Leveraging Technology Over the Road
Enhancing transit security for safer and smarter systems
- By Robert Wall
- Aug 01, 2023
Transportation is an essential industry that enables goods and products to be transported efficiently and effectively across state and country lines. However, the transportation industry is not immune to security incidents. Transit authorities, including railway and rapid transit stations, must deploy comprehensive solutions to create safer environments for passengers and staff.
The increased risk of security incidents worldwide has propelled the need for enhanced security protocols amid increased public pressure. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that travel volume increased to near pre-pandemic levels in 2021. With approximately 1.6 million passengers screened per day, the need to protect travelers and staff is critical. Transit authorities require comprehensive protection to ensure the highest level of security.
Video surveillance is a crucial tool that transit authorities can use to improve security protocols. In many deployments today, video management software is used as the backbone of comprehensive security command systems that support thousands of cameras. Other advanced solutions, such as video analytics, access control and emergency communication tools, work with video to ease high availability and resiliency to all systems.
While more cameras lead to more data, transportation staff continuously search for ways to use this information for better insight, detection and awareness. Emerging technologies like machine learning and video analytics can vastly improve accuracy, allowing stakeholders to make continued operational improvements. At the same time, transit authorities must ensure the highest security of the data collected and protect network-enabled solutions from cyber threats.
Aside from making systems safer, transit stations can use technology that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies and build more robust business processes. Video data can be used to evaluate current processes, such as ticketing, or help retail stores within the facility reduce theft. Mobile video applications can support staff in the field, making operations more efficient and reducing queue lengths.
Ensuring the safety and security of passengers has always been a significant concern for transit system operators. With intelligent infrastructure, trusted IT processes, and advanced video surveillance platforms, operators can create safer, more intelligent transit systems.
Containerized VMS is becoming an essential technology that transit authorities can use to improve security protocols and modernize video management. A container is a lightweight executable that runs on any infrastructure and is created by packaging software code with the operating system and dependencies required to run the code. Containerization bundles the application code with the required configuration files, libraries and dependencies.
This "container" can run on any platform or cloud by itself. Pre-configured and installed prerequisites are needed for containerized VMS solutions functionality, and no additional frameworks or database software are necessary. Deployments of these systems need less retrofitting and communication across enterprise servers because they do not have separate server requirements.
Containerization is a popular technology used in IT environments to package and deploy applications, providing a lightweight and portable solution for software deployment. Containerization enables developers to create consistent and reproducible environments for their applications. Containers are isolated from each other and from the host system, providing a secure and controlled runtime environment. This isolation ensures that applications running within containers do not interfere with each other and helps prevent conflicts between different software dependencies.
Containerization also promotes scalability and resource efficiency. Containers can be rapidly deployed and scaled horizontally to manage varying levels of workload. Each container can run multiple instances of an application, allowing for efficient use of system resources.
Additionally, containerization platforms often include orchestration tools that automate the management of containerized applications, making it easier to scale, monitor and manage large deployments. Containers also enable the adoption of microservices architectures, where applications are broken down into smaller, loosely coupled components running in separate containers. This approach promotes modularity, scalability and easier maintenance of complex applications.
Containerized VMS is an ideal solution for transit authorities that need a comprehensive and secure system. The technology can provide an intelligent and data-driven approach to security management and response, allowing for a quicker and more effective response to security incidents. The use of containerized VMS can also help transit authorities investigate equipment breakdowns, diagnose operational problems, and monitor device health, allowing operations within the command center to act quickly.
As the world continues to evolve and new security threats emerge, transit authorities must remain vigilant and adapt to meet the challenges ahead. By leveraging intelligent infrastructure, trusted IT processes, and advanced video surveillance platforms, transit authorities can create safer and more intelligent transit systems. Ultimately, these efforts will improve safety for passengers and staff, increase operational efficiencies, and contribute to the continued growth and success of the transportation industry.
This article originally appeared in the July / August 2023 issue of Security Today.