Video surveillance forms the backbone of physical security. In 2019 alone, businesses spent more than $19 billion on surveillance tools and systems, and for the past 12 years, video has outpaced both access control and intrusion alarm uptake worldwide. While 2020 put a small damper on the market, recent research predicts a strong resurgence year-over-year through 2025.
The caveat? Financial investment alone isn't enough to ensure video surveillance efficacy. Instead, businesses need to focus on the basics — when, where, what and how — to get the most from physical security spending.
Deploy Video Surveillance ASAP
Many organizations still regard video surveillance as reactionary, but that's not true anymore.
The modern systems, "particularly those that include advanced AI features within the cameras, can do more than simply record video," explains James Ensten, vice president of global channel sales at Rhombus Systems. "They can proactively prevent situations from arising, improve business outcomes and create better workspaces. Some even offer the option of adding wireless sensors and open integrations with other products to further improve situational awareness."
The result is that businesses are best served by deploying surveillance solutions as soon as possible when creating physical security plans. Effectively implemented, they can both reduce the post-event impacts of security incidents and prevent these events from occurring in the first place.
Carefully Consider Video Surveillance Camera Locations
Location also plays a critical role in video system efficacy. “Careful consideration of where to place surveillance cameras and which camera solutions to choose is a critically important step,” says Ensten.
Considerations include whether the business needs to capture enough detail to perform facial recognition, whether it wishes to have cameras both indoors and outdoors, and the location of power sources and necessary cabling. This helps inform the type of equipment an organization should purchase.
To select the best-fit technologies, find the ideal placements for them and avoid the cost of having to move poorly positioned cameras, Ensten recommends engaging with experienced physical security specialists.
READ MORE: The infrastructure your organization needs for modern video surveillance.
Integrate Video Surveillance with Other Business Systems
There are several must-haves when designing effective video surveillance systems. They must, of course, keep a watchful eye on the premises, and businesses must be alerted in real time to anomalies.
The ability to integrate video surveillance with other business systems has become another necessity in recent years.
“Adding sensors to monitor temperature, motion, doors and windows, and even audio, can provide even more information and control,” Ensten says. “Integrating surveillance cameras with access control systems or HVAC or even cash registers can provide a complete picture for managers, employees and business owners.”
Ensure Your Video Surveillance System Is Secure
There was a time when video surveillance systems were called “closed-captioned TV” because the cameras were connected directly to video monitors. The video may have been captured and stored for later viewing if needed, but no part of the system was connected to the internet.
Those days are long gone for the most advanced systems. “Today, security teams, HR, managers and business owners need secure access to live video and data in real time, from wherever they are, on whatever device they are using,” Ensten notes.
That enables real-time remote viewing, AI-powered data analysis, cloud-based video storage and other benefits. It also exposes video surveillance systems to the same threat actors as every other web-enabled technology. No system will deliver expected value if connections suddenly drop or are compromised by attackers.
That said, companies may still choose to keep system management entirely onsite. Ensten notes, however, that this option “may require costly and time-consuming approaches like establishing VPN connections, reconfiguring network firewalls, increased internet upload bandwidth, server patching and maintenance, client device software, and more. Modern cloud-based approaches, meanwhile, can be much more secure and IT-friendly, though thorough vetting of cloud solutions is a must.”
Advanced video surveillance systems are now an integral part of effective physical security. Capturing maximum business value from video, however, begins with the basics: when, where, what and how.