ISC West—the International Security Conference and Exposition—provides insight into some of the biggest trends in the security industry. The conference attracted more than 30,000 attendees and nearly 1,000 vendors earlier this month. DCIG analysts planned our attendance at this year’s conference with a focus on video surveillance, especially video analytics. We had an eye-opening experience.
Artificial Intelligence is More Than a Buzzword
Artificial intelligence was one of the major themes of the conference. We saw some disappointing examples of vendors stretching to apply the artificial intelligence (AI) label to their products. In contrast, other vendors said AI is just a buzzword with no real projects demonstrating value in the field.
From what we gleaned from our experience at ISC West, video analytics in the field has advanced significantly. AI is more than a buzzword. The ability of AI to generate insight and value from surveillance video has moved from a diamond in the rough to a multi-faceted gem.
DCIG identified three companies for “Best of Show” awards in various facets of video surveillance infrastructure.
Briefcam Proves the Benefits of Video Analytics in the Field
The best example that we encountered of video analytics yielding actionable intelligence is Briefcam. At their booth, former law enforcement officer Johnmichael O’Hare demonstrated how he had used Briefcam to quickly condense four hours of surveillance video to a heat map that instantly revealed a house being used to sell drugs. He said they raided the house the next day, resulting in multiple arrests and the seizure of a significant quantity of dangerous drugs.
Briefcam is a multi-faceted tool. For example, Johnmichael demonstrated how Briefcam could be used to rapidly analyze traffic flows and add value to video for law enforcement and city planners.
Pivot3 Hyperconverged Infrastructure Handles Video Surveillance Workloads at Enterprise Scale
We found Briefcam through a mention at the Pivot3 booth. It turns out that Briefcam and Pivot3 have been partnering since 2011 to deliver integrated surveillance video storage and analytics. Pivot3 provides a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) that can handle video surveillance workloads at scale. The Pivot3 solution incorporates NVIDIA GPU’s into its intelligent storage architecture to accelerate video analytics. The scalability of the Pivot3 HCI is important to deployments that may scale to include thousands of cameras and other IoT endpoints.
Razberi Technologies EndpointDefender Secures IoT Infrastructure
Speaking of IoT, an important element of deploying and managing a video surveillance infrastructure is securing that infrastructure. Hackers gaining control of security cameras in homes is creepy. Hackers gaining control of security cameras within enterprise networks and critical facilities is spooky on a whole different level.
Cameras destined for enterprise deployments are supposed to be more secure than devices intended for the home. Nevertheless, they depend on manufacturers to incorporate appropriate security features in firmware, and on installers properly configuring the devices during installation. These and other IoT devices depend on the infrastructure to protect the IoT devices from attacks. Prudent companies also protect the infrastructure from attacks that improperly secured IoT devices make possible. This is where EndpointDefender from Razberi Technologies comes in.
EndpointDefender secures cameras and other IoT devices on the edge, even those that were deemed unsecure. A gentleman at the Razberi Technologies booth told of a situation where an integrator had installed hundreds of video cameras just before a federal agency issued a warning that the cameras were not secure. Rather than replacing all the video cameras, the integrator was able to replace the standard Ethernet switches with razberi EndpointDefender network appliances to harden the connected cameras and protect the network from cybersecurity threats posed by the cameras.
Apparently, we were not the only ones who were impressed by Razberi Technologies and the EndpointDefender. The technology won SIA’s 2019 Cybersecurity New Product Showcase Award at the conference.
Analytics Can Move Video Surveillance from Cost Center to Strategic Asset
Many organizations implemented video surveillance as an operational tool and are now managing more than a petabyte of video surveillance storage. AI-enabled analytics tools are now available that in many cases can turn that operational cost center into a strategic asset. It is time to up-level our thinking and discussions within the enterprise about video surveillance.
DCIG will continue to cover developments in video surveillance and cybersecurity. If you haven’t already done so, please signup for the weekly DCIG Newsletter so that we can keep you informed of these developments.