Trends In Surveillance Cameras


Trends In Surveillance Cameras

As security demands evolve, here’s a glance at equipment capabilities and related considerations.

By Pat Olsen
From the April 2022 Issue

S urveillance cameras, which were around for years, provide a amount of advantages to protect facilities. Over the years, the unit have become significantly advanced in their abilities, and their use is continuing to grow considerably. Simultaneously, they have dropped in cost for both reside and remote monitoring. Whether or not you are thinking about an upgrade for the security system, it pays to help keep up to date with the opportunities for the organization.

(Photo: Adobe Stock By Gorodenkoff)

“As a deterrent to crime, there’s nothing better really. They can be a substantial force in reducing problems, including theft or vandalism, and so are a huge help in encouraging people to behave properly,” says Dean Drako, CEO of Eagle Eye Networks, a cloud video surveillance company.

Over the last several years, several changes have occurred, and new features and capabilities have already been introduced, including the following industry trends.*

More companies are partnering with cloud providers. Large organizations continue to partner with cloud providers since it’s well accepted that the cloud is the way to go. “Just like your e-mail has moved to Microsoft or Google or another cloud provider, cameras are moving from on-premises recording to cloud recording,” Drako explains. The cloud is leaner cost, more reliable due to redundancy, and much more secure. It also permits remote access and maintenance, in addition to scalability. “Furthermore, paying by the month or year implies that you don’t suffer from capital appreciation or the administrative centre expenditure of installing your personal system,” he says.

Digital camera models are replacing analog. Drako notes that the surveillance camera industry has been moving towards digital for 10 or 15 years.

Ted Wilkinson, Director of Channel End and Partners Customers at Axis Communications, a respected network camera manufacturer, agrees. “Folks are still investing analog cameras, but most are buying network (IP) surveillance cameras,” he says.

Some analog HD cameras are actually digital cameras, but they’re marketed as analog HD cameras and are simpler to set up, notes Drako. They’re popular because they run over different wires than digital cameras, and it can be expensive or too difficult to enclose new wires for digital cameras in walls in some buildings, he explains. Thus, facilities that already have the wiring for the analog cameras may end up staying with the analog solution for practicality.

Audio features are gaining in popularity. As people return to workplaces and sites, audio is being introduced on a larger scale. Combined with visual imagery and facial recognition (when allowed), audio can provide notice of a hazardous situation or the presence of an unauthorized person, for example. At that true point, audio can play a pre-recorded announcement to evacuate the premises or to be on alert.

Technology has provided several advances recently. Axis’ Wilkinson says the last 10 years have really been about technology improvements, and he cites a few examples:

Higher resolution: There’s been a lot of time and energy spent on improving the resolution of cameras. (There are more pixels per inch [PPI] with higher resolution.)

Improved low light performance: When it gets dark out, cameras turn to a black and white image so that you can’t identify the color of a car or shirt, and so forth. Cameras that show color during the night are now available.

Specialized cameras: Multi-sensor cameras include one that “sees” a full 360-degree view, which can be helpful in retail, to name one application. A different type of multi-sensor camera has lenses that time in multiple directions, which can help in access control, as another application. “You can have bi-directional audio integrated with a nearby camera and a person can walk up to a loading dock or a front door at the same location and press a button. The person answering the call at the other end can see the person, communicate with them, and decide whether they are to be let in or not,” Wilkinson explains.

AI and analytics continue to be added. “Businesses use surveillance cameras for two applications today. The first is forensics, after an incident, to determine who did what to whom, what broke, or what went wrong. The second, remote monitoring, relates to situational awareness, or what’s occurring in the present. When AI is added, it could be extremely useful for both these,” Drako notes.

With forensics, AI enhances the search and finds things faster. With remote monitoring, alternatively, “cameras offer you eyes into places where you don’t have an individual to watch things. AI is in fact doing the work instead of people. There are way too many video streams to view. People get bored. In this full case, some type of computer watches the video stream within their place,” Drako says.

Combining AI and analytics in video surveillance systems not merely assists with security, additionally, it may provide business intelligence and become customized to a business’s needs. Consider a good example in the retail industry, in which a monitoring system with a camera can analyze customer behaviors and traffic patterns. In turn, this may influence store staffing requirements and store layout decisions.

Mark Schreiber, President of Safeguards Consulting and a trainer for the security industry, highlights that advanced schooling is another field where surveillance cameras might help with an increase of than security. “Advanced schooling has several business functions on campus, like the campus store, library, and cafeteria, and will take lessons from different fields or industries to understand how various spaces are increasingly being utilized. For instance, we’re seeing a trend borrowed from sports venues, where organizations can monitor things such as dwell time taken between vendors,” he says.

Zero Trust Policies are increasing . Zero Trust Policies are section of a security model where no device, software program, or individual is trusted. Instead, every consumer and system attempting to access any reference in a system is tested with features like multi-factor authentication, amongst others. Since cyberattacks present no indications of stopping, companies are more and more implementing these plans to bolster their security techniques and protect critical data. Federal firms are in the forefront of the effort, and facilities in the private sector aren’t behind far.

*Resources: Axis Communications, Eagle Attention Networks, and Toolbox

Cybersecurity And Securing The Cameras

Schreiber reminds users that surveillance cameras are a double-edged sword. “Once safety cameras stopped being CCTV (closed-circuit television) devices-which just required a wire from the digital camera to a recorder or monitor, and rather connected to a system via IP that makes use of an Ethernet link, they opened themselves to nefarious action,” he says. “Earlier, it absolutely was difficult to gain usage of coaxial cable if you don’t were physically linked to the wire, but with IP systems, you will be a third-celebration vendor accessing the digital camera having an extranet and have the capability to breach the company system,” he warns.

(Photo: Adobe Share by Creation Perig)

Surveillance digital cameras provide more capabilities, however they can simply be attacked more. “You protect the cameras through ‘hardening,’ which starts at installation,” Schreiber continues. Hardening can be an industry term this means configuring and managing your devices in a manner that they’re hard to penetrate from the cyber perspective, Wilkinson explains. One particular way to do that is with unique passwords and changing them often. Other measures include blocking port connections to the camera itself, limiting the protocols which are useful for communicating with the camera, and preventing the camera from reverting to factory default settings after initial setup. Facility managers should also ensure that at predetermined intervals the camera remains properly monitored and the firmware is updated to the most recent version, advises Schreiber.

A February 2022 article 1 from Axis Communications states: “GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance and cybersecurity are intrinsically linked,” and the author describes the role of integrators in protecting their customers’ sites and organization overall.

Compliance Issues And Surveillance Operations

Help Net Security, a website focused on information security, predicts that as video surveillance becomes more widely adopted even, in addition to used more for compliance purposes frequently, its use shall are more regulated. 2 “Compliance falls into two categories,” Schreiber says. One is situated upon market and government requirements, whether chemical manufacturing or the utilities market, for example.

Within the security market, compliance involves whether surveillance is required in certain areas, and if a video is recorded for a certain timeframe, as well as how (and for how long) information is kept and archived.

The second category relates to privacy, the way the cameras are increasingly being used actually, the way the given information has been captured and utilized, and if they’re in line with privacy rights, the government’s usually. “States also have various rights-as well as the European Union-and in that sense, these rights are becoming more market-specific,” says Schreiber.

If organizations are going to tie systems together, with the rapid increase in technological advances, and myriad, complex regulations around access control, Wilkinson suggests they have an integrator on staff. “It’s a specialized skill,” he says. Integrators can do the installation, however they can tie integrated devices and systems to interact also.

Finally, Schreiber notes that under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2019 Section 889) 3 , the federal government has banned some video surveillance products used for video surveillance. The Act prohibits the U.S. government from procuring telecommunication and video equipment from certain Chinese companies and their subsidiaries. “The Trade Agreement Act (TAA) 4 goes hand in hand with that, specifying that surveillance cameras can only be manufactured in certain countries,” adds Wilkinson.

References

1 https://www.axis.com/blog/secure-insights/cybersecurity-system-integrators/
2 https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2021/01/06/video-surveillance-trends-2021
3 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – Azure Compliance | Microsoft Docs: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/compliance/offerings/offering-ndaa-section-889#ndaa-section-889-overview
4 https://pricereporter.com/taa-trade-agreements-act-compliance-explained/

Olsen writes on business, health, and technology. Her columns and articles have appeared in THE BRAND NEW York Times, Family Business, Harvard Business Review, On Wall Street, among others.

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