From the editor's desk: Maybe security should STTFS

Issue 2 2021 News

The IT industry has an acronym, RTFM, Read the Manual; you’ll notice I left the F out. The same can be said for the security industry, but a recent experience has shown me that both industries, even as they converge in many areas, need to not only RTFM, but also STTFS.


Andrew Seldon.

The polite version of STTFS is Stick To The Standards. This applies to any and every part of an installation. In the electrical industry there are set standards to ensure safety and reliability. If you decide to rewire your house according to your own clever ideas, you will be in for a nasty shock when you have to get a clearance certificate in order to sell the property. The same applies to electric fences; you need a certificate of compliance for your fence if you want to sell your house.

All the rest of it is up for grabs, it seems, because there is nobody with a big stick insisting on standards and compliance. There are no regulations for installing a network (unless you use licenced frequencies for wireless or want to lay cables across public roads), but there are standards and best practices. The same applies when installing access control, alarms and surveillance cameras.

The experience I had was of someone being clever and installing things according to his idea of what was right, or maybe he was just lazy. On the other hand, perhaps he was looking to secure a long-term job for himself since nobody else could replace him – or so he thought.

Replacing the individual was indeed a challenge as the new ‘guru’ had to do a lot of probing and testing and guessing to find out how things were done (there was, naturally, no documentation). Long hours and frustration was the order of the day. In addition, the company itself faced large costs in new kit to replace the outdated and badly installed and configured equipment (as well as expensive experts to reconfigure and fiddle with stuff to get it up to scratch).

The lesson to learn is that standards and best practices are there for a number of reasons. One of those is longevity and maintainability. If your guru vanishes, someone who understands these standards can take over with the minimum of fuss; or if your systems integrator loses the plot, another can be brought in fairly easily. In both cases there will still be a learning curve, but standardising on accepted standards and best practices will reduce it significantly, as well as the frustration and costs involved in detective work.

Even if you are buying the latest and greatest new AI thingamabob that has no standards associated with it, the cameras, networks, servers and management platforms do. If your guru or SI isn’t willing to document their installation and adhere to standards, perhaps you should insist they STTFS or show them out of that age-old standard, the door.


Credit(s)




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Cyber resilience is more than cybersecurity
Technews Publishing Cyber Security Integrated Solutions IT infrastructure
Hi-Tech Security Solutions held a round-table discussion focusing on cyber resilience and found that while the resilience discipline includes cybersecurity, it also goes much further.

Read more...
Johnny Aucamp joins iPulse exco
News
Johnny Aucamp has joined iPulse Systems as its chief sales officer (CSO), adding a massive boost to the executive team.

Read more...
From the editor's desk: Security and resilience
Technews Publishing News
It’s often said that South Africans are a resilient bunch, and history has proven this correct. When it comes to security, both cyber and physical, resilience is key to an effective defensive plan. ...

Read more...
Hikvision aims for solutions
Technews Publishing Hikvision South Africa Editor's Choice CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring News Integrated Solutions Conferences & Events
Hikvision recently held a roadshow titled Industry X, where the company highlighted its latest products and solutions, supported by partners and distributors.

Read more...
Olarm launches PRO 4G communicator
Olarm News Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection Products
Olarm has announced an additional 4G/LTE version of its Olarm PRO smart communicator. It is aimed at areas suffering from poor connectivity by providing support for 4G, 2G and Wi-Fi networks.

Read more...
ADI Expo returns to South Africa
Technews Publishing ADI Global Distribution News
September saw the return of the ADI Expo to South Africa. The Johannesburg event was held at the Focus Rooms and the Durban event, two days later, at the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani.

Read more...
Technoswitch Awards dinner for 2022
Technews Publishing News Fire & Safety
Technoswitch hosted its fifth awards dinner at Montecasino in September, where customers and suppliers celebrated a year of success.

Read more...
Suprema joins FiRa Consortium
Suprema News Access Control & Identity Management
Suprema recently became a member of the FiRa Consortium, a consultative body that establishes standards for ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, the next generation of wireless communication.

Read more...
Reliable, low-maintenance video appliances
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring News IT infrastructure Products
Symetrix, part of the Agera Group, has added the AES range of video recording servers, storage appliances and workstations to its portfolio.

Read more...
ZYTEQ Fire Engineering Summit 2022
ZYTEQ Fire Fire & Safety News
Cape Town-based ZYTEQ Fire hosted its inaugural Engineering Summit at the Commodore Hotel in Cape Town and the Leonardo Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Read more...