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Perimeter

11/9/2010
07:40 AM
Rob Enderle
Rob Enderle
Commentary
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Enterprise Lessons From New ADT Home Security System

I've run physical security groups in a variety of firms over the years -- from a small real estate firm to a large enterprise, and my family owned one of the largest electronic security firms in the state when I was growing up.

I've run physical security groups in a variety of firms over the years -- from a small real estate firm to a large enterprise, and my family owned one of the largest electronic security firms in the state when I was growing up.Physical security solutions typically aren't well-integrated and the end result is they primarily operate as a relatively easy-to-overcome deterrent. But I've begun testing the new high-tech home security platform created by ADT called "Pulse," and while it is the most advanced in the market, and it has some features that are compelling enough they might find their way into business -- and eventually, enterprise systems.

ADT Pulse integrates the typical perimeter and space based intrusion, fire, and recently added carbon monoxide systems with home automation and digital cameras. It connects back to the Web so that most functions and video feeds can be accessed remotely and rudimentary scripts can be created to deal with events that need a response from the various systems.

For instance, if there is a break in the cameras (it will handle up to ten) nearest the event, it can be told to stream to a Web repository to catch the crime. This both assures the event is captured and that the thieves don't steal the DVR or VCR that captured the event. If there is a fire, the lights leading to the exit can be turned on, the front door unlocked for a rapid exit or to let the firefighters in, and you could even create dynamic lighted routes that would change depending on where the event was first noted. If the fire was in the front, the lights leading to the back could be lit guiding you away from the fire.

Connectivity to a PC, iPhone, or iPad allows you to monitor your home while traveling, view the cameras real-time, check on your children or nanny (depending on where the cameras are located), activate or turn off the alarm, unlock or lock the front door, or scare the kids by turning on and off the lights at odd times.

More typically your alarm system is one system, your camera system is another, and if you have a home automation system, it's also decoupled from the first two. While you can often jury-rig some integration with other systems, I haven't found one that will integrate to this level.

The integration camera, door, and perimeter systems is very unusual and the capability to actually look at camera feeds off of a smartphone or tablet, is even more important in most large business with physical guards. This is because staffing constraints often have sites where the guard is doing the dual duty of watching the screens and walking the perimeter. With the right device and notification systems, they could more easily stay vigilant while doing their physical tour of the site. Or by more easily transferring the administrative and monitoring functions to another site, two guards remote from each other could more easily support each others' activities.

While less secure than many proprietary systems are today, the use of the Internet as a central backbone to the service reduces the related cost so that sites that couldn't have been affordably equipped with an advanced system like this could be.

With systems like ADT Pulse going into executive homes it won't be long before those executives start to wonder why their companies' security systems aren't as well integrated and advanced. This could move, at least for a time, the cutting edge of reasonably priced comprehensive security systems to the home and from the home into these businesses. It's worth watching.

-- Rob Enderle is president and founder of Enderle Group. Special to Dark Reading.

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