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Put IoT in action to overcome public building safety challenges

Transparency is an important part of public safety projects. Officials must know what is happening in real time, as well as be able to collaborate with others involved in the project.

Transparency is an important part of public safety projects. Officials must know what is happening in real time, as well as be able to collaborate with others involved in the project. To create a collaborative and transparent environment, security officials are reinventing their approach to public safety, especially regarding the protection of public buildings. While keeping public buildings safe, smart, and secure is a top priority, it’s also a constant challenge.

Recent advancements in cloud computing, intelligent edge, artificial intelligence, and data analytics create many new opportunities for Internet of Things (IoT) devices to improve public safety. However, the seamless framework must work together, and device makers often run into challenges with hardware, software, networks, security, and platform management.

In this post, we’ll explore how IoT initiatives are solving these top public safety concerns. To learn more, be sure to attend Microsoft’s upcoming IoT in Action webinar, IoT and the New Safety Net.

IoT in Action webinar: IoT and the New Safety Net.

Safe: Using IoT for visitor lifecycle management

With cyber criminals able to clone a radio frequency identification (RFID) badge in seconds, security officials are increasingly turning to IoT technology to prevent unauthorized access to government and other public buildings. Instead of viewing logical (physical) security and cybersecurity as separate issues, SoloInsight, a Microsoft partner, uses a multi-layered behavior-based approach that secures both physical and cyber assets, including check-in, PACS, elevators, parking, loading docks, machines, workstations, applications, websites, documents, and payments.

By using SoloInsight’s Cloudgate, built on Microsoft Azure, organizations can use self-service kiosks in low-traffic areas to provide a higher level of security than previously possible. A supply chain management and logistics solutions company uses the platform to capture a picture of each employee entering the building. If an employee’s face is not authenticated, they cannot enter the building. A traditional system would allow entry if the person had possession of an easily cloned proxy card.

Smart: Improving operations and creating a positive user experience

Because IoT devices collect a wide range of data, security officials can use the information to gain real-time insights and protect data. Self-serve kiosks can remember previous visitors and employees and immediately grant access to the building, which increases satisfaction. Additionally, IoT visitor management systems can deactivate access to the network and data when a person physically leaves the building. By using systems that connect both the physical and logical components, you can ensure unauthorized personnel are not using someone else’s credentials.

Building management can also use data to make decisions that drive efficiency, such as predicting visitor and employee traffic patterns. For example, housekeeping and maintenance work can be scheduled at times when most employees in a section of the building are not at work. When devices are part of an overall IoT platform, such as Microsoft Azure, data collected from devices can easily be stored in the cloud, used with artificial intelligence to predict what will likely happen in the future and off-loaded from the cloud to IoT devices.

Secure: Collecting and protecting data

As IoT devices receive and store information, they often include operational and personally identifiable information (PII) data. This makes it essential for platforms to securely store and manage all data collected. The Microsoft Azure Sphere platform includes three components that work together to bring the promise of a secured, connected future to microcontroller unit (MCU) devices everywhere and includes three components that work together to lock down device security: the Azure Sphere MCU, the built-in Azure Sphere OS, and the turnkey cloud security service.

One of the biggest challenges with IoT technology is the number of devices and access points, which often include mobile devices. Security officials need the ability to monitor the health of all IoT devices in real time and remove compromised devices from the network. With the sensitive nature of PII, security officials find that they require a platform with strict privacy controls, authorization levels, and compliance tools. With IoT devices built on a secure platform that uses the latest technology, public buildings can transform into smart buildings while continuing to provide both physical and logical safely.

Coming April 25, 2019: Make public safety collaborative with IoT

Discover how collaborative IoT can improve public safety by registering for the IoT in Action webinar, IoT and the New Safety Net. Get insights from industry experts and Microsoft partner SoloInsight around how transparent frameworks create secure buildings.