Security Beyond the Network

There is a long list of reasons organizations and businesses should be having conversations about physical security.  Some of the reasons are rooted in safety.  Some are focused more on oversight and/or liability.  Whatever the reasons, an IP camera system, with the ability to view current and archived video has become a “must have” in most organizations. Similar to the transition that occurred with voice several years back, the shift from analog to IP Video Surveillance has added yet another payload to the network infrastructure.  This also often transitions the responsibility for physical security over the same group already dealing with network security.

Quality of service, network bandwidth, segmentation, power over ethernet, port density and storage all have to be considered when planning, designing or implementing an IP camera system – and this is just the back-end of the system.  The most important part of an IPVS design is actually what you see through the lens, the field of view.  Insuring a strong supporting infrastructure has to happen, but if the video being viewed does not benefit the organization or deliver on the intended purpose, it may not be money well spent.

A well designed IPVS system can have numerous benefits for organizations in all verticals, including:

  • Improved Employee Productivity
  • Process Adherence
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Theft Reduction
  • Better Experiences Through Analytics
  • Improved Safety
  • Business Savings

I like to think I have a unique perspective when it comes to dealing with camera system designs, having spent 12 years in law enforcement as my first career, much of that time dealing with video surveillance for both safety and evidential purposes. The career change I made into information technology first led me to work several years in a K12 school system. This happened during a period of time where school safety was forced to the forefront of the news and the minds of school administrations everywhere. After moving on to work for ABS Technology, I was afforded the opportunity to work with all types of organizations, including police departments and numerous school systems.  I think it helps to understand the needs of the customer when you’ve walked a few miles in their shoes, so putting that experience to work for clients can be very beneficial.

Today’s IP camera systems are packed with features, tools, and analytics that give customers insight into areas of their organizations previously unexplored. This can greatly benefit safety and other business outcomes. Finding the right solution to meet their needs is a process. It’s important not to oversimplify or overcomplicate this process but focus on what you want the end result to be. Another important thing to remember is that, if it is important to you with regards to user experience and/or business outcome, there are probably products out there to make it happen. Options have greatly expanded over the past several years and have become less expensive in the process. Coming up with the right design to benefit our customers is certainly a challenge, as no two environments are the same, but it’s a challenge I look forward to accepting on a daily basis.

If you want to learn more or discuss further, I’ll be discussing physical security in more depth at our upcoming Fall Tech Fest series. I hope to see you there.


bill-waldron-1In addition to being ABS’ resident Meraki Evangelist, Bill Waldron is a Senior Solutions Architect at ABS where he focuses his efforts on designing enterprise networking solutions to solve business challenges for clients.