On the Front Lines of Security: Elizabeth Carter, Advisor at Armored Things

Armored Things' Advisor, Elizabeth Carter shares her thoughts on the ways artificial intelligence has influenced the field of physical security.


Armored Things: In what ways do you expect artificial intelligence to transform physical security in the coming years?

Elizabeth Carter: Physical security has been slow to embrace the digital transformation well underway in other industries. But artificial intelligence (AI) holds great promise in terms of helping security catch up - and embrace the power of data to shift the focus from reactive (where it is today) to predictive (where it can be with the help of technology).

AT: Is there an experience in your past where having technology that worked together with physical security would've helped you or a colleague make a quicker and more effective decision?

EC: In several past roles I've been responsible for incident response; specifically protecting people, assets, and the company’s reputation. Every time, I've had to respond manually- pick up the phone, check the cameras, initiate a response - without the help of technology, even when access control, video analytics, beacons and other IoT, and mobile devices were present in the environment. Responding manually takes time, and information gets lost in the " noise." Using technology to gain a quicker picture of what was happening would have helped me respond faster and more effectively, potentially saving lives and resources.

AT: Do you have any advice for those trying to leverage their existing data and devices to enhance their current physical security operations?

EC: I've found that people are often hesitant to make changes to policies and protocols when things seem to work OK the way they are. I've seen a lot of resistance to technology innovations in security along the lines of, "well, this is the way we've always done it." Successful practitioners of the future will eschew this way of thinking and embrace new technologies and ideas, and look for incremental wins as they transform their programs from manual to digital.

AT: Do you have any other comments on the role artificial intelligence plays in physical security?

EC: There is a huge opportunity for forward thinkers to integrate data feeds and apply AI to gain not only a real-time operating picture but also flag in advance when things seem anomalous. Down the road, we will respond to incidents in a more automated fashion as well. Physical security technology, with the help of AI, can progress from the siloed "whack a mole" approach we see today to a comprehensive picture of an organization’s security program. A combination of data inputs will contribute to our understanding of what is normal and what is anomalous.

AT: How would you explain artificial intelligence to a security manager?

EC: When you walk into a company's security operations center, you typically see a row of operators looking at screens, where they're watching video feeds, monitoring alarms, and reading news alerts. It's up to each individual to synthesize this information and determine when there might be a problem. But humans can be distracted, and monitoring feeds can be a tedious activity. AI can take on this role and ingest multiple data feeds, and flag issues that require human review. This can free up operator time, reduce false positives, and, most importantly, cut down on missed threats.

AT: In your opinion, what is the most important value that Armored Things delivers its customers?

EC: Armored Things has a unique opportunity to set a new bar for physical security technology, and ensure that the digital transformation of the physical security industry becomes a "need to have" rather than just a "nice to have." Further, shifting the focus of security technology to "left of boom" from "right of boom," to proactive from simply reactive, will be a game changer, and Armored Things is leading the charge on this front.