Small Ways to Boost Security With Big Data

Part 1: Why Big Data Matters

So what’s the deal about big data? Modern security systems are driven by data, large amounts of information from sensors and systems like badge swipes and surveillance cameras. Data so complex, that everyday computing systems can’t handle it. “Big data” is the collection and analysis of these data streams to find patterns that identify and predict security issues so a business can make improvements and decisions that prevent problems, plus increase profitability and ROI. Major companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook are already using big data to learn more about people’s behavior with social media and online.

Big Benefits

With increasingly high-tech platforms that gather data, the security industry has the opportunity to harness this information as well.  Not sure how it can help your business? Let’s look at a few real-world examples.


Say you’re a security manager who needs to ensure specific doors remain closed–for safety, energy savings,  etc. Working towards that goal, you can determine which big data tools will work best based on results and cost. Options might include video analytics, dedicated sensors or per-door control systems. Or perhaps you need to keep your organization safe from dangerous individuals. Teamed with access management systems, AI facial recognition programs can prevent unauthorized or banned individuals from entering a facility. As Evolv Technology CEO Michael Ellenbogen points out, “humans are just bad at remembering faces from pictures … not to mention the high turnover rate in the guard force, so you’re constantly worried about keeping people up to date, and you can’t have enough labor to watch everyone …”.


Another goal might be enforcing company rules and identifying suspicious activity. For example, employees might leave the safe open during the day, or fail to arm the security system when staying late. Without data and the right analysis, these policy violations may go unnoticed. One loss prevention executive’s favorite strategy is looking at stores that consistently open early or close late. This pattern tells the investigator that there is a good chance the employee responsible for opening or closing the store is committing theft. Data from reliable guard tour systems can also maximize the benefits of your security patrols, integrating electronic logging wands, RFID tokens, wall-mounted checkpoints, and GPS sensors.


HVAC sensors paired with video sensors can measure occupancy patterns and utilities usage to determine when to turn lighting on or off, or to activate heating and cooling. This in turn creates energy savings. By analyzing data about how employees are using office space, a business can also determine how much it needs to expand to accommodate growth. This helps control costs and ensure efficient spending.

Come back on May 13, 2019 for the second part of this two part series