For most businesses, CCTV is a useful instrument aimed at preventing crime, settling disputes, protecting staff, and inspiring confidence. Video surveillance provides businesses a sense of safety with the ability to accurately re-examine past events and ironclad proof to settle legal claims. This sense of safety doesn’t necessarily come cheap though, and for the investment that CCTV security setups involve, there are day-to-day problems with closed circuited surveillance that can compromise security severely.
Though security solutions based on video surveillance can vary vastly in application across industries, the most common issues related to CCTV camera setups have surprisingly common ground.
The four most common problem areas of traditional CCTV security systems are:
1. Network issues:
One of the most prevalent problems of CCTV security has less to do with security and more to do with the network that the CCTV resides in. The CCTV hardware (cameras, video recorders/ NVRs, switches, hard drives, and more) is part of an IP network that requires connected and interdependent equipment to operate properly for seamless, accurate recording without error.
For example, even though a camera may be in proper working condition, video loss can occur and the camera may appear to be down due to a number of networking issues. These issues can potentially range from an IP conflict, the network bandwidth dropping, loss of connection, switch maintenance, power issues related to PoE, and more. Any of these issues can result in problems with camera connectivity and loss of video from one or more cameras.
2. Camera issues:
Cameras in a surveillance network are exposed to a range of environmental conditions that can lead to faster deterioration, compromised image integrity, or footage quality, as well as tampering by bad actors (internal or external).
A camera’s video is usable only if it is clear and contains useful detail. A stream of defocused or blurry views serves little purpose in preventing or proving crime on your premises. The utility of the video stream may also be compromised if the camera has been tampered with—a camera that has been blocked, moved, or redirected is rendered useless.
Unfortunately, the only symptom that usually triggers a service call from security teams is after encountering unusable footage. Without the health of cameras being monitored, it is very difficult to detect if a camera is getting old or has been sabotaged through physical tampering.
3. Storage issues:
Surveillance videos must be recorded and stored without error for past events to be reviewed accurately. Whether your business employs recorders/ NVRs or network-attached storage (NAS/SAN) for video surveillance storage, uninterrupted and accurate recording serves as the backbone of any CCTV security.
It is worrying then, that businesses and integrators routinely list hard drive or storage failures as a major issue in their security apparatus. Hard disks failing mean lost video and potential liability in the event of a crime. If, as a business, you no longer possess video of a suspected crime or dispute, you lose all leverage with zero evidence.
It is also important that the streaming video be recorded on storage devices accurately. If the bandwidth of the network reduces, the video stream stops recording for an extended duration, or the recording throughput (the rate at which the streaming video is being written into the storage device) drops, the stored video cannot be considered accurate. The image quality may suffer or there can be choppy, interrupted, or missing video in your surveillance system.
4. Performance issues:
Problems related to the performance of the IP network hardware can pose many day-to-day issues related to CCTV surveillance. Various issues such as the inaccurate or tampered time stamps on video, storage devices running out of space, and sudden spikes in bandwidth can critically impact the reliability of video recording.
For example, if the storage capacity of your hard disk on the recording device exceeds its threshold capacity, previously stored video is overwritten by new recording, leading to considerable loss of video. Incidents may be missed entirely or cannot be proved in the future. Similarly, if the time stamp on the video frames is inaccurate or tampered with, security teams struggle to search for a suspicious event in a particular time frame. These events can also become nearly impossible to prove due to the discrepancy in time.
Monitoring your CCTV security network proactively and in real-time
As we can see, the shortfalls of reactive or static CCTV surveillance leave your security system not only exposed to vulnerabilities but underutilized as well. The umbrella issues related to network, cameras, storage, and performance can impact your CCTV surveillance capabilities severely. There is a need for a proactive security solution that optimizes the existing IP network, helps prevent video surveillance disruption, and improves the Quality of Service (QoS).
This is where network monitoring comes to the rescue. A real-time network monitoring solution regularly scans the health and performance of your IP network to proactively notify stakeholders of device abnormalities and issues before they can impact your security. With automated alerts and on-demand and scheduled reporting, unsavory surprises about CCTV surveillance are minimized.
To find out more about how real-time network monitoring puts you in the driver’s seat of managing your CCTV surveillance, reach out to our security solutions architects at TechnoVission
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