Current and future uses in the commercial security industry

On a Cloud of its Own

Current and future uses in the commercial security industry

Cloud-based technology and solutions have become more and more mainstream, especially in the commercial security industry. A few years ago, people were aware of the technology but did not understand how it worked and mistrusted how secure it actually was. Now, cloud-based technology and solutions is the norm, and end users are continuing to realize the versatility of having cloud-based systems. End users expect to use this technology in most aspects of their lives, and using cloud-based solutions in the commercial security industry is no exception.

Cloud-based technology is crucial to the security industry in two major ways: the remote access and data backup components. These capabilities have transformed the security industry as there no longer needs to be such a strong reliance on hardware.

Businesses and organizations can monitor and use their security technology from a smartphone which eliminates the need for separate rooms for DVRs and hardware servers.

CLOUD-BASED SECURITY SYSTEMS LOWER OPERATING COSTS, ADD FLEXIBILITY

The cost-effectiveness of cloud-based systems is one of its strongest benefits. With remote access, businesses and organizations no longer need to have staff on-site to monitor cameras and other security technology as the cloud-based technology gives you the ability to access the software from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.

Especially now, during COVID-19, it is an advantage to be able to use cloud-based solutions to operate security technology remotely and still maintain control over the access to the buildings for employees, contractors, maintenance crews and deliveries. Businesses and organizations can also lock and unlock doors, and limit or block card access so that certain pathways are used to make sure interactions are limited to mitigate COVID-19 transmission.

A perfect example of the cost efficacy factor is in the hospitality industry where hotels are dealing with limited occupancy requirements and are also operating with limited staff. With these changes, cloud-based solutions have allowed hotels to manage their property with limited staff members and keep costs low by not requiring security staff or facilities managers to be on-site. Plus, with fewer on-site servers, there will also be fewer IT technicians needed to manage the servers and hardware, leading to further cost savings.

SECURELY AND AUTOMATICALLY BACK UP SECURITY DATA IN THE CLOUD

In addition to the accessibility and remote access factor, end users also enjoy the automatic backup features. With hardware systems, camera networks or computer bases inside buildings and organizations always had the weakness of falling victim to a disaster (a building fire, or damage to the server room, etc.).

A cloud-based system completely removes that scenario from the equation as backups happen more frequently and the data is stored in the cloud. This means that even in the event of a catastrophe, data from a security system can be brought back online almost instantaneously with virtually zero downtime. This is incredibly important in the ever-changing security industry when businesses and organizations rely on security systems to provide them with actionable insight to inform on real-time situations.

With these two key features, cloud-based technology opens up the full functionality of the security software from virtually anywhere and with almost zero risk of losing data. It allows users to keep a close eye on business and operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not only does this technology provide more data, but the data is also easier to understand.

Sifting through and sorting the data once required the expertise of an IT team, but it can now be done on the user’s iPhone. Most importantly, using these cloud-based solutions in the security industry provides businesses and organizations with the ability to make more informed decisions.

Cloud-based technology provides end users with access to more data because they are able to draw from multiple locations and systems. Cloud-based systems allow businesses and organizations to integrate their security camera network with their no touch access control system.

Having constant access to data from multiple systems and locations enables users to make more informed decisions. And, when paired with video analytics or heat mapping, cloud-based solutions can enable businesses and organizations of all kinds to operate more efficiently and effectively both during and after the pandemic.

HOW THE CLOUD IS BENEFITING INDUSTRYSPECIFIC SECURITY CHALLENGES

In the retail space, cloud-based systems that have been integrated with heat mapping video analytic technology can be used for both marketing and safety purposes. Camera systems can monitor where people congregate, or what areas of a store receive the most foot traffic.

From a COVID-19 prevention perspective, businesses can use this information to see where additional signage is needed to encourage social distancing. However, they also can use this information to decide where to put new or discounted products given that it is a high traffic area.

Another example that showcases the versatility of cloudbased systems would be its practical uses in the healthcare industry. With many organizations working with skeleton crews to minimize potential exposure and transmission, many security staff and administrators are working remotely. Cloud-based systems provide security professionals with the ability to monitor the camera networks and access points remotely.

They are able to grant and deny access to specific sectors of a hospital or care facility using the integrated no touch access controls, and are also able to monitor the network of cameras throughout the hospital without actually needing to be walking through the facility.

Additionally, the apartment industry has been a major proponent of cloud-based systems as apartment property managers are able to integrate their cameras and audio systems to decrease the amount of on-site security staff, and can instead use the cloudbased systems to interact and converse with tenants in real-time in the event of a situation.

THE FUTURE OF CLOUD-BASED SECURITY TECHNOLOGY

Demand for cloud-based systems has already grown as businesses and organizations continue to turn toward security technology to help solve problems caused by COVID-19, and that trend will continue in 2021.

End users across all industries are continuing to see the cost benefits of this technology, as well as its versatility in helping inform on business decisions as well as security decisions. As businesses and organizations look for new ways to centralize and streamline processes, cloud-based solutions will continue to be crucial components for security systems across the healthcare, hospitality and retail industries among others.

This article originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of Security Today.

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