I find the idea of running a big organization or institution, especially one with a large physical footprint, really appealing. I want to be able to look at a sprawling campus or an enterprise-level hospital and know that I keep it running — that I make it possible for everything to operate smoothly and safely.
There are a ton of things left for me to learn before I get to that point, though. And one thing I really need to learn more about is how security works at these sorts of places, especially in light of recent events. I know some basic stuff about security, just like anyone else does, but I assume that security is a very different concern when you're talking about a hospital or a corporate campus instead of an individual family home. So I'm hoping an expert can help. Can you give me a little crash course in big-time security?
When you're talking about big operations like hospitals and schools, security becomes a very big deal indeed. Of particular importance is enterprise security, which means large-scale solutions for protecting unauthorized access to data — including access via computers, which doesn’t require any in-person break-ins or other physical security breaches.
Security has always been a concern for places like hospitals and schools, of course. But one important thing to understand about modern enterprise security is just how much technology is changing the game. Security cameras, locks, and controlled entry points are nothing new in the world of security. But what is new is the increasingly effective ways in which these different aspects of security can be connected and made to work in harmony. Also new are the invisible but powerful barriers that protect digital records and online information.
Modern enterprise security systems also go beyond the spaces that they protect. Take a security camera cloud service, for instance. As you may already know, "the cloud" is a tech term for online storage space. Individuals can store music, photos, and other files in the cloud; companies can use "cloud computing" to perform powerful functions that wouldn't be possible with individual on-site computers; in the case of security, the cloud can keep secure copies of vital security information off-site and allow different cloud-connected security measures and devices to communicate and work in harmony.
Then you have artificial intelligence and machine learning, two related frontiers of cutting-edge technology that are changing the ways in which we secure our most important spaces. Artificial intelligence refers to the type of computing that allows computers and software programs to "think" in a way that even vaguely approximates human thought. Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to let computers not just think, but actively learn. Through trial and error and other means, computers can adapt and improve themselves and expand their collections of relevant data, meaning they can make better and better algorithmic decisions. In the world of security, this translates to security systems and measures that become more effective at identifying threats and protecting spaces, while becoming less obtrusive to the people who use those spaces. Machine learning can be used in service of both physical security and cyber security.
If your goal is to end up in an administrative management role with a large organization like a hospital or a school, then you won't be directly creating or managing your organization's security measures. However, you will want to have a solid understanding of how all of these things work. It will be up to you and others in your organization to identify reputable and innovative security contractors who will do the most to protect your space and data from threats, while still allowing your organization to keep working in an efficient way which is unhindered by clumsy security hurdles. When you're able to identify the technologies and strategies that are changing security for the better, you'll be in the best possible position to pick the right security contractor.