CCTV cameras - Expert commentary

Why visualisation platforms are vital for an effective Security Operation Centre (SOC)
Why visualisation platforms are vital for an effective Security Operation Centre (SOC)

Display solutions play a key role in SOCs in providing the screens needed for individuals and teams to visualise and share the multiple data sources needed in an SOC today. Security Operation Centre (SOC) Every SOC has multiple sources and inputs, both physical and virtual, all of which provide numerous data points to operators, in order to provide the highest levels of physical and cyber security, including surveillance camera feeds, access control and alarm systems for physical security, as well as dashboards and web apps for cyber security applications. Today’s advancements in technology and computing power not only have increasingly made security systems much more scalable, by adding hundreds, if not thousands, of more data points to an SOC, but the rate at which the data comes in has significantly increased as well. Accurate monitoring and surveillance This has made monitoring and surveillance much more accurate and effective, but also more challenging for operators, as they can’t realistically monitor the hundreds, even thousands of cameras, dashboards, calls, etc. in a reactive manner. Lacking situational awareness is often one of the primary factors in poor decision making In order for operators in SOC’s to be able to mitigate incidents in a less reactive way and take meaningful action, streamlined actionable data is needed. This is what will ensure operators in SOC truly have situational awareness. Situational awareness is a key foundation of effective decision making. In its simplest form, ‘It is knowing what is going on’. Lacking situational awareness is often one of the primary factors in poor decision making and in accidents attributed to human error. Achieving ‘true’ situational awareness Situational awareness isn’t just what has already happened, but what is likely to happen next and to achieve ‘true’ situational awareness, a combination of actionable data and the ability to deliver that information or data to the right people, at the right time. This is where visualisation platforms (known as visual networking platforms) that provide both the situational real estate, as well as support for computer vision and AI, can help SOCs achieve true situational awareness Role of computer vision and AI technologies Proactive situational awareness is when the data coming into the SOC is analysed in real time and then, brought forward to operators who are decision makers and key stakeholders in near real time for actionable visualisation. Computer vision is a field of Artificial Intelligence that trains computers to interpret and understand digital images and videos. It is a way to automate tasks that the human visual system can also carry out, the automatic extraction, analysis and understanding of useful information from a single image or a sequence of images. There are numerous potential value adds that computer vision can provide to operation centres of different kinds. Here are some examples: Face Recognition: Face detection algorithms can be applied to filter and identify an individual. Biometric Systems: AI can be applied to biometric descriptions such as fingerprint, iris, and face matching. Surveillance: Computer vision supports IoT cameras used to monitor activities and movements of just about any kind that might be related to security and safety, whether that's on the job safety or physical security. Smart Cities: AI and computer vision can be used to improve mobility through quantitative, objective and automated management of resource use (car parks, roads, public squares, etc.) based on the analysis of CCTV data. Event Recognition: Improve the visualisation and the decision-making process of human operators or existing video surveillance solutions, by integrating real-time video data analysis algorithms to understand the content of the filmed scene and to extract the relevant information from it. Monitoring: Responding to specific tasks in terms of continuous monitoring and surveillance in many different application frameworks: improved management of logistics in storage warehouses, counting of people during event gatherings, monitoring of subway stations, coastal areas, etc. Computer Vision applications When considering a Computer Vision application, it’s important to ensure that the rest of the infrastructure in the Operation Centre, for example the solution that drives the displays and video walls, will connect and work well with the computer vision application. The best way to do this of course is to use a software-driven approach to displaying information and data, rather than a traditional AV hardware approach, which may present incompatibilities. Software-defined and open technology solutions Software-defined and open technology solutions provide a wider support for any type of application the SOC may need Software-defined and open technology solutions provide a wider support for any type of application the SOC may need, including computer vision. In the modern world, with everything going digital, all security services and applications have become networked, and as such, they belong to IT. AV applications and services have increasingly become an integral part of an organisation’s IT infrastructure. Software-defined approach to AV IT teams responsible for data protection are more in favour of a software-defined approach to AV that allow virtualised, open technologies as opposed to traditional hardware-based solutions. Software’s flexibility allows for more efficient refreshment cycles, expansions and upgrades. The rise of AV-over-IP technologies have enabled IT teams in SOC’s to effectively integrate AV solutions into their existing stack, greatly reducing overhead costs, when it comes to technology investments, staff training, maintenance, and even physical infrastructure. AV-over-IP software platforms Moreover, with AV-over-IP, software-defined AV platforms, IT teams can more easily integrate AI and Computer Vision applications within the SOC, and have better control of the data coming in, while achieving true situational awareness. Situational awareness is all about actionable data delivered to the right people, at the right time, in order to address security incidents and challenges. Situational awareness is all about actionable data delivered to the right people Often, the people who need to know about security risks or breaches are not physically present in the operation centres, so having the data and information locked up within the four walls of the SOC does not provide true situational awareness. Hyper-scalable visual platforms Instead there is a need to be able to deliver the video stream, the dashboard of the data and information to any screen anywhere, at any time — including desktops, tablets phones — for the right people to see, whether that is an executive in a different office or working from home, or security guards walking the halls or streets. New technologies are continuing to extend the reach and the benefits of security operation centres. However, interoperability plays a key role in bringing together AI, machine learning and computer vision technologies, in order to ensure data is turned into actionable data, which is delivered to the right people to provide ‘true’ situational awareness. Software-defined, AV-over-IP platforms are the perfect medium to facilitate this for any organisations with physical and cyber security needs.

Video surveillance is getting smarter and more connected
Video surveillance is getting smarter and more connected

The global pandemic has triggered considerable innovation and change in the video surveillance sector. Last year, organisations around the globe embraced video surveillance technologies to manage social distancing, monitor occupancy levels in internal and external settings, and enhance their return-to-work processes. Forced to reimagine nearly every facet of their operations for a new post-COVID reality, companies were quick to seize on the possibilities offered by today’s next-generation video surveillance systems. Whether that was utilising motion sensing technologies to automatically close doors or switch on lighting in near-deserted office facilities. Or checking if people were wearing masks and adhering to distancing rules. Or keeping a watchful eye on streets and public spaces during mandated curfew hours. Beyond surveillance and monitoring use cases, organisations also took advantage of a raft of new Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to undertake a range of tasks. Everything from automating their building management and optimising warehouse operations, to increasing manufacturing output and undertaking predictive maintenance. Behind the scenes, three key trends all contributed to the growing ubiquity of video surveillance observed in a variety of government, healthcare, corporate, retail, and industry settings. Video surveillance takes to the Cloud Last year the shift to digital working led organisations to rapidly embrace cloud-enabled services, including cloud-hosted Video Surveillance As A Service (VSaaS) solutions that provide tremendous economies of scale and flexibility. Alongside significant cost savings, these solutions make it easier for organisations to enhance their disaster recovery and manage their video surveillance estate in new and highly effective ways. Surveillance cameras with audio recording were used more than 200% by customers between 2016 and 2020For example, in addition to enabling remote access and maintenance, today’s cloud-powered systems eliminate any need to invest in local storage technologies that all too often fail to keep pace with an organisation’s growing data storage requirements. Indeed, data from our worldwide customer base survey reveals how in 2020 an impressive 63% of organisations had abandoned using any on-premises storage option and were instead only storing all their video surveillance recordings and data in the Cloud. A deeper review of the global stats shows that the average cloud recording retention period for this stored data was 28.2 days, with organisations in Asia topping the global average at 38 days – 33% higher than was observed in any other region. Improvements in bandwidth and scalability engendered by the Cloud have also helped boost the growing utilisation of audio recordings in addition to visual image capture. Indeed, our research found the number of surveillance cameras with an audio recording facility used by customers jumped more than 200% between 2016 and 2020. Making sense of Big Data The enhanced ease of connectivity and scalable bandwidth made possible by the Cloud is stimulating more companies to connect a lot more video surveillance cameras to their networks. The top motivation for doing so is to generate live metrics and data that can be utilised to deliver enhanced business insights and operational intelligence. In recent years, a rich choice of video analytics solutions have been developed for a variety of industry verticals. The range of functionalities on offer is impressive and covers a variety of applications. Everything from making it easy to classify and track objects and behaviour patterns in real-time, to undertaking anomaly detection, or generating predictions based on past and present events/activities. Data collected via today’s cloud connected cameras can now also be used to feed deep learning training and AI analytics, utilising the unparalleled virtualised processing capacity of the Cloud to convert Big Data into usable information quickly. By integrating this information with data from other enterprise data capture systems, organisations are now able to gain a 360-degree view of their operations – in almost real-time. IT is now in the driving seat No longer the sole preserve of on-site security staff, the wider application and business use of video surveillance means that IT is increasingly taking the lead role where the management and control of these systems are concerned. IT is asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need Aside from the fact that IT has a vested interest in addressing the cybersecurity implications that come with attaching a growing range of IoT devices to the enterprise network, they’re also increasingly being asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need. As organisations expand their integration of video with other business applications, such as point of sale, access control, process control and manufacturing systems, this trend is only set to accelerate. Looking to the future Right now, the video surveillance industry is at a key tipping point, as video systems become increasingly strategic for enabling the enterprise to boost productivity, stay compliant, and fulfil its obligations to protect employees and customers. As the technology’s contribution to enhanced data-driven decision-making and problem solving continues to increase, expect the adoption of IP connected video cameras to burgeon as organisations look to capture more data from their day-to-day business operations.

Video intercoms for a smarter, safer workspace
Video intercoms for a smarter, safer workspace

Though many office workers across the globe have found themselves working remotely for the past year, we are seeing a bit of a silver lining, as vaccine rollouts hint at a return to some pre-pandemic sense of normalcy. However, while some of us might opt for a fully-remote work life, others are anticipating a hybrid solution. Even before the pandemic, offices were taking a new, more open layout approach—moving past the days of cubicles and small office configurations. Going forward, offices and other workspaces will be tasked with supporting a hybrid work solution, as well as increasing hygiene measures. Video intercom solution This is where an IP video intercom solution can assist. Below are four ways they can help usher in a smarter, safer work environment: Video intercoms assist in creating a more hygienic work environment - The outbreak of COVID-19 has raised awareness of germs and just how easily a virus can be transmitted by face-to-face contact. Germ barriers are popping up in many aspects of our daily lives, where we were not likely to see them before Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach As such, we’re becoming accustomed to seeing plexiglass barriers at restaurants, grocery stores, and even coffee shops. However, many don’t realise that one of the best germ barriers is a simple door. Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach. All it takes is a knock or a doorbell ring to make us open our germ barrier and be face-to-face with whomever is on the other side. Increasing hygiene safety A simple step to increase hygiene safety and visitor security in commercial buildings and workspaces is an IP video intercom. Installing a video intercom will allow staff to see and speak with visitors without breaching that all-important germ barrier. A video intercom system provides a first line of defence, enabling the user to visually confirm the identity of the person on the other side of the door first before granting access. It can also be used to make sure proper procedures are being followed before a person is allowed to enter, such as using hand sanitiser, wearing a mask, and following social distancing guidelines. Basic security needs A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities Video intercoms for occupancy management and basic security - A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities—ranging from grocery stores and retail shops to restaurants and commercial buildings. Workspaces and offices are no exception. A video intercom provides a quick and convenient method of seeing who, or what, is on the unsecure side of the door before opening. For basic security needs, if a business has a door opening into an alley, a video intercom would be used to ensure no one is waiting outside to force their way in when the door is opened. Personal protection equipment Such solutions can also be used to ensure a person is carrying proper credentials, or wearing proper personal protection equipment (PPE), before entering a sensitive area. For example, if a lab has a room which can only be accessed by two persons at a time wearing specific protective gear, a video intercom could ensure each person is properly equipped, before allowing access that particular room. Additionally, for office or workspaces that have shared common areas, such as a cafeteria, gym or even conference rooms, managing access to these spaces will remain a priority, especially with post-pandemic restrictions in place. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace Deliveries of packages, work-related materials, or even food are common in any office or workspace. Video intercoms can assist in facilitating safe deliveries by visually and audibly confirming the identity of the individual. The visitor could be your next big client, your lunch delivery, a fellow employee with a faulty access card, or your mail. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace. Visitor management systems Video intercoms provide a cost-effective solution in small to mid-sized office facilities - One significant advantage of video intercom systems is the variety of applications available. Systems range from simple one-to-one video intercoms, to buzz-in systems, to full-fledged visitor management systems in mixed-use buildings. While they might lack the resources and manpower many enterprises have, small-to medium-sized offices can also take steps to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Like any business, controlling who comes into the building is a primary way of maintaining safety. Video intercoms work in conjunction with access control systems to provide an identifying view of visitors or employees with lost or missing credentials. They allow staff to both see and hear those on the unsecured side of the door to determine intent before granting access. Most quality video intercoms will provide a clear enough image to allow an identification card to be read by holding it close to the lens, adding another opportunity to verify identity. Touchless intercom activation One major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation Video intercoms provide a touchless option - Even prior to COVID-19, one major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation or touchless intercom activation of a video intercom for those without proper credentials. Though touchless isn’t a new solution to the access control market, the pandemic introduced a renewed focus on these types of solutions to provide hygienic access to visitors. For offices and other workspaces looking to make investments into post-pandemic solutions to assist in reopening, touchless can support these efforts. When it comes to smart, secure workspaces, many people think instantly of cameras or monitors, access control, and alarm systems. Proper access credentials However, video intercoms are often the missing piece of a building’s security puzzle. A video intercom provides an identifying view that is not always available from a camera covering a large area. They allow those without proper access credentials a method of requesting entry, and just like cameras, they can be activated by alarms to allow staff to clearly see and communicate. If a workspace or office is important enough to be secure, it’s important enough to be sure of who is there before the door is opened. In 2021, it’s not enough to ensure the physical security of your staff and visitors, but also to ensure they are accessing a hygienic environment. Video intercoms provide that security and peace of mind.

Latest IDIS news

IDIS announces integration of its end-to-end video technology solutions with Gallagher’s access control solutions
IDIS announces integration of its end-to-end video technology solutions with Gallagher’s access control solutions

IDIS has announced powerful and affordable options for integrating video, access control, life safety and building management systems between its end-to-end video technology solutions with Gallagher’s access control solutions. This powerful off-the-shelf integration, from Korea’s renowned video manufacturer, gives systems integrators and end users everything that they need for complete, future-proofed site control. It enables straightforward integration of powerful security management platforms, removing cost and complexity. Gallagher Command Centre The Gallagher Command Centre access control and security management platform can be integrated with IDIS’s DirectIP range of NVRs and cameras, as well as its family of analogue DirectCX HD-TVI recorders and cameras. This allows customers to mix-and-match IP and analogue systems, including leveraging coax cabling if they need to. Users can choose between the free IDIS Center VMS, ideal for small-to-medium applications up to 1024 devices, or the fully-featured and enterprise-level IDIS Solution Suite that is both modular and scalable, allowing users to manage unlimited devices and unlimited sites, without the associated price tag. Enterprise-level integrated solutions There is growing demand for enterprise-level integrated solutions that combine the latest video and access technology, but that offer reduced upfront costs and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) long term. Customers also want greater system flexibility and adaptability, across longer lifecycles. Operationally, there are significant advantages for customers upgrading from siloed solutions. For example, seamless integration of access control with video enables instant verification of events, such as forced doors, with camera views automatically presented to system controllers. Security management system Integration of Gallagher Command Centre with IDIS opens up an easy route for customers" With integrated solutions, alarms from doors, cameras and other devices are pulled onto one platform, making it easier for operators to respond and reducing the likelihood of incidents being missed. The operational benefits increase as more technologies are integrated, from fire and HVAC to elevator controls, building management and wider corporate systems. “Integration of Gallagher Command Centre with IDIS opens up an easy route for customers, who want unparalleled control over every aspect of site security, alongside the AI intelligence advantages that come with IDIS Deep Learning Analytics,” said Mitch Parsons, Business Development Manager for Gallagher Security Europe. COVID-safe site solutions The growing toolkit of smart video capabilities now includes COVID-safe site solutions, enhanced security monitoring and review tools, and advanced business intelligence analytics that help to optimise operational efficiency. “Seamless, off-the-shelf interoperability between IDIS and Gallagher offers integrators and end-users everything they need to create complete, future-proofed security management platforms, without compromising on functionality,” said Jamie Barnfield, Senior Sales Director for IDIS Europe. Off-the-shelf corporate security Jamie Barnfield adds, “Systems integrators can now offer customers an affordable, efficient, and off-the-shelf corporate security and safety solution that encompasses enterprise-level video, access control, life safety, visitor management, and building management.”

IDIS appoints two senior executives to expand video projects capability in MENA region and Turkey
IDIS appoints two senior executives to expand video projects capability in MENA region and Turkey

Korea’s renowned video technology solutions provider, IDIS is stepping up its presence in key growth markets in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Turkey regions, with the confirmation of two senior appointments. Overseeing the new video projects and growing market potential in the country of Turkey, Koray Ozyildirim has been appointed as Country Manager. Koray is working closely with IDIS’s established supply network and will also develop relationships with major Turkish security installers, including new IDIS integration partners, as well as supporting customers in the wider market. Solutions sales expert Koray will bring this vast experience with him, as he promotes IDIS’s end-to-end video solutions Koray Ozyildirim brings with him a track record of solutions sales success gained from various roles with vendors, who specialise in converged and smart city technology, as well as ten-year tenure experience with a renowned European surveillance manufacturer. Koray will bring this vast experience with him, as he promotes IDIS’s end-to-end video solutions for banking, retail, education, logistics and other private, and public sector sectors. Network cameras, recorders and VMS provider Koray Ozyildirim stated, “IDIS’s full line up of network cameras, recorders, enterprise-level VMS and deep learning analytics is viewed positively in Turkey. There’s real appetite for Korean-made high-performance end-to-end solutions to meet sector specific needs and deliver on the promise of future-proof scalability and a low total cost of ownership.” He adds, “I am delighted to now be leading IDIS operations in Turkey and supporting integration partners as we meet this demand.” Koray Ozyildirim will report to Dennis Choi, IDIS’s newly promoted General Manager for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Dennis Choi first joined IDIS in 2013, as a Sales Manager for Europe, when he was also actively involved in the launch of the IDIS brand globally. Long-term security partnerships across Europe Dennis Choi was instrumental in establishing long-term partnerships across Europe and emerging markets with distributors and large systems integrators. He now brings the same focus and expertise to his role, overseeing operations in the Middle East and North Africa regions, and building on recent major successes in the MENA region. “IDIS has grown our presence here consistently, year on year, since entering the Middle East market in 2014,” said Dennis Choi, adding “We passed another milestone this year when we were named best security equipment manufacturer in the OSPA awards, and we have earned market trust by working with our integration partners, to deliver end-to-end solutions in sectors, including retail, hospitality, and finance.” SAMA compliant solution The company has also seen recent success with global retail brands across The Levant Two years ago, IDIS video was chosen for the largest ever upgrade project undertaken in the region’s banking sector, a Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) compliant solution for the National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia, and has been used to secure the Central Bank of Jordan, as well as other risk-critical sites. The company has also seen recent success with global retail brands across The Levant, which is now moving to adopt IDIS Deep Learning Analytics, to increase their surveillance investment and gain valuable insight into customer behaviour. Cyber-secure technology Dennis Choi said, “Our growing list of successful projects demonstrates the appeal of IDIS’s robust, cyber-secure technology with built-in failover, which allows users to comply with the most stringent standards, while our highly accurate AI solutions are allowing customers to overcome common challenges and meet specific security, safety, and operational requirements.”

Customers gain from reduced liabilities as IDIS and VMI extend remote monitoring capability with deep learning analytics
Customers gain from reduced liabilities as IDIS and VMI extend remote monitoring capability with deep learning analytics

Buyers of video technology are focusing increasingly on business protocol enforcement applications, in addition to traditional security, says IDIS America and virtual guarding and monitoring service partner Virtual Management Intelligence (VMI). The two companies are working together to deliver AI-supported remote surveillance services, including business operations monitoring, in sectors such as transportation, warehousing, cannabis production, food processing, banking, and finance. Improve monitoring of vehicle safety checks In transportation, for example, IDIS video is being used by VMI to improve monitoring of 24-point vehicle safety checks which must be carried about by drivers to ensure compliance with Department of Transportation (DoT) requirements. At high-security locations such as banks, the company is helping to streamline and adhere to opening and closing protocols. And, in major industrial applications - from coffee roasting to food processing - its monitoring services are underpinning both safety and production line efficiency. Delivering enterprise-level monitoring “These are applications where customers want video technology to focus on the wider wellbeing of their business operations, and to reduce their liabilities,” says San Kim, VMI, Operations Director. IDIS Deep Learning Analytics (IDLA) to deliver enterprise-level monitoring to more customers more affordably  “Security is still a key requirement but there is a growing realisation that cameras can be used for so much more. VMI is using IDIS end-to-end video solutions, including IDIS Deep Learning Analytics (IDLA) to deliver enterprise-level monitoring to more customers more affordably,” he notes. “IDLA’s automated detection tools – including line-cross, loitering, and object detection – are taking pressure off VMI’s monitoring teams and helping them give users of all sizes access to the kind of customised 24/7 surveillance that was traditionally only available to large corporations with dedicated control room operations.” IDIS video tech “This is also helping users cut their insurance liabilities and reduce their litigation risks,” Kim adds. “Our clients can now contact any of our operators and say, ‘I had a slip in one of my lobbies. Can you back up the relevant cameras, upload the recordings to a particular folder on our FTP, send a link to the store manager, and also include it on a report to our insurers as soon as possible?” The comparatively long operational life of IDIS video tech, its straightforward maintenance and upgrade paths, along with its ease of use for VMI’s customers, are also proving to be valuable in reducing the company’s trouble-shooting workload. Offering video monitoring solutions “Compared to alternative mix-and-match solutions that we’ve tried, the IDIS end-to-end, single supply model is more cost-effective to operate and maintain,” Kim points out. However, he warns against the industry over-promising when it comes to the capabilities of deep learning analytics. “For the video sector as a whole, the challenge now is to focus on applicable solutions that work in real life. We’ve already proven that our deep learning engine is solid, we now need to look at how best to use the level of accuracy we’ve developed.” “We are working closely with VMI to offer some of the best value video monitoring solutions available, not just for security purposes but for much wider business applications, as well,” says Jason Burrows, Sales Director, Western U.S., IDIS America. “Looking ahead, we see exciting opportunities for deep learning analytics to be closely customised to solve the specific problems of individual customers.”

Related white papers

Six things to look for when adding AI cameras to your operation

Ensuring cybersecurity of video

Using Smart Video Analytics to Improve Operations in Healthcare Facilities