The federal government is perhaps one of the security industry’s most diverse customers, with everything from the federal court system and military bases to federal agencies and government bodies falling under its purview. There are more than 100,000 federal buildings and facilities located throughout the United States. The introduction of the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), created a common and secure identification standard for federal employees and contractors.
Designing and installing a security system that meets the stringent requirements for government facilities can be complicated, to say the least. This combined with the use of the access control, the need to make adjustments to meet demands in the space, and the need for video surveillance front, integrations, centralized storage, and encryption only complicate the installation. These news trends drive the federal market.
What does all of this mean for security systems integrators providing services in the government space?
When working in the federal market, it’s important to keep in mind that each agency will have unique requirements with a wider range of needs and regulations that must be met. Here are some things to consider when designing and installing a security system for the government.
Invest in an open platform
It’s important to implement video management and access control systems built with an open platform. This enables federal government customers to pick best-of-breed solutions while meeting specific security mandates. For example, this could include providing a safe environment for personnel, restricting access to certain areas, or leveraging integrations with specific systems that use an AI solution to quickly identify a vehicle in camouflage, or a fake identification.
Make sure the video platform is scalable
Scalability is perhaps one of the biggest issues in the federal space. Over the past 10 years, many federal agencies have been bridging the gap between analog and IP, investing in encoders to enable them to migrate to an IP platform and leverage some of the current systems in place. Just as their needs grow, the federal government needs to be able to add new technologies, such as cameras with analytics, or be able to connect multiple sites as part of a single interface. A scalable system that can handle new technologies and support a single interface is critical.
Is there a hardening guide to protect against a cyber attack?
Cyber-attacks are a daily occurrence in the security world, prompting many security manufacturers to ensure devices are cyber-secure and that vulnerabilities can be addressed. One of the biggest challenges that customers face is not investing in cyber-secure products, but the next steps to take to ensure the products installed on the network have followed proper hardening guidelines. The federal space can include the following requirements of FIPS 140-2, which is a federal accreditation program for validating that the cryptographic modules produced by private sector companies meet well-defined security standards.
While providing surveillance solutions to the federal market can be overwhelming, it’s clear that security integrators can make navigating the product selection and deployment process with federal customers a little easier by looking for VMS solutions that are scalable, open, and hardened against cyber-attacks. By taking these steps, security integrators can ensure the surveillance solution not only meets the stringent needs of the federal market but also creates a secure and safe environment for government facilities and employees.