When designing security and planning buildings, best practice states that we should divide buildings into separate compartments.
With the increase in mobile technology and the freedom it provides, more people are working remotely from an office than ever before.
This means that corporate office buildings are no longer divided into smaller spaces, such as personal offices.
Modern offices are large open spaces with meeting rooms, desks and breakout areas.
Conventional security design practice works on breaking down a building into smaller spaces and physically controlling access.
The question is when there are limited places to place controls in a large open space, how do we manage who can get in?
The simple answer is to just secure the perimeter.
This could be a perimeter in terms of a fence line around a site or building, preventing unauthorised persons from gaining access.
Security that is more granular could also be obtained by controlling access to circulation areas or specific floors; however, this gives us very limited control and options for determining who can go where.
Location Based Security
Geolocation technology such as wearable Wi-Fi-based devices, or smartphone apps can pinpoint where someone is in a building or space.
Similarly, iBeacons used by Apple Devices can enable us to determine who and where someone in proximity to a specific iBeacon device.
This could, for instance, tell us when someone walks towards a meeting room.
Video Content Analytics
Visual trip-wires configured within the field of view of a CCTV can tell us whether someone entered or left a space, by crossing the virtual line.
This could indicate the direction of travel, or whether they are loitering and spending too long in one particular area.
CCTV cameras can be combined with special software to visually identify a known person.
This technology is usually combined with a physical security measure such as a turnstile or rotating door.
Facial recognition can, however, also be used to identify people as they walk into a particular space.
Whilst still relatively new and expensive, the technology is now capable of accurate identification and is used extensively in casinos.
Casinos will typically use it to identify two types of person – high rollers or VIP’s, as well as known cheats.
Once identified the VIP Concierge or Security Teams can engage with the person appropriately.
Building design is changing; physical security design needs to keep up.
Security design methods and the correct selection of technologies is essential to ensure that the building remains secure while complimenting the design.