Security Doesn't Scale!
Now before you get offended and stop reading, consider where we are as an industry today and how much we’ve evolved over the past 5, 10, 15, 50 years. Sure, there has been significant innovation in certain products:
Camera resolution is higher than ever at a price point that security leaders probably couldn’t have fathomed fifteen years ago. Today, cameras are essentially an IP computer that performs advanced edge processing and analytics.
Analytics has progressed from being a buzzword to delivering on many of its promises.
Organizations are continuing to replace their analog camera fleets with new IP technology, albeit at an alarmingly slow rate.
The introduction of facial recognition, object detection & classification, biometrics, drones, counter-drone, access control, tailgate detection, weapon detection, gunshot detection, aggression detection...the list goes on.
Yet, with all the amazing product and technological innovation our industry has seen, we haven’t resolved a core problem. Security doesn’t scale.
Everyone has heard the notion of “gates, guards, and guns.” All of those are important elements to certain security programs, and I make no assertions that humans can or should be removed from the loop. Security will always require humans at a certain level to understand context and nuance to make a rapid decision. In the end, we protect organizations’ people, assets, and brands. Sometimes that can mean critical life and death decisions. So with all of the innovation we’ve seen, why can’t we effectively scale programs that are operationally impactful and don’t totally break the bank?
I started my career in law enforcement, one of the most antiquated professions I’ve experienced in my life. It’s also far and away one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, but it never ceased to amaze me how technology wasn’t used to improve operations, increase closure rates, and reduce the time to resolve events. Sure we had access to new gadgets and software, but everything stood alone and very rarely did one system feed another. So it was an endless cycle of better mousetraps.
When I moved to the private sector, my first role was with a company that literally made its money from gates, guards, and guns. New tools in the guarding industry made patrols more efficient, tracked guard movement and compliance, and reduced paper reporting. Yet how many of those tasks performed by the guard(s) really required a person to perform it? Why doesn’t the platform the guard companies sell its customers to track patrols, events, incidents, etc. talk to the systems the organizations use to run the rest of their programs? Aren’t those key metrics in making decisions about your program?
Then the real learning began as security leader in a large Fortune 500 company. I started in investigations, which used one platform to manage the workflows and data. The security team used an entirely different platform to intake reports and relevant functions. The camera system didn’t talk to the access control system, the intrusion systems were standalone, and like many other companies, we had disparate camera, access control, and intrusion systems deployed at our facilities around the world. How do you build an effective global program with no standards? The options were a large capital project to rip and replace, or buy a Physical Security Information Management System (PSIM). Neither of these was a good option, further proving that security doesn’t scale.
I left my corporate role to start a security consultancy to prove that security could scale if you took the right tech-forward approach. A core tenant was that companies shouldn’t have to compromise their culture to have an effective program. We quickly started working with some of the fastest growing companies in history, yet the problem remained the same. There was great technology available to solve individual problems, but the systems were just that - standalone. Connecting disparate systems required server-heavy, high latency products that were brittle and took forever to deploy (PSIM). Once deployed, they took teams of people to maintain. There had to be a better way.
Unless a company is building a ground-up facility, much of their scale involves taking over spaces that were once occupied by others. This is a huge part of how big companies end up with so many different technologies.
We set out to solve the problem of the connective tissue between disparate solutions - one that was:
Easy and quick to deploy
No major capital investment
Intelligent enough to automate the majority of functions that require human capital today, while properly prioritizing and visualizing those events that truly require human decisions
Capable of reducing the “noise” of constant false positives
So I began assembling a team of all-stars from places like Apple, Bird, Cisco, and NORAD to prove that security can scale.
Help us take the physical security industry by swarm.