Security grew by leaps and bounds during the pandemic for various reasons. It has forced companies to revisit their security technology as they needed to scale it. This is especially true for video surveillance. As fewer people are on companies’ properties, businesses needed more and greater control over monitoring the vacant commercial property.
It’s more critical than ever to optimize your video surveillance investment. Here are six ways to do it that many don’t know about.
1. Video Analytics with Artificial Intelligence
A basic video surveillance system shows what the cameras see. Spotting problems and suspicious activity require someone to monitor the cameras. Another option is to have analysts who know how to search hours and hours of recordings to find issues.
When you add artificial intelligence to video surveillance, it instantly levels up. In the past few years, AI has exploded. AI supplies video surveillance with the ability to do much more than a plain video surveillance system can.
Prior to the advent of AI, video surveillance was a passive tool. It simply provided views of the property. People had to constantly monitor it for suspicious activity. Integrating artificial intelligence with a video system gives it a brain. Embedded AI allows video systems to watch for a specific scenario and react.
In short, AI contains programming that tells the cameras how to analyze what it sees. Once it recognizes a scenario, AI tells the video system what to do. This is intelligent video analytics.
Although traditional security can deter crime, intelligent video analytics maximizes a company’s security. For example, an analyst can conduct a search of the feeds by doing a search for “man wearing red” or the make and model of a suspicious car.
The Verge highlights another brilliant use for video surveillance AI. Idaho had a dam built. They had to ensure it complied with environmental regulations. It required counting the number of fish getting over the top of the structure.
Typically, someone watches the fish and counts them. You can imagine this mind-numbing activity could lead to mistakes and an inaccurate count. The observer could miss some fish or mess up the count. Idaho discovered a more effective way by using remote video surveillance. They had a system built to identify types of fish making it to the top of the structure.
A business that wants to use video surveillance to deter crime can use a similar process. They work with a video security company that programs many different scenarios in the system. Instead of counting fish, it’ll tell the system to ignore things like flying plastic bags and stray animals.
It can watch for people who approach the property after hours when no one should be onsite. Artificial intelligence analyzes the feed to flag one of many scenarios. When it finds a match, the system tells it what to do.
AI learns from the monitoring operator’s feedback. The more feedback it gets, the more accurate it becomes. Pairing AI with human intelligence greatly reduces false positives and errors while increasing the chances of spotting problems.
The state of Texas recently made the news for its massive power outage. Many residents had no power for three days. Some didn’t have water, and some didn’t have either. This could be a problem for a business that didn’t have a backup plan for video surveillance.
What about the data on the servers? What if the server housing the data crashes taking everything with it? What’s the backup plan for that? A video surveillance system consists of many components. If any part of the component breaks, then the company risks losing valuable information, data, or video feeds.
As you search for the right video surveillance service, ask about backup. Power goes out. Technology breaks. What’s the backup plan to ensure you never lose your data?
3. System Health Check
Having a backup plan helps ensure you never lose your data. Still, what about the video cameras themselves? If a crime should occur, then you want to guarantee the cameras captured it. Don’t let yourself experience the nightmare of the cameras not working when the crime happened.
Again, technology breaks. As the hardware ages, its parts may start malfunctioning or stop working completely. A car is one of the largest technologies people own. They do not simply drive the car and fill it with gas. Every vehicle has to undergo an inspection to verify it can pass all the safety checks.
Additionally, vehicle owners also make sure the tires are rotated or replaced. Don’t forget about regular oil changes. A system health check is like a vehicle’s yearly inspection and regular oil changes.
Conducting a physical of a video surveillance system analyzes the cameras, network video recorder, hard drive, internet, and other equipment. It looks for problems related to wireless, camera outages, power, and the internet. Some security providers can conduct system health checks remotely without setting foot on the property where the cameras live. It’s also possible to do repairs remotely.
A system health check is a proactive tool for verifying the system works properly while maximizing performance and uptime. It takes away the stress of worrying about whether the system works properly.
Companies got a lesson on scalability after the advent of the pandemic. Some had an easy experience in scaling up. Some had a bad experience. It depends on what video surveillance system they have and whether they worked with a security company.
As the government required businesses to shut down, many companies requested expanding their video surveillance. With no one on the property, the businesses wanted more eyes on it. Add to that many employees having switched to remote working. That means fewer people on the property.
5. Integrated Security System
An integrated security system
delivers the biggest bang for your security investment. An integrated security system maximizes your security by unifying multiple security systems. For instance, you can combine video surveillance with an access control system.
This system manages and controls access into the building, specific areas, and even the parking garage. Employees receive badges. They can swipe these badges at the parking gate, building entrance, and secure rooms where only a few have access.
The biggest benefit of access control is that the company will not need to change the locks when employees or tenants leave. No one has to worry about a former employee not turning in a badge. You can remove the employee’s access in an instant with a few clicks of the keyboard.
Video surveillance, of course, allows you to monitor people entering and leaving the building and other access points. Not everyone who comes to the building has access as maintenance, vendors, visitors, and prospective clients may stop by. For this group, you can issue a temporary badge to let them in the building. Create a check-in and check-out process for obtaining and returning these badges.
One of the biggest things to come out of the pandemic is the rise in contactless technologies and processes. Everyone knows the pandemic won’t go on forever. Once it’s over, the need for contactless processes will remain. COVID-19 isn’t the only contagious illness so it will help ensure you’re never caught off-guard again.
An integrated security system can help reduce contact. Instead of security guards (or reducing the number), video surveillance can fill in the role and it’s contactless. Monitoring operators do not work on your property. They watch from another site.
This provides another benefit in that it reduces the risk of internal theft. No one on the property knows who monitors the cameras. Criminals can’t approach monitoring operators for inside information to help them commit a crime. On top of it all, it lowers the number of people you have in the building.
Another way contactless integrated security proves useful is with the delivery process. Remote video surveillance can watch for delivery people. Access control allows the person to enter with the package. The delivery person leaves the package in a designated place. An employee can pick it up after the delivery person has left.
6. Optimized Storage
Video files grow exponentially. Capturing and saving video footage from all the cameras on the property takes up a lot of space on the server. The more space used, the higher the cost. Compression techniques optimize data storage. Dual compression works better than single compression.
As you explore video surveillance solutions, ask the security company about the cost of storage and storage optimization. Ask questions about compression technologies and their impacts on your bottom-line.
These six overlooked features will help bolster your video surveillance and security investment. Not many security companies have the resources and expertise to offer them. Stealth does.
When you work with Stealth, you will have the right technology to proactively protect your business. That’s because we customize the video management solution based on your needs. In doing so, it’ll help deliver a faster ROI.
If you’d like to learn more about business security and how it can do more than catch criminals, check out the complete guide to securing your property. To learn more about video surveillance and these features, contact us.