How The Latest Developments in Technology Can Help Manage Your Distribution Center and Warehouse Security
Every 18-months computer processing speed doubles. This is Moore’s Law. It illustrates the rapid development of computers and technology in general.
The rate of technological development is phenomenal. Ray Kurzweil, the futurist, anticipates that the rate of progress in the 21st century will feel like 20,000 years of progress. We’ve already experienced so much change with wireless internet, smartphones, and social media.
This new technology benefits businesses in many ways including in security. Read on to learn how the latest trends in technology can help your distribution center and warehouse security.
Remote Security Control
Internet connectivity has enabled communications between workplaces to be seamless. It’s very common for people to work from home or even from a coffee shop. They connect to each other via the internet as if in a virtual office.
This communication can be quite sophisticated. They use video conferencing and voice over internet protocols (VOIP). These technologies are also available to the security professional.
A central control room can watch a large number of sites using sound and video technology. Cameras and microphones communicate with the central control room using the internet. The control room can control cameras in the warehouse.
The control center call law enforcement if they see an intruder or crime. The recorded video is evidence for the prosecution of offenders. The cost savings can be very considerable.
The technologies that make remote security control possible also enable virtual concierge services. You may be familiar with the well-dressed assistant based in a hotel lobby. They provide a range of services from valet parking to booking a concert ticket.
A concierge for a commercial property also provides a security function. They track people entering and leaving the premises. They do security checks of the premises and are a point of contact for safety and security matters.
It’s possible to provide a concierge service using video and remote access controls. In a distribution center, this could provide 24-hour control of access doors. A virtual front desk or concierge service complements a remote security control service.
Identifying the people who access your warehouse is important. You need to know who is in your building. Are they authorized to have access or are they gaining access for illegal purposes?
The traditional method for identifying people is to use an identity badge. A badge with a photograph is the typical method. Any determined person could get access using a forged identity badge.
Biometric scanning is difficult to bypass. It uses metrics that relate to physical characteristics that are unique to individuals. Fingerprint readers or iris recognition are examples.
An access control system with a biometric scanner can control access to a warehouse. Only authorized people get through the security barrier or gate.
The global positioning system or GPS is a technology that allows a user to identify their location. It uses satellites to triangulate their location to within a few feet. This is the technology used by in-car satellite navigation systems.
Using this same technology, a GPS tracking system can send details of the location of a vehicle or container to a central control room. This allows the tracking of vehicles for security purposes. Any unusual movements are then addressed.
Fitting a covert GPS tracker to a container can detect theft and the location of stolen containers.
Geofencing is a technology that uses GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular networks or RFID to create a virtual fence or boundary around an area. When a device such as a mobile phone or RFID tag crosses the virtual boundary, it can start a pre-programmed action. This offers the security professional a range of opportunities.
RFID tags on products can trigger an alert if they pass outside a warehouse geofence. This may suggest a theft. They may not be suitable for all products but are cost-effective for high-risk high-value items.
Geofences are also used to check employee movements. They can act as time cards and clocking in and out devices for off-site workers such as delivery drivers.
The threat of attack by criminals on the property of the business or indeed on employees is the traditional domain of security staff. These days attacks on computer systems are also a threat. They can be ruinous for a business leaving it unable to operate.
Technologies to protect systems from cyber-attack have to keep pace with the perpetrators. It’s no longer enough to install virus software and hope for the best. Back up routines, firewalls, and diagnostic software all play a part.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is growing in importance. Smart systems can detect and isolate a security threat. As with many aspects of security, prevention is the best policy.
The Future of Warehouse Security
As technologies across businesses develop so will security technologies. There are likely to be further technology enabled threats to the warehouse security.
Cybersecurity will continue to be a challenge. The internet of things (IoT) will mean that more devices will be able to communicate and also hacked. IoT and other automation may mean we will be able to leave large parts of the warehouse to get on with the job with little human intervention.
This automated world will, of course, be vulnerable to security attack and so we will have to develop strategies for responding.
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