Cisco develops security solutions to address the 'Internet of Things' quandary for end users

Sept. 29, 2014
Company announces new additions to its product portfolio at ASIS 2014

Whether you’re a security executive, systems integrator or a residential alarm dealer, you will inevitably be impacted – in one form or another – by the technology trend that has become known as the “Internet of Things” or IoT for short. The belief is that in the not too distant future, nearly every device or sensor that people use, no matter how miniscule, will be connected to the Internet. In fact, research firm Gartner predicts that the market for IoT technology will be worth $1.9 trillion by 2020.

The security industry has already seen this to an extent with the advent of IP video and access control products, but many people believe that this technology evolution will not stop there. In fact, one company that has been firmly behind this trend for several years now is Cisco, which has developed a complete portfolio of physical security solutions around what the company refers to as the “Internet of Everything.”      

“Right now, we’re living in a very interesting point in time with a lot of different factors in terms of technologies and market trends coming together to create a perfect storm of very unique inflection points,” said Roberto De La Mora, Cisco’s senior director of marketing for IoT solutions.  “At Cisco, we’ve been working on the Internet of Things for a while now and we have a whole Internet of Things portfolio for different vertical markets and industries.”

According to Brian Apgar, senior director of engineering for IoT software and systems at Cisco,  the company has seen the needs of their customers “rapidly evolving “ in that the problems they’re trying to address with their security solutions are more complex and the scales of the systems they want to deploy are much greater than in the past.

“Their problems have become the problems of the Internet of Everything,” said Apgar. “How do they manage large, distributed deployments that can scale? How do they link video and sensors together to create meaningful information? How do they manage the flood of data from the edge of their network to define, store and act on that data that really matters? And, how do they deliver that data to the people that need it, so that they can make decisions and create business value and streamline their business processes? We’re seeing this in all of the vertical markets we look at – whether it’s oil and gas, transportation, education, safe and secure city projects, or retail distribution.”

To address these growing complexities, Cisco announced several new products and capabilities at the ASIS 2014 conference in Atlanta including:

  • Video Surveillance Manager (VSM) Version 7.6 – the latest version of the company’s video management software features two capabilities to address problems associated with the Internet of Everything. First, scalable application management at the edge allows users to manage millions of end points using the federation capabilities in VSM 7.6. Secondly, the new version now has an end-to-end, high-availability capability, which is required for IoT applications.
  • New camera models – the 6500PD 1080p HD IP camera and 7530 5-megapixel dome IP camera  offer advanced video analytics at the edge. This new level of intelligence at the edge provides end users with the ability to analyze data from the cameras and determine if it is essential to security personnel.
  • IPICS (IP Interoperability and Collaboration System) update – the company can now link mobile devices that leverage either the Android or iOS platforms with real-time dispatch and voice communications connected to the rest of the IPICS network.

“From the perspective of building a highly-scalable solution, (the proliferation of the IoT) has made it, in some ways, quite a bit more challenging,” explained Apgar. "In one of the deployments we have in a city, we’ve got several hundred thousand cameras and trying to manage that scale is difficult and we believe our system is one of the few that is even capable of that. When you add in the additional complexity of trying to pull in other data from sensors and layer on the integration of analytics, you have a fairly challenging integration problem. You have to really look at the architecture of a system from the beginning to design it to be able to achieve not only scale, but also provide the integration points for the different technologies from third parties that are going to have to come in and I think we’ve done a particularly good job with VSM in terms of providing a very strong architecture that provides multiple integration points for our partners for solving those problems.” 

About the Author

Joel Griffin | Editor-in-Chief,

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of, a business-to-business news website published by Endeavor Business Media that covers all aspects of the physical security industry. Joel has covered the security industry since May 2008 when he first joined the site as assistant editor. Prior to SecurityInfoWatch, Joel worked as a staff reporter for two years at the Newton Citizen, a daily newspaper located in the suburban Atlanta city of Covington, Ga.