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Survey Over IP

by msecadm4921

Physical security over IP networks is coming in 2006, claims a survey of IT Directors by Comunica, an IT service provider.

The firm claims that out of 100 major companies, 64 per cent have already adopted or plan to adopt physical security over IP. This will enable companies to monitor and control systems and buildings using card readers, biometrics and other access systems such as CCTV all from a web interface. The financial sector has taken the lead in implementing this technology, according to the IT firm, with 31pc having implemented it already and a further 38pc planning to do so in 2006, which will take the total to 69pc.

A quarter of the IT Directors interviewed from the retail, distribution and transport sector were very positive about physical security over IP with a quarter who have already adopted it and a further 52pc expecting to do so in the next 12 months.

Manufacturing has seen just 9pc take-up so far, with 43pc planning to implement it in the next 12 months.

A quarter of companies with over 3000 employees have adopted security over IP with a further 48pc planning to implement it this year, bringing the total to 73pc. Smaller companies have not yet embraced this technology in a big way with 16pc who have so far adopted it, but 36pc plan to do so in 2006.

What they say

Rick Marshall, Managing Director of Comunica Limited said: "There are many advantages to controlling physical security over IP, including cost reduction resulting from being able to use one network for all the security systems and devices. Also control will be improved and simplified by being able to manage all the security devices on a single platform. The investment in IP based security will also be future proofed as it will also allow other systems such as lifts, lighting, energy and other building management systems to be managed over the IP network as they become IP based."

A third of the IT directors surveyed said that as a result of being able to control physical security systems over IP (such as CCTV, access control, and card readers), this area will become their responsibility instead of the facilities or operations departments. In the manufacturing sector 57pc of IT directors expected their departments to become responsible for physical security, and in the retail, distribution and transport sector it was 32pc. In other commercial sectors it rose to 36pc and it fell to 6pc in the financial services sector.

The barriers

The main barriers to the adoption of security over IP given by IT directors were cultural and acceptance issues (20pc), followed by availability of personnel resources and skills (13pc), cost vs benefit (12pc), reliability (11pc), and complexity of infrastructure (11pc). One IT director commented that the main issue was, "getting the board to believe in the benefits and not just thinking that it was ‘big brother’ watching. Another said it was, "agreeing ownership of security between IT and facilities".

Rick Marshall, Managing Director of Comunica Limited added: "As IP based devices proliferate, the trend of physical security being controlled by the IT department is a logical step, as this department is already responsible for IT security. Many of the objections to the adoption of security over IP are a result of a need to educate both employees and mangers about the benefits and cost savings that can be achieved."

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