Video surveillance is nothing new. Cameras have been an essential component of physical security for decades now, helping to prevent theft and vandalism and to record key evidence of incidents for use in investigations after the fact. The advent of digital video and storage streamlined the processes of capturing and reviewing security footage. New technological developments, however, are creating new challenges for businesses' video surveillance infrastructures.
Key among these developments is the incredible leap forward in video resolution. IP network cameras can now provide up to 16x the resolution of traditional analog cameras, thus enabling a far clearer picture to aid in security and investigation initiatives. The cost of this technology is dropping rapidly, too. Unfortunately for the businesses adopting these affordable and ultra-high-resolution cameras, the size of the video files they generate is proportionately larger, thus driving higher and higher storage requirements. Businesses unprepared for this explosion of data find themselves running out of storage faster than expected. This leads them to:
- Overwrite data prematurely
- Purchase and integrate storage on a reactive, when-needed basis
Neither solution is optimal.
In addition, the increasingly distributed nature of the modern business and the growing trend toward contracting third-party managed services providers (MSPs) to handle security and IT operations make remote access a critical feature for today's video surveillance infrastructure. Few legacy surveillance and storage solutions offer remote access, let alone centralized remote access to manage surveillance videos from multiple locations.
Centralization is a key point. Many video recording storage tools offer decentralized storage at the site of the video recording device. Scattered storage is problematic, however. Consistent configuration, management, and inventory are more difficult to achieve, requiring repeated, coordinated efforts across sites. Encryption and other file-level data protection methods become more challenging as well. And surveillance footage stored at the site of the device is easier to erase or steal by those looking to cover up security incidents.
Even centralized video surveillance storage may not be up to the task if it is not scalable enough. The rapid growth of video data will significantly increase the enterprise's storage needs in years to come. If video storage has been consolidated into a single device, last-minute additions may end up costing more than necessary. Businesses that do not prepare for the inevitable increase in storage needs will spend more for less and face greater integration difficulties than those that have future-proofed their video surveillance infrastructures. These trends and challenges all add up to significant weaknesses in a business's overall physical security and incident response capabilities.
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