Marian University is a school with a mission. Having transitioned from a liberal arts college to a comprehensive university in 2009, it has become one of the private education institutions in Indiana. And that’s not all: the university has ambitious goals to grow its programs and broaden its mandate even further.

Currently, the school has over 500 staff members and more than 3,500 students from across the United States and around the world. And by 2025, it aims to double its number of annual graduates. Located just ten minutes away from downtown Indianapolis, Marian University’s close proximity to a major centre of American business, finance and culture is a major selling point.

Managing increased traffic

The city is also experiencing an influx of technology companies, making it the fifth-fastest growing municipality in the country for high-tech jobs. However, as in many booming regions, economic success isn’t evenly distributed. While some areas have experienced revitalisation, others have seen social unrest and rising crime rates.

As such, while Marian University’s campus has the privilege of sitting near a bustling city, these challenges aren’t far away. That fact — along with the increasing number of staff and students on the premises — motivated the university to upgrade their security systems to help keep both its people and the wider community safe. Marian University’s previous security system wasn’t up to the task of monitoring the premises, staff and students — so how would it manage increased traffic and additional properties as the school met its growth targets?

High definition cameras

ACC™ software is much more than a centralised source from which to review recorded video

The ongoing maintenance and licensing costs were also prohibitive. Administrators were at a loss of what to do until the security integrator they were working with suggested Avigilon. With high definition cameras and built-in analytics that seamlessly integrated with Avigilon Control Centre (ACC) video management software, it offered a comprehensive, intelligent and scalable solution.

Additionally, the licensing fee was a one-time cost, saving the school both time and money. As the security team at Marian University found out, ACC™ software is much more than a centralised source from which to review recorded video. Not only can security operators analyse the video by zooming in and rewinding in real-time, but Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology leverages AI technology to help them instantly locate specific individuals and vehicles of interest.

Advanced video analytics

Furthermore, Unusual Motion Detection (UMD) technology uses advanced video analytics to flag events that may require further investigation and filter them in the recorded video timeline, allowing security operators to find and review these instances faster. All of this was made possible with the installation of intelligent Avigilon cameras and network video recorders (NVR) across the campus.

The organisation is tremendous to work with,” says Ray Stanley, CIO/Vice President of Marian University. “I have never worked with a security company where I've been able to pick up the phone and have someone to help solve issues and make sure we are using the product the right way so that we see good value for our money. This was true not just in the beginning, their support exists right to this day.”

Intelligent security system

Avigilon coordinates with local third-party integrators to make sure the system is functioning

Instead of sending Marian University setup instructions and leaving the security and IT teams to figure it out for themselves, Avigilon coordinates with local third-party integrators to make sure the system is functioning and actively helps operators learn how to utilise it to its full potential. Personnel will come onsite to work with staff and guarantee they know how to get the most from their various video analytics platforms and solutions.

The main buildings at Marian University may be surrounded by quiet woodlands and wetlands, but the campus isn’t as isolated as it appears. Being a mere ten minutes away from the middle of Indianapolis, the school’s property borders several roadways, businesses and residential neighbourhoods that all benefit from having an intelligent security system in the vicinity.

Keeping the community safe

The great quality video has helped keep the community safe, without a doubt,” says Ray Stanley, CIO/Vice President of Marian University. “In one case, local police were able to identify a suspect involved in an incident at a nearby gas station because of our Avigilon system. Being able to help our surrounding community stay safe is absolutely an added benefit for us.”

With its Avigilon solution, the Marian University campus has become an extra set of eyes for law enforcement. UMD and Avigilon Appearance Search technologies mean that criminals who make the mistake of moving across campus have a much higher chance of being detected by the authorities who can then quickly track their route to see where they have been and where they are headed.

Potentially-dangerous behaviour

It enables security personnel to spot and deter any potentially-dangerous behaviour on a daily basis

With its user-friendly interface and high-quality video, the security installation not only helps with police work and prosecution, but it enables security personnel to spot and deter any potentially-dangerous behaviour on a daily basis, creating a safer environment for students and staff.

"For example, we were able to see a suspect driving at a high rate of speed across campus, and with Appearance Search, we were able to see where the vehicle went and identify the suspect,” says Chief Richard Robertson, Marian University Police Department. “That helped us to save a lot of trouble and potential injuries.”

Protecting local communities

In the United States, Indianapolis looms large not only as the crossroads of the country — two-thirds of Americans can drive to the city in ten hours or less — but also as a hub of innovation and investment. However, safety continues to be a top-of-mind issue as crime increases in certain sections of the city.

This is why Marian University chose Avigilon: as the school aims to provide a safe space for students and prepare them for the many opportunities Indianapolis has to offer, there’s also a deep-seated obligation to help protect local communities and public spaces. Avigilon allows it to do both — and even better, the solution will be able to scale with the university as it evolves and expands in the years ahead.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

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.

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.

How has Brexit affected the security industry?
How has Brexit affected the security industry?

When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a world of uncertainty unfolded for those doing business in the UK and the EU. The referendum was passed in July 2016. Including subsequent delays, the separation was completed after four years in January 2020, with a transition period ending December 2020. Even with the deadlines past, there are still pockets of uncertainty stemming from the separation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How has Brexit affected the security industry?