Of all the functions that modern technology can improve or replace, few are more critical than protecting the physical security of your smart home or small business. Burglars are always on the lookout for the next score, but they’re also looking for easy prey. They’ll often ditch a plan at the first hint of alarms, cameras and other high-tech gadgets that could make their attempt noisy, highly visible or just down-right difficult.
According to Thomas Norman, CPP/PSP, an Ingram Micro technology consultant and leading industry authority on physical security, creating a complete physical security solution isn’t hard if you focus on four critical building blocks.
4 components of an airtight physical security solution for connected homes and businesses
Connected alarm system: The cornerstone of any physical security solution is a connected alarm system (like SimpliSafe), which includes a variety of wireless point sensors placed in strategic locations like doors and windows that activate an alarm when opened. Another component is a glass-break detector that’s specifically tuned to the unique sound of shattered glass—which can thwart a burglar’s attempt at a “smash-and-unlock” approach. Finally, this system would include motion detectors in some key areas, like front hallways, back door areas and main corridors. All of these components work together to create a strong connected alarm system.
Digital video system: Another piece of the solution is digital video—a series of digital cameras distributed around the outside of a home or office in such a way that all four corners of the building can be viewed. Ideally, the entire perimeter of the structure should be visible, including “long views” of perimeters and “focused views” on doors, as well as on garages (for homes) or loading docks (for businesses). In most cases, this can be done with eight or fewer cameras. You’ll likely need to run power to those cameras, but typically the video signal is wireless.
Smart doorbell: At their most basic, these wireless devices offer video support to let users see who’s knocking at the door. Typically, these are very wide-angle video cameras that offer a 180-degree field of view, so even if someone is standing close to the door but just out of normal view, they would still be spotted from this camera. Fancier models offer a slew of handy features to ramp up the protection, including two-way talk, night vision, Amazon Alexa support and motion detection.
Smart locks: In their simplest form, smart locks are automated versions of traditional locks. In most cases, a wireless smart lock will make use of the traditional lock mechanism, but the lock mechanism can now be engaged electronically or remotely (from smartphones) and also integrated with other smart devices, like smart hubs. Unlike traditional locks, smart locks don’t have a physical key. Their “keys” are either special key fobs, a PIN code or a set of instructions issued by home automation hub, which will authenticate that it’s the proper key for the lock. Smart locks also have the ability to hand out temporary keys to third parties.
Putting it all together: Focus on an integrated solution
“While all four of these wireless components can be purchased separately, we’re seeing an increasing desire by end users to have them all be installed as part of a single, integrated solution,” said Norman. “People want everything to be installed together and to have the assurance that all components will work together seamlessly.”
Don’t forget gateway security
When outfitting a smart home or office with a complete physical security solution, don’t overlook the wireless network itself—the backbone that connects all the wireless devices. You’ll need a good quality wireless mesh system and also a good gateway—relying on the gateway from your internet service provider (ISP) isn’t enough. Place a proper firewall behind the gateway, so the homeowner or business owner has full control over how the system communicates over the internet.
For a complete selection of physical security devices, wireless mesh solutions and top-notch security firewalls, look no further than Ingram Micro. Or for assistance planning your smart physical security solution, contact our team of experts today.