Getting Defensive: Expert Insights on Perimeter Protection

By CN Staff

To get the current pulse of Perimeter Security, CN recently tapped the brain of Brad Martin, Director of Product Management with Senstar, who filled us in on smart strategies, breakthrough tech, keys to success and more.

CN: What are some of the key ingredients to successful perimeter protection in 2022?

Martin: While the core functions of perimeter security remain the same, namely to deter, detect, delay, assess and respond to intrusions, the increasing ubiquity of security technology requires a streamlining of data to avoid information overload in command centers. To achieve this, careful consideration of the multi-layered technologies is needed – from perimeter sensors that avoid nuisance alarms, to video cameras that provide clear visibility regardless of location, lighting or weather, to software that integrates the different systems together. An integrated, intuitive single “pane of glass” user interface can reduce training requirements and ensure operator attention is directed to where it matters most.

CN: Can you tell me about any major breakthrough/s in perimeter security in recent years?

Martin: The arrival of true sensor fusion is a major breakthrough in perimeter security. Sensor fusion synthesizes low-level data from separate systems to generate actionable information. More than a simple Boolean logic integration, true sensor fusion analyzes real-time sensor data alongside historical, locational, environmental, and classification data before generating an alarm. When security threat data is synthesized from multiple systems including fence sensors and video analytics, nuisance alarms generated by wind or debris as well as non-threatening human activity can be virtually eliminated while still maintaining the system’s high probability of detection. For correctional officers in the command center, this means a dramatic reduction in distractions and faster response times to genuine threats.

CN: Has the pandemic impacted your company’s business approach at all, and if so, how?

Martin: Since Senstar is a global company with operations worldwide, we needed to be aware of and adhere to COVID protocols for different countries.  This impacted our ability to travel, visit customers, provide service at correctional facilities, and host in-person training. These challenges aside, Senstar successfully maintained its operations and research centers while exploring new opportunities for remote site planning, online training, and customer self-help.

CN: In a nutshell, can you tell me Senstar’s philosophy when it comes to creating effective solutions for facility security, particularly in terms of perimeter protection?

Martin: With over 40 years of experience providing security solutions to correctional institutions, Senstar has in-depth, profound knowledge of how to successfully deploy new technologies in this challenging and dangerous environment.

When security technologies are deployed in a correctional environment, they must work with existing fence and video surveillance infrastructure, be easy to use and maintain, be reliable under all weather conditions, and generate alarms only when valid threats are detected. That’s why Senstar has researched and developed new technology that finally defeats nuisance alarms once and for all. The Senstar Sensor Fusion Engine analyzes real-time fence sensor and video analytic data alongside historical, locational, environmental, and classification data before generating an alarm. When signal response data from fence sensors and video analytic systems is synthesized, nuisance alarms generated by wind or debris as well as non-threat human activity are virtually eliminated while the system’s high probability of detection is maintained.

CN: How do you see perimeter security advancing over the next decade?

Martin: The most valuable assets in correctional institutions will remain correctional officers and other security personnel. The role of security technology is to augment the effectiveness of human resources by better equipping them with the information they need to rapidly detect, classify and respond to threats. Advanced technologies like AI-enabled video analytics, sensor fusion, and next-generation detection technologies will focus on providing personnel with better, faster, and more relevant information, enabling them to respond quickly and effectively to real threats, while filtering out nuisance alarms caused by environmental conditions and other factors.

Editor’s Note: This expert Q&A originally appeared in the May/June 2022 issue of Correctional News.