Many of you have been in the security industry long enough to recall when a CCTV system involved Vidicon tubes, solder-on auto-iris connectors (thumb-burners), metal wall brackets and VCRs.
We watched the products change and advance from 240 TVL to an almost magical 1080p. Recording went from changing out a T-120 – or T-180 for the daring – to juggling between an acceptable frame rate and a usable resolution using a mouse on an interface.
Digital recording has ushered in a new era of quality and capability. Video can be viewed remotely and saved onto local media. Video clips can be seconds or minutes in size rather than on a full tape or disc. The server box now rests on a shelf that at one time held dozens of tapes.
Advances in features turn a security device into a helpful market analysis device. Managers can watch customer movements and patterns and adjust placement of products in strategic locations or thoroughfares for maximum visibility. What once took hours now takes minutes to review, and many retail applications have been more successful as a result.
Enter the age of “The Cloud” – a term we hear more and more every day, yet many of us still do not completely understand exactly what it is or how it works. It is an intangible, a mystery, a buzzword for something that gets plugged into a router. The cloud, however, can be as tangible and as real as the device you plug into it. Rather than think of it as an aside to the system you are building, think of it as the heart and indeed the brain of the system.
Your video and access control systems once resided in a server in your security or IT room. These servers cost thousands of dollars to purchase and require dozens of man-hours to maintain and update. This has always been, and always will be, the burden for end-users managing a system themselves.
What cloud services do is to pull that IT burden away from the client and place it into one or more extremely secure and dependable server farms around the country and the world. On the surface, it sounds pretty scary for a customer, but it is not – or at least it shouldn’t be.
Pretty much everything we do these days involves use of the cloud, and many of us do not even think about it. From checking a bank balance to reading the latest tweet, all of our information and the vast majority of our conversations are already in the cloud. But the big question: Is it safe and secure? The answer can be provided by one or both of two acronyms – SaaS, which can be Software as a Service or indeed Service as a Service.
For decades, the use of a firewall was the primary line of defense. By moving services to secure databanks, you have enlisted the help of massive amounts of storage, multiple hardware and software redundancies, and hyper-secure algorithms to keep data safe.
Cybersecurity has merged seamlessly into the physical security realm and has helped create services that encompass every aspect of a security system. Where once sat boxes, hard drives, power supplies, and other fallible devices, now rests a simple, yet secure site to enable your customer to control a company’s entire security needs.
See SaaS in action at the Cyber:Secured Forum in Dallas, July 29-31. Learn more at www.securityinfowatch.com/12406162
Stuart Clapp is Supervisor of Inside Sales for PSA Security Network. To request more information about PSA, visit www.securityinfowatch.com/10214742.