A Bird’s Eye View: The Business Benefits of Cloud Video Surveillance

Facility managers in both the public and private sector are increasingly reaping the benefits of today’s cloud-based video security systems, with the latest camera platform capabilities providing a bird’s eye view of their entire estates – both indoors and out

Providing fast and easy access to data from any location, this innovative technology is improving not only security but also business intelligence. Integrated with building management and other systems, managers are leveraging cloud video surveillance platforms to boost operational efficiencies while enabling safer and more productive environments for occupants.

Delivering ease of set up and management, scalable hosted virtual secure image storage and backup, and multi-site integration, today’s advanced cloud-based video surveillance systems deliver impressive economies of scale that makes the monitoring of facilities an affordable reality for businesses and retailers of all sizes. That includes schools, hospitals, and other public settings where the safety of occupants and visitors needs to be monitored.

As a result, organisations are now able to apply today’s surveillance systems to eliminate operational risks and costs and to leverage new sources of business intelligence that enable them to undertake facilities and workspace optimisation and improve the efficiency of how buildings are utilised.

Utilising video-based operation analytics

Applying AI-based monitoring to environmental equipment is making it easier for building managers to automate lighting levels based on human detection. Lights can be automatically turned on or off, or brightened or dimmed, to reduce wasteful energy consumption and lower the overall operating cost of the property.

Similarly, using video analytics it becomes possible to analyse things like occupancy counts throughout the day, and collate occupancy behaviours at specific times of the day with how much heating and other resources will be needed to support optimal working conditions.

Many organisations are now taking advantage of the intelligent analytics and advanced image processing capabilities these systems offer to initiate their return-to-work strategies. By undertaking face mask detection and social distancing adherence, as well as occupancy monitoring, they are taking steps to ensure their facilities are COVID-secure and set up to keep everyone safer.

Smarter, more proactive security monitoring

With cloud-based video surveillance it is possible to access and share footage anytime and from anywhere, receiving real-time alerts the moment a motion or event is detected. Utilising AI-based alerting, it is also possible to only receive alerts when a specific object appears. For example, should people cross a designated restricted area boundary or enter specific locations out of hours, then the system will automatically alert those responsible for security.

Today’s cloud-based systems are also able to reduce the risk of false alarms. False alarms commonly occur in traditional systems when there are moving branches, rain or fog, or a small animal or bird is mistaken for an intruder. Today’s systems are much better at distinguishing real security threats and thereby reducing false alarms. The system can also optimise responses in the event of a genuine alarm.

Key holders, external security providers, and even the police can be automatically added to alert distribution lists and given fast and temporary access to video feeds so they can check on the security of a site and respond faster to security-related incidents.

Today’s systems make it easy for operators to literally ‘draw’ boundary lines or mark out restricted areas for every room in the building and grounds on their computer screens to fine tune their security parameters.

Managing data security

Today’s cloud systems make it easier for users to comply with local data protection regulations, while preserving data that may be needed to be used as court evidence. Video sequences are transmitted and stored securely in the cloud in encrypted form to protect these from manipulation. Organisations can define how long recordings are kept for before being deleted, indexing and archiving material that may need to be kept longer to support ongoing incident investigations.

Today’s cloud-based video surveillance platforms also offer additional options for protecting on-site hardware such as cameras or appliances. As soon as an unauthorised person attempts to block, cover, move or switch off cameras, the tampering attempt is immediately notified to the control centre.

With regard to data security, on-site hardware protection can be provided by isolating cameras and video devices from the internet using a Cyber Lockdown, so there’s no possible backdoor into the network, often introduced by faulty or outdated cameras. Keeping systems with a variety of cameras from different manufactured generations up to date and secure is a challenge. By isolating cameras and video devices fully from the networks, this is no longer required to ensure cybersecurity.

Looking to the future

New innovations in software, camera quality and the capture of high definition video means that digital IP video cameras will soon be able to transmit high resolution images for forensic detail. New behavioural recognition programmes could, in time, alert security teams to potential criminal or aberrant behaviours before individuals act. Advances in software combined with advancements in AI, means that new applications for a range of commercial, public, and commercial settings are very likely on the horizon.

About the Author

As Managing Director of Eagle Eye Networks EMEA & India operations, Rishi Lodhia fosters growth of Eagle Eye Networks across a large part of the world. Lodhia is a strong believer in creating a fast-paced organisational culture where people are empowered to get the most out of themselves and the business. Prior to this role, Lodhia co-founded and served as CEO of CameraManager, one of the world’s first cloud-based video surveillance platforms. In 2013, CameraManager was acquired by Panasonic, where, as CEO of Panasonic Cloud Management Service Europe, he launched NuboCam, the world’s first 4G/LTE video surveillance camera. CameraManager was then acquired by Eagle Eye Networks in 2017.

Featured image: ©DedMityay