Video surveillance systems have undergone quite the technological evolution over the past few years. Closed-circuit television utilizing digital video recorders (DVRs) has now transitioned into an IP-based Video Management System utilizing network video recording servers (NVRs). This technology has become integral to the overall security strategies for many organizations, from schools to hospitals to private businesses. But, as with most technologies, as soon as they became integrated with network operations, video management systems (VMS) became more complicated. There are more opportunities—but also more vulnerabilities—to consider. VMS is a very powerful tool that, when implemented correctly, can greatly contribute to your organization’s physical security management while using fewer natural and digital resources. But you have to know how to maximize your opportunities with VMS. That’s where a good consultant (or an integrator that takes on a consultative approach to your projects) can make your life (and your security strategy) much easier.
Here are 3 Facts About Modern Video Surveillance Systems
1. There Are a Lot of Aspects to Consider
For example, many of the IP cameras used for VMS will come out of the box and operate with their base configurations. While this is convenient, these base configurations can leave you open to a slew of security threats. However, these issues are often solved by purchasing the appropriate licensing for the camera itself. Here’s the catch: the IP cameras come with their own security, and you need to license the cameras separately to activate that security. If the entire point of installing VMS is to increase your security, the last thing you want to do is expose your organization to a new vulnerability. This is just one example of how much effort and planning is required to ensure an effective VMS implementation.
2. You Can Save Yourself Network Headaches if You Plan Accordingly
When installed incorrectly, your VMS can be a huge drain on network resources. Conversely, with the right planning and expertise, you can greatly reduce the amount of strain you place on your network without compromising the desired outcome of improving visibility and providing peace of mind to your organization. The key is having a clear idea of how active your camera is going to be, what kind of lighting changes will occur, frames per second, resolutions, desired recording triggers (such as motion), and required retention times. Having a very clear plan for these elements will help a great deal in anticipating and designating the necessary network infrastructure. Which is kind of tricky because….
3. It’s Difficult to Know All of The Details Before You Purchase Your VMS
Oftentimes, you won’t know what your exact VMS needs are. Because of this fact, most systems are overbuilt by around 20% to 40%. That’s actually good news for a few reasons. You never want to use the equipment at its max capacity. When that happens, you run the risk of losing valuable video activity, not retaining the video as long as you need to, or being forced to expand your system with a costly project. It’s best to overestimate by about 20%, but it’s also important to have as much information as possible, because it’s not cost effective to build for more than 20% of your needs.