The True Cost of Implementing an Advanced Video Security Solution

June 11, 2024
As the threat landscape evolves, so must your organization's video security strategy.

 The true cost of implementing advanced video technology extends far beyond the initial investment. From preventing losses and streamlining operations to ensuring compliance, and enhancing the customer experience, a comprehensive video technology system with AI-enabled tools and hybrid cloud connectivity can provide significant long-term benefits and a solid return on the investment.

In today's fast-paced business landscape, organizations face countless challenges when it comes to protecting their assets, people, and bottom line. According to the FBI's Internet Crime Report, cybercrime alone cost businesses and individuals over $10.3 billion in 2022, while the National Retail Federation reports that retail theft and fraud cost the industry nearly $112.1 billion in 2022.

A non-hardened video security system can be vulnerable to cyber threats due to its numerous potential entry points, including cameras, edge devices, and integrations with other systems.

These striking figures underscore the importance of investing in a hardened, robust video security system. While the upfront costs of implementing strong cybersecurity measures may seem considerable, they are a fraction of the potential monetary and reputational damages that can arise from a successful breach. By making the hardening of video security systems a top priority, businesses can effectively protect their resources, secure confidential information, and preserve the confidence of their clients and partners.

A non-hardened video security system can be vulnerable to cyber threats due to its numerous potential entry points, including cameras, edge devices, and integrations with other systems. These systems can be easily compromised without proper investment in cybersecurity measures like network segmentation, encryption, and strict user access control. Additionally, regularly updating software, firmware, and security settings ensures that the system remains resilient against evolving threats.

Enhancing Efficiency and Profitability

Advanced video technology offers significant benefits that extend beyond traditional security applications. It enables businesses to proactively prevent incidents, quickly resolve issues, and improve their operations for increased efficiency and profitability.

One of the most significant advantages of an advanced video technology system is its ability to deter criminal activity. Cameras backed by open platform video management software (VMS) can discourage potential thieves, vandals, or other bad actors from breaking and entering, as the risk of being caught and prosecuted increases significantly. Video management software provides a centralized location for evidence-gathering, allowing businesses to identify, obtain, and analyze many available data types, including camera tracking and video/audio enhancement. By deterring and preventing incidents from occurring, businesses can avoid the costly aftermath of property damage, inventory loss, and legal proceedings.

If an incident does occur, high-quality video data is an invaluable tool for rapid resolution. Detailed data can help identify suspects, establish timelines, and provide critical evidence for investigations, leading to faster apprehension of criminals and recovery of stolen assets. Video data can also be instrumental in disproving fraudulent claims, such as staged accidents or false liability cases, potentially saving businesses thousands of dollars in legal fees and settlements.

Analytics for Strategic Insights

Advanced video technology can also play a crucial role in enhancing business operations. By analyzing customer behavior, traffic patterns, and employee performance, companies can gain valuable insights to inform strategic decisions. For example, retailers can use video analytics to optimize store layouts, product placement, and staffing levels based on customer preferences and peak shopping hours. This data-driven approach improves the customer experience and maximizes sales potential and resource allocation.

Advanced video technology can also play a crucial role in enhancing business operations. By analyzing customer behavior, traffic patterns, and employee performance, companies can gain valuable insights to inform strategic decisions.

In industries such as manufacturing and logistics, video technology can help streamline supply chain processes by monitoring inventory levels, tracking shipments, and identifying bottlenecks or inefficiencies. By addressing these issues proactively, businesses can reduce waste, minimize downtime, and improve overall productivity.

Additionally, video technology can facilitate better collaboration and communication among teams. Because of company growth and siloed departments, most organizations use disparate video management platforms across the business. Having a mix of video platforms in an organization is inefficient, and standardizing the platform greatly increases a system's success, especially as solutions move toward artificial intelligence (AI) and video analytics on existing systems.

Real-time video sharing and remote monitoring capabilities allow stakeholders across different locations to access critical information and make informed decisions quickly. This enhanced situational awareness and coordination can be especially valuable in crisis situations or when managing geographically dispersed operations.

Integrating video data with other business systems, such as access control, point-of-sale, and inventory management, creates a powerful, holistic view of an organization's operations. By leveraging these integrations, companies can automate processes, reduce manual errors, and better understand their business performance.

As the volume of data generated by video systems grows, the ability to process, analyze, and gain actionable insights becomes increasingly important. Advanced video technology incorporating AI and machine learning algorithms can automate the detection of anomalies, patterns, and trends, enabling businesses to make proactive, data-driven decisions that improve security, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

Investing in video technology is not just a matter of improved security but a strategic decision that can transform businesses' operations. By leveraging video data and analytics, organizations can unlock new growth opportunities, optimize their resources, and stay ahead of the competition in an increasingly dynamic and challenging market.

Hybrid Cloud for Cost Efficiency

The advancements in cloud connectivity and the increased popularity of hybrid on-premises/cloud solutions have transformed the video security industry, offering businesses unprecedented flexibility, scalability, and cost-saving potential. By sharing storage and computing resources between on-site systems and the cloud, businesses can prevent over- or under-investment in hardware that may quickly become insufficient or obsolete. This is especially true with the wave of new resource-intense AI tech coming to video security solutions. The end user may not want to be responsible for the heavy computing needs of the data analysis.

The cloud's pay-as-you-go model allows users to scale up instantaneously while optimizing costs, and migrating older data to affordable cloud-tiered storage helps conserve expensive local storage. This is particularly beneficial for industries with strict compliance requirements, such as healthcare and finance, which often require long-term data retention.

This scalability is particularly valuable for businesses with fluctuating security needs, such as those undergoing mergers and acquisitions or experiencing rapid growth. Cloud-based video technology enables security teams to quickly onboard new locations and standardize system management without waiting for lengthy IT infrastructure design and deployment processes.

Video security as a service (VSaaS) approach to system design provides access to advanced features and analytics as needed, eliminating the need for costly upfront investments in hardware and software. This allows businesses to leverage cutting-edge technology without the burden of ongoing maintenance and updates.

For example, the city of Vicente López in Argentina transformed itself into a smart city by deploying open-platform video technology integrated with AWS cloud services. This hybrid data storage and management model led to reduced response times to criminal acts and traffic incidents, optimized waste management, lighting management, and vehicle parking, and provided a future-proof, cost-effective solution for the city's growing needs.

Similarly, the City of Fishers in Indiana implemented a cloud-based video security solution to enhance public safety and streamline operations. By leveraging AWS cloud services, the city quickly scaled its video system to cover key areas while reducing infrastructure costs and simplifying management. By shifting storage and computing capabilities to the cloud, the city has decreased its capital expense and moved toward a predictable operating model.

Tracy Gaynor, the Director of Information Technology for the City of Fishers, explains how their hybrid cloud approach allows the city to meet its needs without breaking the budget. "A couple of years ago, with our on-premises solution, we got to the point where we needed to budget roughly $100,000 a year for hardware and storage expansion and all the other related annual costs involved in maintaining and growing our storage systems. Now that we're working with cloud storage, our monthly bill from AWS is less than 10% of the annualized cost for a storage unit."

Emerging Technologies and Cost Savings

As video technology advances, it is transforming the industry and creating new opportunities for businesses to optimize their systems and gain even greater value from their investments. Video analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) device integration, predictive maintenance, and enhanced cybersecurity are just a few of the emerging technologies that promise to deliver significant cost savings and operational benefits, including:

  • AI-powered video analytics can analyze video data in real-time, detecting anomalies, identifying patterns, and providing valuable insights into customer behavior, operational efficiency, and potential security threats. By automating the detection of potentially harmful patterns and swiftly identifying breaches or threats, AI-driven solutions can help businesses proactively prevent incidents, streamline investigations, and make data-driven decisions that save time and money.
  •  Integration with IoT devices allows video systems to seamlessly connect with access control systems, environmental sensors, smart building systems, and much more. This level of integration provides a more comprehensive single-pane-of-glass view of security and operations, enabling businesses to respond to incidents more quickly and effectively, thereby minimizing potential losses and downtime.
  •  As cyber threats evolve, enhanced cybersecurity features such as end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular security audits become increasingly critical for protecting sensitive video data. Cloud-based solutions often offer better security than traditional on-premises systems, with built-in data protection, redundancy, and regulatory compliance that can help businesses avoid the financial and reputational damages associated with data breaches.

By leveraging these and other emerging technologies, businesses can future-proof their video system investments and realize significant long-term cost savings.

Ensuring Compliance, Mitigating Risk

As organizations increasingly rely on video data, they must navigate a complex landscape of regulations governing the privacy and security of this sensitive information. Key federal, state, local, and industry-specific regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), impose strict requirements on how video data must be collected, stored, and accessed. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant financial penalties, legal liabilities, and reputational damage. To mitigate these risks and ensure compliance, organizations are turning to video solutions that leverage the power of cloud computing.

Businesses can reduce video data compliance burdens, risks, and costs by partnering with trusted cloud providers. Leading cloud platforms offer a range of automated compliance features and tools that help organizations meet their regulatory obligations efficiently and effectively. However, it is important to note that while cloud providers can assist with compliance efforts, the ultimate responsibility for data security and compliance remains with the organization itself.

Today's open platform video management software — whether deployed as hybrid cloud or cloud-based VSaaS — provides organizations with the flexibility and scalability needed to securely store video data in the cloud while leveraging the compliance capabilities of their chosen cloud provider.

Businesses can reduce video data compliance burdens, risks, and costs by partnering with trusted cloud providers. Leading cloud platforms offer a range of automated compliance features and tools that help organizations meet their regulatory obligations efficiently and effectively.

Additionally, new global regulations around the development and use of responsible technologies are evolving rapidly. For the security industry, the rise of AI regulation will significantly impact how technology vendors and users leverage machine learning and other AI capabilities in products and services.

Within today’s emerging technology regulation environment, developers and users should adopt a data transparency policy to help ensure that all stakeholders—including users, regulators, and society—can clearly understand an AI system's inner workings and decision-making processes. Sustaining such a vision for responsible technology use will keep security companies competitive amidst regulatory changes on the horizon.

By providing a secure, auditable activity record, video data helps organizations demonstrate adherence to regulations and avoid costly penalties. Cloud-based solutions enhance this security with built-in data encryption, granular access controls, and redundancy measures that protect sensitive video data from unauthorized access or loss.

Leveraging the Strategic Tech Approach

In an era of unprecedented challenges and rapidly evolving threats, businesses must adapt and embrace innovative solutions to safeguard their assets, people, and bottom line. By harnessing the power of data-driven insights, businesses can unlock a wealth of opportunities to optimize processes, improve customer experiences, and drive growth. From retail stores to hospitals to smart cities, the applications of advanced video solutions are transformative.

However, implementing such solutions requires a strategic, forward-thinking approach. Partnering with trusted technology providers who can offer scalable, flexible, and secure solutions that align with an organization's unique needs and goals is essential. By leveraging the expertise of these partners, businesses can navigate the complexities of integration, compliance, and data management, ensuring a smooth and successful deployment.

As the threat landscape evolves, so must an organization's video security strategy. Investing in continuous upgrades, employee training, and proactive maintenance is crucial to staying ahead of potential vulnerabilities and maintaining the highest level of protection. The cost of inaction far outweighs the cost of investment.


About the Author

Matt Fishback | Business Development Manager, AWS, Milestone Systems

Matt Fishback is the Business Development Manager, AWS, Milestone Systems. For more than 25 years, he has developed and delivered a passion for using technology to improve operations, business, and people's lives within the manufacturing, service, and technology sectors. Over the last several years, he has channeled his depth of experience at Milestone Systems in both sales and operations roles and is currently leading the Milestone AWS cloud strategy. Matt is a graduate of Linfield University with degrees in Economics and Business Administration.