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Audio, video make excellent security team, expert says

In a recent SecurityInfoWatch report, industry expert Dan Rothrock said companies and security integrators need to focus on a concept he calls the "three legged security stool." In other words, an effective integrated security system needs three components: access control, video surveillance cameras and voice audio technologies.

The proliferation of IP video surveillance systems has made remote monitoring possible, allowing decision-makers to view their property from virtually anywhere at any time. While these technologies make observing and recording crimes possible, the incident may be over by the time local law enforcement agencies respond and arrive on scene, Rothrock said.

By integrating audio into these systems, however, executives can speak through the cameras to whoever is on camera. If a person is injured, decision-makers can provide reassurance, for example, comforting the individual until help arrives, Rothrock asserted. Conversely, security guards can deploy "verbal judo" to malicious parties caught on camera, as most people will stop what they are doing and leave the scene if they know they're being watched.

These types of systems are being deployed quite frequently in the U.K., which houses more surveillance cameras than anywhere else in the world, Rothrock said. A separate report by IMS Research confirmed the growing adoption of integrated security systems in Europe, as these technologies will account for more than 70 percent of all security systems installed in the continent by 2013.

"Security customers today are more frequently asking for only what they need and nothing more in a new security system installation," said Niall Jenkins, analyst at IM Research. "This is as a result of lower budgets and a tightening of belts across most industries. However, as the global economy recovers and budget restraints loosen, there are clear advantages to spending security budget on integrated security systems."

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