Security Management on the Go: the role of Smartphones and tablets in security


These days, it’s near impossible to carry out business without using a Smartphone; the security industry is no exception. With the number of things that can be done from the tip of your finger and the palm of your hand increasing at an impressive rate, people in the 21st century are becoming accustomed to being able to do, see and communicate anything at anytime.


In security, the influence that Smartphones and tablets are having on the market and the technology being developed is very apparent. For leading security management software companies, it is vital to have the latest in security system Smartphone applications in order to stay on top.


This article will aim to give an overview of the options available for security management ‘on the go’ and an idea of how these could help you manage your 

security system more effectively and efficiency.


There are numerous apps that can help companies better manage security systems,

from simply file sharing applications and apps that can streamline an organization’s

communication to more specialized apps with specific functions which link the end

user directly to their security management system (SMS).


Many video management systems (VMS) offer email or text alerts which can be 

received on phones and tablets via video analytics, ensuring that security personnel 

are instantly notified of abnormal or suspicious activity on the system. This is known 

as an ‘event trigger’ and is one way to keep security managers informed on the go. 

Some access control systems also have an event trigger option which can be set to 

send alerts when unusual situations occur  which are outside the normal activity on 

the system (such as access being detected by an employee in the middle of the night 

when they normally only access the facility in the day time).

Ability to access and react to this kind of information via merely an internet connection enables greater flexibility among security personnel, and also provides improved resources to act quickly and effectively to security incidents, potentially saving an organization a significant amount of time and money. 


Video surveillance

Milestone's mobile camera zoom function in action
Milestone's mobile camera zoom function in action


Aside from event trigger functions, various VMSs provide end users with the ability to access footage from a specific security camera on their Smartphone in real-time through an internet connection. In some cases, cameras can also be controlled remotely from an authorized Smartphone or tablet connected to the system.


Another function on some systems is to be able to upload footage taken on one’s own Smartphone (in the case, for example, that someone at the scene of an event records something suspicious or critical to the incident) onto the system. This way, this potentially vital information can be viewed by other security personnel with access to the security management platform, potentially helping resolve or manage an incident.

Access control

                                                         'Frictionless' access control
'Frictionless' access control

Leading access control app providers give end users the ability to access, view and alter access control settings within their system. For example, it would be possible to disable an employee’s access to a door or site at any time, if desired, via the app. On S2’s security management app, it is even possible to put the whole access control system of a site into lock-down mode from the end user’s tablet in the event of an emergency.

Another way that Smartphones are increasingly being adopted in access control is for access authorization. Smartphones can be used instead of a key card to swipe access via a card reader to unlock a door. This method of access control is also on the raise in the hospitality industry as more hotels are turning to this attractive new alternative to hotel room key cards.

Global access control developers HID recently launched their new ‘twist and go’ technology taking the idea of Smartphone access authorization further by enabling end users to open gates and doors from a distance via a rotation movement with their Smartphone. Reducing the risk of slowing the end user down in the way that swiping a key card might, this solution has been coined as ‘frictionless’. This application is not only convenient for the end user, but for system administrators it also simplifies the process for granting a new user access to a site. Instead of having to deliver a physical key card to somebody, a security manager can simply invite that person to download the HID ‘twist and go’ app to their Smartphone after which the user can complete the registration and will then have access to the site or door via their mobile. As HID describes, ‘mobile IDs can be immediately issued, provisioned or revoked over the air’ via this technology, making it very flexible and easy to use. 

Emergency response & incident management

One way in which Smartphones and tablets can dramatically improve security management is in the case of an emergency incident. Some security management systems have an emergency app which can be used to speed up the response time to an incident by finding the closest trained person to the incident as well as helping that person navigate their way to the incident location via an internal GPS mapping system. Using a web-based system, this is done automatically almost instantaneously, after which live situation updates are sent to the security manager according to the video footage, access control and alarm information obtained on the system. Not only does this keep security personnel continuously informed about an incident and its development, but through utilizing this existing infrastructure, incidents and emergencies can be better managed and operational expenditure potentially reduced. 


On site tablet use
On site tablet use

As people increase their amount of movement both during work and in everyday life, one is at a significant advantage if their work can be taken with them. For security personnel, the ability to be able to access their company's security system from anywhere at any time via an internet connection is not only convenient, but is provides greater flexibility and increased productivity. Moreover, it could also save money, better protect assets and improve personal security and safety.

Tablets can be incredibly useful for various types of security personnel on the go, even for engineers onsite carrying a tablet during a day of installation work could improve productivity.

Overall, it is clear to see how Smartphone and tablets can provide far reaching benefits to security personnel and the security management of an organization. Improved security applications and increased Smartphone and tablet use is a clear trend - don't get left behind!


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