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The need to securely protect life, property and assets continues unchanged, but unabated. With the first IP enabled video camera in the late 1990's, the security industry has continued to innovate and expand system capabilities to protect those people and items we hold most dear. The speed of change and innovation has increased, incorporating concepts and technologies that have only themselves arisen in the last five years.

BICSI's new Electronic Safety and Security Design Reference Manual (ESSDRM), 4th edition, addresses these principles and is an invaluable reference for both the information and communications technology (ICT) designer and the security professional. For the ICT designer, today's projects now require knowledge of ESS structure and principles, while the security designer is required to become more knowledgeable of the ICT infrastructure required for ESS systems.

What once were separate, independent systems requiring people to provide the connectivity and transfer of information, the updated ESSDRM describes how these systems have been transformed into elements of a larger security solution, where information and infrastructure are shared. This sharing allows personnel to focus attention at a wider, broader level, while systems manage the monitoring and initiating of alarms when, and even before, an incident occurs.

As the totality of security continues to converge with ICT, so too does the knowledge of security converge with the knowledge of the ICT designer.

As such, the fourth edition of the ESSDRM is a change from the traditional BICSI manual. While the more traditional elements of the manual have been updated, including intrusion detection, access control and video surveillance, information and trends specific to the security industry have also been captured, including network storage, integration of wireless transmission and the basic tenets of cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS).