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Remote Site Security: Protect Unmanned Equipment

By Andrew Erickson

December 7, 2022

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Remote Site Security: How to Keep Your Unmanned Equipment Safe

Remote site security is just as important as infrastructure security. There are many good reasons to invest in an effective security system for your remote telecom sites. Most of them can be summed up simply: everything else you do is ineffective if something happens to your mission-critical assets.

Your critical gear can be protected with a remote site security system. A capable system would include a master station, site controller, entry control unit, user input device, and possibly cameras. An Access Control System allows doors to be remotely locked and unlocked and enables you to instantly grant and revoke access.

The greatest benefit of a remote security monitoring set-up is the peace of mind that your sites are secure.

Are Your Remote Sites Sufficiently Protected?

Many security solutions are inadequate and are not remotely controllable.

Typical keys and locks leave your important gear vulnerable. Anyone can go to Walmart and make copies of a key for a couple dollars. Basic key-and lock mechanisms allow the site to be accessed at any time of the day or night, with or without your authorization. They also cannot be remotely monitored or controlled.

A propped door is an invitation for thieves, vandalists, animals, insects, and weather to get into your cabinet. Not only can a propped door indicate theft, but it can be a costly safety hazard. A fire marshal could issue a citation if he notices your site door propped open. Without a remote surveillance monitoring system, a situation like this could go unnoticed.

How Can You Improve Your Remote Site Security?

Having a real-time security monitoring system is vital to protect your unmanned remote sites.

The simplest way to add to your remote monitoring security system is to add sensors (door, vibration, motion detection). These can help to detect unauthorized activity or tampering. One or a combination of these devices may be sufficient for you, depending on what you're looking for. However, they do not enable remote access control.

An access control system will solve all the problems that basic keys present. It will also allow for remote control and record-keeping of the door(s). That way you can prevent theft and tampering, both from looters and "inside jobs."

Access Control System including ECU, proxy reader, and keypad.
An entry control unit (ECU) and user input devices work together with your equipment monitoring platform to monitor and control the doors at your sites.

What Does a Good Security Monitoring System Consist of?

The smartest way to protect your cabinets is to invest in a remotely controlled door access system. You want to find a system that makes monitoring your site effortless. It should allow you to monitor whether the door is open or closed and locked or unlocked. It should also display electronic logs showing when and who are opening the doors.

These are the essential components of a good security monitoring system:

  • Equipment Monitoring platform
    An RTU works best for this because it is already programmed and standardized, and can easily integrate with the rest of your site monitoring.
  • Access Control System
    • Master Station
      A master station collects data from site controllers at each of your sites and performs comprehensive data analysis. That makes it easy for you to see everything that's going on at your cabinets on a single platform.
    • Site Controller
      A site controller manages data from all your sensors and monitoring devices on the job site, and relays alarm data to the master station.
    • Entry Control Unit
      An entry control unit contains all the programmed information about which user profiles are allowed access and when. It collects door open/close records, and allows remote control of the lock mechanism.
    • User Input Device
      A user input device normally has a keypad and/or card reader that allows or denies entry.
  • Video Surveillance
    Add surveillance cameras with full remote monitoring capabilities for a more comprehensive site surveillance system. Surveillance cameras allow you to have eyes on your equipment and doors at all times.

Recommended Security Monitoring Solutions

Stay in control of your remote site security with an Access Control System that seamlessly integrates with your existing alarm monitoring platform.

Building Access Control System paired with the T/MON Master

  • Seamlessly integrate your security system with a T/MON SNMP server (This is a Master Station).
  • Monitor your equipment via the NetGuardian platform.
  • Implement remote Access Control via the ECU (Entry Control Unit) addition to the NetGuardian.
  • Use user profiles connected to key cards and a number pad to grant or deny access to site doors.

The ability to remotely lock and unlock the doors to your sites enables you to "buzz" in maintenance personnel. It also eliminates the need to worry about remembering a particular key or forgetting to lock a door.

The building Access Control System paired with a T/Mon master enables simultaneous rollout of user access profiles. For example, if someone retires or if you want to issue temporary access to a maintenance technician, you can instantly edit the permissions of a user profile connected to a key card. You can also issue a card that expires after a couple days or that is only valid during certain hours of the day.

Screen showing four feeds from SiteMON cameras.
DPS View lets you personalize your surveillance interface and allows administrative access only to authorized user profiles.

SiteMON IP G2: Camera and RTU in one

If you want to take your site security to the next level, consider adding a security camera with RTU technology.

  • SiteMON enables you to make security decisions remotely, allowing you to dispatch on-call staff, security, or even police.
  • The SiteMON will define "triggers" to capture critical images before and after an event.
  • It has inputs for 2 discrete alarms, 2 analog temp sensors, and 2 controls.
  • It stores up to 63 images locally.
  • DPS View software allows you to view the feeds from all of your SiteMON cameras from a single application. With DPS View, you can organize your cameras in "pages," and arrange your camera feeds by site, department, floor, or any other criteria.
  • The SiteMON can be used in conjunction with an existing NetGuardian RTU for seamless integration of alarm and surveillance monitoring.

All of the data and controls of the Access Control System and SiteMON can be reached from anywhere you have internet connectivity. Monitor, control, and view conditions at your site from the central office or even from a smartphone.

Let Us Help You Secure Your Remote Sites

Thousands of organizations in the telecom and infrastructure industries trust us to protect their mission-critical gear. Contact us to learn more about remote site security or other remote alarm monitoring solutions. We will help you get the perfect surveillance monitoring system for your network.

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Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson is an Application Engineer at DPS Telecom, a manufacturer of semi-custom remote alarm monitoring systems based in Fresno, California. Andrew brings more than 16 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and opt...

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