When the IoT Meets the Bank Vault

By Mary Catherine O'Connor

Using middleware developed for IoT applications, Diebold's SecureStat merges many security systems into a single IT dashboard.

When financial-services security firm Diebold was founded 155 years ago, banks and their assets were secured through forged steel and sturdy locks. But the Ohio-based company long ago expanded from simply making bank safes to providing a range of security services to the financial industry. As security systems and surveillance cameras have proliferated and become increasingly capable and complex, Diebold saw the need for a central dashboard through which it could establish reliable communications with these disparate systems. The result is SecureStat, an online security-management service that Diebold offers to its banking customers on a subscription basis.

Retail or commercial financial institutions can use SecureStat to manage a range of security equipment located within a bank—from video cameras to panic buttons—but also to manage remote systems, such as ATM machines, explains Jeremy Brecher, Diebold's VP of technology and electronic security. "A bank might use three different vendors for intrusion alarms," he says, "and [prior to SecureStat] they could only be managed by using three separate management systems—and not all of those systems would necessarily be Web-based."

Diebold's Jeremy Brecher

In such a scenario involving multiple intrusion-alarm systems, SecureStat would communicate with the sensors and controls of all three alarm systems, in order to do such things as collect alarm logs, confirm that they are properly set, manage which personnel can access or control the alarms, change the access codes, and so forth.

To create SecureStat, Diebold worked with IoT middleware provider MachineShop. The MachineShop middleware uses application programming interfaces (APIs) to translate data collected from sensors or other intelligent devices deployed across an enterprise. It then normalizes the information from a range of systems into a common format.

The middleware also provides tools for establishing a set of rules, which Michael Campbell, MachineShop's CEO and founder, describes, using temperature sensors as an example: "If I'm an end user, I don't just want a pipe to receive the data [from sensors]. It might tell me the temperature is 75 degrees, but I don't care about that. I want to know when it's 85 degrees or 65 degrees—and when that happens, I want the systems to do certain things." These things, he says, might include a flashing red light on the online dashboard screen, and automatically triggering a Short Message Service (SMS) text message to be sent to a maintenance technician. Or it might issue a physical command, such as shutting a value or powering up or down a heating or cooling system.

Diebold began developing SecureStat a year and a half ago, Brecher reports. "We are an integrator in electronic security systems," he says, "so while we do not make the systems, we are an added-value services provider, and we knew Web services and APIs would be the key for any infrastructure we developed," because it would provide a way to communicate with disparate systems. Diebold's customers must manage a range of back-end applications, as well as data coming from those systems, such as collecting alarm logs and service records. But they must also respond to issues with hardware devices deployed inside or outside the facilities. "With SecureStat," Brecher explains, "we're applying data from IoT systems to IT systems and converging them all into one system."