When it comes to perimeter protection and security, gone are the days when the cheapest solution would be acceptable.
Times have changed and businesses need to keep up to date to protect their valuable assets and people, writes Laurence Smith, executive at Graphic Image Technology. This means it is no longer advisable to rely on legacy systems and technologies that are rapidly becoming obsolete.
An ever-increasing rise in intrusion security threats has pushed up the demand for perimeter protection systems that are more reliable, cost-effective, efficient and better able to keep up with constant security technology advancements.
To this end, there has been a move toward the smart integration of access control and perimeter security systems with intelligent intruder detection and proactive monitoring systems to ensure that all weak spots are eliminated. Today’s intruder detection and perimeter security systems are more reliable, more flexible and more intelligent than ever before.

Get the basics in place
There are many established methods of perimeter protection, all of which require the basics upfront. Once the physical barrier is in place, site owners have a variety of choices with regards to securing their perimeter.
One of the most effective methods, however, has proven to be a combination of a CCTV system (consisting either of visual or thermal cameras) that are run with intelligent analytics software to alert of any security incidents along the perimeter.

A fresh technological approach
The video analytics component is the key to maximising the functionality of thermal cameras for perimeter protection.
Today, a computer-driven analytics engine is used to do the work that humans would have done in the past. Video analytics essentially enables “blank screen monitoring”, in that the system will give notifications of risks according to specific rules set up.
This does not require guards to have their eyes on camera feeds and the scope for human error is eliminated which drastically improves monitoring efficiency. By automating many of the functions previously performed by humans, technology makes the surveillance element of security far more reliable and far more intelligent than before.

Get smarter, visually
Thermal cameras are particularly suited to perimeter applications for many reasons. Compared to visual cameras, thermal cameras running video analytics are ideal for perimeter protection because such cameras can operate on distances between 40 to 500 metres with the right lens, which means fewer cameras are required.
In addition, because these cameras present thermal imaging, they require no lights, no motion detectors and only need one recording device, one operating screen and a single operator. All monitoring and management of the CCTV system is done through a centralised portal, with the ability to send automated alerts remotely. Even better, the latest developments in these cameras have seen a combination of the best thermal image detail with high-performance edge perimeter analytics in a single visual device.
This device is capable of delivering optimal intrusion detection, even in the most challenging environments and extreme weather conditions. Today’s intelligent thermal cameras are capable of distinguishing between human or vehicular intrusions and provide reliable detection with very few false alarm rates and require no manual intervention.
Why is it necessary to have intelligent intruder detection in place for perimeter security? Businesses and organisations want to prevent unauthorised access to dangerous areas and to protect their expensive infrastructure and assets. An intelligent approach to perimeter security that includes thermal cameras and on-board analytics would be beneficial in a variety of applications, whether military base, gold mine, solar farm or game reserve.
This is because it is important for businesses and utility providers to have the appropriate level of security in place to match the risks associated with their assets.
Here, it is advisable to examine methods of integrating different solutions to give a single approach to access control, perimeter control and general security and surveillance systems. Managing them all through a centralised portal reduces the manpower required and improves the efficiency of the systems overall.

Intelligence doesn’t mean exorbitant costs
Getting smarter with security doesn’t have to add too many zeros to the price equation. Thanks to an intelligent and innovative FLIR tool suite called Raven, all of the guesswork in designing and planning perimeter security surveillance set-ups has been eliminated.
Using longitude and latitude positioning of the actual physical site, this tool can calculate exactly how many cameras are needed and produce a bill of materials and camera design layout. This is a far more intelligent approach than simply measuring the site and stating that a a camera is required at each 50-metre interval, as it eliminates blind spots and weaknesses while reducing cameras to the minimum required to cover that area.
Security solutions should be flexible according to the exact needs of each business. There is no longer any excuse to be running on standalone security systems, or to delay upgrading systems for fear that it will simply cost too much. Getting smarter with security can actually means a reduction in costs, if it is done correctly.
Because fewer cameras are required, less cabling is required and the cost to maintain the solution is reduced. There’s also the added benefit of a reduction in required manpower, as intelligent video analytics will take care of most of the work.
Today, solutions are built and integrated based on the risks that require mitigation and the assets that require safeguarding and, thanks to technology, that perimeter protection is now more intelligent than ever before.