Ten tips to secure mobile assets

Telargo Inc, a provider of mobile asset management systems, is providing organizations with guidelines for securing their mobile assets to help prevent loss, theft, or hijacking of equipment and cargo.

When employees, cargo, vehicles, and equipment are moving about the nation, security risks and concerns grow exponentially. Companies that usually concentrate on logistical management and workflow need to consider how mobile assets complicate issues of physical and electronic security. As people, products, and information are traveling outside of secured corporate headquarters, they are exposed to potential threats.

Telargo has outlined 10 answers that provide several layers of protection for securing mobile assets:

  • Alarm systems — A basic alarm system (similar to those on cars) for vehicles or equipment can deter a thief. An audible alarm can attract attention from passers-by and alert security guards to a theft in progress. If the alarm system is connected to local police stations, the authorities can be automatically dispatched as well.

  • Driver communication — For any company with drivers or operators on the road, having an open communication line is critical. In the event of an emergency, an accident, or a hostile event, the vehicle operator can notify authorities or dispatch. Communications can take the form of a cell phone, text messaging, or CB radio, but they must be two-way communications so drivers and dispatchers can report issues.

  • Event notification — Many mobile asset management systems have automated event notification capabilities. If a driver has become incapacitated, or is participating in unauthorized activity, an automatic notification can be sent to dispatch. Events could be commonplace, such as a vehicle idling for an extensive period of time or traveling at an unsafe speed, or more severe, such as an accident or an access door to hazardous cargo opening.

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) — Not just a navigational tool, GPS is also a tool for dispatchers and fleet managers to track the location of their equipment and cargo. This enables organizations to locate their vehicles at all times and have exact positioning information. Additional information can also be derived from GPS systems, including idling times and rate of speed.

  • Geofencing — Advanced mobile asset management systems should provide geofencing capabilities in conjunction with GPS. This enables dispatchers or fleet managers to identify the acceptable boundaries of travel for vehicles or equipment. If the vehicle or equipment is taken outside of its set boundaries (or fence), an alarm is generated. Dispatchers may decide to take additional actions that may include contacting the operator, notifying authorities, or engaging an emergency engine shutdown.

  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) — This technology can be used to track cargo as well as people. Drivers or operators can use RFID-enabled identification cards to gain access to secure areas, vehicles, or machinery. RFID-tagged cargo can be located and traced as it moves from warehouse to vehicle to destination.

  • Telemetry (sensors) — A variety of sensors can be deployed on vehicles to monitor proper usage or conditions. Coupled with an asset management system, these sensors can alert the operator as well as headquarters when noteworthy events occur. For example, if a trailer has been unhooked, vehicle weight changes, a door has been accessed, or the fuel tank has been opened or closed.

  • Video cameras — Video cameras are commonplace in public areas and are beginning to infiltrate public and private transportation. They can deter misconduct and also capture images of suspects or participating parties. These cameras have also been instrumental in accident prevention (ie, rear-view cameras) and accident investigations.

  • Intelligent video analysis (IVA) — In addition to video surveillance, IVA can provide current and advanced notification of potential threats. Video surveillance is usually used to analyze video after an incident has occurred. IVA can detect unauthorized activity on or around a vehicle and alert security in advance of a negative act. An IVA system can incorporate motion sensors, facial recognition, license plate reading, suspicious activities, traffic flow, and other advanced capabilities.

  • Mobile Asset Management Solution — Using advanced technologies coupled with analysis and management software, it enables organizations to streamline operations and maximize the performance of their mobile assets including: vehicles, machinery, trailers, vessels, and drivers/operators. Telargo's service platform combines a variety of established technologies from global positioning systems (GPS) and wireless communication to digital mapping and hosted applications. In addition to enhancing safety and security, a comprehensive mobile asset management solution can maximize vehicle and fleet utilization, increase workforce productivity, reduce fuel consumption and expenditures, and decrease maintenance and diagnostics costs.

Access www.telargo.com for complete details.

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