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2020 trends that security professionals should watch for

2020 trends that security professionals should watch for
There are several key developments that security professionals need to leverage in order to stay ahead of today’s ever evolving landscape — being agile and leveraging analytics.
The security industry is in the middle of a revolution enabled by a new wave of connected technologies and analytics capabilities, but there’s a risk that some companies aren’t prepared for this change.
New technologies — such as analytics and IoT — have already shown great applications in the industry. A key example can be seen in the automatic analysis of video feeds which can independently determine a suspicious person or object, and alert security personnel based on their identified threat level. This is a significant development for law enforcement agencies, who can now pre-empt the public on safety hazards through heatmapping movements in public spaces and monitoring public transportation infrastructure, such as busses and trains, for potential incidents or criminal activity.
However, there are plenty of IT professionals who are unable to even begin to fathom this movement — believing that they’re bound by their legacy systems or their inability to integrate different solutions. These IT professionals are stuck between a rock and a hard place. However, it is getting clearer that if they do not act fast, this will become a compounding problem — since it will only get more and more difficult to integrate new-age solutions with old-age tech. As the functionality and technology of video cameras continue to advance, there will be a growing complexity when adding these smart solutions to stale legacy systems.
Keeping this in mind, I believe that there are several key developments that security professionals need to leverage in order to stay ahead of today’s ever evolving landscape — being agile and leveraging analytics.

Integrating IoT for agility

IoT has revolutionized much of the security solutions available today, providing greater interoperability among various components and flexibility to adapt to multiple security strategies. This agility is becoming increasingly imperative for security providers to stay ahead of today’s fast-paced threat environment — where security breaches and attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Thus, legacy systems that used to cater to traditional threat environments with pre-set and finite boundaries are insufficient to keep pace with today’s constantly evolving threat landscape.
Unlike legacy and analog systems, migrating to an internet protocol (IP) system does not require the replacement of existing cable infrastructure. Pulling out and replacing existing infrastructure, such as coaxial cables and analog cameras, can be a very expensive and tedious process. The cost pressure for migrating or upgrading legacy systems can be a challenge and its related downtime is unacceptable for most medium to large organizations.
On top of infrastructural barriers, analog systems usually require storage of data to be onsite. However, in the case where an installation has many sites, or sites that are geographically disparate, this may prove to be a major concern. IP systems allow storage to be placed wherever makes the most sense, making it easier to maintain and upgrade.
With IP surveillance systems, all cameras and sensors will feed into a central video management system (VMS). The VMS is the heart of the security network and provides an intuitive and centralized platform for security professionals to download and monitor output from various installations or facilities.
Furthermore, legacy systems can leverage converter devices, which can be used to convert analog signals to digital ones that can be fed into the VMS. This allows sections and assets to be upgraded in a way which suits any budget and requirements of the organization, while also greatly reducing installation downtime.
Beyond being able to manage budgets and downtime, investing in an open source VMS means that security users will also be able to receive feeds from many different types of visual and non-visual sensors — both legacy and new — from many different manufacturers, all at the same time. Not only does this result in a greater breadth of choice for security professionals, but it also allows for the surveillance network to evolve in line with changing requirements.
This capability can be especially useful in large installations which have many different buildings and levels of requirement from their surveillance. For instance, some areas may require higher security, with new high-resolution digital cameras and video analytics functions.
Investing in an open source VMS allows operators the flexibility and platform to implement such advanced video capabilities as well as future-proof their IP systems through an adaptable platform that can keep pace with these new and constantly developing technologies.

Layering analytics for smarter assets

With applications such as video analytics and AI, IP cameras have essentially been equipped with digital brains to match their eyes. Systems can now analyze live and record videos in far greater volume than ever before, with less human intervention. Behavioral analysis and the proactive insights that can be drawn from it are already turning passive cameras into active assets.
For instance, a VMS using analytics software powered by AI can monitor multiple cameras simultaneously, as compared to having multiple security personnel watching over different sectors of a compound. The system can recognize anomalies — from intruders, to fires, to suspicious packages — then highlight a video feed for further investigation by a human operator.
This in turn improves operational efficiency, as it eases the workload on security officers or staff by pinpointing areas where there is an actual need for them to be physically present —improving overall manpower resourcing. This is one example of how analytics can add value to the security ecosystem and make the traditional IP camera system even smarter than before.
Employee safety and the prevention of unauthorized access continue to be key priorities among organizations and businesses. Through added capabilities such as facial recognition (FR), this can enhance the facility’s security mission, and at the same time make life easier and more efficient for security personnel as well as building users.
For example, FR technology can recognize individual facial features and bring up information about that individual. This in turn can activate an access control solution and allow or deny them entry to a specific part of the building — without the hassle of presenting credentials such as an ID or proximity card. Taking this further, FR can also provide the ability to tier security clearance for different staff members within different sections of a building (for example differentiating contractors and permanent employees).
These developments in the industry have given organizations the agility and technological support to respond to varying threats and challenges as well as improve work and business efficiencies. Additionally, investments in open platform VMS will be a key foundation in future-proofing video surveillance capabilities and should be top-of-mind strategies among security decision makers today.

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