Physical security is something many businesses don’t want to think about – it’s a necessary evil that does not generate revenue, is typically not very brand enhancing and it costs a great deal of money. And sadly, these days it seems as though there is a greater emphasis being placed on securing data than people.
But physical security is your job, and you need to negotiate that fine line between being effective (i.e., getting results!) and managing costs. You set out to devise a plan utilizing any and all available resources to provide a secure place for people to work, study or visit. You look at every aspect of deterrence, access control, detection and identification. You evaluate the roles and responsibilities of manned guards and technologies and carefully weave them together to present a balanced and effective approach to solving your specific security challenges. Now it’s time to present your plan to your corporate leadership team.
You walk into the meeting and begin to share the results of your countless hours of research and education on the latest and greatest in protection. You explain that your plan will take months to implement and will require involvement from almost every functional aspect of the company. The Security team will need to accept and commit to using new tools. The attorneys will scrutinize the agreements like never before going through dozens of cartridges of red ink. The operations/facilities folks will want to know every volt and amperage of electrical needs expected, where to mount hardware, and how it will impact traffic patterns. Human resources will have to manage how employees feel about their privacy and the Orwellian fear of “being watched.” Communications/PR will have to preemptively develop strategies for dealing with media, employee and visitor questions. IT will surface inquiring about firewalls, open ports, data transfer rates, backhaul, encryption, and hackers. Marketing will engage their entire team to ensure brand compliance with colors and logos and argue over moving one or two pixels left or right. And the finance wizards scrutinize every penny this will cost, how to categorize a new subscription-based model and how it fits into the allocated budget, and then engage your insurance carriers to seek coverage for something the likes of which they’ve never heard.
So, what triggers all of this madness? You go on to explain that you are going to implement self-driving (autonomous) security robots and that these robots will drive around your campus without any human intervention as part of the overall security mission to deter, detect, delay and deny. The robots will provide unprecedented levels of data and actionable intelligence to allow the Security team to make smarter, safer and faster decisions. You will not be responsible for servicing or maintaining the daily operating capabilities of the robots because that is included in the service. You will be able to access information and analytics form anywhere in the world where you have access to the Internet, a Chrome browser and your user credentials. And you will have the 24/7/365 support of a live human being if ever there is a need for assistance.
The uproar ensues until finally someone boldly asks, “Is anyone else using this and, if so, what kind of results are they seeing?” This is the question you’ve been waiting for. You remind the group that security and public safety is all ensuring and preserving our fundamental right to peace of mind. No clearer was this ever stated than by the Honorable John Farnsworth when arguing the Reconstruction Act of 1867:
“The first duty of the Government is to afford protection to its citizens.”
Rep. John F. Farnsworth, 39th US Congress, 1867