Mobile is a Modern Key to Physical Security

As physical and cyber security become ever more intertwined, it’s crucial that security officials who oversee the protection and wellbeing of a firm or company’s assets and staff make use of every tool available. That includes something essential to one’s daily life — mobile phones.

A guest post for ITWire outlines how essential mobile phones and tablets are to physical security. This is due to the rise of cloud computing.

“Physical security presents various challenges. A principal inconvenience is that someone usually needs to grant access to a site, office, or home. But now, thanks to cloud-based security systems, the management of physical locations can be accomplished remotely using mobile applications,” the article reads.

The ways this piece outlines the ways in which mobile tech can be harnessed by cloud computing for physical security:

  • Viewing video feed data: Remote video identification can be a key part of multi-factor authentication.
  • Securing entrances to properties: Mobile apps can help lock or unlock entrances to properties and specific areas of a facility remotely. This can also help with traffic flow in and out of a building. Mobile access credentials can “speed things along” allowing for “contactless entry and prevention unauthorized entrances,” according to the article.
  • Real-time security alerts: Cloud-based mobile apps can offer real-time security alerts to physical security managers and staff who aren’t directly on the premises. If there is a breach after hours, if there is a smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide alert, or if there is broken glass — all of these physical security threats can be addressed immediately by way of mobile alerts.
  • Public health concerns: In light of the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, a public health emergency like a future pandemic or viral outbreak can result in issues of office overcrowding and dangerous direct contact with potential infections — mobile management of a facility can help navigate unexpected, ever shifting health threats.

In a similar piece for ITBriefcase, Emma Smith highlights how mobile devices offer a more secure way to access a facility than a keycard or fob, for instance.

“The most advanced of key cards or fobs still require some controls to verify who they are being used by. Access control systems that integrate the use of mobile phones, eliminate the need for fobs or key cards. Employees can use their smartphones and even authorized guests can have visitor’s credentials sent to them shortly before their appointment or visit,” she writes.

While a mobile device might not automatically seem like a tool beyond communicating with loved ones or posting on social media, it can be a necessary lifeline for security teams as they navigate a reality where the physical and digital increasingly merge.

Published by Peter Cavicchia

Peter Cavicchia is a retired U.S. Secret Service Senior Executive, now Chairman of the security consulting firm Strategic Services International LLC.

%d bloggers like this: