What’s the importance of integrated solutions for mall security?

What’s the importance of integrated solutions for mall security?
While there is no doubt about the need for integrated security solutions in malls, there are several factors to consider when implementing them. According to Dan Reese, Director of Vertical Market Applications at Bosch Security and Safety Systems, a retail security strategy should take into account factors like loss prevention, physical security, asset protection, risk management and IT.

“As the existing security infrastructure is evaluated and plans for the future are developed, the team responsible should consider some of the following questions,” Reese said. “Are there areas of the store that require greater security? Are there notifications or other technologies that could improve the efficiency of personnel and the safety of shoppers? Are there other departments within the organization that could benefit from the data gathered by the security technology? Understanding current pain points within the stores and how integrated security solutions can address these is the key to implementing the best solution.”

A few “hot spots” within a typical retail store that easily demonstrate the power of integrated solutions are point-of-sale terminals, high-value displays, cash office, exit doors, and coolers and freezers.
Laura Blanc Pedregal,
CMO, Herta Security


Billy Hopkins, Senior Technical Manager at IDIS Europe, added that integration paves way for other solutions like facial recognition and advanced analytics as well. Prevention is better than cure, and facial recognition technology allows the detection of a banned person before they have a chance to commit a crime, he said. Advanced analytic engines can also help with vital challenges, such as searching for a missing child based on what they are wearing. Laura Blanc Pedregal , Chief Marketing Officer at Herta Security, whose company is into facial recognition, said that the technology is used mainly to prevent theft in the retail sector. 

“This type of crime is characterized by the fact that it is usually the same people who repeatedly commit these infringements,” she said.“Consequently, having a system at their disposal that makes it possible to identify this type of subject in the most vulnerable places ends up being fundamental to avoid frequent thefts. The existence of databases with the faces of recurring offenders can help resolve this problem.”

Integration beyond security

As most security professionals are aware now, the purpose of analytics is not limited to security alone. Pedregal pointed out that there is a growing interest in identifying the typology of clients in certain businesses. Systems with facial recognition allow the analysis of visitor’s faces, providing demographic data that makes it possible to establish the profiles of habitual clients and other related statistics.

Retailers can also use the metadata from the cameras to gather business statistics like counts of people entering the store.
Dan Reese, 
Director of Vertical Market 
Applications,Bosch Security and 
Safety Systems
According to Reese, this data can help them understand peak days and times when making decisions about staffing.

“Or while providing surveillance of the cash register area, the camera’s video analytics can also be used to trigger an alert in case the number of people in a queue exceeds the pre-defined threshold,” he added. “At this point, the same public address system and loudspeakers used to play background music to enhance the shopping experience could be activated to broadcast a message to request another cash register to be opened, improving store operations.”

Metadata generated by the cameras can also be used to gather information that when processed with sophisticated algorithms in the cloud can show trajectories of the paths that shoppers take as they travel throughout a store as well as heat maps indicating where they walk, stop and dwell — all while protecting the privacy of individual shoppers. This information can be used by merchandisers to evaluate the success of displays and store layouts, which directly impacts customer engagement and sales.
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