Ronald Worman is the founder and managing director of The Sage Group.
Photo credit: (File photo)
Using newer technologies and aligning physical security with IT needs enables cost savings within organizations.
Photo credit: (Image courtesy stock.xchng/nosheep)
Your budget for security operations is 90 percent plumbing. As such, it is difficult to migrate away from the expense of your mundane, dead-end technology over to innovative, long-term scalable solutions. However, solutions are emerging that will optimize the way you mitigate risk and drive innovation within your organization. Embracing innovation will allow you to cut costs, eliminate inefficiencies and create a path to new value.
It’s hard to abandon an infrastructure that already seems to be doing the basic job. Fortunately, the future is bright and the industry deserves better than the mess of proprietary solutions that you’ve been offered thus far. Modern physical security solutions are no longer just cost centers, but are now evolving into information centers that drive and maximize profit.
What all this means is simple. If you are having difficulty creating a budget for new and better approaches for mitigating risk and driving innovative new practices inside your company, then you must re-think your approach.
How can you optimize your current budget spend while driving the next generation of services to your organization? Think like the best CIOs: Align your needs against a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology stack.
It’s highly likely that you already have most of this stack as part of your corporate infrastructure. Your devices and software should natively integrate with this stack.
For example, cameras should conform to a technology architecture that best serves the needs of the entire stakeholder community. This allows you to align and balance the physical security department against the business. A camera should have the intelligence and ability to use other distributed camera resources, for both computing and storage.
Additionally, cameras should be able to become true edge devices with all of the high bandwidth video being stored locally. This is called edge storage. You communicate directly with the security camera over the Internet or intranet. No DVR is needed and there are no unmanageable costs associated with cloud hosting because the video is not stored in the cloud. The cloud is now used for what it is best at – video management, not mass video storage.
Like any of your other IT services, the video can be accessed on demand and only transmitted to you when required. If this was a cloud platform, then the video surveillance management solution would determine when and what to store. This is particularly important when critical events and incidents need to be sent to mobile devices outside the traditional security operations center (SOC). Critical video can now be corresponded to an incident, deployed to first responder resources as needed, while being captured for forensics and prosecutorial reporting.
The cloud can be private (on premises) or using a host of commercial cloud storage services (off premises) such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure to name a few. Because this new paradigm is built on COTS technology, your IT department is already able to effectively and efficiently manage these assets.
Think of a few of the many applications associated with this example:
1). A fast food chain wants high-quality video surveillance without the hassle, expense and liability of server-based installations. The camera stores all information which management easily connects to on demand through an encrypted Internet feed.
2). A city government implementation requiring redundant video recording that needs storage at the edge concurrently with storage at the hosted network platform. The purpose: Resiliency in the event of server downtime.
3). A city center requires high availability remote video monitoring for critical assets, like construction sites or remote facilities. The camera edge device records high-resolution video locally and simultaneously streams bandwidth-friendly recordings to a small appliance at the edge.
Now imagine every information asset captured from a camera, guard, physical access control system or any other device or software application can be provided through a unified portal that runs on a common technology stack.
That stack covers the entire spectrum of your risk management and information technology needs. It includes front-end and back-end applications like word processing, spreadsheets, document management and workflow, and video communications. Now you have the whole picture; the common operating picture and the beginning of the next generation of security and the business.