ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 06
Financial Times  

Electronic protection for businesses- Digital Hawks and Vigil Watch

By Damith Kurunduhewa

It was the inner cash room of an eminent fashion boutique in Sri Lanka. That is where all floor cashiers - who mostly are girls - keep their personal cash boxes safely. It is a restricted access for staff except for cashiers – on duty. The time was around 7 in the evening. A girl enters the cash room. Nothing to be alarmed of. She is in fact the chief cashier under whose purview line cashiers execute their floor responsibilities.

It’s a legitimate entry by virtue of her business function. She is a sole figure in the room for the moment - as she closes the door behind her. Then, her rhythm suddenly changes. She pops out a master key from her pocket and busily begins to open selected cash boxes those cashiers have lined up on the safe rack. She takes cash notes from boxes at random - and hides them in her inner pocket. A near perfect theft. And then she walks out of the room, as if nothing bizarre ever happened.

This time around, it is a hyper brand bank in Colombo having a busy day with floor packed customers from the lobby up to service counters. Most customers are just feeling delighted, as they are either collecting the desired cash into their hand or depositing in their savings - hoping for a healthier yield.

Suddenly the business floor setting changes. A gang in black - wielding guns - storms into the bank resembling a Tsunami wave in broad daylight. The staff and customers are stunned in their positions – wherever they are. The gang dominates vantage positions while the lead criminals threaten the Bank Manager at gun point and demand fast cash – in millions. Next moment, the robbers are whisked away with loads of money.

Yet again, in another location, it was the office of a Managing Director of a top notch business organization. The high profile office was located in the scenic uppermost floor of a multi storied structure. After 5pm where offices are closing the interior of the complex becomes a hall of emptiness – in quiet contrast to the vibrant business it housed for eight hours during the day.

Then comes the dark hour of opportunity to a man who was dreaming of stealing vital strategic business data from the office of Managing Director. The – stay behind - intruder considers himself as “king of the floor” due to the absence of anyone to obstruct his intrusive maneuvers of corporate espionage. Smartly, he grips the forged key that opens the door of the glamorous room and slowly steps in.

The point of all these real life dramas is that the offenders were eventually DETECTED. They never could deny the outlaw skirmish they committed or were about to commit. When criminals just thought that NO ONE WORTHY was watching, they were dead wrong. The digital hawks - or better known as ELECTRONIC SECURITY DEVICES did their covert clue tracking role at corporate protection - in uncompromising style.

Deploying electronic security devices for business protection is not a brand new phenomenon. The end of the Cold War resulted in many surveillance modes being commercialized and marketed globally. More than state institutes, it was corporates that invested in this (commercially) innovative tool to enhance their business protective niche. And it is a common feature too in the Sri Lankan platform as well. Today, we find business complexes that are digitally protected - professionally and precisely – perhaps beating some military and police compounds.

The electronic protection reaches its best, when a business uses a combination of overt and covert protective models - supported by data archive features. Professional electronic protective designing must cover five core matrix of the process - beginning from outer shell surveillance upto the principal object monitoring. The design philosophy could mostly be of sensory detection based on motion, visual, audio, atmospheric anomaly and linear detachment – or as a blended mix.

The missing or ignored link in the design can create a lapse avenue that has – historically - been exposed only after a serious security breach plus an embarrassing business loss.

That’s why system blue printing and utility integration of it into the business, demand a professional corporate protective designer before seeking an electronic engineer and a system marketer. In summary, the system design must benefit the end user - based on the LOSS PREVENTIVE PRAGMATISM above all else.

The electronic protective devices can effectively be used in access reading, intruder sensing and data relaying, tamper clue defining, mobility clamping and for many more specific business risk mitigating purposes.

The three major factors that govern the decision on system selection are the micro risk scan, economic feasibility and process compatibility to corporate ambience. It, finally, is the bottom line results that matter in business protection, not the superficial glamour and cosmetic imaging.

Ultimately, the myth of substituting total human deployment by way of security electronics needs a crystal clear re-aligning. It’s only the MEASURED COMBINATION of electronic protection element with a human security stream, which will give us optimum business benefit in managing our multi faceted protective challenges.It is artificial intelligence of machines, together with on - scene intelligence of the human that makes the world to explore its way forward.

So it is in business protection as well – and it’s an all time truth about human hawks being supported by digital hawks.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.