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Reduce maintenance costs with hosted video surveillance




Technology constantly evolves, and video surveillance solutions are not immune to change. Some businesses with surveillance needs have relied on legacy analog systems to protect their assets and property, sometimes spending thousands of dollars on cameras, cabling, and storage solutions; others have since upgraded their systems to IP with video management software to control processes in a central location. A growing trend in surveillance technology known as video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) focuses on the cloud, providing higher scalability with lower costs.

Thanks to decreasing costs and the wider availability of high-speed internet transmission, hosted surveillance via the cloud is growing in popularity amongst organizations that require a need for surveillance but not on-location storage for hours of video footage. The efficiency of video compression technologies such as H.264 allows a broad range of security systems to transmit higher-quality footage from more cameras without clogging bandwidth. The result is less time, effort, and money spent on working with and maintaining digital video recorders, network video recorders, or storage area networks, because the footage is transmitted over the internet to a hosted service.

One of the greater selling points of cloud video surveillance / VSaaS is the factor of near-instant gratification; live video footage is viewable on virtually any device that can connect to the internet, and as for previous recordings, users do not have to comb through unnecessary footage as hosted surveillance only stores clips that are triggered by motion detection. Additionally, users have the option to set up email alerts when motion is detected so they can log into the cloud surveillance interface and view the clips immediately. This feature makes VSaaS systems perfect for the commercial entity that requires an extra set of digital eyes on the premises to protect valuable assets and property, especially during non-business hours. Business owners, security managers, and law enforcement alike are able to react quickly to intrusions, burglaries, or other unforeseen security risks.

Like a standard IP video solution, cloud surveillance also has the ability to be truly scalable due to sharing the same basic infrastructure. While improving or adding on to an older, analog video surveillance system was doable, it usually required multiple video recording platforms at a single location, as a DVR can be hooked up to so many cameras. For larger businesses, that could mean hundreds of cameras connected to dozens of DVRs, considerably driving up costs in both equipment and manpower. Fortunately for IP- and cloud-based setups, plugging in additional security cameras via Ethernet is all that needs to be done (as long as the infrastructure supports Power over Ethernet (PoE) and the bandwidth is sufficient – but that’s for another blog post).

Despite these technological innovations, there are some vulnerabilities of cloud video surveillance which are important to consider during a security assessment or routine upgrade. Redundancy in storage formats is helpful in the case of a power failure, which would obviously cut off internet access and fail to transmit any recorded footage to the hosted web server. Additionally, choosing a trusted VSaaS provider is vital to ensure the best cybersecurity against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that may compromise your footage to hackers. Nevertheless, cloud surveillance is a unique security solution that many organizations may want to investigate to extend their security and enhance their operations’ efficiency.