Physical Security Lifecycle Management Series – Planning

Which proactive maintenance activity has the most significant potential to improve the strength and effectiveness of your physical security systems? If you said Lifecycle Management, you are correct!

Physical security lifecycle management ensures that security measures (from video surveillance to access control systems) are maintained throughout their lifespan and function optimally. This encompasses planning for upgrades, monitoring performance, and addressing potential vulnerabilities in real-time.

All of these tasks are necessary for a successful security program and require a holistic strategy that aligns with your organization’s objectives, physical security policies, and risk management strategies.

Imagine doing all this work manually? It is exhausting, to say the least.

SiteOwl offers a practical framework for assessing and managing physical security lifecycle activities. The framework is divided into five stages: Planning, Designing, Installing, Maintaining, and Auditing. 

In this article, we highlight five challenges security leaders face when planning physical security projects and provide actionable tips for overcoming them with SiteOwl’s Lifecycle Management platform.

1. Not having accurate or complete warranty information

One of the challenges to physical security lifecycle management is the need for accurate or complete warranty information. This can make planning for future upgrades or replacing security measures difficult, as it needs to be clarified when the existing systems will no longer be covered in the warranty.

Additionally, many organizations have security policies that require the use of the latest technologies and hardware, but the warranty information can be difficult to locate and verify. Security policies may also specify the use of certain technologies not covered under the organization’s warranty and require purchasing new equipment to support the security policy.

The organization’s security team often develops security policies based on their knowledge of their physical security infrastructure and the threats they are trying to protect. However, if the warranty information is unavailable, it can be challenging to know whether or not the organization’s security team is complying with the security policy. This may undermine your risk management efforts by putting your organization at risk for unauthorized access.

Not having accurate or complete warranty information is a byproduct of many factors, including:

  • Inability to review device-level service and warranty information in a seamless manner.
  • Using manual processes to collect and compile warranty information from multiple sources.
  • Relying on an integrator to track and maintain warranty information.
All of these factors lead to information gaps and inaccurate data, which can result in paying for unnecessary services, undermining security measures, and increasing your security risk. But there’s a way for security teams to avoid this, and it starts with a centralized platform that provides all of the information needed to make informed decisions about your security systems.

Track device-specific data with SiteOwl

With SiteOwl, you can track your entire security system and day-to-day operations organizing all of your data into a single interface that allows you to track device-specific manufacturer and labor warranty expiration dates regardless of location or device type. For example, server room devices will have different warranty expiration dates than network devices and specific security procedures that must be followed. With an accurate view of your entire security infrastructure, your physical security plans will be more accurate, and you can reduce downtime risk.

2. Lack of information to determine the age of devices

When it comes to physical security, age is not just a number. The age of a device is important for many reasons, from understanding the expected life cycle of the device to making sure that the security measures you have in place are the best fit for your organization. For example, access control systems over five years old may need specialized hardware to replace old components, which can be expensive. One unauthorized access to your facilities could result in a significant security breach. Additionally, security systems nearing the end of their warranty period can be unreliable and may have more downtime than expected. 

Risk assessments and security best practices are necessary, but without a clear understanding of the age of your system, you will be left with a list of questions that will keep you up at night, such as: 

Which devices are failing and when? Without this information, you are left with a system that is more susceptible to failure and a physical security plan that’s filled with “what ifs.”

Which devices are approaching their end of life? Without device-level information, you will be playing a guessing game that can easily undermine your countermeasures and entire security program. 

Which devices are due for replacement? Security operations are ongoing, so you need to know which devices are due for replacement before they are compromised to avoid a major security incident.

When was the last time a device was serviced? If you can’t answer this question without going through several spreadsheets, your system becomes more vulnerable to failure. While security assessments will help, actionable data is a necessity.

When should a device be replaced? This question is very important to answer, but without a centralized platform that can provide device-level information, you will be left wondering when to replace devices.

SiteOwl delivers answers

One of the main benefits of SiteOwl’s LIVE planning tool is the ability to plan for the replacement of infrastructure. By knowing the age of your devices and when they will need to be replaced, you can budget accordingly and ensure that you have the necessary funds when the time comes. This makes security management easier from a budgeting perspective, and you can make sure that you are getting the best value for your dollar.

LIVE planning takes the guesswork out of infrastructure replacement by providing real-time, accurate data on the age of your security system. With this information at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions about when to replace devices and plan for the future of your physical security.

3. Unable to identify security gaps forcing you to remain reactive

Security teams do their best to maintain video surveillance, access control, and many other systems. However, despite these efforts, organizations still face significant challenges in this area. For example, an organization’s physical security plan may have been prepared in accordance with the organization’s needs at the time, but without an accurate picture of its current physical security infrastructure, it is impossible to remain proactive in addressing threats and vulnerabilities.

The average physical security program consists of various components, each with a different lifecycle but with the same goal: keeping your organization secure. Security teams face many challenges when planning for the lifecycle stage of the security infrastructure. Being unable to identify security gaps keeps security teams reactive and unable to take proactive measures. This can result in important tasks being left undone, leading to a higher likelihood of security breaches. 

Physical security gaps are a result of many factors, including: 

  • Not being able to conduct system-wide vulnerability assessments which may undermine your preparedness, contingency plans, and overall security posture.
  • Not having a seamless way to track, view, and manage security devices in real-time which can undermine your facility’s security posture and risk exposure.
  • Scattered and incomplete information that can’t be easily accessed or analyzed.

System Audit and Maintenance

With SiteOwl’s centralized platform, you don’t need to wait for an emergency situation to see if your system is resilient. Instead, security personnel can easily follow operating procedures and monitor the identify potential security gaps before they become more significant problems. From vandalism to theft, SiteOwl’s LIVE planning tool helps security staff proactively manage their facilities’ security, from alarm systems to intrusion detection systems, saving valuable resources and ensuring security policies are properly enforced.

4. Difficulties due to a lack of standardization

Security teams face many challenges when planning for the lifecycle stage of the security infrastructure. From figuring out how to secure sensitive areas to adjusting to ever-changing threat levels, security teams must have a baseline understanding of their securities infrastructure to ensure that it operates optimally.

Undoubtedly, security standards are important and help make the overall system more secure. From access points to protecting sensitive information, a lack of standardization in security systems can lead to confusion and problems that go far beyond lifecycle management. Additionally, standardization can significantly reduce:

  • Response times that can undermine your security controls and compromise secure areas.
  • The need to stock a wide range of parts on-site.
  • The time it takes for maintenance personnel to learn how to maintain and replace a wide range of manufacturer’s components.

Reduce Total Cost of Ownership with SiteOwl

In today’s fast-paced world, where security downtime can impact your organization’s productivity, reputation, and bottom line, it’s critical to have a proactive lifecycle management strategy in place. SiteOwl provides a comprehensive solution that helps you lower your total ownership cost and improve your security infrastructure’s performance.

Security needs vary from one organization to another, but with SiteOwl, you can easily identify opportunities to improve the performance of your security infrastructure. SiteOwl’s lifecycle planning solution empowers you with actionable insights that are based on real-time data, giving you a complete picture of your security system’s lifecycle.

5. Missing the right framework to anchor your lifecycle management

Lifecycle planning without a framework is like building a house without a blueprint. Physical security lifecycle management is a complex process that involves assessing risks, designing security systems, implementing controls, monitoring and testing the systems, and continuously improving the security posture. This puts your security team in a reactive position, which may increase vulnerabilities, including unauthorized access and criminal activity.

Security requirements change over time, so it’s important to have a way to keep your physical security infrastructure up to date. For example, critical areas such as command centers may need to be equipped with authentication systems and enhancements as your business grows. 
With the complexities of security infrastructure, it’s crucial to have a framework in place for lifecycle planning. This framework should include a standardized inventory of all devices and their expiration dates, a way to track and analyze device lifecycles, and a plan for replacement and maintenance.

SiteOwl Lifecycle Framework

Lifecycle planning can be daunting, especially when dealing with numerous devices and varying systems in different locations, on top of the many challenges security teams face. With the SiteOwl Lifecycle Framework, however, this task becomes much more straightforward. It provides a centralized platform for managing devices, tracking their lifecycles, and planning replacements. By leveraging this framework, security teams can streamline their planning process and maximize uptime and performance.

Physical security threats have evolved over the years and continue to present new challenges to organizations, with 88% of businesses reporting increased physical security threats. It’s time to take control of your physical security lifecycle. 

Request a demo to learn more about how SiteOwl can help you simplify and improve your security lifecycle planning.

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