There are both camera-based and server -based analytics for camera Scene Change Detection, which can detect a range of problems -- not just camera repositioning or view blocking. Many network cameras also have tamper alarms.
Using network monitoring software to run PING checks on network cameras will not always detect cameras malfunction, but it will detect when the network signal is off line. Enabling camera to send syslog events to a syslog server (most IT departments run or can a syslog server) will provide event messages indicating camera restarts, failed logon attempts, and other events that can indicate isolated and recurring problems.
Other network monitoring tools can be used to watch and report when the amount of video traffic on a network path drops below a level that would indicate video transmission loss.
Write to Ray about this column at ConvergenceQA@go-rbcs.com. Ray Bernard, PSP, CHS-III is the principal consultant for Ray Bernard Consulting Services (RBCS), a firm that provides security consulting services for public and private facilities. For more information about Ray Bernard and RBCS go to www.go-rbcs.com or call 949-831-6788.