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Physical security and the cloud: why one can’t work without the other
Physical security and the cloud: why one can’t work without the other

Human beings have a long-standing relationship with privacy and security. For centuries, we’ve locked our doors, held close our most precious possessions, and been wary of the threats posed by thieves. As time has gone on, our relationship with security has become more complicated as we’ve now got much more to be protective of. As technological advancements in security have got smarter and stronger, so have those looking to compromise it. Cybersecurity Cybersecurity, however, is still incredibly new to humans when we look at the long relationship that we have with security in general. As much as we understand the basics, such as keeping our passwords secure and storing data in safe places, our understanding of cybersecurity as a whole is complicated and so is our understanding of the threats that it protects against. However, the relationship between physical security and cybersecurity is often interlinked. Business leaders may find themselves weighing up the different risks to the physical security of their business. As a result, they implement CCTV into the office space, and alarms are placed on doors to help repel intruders. Importance of cybersecurity But what happens when the data that is collected from such security devices is also at risk of being stolen, and you don’t have to break through the front door of an office to get it? The answer is that your physical security can lose its power to keep your business safe if your cybersecurity is weak. As a result, cybersecurity is incredibly important to empower your physical security. We’ve seen the risks posed by cybersecurity hacks in recent news. Video security company Verkada recently suffered a security breach as malicious attackers obtained access to the contents of many of its live camera feeds, and a recent report by the UK government says two in five UK firms experienced cyberattacks in 2020. Cloud computing – The solution Cloud stores information in data centres located anywhere in the world, and is maintained by a third party Cloud computing offers a solution. The cloud stores your information in data centres located anywhere in the world and is maintained by a third party, such as Claranet. As the data sits on hosted servers, it’s easily accessible while not being at risk of being stolen through your physical device. Here’s why cloud computing can help to ensure that your physical security and the data it holds aren’t compromised. Cloud anxiety It’s completely normal to speculate whether your data is safe when it’s stored within a cloud infrastructure. As we are effectively outsourcing our security by storing our important files on servers we have no control over - and, in some cases, limited understanding of - it’s natural to worry about how vulnerable this is to cyber-attacks. The reality is, the data that you save on the cloud is likely to be a lot safer than that which you store on your device. Cyber hackers can try and trick you into clicking on links that deploy malware or pose as a help desk trying to fix your machine. As a result, they can access your device and if this is where you’re storing important security data, then it is vulnerable. Cloud service providers Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software in the personal computer Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software that is likely in place on your personal computer. Hyperscalers such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Service (AWS) are able to hire countless more security experts than any individual company - save the corporate behemoth - could afford. These major platform owners have culpability for thousands of customers on their cloud and are constantly working to enhance the security of their platforms. The security provided by cloud service providers such as Claranet is an extension of these capabilities. Cloud resistance Cloud servers are located in remote locations that workers don’t have access to. They are also encrypted, which is the process of converting information or data into code to prevent unauthorised access. Additionally, cloud infrastructure providers like ourselves look to regularly update your security to protect against viruses and malware, leaving you free to get on with your work without any niggling worries about your data being at risk from hackers. Data centres Cloud providers provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and AI Additionally, cloud providers are also able to provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and artificial intelligence, as well as data redundancy, where the same piece of data is held within several separate data centres. This is effectively super-strong backup and recovery, meaning that if a server goes down, you can access your files from a backup server. Empowering physical security with cybersecurity By storing the data gathered by your physical security in the cloud, you're not just significantly reducing the risk of cyber-attacks, but also protecting it from physical threats such as damage in the event of a fire or flood. Rather than viewing your physical and cybersecurity as two different entities, treat them as part of one system: if one is compromised, the other is also at risk. They should work in tandem to keep your whole organisation secure.

The intrinsic role of lighting for video surveillance clarity and performance
The intrinsic role of lighting for video surveillance clarity and performance

The sound of sirens in the distance is commonplace, nowadays. Whether related to a medical emergency or everyday crimes, such as theft, property crimes, and so on, we’re all accustomed to hearing these sirens by now. It is worth noting that many incidents that police respond to take place at night. According to a recent report by the Sleep Judge, more than half of murders, manslaughter, sexual assaults, robberies, aggravated assaults and motor vehicle thefts happen long after the sun has set. To anyone looking to address the round-the-clock security challenge, deploying the most comprehensive surveillance solution is a must, and this means, looking at the instrumental role illumination plays in video capture. Limitations of traditional video surveillance For surveillance cameras relying on video analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver functionalities such as facial recognition, license plate reading and motion detection, nighttime crimes can pose something of a problem. Without adequate illumination, images from video cameras are grainy and unusable.If surveillance cameras can’t be used to prevent, detect and/or resolve crimes that occur in these areas, the entire security operation is obsolete Without proper lighting, potential criminals and moving objects essentially become indistinguishable, at night, thereby inhibiting even the most advanced security technologies. This limitation of traditional surveillance technology not only hinders immediate police response, but it also stops crime investigations dead in their tracks. Often, without video evidence that is clear and discernible, conviction in a court of law is next to impossible. A common response to this issue is to place security cameras near streetlights or well-lit areas. After all, according to NPR, street lights are effective in deterring crime,  as “there are people such as neighbors, pedestrians, or police, to actually see suspicious activity.” However, even if streetside and primary entrances are well lit, the areas that still need most to be surveilled are rear or side doorways shrouded by darkness, unlit back alleys, and so on. If surveillance cameras can’t be used to prevent, detect and resolve crimes that occur in these areas, the entire security operation is obsolete. Best-in-class security solutions must be able to see everything, day and night. A purpose-designed illumination solution Addressing this issue is easier than you might think. Much like a human eye needs some sort of light to “see,” so does video surveillance technology. Integrating external illuminators into a security solution can optimise camera performance exponentially, expanding a camera’s video capture and coverage abilities and ensuring the operation of video analytics, day and night. Opting for an external illuminator allows system integrators to select a device that matches the exact emission range of a camera’s field of view (FOV). The result is an evenly lit visual field, where captured images are clear and effective for security purposes. The two most common options available to integrators include infrared (IR) and white light illuminators. Each technology is built to optimise particular deployments, depending on their needs. Infrared versus white light IR illuminators emit IR light, which is invisible to the human eye and perfect for covert surveillance operations. When cameras need to be able to detect potential threats over long distances, IR illuminators are perfect for the job as they typically have longer emission ranges. IR illuminators are optimal for surveillance operations in license plate recognition, border patrol, safe cities, theme park, and medical sleep lab applications.Cameras deployed without proper illumination are rendered blind, especially at night If an end user needs to implement full-color video analytics for identification purposes, such as facial, object and license plate recognition, white light illuminators are undoubtedly an integrator’s best bet. IR illumination and traditional thermal security cameras, after all, are only able to provide black-and-white images, whereas object recognition software often identifies objects based on their color. White light illuminators installed alongside AI-powered surveillance cameras enable enhanced video image clarity, which, optimises video analytics performance. When customers want to physically deter suspicious activity, deploying white light illuminators is effective. A recent study out of Crime Labs New York found that businesses that deployed visible lights to deter crime “experienced crime rates that were significantly lower,” which “led to a 36 percent reduction in ‘index crimes’”. On top of all this, LED based white lights operate at low running costs and typically have long lifespans, saving end users thousands of dollars a year in energy costs without having to sacrifice surveillance optimisation. External versus built-in illumination Security customers looking to use lighting to deter crime and improve the performance of video surveillance may consider “all-in-one" solutions, as some cameras have LEDs (light emitting diodes) built into them. These LEDs typically encircle the lens and therefore shed light in whatever direction the camera is pointed. However convenient these may seem, built-in illumination can cause problems. First, LEDs built into cameras and next to other electronic components often cause heat to build up, which attracts insects that can trigger motion detection and obstruct a camera’s view. This heat buildup also shortens the LED lights lifespan. Built-in LEDs also tend to create “hot spots” with glare and reflection back into the camera, often because these lights only cover a 30-degree field of view (FOV), even though the average camera’s FOV is 90 degrees. This issue can severely limit a camera’s visibility, essentially rendering those remaining 60 degrees dark and unusable. All in all, when integrating lighting solutions into your security deployment, a cost-effective solution that enhances a camera’s video capture and coverage abilities, are external illuminators because they offer flexible choices of field of view and distances. Best-in-class security solution When it comes to criminal conviction in a court of law, “seeing really is believing.” Cameras deployed without proper illumination are rendered blind, especially at night, just as any security officer would be when patrolling the same unlit area. To guarantee end users the most reliable and highest performing security solution, consider integrating best-in-class illumination into your offerings.

ONVIF Profile T and H.265: the evolution of video compression
ONVIF Profile T and H.265: the evolution of video compression

In today’s market, efficient use of bandwidth and storage is an essential part of maintaining an effective video surveillance system. A video management system’s ability to provide analysis, real time event notifications and crucial image detail is only as a good as the speed and bandwidth of a surveillance network. In the physical security industry, H.264 is the video compression format used by most companies. Some companies also employ H.264 enhancements to compress areas of an image that are irrelevant to the user at a higher ratio within a video stream in order to preserve image quality for more important details like faces, license plates or buildings. The H.265, H.264’s successor, will be increasingly used for compression in the future. Some companies are already using H.265 in their cameras and video management systems, while a host of other manufacturers are certainly preparing for its broader adoption in the years to come. Video compression technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies. In some cases, H.265 can double the data compression ratio of H.264, while retaining the same quality. Increased compression rate translates into decreased storage requirements on hard drives, less bandwidth usage and fewer switches – all of which reduce overall costs of system ownership. H.265 compression delivers a lower bitrate than H.264, which is relevant to end users and integrators because the lower bitrate reduces strain on hardware and can reduce playback issues. It’s very important that the compression format that is used is supported in all of the different components of a system: cameras, desktop computers on which the VMS is running and the VMS itself. It is also good for end users and integrators to understand the basics of video compression. Having a basic understanding of compression allows users to tweak settings to reduce bandwidth usage even more. Many cameras come with default settings that can be changed to ultimately reduce costs. ONVIF physical security In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 but is not directly involved in developing the compression standards themselves. With Profile T, the new ONVIF video profile released will employ a new media service that is compression agnostic. This means that it can support new video compression formats, including H.265, as well as new audio compression formats, with the ability to include new video and audio codecs as needed in the future without having to redesign its media service. In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 Standardisation organisations that are directly addressing new compression standards include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and a joint commission of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which is addressing the coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information. Other compression formats on par with H.264 and H.265 are being developed by companies such as Google. H.265 compression formats Using products that employ H.265 compression will reduce costs through bandwidth reduction, as will changing default settings on cameras, which are often conservative. Having a basic understanding of compression formats and how to tweak camera factory default settings also gives integrators the ability to further reduce bandwidth for added costs savings and increased system performance. These enhancements will analyse which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly It is also worth noting that H.265 enhancements will likely be developed by camera manufacturers to further reduce bandwidth, as was the case with H.264. These enhancements will analyze which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly. While H.265 itself is ready for prime time, its value as a tool for IP-based surveillance systems is dependent on support for the codec in all parts of the system – the VMS, server hardware, graphics cards and camera. Though widespread H.265 adoption is predicted, providers of these components are jumping on the H.265 bandwagon at different rates of speed. ONVIF is including support for H.265 in its new video profile, Profile T, because it believes it will become the most widely used compression format and ONVIF recognises the need to anticipate that migration as a future need of the industry. The new media service, which will be implemented with Profile T, will be future-proof in that when new compression formats are released in the future, ONVIF can adopt them very quickly. That flexibility will definitely help integrators.

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BSIA's CCTV seminar and exhibition in London to highlight recent developments in the CCTV sector
BSIA's CCTV seminar and exhibition in London to highlight recent developments in the CCTV sector

The event enables CCTV manufacturers and installers to showcase their latest technological developments A popular CCTV seminar and exhibition is set to arrive in London this November, and will provide an opportunity for CCTV companies to reach out to delegates from a range of organisations including local businesses, civic authorities and the Police. Organised by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the event will take place at London’s Emmanuel Centre on Marsham Street – close to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey – on Thursday 12th November, and is expected to follow on from the success of a series of CCTV seminars held by the Association over the past couple of years, which have served to highlight the appetite for information regarding CCTV best practice among end-users and security buyers. A limited number of exhibition spaces are available at the event, enabling CCTV manufacturers and installers to showcase their latest technological developments, while an informative seminar will explore the latest changes in surveillance legislation and technology, while exploring recent developments in the CCTV sector. Confirmed speakers at the event include: Tony Porter LLB QPM, Surveillance Camera Commissioner Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, Central Forensic Image Team, Metropolitan Police Pauline Norstrom, Chief Operating Officer at AD Group / Dedicated Micros and Chairman of the BSIA Simon Adcock, Managing Director of ATEC Security and Chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV section James Barrett of Safer London The event is kindly sponsored by the British Standards Institute (BSI). The BSIA expects the event to attract around 150 delegates from a number of organisations across the South East, for whom admission will be free of charge. Meanwhile, exhibitors will benefit from the following: 1 table with electrical connection Refreshments / lunch (for 2) Company logo on the programme for the day Inclusion in pre and post event promotion, including press releases, email marketing and social media activity A copy of all delegates’ contact details, sent post-event The opportunity to promote attendance at the event via the BSIA’s YouTube Channel

BSIA Chairman’s Awards: Private security industry’s individuals and teams recognised
BSIA Chairman’s Awards: Private security industry’s individuals and teams recognised

The awards serve to recognise significant or lifelong contributions in five different categories Five individuals and teams have been presented with prestigious British Security Industry Association Chairman’s Awards to celebrate outstanding contributions they have made to the ongoing success of the UK’s private security industry. Personally selected by the BSIA’s Chairman, Pauline Norstrom, Chief Operating Officer at Dedicated Micros and AD Group, the awards serve to recognise significant or lifelong contributions in five different categories: Contribution to Standards, Contribution to the Community, Contribution to the Industry, Contribution to Training and Contribution to Exporting. This year’s awards were presented in a glittering awards ceremony at the BSIA’s Annual Luncheon at the London Hilton on Park Lane on 15th July. Details of this year’s winners are as follows: Contribution to standards The Chairman’s Award for Contribution to Standards was presented to Kevin Harris of Thorn Security, part of the Tyco "I am delighted to be able to recognise the significant contributions made by these five outstanding individuals and organisations" Group. Despite operating from his home and company base in Canada, Kevin has been an active member of the BSIA Security Equipment Manufacturers Section’s TC1 committee for several years, contributing to most of the Association’s guidance and standards comment reviews, as well as participating on various ad-hoc groups dealing with standards-related matters. Kevin supports the BSIA and BSI as the UK representative on CENELEC WG2 for intruder alarm component standards, and also the convenor of CENELEC’s WG13 for integrated security systems standards and WG9 for environmental compliance standards. As part of this duty, Kevin travels across Europe to the working group meetings and is ideally placed to update and advise our industry on matters of importance to the sector. Contribution to the community The award for Contribution to the Community was presented to the Tour of Securitas Team of Securitas Security Services (UK) Ltd. As part of this charitable initiative, over 800 security officers and support staff cycled 2,677 miles to raise awareness of safety in the workplace. The team raised more than £3,000 for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), an award-winning charity dedicated to the prevention of accidents on the road or in the workplace. Sponsored by Marks & Spencer, the scheme also received the backing of Team GB cycling legend, Shane Sutton.  Contribution to the industry The Chairman’s Award for Contribution to the Industry was awarded to David Ottewill, Managing Director of Camberford Law PLC, specialist insurance brokers to the security industry. Since taking over Camberford Law in 2007, David has sponsored the Security Personnel Awards every year, making it possible for the industry to recognise and reward the achievements of the many security officers who help to keep the UK’s infrastructure, businesses and members of the public safe and secure each and every day. Contribution to training The award for Contribution to Training was presented to security guarding company, VSG, for its Zero Assaults Project. The project, which is aimed at protecting members of the public and minimising criminal or reputational damage, has been delivered to 240 managers and directors since its launch last May. All in all, the success of the project is apparent, with the number of reportable conflict incidents across VSG having fallen by 23% and the number of lost time injuries decreasing by 42%. Such has been the project’s popularity that it has been rolled out across major contracts in London, while it now forms part of the mandatory VSG induction process. Contribution to exporting The Chairman’s Award for Contribution to Exporting was presented to Ron Archibald, Head of Trade Challenge Partners at UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). A career civil servant, Ron joined the Department of Trade and Industry in 1979 and "The actions of these winners have all served to promote our [private security] industry in a positive light" has since worked around the world securing EU free trade agreements with South Africa, Mexico and Chile, among others. For the last decade, Ron has headed the Tradeshow Access Programme, a major UKTI initiative providing support to UK businesses participating in around 400 overseas trade fairs each year. With the evolution to a new accreditation system for partner organisations, Ron, who had been closely involved in the accreditation process, has now taken on responsibility for the new Trade Challenge partner programme and is working with newly-accredited Partners to develop their partnerships with UKTI. As Deputy Director of UKTI’s Global Events and Missions change programme, Ron aims to transform the customer experience of UKTI-supported events by introducing a single events programme from Spring 2016, a role for which Ron’s extensive experience of the international events scene equips him very well. Commenting on the awards, BSIA Chairman, Pauline Norstrom said: “I am delighted to be able to recognise the significant contributions made by these five outstanding individuals and organisations, whose commitment and dedication have made a lasting impression on the UK’s private security industry. Whether organising charitable events or raising standards in the field of training, the actions of these winners have all served to promote our industry in a positive light, and I am pleased to be able to commend the impact they have made.”

BSIA representatives to share knowledge at IFSEC 2015
BSIA representatives to share knowledge at IFSEC 2015

Visitors to the show have three conference theatres to choose from this year: Keynote and Convergence, Security Solutions and Safe Cities As IFSEC International prepares to return to London’s ExCeL in June, a number of British Security Industry Association (BSIA) representatives are ready to impart advice on a number of industry issues – from city security to access control – as part of the show’s busy educational programme. Visitors to the show have three conference theatres to choose from this year: Keynote and Convergence, Security Solutions and Safe Cities. While UK-based security suppliers are anticipating another successful show as IFSEC returns to London for a second year, several BSIA spokespeople are set to share their knowledge on the following topics: Tuesday 16th June Cyber Security – Confronting Current and Future Threats 11:00, Keynote and Convergence Theatre Mike O’Neill, Managing Director, Optimal Risk Management Ltd and Chairman of the BSIA’s Specialist Services Section, is joined by Dan Solomon, Optimal Risk Management’s Director of Cyber Risk and Security Services, to discuss current and emerging cyber threats and the need for robust countermeasures. This session will also explore the importance of upskilling IT professionals to meet evolving cyber threats. Key Considerations when Choosing a Security Provider 13:00, Security Solutions Theatre Pauline Norstrom, Chief Operating Officer at AD Group Ltd and Chairman of the BSIA, discusses the importance of security market knowledge in the procurement process, answering the crucial question of what is more important, price or quality? Wednesday 17th June Access Control as a Service 11:00, Keynote and Convergence Theatre Paul Adams, Head of Technology and Product Management at BSIA Access Control member company, Kaba Ltd, explores the features and functionalities of Access Control as a Service (ACaaS), including the difference between hosted, managed and hybrid services. Paul will also address the common questions that arise for providers and adopters of ACaaS. The Police and Security Initiative: Collaboration to increase public safety 11:00, Safe Cities Academy Geoff Zeidler, Immediate Past Chair of the BSIA, introduces the Police and Security Initiative and the growing importance of partnerships between business, the police and the private security industry. This session looks at practical measures for improving working relationships, sharing good practice and reducing crime. The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice – Time for Voluntary Adoption? 13:00, Keynote and Convergence Theatre Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter QPM LLB, will be joined by Simon Adcock, Managing Director of ATEC Security and Chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV Section, and Chairman of the BSIA, Pauline Norstrom, to discuss the implications of the Protection of Freedoms Act and the subsequent Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice on CCTV owners and operators.   CCTV Control Room Compliance 14:00, Security Solutions Theatre Dirk Wilson, Managing Director of Sector Security Services Ltd and Vice Chair of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services Section, introduces the latest updates and revisions to BS7958, the Code of Practice for CCTV management and operation. Providing recommendations on best practice in obtaining reliable information that might be offered as evidence, Dirk will also explore the increasing police and public confidence in the operation and management of CCTV. Security Risk Management Strategies for Safer Cities 15:00, Safe Cities Academy Mike O’Neill, Managing Director of Optimal Risk Management and Chairman of the BSIA’s Specialist Services Section, returns to explore the key risk management strategies that can be adopted to ensure maximum security in today’s increasingly technology-enabled cities. Thursday 18th June Supporting Safe Cities & Major Events – A Code of Practice for security searches 14:00, Safe Cities Academy Dirk Wilson, Managing Director of Sector Security Services Ltd and Vice Chair of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services Section, introduces a new Code of Practice for security searches, exploring lessons learned from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and how these have been adopted by a new set of minimum standards for personnel carrying out security searches with the ultimate goal of ensuring greater police and public confidence in the private security sector and its ability to provide support at major events. Meanwhile, members of the BSIA are welcome to utilise the BSIA’s members’ lounge at IFSEC, free of charge. This can be found on the BSIA’s stand (B1350).

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