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VG Tuesday Tips: 5 Features Your Security Camera System Should Have in 2019

  Virtual Graffiti

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The demand has never been greater for business owners and IT professionals to invest in intelligent security camera systems. At the intersection of physical security and cybersecurity, however, an increasing number of organizations struggle to take a proactive approach to surveillance. Although these organizations have prioritized security to the extent that they’ve invested in surveillance technology (oftentimes expensive DVR-based or NVR-based systems), they’ve been unable to truly safeguard their property and patrons.

The struggle often begins with the search, where IT and Security professionals are unable to determine which features are nice-to-haves and which are must-haves. By prioritizing industry-specific requirements, while looking for solutions that eliminate existing bottlenecks within the organization, it’s easier to pinpoint exactly what to look for when evaluating a new security camera system.

To help you along in your journey, we’re sharing five must-haves when it comes to enterprise security camera systems.

1. Plug-and-Play Installation

Ease of installation remains a main consideration for many security buyers, as it is the first hurdle to overcome when deploying a new security camera system.

With plug-and-play cameras, the process of deployment is simple. Many security vendors offer solutions that require a single PoE cable to power the cameras and bring them online. Due to the prevalence of Ethernet wiring throughout most offices and corporate settings, it has become an easy decision, and a common solution for many organizations looking to scale coverage quickly.

For cameras that rely on local recorders (such as NVRs or DVRs), the process of finding capacity within the storage device introduces an additional complication when installing a new system. Looking for cloud security cameras with built-in storage provides not only the convenience of local and cloud storage, but also a truly plug-and-play experience.

2. Centralized Management

IT and Security professionals have spent much of the last decade dealing with hodgepodge, patchwork camera systems that cannot be managed on a single platform or login; however, bringing footage into a single interface has become a marching order for nearly all IT departments.

Just as convenience and accessibility have become the standard for modern software, technology professionals expect the same level of intuitiveness for their video management systems (VMS). With the objective of streamlining surveillance ownership, it’s necessary to have an easy way to stay on top of video security across all locations.

Managing surveillance on one platform also allows stakeholders to keep track of systemwide activities. Whether it’s a matter of compliance, internal control, or simply peace of mind, organizations should keep audit logs to give admins complete visibility into the usage of their systems.

Audit logs features are particularly useful for customers in industries that require compliance documentation.

3. Built in Safety Features

Beyond improving just physical security, cybersecurity is also top-of-mind for most executives who are looking to upgrade security camera systems. By having built-in security features (such as single-sign on or two-factor authentication), teams are provided with an added layer of confidence that cameras and footage are safeguarded from unauthorized viewers and hackers.

Enhance your organization’s security by requiring users to provide a second factor when authenticating into accounts.

One key to remember is that while traditional NVR/DVR security camera systems are hailed as a safe, closed-circuit solutions, this promise disappears as soon as they are connected to the wider internet. Punching through firewalls and opening ports to enable remote accessibility runs the risk of exposing your system to some of the worst network risks.

Therefore, it’s important to ensure that all the solutions you’re considering incorporate modern security protections like two-factor authentication and protect data privacy by using the latest encryption standards.

4. Secure, Remote Access to Cameras

While many systems offer remote access, most require users to open up ports—and, thus, themselves to vulnerabilities—if they want the now-expected option of viewing videos offsite. Remote access without the need to open ports is just one more must-have for any IT manager who needs a security camera system built for the modern enterprise.

Building on the need for remote access is the ability to easily share video feeds or archived footage among team members, critical stakeholders, or even local authorities in the event of emergency situations. Neither senders or recipients should undergo complex processes to access shared footage, especially when time is a sensitive factor.

Quickly grant view only access to cameras in your network in response to emergency situations.

5. Smart Features & Alerts

Computer vision-backed features, such as people and car detection, allow teams to maintain situational awareness without having to proactively monitor surveillance around the clock. With notifications that immediately alert stakeholders of unusual activities, such as a person detected at the entrance of a school after hours, the likeliness of on-site incidents is reduced or eliminated altogether.

Receive SMS or email alerts for the events you care to be notified about.

Other system alerts, such as notifications of tampering or camera downtime, provide security teams the peace of mind that their surveillance solutions are always operational and running. Eliminating the need to conduct manual audits of security camera systems across locations allows teams to re-allocate time, money and focus back to executing on other organizational efforts.

Tying It All Together

When it comes to selecting the best security camera system for your business, it’s critical to assess how the features of each solution collectively address the security needs of your business. These five features—as well as any other features that apply specifically to your industry (for example, HIPAA compliance)—should be paramount to your consideration process.