The top two must-haves in video security

Jeff VanMeter, November 30 2020

Wisdom from the field

3 mins

When it comes to top-notch physical security, I bring the unique experience of having served in the military as well as a security control room operator. As a member of the U.S. Military, where I served in the US Army National Guard as a commissioned Second Lieutenant, my duties were to constantly assess risk for my soldiers conducting operations. As an armed guard and security control room/command room operator in TSA’s Freedom Center it was my duty to respond to security incidents and alerts within our site and help direct the necessary resources.

These different perspectives from my personal on-the-ground experience has enabled me to understand the complex needs of military branches and federal agencies facing serious security challenges. I have witnessed first-hand how there can be external threats, internal threats as well as everyday emergencies which need timely responses or lives could be in danger.

In my current role as DoD Federal Account Executive for Ava Federal, I help agencies deploy intelligent security systems. These solutions enable proactive monitoring, conducting fast and smart forensics, and compliance with federal mandates, such as NDAA Section 889. Whether trying to reduce incidents from active shooters, assaults, breaches by vehicles or personnel, or address public health issues like social distancing due to COVID -, your system must deliver on multiple fronts.

Here are the top two priorities you need to consider to help your organization use video analytics to enhance your security posture.

The top two must haves

For video security to be truly valuable to an agency – or to any commercial entity for that matter – the two most critical must-haves are real-time alerts and map view. This is why:

Real-time alerts. Seconds matter. Real-time alerts are key because they directly affect your response time. I know first-hand that the longer it takes to gather, understand, and analyze data, the greater the threat.

Your video security solution must have anomaly detection and be able to send alerts in real time. Do not settle for less or you will get less. Real-time alerts, like those from Ava, show up immediately on the video wall in your command and control room. Enabled by powerful analytics that are connected to all cameras – all the time, these real-time notifications describe the incident, the time, and the location it occurred as well as critical details on the parties or objects involved

Operators can respond in real-time as issues unfold and investigate incidents faster and with fewer resources

Map view. This is high on my list of “must-haves” because of the diversity, scale, and complexity of so many military branches and supporting agencies. A high-target base, for example, is more like a mini-city. Most bases feature multiple buildings, public safety services, healthcare facilities, schools, childcare, barracks, commissaries, and visitor centers. Beyond the protection of armed forces personnel, bases are responsible for the safety of many civilians and public servants.

Your security team needs to have full situational awareness of such a multi-faceted community. This is possible when security operators have maps of all locations and when each map can be configured to include camera views, alarm views, as well as the ability to track people and objects as they move about post.

While patrol guards are supposed to provide a physical security presence by walking the grounds to check, for instance, whether a perimeter fence has been compromised or if there are other signs of unauthorized physical access, they can’t possibly do it all. A map view can expose risks that guards cannot see or that go unnoticed when guards are not out patrolling. Also, intelligent map views enable confirmation through audits that a guard has indeed carried out their designated patrol.

Map view is best when it is also audible. You will want your operators to receive immediate alerts on unidentified loud noises (such as gunshots, glass breaking, screaming) including the exact source of the sound through microphones. That way, they can respond to threatening actions before additional damage occurs to your people or property.

Do you know your top priorities for proactive security?

Start with your “must-haves” and go from there. I hope you found this helpful. My experiences mean there will be additional nuggets of security wisdom from me in upcoming blogs, In my next blog, I will share background and guidance on the latest federal mandates. And after that, cover the topic of the intersection of perimeter security and cyber security.

I also invite you to join a webinar hosted by Iron Bow on December 8 where we will demonstrate how to use your video security to improve clinical operations and increase staff and patient satisfaction.

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Learn more about how Ava's video security solution helps VA hospitals and U.S. defense health agencies secure their front line