Posted on Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 in Blog
What is surveillance technology and why does your business need it?
While your company’s interest in security and safety may be higher than ever, the technology you use in order to support your safeguarding activity could be outdated. So how can you tell if it’s time for a shakeup, or if your surveillance systems are already serving their purpose in the modern world?
What is surveillance technology, and how could it be the answer, moving from a traditional analog system to a far more effective, and reliable IP network? With improvements to speed, ease of use and accuracy, an IP CCTV solution can offer businesses a far more efficient and safe way of working, making the lengthy processing and poor-quality video footage of analog solutions a thing of the past.
Retrieve and extract footage faster
Analog surveillance management systems can be problematic. Suzanne Waugh is an experienced Regional Sales Manager at IndigoVision and after working closely with security teams, she’s noticed that:
The biggest pain point for security operators is the time it takes to retrieve footage; the process to export it; to take video footage off the system; and to locate the footage they want – this is usually done via each individual camera.
For example, you might be trying to spot a particular vehicle on a public street. You know the colour, make and registration plate, but that’s all you have to go on – your job is to manually sit and look through three days’ worth of footage, fast-forwarding through the video at x16 until you think you’ve found the right vehicle.
The updated approach to solve this same issue is to automate your surveillance systems. Instead of spending precious time fixated on the video, looking for a particular piece of evidence, an IP CCTV solution can do this for you:
- Run simple motion analytics in live or playback to show any vehicle that appears within the scene
- In playback, objects of interest will be flagged for review
- In live, Artificial Intelligence can be used to alert when a number plate has appeared in the scene and/or when a particular vehicle type and colour has appeared in the scene
- This way, you can navigate away from your desk to work on something else
- Then an alarm will notify you when there’s movement and you have a registration plate
- This footage will be of sufficient quality to be used immediately as evidence in court
The advantages to the safety and security of your premises aren’t the only benefit to updating your surveillance management system, as Suzanne Waugh explains:
The processes that operators with older systems go through to do their job will become simpler and quicker with current IP CCTV software. They’ll be able to save time and make their job easier.
Get superior quality video footage
If you haven’t updated your surveillance management system for a few years, chances are the capabilities of the equipment you’re using match that of technology at the time – think how far cameras have come in that time.
Also, if you’re relying on outdated solutions, it’s probably frustrating when the video you’re relying on isn’t even of sound quality and can’t be used. On a more serious level, it may mean the difference between being able to protect those in your care, and not. Suzanne Waugh has seen this many times before:
After all the effort of exporting the footage and manually finding the exact bit you need – by going into each camera individually, and scrolling through all the footage – the evidential quality of the video doesn’t actually satisfy the requirements to be able to use in a prosecution.
If someone has an accident, witnesses are likely to report different things. But with an up-to-date security surveillance system, you can support word-of-mouth accounts with genuinely useful video footage. Simon Steer is the Regional Sales Director at IndigoVision and knows how important this is:
The quality of the picture and the recordings you get are important – getting evidential-level footage is a requirement that’s common to all businesses. Ask yourself: if I had to, could I take this evidence to court and would it be accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service?
Monitor behaviours at your business
Your security surveillance system can serve other functions, too, such as monitoring the working practice of employees, as well as monitoring customers and members of the public who engage with your business.
Also, if you’re using an analog system, you probably can’t monitor these things, due to factors such as poorly placed cameras, or the wrong types of cameras in the wrong locations. If you’re trying to work out if your system could do with an update, ask:
- Do you know the most common pathways around your business that people walk, drive or cycle?
- Do you know what the busiest times of day are, and the areas that create bottlenecks?
- Can you identify how people interact with their built environment?
Suzanne Waugh explains that knowing the answers to these questions can be essential to your company’s future construction planning:
Where do people congregate? Where do people dwell or stop? What are the common routes around your areas? How do people travel – how many bikes; how many cars or buses; how many men and women? All of this analysis can lead to better safeguarding in the future.
A lot more businesses want to get intelligence out of their surveillance system, rather than just using it as a security measure. Simon Steer, has met businesses who are using their security footage in increasingly innovative ways:
In town centres traditionally people just wanted ‘eyes on the streets’. However, now, because of the way high-street shopping is declining due to internet giants, we’re starting to see requirements for things like footfall – when there’s an event in the town centre, how does that affect footfall in shopping? How many more people are in town that day?
Discovering information such as popular directions of travel can help businesses and cities plan for future events. For example, understanding how people disperse from a major event, such as a stadium concert or exhibition, allows a business to better plan safety and/or transport provision for future events.
Businesses using AI are on the rise – are you one of them?
If you’re only using security surveillance for the purpose of safety, you’re not utilizing the full capacity of equipment as an intelligence tool. The AI possibilities highlighted above are becoming a core part of surveillance for many businesses, and Simon Steer says there are options available that aren’t as difficult to use as you may first imagine:
There are extremely easy-to-use, mature platforms with simple functionality out there. Control Center has been around for a really long time – some of their standard features have been running for 15 years but many operators working on analog still don’t know about or use them.
He also recommends exploring your options and what’s available to you. Some businesses are successful in applying for funding – for example, one city in the UK was able to use these advanced analytics because they won a grant.
Suzanne Waugh says that many companies aren’t quite investigating how to apply for the budget to upgrade their surveillance management systems just yet; but this time next year, AI solutions are going to start becoming more prevalent across the UK:
The number of people using AI is rising– I get asked about it every three days or so now. It’s early days – in terms of what businesses can learn, it’ll help them plan for the future, give them environmental insights about how people travel, and the most popular routes – you can’t put a price on that sort of information.
Most industries will benefit from using AI, including university campuses, cities and sports venues, but also transport hubs such as airports, subways and train stations. Those in commercial environments can use it to decide how to use signage, and to benefit their marketing: the sky really is the limit.
No matter the sector you work in, security is likely to be high up on your list of priorities. In today’s world, businesses can’t afford not to prioritize it. The safety of members of the public and consumers who fall under your duty of care is paramount – it’s time to ensure investment in your security surveillance systems reflects this.
Posted on Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 in Blog
More Flexible. More Choice. More Secure.
IndigoVision Control Centre is powered by a unique Distributed Network Architecture (DNA) technology. DNA enables devices to communicate with each other directly and also removes the need for management servers. With DNA you get no single point of failure, the ability to add any number of devices to your installation, and reduced infrastructure costs; as well as a security system that’s incredibly network friendly.
Furthermore, Control Centre is packed with over 250 features, including Smart Tabs, Pursuit Mode, Map-based Monitoring and Real Time Alarm Tracking.
Staying safe means always staying in control.
IndigoVision Control Centre is a fully integrated user interface for managing video, access control and alarms. It puts everything at your fingertips. Being easy to install and intuitive to operate, Control Centre video management software also gives you vision, as well as sound and oversight of all cameras, from 1 to 10,000.
See everything, hear everything, track everything.
Map-based Monitoring lets you navigate across cameras, whilst Pursuit Mode allows you to instantly follow any target from one camera to the next. Additionally, you can respond to any event with fast forensic search, now including Artificial Intelligence powered by BriefCam.
Is your business expanding? IndigoVision Control Centre expands with it.
Unrestricted licensing allows unlimited installations, cameras or screens. Add cameras and consoles where you need them.
No single point of failure.
The unique Distributed Network Architecture (DNA) removes the need for a central server. Therefore, there’s no single point of failure, greater resilience, dramatically reduced latency and no network bottlenecks.
IndigoVision’s Control Centre is used in over 15,000 sites worldwide. From airports to police forces to casinos to warehouses to neighbourhoods or whole cities; we’re a Security Manager’s best back-up. We want you to feel more than just happy and confident when you choose IndigoVision.
We want you to feel safe.
Posted on Thursday, August 29th, 2019 in Blog
A Scalable Security Solution:
Faced with a number of security challenges and planned future expansion, a major airport decided it was time to implement a scalable security surveillance solution. Here, QED’s partner, IndigoVision, take a look at how to manage such a scenario to ensure the selected solution provides scalability for growth.
Security issues and analog hangovers
With the existing proprietary solution at the airport locked down to one manufacturer and littered with issues resulting in high maintenance and expansion costs, a new solution was required that would allow the airport to scale its surveillance solution in line with future expansion plans.
Not only was the existing surveillance solution analog and proprietary, it wasn’t intuitive and was difficult for operators to use. There were several “satellite” security installations scattered in the various terminal buildings that weren’t viewable in the centralised Control Room. This meant extra operators were required. The low-resolution analog cameras made it difficult to identify people during incidents and coupled with the lack of video coverage it gave operators poor situational awareness. Reviewing past events with the existing VMS was difficult as playback wasn’t synchronised. Also, without bookmarks, it was time-consuming to find important events.
The combination of multiple terminal buildings and the Centralised Analog Architecture resulted in bottlenecks and latency issues as all processing must pass through the centralised server. There was also no redundancy so if there was any failure in the system the Control Room would no longer have the capability to view live or recorded video. Additionally, as the system was locked down to one manufacturer and the whole system had to be hardwired to the centralised server, there were very expensive expansion costs.
Addressing security and scalability concerns
The required solution had multiple requirements to ensure that the existing issues were resolved and that the solution could scale with the planned expansion.
With expansion planned to facilitate growing passenger numbers, an open IP based solution was specified to replace the existing analog solution. The aim being to improve situational awareness, provide scalability and integrate with a number of other systems operating in the airport.
The architecture needed to limit bottlenecks, reduce latency issues, provide redundancy advantages and be scalable to allow for multiple new terminal buildings to be connected with ease.
New HD cameras were specified to improve image quality and coverage with a Video Wall required in order to view and manage the increase in video streams in the centralised Control Room. New large capacity NVR’s were also specified to cope with the increase in camera streams and an extra NVR for redundancy and failover.
Distributed Architecture helped exceed requirements
A solution with Distributed Architecture was chosen as it solved multiple issues with the existing solution and facilitated future expansion without the need for a centralised server.
Distributed Architecture allows data to be kept close to where it is produced or needed. When cameras, surveillance workstations, NVRs, alarm servers, integration gateways all participate in a Distributed Architecture, data bottlenecks are minimised as all processing doesn’t need to pass through a centralised server. Distributed Architecture provides a truly unlimited and scalable solution that can easily accommodate the largest airports in the world.
Distributed Architecture minimised the existing bottlenecks, reduced latency, and provided higher availability and faster access to data. It also allowed all “satellite” security installations to be viewed in the centralised Control Room; enhancing situational awareness. New HD cameras were installed and due to the scalability of Distributed Architecture, future cameras can easily be connected when needed. Furthermore, the scalability of Distributed Architecture enabled the airport to build new terminal buildings and connect with ease to the security solution when ready.
Lowering Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Distributed Architecture enables planned future expansion as it can support thousands of cameras, workstations and NVR’s dramatically reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The scalability of Distributed Architecture allows the airport to continue with planned expansion and add a single camera/NVR or a whole new terminal when needed.
Contact QED to discuss what the IndigoVision range can do for you:
Call: 01772 336 111
Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019 in Blog
Are you prepared for a potential cyber-attack?
There are two types of companies in the world, those that know they have been hacked and those that don’t know it yet. With cybercrime on the rise, never before has it been so crucial to every company’s safety to have cybersecurity technology installed and integrated to their security system.
IndigoVision offers customers a complete end-to-end security management solution. Not only does IndigoVision have a cybersecurity offering, but it has also released a security hardening guide which contains information on the best practices for protecting security systems.
What is CyberVigilant®?
The CyberVigilant® device simply connects to a managed edge network switch to monitor connected devices using Switched Port Analyser (SPAN) functionality. In the event that any anomalies are detected, alarms are sent directly into the Control Center user interface. This enables users to respond immediately to a cyber-attack.
These anomalies include, but are not limited to:
- unauthorized configuration access attempts
- network reconnaissance/scans
- device access from unauthorized clients
- shell access
- use of unauthorized DNS, NTP and SMTP servers
- Denial Of Service (DoS)
It is available for purchase in two options, suitable for monitoring 16- or 24-channel edge switches.
CyberVigilant® in Camera is designed around the same principles as the CyberVigilant® device, but the technology is inside selected BX cameras, made possible through a firmware update. CyberVigilant® in Camera is able to track any attempts from unauthorized devices trying to access them, sending real-time alerts to Control Center, and refusing to communicate with any device that’s not on the whitelist.
For more information about IndigoVision’s cyber-security offering please contact Quality Essential Distribution now:
Telephone: 01772 336111