By Ryan B. Okerstrom, CPP, Huffmaster
In recent years, the security industry has undergone a significant transformation. It has begun to blend automated security systems professionally trained security personnel to provide comprehensive protection for companies and their employees. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the transition and forced a shift towards remote work and reduced headcounts—bringing the need for cost-effective security solutions to enhance human surveillance.
One of the primary challenges security firms face is convincing corporations that AI and robotics can augment human security officers without sacrificing the inherent qualities that humans bring to the workforce. However, new security solutions involving automation and AI-driven processes with human oversight were created to enhance the operational efficiencies of protection.
The fusion of trained security personnel with new technology offers several advantages:
- AI-enhanced cameras are more than passive observers and actively aid security personnel in distinguishing between humans and objects, helping humans filter out false information and follow up on actual issues.
- Advanced video management systems with AI swiftly identify individuals and track their movements across multiple cameras. The intelligent surveillance eliminates the need for labor-intensive video reviews, reducing human response times from hours to minutes.
- Automated access control systems replace traditional methods, such as receptionists, streamlining visitor management and enhancing security at entry points.
In addition to intelligent, automated surveillance, robotic patrols equipped with sophisticated sensors and mapping capabilities perform tasks such as checking whether doors are closed and generating real-time reports for their human counterparts. The robots assume the mundane and tedious human responsibilities and maintain a constant and vigilant presence.
Virtual Security (Huffmaster’s VirSec™)
While AI and robotics can assume some traditional security roles, the need for trained personnel to interact with technology will always remain. Therefore, it’s essential to blend virtual security technologies with trained personnel who are prepared to handle advanced security operations, remote monitoring, and remote access control management. Huffmaster’s VirSec hybrid model is on the industry’s cutting edge.
The ability for trained security officers and autonomous robots to coexist and collaborate is paramount—neither is going away anytime soon. The combined forces of human intervention and AI intelligence enable larger areas to be patrolled while reducing the time to respond to situations that need immediate attention. Simply put, robots and AI intelligence are an extension of security personnel used to discourage and deter individuals from performing illegal activities.
In addition, Huffmaster’s VirSec hybrid model provides a means to reduce the repetitive work typically performed by security personnel. Managing visitors, scanning IDs, and logging information into a system can be performed rapidly with technology versus a manual procedure that delays the overall process.
In conclusion, the security industry, robotics, and AI are not just future trends but are here today and making a positive impact. The VirSec hybrid security model, combining human expertise with technological advancements, quickly replaces traditional security approaches. Security officers are undergoing now more highly skilled and specialized training, ensuring that they are well-equipped to handle evolving security challenges and manage the robotic technology they are working with. Security services companies are forging strategic partnerships with AI-driven robotic technology providers to strengthen their virtual security offerings. Huffmaster’s VirSec approach sets a new standard for protecting businesses in the face of rapidly changing threats.
Ryan B. Okerstrom is Vice President of Operations for the Protective Services Group at Huffmaster and manages security services and remote monitoring. He oversees all operational aspects of the Protective Services Group, including organizational structure, group performance, and business development. He manages implementation and monitoring of security policies, procedures, and program execution. Ryan joined Huffmaster after more than 22 years at Guardsmark/Allied Universal, the largest security company in North America. At Guardsmark/Allied Universal, he oversaw protective services across North America for automotive, military, chemical, pharmaceutical, office, educational, financial, sports, and retail facilities. He is a two-time winner of the prestigious Guardsmark Diversity Management Award and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University. In addition, Ryan earned eighteen security-related certifications, is board-certified in security management, and has the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) title. In 2021, Ryan was inducted into the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice Wall of Fame for Distinguished Alumni.
Huffmaster provides short-term and long-term staffing solutions for all industries, including education, healthcare, industrial, manufacturing, security, and more. visit: huffmaster.com
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