video surveillance

The challenges of video surveillance and how to overcome them

Video surveillance shows every sign of growing more and more prevalent in the world, with a report by Technavio predicting an 11% growth in the global video surveillance market between 2019 and 2021. Users of video surveillance can certainly benefit, experiencing everything from greater on-site security to increased workplace productivity. But the more heavily businesses, schools, and other organizations rely on these critical technologies to protect themselves and the people they serve, the more challenges they may encounter in implementing and maintaining their systems. Fortunately, these obstacles also have solutions.

Data storage challenges

The sheer amount of data generated through video surveillance has spiked within the past few years, from an estimated 566 petabytes per day in 2015 to a staggering 2,500 petabytes by 2019. More and more organizations collecting this data. Furthermore, the data they collect is richer thanks to the use of high-definition cameras. All this data has to get stored somewhere, leaving users scrambling for bigger hard drives and other stopgap solutions.

Proper future proofing in the design and installation of your video surveillance system is essential. It can go a long way toward helping you handle the flood of information. A professional assessment of your current and future needs, weighed against the predicted advances in video and data storage technology, put you on the right foot from the beginning—especially if your strategy involves future scalability. Off-site managed servers, in particular, can provide you with unlimited future data storage options.

Access and management challenges

All the video surveillance data in the world is only as helpful as your ability to manage it. Your team members must be able to make use of the rush of incoming data. Not just from your security center, but also in the field. Video management systems (VMS) aim to integrate this data as efficiently as possible. However, challenges such as incompatible or outmoded cameras can keep them from working as smooth, effective systems. In many cases, multiple systems are awkwardly strung together, with imperfect results.

You can dodge or resolve these challenges by investing in an integrated platform. Especially one designed with an eye toward standardized, up-to-date software, hardware and connectivity. A single, central platform is much easier to manage and communicates with its various components more efficiently. Most importantly, it will save you money by minimizing downtime and labor to make incompatible devices work as a team.

Security challenges

Video surveillance data and equipment are susceptible to the same security challenges that threaten other areas of your IT system. TechRepublic points to a March 2018 cyberattack on the Atlanta Police Department in which ransomware was used to hack into the department’s IT system, wiping out all of its officers’ dash-cam video data. Any form of digital data can fall prey to security holes or known vulnerabilities in your system.

Regular, comprehensive updates, strong hardware-based firewalls and complete data backups can help keep your video surveillance system working for you instead of against you. Duplicating your data frees you from the tyranny of ransomware attacks. It also allows you to restore lost data on the fly. One warning: It’s all too easy to fall behind in those routine updates and patches. Outsourcing these critical, time-intensive tasks to a managed services provider can help ensure that the system remains safe and secure—while your team members remain free to focus on other aspects of their work.

Video surveillance comes with its own requirements and challenges, just like any critical commercial or institutional technology. But understanding the nature of those challenges and taking the proper steps to overcome them can help you enjoy the full benefits of this form of protection.