On a Cloud of its Own
Current and future uses in the commercial security industry
- By Kim Hartman
- Apr 01, 2021
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
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
This article originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of Security Today.