From the editor's desk: Security integration complexities

SMART Estate Security 2023 News & Events

Andrew Seldon, Editor.

Welcome to the first issue of the SMART Estate Security Handbook. It’s not really the first handbook we’ve done on estate security, but the first under the new SMART branding. This handbook is slightly different, although still on the same topic, in that the focus is mainly on integration and the need for products and service providers that make it easy to connect whatever you want to whatever else you want to achieve a holistic solution.

The always controversial Andre Mundell, a regular contributor and previous speaker at our estate security conference, contributed two articles to this issue, one willingly and the other I specifically asked if we could include as it provides a short but interesting look into what an integrated and efficient security system should look like.

It’s like an autopsy to see what’s under the skin of a security solution. We see the cameras, booms and guards wandering about. Still, if your holistic security system is going to deliver as required, the bits and pieces connecting all the other bits and pieces need to be in place and functioning. Security is much like a Russian Matryoshka doll where you open up one doll, find the next one, and so on.

This leads nicely to the issue of standard operating procedures (SOPs), another bugbear in many security operations. Some say each estate should have its own unique SOPs built from the ground up, starting with a risk assessment (or, as Mundell would insist, an independent risk assessment) and designed from there. Others believe that taking an old SOP or borrowing another estate’s document and customising it for your estate is fine. In reality, both arguments are valid, but the proof of their validity is only to be found in the final security operation – does it do the job or only part of it?

We also included part of an IDEMIA white paper on AI (the full version is available via the link provided for those interested). With all the fuss about AI these days, it’s worth looking at what is realistically happening to see what can be done right now. The information provided is not estate-specific but adds value in terms of what estates can expect from all the AI tools and systems offered.

As Bernard Senekal from Sentronics mentioned in his presentation at the recent SMART Surveillance Conference, we are still in the ‘narrow AI’ stage, where AI does one task well and can provide valuable insights into the security world. The future will see us moving to ‘general AI’, which goes beyond insight to foresight, and then ‘super AI’, where machines are more intelligent than humans and will kill us all (the last five words are my own, not Senekal’s).

That is my very simplistic overview of Senekal’s presentation and the state of AI, but readers will find more insight and depth in the white paper. The brief conference review is at

I hope you enjoy the handbook and the upcoming SMART Estate Security Conference (see more at As always, comments and criticisms are welcome at


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