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COVID-19 has changed transport sector, as governments restrict travel

COVID-19 has changed transport sector, as governments restrict travel
Restrictions and the resulting decrease in passengers across all forms of transportation, including buses, trains, air travel, etc., does not mean reductions in security efforts.
An eerie silence reminiscent of post-apocalyptic movies pervades over most of the largest airports in the world today. Many countries have closed airports, while others operate with negligible traffic, often with one or two passengers. 

The spread of coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has resulted in less travel across the globe as governments aim to restrict citizens from traveling to and from areas that are profoundly affected by the spread. 

However, these restrictions and the resulting decrease in passengers across all forms of transportation, including buses, trains, air travel, etc., does not mean reductions in security efforts. 

Need for automation 

Stuart Rawling,
VP of Technology and Customer Engagement, Pelco

The need for automated processes, advanced video surveillance oversight, and reduced “touchpoints” will grow as we look for a way forward out of the challenges we face today. Stuart Rawling, VP of Technology and Customer Engagement at Pelco, explained that automation would allow the transport industry to operate with a smaller number of people, making it easier to practice social distancing. 

“One thing we are seeing is the increasing demand for intelligence across a transportation facility,” Rawling said. “As security leaders look to reduce the number of people providing oversight to these facilities, such as guards and operators, there is a need to gather actionable intelligence using data from a variety of sensors. Combining the data from sensors like access control, video data, intrusion and fire alarms, building occupancy, and more, into intelligence, helps agencies connect the pieces of any situation and present a unified risk assessment to the right stakeholders.” 

By capturing and analyzing data in real-time, organizations gain a visual representation of risks across the business while accessing information related to the most critical events taking place. Not only does this process enable a higher and more proactive level of protection even in situations where remote access and management are being used, but it also helps facilitate a plan of action based on unified intelligence.

Securing the perimeter with less staff 

Threat actors are always on the lookout for opportunities to take advantage of, and a disaster like a pandemic offers them just that. Hence, there can be no compromise on the traditional security systems that are in place. But with health officials recommending fewer employees in place, manned guarding could be difficult. 

“The threats to transportation facilities do not cease during this time,” Rawling said. “There is still a need for comprehensive, forward-thinking video surveillance cameras and management systems to drive increased situational awareness, even as passenger numbers dwindle in this pandemic. Perimeter protection that allows operators to be alerted to potential threats seamlessly and provides all the information needed to alert authorities is still necessary to protect internal operations at the world’s largest transportation sites.”

Glenn Farrant, CEO of CriticalArc, agreed to this, adding that security staff are smaller in number.  And while security and safety departments typically have a dual role, but with fewer passengers, they are more heavily focused on security and the protection of property and assets.

“More attention is being paid to perimeters for example, and patrol patterns are being adjusted to address changed risks, such as the increased potential for opportunistic crime, and the greater vulnerability of lone workers,” Farrant said. “At the same time, team operations are under pressure due to sickness.  It is not just security staff who are more likely to be absent, but people who would normally help with first aid or fire marshaling duties. So, security operations are being stretched like never before.”
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