BUILDING BIGGER, BETTER PERIMETER INTRUSION DETECTION SYSTEMS
Perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDS) are often the first line of defense for large critical sites. If the perimeter security is weak, critical infrastructure could be left vulnerable to physical attack, resulting in irreparable damage. Today, site operators are integrating video analytics, thermal cameras, fence sensors and even intelligent security lighting into their perimeter solutions. By reinforcing the outermost areas of facilities with these added advanced technologies, site managers are more prepared than ever to stop intruders in their tracks.
THE STATE OF THE PERIMETER INTRUSION DETECTION SYSTEMS MARKET
The market for perimeter intrusion detection systems, otherwise called PIDS, is growing steadily due to the continued need for better security.
Perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDS ) are an important part of an overall security solution, especially for critical locations. Growth in the market is known to be consistent and steady and is expected to continue on this trend in the coming years. Globally, the market for PIDS is expected to reach nearly US$21.6 billion by 2023, according to a report by Marketsandmarkets. This is attributed to the increasing number of video surveillance installations for security systems, the rising demand for remote access through the cloud and wireless technology, as well as government regulations to improve perimeter security and curb infiltration and terrorist activities. Regionally, the largest market for PIDS is North America, with the U.S. and Canada leading the region. However, Asia Pacific is expected to see significant growth in the coming years. Growth in APAC is due to government regulations, infrastructure development and an increase in incidents resulting in the need for perimeter security. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is also expected to see a high compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the next few years.
PERIMETER SECURITY IN DIFFERENT VERTICALS
Nowadays the importance of fortifying cybersecurity measures to protect critical infrastructure from cyberattacks is a never-ending pursuit, and for a good reason. Yet, while the need for stronger cybersecurity is critical, these facilities must also be fortified with physical barriers to prevent physical attacks as well. Stewart Dewar, Product Manager at Senstar pointed to several verticals currently dr iving growth in the perimeter security market. For example, electrical utilities must maintain a safe and reliable electrical grid at all time. “This criticality has only increased; as we are now seeing growing concern over safeguarding the continuity of operations. Utilities need to protect themselves against incidents that could cause an outage, whether it be vandalism, material theft, or, in the extreme case, a terrorism incident,” he said. There are similar concerns in the logistics vertical with regard to large fulfillment centers. While direct loss from theft is naturally a concern, Dewar noted that customer satisfaction and brand reputation are also at play — products lost to theft are products not delivered to soon-to-be disgruntled this case provides an outer ring of protection that defends warehouse access points. In terms of video-surveillanceenabled perimeter solutions, Dewar highlighted commercial and light industrial verticals as those that could benefit the most. “Many sites in this category were not initially built with perimeter security in mind, making it a challenge to add traditional perimeter security sensors. Video surveillance systems equipped with advanced outdoor-optimized video analytics can substantially increase site security,” he explained. While traditionally perimeter security systems are most commonly associated with critical infrastructure (e.g., utilities, oil and gas, etc.), government facilities, national borders, military and defense, correctional facilities and other large industrial plants, a growing number of verticals outside this list are adopting these solutions. Large entertainment venues, for example, are deploying more perimeter security measures as the number of attacks on these settings continues to grow.
HOW VIDEO ANALYTICS AND THERMAL CAMERAS IMPROVE PERIMETER SECURITY
Perimeter intrusion detection systems are integrating more and more with video surveillance systems, allowing for visual verification and data analysis.
The video surveillance segment — including security cameras, video analytics and other video components — accounts for the largest market share of the perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDS) market. This is driven by demand from security operators for visual verification and desire to capture images. When choosing a camera for perimeter security, Stewart Dewar, Product Manager at Senstar, recommends selecting cameras from manufacturers that fully support ONVIF standards. This will guarantee compatibility with video management software, simplify integration and avoid vendor lock-in. Additionally, he recommends choosing a manufacturer that has a proven track record with regard to firmware updates and security patches, to ensure the camera is always cybersecure.
VIDEO ANALYTICS PROVIDES MORE INSIGHT
Adding video surveillance cameras alone to a perimeter security system will not deliver the enhanced security desired by security operators. The addition of video analytics, though, can make for a much more effective solution, particularly for locations where there is no suitable fence for a fence sensor or an open area for microwave or buried-cable solutions, explained Dewar. Yet, a successful video analytics deployment is not as simple as just adding software to an existing video surveillance system. Video analytics requires a higher standard in lighting and camera count than would typically be required if the video was used just for assessment. Dewar added that the best video analytics are usually server-based, where they benefit from increased processing power. However, this creates additional upfront costs for the servers, plus the associated operational costs of maintenance, power and cooling. Dewar also pointed out that, “It is considered harder to get a good probability of detection (PD) versus nuisance alarm rate (NAR) balance from video analytics than from a traditional perimeter intrusion detection sensor, but with higher-end analytics and expert tuning you can still get effective results.” There are still exceptions: scene variations like foliage growth, seasonal weather and site changes can impact performance and require re-tuning.
THERMAL CAMERAS BRING THE HEAT
The use of thermal cameras in perimeter security has mostly been associated with critical sites (e.g., utilities, airports, chemical plants, etc.) where a breach could have significant repercussions. In these applications higher costs were more easily justified since there was a need for more sophisticated systems. Today, the price of thermal cameras has come down while performance continues to improve. As a result, less critical sites are also adopting thermal systems for perimeter protection. These sites are using them as an “outdoor burglar alarm” to protect against more common challenges like theft prevention to stop business loss at commercial sites such as datacenters, cannabis growers, industrial parks, vehicle lots, schools, retail locations and construction yards, explained John Romanowich, President and CEO, SightLogix. Now, any site that needs to prevent intruders from entering the perimeter and causing business disruption can use thermal cameras. Romanowich noted steady growth inthe use of thermal video for perimeterapplications in the last several years, and expects that trend to accelerate in 2020. While terrorism and other global challenges have generally driven investment in perimeter security, he believes the recent upswing comes from two key developments. “First, the combination of advanced software being powered by newer, faster, cheaper processors allows us to bring more capable thermal systems to market with ever-increasing detection performance. Secondly, the adoption of thermal video for automotive and other non-security applications has expanded the market for thermal sensors, creating economies of scale and subsequent cost reductions. This means today’s thermal perimeter cameras detect better, in more situations, at less cost than the systems we had only a few years ago,” Romanowich said.The biggest benefit of using thermal cameras together with video analytics is the very high level of detection reliability the system provides. Thermal is ideal for outdoors since it can work in total darkness and is not impacted by weather or reflections. It can also help perimeter security operators save on cost by reducing the number of cameras needed. “Thermal cameras can detect intruders over very large areas, John Romanowich, President and CEO, SightLogix measuring hundreds of meters wide and distant, creating a compelling financial advantage when you consider the reduction of poles and power otherwise needed with systems that cannot provide such depth of coverage,” Romanowich added. However, thermal cameras have poor capabilities with regards to intruder identification, making the use of visible-light cameras and perimeter lighting necessary for a complete assessment and investigation, according to Dewar. Other challenges include implementation of best practices, design and infrastructure. For example, it is important to make sure camera fields of view overlap along the perimeter as to not leave blind spots. Thermal cameras also require typical networking arrangements for their use, such as properly hardened networks, a range of available IP addresses, firewalls and best practices of cybersecurity.
FENCE SENSORS, INTELLIGENT SECURITY LIGHTING AMONG TOP PERIMETER SECURITY TRENDS
The need for more a more multi-layered perimeter security approach is leading organizations to invest more in fence sensors, intelligent security lighting and more.
Perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDS) have gotten more advanced, adopting newer technological trends and integrating with other security systems. As technology for things like fence sensors and intelligent security lighting improve, they can become important additional tools in an overall perimeter security solution.
Fence sensors of all types (e.g., fiberoptic, non-fiber, etc.) have become more available, cost effective and can incorporate increasingly sophisticated detection algorithms that continue to improve probability of detection and nuisance alarm rate performance. These sensors are able to report an intrusion when it is happening, as well as report the location of where it is happening to an accuracy of 3 or 4 meters, according to Stewart Dewar, Product Manager at Senstar. “These sensors do not need additional hardware installed on the perimeter for zone demarcation, making them much easier to install and maintain and a more effective solution than older-generation non-locating systems,” he said.
INTELLIGENT SECURITY LIGHTING DETERS INTRUDERS
Perimeter security is often in the dark, literally. Unlike standard perimeter lighting options, intelligent security lighting can balance the problem of light pollution with the realities of monitoring a perimeter. It is dimmable and allows for the illumination of only the fence line. Since lighting functions to deter, detect and detain would-be intruders, deploying uniform, LED-based intelligent lighting along the perimeter not only acts as a deterrent, but also improves camera assessment capabilities — better lighting allows for better video quality, which results in better analysis. “Adding intelligence to the perimeter enables a wide range of active deterrents, including luminaire strobing at the detection location, dynamically adjustable intensity levels and integration with video analytics and on-site security devices,” Dewar explained.
INTEGRATION WITH MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Dewar noted an increasing desire for software integration between the perimeter security systems and the alarm-reporting “head-end”, whether that be classified as a video management system (VMS), safety management system (SMS) or physical security information system (PSIM). “Customers want a system that provides complete situational awareness of security considerations, and they want the integration to be deep — providing not only basic alarm information but supplemental information such as exact alarm location and equipment operational status,” he said. Integrating PIDS with VMS and things like video analytics, gives security operators immediate access to more data for a faster, more effective response. This integration can allow operators to track people, objects and vehicles in and around the perimeter; help reduce nuisance alarm rates; and improve post-incident analysis.
PERIMETERS WILL GET SMARTER
As of now, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of talk about artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) in perimeter security, but that could change. Video analytics is being deployed more often as part of a more secure perimeter protection solution. There are also already some companies that are using both AI and ML to offer intelligent perimeter intrusion detection systems, which will provide even more actionable insightss to fight off intruders.