Connected Doesn’t Mean Protected — Security Today


Connected Doesn’t Mean Protected

When it comes to device and systems connectivity, surge protection solutions can mitigate risk

Connectivity is more than just a buzzword to those
who design and install security, communications,
fire alarm and other electronic systems. It is a necessity
for today’s commercial and multi-residential
facilities that feature sophisticated electronics
to control building access, lighting, emergency safety systems and
data networks. This evolution of connected devices represents a
huge change in the capabilities of our systems, and how this wide
range of technologies is supported. The landscape now includes
myriad technologies including wireless networking, new and improved
smaller sensors of all kinds, an expanding array of software
analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT).

CAPABILITIES AND BENEFITS

While we welcome all of these great new capabilities and the
benefits they provide, we should also remember that they all rely
upon sensitive electronic circuits. Thus, as we increase our dependence
on these systems, we also need to implement backups
and protection to help ensure that they are working when they
are needed most. The trend for increased networking and connectivity
must also bring about a trend for increased power and
network protection.

Every networked sensor that provides input to a security system
requires power and some form of communication – whether
wireless or wired. Even wireless networks depend on wired connectivity
to function, since network access points always have
both power and wired network connections.

Because of the wired connections throughout every security
system, each system is vulnerable to the damaging effects of surges
and spikes from the supplied electrical power. They are also vulnerable
to electrical disturbances transmitted via communications and
signaling cables that can carry unwanted voltages directly to sensitive
electronic circuits. Systems that have outdoor components,
including outdoor cameras, campus-wide systems, and devices
connected to outdoor antennas and communication devices, are
particularly vulnerable. They are exposed to the elements and can
suffer water leaks and wind damage, among other hazards.

This article originally appeared in the May June 2021 issue of Security Today.



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