The Future of Security

The Future of Security

I have had the great pleasure of attending Milestone’s Integration Platform Symposium this week. I was submersed in the video surveillance security industry from each and every corner of the Talking Stick Resort and one of my favorite parts of this experience was hearing professionals speak about future of the technology that is currently new-ish to us.

One of the MIPS panels included four professionals talking about just this - Future Technology. Panelists included Scott Dunn of Axis Communications, Colin Evans from Digital Barriers, Nick Thermions of EMC and Dave Panzeira from Intel. All of these men signified a different segment of video surveillance, from network cameras and advanced surveillance solutions to data storage, creating a very well-rounded discussion.

The panel began with a question about the Internet of Things, and throughout the discussion the world of IoT began to seep into almost every part of the conversation. Panzeira works on a special team within Intel that is dedicated to the Internet of Things. He believes the IoT came out of a necessity for embedded technology.

“My definition of the Internet of Things is poached from an article that Michael Porter wrote in the Harvard Business Review,” Panzeira said. “He describes it as the third-wave of IT driven communication.”

Panzeira goes on to explain a time when products were mechanical, when having the ability to connect wirelessly wasn’t an option. With the new generation of technology, he believes we are able to build a better product.

“I like to think that the IoT is bringing the best of both worlds into the product itself,” Panzeira said. “With next generation of sensors, software and connectivity in the product with the added ability to talk back and forth with each other through the cloud helped that product become more self-aware amongst the products around it.”

From the camera standpoint, Dunn was able to share how Axis Communications, leader of network cameras, stays on the leading edge of technology by incorporating IoT.

“When we started the camera was already out there, so a lot of the innovation we did had to deal with connectivity,” Dunn said. “That was a big benefit of going IP - you could open up that video to a lot of different sources.”

Dunn recalled a time when his manager had been asked by a client why they couldn’t put their video on the same network as the rest of their data. It made sense, so they started to integrate the new technology into their cameras. One big question was raised when Axis began to use the cloud: How do you keep that data secure?

“Security of the data is a massive barrier we need to cross for the IoT to be realized,” Penzeira said. “One of the biggest challenges is dealing with all the IoT protocols and normalizing that data so you can start to mine it and analyze it.”

Data storage is predicted to grow 40 percent in 2016, a huge percentage that mirrors the increase in networked cameras that are continuously being installed. Evans remembered seeing a 4K drone camera at the Canon expo that literally gathered one terabyte of data every 10 seconds. “The world of big data is only getting worse,” he said. 

“We have these high definition cameras that are driving more and more storage requirements and we can’t afford to watch that video until we are in front of a monitor,” Evans said. “There are also huge new areas of growth that are driven by wireless products. Architecturally, these things are going to change the way we think about video because it is simply too expensive to move these pixels from one place to another place just to look at it.”

Those in the industry are turning to the technology that has become common in everyday life to help with their new systems. Currently, the inundation of live streaming from social media platforms has inspired the realm of mobile viewing of surveillance systems.

“My kids look at me at home and say, ‘I can do this live streaming on the internet, why can’t I view surveillance video on my mobile phone?’ I think that is a very human reaction,” Evans said. “We want to see what is happening all the time, and we have all these cameras but you can’t see what is happening unless you are in the control room or watching the monitor. Why can’t we see that video everywhere?”

The panelists agreed that one of the biggest challenges when it came to the IoT was the fact that so many companies are trying to create grand innovation schemes that are so unique that it is hard for other companies to latch on and try to normalize the product, software or process. Dunn found this challenge was hard to overcome when IP video first made it on the scene.

“The challenge was IP video was not going to grow very quickly because you couldn’t get very rapid adoption with the inundation of unique technology,” Dunn said. “You have to have development standards so that you can develop within the framework to make it more affordable and more easily deployable.”

One of the biggest examples of innovation IoT into the video surveillance industry is the recent deployment of body worn cameras. Last year, there were 135,000 body worn cameras deployed and of those 79 percent were in the United States and Western Europe. Panelists envisioned the body worn cameras being used for all types of things, from police work to retail to even health care in the future, making the collection of the video data a big talking point.

“Body worn cameras are the fastest adoption of the cloud,” Thermions said. “We look at the level of sophistication of the folks who were deploying these cameras to their candidly lack of IT infrastructure within organizations like police departments that just wanted to hit the easy button. Cloud is the easiest way to collect the data; you can batch it and ship it up to the cloud.”

Thermions explains that this use of the cloud is sometimes the best use of money for right now when the standards for data collection within many organizations that deploy body worn cameras are unknown. 

“I believe we are through what I would like to call Phase One of body worn cameras,” Thermions said. “I believe that after working with a lot of different police departments that what ultimately is going to happen is we are going to have a hybrid of the cloud that everyone will be able to use.”

The discussion brought up many other facets of the surveillance industry, such as audio and the security of wearables; both things that we will see a lot of interesting things developed in the near future, as teased by the panelists.

Of all the things the panelists debated on and discussed they all were under the same impression on current technology. They believed we are living in the future now. No matter how much we normalize it, the technology we are using today would have blown the minds of many IT professionals just 10 years ago.

Posted by Sydny Shepard on Mar 01, 2016

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