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Security moves closer to prevention with open architecture and technology integrations

The focus of video surveillance has long been on crime deterrence and post-event investigation, documentation and potential prosecution.

May 13, 2015  By Gadi Piran

Prevention is an area where traditional video systems have been limited, primarily because real-time monitoring capabilities have been restricted by operators trying to watch too many monitors and process too much information. Today, however, open architecture systems and technology integrations are changing the conversation and moving video surveillance closer to prevention.

At the centre of these integrations are leading-edge open architecture VMS that sit at the centre of PSIM systems and enable analysis of incidents with correlation to data from access control, video analysis and other systems, creating “meaningful events” that may help prevent future incidents. For example, the software can detect when there is a single access swipe but video analytics has identified two individuals going through the door. Using data like this to review incidents can help authorities create new policies designed to prevent repeat incidents and track events that show similar patterns. This growing science of what is being called predictive analysis is becoming a larger focus for video surveillance systems and is a major driver of the move toward prevention. The main challenges lie in collecting, sorting and analyzing a growing amount of data generated by the physical security systems and other related sources. A PSIM/VMS is capable of processing all of the data gathered from various sources to detect and analyze abnormal behaviour based on established policies and has the ability to alert pre-determined staff members to take action, if necessary.

By using information and insights from trends reporting, security staff can implement additional policies to further increase the effectiveness of the security program. Video content analytics provides the ability to detect specific targeted behaviours, movement patterns, areas of interest and more to provide instant alerts to appropriate personnel. With video data playing a vital role in today’s integrated solution, precise control and management of all video sources is more critical than ever.

Once video content analytics have discovered these events, the VMS provides users with full control over all camera parameters, including PTZ presets, joystick control, digital zoom in/out and more via the user interface. This delivers even more tools for identifying, logging, analyzing and resolving potentially threatening situations.
By facilitating integration between a number of disparate operations and a large variety of data points, these open architecture VMS are at the center of the communication between security and non-security systems, devices and components. In today’s security systems, nearly every device features, or will very soon feature, communication capabilities, deepening the level of integration between video, access control, motion or object detection, call boxes and more.


Situational awareness is another major benefit of open architecture and technology integrations. In security, time is of the essence, but high camera counts, large or dispersed geographical areas and multiple integrated systems make it difficult to extract meaningful information in real time. Advanced VMS deliver the capability to push relevant video to fixed or mobile devices and/or alert specified staff or authorities in the case of an incident, such as a backpack being left on a train platform. Organizations can then elevate the potential of video to advance from surveillance and documentation of adverse events to making it possible to keep those events from unfolding or escalating. Early detection and advanced technology provide time to prevent an incident from unfolding or avert a dangerous situation. Intuitive, user-friendly and time-saving tools, including touchscreen technology, map-based interface, context-sensitive popup controls, predefined action lists and slice forensics  further speed response time to enable increased safety and security levels while helping prevent incidents from escalating.

Without a doubt, advancements in imaging technologies help to improve overall security and situational awareness, but open architecture systems and technology integrations allow data to be collected from a greater number and wider variety of systems and sources. The ability of open architecture VMS to process and analyze this wealth of information is a game-changer. Using the intelligence gleaned from the wealth of information collected, security staff and other stakeholders can implement new policies and procedures that will help to identify and alert users to potentially dangerous situations before they occur. As a result, security is making a considerable shift toward prevention, as opposed to simply detection and documentation, thanks largely to open architecture and technology integrations.

Gadi Piran is President of OnSSI.

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