Video Surveillance: Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Physical Security

CCTV cameras have been used for decades. But how hove they changed and how can you use security cameras to protect your business?

Last Updated:
August 11, 2023
| ~
min Read
Nikki Siegel
Marketing Writer

A single greasy finger smudge has the power to ruin a painting worth thousands of dollars, but without actual art on display, art museums wouldn’t have much in them.

Aside from posting a security guard at each painting to stare intimidated patrons into compliance with the no-touch rule, what can an art museum do to protect its displays from curious onlookers?

Faced with just such a predicament, the Detroit Institute of Arts turned to its security camera system. Now if visitors get too close to artwork, the museum-specific software linked to the cameras automatically triggers a recorded voice that warns visitors to step back.

CCTV (closed circuit television) has been in use for decades, protecting assets and property through its very presence. While it may have started out with clunky systems, lots of wires, and low resolution, CCTV has advanced from traditional close circuit security cameras to digital network cameras with all sorts of capabilities, allowing security leaders to more effectively protect their businesses and assets.

Cameras that Capture More

Surveillance cameras systems originally used analog cameras, cameras that required nearby systems to transmit to and lost resolution as the signal traveled.

While analog systems are still in use in some places, the much more popular (not to mention efficient) choice is a system that relies on IP cameras, also known as internet protocol cameras. IP cameras are digital cameras that send and receive data through an internet-based network.

These digital cameras have six to 20 times the image resolution of their analog counterparts, and they don’t lose any of that resolution with distance traveled. The image resolution alone makes a world of difference, but these modern cameras also allow for features that enable customization and analytics.

Pan Tilt Zoom

As the name implies, pan tilt zoom (PTZ) cameras are able to pan (move from left to right), tilt (move up and down), and zoom in on demand. Controlled remotely, these cameras allow you to follow a suspect across your property, zoom in on faces or other key features, and adjust your camera for a full-scene view as needed.

Thermal Imaging

Unlike traditional cameras, thermal cameras require no light at all to operate, instead detecting infrared radiation (which is a fancy way of saying they detect temperature instead of light).

Thermal cameras have a wide detection range and allow users to see through disguises and camouflage. They can also detect heat loss, elevated temperatures, gas leaks, overheated equipment, and fires.

Motion Detection

Motion detection technology has been a crucial advancement in surveillance cameras systems, enabling cameras to signal unusual activity instead of forcing a security guard to keep his eyes glued to several screens constantly.

Intelligent motion detecting features can monitor the entire site or be set at specific points, sensing intruders and sending instant alerts. If it’s an intruder, the system can notify the police or set off sirens and strobe lights to scare off any would-be thieves. Or—as in the case of the art gallery example—the detection can be used in case patrons are too close to the displays.

Connected to the Cloud

There’s a scene in the movie “Knives Out” where Marta, who is trying to cover up her involvement in her boss’s death, uses a magnet to erase the security tapes that would prove her whereabouts.  If those cameras had been connected to the cloud, it would have taken a lot more than a refrigerator magnet to remove that evidence.

Connecting your security cameras systems directly to the cloud means that if something were to happen to your physical system, you wouldn’t lose your data. Cloud providers store their data in more than one location, so if something were to happen to their facility, they still have the data stored elsewhere as well. Additionally, the cybersecurity and maintenance are handled by the cloud provider, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Cloud storage enables you to access your footage from any location and any device, working incredibly well with both mobile devices and mobile security units. It gives flexibility, remote connectivity, rapid set-up, easy integration, and reliability—all for a lower cost than traditional data storage.

Mobile Access and Alerts

One of the biggest benefits of using the cloud is the ability it provides to access your cameras from anywhere.

The connection directly to your cell phone—in conjunction with mobile alert features—gives you freedom from keeping your eyes constantly glued to your camera monitors while still taking instant action on intruder alerts.

Mobile connection to your cameras also allows you to remotely monitor progress, track deliveries, and enforce safety protocols.

AI Analysis

Before the arrival of artificial intelligence, the only way to learn about and from incidents was when they were caught manually. Now, AI analytics augment the work of security professionals, providing insight into hours of previously untapped footage.

Computer vision, which is AI that enables computers to derive meaning from images, allows networks to analyze situations as they occur. (Note that while AI might be able to send alerts and notify when normal patterns are breached, people still need to verify the correct response to those situations.)

These analytics enable security personnel to investigate incidents remotely and use specific search parameters, including facial recognition, to find relevant footage. They also allow security teams to make faster, more informed decisions when it comes to alerts and intrusions.

“Security is a big challenge. There’s no way we can do it with security officers alone. The cameras and analytics are our eyes, especially when it comes to object protection,” Eric Drewry, the Detroit Institute of Arts’ director of protection services, told BizTech. “It makes our team smarter and more efficient.”

More Posts You'll Love