For all its value in the security market, one has to wonder: How much captured video is actually used for security? Among hours and hours of video, only brief segments here or there are ever actually viewed or used for security applications, such as to review an incident or to provide evidence in court.

But what about all that other video, much of it stored for 30 or 90 or 120 days or longer? Does it have to be merely a costly consequence of providing the security benefits of video? Not necessarily, based on what I heard from several exhibitors on the second day of ISC West 2017.

Video surveillance beyond security

Turns out all that video has many potential uses, and in fact represents a huge opportunity for the video surveillance market to expand its value to business operations beyond security. Information from video can provide valuable insights into business operations. Analysing it (using new tools highlighted at ISC) can provide metrics to guide business strategy, reveal customer trends, fine-tune business processes, etc.

Video surveillance as a comprehensive ‘value add’ is coming into its own before our eyes,” said Keith Drummond, Senior Director, IDIS America. “More and more people are seeing and experiencing the benefits of video beyond initial security applications. Modern analytics enable business intelligence with real-world impact on the bottom line in the retail vertical and beyond. The potential of video beyond security has never been more apparent.

IDIS and March Networks’ new surveillance additions

Celebrating 20 years in business, IDIS introduced new additions and enhancements to its total solution at this year’s ISC West. They include a complete lineup of H.265 IP cameras and NVRs, a new 12 megapixel super fisheye camera, new low-light and long-distance solutions, enhancements to PTZ controls, and a new retail analytics/business intelligence suite. A 64-channel NVR delivers enterprise-level performance at an NVR price.

More and more people are seeing and experiencing the benefits of video beyond initial security applications

Developments in the market may be opening new opportunities, but reaping the benefits of those opportunities must begin with identifying a customer’s need. “On the product development side, we should work backwards,” suggests Dan Cremins, Global Leader of Product Management, March Networks. “As a customer, identify what problems you are trying to solve and work backwards from there.”

March Networks announced a strategic relationship to use Oncam’s 360-degree camera technology for applications in the banking and retail verticals. For automated teller machines (ATMs), March Networks is announcing a new camera that is a lens/sensor connected by a cable to an encoder; the small size enables it to be installed even in new smaller ATMs; features include high dynamic range (HDR) and 3 megapixel resolution. Finally, March Network’s new 9000 series NVR uses a Linux operating system, provides double the video throughput (6 Mbps) and offers a choice of 32, 48 or 64 channels.

Cloud-based access control

The impact of new developments on integrators was another theme I heard today at the show. A shift is afoot in the market to cloud-based access control, and integrators and dealers need to be educated to overcome resistance to the changing business models; so says Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries. The fundamental shift is from high-margin “project-based” business to lower-cost installation (with less immediate profit) of hosted solutions, combined with recurring monthly revenue that customers pay for cloud services. Less immediate gratification (i.e., lower commissions) might discourage salesmen from embracing the change, but it is a necessary transition to adapt to the new business climate and to the increasing popularity of cloud systems.

There is also some integrator resistance to another big trend – mobile credentials, says Kane. In this case, the concern is that mobile credentials are provided directly from the manufacturer. Integrators are concerned that end-users “being exposed” to manufacturers could result in their being eliminated from the equation, he notes.

The scope of integrators’ work is also narrowing in some instances, says Kane. For example, today’s network-based and easy-to-install systems may lead end users to buy the systems direct from a manufacturer and then install the systems themselves (such as by their in-house information technology [IT] department). It is another argument for the value of RMR to help integrators offset revenue losses. The integrator should, in any case, avoid being a barrier to implementation of new technology approaches, says Kane.

Vanderbilt ACT365 and Arecont Omni G3

Vanderbilt has a new cloud-based access control system – ACT365 – which has two hardware components, a single device for each door, and a video management system with a Terabyte of storage that supports four IP cameras. The system is hosted in the Azure cloud. There is a strong diagnostics package on the installation page, which ensures simplified installation.

Arecont Vision’s SNAPstream Technology can be used to greatly reduce bandwidth and lower storage requirements

Making life easier for integrators has been a focus for Arecont Vision. For example, remote focus on its cameras simplifies installation; a technician doesn’t have to stand precariously on a ladder with a laptop to adjust the focus.

Now Arecont Vision’s SurroundVideo Omni G3 offers remote motorised positioning of the four individual sensors inside the camera. There are built-in presets providing 180-degree, 360-degree or 270-degree views, and two additional programmable presets. The 12- or 20-megapixel all-in-one omni-directional camera provides easier initial installation and more flexibility for the end user to change camera configurations. For example, a stadium owner could create one preset combination of sensor positions for a sporting event and a second combination for a concert, and then switch back and forth as needed.

Arecont SNAPstream Technology

Arecont Vision’s SNAPstream Technology can be used to greatly reduce bandwidth and lower storage requirements. Because Arecont Vision cameras have Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology, the new SNAPstream can also be deployed to every existing Arecont Vision camera in the field, simply using a firmware upgrade. The company has also cracked the code on cybersecurity; the megapixel cameras do not have operating systems that can be repurposed for use in cyberattacks. Arecont has also repositioned its product line into “good, better and best” categories.

Booth traffic held up well on the second day of the show, with one more day to go and plenty left to see.

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Larry Anderson Editor,

An experienced journalist and long-time presence in the US security industry, Larry is's eyes and ears in the fast-changing security marketplace, attending industry and corporate events, interviewing security leaders and contributing original editorial content to the site. He leads's team of dedicated editorial and content professionals, guiding the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals.

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Security at sea: where technology benefits marine environments
Security at sea: where technology benefits marine environments

The term ‘marine’ comes from the Latin mare, meaning sea or ocean, and marine habitats can be divided into two categories: coastal and open ocean. Video surveillance (VS) applications can cover both types of marine environment with system for ships, maritime ports, onshore and offshore installations, etc. We should want to further analyse VS for ships and try to explain the types of ships on which it can be used, the ways in which VS can be used on ships, the typical certifications in use and what features a camera station must have to be installed on a ship. Starting with ships that have a minimum tonnage, around the world we have: liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers.As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth, offering more opportunities for VS Video surveillance for all marine vessels An LNG carrier is a tank ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas. As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth. A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is to carry passengers by sea. This category does not include cargo vessels which have accommodation for a limited number of passengers, but rather includes the likes of ferries, yachts, ocean liners and cruise ships. A chemical tanker is a type of tank ship designed to transport chemicals in bulk. These ships can also carry other types of sensitive cargo which require a high standard of tank cleaning, such as palm oil, vegetable oils, tallow, caustic soda and methanol.A chemical tanker is a type of tank ship designed to transport chemicals and other types of sensitive cargo, increasing the need for better security An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries. Product tankers, generally much smaller, are designed to move refined products from refineries to points near consuming markets. Container ships are cargo ships that carry their entire load in truck-size intermodal containers: a technique called containerisation. They are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container. A cargo ship or freighter ship is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods and materials from one port to another. Cargo ships are specially designed for the task, often being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, and come in all sizes. Bulk carriers make up 15%–17% of the world's merchant ships and they are specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo such as grains, coal, ore and cement in its cargo holds. For all these ships the protection of vessels, cargo and crew is a priority, that’s why the adoption of VS technology plays a key part in terms of security and safety. Human error is regularly named as a major factor in ship accidents, and one way to avoid it is to aid seafarers by providing them with technology and equipment that is reliable and easy to use in all weather and sea conditions. Marine VS encompasses liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers Emergency security solutions on ship One of the most important applications for camera stations is during “docking”. Mooring is the securing or confining of a vessel in a particular location with a fixed or a floating object (jetty, pier, ship, barge, buoy, etc.) as various cargo operations are carried out. Docking is the final stage of mooring operations when the ship docks to the jetty. This is a very delicate operation and cameras are very helpful in making sure docking is done without accidents.'Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water, and can happen at any time during the day or night Another important application for camera stations is the Man Overboard detection system (MOB). ‘Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water. Man overboard events can happen at any time during the day or night, in all types of weather and sea conditions, and from almost any location on the ship, ranging from a few tens of feet above the water, to over 180 feet.  When these events occur, the immediate availability of important data is crucial. Accurate confirmation of the event including time of occurrence, location on the ship and location in the sea is critical. A proactive detection system must immediately and accurately detect man overboard events and provide prompt, actionable data to response personnel. A typical man overboard detection system can report a MOB event in under 1 second. VS on a vessel can also monitor the engine room at all times and provide a good view of people working on dock, machinery and stowed equipment. But what are the most important features that a camera station must have to work in one of the most aggressive environments in nature? Marine surveillance must operate in one of the most harsh environments in nature Ruggedised reliability in surveillance First of all, and perhaps it’s obvious, but it’s extremely important to have camera stations with amazing reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion, therefore offering excellent weather protection and increased reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion Sometimes ships also use cameras constructed entirely from technopolymer, which guarantees high impact resistance and superior protection from external weather agents. Keeping the camera glass clean at all times is another essential feature, and it can be done via a wiper/wash system that greatly reduces the need for maintenance. In the case of PTZ cameras, the best option would be a great pan and tilt speed (up to 100°/s). What is the operative temperature range for the cameras? Sea is everywhere and therefore ships go everywhere, from the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean, so we need cameras that have to be fully operational across a wide temperature range.  -40°C to +65°C covers almost all areas. Analogue or IP Cameras? Actually, both options can be used, especially for applications like docking where it’s important to avoid image delay (as can happen with IP cameras due to the natural latency of data communication over a network). Marine certifications Last but not least, the certifications: Certifications guarantee the quality and reliability of camera stations. There is no compromise! One important certification is the Lloyd’s Register Type Approval which subjects cameras to rigorous testing for performance, vibration (critical on ships), humidity, etc. The application field of the LR Type Approval is VS in public places (e.g. passenger ships), open decks, enclosed spaces that are subjected to heat generated from other equipment, and technical premises. Often, VS cameras used in specific areas of ships, such as hazardous areas, are required to have ATEX and IECEX certifications.

Government institutions should utilise VSaaS for an integrated video surveillance system
Government institutions should utilise VSaaS for an integrated video surveillance system

Video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) is not just for commercial organisations. Federal, state and local governments can also realise benefits from the technology—and use it to deliver an integrated video surveillance system that addresses some of their unique security needs. Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) What is VSaaS? Simply stated, it’s a cloud-based video surveillance solution that is packaged and delivered as a service over the internet. The price varies depending on the features of your plan (i.e. number of cameras, amount of storage, software features, etc.), and you pay a monthly subscription price to use it. How does it work? Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are installed at site locations, and the video is captured and streamed to a service provider’s data center via an internet connection. The video management software (VMS) runs on backend infrastructure provided by the service provider’s cloud. All video processing is done in the cloud, and all that is required to view the footage is an internet-connected device and a web browser. Retail, health care, education, and transportation all benefit from the flexibility and architecture of VSaas Growing VSaaS providers Solution providers such as Axis Communications, Genetec, and G4S among many others offer VSaaS solutions, and the market is growing. According to IHS Markit, the market is expected to reach $2.3 billion in 2021. VSaaS is a solution with cross-industry appeal. Retail, health care, education, and transportation all benefit from the flexibility and architecture of the solution. But how does VSaaS address the surveillance needs of government institutions? Geographic coverage and access To protect cities and towns, law enforcement must watch over widespread geographic areas. Their work involves monitoring and policing many different neighborhoods, buildings, garages, parks, and walking paths—basically anywhere there is property or people to protect. They rely on video surveillance to help them keep these environments safe. But it’s more than local law enforcement officers who use video footage. From local city officials to federal and state law enforcement agencies, many other people, at times, need access to video footage captured by city surveillance cameras. Centralised remote monitoring How does VSaaS help? VSaaS enables the installation of cameras throughout cities and communities and stream footage to a central location via the Internet. Because the system is centralised, it eliminates the need to manage a lot of different standalone DVRs or NVRs, which enables organisations to monitor a large area from a remote command center. VSaaS enables the installation of cameras throughout cities and communities and stream footage to a central location via the Internet Plus, anyone with proper credentials can access the footage from an Internet-connected device—whether that be a smartphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet. That makes it easier for multiple agencies to work together, which in turn can improve communication and response time to incidents. Budget concerns and flexibility Tight budgets are normal in government. As a result, it’s often a challenge to procure capital for new technology purchases—and that sometimes leads to underfunded projects and difficulty upgrading old technology. VSaaS changes the expense model. It allows you to shift from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model, where large capital funding is required to purchase equipment, to an operational expenditure (OpEx) model, where the costs of the solution become an operating expense. Since the cameras, installation, storage, and software are packaged into a service, you don’t need a large capital outlay up front—you simply pay a predictable expense every month. VSaaS provides the capability for you to increase storage capacity when you need it Feature and storage capacity upgrade features VSaaS also makes it easier to upgrade old technology. When new technology becomes available, you can upgrade to it as part of the service. You no longer have to stick with old technology because of capital budget restrictions. Instead, you can upgrade to better cameras and management software features as they become available. The same is true for storage capacity. As camera resolution increases, the amount of data captured also increases. In addition, with the evolution of smart city technology and big data analytics, video data has become more valuable. As a result, there is a need not only to store more data but also to keep that data accessible for a longer period of time. VSaaS provides the capability for you to increase storage capacity when you need it. You can scale to accommodate growth, and since the storage is delivered as part of the service, you can leverage the “pay for use” model to manage your costs. On-premise storage or hybrid Where should surveillance video be stored? It’s an important question. After all, government entities must always comply with data privacy laws and handle data properly to ensure it can be used as evidence if needed. As a result, officials may prefer to be selective about where they store video data. In fact, the concern over regulatory requirements and security and privacy issues, according to Gartner, will lead governments to implement private cloud at twice the rate of public cloud through 2021. The provider’s ability to store large amounts of data cost-effectively makes VSaaS possible That’s not necessarily a show-stopper when it comes to video surveillance. Some VSaaS providers offer hybrid options. Plus, one of the things that makes VSaaS possible is the provider’s ability to store large amounts of data cost-effectively. Because service providers can manage their storage infrastructures economically, they can offer their service at an attractive price. Multi-tier storage infrastructure In a way, government institutions (as well as commercial organisations) can do the same thing. If a government entity—for example, a small municipality—wanted to store their data on-premise or implement a hybrid configuration, they could solve some of their video storage challenges by implementing a multi-tier storage infrastructure similar to what a VSaaS provider might use to provide the actual service. A multi-tier storage infrastructure uses different storage media—disk, object storage, tape, and cloud—and combines them to deliver the total capacity needed while balancing performance and cost. The diagram below is an illustration of a multi-tier infrastructure: As the diagram shows, storage capacity grows using lower cost forms of media as volume and long-term retention requirements change. Files are moved between tiers based on user-defined policies. When the policies are met, the files are moved to a lower cost tier. Some file systems allow for multiple copies be written at ingest which not only minimises the traffic of moving files across the network, but also provides much needed data protection through a second copy on a lower-cost tier. This scenario enables you to optimise the amount of high-performance media in your infrastructure and lower the long-term cost of retaining files. VSaaS offers many benefits for government institutions and commercial organisations alike Choice of implementations VSaaS offers many benefits for government institutions and commercial organisations alike. But not every implementation has the same needs or requirements. The good news is, when it comes to video surveillance solutions, you have options. You can leverage the benefits of VSaaS, in either a public cloud or hybrid scenario, depending on the service provider. Or if your needs dictate, you can achieve some of the same capacity and cost-saving benefits you would get from a VSaaS solution by implementing an on-premise solution based on a centralised VMS system and multi-tier storage. The choice is yours.

What are the most valuable features of cloud security?
What are the most valuable features of cloud security?

Cloud computing has been around since the turn of the millennium. Over the years, the concept of storing and accessing programs over the Internet (instead of using an on-premises computer system) has grown in almost every realm of business. Some might say the physical security industry has come late to the party, delayed in some instances by (misguided?) concerns about cybersecurity of cloud systems. The bandwidth needed to transfer video to the cloud has also been a challenge. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What features of Cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) are the most valuable to the average user?