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Remote video monitoring – the smarter way to enhance business security efforts

Remote monitoring for improved business security
Remote monitoring offers a multiplying effect on security efforts
The growth of IP-based networks has made it possible for security professionals to easily monitor surveillance activity from any internet-enabled PC, smartphone, or tablet anytime, anyplace. More and more, businesses are realising that remote monitoring can have a significant impact on their bottom line. Whether you’re a retail outlet, bank or hotel, remote monitoring offers a multiplying effect on security efforts and can help increase overall productivity among security staff, explains Dave Poulin, Director - Business Operations Security & Evidence Management Solutions, Panasonic System Communications Company North America.

As high-definition IP-enabled surveillance devices continue to proliferate, remote video monitoring solutions will become increasingly indispensable to any business’ security efforts. By allowing end users to access and manage live video feeds in real-time, these new solutions enable administrators to mobilise their operations and streamline business management, improving situational awareness and operational efficiency.

When it comes to technology investments every organisation has its own set of unique concerns and challenges, therefore security professionals must consider a number of factors before selecting new equipment. A facility’s location, IP network infrastructure and existing security systems, to name a few, are some of the most common elements enterprises must consider before planning technology upgrades. Remote video monitoring solutions are no different, and it’s particularly important to carefully consider how they meet specific business needs.

HD Video Quality

Of all the components of an integrated security system, image quality is certainly the most important because there is only one opportunity to capture an image. Thanks to advances in HD imaging security cameras can now capture and record even the tiniest details with unprecedented precision and clarity.  This includes the most minute facial characteristics, symbols, textures and other critical identifying information. As a result, HD video is rapidly improving the value of evidence in the courtroom and becoming an indispensable asset for today’s business decision-makers.

Data Storage

Another issue concerning security professionals is the volume of video data generated by their IP-based systems. In recent years, HD camera adoption has given a rise to an unexpected phenomenon that has turned the industry on its head. According to a recent report by IHS Inc., the daily data dump of HD cameras is expected to more than double in four years, reaching 859 PB by 2017. While having this high-quality surveillance video gives end users a greater a sense of security, it can prove to be challenging to manage, especially for operating large, multi-site video surveillance systems. To overcome this issue, security professionals are wise to adopt devices that offer compression efficiency standards that maximise bandwidth usage and multiple streaming capabilities which enable them to choose the video quality and encoding options for each data stream. With the ability to switch between full HD for local recording in the camera via an SD card or to an NVR or DVR for review later, end users are able to ensure bandwidth is utilised as efficiently as possible and improve the overall flexibility of their systems.

Remote monitoring using mobile phones
Monitoring surveillance activity from any internet-enabled mobile device is easy with IP-based networks

Device Ruggedness and Durability

When most security decision-makers begin researching the benefits of remote video monitoring solutions, ruggedness may not be the first consideration on their list. However, the durability of the mobile device used for remote monitoring is every bit as important as the security system itself, so it’s important to ensure mobile devices are built to handle the environments they work in. As you might guess, drops are the most common cause of failure for a mobile device, so resistance to drops, vibrations and other stress factors should be essential requirements. For true mobility, the ability to handle water, dust and extreme temperatures is another important consideration, as is a screen that can be viewed in the daylight. By adopting solutions that offer these benefits, security personnel can ensure that they are as productive out in the field as they would be in a control room.

High-speed Connectivity and Bandwidth

The effectiveness of a remote video monitoring tool also relies heavily upon reliable connectivity. Whether you are using a tablet or smartphone most mobile devices require an internet connection in order to process user commands and run apps, and failure to provide your network with sufficient bandwidth can certainly affect productivity. Remote video monitoring solutions are no different. Issues related to video resolution, compression methods, frame rate and even the number of cameras deployed can clog up bandwidth and reduce the value of new equipment. While high-speed broadband is standard on mobile phones today, security professionals need to ensure their mobile devices connect reliably to their surveillance systems no matter how far from their facility they may be.  As such, remote monitoring solutions featuring embedded wireless modules for 4G LTE connectivity are the best way for end users to guarantee their people, property and assets stay secure 24/7/365.

Data Security

More and more, video surveillance footage is being deployed for applications beyond just passive security monitoring. Today, business managers are looking to adopt systems that will also help improve business intelligence, using video analytics to improve employee productivity and targeted marketing strategies, as well as to protect themselves against issues such as theft and fraudulent liability claims. As these newer systems continue to capture and analyse more sensitive video feeds, the risks and responsibilities of managing the access to this information becomes even greater, and requires that more attention is paid to safeguarding the data itself. Thus, it is important for security decision-makers to secure their video data assets and protect them against abuse.

Today, business managers are looking to adopt systems that will also help improve business intelligence, using video analytics to improve productivity and protect against theft and fraud

This is particularly important for industries that handle sensitive data such as healthcare organisations. For example, a hospital must pay special attention to the security of their data to ensure patient privacy. Enterprise facilities are also prone to data breaches and must be cautious of fraud, theft, eavesdropping and other threats that may jeopardise data security. To ensure data integrity, pay special attention to your system’s security capabilities and opt for solutions that offer both hardware and software-based security features.

Mobility is transforming industries in unimaginable ways, and security is no exception. By allowing end users to make timely, actionable decisions that put safety first, remote monitoring solutions enable enterprise administrators to realise a return on investment no matter where their work takes them.

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