Developing a Security Strategy: Leveraging Biometrics, Video Resolution and Analytics

Here are some key considerations your campus should assess during the planning process.

Last, it is critical for the IT departments to account for the back-end technology requirements as they add new cameras. Policies and their impact on the storage and viewing requirements will need to be examined as camera quantities and resolutions increase. To maximize video surveillance, organizations should utilize a multitude of strategies to ensure optimal operation.

Another element to campus security is to have a grooming strategy in place to increase retention times without having to purchase more storage. Grooming is a process for removing frames from the recorded video at set intervals that helps decrease the overall storage footprint dramatically. Furthermore, archiving video to less expensive storage mediums is another strategy for addressing the storing challenge.

Video Analytics
Video analytics’ ability to deliver quicker response times to critical events has yet to be fully realized by many campuses. However, the inclusion of video analytics in technology roadmaps makes tremendous sense and should be part of the consideration process. The potential to provide value by automating threat notifications to key personnel is significant. Where the solution fails is in its integration into a current system or a potential platform – an area that is often overlooked. Video analytics is only as effective as the communication system and its adoption across an institution.

Having reasonable expectations and a willingness to perfect the system over time through the tuning and tweaking of analytics is also important. Getting all parties to understand and agree on the requirements will provide a baseline to measure the performance of the analytics and make adjustments as needed. The organizations that will benefit the most from these technologies are those that develop processes to respond to alerts and have the technical aptitude required to make adjustments as needed to ensure all security measures are in place.

From a technology standpoint, analytics are algorithms that analyze changes in pixilation. However, to make them work in the real world, it is important to fully understand the expected outputs from these analytics. This makes scene analysis and a documented understanding of the objectives of video analytics critical to success. Documenting the requirements provides a baseline from which to measure the performance of the analytics over time to ensure accurate alerting.

Biometric technology continues to come down in price while delivering better results but has not seen wide adoption outside of the data center world. As such
, it has remained a relatively low priority compared with video surveillance and the addition of new doors to current card access solutions. The wide deployment of this technology remains in the distant future as more practical and pressing concerns will take precedent over the deployment of these types of devices.

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However, there are specific cases within campus environments where it makes sense to increase the security with biometrics. High-risk areas such as research labs, datacenters and areas with hazardous materials are ideal candidates for biometrics deployments. The increased security that comes from a multiple authentication process justifies the business case and could thwart potential risks.

When evaluating technology deployments, it is vital that organizations also assess how that technology will integrate into the overall credential management within the academic institutions. Process questions around bio-credentials registration and long-term management of those credentials is an important element to developing a system that will work. This is particularly concerning for campus environments with many students and frequent turnover. As with any new technology, building these systems with a strategic roadmap with incremental additions will enable the organization to build competencies based on lessons learned.

Address These 3 Areas During Planning
Adoption rates of video surveillance, video analytics and biometrics varies by institution. Need, budget and infrastructure readiness are obstacles for widespread implementation. However, there is no doubt that as the technology continues to develop and become more cost-effective, adoption will follow.

No matter the sophistication of the adopted technology, there are three areas to address during the planning process:

1. Work across functional areas to identify goals for the security policies and technology (not only applications). Document goals, objectives and constraints as well as policies and procedures. Make sure all stakeholders know their roles and responsibilities.

2. Identify the specific need and challenge and then understand how the technology can be applied to addresses that situation. Make informed, conscious decisions on how to manage the particular settings and requirements. As mentioned before, technology for technology’s sake is not always effective.

3. Don’t think you can do it alone. Become well-versed in these strategies by training staff and hiring qualified integration firms. The right combination of training, technology and resources will increase the system’s effectiveness over time.

Mark Bonde is a senior account manager for security at Parallel Technologies.

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