Cashing in on Your VMS System

Cashing in on Your VMS System

In banking today, the FBI and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), have mandated security standards that require a minimum number of cameras and camera resolution in each facility. Often viewed as a grudge expense, video surveillance has been low on the priority list for investment, as financial institutions have historically struggled to see a potential return on investment in an analog or standalone DVR-based surveillance systems. This can often lead banks to forgo updates to systems – which ultimately can lead to physical and cyber security concerns.

When approaching banking security, it is important to offer security decision-makers as much information as possible about the benefits to migrating from an analog system to a digital one. One of those benefits is the potential in leveraging a video management system (VMS). Here are a few ways banks can utilize their VMS for business operations and security:

Access Control in Financial Institutions
In most types of financial institutions, compliance with industry regulations and audit trails are everyday events. It is necessary to link a video system to the transactions of an access control system when validating if the person using a traditional key card is actually the cardholder when entering a secured area, such as one governed by PCI regulations for credit card payment processors.

Another option would be the use of facial recognition, iris scans or fingerprint credentials to control access. With many available integrations between video management systems and physical access control software, banks can easily use video to verify a cardholder’s identity in the event that a credential has been stolen or replicated.

It can also assist in deterring employee theft, as only managers might be allowed access to certain areas of a bank. A VMS can help by notifying proper personnel immediately of who is requesting access, allowing them to either confirm or deny in real-time.

Panic Button and ATM Integrations for Enhanced Security
The ATM is something we’re all pretty familiar with, and chances are you’ve used one for deposits and withdrawals from your local bank. Video monitoring systems can provide services beyond just basic monitoring by offering integrations from ATM video to provide a more complete picture of bank operations.

For example, if a bank customer were to use an ATM to withdraw $20, and then disputed the transaction, the bank would have to spend about $30 in labor just looking for the video verification. In most instances, they might just write it off, which would be more cost-effective. However, if the transaction number were tagged in the video system, it would take only a few seconds to locate the corresponding video and prove or disprove the customer claim.

Without an armed guard present, the only line of defense is often the holdup button. This button can have a non-emergency function, meaning if one side is pressed then it is a notification of suspicious activity is sent to the offsite monitoring center. If both sides of the button are pressed, it typically indicates a crime in process or an emergency. This button can be linked to the video management system, allowing live video to be transmitted offsite. This gives responding authorities real-time insight into the status of the potential theft, or crime in process and better situational awareness on a response.

Leveraging a VMS for Investigations and Remote Monitoring When it comes to monitoring and conducting investigations, out-of-date software is both a cybersecurity risk and a hassle. For example, if a system is not networked, anytime an investigation needs to take place the investigator will need to physically drive to the specific bank location to access video.

This poses a logistical challenge for financial institutions with multiple branches spread across a large geographic area. However, a bank with a networked VMS offers the opportunity to conduct an investigation remotely as well as share the video with multiple stakeholders for quicker, more thorough investigations. Some VMS systems offer unique bandwidth reduction technologies that can alleviate the IT burden commonly associated with video sharing.

Beyond Security in Financial Institutions
As technology advances security cameras have become more intelligent and offer a multitude of use cases beyond security. Count on better operational efficiency or opportunities for improved customer service. These includes occupancy management in a lobby waiting area, or people counting analytics to determine busy times when additional staff personnel might be required.

While financial institutions have begun to deploy more IP-based video management systems, one common barrier to the IP migration is the perceived cost of compatibility with analog cameras. Some VMS providers offer different hardware alternatives and licensing structures that can incorporate a bank’s legacy analog technology as well as new IP cameras that can run video analytics for people counting or other purposes – offering a seamless transition in a hybrid environment.

Today’s banks, whether large, multi-location financial institutions or small-town credit unions, are required to implement appropriate security procedures to discourage robberies, internal theft and to assist in the identification and prosecution of persons who commit such acts. By deploying a VMS and embracing new possibilities in video analytics, financial institutions will be able to conduct quicker investigations, streamline operations and finally see a real return on investment.

This article originally appeared in the November / December 2021 issue of Security Today.

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