Tips for Online Privacy

The internet touches almost all aspects of our daily lives. We’re able to shop, bank, connect with family and friends, and handle our medical records, all online. Some of activities require you to provide Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as your name, date of birth, account numbers, passwords, and location information. Here are some simple steps to maintain vigilance when sharing personal information online to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of data loss and other cybersecurity-related crimes:

  1. Double your login protection
    Where available, enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted platform or device such as a smart card (integrated circuit card), an authenticator app, or a secure token, which is a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring.
  2. Shake up your password protocol
    According to NIST guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Get creative and customize your standard password for different sites, which can prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to these accounts and protect you in the event of a breach.
  3. Be up to date
    Keep your software updated to the latest stable version available. Maintain your security posture and keep your information safe by setting your security software to run regular scans.
  4. Play hard to get with strangers
    Cyber criminals use social engineering tactics (such as phishing), hoping to fool their victims. If you’re unsure who an email is from—even if the details appear accurate— or if the email looks “phishy,” do not respond and do not click on any links or attachments found in that email. Where available, ensure digital certificates are used on emails to validate the authenticity of the sender. Use the “junk” or “block” option to no longer receive messages from an invalid/suspicious sender.
  5. Never click and tell
    Limit the information you post on social media, from personal addresses to where you like to grab coffee, since these seemingly random details are all that criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones, and your physical belongings, both online and in the real world. Keep Social Security numbers, account numbers, and passwords private, as well as specific information about yourself such as your full name, address, birthday, and even vacation plans. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are—and where you aren’t—at any given time.
  6. Keep tabs on your apps
    Most connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved—gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and use the “principle of least privilege” to delete what you don’t need or no longer use. Learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
  7. Stay protected while connected
    Before you connect to any public wireless hotspot—such as at an airport, hotel, or café—be sure to confirm the name of the network and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate. If you do use an unsecured public access point, practice good Internet hygiene by avoiding sensitive activities (e.g., banking) that require passwords or credit cards. Your personal hotspot is often a safer alternative to free Wi-Fi. Only use sites that begin with “https://” when online shopping or banking. For an additional layer of security, use a trusted VPN to encrypt your data in transit.

Bonus: Stay Secure While Traveling

In a world where we are constantly connected, cybersecurity cannot be limited to the home or office. When you’re traveling (whether domestic or international) it is always important to practice safe online behavior and take proactive steps to secure internet-enabled devices. The more we travel, the more we are at risk for cyberattacks. In addition to previous advice given for online privacy- use these tips to connect with confidence while on the go:

  1. Back up your information
    Before you go, back up your critical information to another trusted device or platform in case your device is compromised.
  2. Keep it locked
    Lock your device when you are not using it. Even if you only step away for a few minutes, that is enough time for someone to steal or misuse your information. Set your devices to lock after a short time and use strong PINs and passwords.
  3. Stop auto connecting
    Some devices will automatically seek and connect to available wireless networks or Bluetooth devices. This instant connection opens the door for cyber criminals to remotely access your devices. Disable these features so that you actively choose when to connect to a safe network.
  4. Guard your mobile device
    To prevent theft and unauthorized access or loss of sensitive information, never leave your equipment—including any USB or external storage devices—unattended in a public place. Keep your devices secured in taxis, at airports, on airplanes, and in your hotel room.

Learn more about Pelco’s commitment to cybersecure surveillance solutions.

A New Generation: Meet the Camera Series that Keeps Healthcare Environments Secure

Hospitals must seek affordable methods to increase surveillance coverage in a variety of conditions. They also need ways to maintain a high level of patient privacy and safety in such environments.

Meet Pelco’s Sarix Professional Series 3, which includes a range of affordable indoor and outdoor cameras to maximize your video security options and help protect patients, staff, and visitors around the clock.

Here’s how Pelco’s latest generation of Sarix Professional cameras enhances your surveillance experience in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

  1. It Tackles Areas with Difficult Lighting Conditions

When it comes to securing healthcare environments, it can be a major challenge to adopt cameras that can adapt to changing or difficult lighting conditions. With up to 120dB True Wide Dynamic Range, Sarix Pro Series 3 cameras can bring out crucial detail for maximized visibility in areas such as corridors, hallways, entrances, and exits where lighting is either insufficient or contains both very bright and dark areas in one scene. What’s more, the adaptive IR illuminator produces detailed images even in zero light and preserves detail as objects approach the camera, which helps to keep healthcare environments secure.

  1. It Provides Detailed Coverage Over Larger Areas

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities also need detailed, expansive coverage of wide or spacious areas such as waiting rooms, reception areas, and cafeterias so that nothing is missed. With resolutions up to 5MP, these cameras deliver sharp images even while covering larger areas. You can also zoom in for forensic-level detail with up to 5MP at 30 FPS. This level of clarity allows you to capture crucial identifiers such as faces and license plates.

  1. Public Areas are Protected From Damage

In public areas, the risk of vandalism and environmental damage is something that security professionals need to address. That’s why public hospitals and pharmacies need rugged surveillance solutions that stand up to vandalism and the elements. With IK10-rated impact resistance and vandal-resistant hardware, Sarix Pro Series 3 bullet, wedge, and box cameras are also designed to withstand a wide range of operating temperatures.

  1. Get the Most out of Healthcare Budgets

Since budgets can be limited in certain healthcare environments, it is crucial that they have access to surveillance solutions that help reduce costs where possible. One way to save costs is to take advantage of a fast, easy, and affordable installation process with multiple power options and one wire that can be used to connect any Sarix Pro Series 3 camera. And with Pelco Smart Compression technology and h.265, the most efficient video compression standard, hospitals and other healthcare facilities have access to the great detail these cameras provide that won’t strain storage budgets.

Pelco’s Sarix Pro 3 Fixed IP cameras offer healthcare environments full-featured, yet affordable surveillance solutions that allow staff to focus on providing patients with a safe and comfortable experience.

Learn more about Pelco’s full range of surveillance solutions.

Two Steps Ahead: The Role of Predictive Analytics in the Data Generation

Often, security officials or law enforcement officers are notified of a vandalized statue or a robbed grocery store after the fact,  typically by someone reporting the crime.  But what if there was a better way? As crime evolves over the years, so does the approach we take to mitigate it. Thankfully, we are entering a new epoch that utilizes data in revolutionary ways. Cue predictive analytics, a tool that allows municipal agencies to tackle crime and other operational activities through a proactive approach.

New capabilities in video content analysis (VCA) are available using Deep Neural Networks (DNN) that intelligently “learn” about an environment and produce more accurate description and recognition algorithms than the traditional computer vision technology that was available in previous generations of products.

However, the generation of the data is not the only, nor the most important application of artificial intelligence. By using advanced data mining techniques on data available from DNN technology and correlating with data sources, a municipal entity can deploy centralized intelligent software that can automatically predict suspect locations, initiate higher area surveillance and begin tracking unusual or suspicious activity. This software can also instantly alert security personnel and law enforcement.

For example, if a robbery occurs in a nearby gas station, intelligent surveillance cameras and data sensors don’t just record the activity, they also communicate with the security network, including video management systems like Pelco’s VideoXpert. As a 911 call is received, the caller’s location is automatically logged and the system will begin to search for unusual activity in the area while visually presenting potential suspects to the dispatch center which can be verified against the 911 caller’s report. With existing features like facial recognition and license plate identification, the camera can automatically monitor, and, through predictive analytics, track such incidents while simultaneously alerting law enforcement of the perpetrators’ identities, vehicle information, and predicted whereabouts. With the help of predictive analytics, all of this can happen in just a few milliseconds.

A Revolutionary Collaboration

As a first step earlier this year, Pelco joined forces with global technology leader IBM® to create “Pelco Analytics Powered by IBM.” The collaboration integrates IBM’s deep learning analytics with Pelco’s VideoXpert, which enables a new level of customization through end-to-end, code-level enhancements for hardware, VMS, and analytics capabilities in one seamless solution.

Tom Dodrill, Segment Marketing Manager of North America, includes his thoughts on Pelco’s collaboration with IBM Analytics and what this means for today’s cities: “IBM Intelligent Video Analytics are able to generate metadata on live video footage that can be used for alerts, as well as being stored for later review.  This means faster identification and response to potential risks or opportunities as well as the ability to search through huge volumes of archived video to identify people and objects of interest.  When we use the data to analyze patterns of movement and behavior, we can make predictions that can be used for proactive operational decisions.”

Growth on the Horizon

Currently, only three percent of video cameras worldwide possess the necessary hardware capabilities to utilize Deep Neural Networks. As technology is released into the marketplace with this capability, the possibilities for maximizing the uses of predictive analytics in burgeoning surveillance technology is virtually limitless. However, doing so will require more organizations to invest resources that support technologies conducive to predictive analytics: video management systems with enhanced detection capabilities, shareable data streams, and faster cloud-based solutions.

Predictive analytics create a possibility where security officials and law enforcement no longer need to rely on guesswork, which gives them the ability to focus on responding to the scene as quickly as possible. Thanks to exciting advancements in surveillance technology, we are now in the position to imagine a future where crime can be drastically reduced, making our cities a safer place to live.

Click here to find out how Pelco addresses the changing security needs in cities all over the world. To learn more about our industry-leading surveillance solutions, visit our site today.

The Three Keys to Effective Cybersecurity

If you’re not scared of cyberattacks, you’re not paying attention. Headlines in recent years have made it abundantly clear that even institutions with access to the best security resources are vulnerable to breaches. Target’s now infamous data breach on Black Friday in 2013 was a wake-up call to industries of all kinds.

For those working in the surveillance industry, the prospect of cyberattacks looms equally large. After all, the Target breach did not originate from any Target systems or employee carelessness, rather it came through a backdoor — Target’s third-party vendor portal. As it happened, it came courtesy of a refrigeration contractor by the name of Fazio Mechanical.

As in the case of Target, hackers seek any weaknesses they can find in an organization’s IT infrastructure. With the rise of solutions based on IP cameras, cloud-based storage and remote monitoring, that puts providers of today’s security and surveillance technology squarely in the sights of malevolent actors.

The reasons why hackers would want to target an organization’s security network may vary greatly: theft of valuable and sensitive information, extortion, surveillance monitoring shut-downs for criminal activities, etc.

What doesn’t vary is that surveillance providers like Pelco now have a mandate to proactively build a secure technology backbone and ensure end-users and partners have the necessary cyber-defense tools to protect their organizations from all manner of data breaches.

The following are three critical parts of an effective cybersecurity strategy:

Technology

Providing our partner network and end-customers with the most up-to-date technology is a key part of reducing the risk of infiltrations. Pelco works to bolster product security, putting them through a rigorous testing process to identify any vulnerabilities before they hit the market. And, our products are put through a quality assurance process once our solutions have been deployed. If Pelco or an independent analyst discovers a vulnerability with an existing solution, we seek to immediately inform our partners so that they can access the necessary firmware update as quickly as possible. The quickest and easiest way to make sure that you receive such notifications is to sign up on our Pelco Customer Connect page.

Training

It’s a common misconception that many data breaches are a result of faulty technology. While there is always a technology element involved, more often than not the origin of many of the most high-profile hacks are a result of human error. Even the most advanced encryption technology on the market can’t protect an organization from a hack if a user on the system uses a “password” or a similar obvious word as the password. Similarly, the best technology cannot prevent a security official from falling victim to a sophisticated phishing attempt. Looking back at the Target data breach, the backdoor hackers discovered may have been through the Target third-party vendor portal, but it was accessed thanks to one or more employees of Fazio Mechanical falling prey to a phishing email, which allowed Citadel, a sophisticated trojan, to worm its way into the company’s point-of-sale systems.

Pelco wants to continue helping our partners understand the steps they can take to reduce the risk of breaches. That means providing guidance to integrators and end-users about best practices on everything from crafting strong passwords to shielding vulnerable assets such as outdoor cameras from intruders.

Processes

In addition to top-notch technology and diligent training, organizations must optimize their processes and policies to minimize risk. That can mean very different things depending on the facility and population that the system is serving. The key is to think critically about potential sources of breaches, both due to innocent errors or a malicious attack. For instance, are there processes in place to ensure that outside MAC addresses cannot access the network? How many people have access to the system itself? Are there policies in place that limit the number of people who could access the system?

Protecting the integrity of surveillance systems involves measures aimed at defending them from hackers, but it also involves the types of traditional security measures aimed at defending any valuable physical resource. For instance: metal detectors to prevent visitors from bringing USB drive that they could use to steal sensitive information from a facility system. Or a process to regularly check on cameras to make sure there is no signs of physical tampering.

Cybersecurity is a people problem

Organizations can’t just look to technology to keep them safe from breaches. While regularly updating technology is a key to maximizing security, a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity cannot rely exclusively on technical solutions. Most breaches are not the result of problems with technology, but mistakes made by people. That’s why it’s so important that organization’s cybersecurity approach focuses as much on minimizing human error as on enhancing technology.

For more information about cybersecurity, risk mitigation, resources, and downloads, go to: https://www.pelco.com/cybersecurity

Privacy is critical in surveillance

Never have companies had the technology to gather so much personal data from their customers, prospects, and users. Access to data allows them to, among other things, customize user experiences and target their customers and prospects with marketing messages on a never-before-seen granular level. Indeed, some say that ‘data is the new oil’.

Over two billion people own smartphones worldwide

Phone providers, social media platforms, and ecommerce providers like Amazon regularly collect, analyse, and exploit the data of smartphone users. The gathering and analysis of personal data isn’t limited to just smartphones. Car companies have gotten in on the action. They can track where a person drives, lives, works, and more. Those smart speakers that get weather updates, check on traffic, and add items to a shopping list are listening, recording, and communicating via the Internet.

Surveillance technology manufacturers, thanks to digital technology and affordable storage on the cloud, enable video recording that can be broken down into bits and bytes and analysed with modern data analytics tools. In recent years, the use of surveillance technology has exploded in the public domain. Indeed, depending upon where you live, your image may be caught on security cameras as many as 300 times a day, as in the case of a person living in London.

In short, the ability of companies, governments, and other entities to collect data on so many different people is nothing short of astonishing. But, with the collection and analysis of such massive amounts of data, comes great responsibility, in no small part because of the risks involved. Both at the collection point and the storage stage, data can become compromised, whether by accident or malicious intent. The result can be that sensitive data about individuals is open to commercial or criminal exploitation.

Laws for data privacy protection

Companies that want to act as good corporate citizens (and luckily most companies fall within this category) will almost always endeavour to comply with their local laws and regulations. The challenge, however, is regulatory frameworks vary widely based on where a person lives. Different countries have varying rules and regulations to govern data protection. For example, take the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) instituted by the European Union on May 25 of this year. While the regulation exists for the entire group of 28-member countries, it also varies based on a country-by-country basis.

Similar to GDPR is the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (PoPIA), which South Africa established to give its citizens the constitutional right to privacy by safeguarding personal information and to align South Africa’s laws with similar legislation abroad. Both GDPR and PoPIA grant rights to citizens, or ‘data subjects’, to their personal information and to know when their data is being collected as well as how it is being used. In addition, individuals can make requests for deletion of their data from databases.

Companies and organisations that want to acquire video surveillance solutions must also comply with the law. Not only because they could face harsh penalties, fines, and even imprisonment if they fail to comply, but also because it is the right, or ethical, thing to do. The challenge is that most buyers won’t be able to figure out for themselves what a compliant surveillance architecture with local privacy regulations should look like, let alone deploy it in a compliant manner. It’s the reason why they will need the help of a video surveillance provider who is knowledgeable and experienced enough to help them through the process of becoming, and staying, compliant.

Surveillance technologies for data privacy protection

Fortunately, there are plenty of technology solutions in place for organisations that want to comply with the law. One such solution is “Window Blanketing”. This is a feature that is prevalent among IP cameras and that works by blocking the surveillance camera from viewing anything happening behind the window of a private residence. With this technology, ordinary citizens can be rest assured that surveillance cameras can’t peer into their home and record their private lives. In the same vein, your video surveillance solution provider should be able to put technology in place that blanks out the faces of people for those instances where facial recognition is not needed or desired.

There is still more when it comes to picking a security provider that can help protect privacy. As part of any video surveillance set-up, recorded data travels from the camera to the cloud or a local server for analysis and storage. Data, whether in movement or archived, should be maintained in a hardened environment that can protect against any unforeseen accidents or malicious breaches. If something were to go wrong, organisations should be able to rely upon a security provider that is quickly able to identify and correct any issues.

That puts customer responsiveness and data security expertise among the most important attributes a security provider must be able to fulfill as organisations seek to comply with evolving laws and regulations governing privacy.

3 Ways Security Cameras Benefit Schools

School Safety and Security have never been more top of mind issues. From theft to vandalism to bullying to physical violence to unauthorized visitors, staff and faculty can’t be everywhere. One option many schools have started to turn to is investing in security cameras.

By installing security cameras in and around schools, you extend the sight of your support beyond the physical space they’re in at any given moment. Security cameras help schools respond to an array of problems that compromise staff and student safety and cost the school money.

How Security Cameras Help

 

1.  Catch and Address Bullying

Elementary Age Bullying in Schoolyard

The problem: Parents are complaining about their kids being bullied and your teachers can see signs of fighting when students return to class after lunch. Every day the teachers on lunch duty in the cafeteria do their best to spot the problem behaviors and step in, but cafeterias are large and there just isn’t enough staff to catch every incident or know who started the event.

The solution: Installing a panoramic camera, much like Pelco’s Evolution 180 camera, along the perimeter of the cafeteria will provide a full panoramic view of the space. School staff will have a clear and instantaneous record of any incidents that occur in the cafeteria, right down to a visual of the faces of the students involved. With evidence of what happened during the incident, administrators can determine how best to proceed to keep fights from happening in the future. The presence of cameras throughout the space can further serve as a visual deterrent to keep many incidents from happening to begin with.

2.  Provide a Deterrent for Vandalism

Young Graffiti Artists Drawing GraffitiThe problem: The kids at your school may be great kids, but some students get a thrill from committing minor crimes like vandalism. Every time they do, it costs the school money to repair and replace whatever has been damaged.

The solution: By adding Pelco’s Evolution 180 cameras along the outside of the school, you can eliminate blind spots and capture a record of incidents of vandalism. With cameras tough enough to be used outdoors that offer strong visual capabilities both during the day and night, you’ll always know the full story behind the damages you might find in the morning.

Learning the story of vandalism after the fact still leaves you with a problem you have to clean up. The students most likely to commit vandalism usually only do so when they think no one’s looking. Once students know the cameras are there and that they’re always recording, their behavior will change and your school can stop dealing with the obnoxious and costly graffiti or broken windows you deal with now.

3.  Stay Within Budget

budget.jpg

The problem: Schools have limited budgets to spend each year and it’s a struggle to cover your staffing and educational needs, much less the security needs you know you have to address.

 

The solution: Security cameras can help you keep your students safer and keep costs down. The right security cameras won’t blow your budget, but will help you gain full visibility of what is happening in your school – with no blind spots and the visual detail to recognize faces.

 Whether you are installing a new surveillance system or adding to an existing system, the Evolution 180 is an affordable camera that’s easy to fit into your budget. It’s easy to install, so you spend less in labor costs. It’s 180-degree panoramic coverage means that fewer cameras need to be purchased to cover the same area. Unlike many fish-eye panoramic cameras, the Evo 180 de-warps the image, so you can clearly see undistorted faces, and events as they unfold.  Moreover, the Evolution 180 is compatible with many modern video management systems (VMS), including Pelco’s VideoXpert VMS, so it is often added to existing surveillance systems at no additional cost.

Investing sooner than later in Pelco’s Evolution 180 cameras may take some additional budget planning but keeping your students and staff protected and safe for many years to come far outweighs the cost.

Choosing A Surveillance Provider Who Values and Protects Privacy

At Pelco, we firmly believe that the data revolution in which we’re playing an active role will make the world a better place.

On a daily basis, we see the value that predictive analytics provides to communities around the globe. Traffic managers rely on us to reduce congestion, pollution, and accidents. Police leverage our solutions to react to situations more quickly and to investigate past incidents.

However, with the great power that data brings comes great responsibility for all of those involved, from vendors to end-users. For entities that are looking to invest in surveillance solutions, it’s important to consider what your approach to safeguarding data and privacy will be. It’s just as critical that you ensure that you are working with a solution provider who can accommodate your values.

Laws

Above all else, you need to make sure that your surveillance solutions don’t risk running afoul of the law. Laws on privacy and data differ dramatically based on your location. A notable example is the General Data Protection Regulation, or the GDPR, which is a comprehensive set of privacy regulations that apply in every European Union member country. In the United States, there are federal regulations as well as state and local rules that occasionally impose stricter standards.

Navigating the legal landscape for surveillance, data protection and privacy is not something that you should leave up to a quick Google search. If your entity has access to lawyers, then get in touch with them and give them time to consider the issue and develop recommendations.

What are your options?

You always have options when it comes to surveillance solutions. At Pelco, we offer a range of customizations aimed at privacy protection.

One of our most popular customizations is “Window Blanketing.” “Window Blanketing” blocks the surveillance camera from viewing anything that’s happening behind a window. This means that people who live on the street can be assured that the camera is shooting footage of what is occurring in the public domain but they don’t have to worry about the camera peering into their homes.

Not only is it important to choose a surveillance provider that is dedicated to protecting the privacy of customers and the general population, it is also critical that the company be able to demonstrate that it has strong measures in place to protect sensitive data from being compromised.

Pelco’s engineers and product managers take every precaution to prevent known privacy and security risks from occurring by implementing major IP-based protocols aimed at delivering security on network devices such as https, 802.1x, authentication, etc. When new risks arise, Pelco engineers immediately address the situation to eliminate the risk as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Asking the tough questions

Make sure your surveillance provider can provide you with clear responses to questions about how their solutions can accommodate your organization’s privacy standards. A stated commitment to privacy and data security is easy; it also proves that commitment through evidence will distinguish those who can serve your needs from those who can’t.

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Why It’s Time to Embrace IT-Friendly Video Surveillance

Traditionally, major organizations have kept their IT teams and security teams separate. Once upon a time, that separation was intuitive. Until relatively recently, surveillance systems were analog based, as opposed to IP-based, and therefore had nothing to do with IT systems.

Over the past quarter-century, however, the line between security and IT has blurred. Increasingly, IT managers have become the key surveillance decision-makers. The good news is that Pelco’s surveillance solutions were developed with an eye towards the integration of security and IT.

VideoXpert: An IT-friendly product

VideoXpert, Pelco’s Video Management System, was developed with the IT perspective in mind. VideoXpert was built from the ground up with open technology. It relies on standard protocols and IT best practices.

VideoXpert is also uniquely flexible in a way that allows it to integrate with other IT assets like LDAP, SNMP, SAN, NAS, etc. It can deploy on both low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth networks. While many other systems still require multicast environments, VideoXpert can simultaneously process video from unicast and multicast camera streams. Finally, VX can deploy in virtual machines, allowing you to do more with less hardware.

Preserving and supplementing existing resources 

If you have concerns about the cost of investing in a new system, it’s important to keep in mind that VideoXpert does not require you to replace all of your existing infrastructure. In most recent networks, VideoXpert can deploy directly into your existing infrastructure and as a result lower your cost entry point. VideoXpert’s scalability allows you to start with a few cameras and expand up to tens of thousands as your needs grow. It can connect to Pelco branded as well as many 3rd party brands. Indeed, the point of VideoXpert is not to completely replace your existing operations, but rather to allow your organization to fully realize the potential of your resources.

While you can continue to make use of your analog resources, VideoXpert also offers the chance for you to adopt superior, IP-based technology. High definition video signals from digital cameras are encoded and transmitted quickly, providing greater system flexibility. Sensors now provide better clarity, wider fields of view, and the ability to tackle difficult lighting conditions.

Integration reduces costs

Organizations can operate more efficiently when security and IT work as one team, rather than in distinct silos. By embracing IT-oriented solutions, such as VideoXpert, your organization can move towards fully integrating the two historically segregated disciplines, which will uncover efficiencies in your operations, allowing you to reduce overhead costs and deploy your limited resources more effectively.

By integrating seamlessly into the broader IT system, VideoXpert allows organizations to view security holistically, rather than through a narrow focus on video surveillance. While VideoXpert delivers the best video footage available, its true genius comes from the way it connects that to the many other things that determine whether your employees, customers, or citizens are safe. For instance, VX can integrate with your point-of-sale system or your access control system, so that all of the information relating to critical events (the exchange of money, arrivals and departures etc.) is part of a one comprehensive system aimed at ensuring that everybody and everything is safe.

Tracking Undesirable Behavior in Casinos

Casinos with hotel properties are popular vacation destinations, and with good reason. They provide numerous forms of entertainment and amenities from one location to the next, including gaming halls, pools and beaches, spas, retail shops, amusement parks, and restaurants. Surveillance and security personnel need to be on top of all of these high traffic areas, and the unique challenges that these amenities face as complements to gaming operations.

Because they are attractions across all demographics and cultures, gaming properties and casinos attract a very wide variety of visitors, many of whom elicit undesirable behaviors ranging from alcohol and substance abuse to cheating.

Casino security has to balance a welcoming guest-focused attitude with a firm and capable presence to prevent and handle problems as they arise. Surveillance and security operations are a mainstay at casinos because they support a range of business imperatives, including not only the protection of employees, patrons and assets, but also compliance with stringent gaming regulations.

For many casinos, one of the best ways to create a highly structured, discreet and secure environment is by employing advanced video surveillance technologies that support high-quality analytics. In addition to delivering high levels of situational awareness, these systems also deliver documented evidence for investigations and court cases.

Integrated analytics in fixed, PTZ, 360 degree, and panoramic security cameras can help to detect undesirable behaviors – such as an object left behind, card counting at the gaming table, a door propped open, a guest whose behavior is inappropriate, theft from employees or vendors, and more – and send alerts to security personnel. Surveillance analytics can also track identified individuals from camera to camera throughout the premises. Additionally, facial recognition analytics can alert operators if a known offender enters the casino, freeing security officers from constant monitoring of entrances and exits. And heat mapping can provide valuable insight into loitering statistics so that security officers can better allocate staff to problematic areas. The vast amounts of data provided by the surveillance system can be reviewed for specific trends to prevent further incidents from taking place, and deliver new sources of business intelligence.

With integrated video imaging, camera control and management, and analytics technologies in place, gaming facilities can have the real-time situational awareness and data needed to respond to and deescalate real potential threats and incidents from guests with simply bad manners and behavior.

How Big Data is Changing Surveillance for Good

With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more of our devices are connected to the network, making it possible to amass data and analyze it for patterns and trends. In this way big data is becoming more of a resource for virtually every industry including security, where video captured by cameras can now be more easily stored and analyzed by software. However, this new technology has taken hold so quickly that some organizations are now sitting with immense quantities of raw data without the knowledge of how to best use it. Since big data is only going to get bigger, security professionals need to understand the best ways that they can put it to use.

The amount of video generated by surveillance cameras is massive, and with compression and storage technology improving along with camera technology, much of the video generated is of a high enough quality to present a variety of opportunities. Technologies such as facial recognition and people tracking integrated with surveillance systems can rapidly mine and analyze video data. With software in place to analyze the hundreds of hours of video data generated by a surveillance system’s tens, hundreds, or even thousands of cameras, it is now possible to identify patterns and make connections that would otherwise be impossible to make without a tremendous investment of manpower.

Big data minimizes the margin of human error significantly. Before the era of big data, if a department store wanted to use video surveillance to help them change traffic patterns to direct more customers to a certain department, they would need to devote a team of personnel to watch the video from every area of the sales floor every moment the store was open, notate the traffic patterns individually, and make a recommendation based on their aggregate observations – a tremendous project to undertake. With big data and analytics, this is no longer necessary. High quality video images enable integrated analytics to evaluate hours and hours of video, determine patterns, and count every single person that enters designated areas. With this data, the department store can more easily determine where their choke points are and where they need to make a change.

With the IoT, the opportunities presented by big data are even greater. Diverse networked devices sharing data can present a much bigger picture than surveillance video alone. For example, in a safe city deployment, software that tracks social media data can be correlated with video surveillance data to detect issues – riots that may develop, traffic incidents that might form – and risks as they happen, or even before they happen. In a university setting, surveillance data can be correlated with access control and student information during an investigation into possible misconduct. With coordination across the various departments within an organization, it is becoming easier to mitigate risk, anticipate customer needs, and increase return on investment.

As we generate more and more data, the potential of that data grows. Software capability has increased to accurately and efficiently process more data than could feasibly be processed by any human user. The video your surveillance system captures, with best-in-breed integrations, can provide you with a variety of opportunities to optimize and escalate your business. With the insights you gather from big data, you can discover existing problems, mitigate future ones, and manage incidents as – or even before – they occur.

Why Technology Integration is a Game-Changer in the Surveillance Industry

Today’s surveillance systems are more advanced than ever before, helping businesses to protect their facilities, employees, and assets from security risks. Cameras and video management systems (VMS) provide optimal speed and accuracy when detecting a threat, deliver sharp, clear video, are networked for easy access, and are scalable to meet growing business demands. Technology integration has been a major factor in the growth of these surveillance capabilities. With providers partnering to integrate best-in-breed technology into their offerings, getting a high-performance surveillance system is becoming easier and more cost-effective.

And going beyond surveillance, technology integrations provide added functionality to enable today’s surveillance systems to deliver a wide range of true, end-to-end industry-specific solutions. For example, an integration with license plate recognition (LPR) technology, deployed in traffic cameras and connected to a public safety database, can enable identification of vehicles being sought by law enforcement so that authorities can be notified and criminals apprehended. With these technologies being integrated in real time, these notifications can happen quickly, with locational data and video assisting authorities in apprehensions. LPR technology is becoming more widely available and cost-effective, allowing its implementation in a variety of systems. For example, monitoring the entry and exit of personnel at parking garages with integrated access control enables detection of unauthorized entry and notification of authorities. With technologies like these, providing critical data more quickly and accurately to authorities is simple, helping keep cities safer.

Integrating cameras with people counting analytics solutions provides a variety of opportunities for gaming operations and other businesses. With heatmaps of their floorplan, management can track traffic flow in their casinos, see which slot machines are attracting more interest and identify any issues with congestion. People counters can show you what times your casino is busiest, helping you plan employee schedules and gauge the effectiveness of your marketing and sales programs. They can help you determine which entrances and exits of your casino are most frequented, and where to most effectively place high-stakes games.

Intrusion detection, another technology integrated with surveillance systems, can help protect the perimeter of a highly secure facility like an airport, identifying when a breach is imminent and alerting management in the event of an incident. Advanced analytics help eliminate nuisance alerts for animals at the fence, blowing trash or other situations that do not require a response. The many recent high-profile intrusions onto airport runways spotlights the need for this type of solution at every major airport globally.

Many cameras are now integrated with facial recognition technology, which can provide numerous solutions for a range of organizations. With facial recognition analytics, your system can alert you when a person from a tailored watch list enters the building, or when personnel enter parts of the facility for which they are not authorized. With facial recognition integration, your organization can quickly and efficiently identify persons of interest, and alert your staff to their presence and location.

Technology integration enables the elevation of a video surveillance system to a true solution that solves a problem you are experiencing. From fence-jumpers to overcrowded hallways, a wide range of challenges can be addressed through solutions built around today’s video surveillance system integrations.

Public Safety: Video Surveillance and Security Webinar Recap featuring Dell EMC and Pelco

After announcing our collaboration at ISC West 2017 this past April, Pelco and Dell EMC hosted a joint webinar to discuss advancements within the video surveillance market. During the May 18th webinar, our Regional Sales Director for UK and Ireland, Tony Burns, and Director of Surveillance and Safety for Dell EMC, Graham Porter, discussed just how the two companies work together. The overall message was that working with Dell EMC enables us to deliver a superior user experience by leveraging Dell EMC’s powerful hardware capabilities for the servers and workstations of our VideoXpert Professional VMS.

The partnership between these two global leaders was forged to improve architectural effectiveness and storage accuracy, helping customers in the video surveillance space centralize data from sometimes thousands of cameras. With the current transformations in the surveillance market, there’s a growing need for solutions such as those offered by us and Dell EMC. The current transformations discussed in the webinar are in Digital, IT, Workstations and Cybersecurity:

  • The shift from analog to IP camera technology is becoming the norm, with surveillance data beginning to look like other enterprise data.
  • Because customers are moving surveillance video data to the datacenter, they are expecting IT-grade infrastructure for their surveillance systems.
  • IP cameras are increasing in resolution, placing higher demands on the workstations that control surveillance data deployment and viewing performance.
  • Vulnerabilities within cybersecurity and surveillance have gained global attention, putting a greater demand on the security of surveillance systems.

Dell EMC surveillance solutions are designed to protect and store video data and audio files, which is why they’re such a great partner for our surveillance systems. They run on an open data lake platform, meaning raw data is stored in its native format until needed. The three types of solutions Dell EMC offers are Distributed, in which each facility has a different storage system, Centralized, where everything is hosted in one centralized data center, and Cloud, in which the data is stored within the internet. Depending on the application, solutions can be a combination of the different systems.

Ranked #1 in surveillance infrastructure since 2010, Dell EMC offers the industry’s first data lake architecture dedicated to surveillance. Dell EMC has been able to build the industry’s top surveillance ecosystem, and their continued success can be attributed to the extensive product testing they conduct prior to offering it for purchase. Through their partnership with us, this ecosystem has been integrated with our top-of-the-line systems, superior user interface, endless commitment to deliver meaningful innovations globally and robust feature set that mid-size applications demand. As a result, the both us and Dell EMC are able to offer the tremendous benefits of the VideoXpert platform to mid-size customers in the video surveillance market.

As was presented in the webinar, the integration improves site intelligence, proactively identifies potential threats, reduces response time, improves the ability to mitigate threats and increases operational efficiency. Our surveillance systems with Dell EMC storage solutions are for many applications including education, retail, corrections and transportation. In today’s ecosystem, investing in the best surveillance solutions can help mitigate threats more quickly and efficiently than ever before.