Banking on Technology in 2011

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the retail banking sector has found itself face-to-face with negative publicity and a loss in consumer confidence. However, as a new era dawns, renewed thinking is expected to take form -- both in how financial institutions diversify their detection and prevention approaches to securing people, property and assets, and through a renewed focus on customer retention and loyalty.

An Evolving Banking Frontier
By nature, financial institutions have a geographically diverse footprint and, as a result, face a variety of threats and security challenges. With increasingly sophisticated schemes involving wire fraud, phishing, vishing, skimming and hacking, they are faced with protecting personal, financial and enterprise data, while maintaining a secure environment for customers and staff. Financial organizations also must comply with federal regulations that mandate protection for data, systems, software, workplace safety and facility security.

In retail bank organizations, security directors hold responsibility for protecting a large number of sites and, as a result, require a high degree of interconnectivity with the ability to manage bandwidth for each. Fraud investigations require quick dissemination to law enforcement and a video surveillance platform that is easy to use and able to maintain a high degree of protection for information and network security. In all, this means video technology must meet the demand of network friendliness, while safeguarding data.

With such a diverse footprint comes an array of considerations for today’s technology providers. In retail banking, video surveillance solutions must provide low frame rates and long retention times. Also key is having an open platform that integrates with POS transaction data and central monitoring stations for video verification and remote system monitoring.

Standalone ATMs require flexible connectivity options, integration with ATM transaction data, and compatibility with centralized monitoring and video management. On the other hand, corporate properties and data centers require high frame rates, a variety of retention times and integration with access control and PSIM technologies. And cash vaults call for higher frame rates, high camera counts, extended storage capability, reliable system uptime, and protection against video loss and remote monitoring.

Up-leveling Security
Across a wide range of industries, video solutions are both in use and in demand. With a more proactive approach to leveraging existing video infrastructure, organizations are continuing to advance the safety and security of their facilities, improve emergency response and enhance their investigative capabilities. In the case of financial institutions, security directors rely on cutting-edge technologies that add value to their video operations by helping to manage the vast amounts of information, protect people and property, and safeguard personal and financial data.

For the past decade, the use of DVRs for video recording has been the industry standard, and today, much of the existing camera infrastructure in branch banks is still analog.

In order to anticipate and take action on emerging threats and maximize existing technologies, security directors are more attune than ever to a next-generation alternative to DVRs -- the NVR or network video recorder.

NVRs are IP-enabled devices that plug directly into a variety of IP network typologies. A critical priority for branch banks, NVRs allow remote administrators to easily view and download select video footage, monitor the health of network connected cameras and devices, and push out firmware upgrades automatically. It’s been said that in the next decade, the financial industry can expect the NVR to become the operational hub of the entire branch bank surveillance infrastructure.

The transition from analog systems to network-based digital systems can help improve a financial organization’s ability to detect security breaches, deliver video and data across the enterprise, and quickly provide outside agencies the information they need to investigate fraud.

Significant threats for financial institutions include ATM skimming and bank card fraud. Video analytics technology helps counter these very real problems. For instance, video analytics with motion detection, behavior detection and two-way audio capabilities can be used to detect and defend against loitering or ATM tampering by automatically pinpointing activities indicative of security threats. In addition, facial recognition capabilities can help address threats such as check fraud by recording transaction data and capturing images of suspects. With these powerful capabilities, video analytics is now becoming an important feature in today’s integrated video solution for financial organizations.

With its vast geographic footprint, the majority of retail bank branch recorded video is reviewed remotely by investigative teams. This creates a unique challenge for bank security directors -- recording and archiving video on-site, while making it accessible for remote monitoring and investigative review.

Powerful software that provides transaction and event-based search capabilities, real-time alerts of incidents and alarms, health monitoring, video export and enhancement tools, permissions-based site control, and integration with active directories is a valuable investment into the video security infrastructure taking place at financial organizations worldwide.

With their diverse security challenges, financial organizations require a video security platform that enables them to capture high-quality video images from the embedded operating system, optimize bandwidth and storage utilization, leverage flexible video search capabilities, and benefit from programmable video retention and storage for lower total cost of ownership and operation, along with superior security and reliability.

Looking Ahead
As financial organizations continue to combat traditional threats, such as bank branch robberies and check fraud, they are also encountering increasingly sophisticated electronic schemes. But as threats evolve and processes and technologies advance, today’s financial organizations find themselves in a position to better protect their people and assets, safeguard their data, deter fraud, and enhance the overall customer experience.

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