Using AI for security
The ROI of AI in Physical Security
In an era of growing threats and limited resources, AI optimizes security to deliver a powerful ROI.
Rachel Heller, Content Marketing Manager

If you’re a physical security practitioner, you’ve likely felt a range of pressures piling up lately — and it’s easy to understand why. 

A dramatic increase in security threats, an industry-wide security staffing shortage, and the directive to “do more with less” all stand between today’s security teams and their goals. Teams must find a way to have a greater impact on safety and security, all with fewer resources.

Research shows that 88% of U.S. businesses now experience more physical security threats than they did two years ago. At the same time, the security staffing shortage and mounting economic uncertainty mean that resources are hard to come by and budgets are tight.

That’s where AI comes in. AI-driven solutions are poised to reshape the realm of physical security as we know it. AI enables your team to focus on genuine threats, optimize workforce productivity and efficiency, and prevent security incidents before they happen. 

Yet AI-powered technology emerges not just as a helpful tool for your physical security operations, but as a strategic investment with a powerful ROI (in more ways than one). Here’s how AI can serve as a force multiplier for your security team.


Increased productivity and efficiency with automation

As security threats grow more complex and resource constraints become the norm, uncovering ways to optimize productivity and create greater efficiencies is paramount. This is where AI excels. By automating manual work, such as clearing alarms and conducting video reviews for investigations, teams can invest more time into proactive security measures.

Plus, manually monitoring cameras leaves teams vulnerable to overlooking threats. Studies show that when operators continuously monitor CCTV footage, detection rates can sharply decline from 70% to below 10% because of fatigue and monotony. However, by using AI to automate video monitoring, teams eliminate the risk of missing incidents due to reduced vigilance.

VMware’s physical security team realized the transformative impact of AI after they started using it to expand their security capabilities. Prasad Saranjame, VMware’s Head of Physical Security & Business Resiliency, saw that automating threat detection allowed his team to focus on meaningful projects that help to scale a growing operation.

“By using AI to improve visibility and quickly identify the incidents that matter most, our staff quickly found that they could focus on more value-added work — such as rapid response or prevention — versus mundane activities like watching camera feeds,” Prasad said.


Accelerated incident response and investigation

In security, seconds matter. Here again, AI steps in to provide a crucial advantage. AI detects security threats in real time and identifies early warning signs, such as unauthorized entry, to enable faster response times and a greater likelihood of preventing emerging issues from escalating.

The best part: AI accomplishes this quicker, more effective response by maximizing your security team’s available resources so you can boost efficiencies and focus on what matters most.

Prasad’s team has seen a notable impact from AI’s real-time insights. “Processing security alarms, dispatching security guards and investigating incidents becomes much faster, allowing our staff to be more efficient,” he said.

Faster incident investigation times proved to be a significant advantage for VMware’s team. The average forensics investigation can take hours to complete without AI-enabled technology; operators must search one video stream at a time, sifting through thousands of hours of footage. 

But with AI-powered forensics technology, the VMware team completes investigations within mere minutes. The team can now quickly search for specific events and retrace the route a perpetrator may have taken on the premises.


Smart alarm management for proactive security

Any security team with a physical access control system (PACS) is likely all too familiar with the deluge of false alarms it can create. This translates to thousands of hours spent dispositioning alerts. The repercussions: alarm fatigue, missed incidents, and a reactive security posture. 

AI addresses this challenge head-on by correlating PACS alerts and security camera feeds to verify and clear alerts automatically. With AI in the picture, operators spend less time sifting through endless alerts and more time productively responding to legitimate threats.

As a result, you can rest assured that resources are spent on fostering proactive access control. Plus, AI can detect incidents that PACS alone can’t, such as tailgating, to elevate the impact of your operators. All of this ultimately magnifies the returns you get from your PACS and security cameras.


Intelligent operational decision-making

The power of AI also extends to enabling intelligent, data-driven decision-making. AI’s wealth of insights provides security professionals with a deeper understanding of their environment. 

As Prasad put it, “You have a much better understanding of your risk profile which enables you to make better decisions about how to manage the risk and improve the security and efficiency of your operation.”

VMware experienced this capability of AI in their campaign to reduce unauthorized access incidents as employees returned to offices post-pandemic. Initially, this effort drove more security guard dispatches and began to strain their resources.

But by leveraging AI, VMware gained valuable insights into the exact locations and timings of unauthorized access spikes. This enabled them to strategically deploy security staff, transforming a challenge into an opportunity for smarter resource allocation.


The effect

A force multiplier for security teams

With 24/7 threat detection, automated response workflows, and analytics insights into trends and behaviors, enables teams to focus on response & prevention, respond 10X faster to security threats, and make smarter operational decisions.

Cutting through the noise automatically verifies PACS alerts and speeds investigations and reporting, saving companies more than 15,000 hours each year.

Reducing the mental workload for operators

Computer vision AI has the capability to independently comprehend and respond to threat signatures. By minimizing the cognitive demands on operators, AI empowers them to focus exclusively on the distinctive actions necessary for specific situations.

Lowering operational costs

Through automation and expert enablement across 24/7 automated threat detection, PACS alert reduction, and faster investigations, companies can optimize resources and create greater efficiencies that save $300,000+ each year.

Discover how’s AI-powered security platform helps leading companies see impactful results from their physical security operations.

Rachel Heller, Content Marketing Manager