Ready or not, cloud is already making its impact on the industry. While it’s not a new technology to the industry, it continues to see growth, driven by growing possibilities in the IoT space. Security end users and their organizations are shifting to truly embrace the cloud, with worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure forecasted to reach $210 billion in 2019 – an increase of 24 percent over 2018. Cloud services can provide benefits not only to large enterprise organizations, but small and mid-sized businesses as well by providing cost-effective solutions and increased flexibility. These aspects are particularly important now as the COVID-19 pandemic is causing many organizations to reevaluate the traditional usage of corporate office space.
With cloud-based video and access control services, organizations can save on hardware and service costs by reducing the purchase of hardware – NVRs, access control servers or controllers – and enabling end users to increase or decrease the level of service as needed.
In particular, cloud-based access can be more accessible, flexible and easier to manage than ever before. For a small business owner searching for easier credential management, cloud connectivity capabilities include granting and revoking access rights, creating schedules and remote monitoring of their access control system.
As cloud grows in popularity, the demand for integration and enriched service offerings – such as the ability for remote monitoring – is also on the rise. With many facilities still temporarily closed due to COVID-19, the ease of remote monitoring is especially important and is expected to play a part in the reopening of facilities. Cloud services can help determine overall system health and device status, such as whether damage has been done to the camera, if there were errors – providing notifications long before an onsite manager would be notified. These are crucial capabilities to facility managers who are navigating the management of empty spaces and storefronts from a remote location.
Another area of industry growth, driven by cloud solutions, is being offered by Video Management Systems (VMS) manufacturers to ease the transition to cloud, for those users for whom it makes sense. While a migrating fully to the cloud can be challenging for large, enterprise organizations, a hybrid solution featuring both onsite and offsite capabilities offers an ideal alternative. End users are able to choose what events are uploaded to the cloud, thus saving on bandwidth and storage costs. These hybrid options, coupled with the growing popularity of cloud, is increasing the demand for integration, as well as bringing about a greater demand for open protocols. As the demand for hybrid solutions increases, more and more services are built up around this model, such as remote monitoring.
Cloud-based physical security systems come in many different shapes and sizes, and each poses its own cybersecurity challenges. As many vendors rely on large cloud providers, who make cybersecurity a core part of their offering, security systems in the cloud can take advantage of these large investments in cybersecurity. However, as access control and video systems have become more connected, they face the same cyber requirements as any device within the corporate network. If the end user and manufacturer fail to have a set of cybersecurity policies in place that take into account sound cyber practices, any device can become the victim of a cyberattack. It’s important for all stakeholders – end users in security and IT, integrators and manufacturers – to ensure that sure best practices are followed throughout every step of implementation.