlund Friis, VP of Incubation and Ventures at Milestone Systems. “The single common thread with all these technologies is connected components working together as an efficient, integrated whole.”

Integrating various networkable devices on the Internet brings many benefits. These include enhanced security, better intelligence, and improved user experience.

Enhanced Security

When integrated, video surveillance, access control, intrusion alarms, and other systems add layers to security, making premises less vulnerable to intrusion and threats. “Traditional access control systems can be cracked by forged IC cards or fake fingerprints. Now security industry pays more attention to integrate video surveillance with burglar alarms, access controls, and other parts together,” Liu said.

“With a camera that is only performing video surveillance it is limited because you really can’t talk to people. But if you add an integrated horn speaker, you can actually communicate to a person – for example, if someone is loitering, or in an area they shouldn’t be, or otherwise acting suspiciously. And you can do it through a single system that manages the video and not have to switch between different systems or interfaces,” said Martin Gren, Co-Founder of Axis Communications. “A recent study says that 74 percent of people who are aware that someone is watching them typically stop whatever wrongful activity they are engaged in. A horn speaker can make intruders or suspicious characters very aware that they are being observed.”


IoT brings much more to security than protecting lives and assets. The amount of good data generated by security devices can be extracted and analyzed to drive business intelligence. In retail, for example, cameras installed in stores and supermarkets have found their roles expanding from preventing theft to studying consumer behavior – what aisles shoppers visit more frequently or which way they look at a particular spot. This allows operators to make sales and marketing decisions accordingly.

“To be successful, a deployment using the IoT needs to do more than just collect a data. It needs to have a concrete way to convert that data into information, and provide insights that have business value,” said Willem Ryan, Director for Global Product Marketing at Avigilon. “By having smarter devices at the edge and using software or a platform that presents the collected data intelligently, we can ultimately provide users with valuable insights.”

Increasingly, analysis of data is done in the cloud. “We have to ride this IT wave of transferring data from on-premise to central computation power as a service,” said Friis. “In this scenario you can use the centralized and virtually endless brain power of cloud computing to make that distributed and decentralized video-integrated solution act like one system in a private or public cloud, connecting all types of intelligent sensors in the network.”

User Experience

Finally, it’s the user experience that makes security more fun in the context of IoT. In smart buildings, for example, integration between access control and building management systems boosts the convenience factor. “Nowadays, technology can control the internal temperatures and lighting of a home or office building,” said Chul Hong Park, R&D Team Manager at COMMAX. “You can set your home automation system so that the lights can automatically turn on when you enter the house or shut off when you leave.”

“IoT, in its most basic form, is focused on the collaboration of many connected devices in concert to improve a user’s experience,” said Rob Martens, Futurist and Director of Connectivity Platforms at Allegion. “Security players are embracing the IoT as it represents an evolution not only of their devices and services, but in the user experience for the industry as a whole.”

In conclusion, security players have made efforts to embrace the IoT trend by making their products diverse, integrative, and intuitive. With Gartner predicting 25 billion connected devices to be in use by 2020, IoT is the future, and security players who do not embrace this trend will only see themselves become more irrelevant and marginalized in the market.

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