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Why Physical Security Maintenance Should Never Be an Afterthought

August 14, 2023

In 2022, the occurrence of crime scenes with inaccessible surveillance footage due to outages or malfunctions, like the recent subway shooting in New York City, raises concerns about the reliability of security technology. Such incidents, where crucial views are unavailable, are more frequent than anticipated, exposing a significant gap in the maintenance of costly security systems installed for public protection. The issue is fixable, but current strategies like manual audits and sporadic checks by third parties often fail to ensure accurate diagnostics and proper maintenance.

This problem extends to cities, enterprises, hospitals, and venues, where substantial investments are made in physical security infrastructure. Despite the expenditures, effective maintenance remains a challenge, leading to potential public safety and law enforcement issues. A case in point is the failure of multiple surveillance cameras during the NYC subway shooting and similar instances across the nation.

The challenge lies in addressing physical security system failures, which often go unnoticed. Cyber threats targeting IoT devices like networked cameras highlight the need for cybersecurity to cover physical security as well. Modern physical security systems require 24/7 automated protection and cyber management beyond just cybersecurity measures to maintain continuous uptime and fulfil their security purpose.

Cities like Atlanta, with extensive surveillance systems, face maintenance hurdles due to diverse agreements with multiple vendors. While efforts to enhance maintenance have reduced non-functional cameras, challenges persist, leading to incomplete coverage. The reliability of these cameras is crucial for accurate criminal identification and tracking. A delayed identification due to camera malfunctions could have serious consequences.

The reasons for security camera failures vary from technical issues to malicious attacks, with lack of maintenance being a primary cause. Predictive maintenance is key due to the often sudden nature of failures. Manual checks are not scalable or cost-effective, and a more efficient solution involves centralized, automated monitoring and diagnostics. Such a system ensures real-time visibility into camera status and accurate diagnostics, encouraging prompt action.

Given the prevalence of security camera deployments in public settings, adopting technology for effective management and scalability is imperative. Centralized monitoring systems that constantly track camera status and provide accurate diagnostics offer a solution to the maintenance challenge. Remote diagnosis capabilities for malfunctioning cameras enable efficient maintenance responses, essential for camera uptime. As technology offers better management solutions, relying on ineffective strategies becomes increasingly risky and costly.

Source: https://threatpost.com/physical-security-maintenance/180269/

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