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Keeping Your Smart Building Secure with Indoor Mapping

Oct 24, 2023 | Public | 0 comments

What does “workplace security” mean to you? In the current fast-paced world of technology, you probably jump to thoughts of cybersecurity, safeguarding proprietary company information and defending against cyberthreats, but you must also consider the actual building’s security. How easy is it for visitors to get in? Do you have an emergency preparedness plan? What is the protocol if there’s someone suspicious on your premises?

Getting a handle on questions like these is the first step toward securing your building. This task is especially important as 60% of American workers are still reporting to work on-site daily, even with the recent uptick in hybrid and remote work policies. However, in the face of this workplace shift, the mere perception that offices are working with fewer on-site employees can heighten security vulnerabilities.

Last year, over a quarter of organizations reported increased physical security incidents, including workplace violence and theft. These incidents not only threaten individuals’ safety but also disrupt crucial business operations—from delayed projects to interrupted cash flow, the repercussions of security breaches affect the whole company.

So, how can proactive facilities managers enhance their security? By embracing burgeoning technologies, including indoor mapping.

The Ins and Outs of Indoor Mapping

Though still emergent, indoor mapping technology has a promising future. In fact, the industry is expected to be valued at over $30 billion by 2030, up from $1.28 billion in 2019. We can attribute this impressive increase to the technology’s versatile applications across industries from retail to hospitality.

An indoor map has become so much more than just a map—technology advancements have transformed indoor maps from static navigational tools to dynamic recreations of physical spaces that use real-time data to stay up-to-date and accurate. These digital duplicates smoothly integrate with existing technologies within the spaces they recreate.

When the spaces these maps replicate have more integrable technologies—like smart buildings—the maps will improve because more intelligent buildings mean better maps. The data from a smart building’s interconnected systems can help improve operations. Take Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, for example. If a building has IoT sensors throughout the space, an indoor map will use the information from those sensors to make real-time updates. Leaders can then use that data to inform safety and security strategies.

Indoor maps can centralize the controls of a smart building’s disparate systems (think door access, cameras, HVAC, security alarms, and more) so that in an emergency, those in charge can quickly access the controls in one place (the map) instead of using several different apps, cutting down on reaction time. Or, if an unauthorized person enters a secure zone, the facilities manager can remotely lock specific doors via the map to secure those areas.

Power Emergency Preparedness Plans with Indoor Mapping Technology

An indoor map can be a priceless resource for a facilities manager creating an emergency preparedness plan because the information derived from the map’s data can be used to inform strategy decisions. For example, you can use the map to determine the spaces that see the most traffic to decide the most appropriate places to deploy your security team. If you become aware of an incident occurring on your premises, you can access your security cameras through the map to immediately see the situation to formulate an appropriate response.

Even with these high-tech capabilities, the most pertinent application of indoor maps for security remains their traditional use: wayfinding and navigation. Time is of the essence in emergency situations, and first responders must quickly determine the precise location of people in need or potential threats. If a person calls 911 from a sprawling office building and fails to provide his or her exact location, first responders may have to widen their search, wasting precious seconds, delaying response time, and potentially creating a worse situation. Through updated and thorough data about the building and its occupants, an indoor map promotes fast emergency response times that can ultimately save lives.

During an emergency, people already in the building can benefit from indoor maps, too. The map will show the location of emergency equipment like AEDs or fire extinguishers for quick access if necessary. If a situation requires evacuation, the map will show the best exit route.

Though indoor maps help people navigate their environments, ongoing innovation has elevated these maps with capabilities far more advanced than wayfinding. When integrated with smart building systems, these maps can inform emergency preparedness strategies, strengthen building security, and ensure the safety of people and property.

Morten Brøgger is CEO of MapsPeople, a global provider of indoor mapping.

The post Keeping Your Smart Building Secure with Indoor Mapping appeared first on Facilities Management Advisor.

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