For as long as businesses have leveraged security systems, there has been a need to differentiate between false alarms and actual incidents that require a response from guards or law enforcement. False alarm rates are estimated to reach over 90% industry-wide, which means it is an issue that cannot be ignored.

Traditionally, most organizations have opted to use video surveillance as the primary means of validating alarm activations, but even this comes with its own set of limitations. For example, if operators inside a security operations center (SOC) or central monitoring station are alerted to the breach of a door on a property, they can pull up the recorded video feed for cameras in the immediate vicinity to verify whether the intrusion is valid and initiate the appropriate response.

While this video surveillance strategy does help organizations address the deluge of false alarms that they deal with on a near-daily basis and thus reduces alarm fatigue, intrusions can still take place. What if the intruder, in this case, was intent on causing harm to individuals inside the business or the company itself?

The use of video surveillance for post-event forensic analysis can be helpful in piecing together events after a crime has occurred, but to truly fulfill the mission of security in keeping people and property safe, the goal should be to deter such incidents from occurring in the first place. Advances in machine learning have given rise to a new generation of video analytics technology, commonly referred to as artificial intelligence (AI).

By using AI to notice suspicious events and patterns before an incident occurs or an individual escalates dangerous behaviors, security leaders can transform video surveillance from a reactive to a proactive security technology.

Proactive video surveillance can benefit enterprise organizations by using automation to reduce the strain on SOC operators. Even in organizations with in-house or contract guards that have the ability to pull up many video feeds at both onsite and remote locations, the ability for humans to keep tabs on the comings and goings of visitors or respond to the numerous alarms generated by not only video surveillance but also intrusion detection, access control and other systems deployed across the enterprise is a near impossibility.

Modern analytics may help SOC employees reduce false alarms and enable security managers to address other looming risks facing the business while also freeing up guards to perform a multitude of other tasks that don’t involve staring a computer screen.