Getting the most from technology for security operations

10 September 2018

Rapid advancements in technology are transforming every aspect of business as companies move rapidly to digitize and modernize their operations. Technologies once only used by the most advanced companies are now made available for every enterprise that wants to remain competitive in the digital age.  

These new technologies enable industries that previously were not early adopters of technology to now be at the forefront of the rapid changing taking place in every market vertical and business application.  One business vertical that is taking advantage of new technologies is the Physical Security Operations Center.

Physical Security Operations Center (PSOC)

As new technologies emerge, the PSOC becomes the center for maintaining a high level physical security profile and is a vital component of the overall security and risk management of an organization, whether local or distributed.

 Current technologies available for PSOC transformation

  • Computer vision technologies that give machines “vision” to interpret images.[1]
  • High Performance Computing Graphic Processing Units (HPCGPUs). The availability of these units for Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning, power some of the most advanced AI applications including AI assisted Video Analysis.
  • Advanced machine learning algorithms.
  • Edge computers
  • Cloud computing and storage
  • Gigabit networks are now common that allow high speed video transmission for high definition fidelity.
  • IP based cameras are rapidly replacing standard CCTV cameras resulting in the ability to deploy vast distributed video architectures and produce high fidelity images even in low light conditions.

Physical Security Operations Center (PSOC) Transformation

The digitalization age has produced disruptive technologies that are driving major changes in the physical security industry.[2] Many of these technologies and systems architectures were once the specific domain of the cyber world only but are now being applied to the physical domain. Since many physical security operations centers are managed separately with different operational personnel, the emergence of these technologies represents opportunities for PSOCs to transform and enhance their missions utilizing cutting edge techniques that were not previously available.  Transformation is made easier by new video and analysis technologies that assist in responding to the evolving physical threats to people and assets.

The four pillars of a transformed PSOC:

  • Artificial Intelligence
    • Computer vision
    • Machine learning
  • Real-time Analysis (behavioral across time and space)
  • Edge and Cloud supported architectures
  • Live Wall technology

PSOC transformation must include these important technologies to leverage operational efficiencies as well as increase the delivery of service.

Artificial Intelligence based products that utilize computer vision and machine learning are the intelligent core that enables real-time detection and situational analysis. Implemented at the edge and with cloud transport capabilities, these technologies put high speed real-time cognitive analysis from multiple video feeds in the hands of operators and risk assessment staff.

An AI based system learns what is normal behavior for people, vehicles, machines and the environment based on its own observation of patterns of various characteristics such as size, speed, reflectivity, grouping, vertical or horizontal orientation. The technique is referred to as Spatio-Temporal analysis[3].

AI assisted video monitoring allows operators to maintain concentration over multiple camera environments by off loading detection and  analysis to technology, while keeping the final interpretation to humans.

Risk management staff benefit from automatic logging of events and the ability for long term analysis that could reveal necessary changes to security and safety policies/procedures. Monitoring and reporting enable risk management staff to perform security impact analysis as part of a risk management framework[4]

‘Live Wall” technologies are used to minimize the “span of vision” that is required for operators to monitor events by displaying in real-time only those detectable events that require further scrutiny.

AI Assisted Surveillance as an efficiency tool

It is well documented that humans, while engaged in routine task, have a directed attention span of approximately twenty minutes and when faced with multiple items, attention spans decrease. Effectively monitoring multiple cameras and video feeds becomes an impossible task as incidents increase and proactive decisions become critical. Today’s environment requires real-time situational awareness and prompt action to assure the safety and security of both people and facilities.


Physical Security Operation Centers are positioned to take advantage of operational and economic efficiencies that advanced technologies can deliver.  AI assisted video monitoring technologies are the key to driving the digital transformation that is the future of PSOCs.

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[1] Computer Vision: From Surfaces to 3D Objects; Christopher Tyler; January, 2011,  [2] The Five Technological Forces Disrupting Security, September 2017  by Steve Van Till,  [3] Piotr Dollar, Vincent Rabaud; Garrison Cottrell; Serge Belongie- University of California at San Diego: “Behavior Recognition via Sparse Spatio-Temporal Features,  [4] US National Institute of Standards and Technology Publication 800-37,”Risk Management Framework”.