The integration of security systems into the digital world has opened up many doors to create robust systems to allow us to stay connected to our home or business with a smart phone or laptop. But there is another, critical advantage that has closed the door on serious security system vulnerabilities. Redundant Communication.
Over the years, systems were connected with standard telephone land lines, (POTS lines). Many events have gone unreported to the monitoring station when the land lines were cut prior to the intruder entering the home or business, resulting in no communication to the central station and no response from authorities. The loss is great. In addition, many businesses and some homes as well, have installed video surveillance camera systems in addition to security alarm systems to better enhance security and provide a visual record in the event of a break in to aid in the prosecution of would-be intruders. But here is the problem:
Intruder cases home or business and is aware of security system. Then before breaking in, the intruder cuts all landlines to the premises, disabling communication from the security systems, and then proceeds to gain entry into the premises. The Intruder sees a camera system in place and knows that a recording device such as a DVR is onsite recording the event. After the intruder cleans out all the valuables from the premises, the recording device is located and taken from the premises upon exiting. When the home or business owner arrives to the premise, they find that they have been robbed, but wonder why the security system did not call authorities. When they try to check the recording device for events, they realize it is missing. Therefore, no video evidence is available either.
The Security System Solution:
With the addition of a cellular backup communicator, the system reports over both landline and cellular communication. With the landlines cut, the cellular communicator is still able to report and the authorities are still dispatched.
A more recent technology has been added to security panels called Advanced Protection Logic, APL. This was developed to respond to the “Smash and Grab” action, where an intruder cuts phone lines, gains entry through a door that would normally have an entry delay and quickly disables any additional communication by smashing or removing the device from the premises. Normally, no signals would be sent by either landline or cellular communication until the delay expires. This is especially an issue with integrated security panels. APL sends a signal to central station immediately when the door is opened, but it is stored in hold register, awaiting the correct security code to be received. If the correct code is not received within the delay period, it is read as a valid signal and the authorities are dispatched. If the correct code is sent in time, then the signal is dumped.x
The Video Surveillance Solution:
The advancement of network cameras has made a digital solution for video surveillance more affordable. Up to 6 indoor or outdoor network cameras can be installed and managed through an IP Communicator. Rather than video being stored on the premises, the video is immediately sent off-site and stored at the provider’s servers. No recording devices are present on the premises and any events are captured and sent off-site for later review. Nothing can be removed by the intruder to destroy the video evidence.
As the Information Technology world advances, the Security world will further integrate with it and the solutions and possibilities will advance with it. We have come a long way since the conventional burglar alarm system and the need for advanced physical security will continue to grow.
Jim Welch – Technology Specialist