From Components to Systems: IT-Integrated Security
Until roughly a decade ago, when most people thought about security cameras, they associated it with the odd surveillance cam placed strategically in the entrance hallway at work or above the ATMs. Surveillance and security systems were effectively centered on the monitoring nodes, and our image of a security system was, effectively, an alarm panel, a few cameras, and the noisy alarm. The strength of the security system was primarily in how good the cameras were – how sharp the images were, how good the frame rate, and how well it could “see” in the dark.
Since then, advances in video processing technology and in computer power have enabled us to build better, more integrated security systems, that now include sophisticated features such as automatic intruder detection and tracking, facial or number plate recognition. While IP CCTV technology has continued to improve dramatically, it is now increasingly leveraged, with far greater efficiency, as part of a more complex security system. CCTV cameras are now integrated with other types of components, such as intelligent door locks, in order to provide more comprehensive access control. They are cloud-accessible, enabling seamless integration with the rest of the IT infrastructure, and can be used, for instance, to provide video data for access logs.
Of course, this has led to a dramatic increase in complexity of an IP CCTV system installation procedures and techniques. Understanding these challenges is key to understanding the expectations that you need to have from your service providers, and the expectations that, in turn, those for whose assets you are caring for (including yourself!) need to have.