Intelligent Video Solutions: Why Not Go DIY For Your Security

In the same way that in order to keep our health, most recognize the value of seeing a medical practitioner regularly for checkups and necessary tests. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, many enterprises do not carry this philosophy with them and into their security environments. They might budget for product yet not budget for professional services and assess performance of those products to determine the risk of a breach.

Taking a “set and forget” attitude to security systems can cause a system of sub-optimally configured and deployed security tools. Not properly integrating, testing, and re-integrating is a part of why some of today’s enterprises find “themselves with massively complex, disparate and expensive-to-manage security infrastructures that, when all is said and done, are largely ineffective against modern adversaries.”

Some organizations assume that original equipment manufacturers (OEM) should be the best resource and point of contact for deploying, optimizing, and fine-tuning their security services and platforms. But OEMs are simply the manufacturers and not security systems integrators (SSIs).

This tends to limit their knowledge to only their particular suite of technology, and because it is typical for a mid-range and larger commercial project to require integration between the equipment of multiple manufacturers. This is the kind of work that we do here at STST and through our professional integrations services, we can “provide strategic guidance on infrastructure rationalization and optimization.”

Adopting a DIY approach or trying to have a tech-savvy employee handle it all internally is one of the quickest ways to fall prey to a data breach. Using existing, internal staff to deploy and integrate new tech can lead to problems from configuration issues, sub-optimal overall performance, to of course all out system failure. Some studies from OEMs suggest that as many as 95% of clients who experience a data breach set up and integrated their systems themselves.

Aside from all this, using an SSI to plan-out, source, design, implement, and test your access control and/or surveillance project is much more likely to save you money in the long or even short run.

Having a company of specialists such as STST always in your contacts gives you the peace of mind that the people who built your system, and therefore have a much more intimate knowledge of it, will be around to service your project moving into the future.

A poorly installed “DIY” system may not only waste money in that it may simply be of poor quality or poor design implementation, but also keeps your company at risk to the attacks and break ins you were trying to prevent in the first place.

From schools, offices, clinical facilities, HOA pools and much more, STST has the knowledge and experience to install or effectively upgrade existing infrastructure in a meaningful way that will hold together and ultimately, get results.

Even though huge volumes of video data are collected every day, most statistics indicate that only 10 percent of this data is ever used. The majority of data collected loses its value very quickly after being generated. The reason for this? Our primary focus tends to be delivering the correct information in a crisis or providing it as evidence after criminal activity has taken place. This causes much data to be “wasted” in the sense that we lose our on the opportunity to perform useful analytics.

Video analytics is an increasingly powerful tool. It helps to improve usability of these vast amounts of video information. Analytics software acts as the “brain” of a surveillance system and is built into IP cameras themselves or processed in separate computing infrastructure. This creates a smarter system that “knows” what it sees and alerts guards to potential threats as soon as an alarm rule or condition is met. Analytics gives operators the chance to act faster and more efficiently with better intel.

Video analytics is like an ever-vigilant system operator within the security system itself. It captures data like a panopticon, seeing all in every monitored scene around the clock. Content analysis information, a form of video metadata, is stored as well. As they reduce operating costs and increase efficiency, intelligent cameras deliver a solid return on investment which can be measured in tangible results to the business or other setting in which it operates.

Let’s take a look at what exactly is possible using intelligent video:

Smart IP cameras are able to classify the objects they see on their own. Objects entering or leaving the scene can be identified as a person, car, bike, truck, or other object. Because the camera can differentiate objects, it can be told to only alert in the case of a break-in, ignoring things like leaves in the wind or animals wondering through. New low-light cameras allow color-filtering even in scenes with very little ambient light. Even at night, color detection is possible in this way.

Alarm detection can be set to be even more specialized. Rules can be configured to look for specialized behavior patterns such as fighting, running, loitering, path following, abandoned luggage, entering an area, and more. The alarm engine in each camera coordinates with the others in a logical way to interpret this information and determine threat status. All this allows for a very robust alarm condition solution and prevents false and missed alarms.

What’s more, stored metadata enables forensic analysis at a later time. This means that retroactive searches for a specific car or person is possible even if it was not a determined item of interest until well after the event was recorded. Metadata is compact and only barely adds to the size of recordings. It is quick and easy to search through to find a specific event.

The logical next step is to continue to improve analytics for video metadata until we approach 100 percent practical use. Predictive analysis of human traffic patterns can predict shoplifting and identify potential events before they take place, and the more data that can be made useful the more accurate these types of predictions will be.

The same technology can monitor customer dwell time at different displays in a store and determine the effectiveness of in-store advertising and product locations. Analyzing customer engagement with these displays can help increase customer engagement with products and lead to increased sales and revenue. As the IoT expands, this type of technology will be more and more critical as there will be many more points of data to analyze. There is no way to fully anticipate the eventual effects this will have on our industry or the world at large.


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