Security Technology Executive

NOV-DEC 2017

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8 SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE • November/December 2017 • www. CONVERGENCE Q&A By Ray Bernard P SP, CH S -III • Email: ConvergenceQA@go-rbc Our IT department is upgrading their technology lifecycle management and they want to include our networked security systems in their program. How do we do that? Your IT department has approached you at the ideal time. They are redefining their program, and should easily be able to include support for your systems to the extent that your security systems technology will allow. The IT departments of many organizations have suc- cessfully included electronic security systems in their technology lifecycle management programs. Up to now, this was mainly by exception—exempting many products (like network cameras) from IT requirements and including only servers, workstations and laptops (like those used with the access control and video man- agement systems). IT departments are used to man- aging servers, printers, workstations and laptops. And although network cameras are essentially servers (most with Linux operating systems but some with embed- ded Windows), to date they have not been designed to participate in automated patch management (a typical part of a technology management program) or mean- ingfully support networked infrastructure monitoring. The management of most physical security systems equipment still must be dealt with manually. But that is changing. IT learned long ago that manual management of networked computing devices is too costly and error- prone, and can't be relied upon to keep large-device- count networked systems current—especially given the rise of cybersecurity threats. That's why a part of the IT industry is dedicated to automated systems infra- structure management. Asset Management Technology lifecycle management is the beginning to end process of acquiring, installing and commission- ing, maintaining and supporting, tracking and eventu- ally retiring a technology asset. It is asset management for technology systems, which include many assets that are co-dependent and are required to work together to deliver an agreed upon level of functionality and ser- vice. The total cost of ownership and cost-effectiveness are two of the concepts involved. A technology asset may be retired for many reasons: Continued on page 14 Technology Lifecycle Management its cost of service is too high, it is becoming obsolete and newer products or systems would provide more value for the investment or would better fit operational needs. Traditionally security departments don't prac- tice asset management for their security systems, but they should—especially given the amount of money invested in them. Therefore, including them in an IT lifecycle management program can be of significant value to the organization as well as to the security department itself. Automation Comes to the Physical Security Industry Fortunately, the physical security industry has come to realize that IT infrastructure management practices must be applied to networked electronic physical secu- rity systems. Over the next two years, I expect that we'll see a significant change in the industry as manufactur- ers make serious effects to get fully onboard with infor- mation technology management practices. For example, in early 2018 industry leader Axis Communications ( will be rolling out a managed services platform that includes automated patch management for cameras and other Axis components, which inte- grates with alarm central station software for fast high- resolution video verification. Just a few years ago, Viakoo ( introduced a subscription-based cloud solution that provides service and maintenance automation for networked physical security systems, with a special focus on camera and video system uptime assurance, including retention compliance management and video system performance metrics. Viakoo issues alerts and service tickets (including to IT) when a network-related issue is affecting security system communications. Collaborating with IT on Technology Management Axis, Viakoo and other companies that provide sup- port for infrastructure monitoring and management are evidence that the physical security industry is improving its adoption of information technologies. IT departments will understand what this means, as the IT world has seen a rapid evolution in software and systems for automating technology infrastructure service management. Here are some practical steps to follow for produc- tively collaborating with IT on technology lifecycle management. Initiate. Let IT know that you want to collabo- rate and that you would like IT to brief you on their Q: A: Ray Bernard PSP, CHS-III Ray Bernard Consulting Ser v ices (RBCS; w w w. go-rbcs; 9 4 9-83 1-6788), a firm that prov ides securit y consulting ser v ices for public and private facilities. Member of the Content E xpert Facult y of the Securit y E xecutive Council (w w w.Securit y- E Follow Ray on Twitter: @RayBernardRBCS

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