The Security Industry Association (SIA) is the leading trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers, with more than 500 member companies who shape the future of the industry. So when they moved to a new location in Silver Spring, Md. — a significantly more urban landscape than its previous offices — SIA looked to fortify physical security at its headquarters.
After relocating from Alexandria, Va., to Silver Spring, SIA management assessed the physical security and access control at its offices and determined based on the new building’s layout they needed to upgrade elements of the solution to better control entrances, egress and overall accountability.
According to Frank McDonough, director of Information Systems for SIA, moving into the new location gave the organization a chance to revisit physical security needs for the headquarters and its personnel. Primary concerns were protecting people and assets during and after business hours and controlling the flow of visitors to SIA’s offices, which encompass an entire floor.
“When we came into the new facility there was surveillance and card access, but cameras were not in the right places and the installation was haphazard, with blind spots and little in the way of security redundancy,” McDonough said. “As far as remote access, we had none.” SIA consulted with Ken Kocher, president of Force Security Solutions LLC, Manassas, Va., a dealer/integrator who has been the organization’s preferred security provider for many years. Force Security Solutions recommended an integrated solution that would provide access control and intrusion detection under a unified management platform for increased functionality. Kocher said SIA management wanted to easily and seamlessly provide security, access control and intrusion detection through a single platform when he installed the original specification in June 2012. He later deployed the Web-based Connect ONE solution from Connected Technologies LLC in Crystal Lake, Ill., as an enhancement to the system and a simple, but powerful way to restrict entry and control all devices.
“SIA’s security requirements changed when they moved and they wanted greater accessibility and remote connectivity,” Kocher said. Force Security installed proximity access control readers, intrusion detection with alarm notification, motion sensors, glassbreak sensors, electric door strikes and surveillance cameras with audio and remote viewing capabilities — all integrated to the access control system protecting the doors to the office and the building’s stairwell. Technicians completed the upgrade in May 2014 and within a couple hours had it up and running. The Connect ONE platform simplified the security integrations, he added.
Kocher said Force Security Solutions prides itself on offering cutting edge technology and as such doesn’t install server-based software at the customer premises, instead focusing on cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS). “There’s no trepidation using cloud-based services,” he commented. SIA likes the Connect ONE SaaS solution for its ability to connect from anywhere, he added. The system is also easy to use and provides the organization the ability to manage users and profiles from multiple log-ins.
“SIA staff does a lot of traveling and they can connect to the system from anywhere with their smartphone or other connected device to change schedules, control doors, or view real-time or recorded video,” he said. “They are managing it quite well themselves. Small and medium sized businesses like SIA often operate under budget constraints and they appreciate the easy, intuitive interfaces with Connect ONE.”
The building is primarily open and security starts at the headquarters’ glassed lobby entrance with glassbreak sensors, proximity readers and integrated video surveillance. Because there is no receptionist, visitors step off the elevator and activate the doorbell, which triggers the camera and viewing via Connect ONE. The proximity reader at the main entrance can be controlled through a touchless card or key fob. McDonough said SIA is looking at upgrading to biometrics in the near future. “With Connect ONE you can scale the solution up and tailor it to meet your needs,” he said.
Being a small organization, SIA now has the control it needs should there be an issue. “If someone buzzes to come in we can look at the associated video, which is immediately called up on the computer,” McDonough added. “If there is an alarm in the main hallway, the system takes a picture and sends a clip to the operations officer so they can determine the threat level and if they need to escalate the situation.”
He added that the high-definition cameras encompass 360 degrees and include audio capabilities. The ability to reset the system, arm or disarm it remotely is another plus for the organization. “We want to make sure our suite is secure and the staff is safe,” he said.