Security & Safety in IoT: Exploring our core values

Security is a core value in private life and in business. So it’s also a core value in IoT. The same goes for Safety. But what's the difference between the two? And why does it matter?


In our insights, we regularly cover a range of technology topics. But we also discuss our brand. One reason is that people often ask where our name Security and Safety Things comes from. And why we included both ‘Security’ and ‘Safety’. 

At Security and Safety Things, we strive to enable technologies that make the world more secure. ‘Secure’ includes both Security and Safety. At first glance, these are easy to mix up, but they actually describe various fields of business activity.

Safety stands for accident avoidance, and security for crime prevention.

- Matthias Springer, project manager at TÜV NORD

Here are our thoughts on the differences between Security and Safety. 

Protecting Security

Security is usually discussed in the context of threats to physical assets like buildings, facilities, and objects. But it also covers threats to humans caused by other humans or objects. Threats typically come from criminal or violent behavior in public, commercial or private spaces. 

Our understanding of Security Management:

Protecting people (and assets) from criminal activities involving threats or danger.

How IoT helps protect Security

Threats caused by people, such as violence or theft, are often difficult to anticipate with the naked eye. Conventional video surveillance can help observe complex situations in public spaces and buildings, but human perception is still a critical part of the assessment. 

Some IoT security cameras are equipped with powerful processors and video analytics for detecting violent behavior. These can help monitor security and detect threats at an early stage so security staff can react in time. 

Example: Detecting violent behavior with a Drone Surveillance System (DSS)

See how a smart video camera can detect violent behavior from various distances. The camera safely distinguishes the violent person from the general crowd movement. 

computer-vision-violence-detectionSource: Amarjot Singh (University of Cambridge), Devendra Patil (NIT Warangal India), SN Omkar (IISc Bangalore); Figure: Montreal.AI

Protecting Safety

n contrast to Security, Safety relates to protecting the well-being of humans. Here, potential threats come from the private or professional environment. This can include a private living space or a workplace, such as a warehouse with high traffic of forklifts and trucks. Threats to human well-being can be found in many places.

Our understanding of Safety Management:

Protecting human well-being from threats or hazards in a private or working environment.

How IoT helps protect Safety

Smart surveillance cameras equipped with video analytics can help detect accidents in real-time. For example, if a worker falls to the ground or is hit by a falling object, smart cameras recognize this as unusual behavior and report it immediately.

Example: Early fall detection with unusual behavior detection

Video analysis in the camera system detects abnormal behavior of an employee and interprets this as an emergency case.

fall-detection-exampleSource:  Rhombus Systems

Note: Smart cameras equipped with video analysis can recognize human behavior and detect moving objects, such as vehicles or falling containers in a warehouse. The cameras then automatically alert security staff in line with the emergency process.

Read more about using smart cameras to protect human well-being in warehousing.

Things in IoT

Both Security and Safety describe a basic need for protection against threats and danger. However, in many industries, both areas have been separated for a long time. With increasing digitization and the rise of Industry 4.0, Security and Safety are merging.

At Security and Safety Things, we strive to unite both worlds. “Things" in our brand name denotes the millions of networked IoT devices. Things to help protect people and assets from threats and danger. The devices we focus on with our open IoT platform are smart security cameras, that can do much more than just deliver video.

The challenge is to equip devices with state-of-the-art technology so they can analyze data and tackle safety-relevant tasks themselves. To achieve this, we connect vendors, app developers, and integrators through our open IoT platform.


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