This was one of the questions posed in a recent GSX Panel at Atlanta. And rightfully so, it was perhaps better answered by another question – Why aren’t you using your security data now? You have it available to you!

In my professional experience, there are two reasons why employing data-driven security has been difficult in the past: 

  1. Physical Security teams have the data available to them, but don’t have the resources available to extract insights from the data, or
  2. Physical Security teams are not able to manage the vast volume and poor quality of data being produced by physical security systems 

Whatever the reason, we can all agree that physical security data is messy, hence why operations teams use a lot of manual processes. There are different standards, hardware, and software in play. Some data comes is in one data format such as that from camera analytics, while some come across as an intrusion event with no commonalities between them. Though all this data is being collected, there is no standard. Organizations don’t know what they don’t know because they don’t have a data-driven approach.

We live in the age of data-driven everything. From planning our personal commute to your company’s sales and operations, and everything in-between. Today people and organizations are constantly looking for ways to leverage the data they accrue – reacting fast, operating more efficiently, and safeguarding profitability. Physical security should be no different. Yet enterprises continue to see disruptions and threats because security teams can’t make the most of their data.

The availability of operational data, and the growing AI-powered ability to collect, ingest, process, and draw conclusions from that data, is driving new intelligence into many organizational processes. But without the ability to find important insights in real-time, the physical security teams have largely remained reactive in their responses, rather than data-driven and proactive. 

Enter Vector Flow

Three years ago we founded Vector Flow to fill the gap between physical security data insights and its usage. As the physical security industry’s first data-driven automation platform, Vector Flow is dedicated to using machine learning and automation to deliver improved operational efficiencies across the entire physical security operations. Our advanced platform essentially converts raw physical security data from multiple sources into intelligent insights to reduce operational costs and deliver business results for security organizations. 

Using data-driven insights, our suite of applications leverages out-of-box playbooks to automate physical security processes such as automating on/off-boarding with physical access recommendations, automating physical access compliance audits with audit recommendations, finding and addressing hidden insider threats, eliminating false/nuisance alarms at SOCs, etc. The Vector Flow engine extracts insights and automates playbooks so security organizations can properly respond to operational requests or security incidents and reduce business disruptions.

Our customers confirm that data-driven insights have helped them make good decisions faster and focus on tasks that really matter. We understand that deploying data-driven automation may feel overwhelming. The good news is that organizations can start taking advantage of the benefits offered by data-driven automation in days, not weeks or months it takes to set up any physical security system. 

Drawing Data-Driven Comparisons in Our Daily Life

Society at large has been increasing the demand for, and use of, data-driven automation in all aspects of life. A prime example of such an application that mirrors many security processes is seen in our high reliance on mobile map applications such as Google or Apple Maps.

Fifteen years ago we all were using paper maps or printed directions that were always “reactive”. These solutions were static, providing required information, but any changes had to be responded to manually. Then, “predictive” data offered by map applications produced the estimated times of different routes to our destination. With the increasing power of AI engines, such programs now go one step further, to provide “prescriptive” recommendations that provide the fastest or best path, optimized with all changing traffic patterns and other factors included.

Prescriptive analytics is where data-driven automation really shines. These types of solutions make life easier by predicting outcomes and recommending optimizations. Whether it be Google Maps shortening your ride to work or Amazon cart making shopping recommendations based on your browsing history, using data to prescribe solutions help us all better meet our goals. 

How Data-Driven Automation Is Changing Physical Security 

Similar changes are happening in physical security systems, including video surveillance systems, access control systems, intrusion detection, incident management and so on. These systems traditionally come with their own reporting functions which, much like the paper maps discussed in the previous example, are static and represent “reactive” solutions. It is practically impossible for a security department to gather all the data provided by these systems, clean that data, standardize it and draw valuable conclusions, much less prescribe optimal solutions to potential issues. 

With data and AI engines, Vector Flow automatically pulls data from a variety of existing security systems and provides a basis for what is currently happening as well as predictions about what will likely happen. Imagine creating access recommendations for new hires based on the actual usage of access by their peers in the same department or role. In this way, systems are moving from describing what happened in the past (reactive mode) to making predictions about the future (proactive).

With risk being one of the biggest discussions at the board level, where it be cyber, inflation, or security risks, being able to offer conclusions, facts, and suggestions based on hard data from multiple sources changes those conversations for the better. 

Getting Started on Your Own Data-Driven Automation Journey

Becoming a data-driven organization is not a binary affair, it’s a journey taken in three stages. 

  1. The most common first step is all about visibility. Simply report better insights from the data that you already have. Make it more visible, more apparent, and easier for executives to understand and make decisions from. 
  2. With that in place, the next step is productivity. Now you empower more people to get access to the data and insights directly. So, rather than having to ask IT for data, your security team (and colleagues such as HR, facilities, etc.) should be able to access insights independently but with the same security and governance. 
  3. It is this productivity that paves the way for optimization of security processes- those that are strategic in value and have tremendous alignment with core part of your company’s business.

With data-driven security solutions well on their way to becoming as ubiquitous as Google Maps, organizations can’t afford to wait 5 years to talk about it. The best suggestion I can make is to get in touch with us to start planning your journey and learn from our successes and challenges. 

Contact Vector Flow today! We have a team of experts who can help you walk you through your own unique data-driven security journey. 

By: Vik Ghai, CTO, Vector Flow