Video surveillance is essential for security, and active monitoring of that surveillance is necessary to manage risks. We asked professionals about their organizations’ use of this technology, and found the vast majority of business are underutilizing surveillance and monitoring.
As Forbes Insights found in a recent study, many organizations underutilize video surveillance in their business*. The majority of those surveyed (58 percent) said they cover less than half of their valuable assets with video surveillance; unsurprisingly, businesses with widely distributed assets, such as remotely located power stations or cell towers, face particular challenges covering a majority of their assets with video surveillance.
According to the same survey, of respondents who do use video surveillance, a majority (66 percent) said that for the locations or facilities where video surveillance is in use, fewer than half are actively monitored by security personnel. The top concern preventing more monitoring is cost-effectiveness (52 percent of respondents).
Recent advances in digital video technologies make it possible to address concerns about the effectiveness and cost of active monitoring and to deal with bandwidth issues for remote sites. Deploying increased intelligence in cameras and in devices at the edge of the network can help ensure that people get access to the right video data in a timely manner.
* “Executive Briefing: Underutilizing Security,” Forbes Insights, July 2015, in association with Avigilon
Addressing the Challenge of Remote Sites
Video surveillance can be a very effective way of securing and managing dispersed and remote assets. By providing immediate “eyes on” any remote site, centralized personnel can respond to security threats and even operational issues quickly and appropriately. However, simply having the cameras available is not enough, because streaming all that video to a centralized location is at best a waste of resources, and may not be possible at all.
Streaming video across long distances can be problematic and costly. Beyond the obvious question of bandwidth limitations, intermittent increases in latency or drops in throughput quickly lead to lost data. Keeping the recording as close to the cameras as economically viable drastically reduces the opportunity for data loss. When coupled with greater intelligence at the edge through video analytics-enabled cameras, this approach offers opportunities to significantly reduce the amount of data that needs to be sent to a central location in the first place.
Video analytics software analyzes a video stream to make sense of what is happening in a scene. Typically, video analytics is used to alert security personnel about events that may require action, reducing the need to constantly monitor all the cameras. Video analytics can also provide the intelligence to reduce bandwidth and storage requirements. Video analytics performed on or near the camera allows all the video to be analyzed and tagged with metadata and then streamed to a local video recorder that intelligently decides whether to record based on live events. This dramatically reduces the amount of footage recorded, minimizing storage and bandwidth needs without losing critical data. Furthermore, when a remote investigator needs to search the video, the metadata can be very quickly searched, retrieved and presented to the user, so that only the essential video needs to be retrieved and transmitted over a long distance.