Part 2: Johnson Controls On Commercial Real Estate Security Trends

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Smarter Badges, Core Physical Security Specialties, IT as Enabler

In the first part of our conversation with Steve Cory, director, network alliances for Johnson Controls and commercial real estate expert, we discussed the growing interest in physical identity management platforms to address the cost and operational challenges of managing disparate physical access control systems across real estate portfolios.

In the latter half of our conversation, Cory discussed another convergence trend in this sector: using identification badges across physical and logical access control systems as well as other systems.
He concludes with a look at the changing relationship between IT and physical security.

What follows is a transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity.

*****
Sharon J. Watson: Are there trends and developments that go beyond technology or other kinds of technology that come specifically into play for security issues? I'm thinking of things like building systems being able to be accessed by first responders, or maybe a general building management system being able to tap into tenant security systems.

Steve Cory: Let me try answering that a different way. There's definitely the ability to do both of the things you've talked about, but I wouldn't say there's a lot of demand for it--not yet, anyway. I certainly see the value but I think that's a very long term development because if you start putting in the infrastructure to do mapping and send maps to the fire truck on the way, that's absolutely valuable. But a lot of folks when they are doing the construction project somehow don't seem able to find that extra $300,000 to do that. The budgets are tight so it's often a challenge to find the funds to invest although the availability of lower cost digital signage is beginning to change that.

Let me talk about another trend though. What we're seeing is today more and more companies are looking for employees to carry an identity badge. I talked to a global telecommunications company the other day and I said, why do I need a badge? Why don't I use my cell phone as my identity? The director of security for the company said, 'Yes, but the problem is the cell phone is in your pocket.
I want to be able to look down the corridor and see a badge around your neck or on your coat that tells me you are supposed to be in this building or that you are supposed to be escorted. I want to see a visible something about you that tells me you are legally and appropriately here.'

So let's accept the fact we need to have a visible identification of some sort, a badge. What more could we do with that badge? Why don't we start making use of that badge instead of it being a piece of plastic with somebody's picture on it? What if we embed a chip and make that a smart card? What can we do with that smart card that will save money, make more efficient use of real estate and so forth?

There are simple things. I can use that card to charge my department for the use of the copier. So if I'm an owner-operator and I'm supplying the copier in the building, tenants might come to a central copy service and use their badge. They touch the copier just the way they touch the proximity reader to open the door, and their copies are charged to their company. There's a revenue driver. I can use my badge to do something as simple as copying--I don't need to get my credit card out or create payment terms and all these other things

Let's take it to another stage. I go to the cafeteria and I want to use my badge to pay for my lunch. Companies are doing that: they have one card systems, particularly at colleges where students are using the card to enter their dorms, pay for food at the cafeteria, check out books at the library.

There are just so many other potential opportunities.  I've seen this in a company that is in the chemical processing business. They are a Homeland Security high-risk facility. They've got some very stringent security requirements because they are dealing with some highly explosive chemicals. They use their smart card not only to gain access to the building or part of the plant but they insert it in the side of the computer and that is their logical security access device. So that card not only gives the physical access, that gives me logical access to the company network as well.

More and more companies are looking at that badge as...the key to the company's resources. I'm seeing increasingly large discussions with customers about how they can have more functionality in a badge.

SJW: Is that generally across the board or is it by vertical industry or size of company?

SC: It's across the board. The larger companies have more interest because they have so many more employees, but I would say there are very few large customers today that we're not talking with about the benefits of centralized enterprise identity management, like a Quantum Secure, and getting more utility from their identity card.

I think of the security badge as the key to the enterprise: whether I'm an owner operator, developer or tenant, I want to make sure the key is protected-- I don't want anyone to be able to "steal" my resources--but that key gives me access to the tools of that building.

Page:   1   2  Next  »

Smarter Badges, Core Physical Security Specialties, IT as Enabler

In the first part of our conversation with Steve Cory, director, network alliances for Johnson Controls and commercial real estate expert, we discussed the growing interest in physical identity management platforms to address the cost and operational challenges of managing disparate physical access control systems across real estate portfolios.

In the latter half of our conversation, Cory discussed another convergence trend in this sector: using identification badges across physical and logical access control systems as well as other systems.
He concludes with a look at the changing relationship between IT and physical security.

What follows is a transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity.

*****
Sharon J. Watson: Are there trends and developments that go beyond technology or other kinds of technology that come specifically into play for security issues? I'm thinking of things like building systems being able to be accessed by first responders, or maybe a general building management system being able to tap into tenant security systems.

Steve Cory: Let me try answering that a different way. There's definitely the ability to do both of the things you've talked about, but I wouldn't say there's a lot of demand for it--not yet, anyway. I certainly see the value but I think that's a very long term development because if you start putting in the infrastructure to do mapping and send maps to the fire truck on the way, that's absolutely valuable. But a lot of folks when they are doing the construction project somehow don't seem able to find that extra $300,000 to do that. The budgets are tight so it's often a challenge to find the funds to invest although the availability of lower cost digital signage is beginning to change that.

Let me talk about another trend though. What we're seeing is today more and more companies are looking for employees to carry an identity badge. I talked to a global telecommunications company the other day and I said, why do I need a badge? Why don't I use my cell phone as my identity? The director of security for the company said, 'Yes, but the problem is the cell phone is in your pocket.
I want to be able to look down the corridor and see a badge around your neck or on your coat that tells me you are supposed to be in this building or that you are supposed to be escorted. I want to see a visible something about you that tells me you are legally and appropriately here.'

So let's accept the fact we need to have a visible identification of some sort, a badge. What more could we do with that badge? Why don't we start making use of that badge instead of it being a piece of plastic with somebody's picture on it? What if we embed a chip and make that a smart card? What can we do with that smart card that will save money, make more efficient use of real estate and so forth?

There are simple things. I can use that card to charge my department for the use of the copier. So if I'm an owner-operator and I'm supplying the copier in the building, tenants might come to a central copy service and use their badge. They touch the copier just the way they touch the proximity reader to open the door, and their copies are charged to their company. There's a revenue driver. I can use my badge to do something as simple as copying--I don't need to get my credit card out or create payment terms and all these other things

Let's take it to another stage. I go to the cafeteria and I want to use my badge to pay for my lunch. Companies are doing that: they have one card systems, particularly at colleges where students are using the card to enter their dorms, pay for food at the cafeteria, check out books at the library.

There are just so many other potential opportunities.  I've seen this in a company that is in the chemical processing business. They are a Homeland Security high-risk facility. They've got some very stringent security requirements because they are dealing with some highly explosive chemicals. They use their smart card not only to gain access to the building or part of the plant but they insert it in the side of the computer and that is their logical security access device. So that card not only gives the physical access, that gives me logical access to the company network as well.

More and more companies are looking at that badge as...the key to the company's resources. I'm seeing increasingly large discussions with customers about how they can have more functionality in a badge.

SJW: Is that generally across the board or is it by vertical industry or size of company?

SC: It's across the board. The larger companies have more interest because they have so many more employees, but I would say there are very few large customers today that we're not talking with about the benefits of centralized enterprise identity management, like a Quantum Secure, and getting more utility from their identity card.

I think of the security badge as the key to the enterprise: whether I'm an owner operator, developer or tenant, I want to make sure the key is protected-- I don't want anyone to be able to "steal" my resources--but that key gives me access to the tools of that building.

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Physical security's relationship to IT

SC: Without any doubt, here's another one of those trends: security being much more integrated into the IT conversation, particularly the technology of security. Obviously there are still guards but certainly as security moves into a more network-centric environment, we're having more and more discussions with IT, and IT is asking 'How can we use security technology to make our business even more secure and/or more efficient?'

SJW: What does happen to the physical security specialist as their world in commercial real estate gets more focused on IT technology?

SC: There are three major components of security--and I'm being very general here. The first role of the security professional is to make sure you have robust procedures, well-designed, well-thought-out practices in place so you can respond to and manage incidents around the organization. When I'm talking about incidents, I'm thinking business continuity planning, crisis management, pandemics, crime. You have to have robust security practices before you do anything. The security professional's ability to do site assessments, vulnerability assessments--that is still vitally important.

The second discipline is the typical physical guarding. We often think of security as a badge and a camera but there's a huge market out there for professional guard services, whether it's responding to incidents, preventing them through a physical presence, and assisting, such as walking a tenant to the car at night. These professional guard services are still a vitally important part of the security discipline.

Then there is the third discipline: the security technologies. Certainly the IT organization will become much more involved in the delivery of security technologies but it still requires knowledgeable security professionals to design them, integrate them, support and service them. That role will remain.

Twenty years ago for example, human resources used to manage their own payroll systems. Then along came enterprise platforms like PeopleSoft and SAP, the enterprise resource planning systems. So IT says to HR, 'You want to be able to run a payroll application, you want to be able to manage a payroll application, but you don't want to manage the computing platform and the software platform behind it. You want to be able to go to a terminal and do what you need to do and leave all the computing to the IT organization.'

I think we're going to see that happen more and more as a trend in security. Security increasingly wants the utility, but doesn't necessarily want to manage the increasingly technical issues around security technology.  We see that increasingly moving to IT. I see the users still getting all the benefits of it. For example, you look at QuantumSecure. In the past, Quantum Secure would just be talking to the security people about how to implement it. Now, 9 times out of 10, we're talking to the IT people about how to do it. The security practitioner, the director of security or CSO is saying 'yes, I want to do this, find a way to make it happen,' and the IT department is vitally important in implementing it.

Thanks for the opportunity to discuss some of the key trends we're seeing in the market today.

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