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When security matters: CCTV system cannot solve all mysteries

Major (Retd) Nurul Mannan Chowdhury   

3 January, 2018 17:57 PM



When security matters: CCTV system cannot solve all mysteries

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Think of a Close Circuit Camera System (CCTV) which may be comprised of 200 cameras having monitored by only two operators. Possibly the operators cannot really find what is going wrong. Because it is humanly not possible to monitor 50 or 100 cameras by a person continuously. 

A security situation is always not a bomb blast that will draw the attention of every individual around. Many security situations develop over a period of time. At times it is difficult to identify when actually it triggered? Thus a CCTV system cannot solve all mysteries. 

A technical person may not be the best man to select camera location. An investigators knowledge is also necessary while selecting exact location/ height/focal length of a camera. These technical issues are at times ignored while designing a security system of a building/complex/organization.

The word ‘designing’ is also not commonly used by security professionals in our country.  The discipline ‘security’ is mostly an issue of law enforcing agencies and people other than them either do not involve themselves with security or are generally not considered fit to work in this field.    

In private sector usually, ex-policeman or retired military person works in the security department. In the context of Bangladesh, most of the business houses ignore the fact that private security is a specialised subject in the contemporary world. Thus when they plan a four-layered security they often fail to make those layer effect enough to stop any security breach. 

How should we start then?

Every security plan starts with a problem statement. Asset identification should be the next step. People, cash, inventory, fame are the typical examples of an asset of any organisation. An analysis of the threat to those assets or threat profile should be prepared next. 

An intelligent expert shall make a vulnerability study to understand probability ratio of threats that may actually turn into risk. At this stage, offenders strategies should be analyzed to find out gaps which might be utilized by a criminal. 

A professional largely depends on his experience and studies while anticipating offender’s strategies. Loss event profile, loss event probabilities and local criminals’ behaviors are thoroughly assessed while determining likely strategies. 

When every probability is assessed it’s time to prepare the counter-measure plan. 

Budget allocation often affects choice of security systems. However, the cost-benefit analysis could help an expert to suggest the organisation to determine their budget.

Generally, a security expert tries to integrate people, process, technology and awareness on the principles of Deter, Detect, Delay and Destroy. 

A risk matrix basing on risk profile becomes a ready reckoner for a security expert in every steps while he prepares a security plan. CCTV, access control, alarm system, screening mechanism, barriers etc. are some technologies used to produce effective security layers.

Use of Analytics in CCTV system and integration of all technologies in a single screen/server can reduce the effort of supervising overall security system. 

It may need to place less number of security officers in protective duty if technology could be effectively placed. One must remember that technology cannot be a full substitute for security officers. 

An effective control room with good communication arrangement and a good set of officers capable of interpreting data’s received from various sources while an incident is going on or investigate an incidents are often great assets for an effective security program.

Major (Retd) Nurul Mannan Chowdhury is a certified protection professional from ASIS International, USA. He could be contacted through the email-(nurul@securitylinkbd.com).


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