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Manned vs. automated security debate continues

There is an ongoing debate as to whether automated security systems are more effective than hiring human guards. Each side has its pros and cons, leaving some industry experts to believe a combination of the two is the best method to deter crime, according to an Info4Security report.

By leveraging automated access control systems, many security experts think companies can protect physical assets just as effectively as if they hired manned patrols. The unmanned systems are also much more cost-effective and can work all day and night, regardless of holidays or vacation time, the news source said.

Automated security solutions also cannot be intimidated by malicious individuals, Info4Security noted. In other words, defensive measures will still be working in full force, even when an armed assailant enters the facility. Meanwhile, footage from video surveillance systems can be used in a court of law and holds up much better than a security guard who saw something during a 14-hour shift.

According to a separate study by Freedonia, the market for electronic security systems is forecast to expand 9 percent annually through 2014, eventually generating more than $17 billion in revenue.

On the other hand, unmanned technologies do not have the "human element," which allows people to judge the situation accordingly and take the proper steps, Info4Security reported. For example, if an intruder is aware of the security systems present in a building, he or she may wear a mask, making the tools virtually useless.

Just like all technologies, there is also the chance of downtime or failure with an unmanned security program. Security guards can also deliver first aid and act as a fire marshal if certain situations arise, Info4Security said.

To get the best of both worlds, organizations should adopt new security solutions and train patrolling officials how to use the tools effectively.

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