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Perimeter Security: Going Beyond the Fence

John-Marco.jpgCheryl-Stewart.jpgTraditional security systems trigger when someone touches the fence line. Yet why wait until the perimeter is about to be breached to respond? And what about monitoring what’s going on within restricted zones?

Recent innovations in security software allow security teams to redefine perimeter security by giving them the ability to look beyond the fence line, being more specific about what to monitor and how, and even linking perimeter security to identity management, so that boundaries change along with job titles.

Consider your Critical Perimeter Areas

You may have gates and fences, but how do you protect roof areas, sides of buildings, or high-end assets? The latest security technology uses laser sensors to create a kind of cage around a secure zone that can trigger an alarm if unauthorized people approach. The protected area could be as small as a painting on the wall or as large as a big-box store.

Early identification of potential threats gives security teams time to prepare a response and take necessary action. For example, by proactively defining a buffer zone around sensitive areas, your security team can monitor the movement of people and vehicles and watch for potential intrusions before they ever reach the fence line.

Create Perimeters within the Perimeter

Within a secured area, some areas merit closer monitoring, whether for security or operational reasons. For example, in the event of an evacuation due to a gas leak or another safety concern, it would be helpful to quickly check the zones of greatest concern to ensure everyone gets out safely.

Or, if you are a manufacturer, you might have a high-risk area within your factory that workers should avoid. Creating a perimeter around this zone can be helpful to ensure a warning is triggered if workers accidentally cross into the dangerous area.

Identity is the Ultimate Perimeter

Knowing that something has breached or is about to breach a secure perimeter doesn’t tell you whether there is a real threat — or how serious it is if so. Are sensors detecting a cat, a person, or a car? By classifying threats visually, identifying the exact location of the threat, and pulling in relevant data from your systems, your team can identify if the intrusion is worth worrying about.

For example, automatic license plate readers can scan unauthorized vehicles to help identify the threat level of an intruder. If the plate matches to the plate of a car involved in a previous theft, security teams would know to alert police and respond more cautiously.


Early identification of potential threats gives security teams time to prepare a response and take necessary action.


Physical Identity and Access Management Systems (PIAMS) add another layer of sophistication by connecting access control to other business systems, such as human resources directories. This interconnectivity allows companies to automatically assign or remove the ability for personnel to access restricted areas based on corporate policies. As employees change roles within the organization or leave it, their access to sensitive areas is simultaneously adjusted to reflect the changes entered in the HR directory or other linked business systems.

Unification is the Key

When security needs are complex, many different systems are needed. A unified physical security platform helps connect the dots between the data you get from heatmaps, sensors, cameras, access control, and other systems, giving you the situational awareness to keep your critical infrastructure and people safe. With a unified approach, you get a seamless view of what’s happening near your perimeter, at your perimeter boundaries, and within your restricted areas.

John Marco is director of marketing for Optex Americas. Marco is part of the marketing and development of Optex’s integrated solutions, working closely with global technology partners and other industry leaders for 12 years. Aligning with global corporate strategy, Marco is instrumental in bringing channel partners together providing solutions to the security industry. In doing so, Marco is part of multiple award winning Optex product launches and is recognized as an industry source for Optext sensing solutions in North America. 

Cheryl Stewart joined Genetec in 2019 as an industry and applications marketing analyst focused on airports. Her role now includes the entire critical infrastructure vertical as a whole. Stewart’s main responsibilities including developing go-to-market strategies that conduct market research and analysis to better understand the needs of critical infrastructure end users across the globe.

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