As organizations work through this turbulent time, outside factors are causing unforeseen challenges, and security needs become more complex. Security department must now address employee health issues and operational capacities as part of their daily routines. The Advanced Solutions team at Convergint works with customers to strategically reduce risk, meet regulations, and deliver a positive business return.

Scott Frigaard, Convergint’s Smart & Safe Cities Business Development Manager, is part of this team. Here Scott shares some of his thoughts on the challenges facing organizations of all kinds and provides insight for security professionals who are looking for more answers.

Tell us about your professional background and role at Convergint. 

For the past 20 years, I have been designing and deploying large physical security solutions, primarily to state and local government entities. Currently, I lead Convergint’s Smart & Safe Cities efforts for the Advanced Solutions team. I work with forward-thinking city and county governments and commercial entities that want to use technology to make their communities safer. I focus on fusion centers, real-time crime centers, and security operation centers that integrate all devices and data sources into a single, common operating platform. From there, I’m able to deploy solutions that enable the organizations to respond to the incidents faster and with greater situational awareness.

How can organizations address COVID-19 right now?

Organizations have security departments in place currently to protect colleagues, customers, facilities, and operations. The fastest way for an organization to respond to the new employee safety efforts demanded by COVID-19 is to repurpose their existing security platforms and adopt new technologies to serve more stakeholders.

The first step in transitioning an organization’s COVID-19 response starts with the existing Security Operations Center (SOC). The SOC is typically focused on security activities and provides visibility into video surveillance, access control, visitor management, intrusion detection, and sometimes building management. To address the concerns brought on by COVID-19, SOCs should now be transitioned from a security-centric perspective to an all-threats fusion center that integrates data from all security, safety, and operational applications across the organization into a single interface. 

With access to more devices, sensors, systems and data sources, regardless of departmental ownership, the fusion center will produce more intelligence, automate existing processes, streamline operations and communications, identify trends faster, and better position the organization to respond to, and ultimately predict, threats in the future. The transition from an SOC to a fusion center will lead the way for greater collaboration and situational awareness across the organization.

Organizations must streamline their security, safety, and operational processes and adopt advanced technologies to accommodate the dynamic near and long-term threat and crisis landscape. Fusion centers enable more effective communication and collaboration between analysts, decision-makers, and both internal and external stakeholders.

The critical functions of a fusion center are:

What do we need to prepare for after COVID-19?

In order to get back to business after COVID-19, organizations must be able to make their employees, customers, and partners feel safe about engaging in the things they used to do that are necessary for recovery.  To that end, organizations need to take as many precautions as are warranted to detect infection, track personnel health status, and accommodate the new reality of social distancing. 

By taking these steps, organizations can improve visibility into all aspects of their operations, reduce the spread of infection, more accurately determine production and operational capacities, and plan logistics and supply chain requirements. Armed with this timely information, decision-makers can adapt to changing conditions and meet new market demands and communicate clearly and consistently with employees, supply chains, and key stakeholders outside the organization.

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