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