Security for the digital age

May 2010 Access Control & Identity Management

Developing and implementing of security systems has become a complicated, daunting and expensive exercise for users of security systems and consultant engineers that have to design security systems in today’s world of the digital age.

Access control systems are no longer just a lock on a door with a key to control the locking and unlocking of the door, it has evolved into radio frequency identification (RFID) card reader technology that can be passive or active and allows users to monitor and track the movement of all visitors, staff and contractors on their premises or through their entire organisations no matter where the organisations are located in the world.

With the world being locked into the digital age, security systems have evolved, making the design and implementation of security systems more challenging.

To simplify today’s security systems, consultants and system integrators need to follow a standard procedure when designing and implementing security systems. Below are four basic principles to follow when developing a successful security solution for your organisation’s security needs.

The first key to designing a successful security system is to understand and define the word 'security' and what it means to you and your organisation:

The second key is to define the client’s existing operations and a detailed risk analysis is to be carried out based on the client’s existing operations.

1. What are the external threats?

2. What are the internal threats?

The third key is to develop an operational document that defines the basic security principles to be adopted within the client’s organisation and then get buy-in from all stakeholders within the organisation. This is the most important factor in the entire process as the concept of ownership of security is the responsibility of every single individual within the entire organisation, from the chairperson to the cleaner.

Basic operational criteria that needs to be considered when developing the operational plan:

1. Access control operational principles.

2. Surveillance operational principles.

3. Asset management and tracking operational principles.

4. Fire and safety operational principles.

5. System maintenance operational principles.

6. Security guards operational principles.

The fourth key to the process is to select the technology that will best fit the operational document as the security technology to be utilised must adhere to the basic principles as set out in the operational plan where the basic security principles have been agreed upon by all stakeholders within the organisation.

As described above, security technology has not been discussed in points 1; 2 and 3 and is the last consideration in the entire process of designing a successful and workable security solution that benefits the clients.

The four-step philosophy has been successfully implemented within many government and commercial organisations and is a very simple process to carry out with extremely effective results!

For more information contact JRJ Consultants, +27 (0)82 776 9990,,

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