Given the challenges and limitations of the traditional approach to physical security, many trucking and freight companies with assets requiring protection are outsourcing to managed IT service providers, who must increasingly be an expert in all systems.
With broad expertise, managed IT vendors can extract value from each individual system, while taking advantage of the tremendous added value in a more comprehensive, fully integrated implementation.
Following a few simple tips can help commercial carriers get the most out of this approach to cost-effectively improve their security while streamlining the process.
Partner with an expert integrator who can combine video surveillance, access control and information technology using a virtual approach.
Today, such integration can replace many of the functions of in-person security personnel. Virtual systems can be customized to a variety of loss-prevention situations no matter the size of the operation or type of assets that need to be protected. Examples include preventing the theft of trucks, batteries, catalytic converters and other valuable items.
The strategy takes full advantage of the interconnectivity of information across a broad range of systems and devices. Based on a trucking and freight company’s priorities, integrated systems can intelligently sift through millions of points of information and prioritize only the most relevant events to deter and prevent theft in ways that were previously not possible.
Work with a partner that can use off-the-shelf tools to create super-secure, cost-effective environments.
Expert integrators are routinely implementing these solutions with better, faster response at a fraction of traditional costs. These integrators have perfected the use of tools that bring all that information together into dashboards that convey needed information at a glance. This is combined with technical and operational procedures to analyze, parse and present it so actual threats can be responded to and thefts deterred in real-time.
Where traditional systems can inundate security staff with mind-numbing nuisance alerts – many of which are ignored – the goal of the fully integrated virtual approach is to vigorously and promptly protect valuable trucking assets from theft without unnecessary staffing, excess equipment or complexity.
In terms of video surveillance, that means instantly spotting any anomalies and escalating only those that need attention. It means preventatively spotting any discrepancies in door or gate access control based on time of day, location, personnel involved and other factors. It means “slicing and dicing” a host of variables specific to the carrier and drawing the attention of security personnel or managers when it is time to act.
Utilize an integrated set of tools, along with enhanced system intelligence.
This can significantly reduce the need for traditional security guards. Instead of a full-time security operation center listening to an endless flow of logs and events, such a system can be more proactive and provide essentially 24/7 virtual security for a fraction of the cost.
In fact, often this is accomplished without human intervention or the need for any payroll.
Choose a managed IT service provider that is expert in all disciplines.
The best managed IT service providers can manage and integrate any and all systems down to installation of cabling and computer hardware. In addition, they can design and install these systems down to the wiring, so it is relatively easy to tailor them to the specific requirements of individual trucking companies needing asset protection.
Such intelligent systems then prompt security guards, supervisors or managers to take immediate and appropriate action in a variety of settings to keep people and property safe.
For example, trucking companies may need to protect their fleets from thieves entering their lot at night to steal vehicles. Or the companies may need to prevent battery theft. In such a case, cut locks and sliced cables not only cost thousands of dollars of damage to each vehicle, but also render it inoperable until repaired.
In choosing a physical security integration partner, however, the best have an extensive knowledge of the available products and component parts of any system and are able to tie them together in a manner that extracts significant added value. In other words, the whole properly integrated system should be much greater than the sum of its parts.
Eric Brackett is President of BTI Communications Group, a technology convergence provider that serves the food, logistics, healthcare and aerospace sectors. The company acts as a single source provider of physical security, access control, network, and complex phone (VoIP) systems, down to installation of wiring and conduit.