Within the security solutions industry, perimeter security, at times, tends to take a backseat. For many customers, the concept of protecting the perimeter comes after video surveillance solutions and access control systems. But this doesn’t, in any way, lower its necessity. In fact, in high-risk sites like critical infrastructure, the use of perimeter security solutions is critical.
The very importance of this segment makes it crucial that systems integrators (SIs) understand the current trends in it. According to Stewart Dewar, Product Manager for PIDS Solutions at Senstar, the integration and layering of different perimeter intrusion detection technologies offer customers the most dramatic improvements to site security.
“The benefit is clear: combining cost-effective technologies reduces nuisance alarms. At the same time, the strength of each technology can be leveraged,” Dewar said. While this is definitely so, to provide the right perimeter solutions to customers, SIs should be aware of the current trends in this field.
What technology is trending in perimeter security?
According to Dewar, something that is receiving a lot of attention is the augmentation of physical PIDS sensors with video analytics. Advances in computer vision have improved video analytics capabilities while lowering the cost, making the technology available to previously underserved customers.
“In these scenarios, PIDS sensors remain the primary means to detect potential intrusions, while video analytics enhance and characterize intrusion detection,” he added. “For example, people and vehicle tracking can improve tracking and classification accuracy, auto PTZ improves surveillance coverage while reducing security personnel resources, and license plate recognition enables the whitelisting/blacklisting of vehicles at a site.”
Developments in some of the modern technological fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) are also playing a key role in this regard. According to Martin Lomberg, GM for EMEA at Southwest Microwave, AI for video analytics has proved popular in the recent years. Advancements such as automatic license plate recognition and facial recognition are growing in demand. However, he added that the accuracy or reliability of such technology could be a risk as these solutions continue to be refined.
“We are also seeing remote sites, such as telecommunications masts and small utility facilities, requiring the use of standalone devices (sometimes solar-powered) with alarms being transmitted using a GSM network for digital signal encryption, improved communications, and to avoid costly installation costs,” Lomberg added.
What’s trending in the perimeter security market?
Speaking of what is seen in the market at the moment, Dewar said that intelligent perimeter lighting has become a game changer in the industry as new products provide both deterrence and detection capabilities in a single package.
“Luminaires installed along the fence line provide uniform lighting for camera surveillance systems while embedded accelerometers detect and locate any attempt to cut, climb, or lift the fence fabric,” he said. “Low-voltage LED technology keeps installation and operational costs low while offering responsive deterrence features like localized instant-on, intensity adjustment, and alarm strobing. By announcing to would-be intruders that they are detected, and their location is known (and presumably being recorded), the systems enhance the value of existing fence and video infrastructure.”
Another trend that Dewar finds in the market is the changing role of fence-mounted intrusion detection sensors. These sensors continue to grow in popularity as they typically offer the best "bang for the buck" for perimeter security. New developments in this field include simplified solutions for detection at gate areas (e.g., wireless gate sensors) and more cost-effective ranging fiber solutions for smaller sites – all of which is leading to increased uptake by emerging verticals such as data centers, distribution hubs, and manufacturing plants.
To Lomberg, the increased penetration of IP systems remains a major market trend. As with many industries all over the world, IP systems and Power over Ethernet (POE) are becoming the expectation for the perimeter security market as well. These systems reduce the ducting and wiring requirements, reduce the install time, minimize connectivity errors, and therefore, overall costs. However, this does raise the possibility of cyberattacks, and hence, discussions around perimeter security are now expanding to include network protection.
As mentioned before, the evolution of video analytics is making a difference in the industry. There are customers who may prefer to use video analytics, along with other devices such as radar, as their primary perimeter security solution. However, Lomberg warns that this would not be the best idea due to a number of factors.
“Many clients are relying on video analytics or radar to detect unwanted intruders; however, these technologies often trigger high nuisance alarm rates due to environmental factors such as weather, foliage, and wildlife,” Lomberg said. “For accurate detection, reliable perimeter intrusion detection sensors should be the main source of detection at the fence line as these systems can offer low nuisance alarm rates and be calibrated to unique site characteristics.”
He added that video analytics or radar devices would then be a great complementary assessment tool to track the movement of an intruder once they are detected by the perimeter detection sensors. These systems could then be integrated with a software interface for effective management and monitoring.