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Ask the Expert: New Technology Helps with Rising Business Security Concerns

By Joe Piston
Sales Engineer

The commercial security and surveillance industry continues to experience rapid growth. Businesses face increased cybersecurity risks, and headlines are filled with brazen retail thefts, vandalism, and other physical threats. As you consider the best way to reduce these risks for your business, it's critical to know about some of the newest trends in the surveillance and security industry.


Security cameras and the massive amount of video data they create can strain your network and storage capacity. Technology advancements allow this new generation of cameras to do the processing work at the camera level, called Edge computing. By utilizing Edge computing and processing data directly on cameras, the need for powerful servers and increased bandwidth to support a large camera deployment is reduced. The question during system design becomes, "where do I want coverage?" rather than, "how will our infrastructure support this upgrade?"


Advanced analytics are becoming more common, and AI learning allows the cameras to perform the work for you – searching and alerting when incidents occur. The long hours fast-forwarding through footage of an event that happened "sometime in the last three days" are over. New systems are proactive and can help prevent an incident before it occurs. Things like loitering alerts can detect individuals hovering around high-value items, and fence-line alerts trigger when a person moves the wrong way through an area, both of which can signify theft. Parking lot cameras can be equipped with license plate recognition and analyze metadata such as the color and type of vehicle to trigger alerts and monitor traffic patterns.


Modern security ecosystems are also building additional devices using the same infrastructure as the cameras. New environmental sensors have air quality, sound analytics, and motion detection for areas where cameras can't go or don't perform well. They can monitor formaldehyde and CO2 levels to alert on environmental issues or safety policy violations. Many K-12 schools are now using these systems to tackle the rise of vaping among children. Instant sensor alerts in areas cameras can't go, like bathrooms, have become a powerful tool for educating students on the dangers of vaping. Other usage examples include alerts for mold, which may result from high humidity, dangerous noise levels, and allergens. Effortless monitoring is a game-changing technology for the health and safety of the people in the environment.


As with any device placed on the network, protecting access and ensuring encryption is critical. Major brands have begun implementing HTTPS encrypted communication as defaults out of the box, while others have forced the cameras to only allow outbound connections every second as a "heartbeat" to their home server. This heartbeat checks for requests to access the camera, which can only come from the server or cloud storage. This limits any vulnerability to one or two locations rather than every camera on the network. Some cameras store their recorded data within the camera. In these instances, the data should be encrypted to prevent unauthorized viewing. This may be automatic or require configuration – but as with anything attached to the network, security begins at the device level.

Security threats to your business will, unfortunately, never go away. By using some of these new technologies, hopefully you can find a solution that will help you rest a little easier at night, knowing your business is safe and secure.