Intelligent security systems – Part 5 of 6

Critical infrastructure demands combined security technologies

With growing concerns over security threats to critical infrastructure, the need for multi-layered protection has increased, according to Mark Cosgrave, Divisional Manager for Western Europe at Optex.

“A combination of different technologies that can help protect the perimeter, approach, boundary of buildings and internal areas, will help better to detect and deter any intrusion or malicious attack,” he says.

Mark Cosgrave is a warm advocate for the benefits of using a combination of technologies and solutions to effectively secure critical infrastructure.

“It is important to understand the limitation and the strengths of each technology and how they can complement each other in combination to provide a more efficient and effective security system.”

Early detection is crucial

“The importance of detecting an intrusion attempt as early as possible can’t be underestimated and this is the primary benefit of using detectors: they enable a proactive security system with intelligence to detect threats accurately and activate a suitable security response,” he says and gives an example.

“If the operator can identify unusual activity at the fence line or even beyond the perimeter line, it is a powerful pre-warning to the security system that can stop threats before they happen. Technologies such as Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) can be mounted on the fence to detect any breach by intruders climbing over it or cutting through it, but it can also be buried to alert , of a vehicle approaching or someone walking towards the fence line.”

Cameras and surveillance equipment allow classification of targets and recording of events, bringing in an additional layer of security, but should always rely on the stable detection of sensors, which are at the frontline of the security system, not affected by changes of weather, lighting or temperature.

Among other things, intrusion detectors improve the quality of the security system and avoid the risk of nuisance alarms in outdoor environments.

Lidar – detection with precision

Mark Cosgrave also emphasizes the ability to identify the exact location of the intrusion, which can be critical to deal faster with a situation. Technologies, such as Lidar enable very precise detection areas, both vertically and horizontally. Through the creation of virtual walls and virtual ceilings these sensors can identify the exact X,Y coordinates of intrusion, as well as categorizing events depending on target size or direction of movement. Sensors such as Redscan can operate extremely reliably in outdoor environments, in complete darkness and challenging weather conditions, from -40 degrees to +60 degrees.

A further aspect to consider when designing a high-risk security system is the need to use dedicated security devices, which have been specifically designed to focus on intrusion detection and can provide reliable information and a safe transmission of the data directly into the system.

Combining technologies making sense

The level of data provided by intrusion detectors helps the security team take an appropriate and faster response, it can activate cameras to recognize and track intruders, it can lock security gates, trigger security lighting, voice alerts or dispatch security guards.

Multiple levels of protection

The initial step in securing the perimeter of any critical infrastructure starts with an in-depth risk assessment to assess any vulnerabilities and identify the most suitable security technologies to mitigate them.

“By combining different technologies that complement each other and implementing multiple levels of protection at the perimeter line, the overall security system benefits and becomes more effective, so facilities and assets are more secure today and it the future. This is one of the key benefits of working with Optex as we can provide multiple security technologies to achieve highlyreliable intrusion detection across the entire site.” he concludes.

Note: This editorial article has primarily been produced for the security trade magazine Detektor in collaboration with

Product Suppliers
Back to top