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Camera systems are key components of corporate security. But they’re often quite complicated to implement and maintain, with lots of wiring as well as hardware and software infrastructure to set up and then sort through. Smart cameras have emerged as an answer to the shortcomings of traditional security camera systems.
Let’s say your organization had recently completed installing a conventional camera surveillance system. Even with professional assistance, the overall implementation could create some major challenges down the line related to:
With the shift to telecommuting — Global Workplace Analytics has estimated that almost one-third of office employee could be working at home multiple days of the week by the end of 2021 — ensuring reliable yet secure remote access can be tricky. Complicated virtual private network (VPN) setups and software plugins (e.g., those within some web browsers) may be required.
In addition to the cameras themselves, a network video recorder (NVR) is necessary for actually recording the video data and transmitting it to durable storage. The required NVR adds to the CAPEX of the camera system, which in turn limits the scalability of the deployment and adds to its general technical complexity. Other hardware and software may be necessary for properly analyzing data within video frames. Managing all of this extra infrastructure also increases total security liabilities.
Ballooning storage costs
Older camera systems, or relatively bare-bones ones may, need to be supplemented with additional software purchases down the line, not to mention recurring payments for cloud-based storage. As the system expands and captures even more video, these costs and complications can become overwhelming, especially when accounting for high resolution (1080p, 4K and beyond) and long retention periods.
Fortunately, there is a clear alternative: a smart camera solution, such as the one built around MV cloud-managed cameras from Cisco Meraki and Telesystem.
In the context of security systems, smart cameras are devices with machine vision capabilities, through which they can isolate, analyze and transmit specific types of imagery for use in various applications, including security. Their built-in intelligence, powered by advanced processors, typically cover motion indexing, search and analytics processing, along with onboard storage capacity and network connectivity.
For example, a smart camera can identify particular objects within a frame and produce corresponding analytics. From there, its insights can be applied to a wide range of potential use cases, including managing retail queues and improving factory assembly lines. Isolating footage is straightforward, and APIs are available for connecting smart cameras to other pieces of security infrastructure.
Whereas a traditional security camera system may require a lot of manual intervention on top of the multiple issues discussed earlier, a smart camera implementation is much more automated. The expansive functionality of smart cameras has fueled their rapid adoption. According to Verified Market Research, the global market for smart cameras was worth $4.61 billion in 2018 and was projected to expand at a 9.17% compound annual growth rate from 2019 to 2026.
Digging deeper, why are organizations drawn to smart camera solutions? In short, smart cameras provide security, scalability and streamlined management in one convenient package.
Compared to older alternatives, smart camera platforms offer an experience better suited to the age of ubiquitous cloud computing and constant security threats. Their most important advantages include:
From one cloud-based console, administrators can define user permissions, restrict video exporting, limit overall viewability to specified cameras and prevent unauthorized changes to any of these settings. Moreover, the use of a cloud-based proxy eliminates the need for any complex VPN configuration and browser plugin installation just to facilitate remote user access. Access is easy, yet secure, for authorized users.
Smart cameras come fully equipped with high-endurance storage. Accordingly, they don’t need separate NVRs, meaning that there’s less infrastructure to manage as well as fewer security risks to worry about. The placement of storage directly within cameras is also beneficial for network management, as video can still be captured and accessed locally, with less bandwidth required than if everything were kept in the cloud. This helps with overall system scalability. The network is less congested, plus adding more storage is as simple as installing more cameras.
As vital pieces of security infrastructure, smart cameras must, themselves, be hardened against threats such as the interception of their traffic or unauthorized access to cameras and stored data. To that end, they reduce the attack surface by removing the separate NVR, encrypting data by default and automatically using publicly signed SSL encryption certificates. Two-factor authentication may be integrated for further protection, requiring any user to supply more than a password alone.
Everything needed for setting up and maintaining a smart camera will usually come with it. That’s a sharp departure from the days of having to procure separate components like NVRs. It also eliminates the need to actively look for and download additional software such as plugins to ensure the system is updated and secure. With cameras like those in the MV family, all updates are managed and distributed automatically.
Last but definitely not least, smart camera systems may come with expert support and additional managed services from the solution provider. These amenities remove a major burden from IT departments, which otherwise would have to devote significant time and effort to simply maintaining system uptime. With every MV camera installation, Telesystem offers 24/7/365 management and technical support.
Smart cameras are vital to both physical security and cybersecurity. Telesystem can guide your organization through an implementation that will ensure you have a setup that is secure, scalable and reliable. Learn more by connecting with a member of our team today.