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Physical Security Training: A Glossary of Terms That VARs Should Know

December 28, 2017

Around the world, governments and private organizations alike are ramping up security measures as threats to physical security only grow. As the industry continues to evolve and accelerate, new value-added resellers (VARs) are adding security technology to their product offering every year.

If you’re new to physical security, getting up to speed might feel a bit daunting in such a high-tech field. But once you have the basics down, you’ll feel right at home. Here we list some of the key terms that you should learn as part of your physical security training:

Access control: The control of persons, vehicles, and materials by using security measures in a protected area.

Actionable intelligence: Data that has been gathered and collated in a way that makes sense and provides context to the end user, enabling him or her to take appropriate action.

Authentication: In access control technology, the process of confirming the correctness of a claimed identity.

Biometrics: In access control, the use of a person’s physical characteristics, such as fingerprint or iris pattern, to authenticate identity.

Business continuity: An effort to maintain key business processes by planning for and mitigating threats to normal operation, such as terrorism and severe weather.

Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED): A method of improving security through strategic building design, as well as the use of other environmental, organizational, or mechanical tactics.

Dewarping: A software process that makes panoramic images more usable for the human eye.

Duress alarm: ?Also known as a silent alarm; a device that enables a person to call for help without arousing suspicion.

Fault-line attack: An attack that exploits gaps in security coverage to gain access to a system or facility.

Incident management: The process of responding to an emergency event or reports of suspicious activity.

Internet Protocol (IP): The protocol through which information is sent from one computer or mobile device to another via the Internet.

Intrusion detection device: Technology that uses sensors to detect potential or actual physical security breaches.

ONVIF: A non-profit organization that works to advance the adoption of IP in the physical security market using a global open standard.

Panoramic camera: In physical security, a surveillance camera that uses a 180- or 360-degree lens to capture a broad field of view.

Perimeter security: The concept of providing protection of a facility’s outermost boundary.

Risk analysis: The process that enables an organization to assess and understand the various threats that face it.  

Security as a service (SaaS): A method of providing security services to customers through software distribution over a network. Today SaaS includes both video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) and access control as a service (ACaaS).

Tabletop exercise: Testing an emergency response plan using a narrative format involving all stakeholders.

Tailgating: In access control, following an authorized individual into a secured area without gaining authorized access yourself.

Throughput: In access control, the rate at which people or vehicles pass through an access point.

Video surveillance: An electronic surveillance system that records video and sends footage to monitors for viewing and recorders for storage. Includes both closed-circuit television (CCTV) and network-based video systems.

What other key physical security terms should a new VAR know? What have been some of the most challenging aspects of the physical security industry for your own business?