How to unlock the value in large-scale surveillance systems

As Head of Security, you may have been in a situation where your company’s board members and chief executives raise security as their top concern. At the same time, they push you to cut costs as you go.

It is a tricky situation to be in. It’s even more unfortunate that many don’t realise that being able to achieve high-level security while cutting costs is contradictory. This is extremely difficult to achieve.

One of the major security challenges involves being able to show real results every day. Security is a costly operation but then again, the stakes are so high. Video surveillance has a low return on investment because of the expensive equipment. It may also lead to extra costs for employees to constantly monitor camera feeds.

But luckily, there is a way to do more with less. You can opt to extract as much value as possible out of your existing large-scale surveillance system. You can quantify results in a very easy-to-digest way. At the same time, you can also create the safest possible site. All that is required is for you to keep a few key things in mind.

The power of a Video Management Solution

One of the most critical ways to unlock as much value as possible from a large-scale surveillance system comes by way of a video monitoring system.

A video management solution brings all of your security cameras and other visual assets together and combines them as one. A good VMS is a customisable, scalable, and straightforward way to view live video feeds. A VMS can evolve and grow as your organisation and environment changes.

You can find specific recordings using a simple interface. An operator can quickly locate cameras with an interactive map. You can even make sure that you’re recording the most relevant video with a built-in motion detection feature.

Every VMS solution has different capabilities, but the underlying goal is always the same. A VMS is a way to allow your surveillance systems to act as more than just a series of loosely-connected cameras. It brings everything together to form a fully integrated and capable whole. A VMS helps you meet your company’s security objectives.

Using AI-assisted video monitoring

You can also unlock the value in a large-scale surveillance system with an AI-assisted video monitoring solution. The solutions offered by iCetana and other providers help fill in a lot of the gaps created by more traditional or rule-based solutions. These are a more holistic and proactive approach to security.

A traditional ‘rule-based’ solution looks for certain conditions based on a set of pre-programmed rules. You tell it what to look for and it will only look out for anything that meets those conditions. This approach is effective in some ways, but it also fails regularly in others because it’s limited to what humans can predict about what might occur.

If you’re the Head of Security for an airport, for example, you might expect that your software should look for people who leave behind suspicious bags and other items. However, if you’re employed at a shopping mall, this may not be a condition that you look out for. You wouldn’t realise that this is a precursor event to something far more dangerous until it’s already happened. By that point, it’s too late to do anything.

Benefits of AI-assisted video monitoring

AI-assisted video monitoring, on the other hand, recognises what is normal and what is abnormal regardless of the scenario. Using machine learning, it analyses footage to better identify what “normal” looks like. This allows it to identify scenes that fall outside of those boundaries as they’re happening.

Not only does this give you a real-time look into your entire site, but it also allows you to respond to events as they’re happening — reducing their overall impact. AI-assisted video monitoring lets you identify events you would have otherwise missed. At the same time, these systems are built to scale. Regardless of whether you have 100 cameras or 10,000, the system will instantly alert human employees to events. This means that they can take action as soon as possible.

Even when security events aren’t taking place, these types of systems also give you a much better understanding of patterns and causes. All of these can help create a proactive model of security across an entire organisation.

Incident reporting for the 21st century

Finally, we arrive at incident reporting tools like those available. As a security professional, one of the most important assets that you have access to is data. After all, more of it has been created in the last two years alone than at any other point in human history.

Incident reporting tools collect useful data from your surveillance system to provide insight into security performance and common incident patterns. Incident reporting tools are the security version of a business analytics tool.

Businesses use these tools to learn more about their customers, what they need and what they respond to. This ensures that they’re making the right move for the right situation at exactly the right time. Incident reporting tools allow you to do the exact same thing, from a security-driven perspective.

Incident reporting cuts through the noise in the massive volumes of video data to extract actionable, valuable insights. This helps you make better decisions moving forward.

Conclusion

The battle between effective security and cutting costs is one that isn’t likely to end anytime soon. As Head of Security or as a security professional, it also isn’t a battle that you have to concede either.

AI-assisted video monitoring options like those available from iCetana and incident reporting tools allow you to extract as much value as possible from your large-scale surveillance systems.

They allow you to shift the focus away from a reactive, post-incident review process to a more proactive approach. Not only will you be able to work smarter, not harder in terms of site security, but you’ll be in a better position to stop problems before they have a chance to become much larger, more expensive, and more dangerous ones down the road.

This alone should be enough to get everyone on board with your security plan at all costs— from board members to the Head of Surveillance, and everyone else in between.