In industrial companies, the risk of injury for employees is high compared to other workplaces. Real-time location systems increase employee safety and reduce responder response time should an incident occur. Employees carry inconspicuous and energy-efficient Bluetooth Low Energy wearables, such as bracelets, to determine their position. Infrastructure hardware must be installed on the entire area to monitor the devices. The wearable then receives the Bluetooth signals from the hardware.
The data is then sent to a Bluetooth gateway. Based on this data, the position of the employees can be continuously determined in the backend, and the information can be displayed in a desktop application or on a mobile device. To protect the employees, areas can be individually defined on the site that is declared dangerous. When entering such an area, it is possible, for example, for a message to be sent automatically and without delay to the responsible person or for machines to be stopped in this area. The tracking system also increases safety in emergencies, such as a fire in the hall, which makes it necessary to evacuate the building.
The application determines whether employees are still in danger and where exactly they are. Affected persons are then specifically located and rescued. In addition, the Bluetooth hardware can be equipped with a motion sensor and emergency button optionally. If an employee finds himself in a dangerous situation, he can press the button, and a message including location information is immediately sent to the security personnel. It is also possible to automatically send a message if no movement of the person concerned has been registered for a long time. This is particularly relevant for individual workstations.
Supplementary Application Scenarios
Once the localization system is installed, it can offer additional benefits in addition to the security aspects. Routes of the individual employees, residence times, and heat maps can be displayed in real-time and over time in analysis software. This data provides a basis for adapting and optimizing processes. The automatic time recording of employees or the documentation of the duration of individual work steps is also possible. The hardware can also be used for access control.
Laying The Groundwork For Effective Risk Reduction
Considering all these already complex aspects, designing comprehensive threat prevention and patch management strategy is difficult! Before attempting to fix security flaws randomly, security managers must understand what potentially vulnerable systems are the most critical for the production chain. It is recommended to close these security gaps during regular maintenance – if possible.
To find the right balance between the security effort and the profitability of operations, using compensating control devices makes it possible to limit the impact of a vulnerability during an attack. These mechanisms include network segmentation, isolation, and continuous threat monitoring and tracking (deep data inspection). Faced with the segmentation of networks, it is crucial to think about the prerequisites even before the need for access arises. In an emergency, it is also better not to create new connections but to establish system-to-system connectivity.
It is also advisable to set up firewalls and controls to create a hierarchical and segmented structure within the network. The Purdue Reference Model is a helpful framework for a hierarchical infrastructure that, since its formulation in the 1990s, has been widely used by companies across various industries. This method is conducive to processing data on the networks and securing each of the network’s zones and their respective components.