Equipment Need a Lift?

Boost the effectiveness of current security technology with remote video monitoring

Burglary, internal theft, larceny and fraud: These and a host of other security threats are likely here to stay. So it should be no surprise that Kroll’s 2010 Global Fraud Report shows marked increases in IT security (19 percent) and physical asset security (15 percent) investments in the retail, wholesale and distribution sectors.

The good news? Proactive measures are helping to reduce losses. Vendor and supplier fraud is down 7 percent, and physical theft an additional 1 percent, according to the Kroll report, which can add up to significant improvements in a company’s margin. How can security professionals continue the trend? By leveraging existing equipment more powerfully with integrated solutions such as remote video monitoring, security can be more proactive in reducing the threats that lead to loss.

Smarter, Faster and Better
Remote video monitoring takes video surveillance a giant step forward. Two-way interactive audio technology boosts existing DVR and video surveillance capabilities, creating a powerful, integrated approach that ties components together through cameras and alarm triggers positioned virtually anywhere.

Simply put, remote video monitoring adds high-value, multi-functional capability to formerly static equipment. It makes cameras work smarter and deliver more insightful information immediately -- when it’s needed most.

Any critical area, such as a vault, server room, delivery area, stockroom or backdoor can be updated with remote video monitoring capability and set as a contact point, then wired to a zone on a central alarm panel and paired with a video camera. As a result, contact points are monitored 24/7 and programmed to immediately trigger an alarm signal that alerts the central monitoring center that a security event has occurred.

When an alarm is triggered, real-time voice and video images let dispatchers remotely view the area and communicate with anyone on-site. If an event requires action, they can respond quickly. If no security breach exists, they can avoid dispatching emergency responders and prevent costly false-alarm fines.

Proactive Means Prevention
This type of 24/7, real-time monitoring creates a proactive, integrated system that can make a big difference in reducing the effects of security events. For example, video verification can greatly reduce the incidence -- and cost -- of false alarms. It’s not unusual for certain locations to experience multiple false alarms per month.

And false alarms aren’t just about operational inconveniences. Depending upon local regulations, they can come with a hefty price tag. Many jurisdictions levy fines against companies that call emergency responders on false alarms.

Human error and environmental factors are most often the causes of false alarms. From the member of the cleaning crew who wanders into a restricted area to a sign that moves in the line of a passive infrared detector, video verification provides another layer of information about a security event. Audio verification goes one step further by enabling two-way communication between a location and the central station.

If an employee or cleaning crew member needs help entering the building because of a lost or defective access card, central dispatch can communicate remotely, make an ID through an access code and grant entry. Once an alarm is confirmed as false, the central station can cancel the call to law enforcement, preventing dispatch and costly fines.

Remote video monitoring also helps prevent crimes from happening in the first place. Internal theft relies on patterns, such as the location of security guards. Knowing that live operators are randomly looking into a facility often dissuades associates from stealing. And with the losses that result from theft, fraud and other security breaches, mitigation and prevention translates into bottom-line benefits.

While remote video monitoring answers a host of needs, such as limiting expensive false alarms or safeguarding assets, security executives face four primary challenges that make the strongest business case for this type of integrated solution:

Using resources efficiently. Limited staff? Remote video monitoring becomes an extension of a security network. Mimic the benefits of an in-person, afterhours security patrol with video-monitored guard tours. Schedule random video “look-ins” around a facility to actively monitor employee and customer activity (proven effective in preventing crime).

Leveraging technology. Plenty of DVRs and surveillance equipment? Transitioning older equipment over time? Remote video monitoring lets organizations leverage what they have in a new, more-effective way.

It helps them make better use of tight budgets, gain a powerful, integrated approach to mitigating risk and contribute to the business by reducing the crime-related costs that can take such a toll on overall margins.

Ensuring regulatory compliance. Does your business sector set specific security mandates? Remote authentication of a security breach meets the dualverification requirements of many authorities having jurisdiction, while helping organizations avoid false alarms and their associated fines. Remote video monitoring also ensures a security system is robust enough to comply with the evolving regulatory mandates specific to the financial services industry.

Protecting investments. Need to be sure cameras are working properly? Remote video monitoring allows for frequent equipment checks without increasing the administrative burden on personnel. It also quickly captures and preserves information -- such as audio feeds and real-time video -- that law enforcement values when investigating criminal activity.

High-quality digital video and audio evidence not only plays a vital role in apprehending criminals, but it can also serve as courtroom evidence, in many cases.

A Natural Step in Security Evolution
Policies, processes and procedures are integral to the success of any security strategy. Remote monitoring can provide verification that the three P’s are working, or it can identify opportunities for improvement.

With its ability to integrate fully customized, realtime monitoring into existing security systems, remote video monitoring offers security professionals significant opportunity to add value to their businesses.

It does more than a traditional system -- with fewer resources. It improves efficiency and work flow.

And it protects with a proactive model designed to prevent events before they occur. Combined, these benefits elevate an organization’s return on security investment.

This article originally appeared in the March 2011 issue of Security Today.


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