Making Moves to the Cloud
The security industry has come a long way, transitioning from IP video to incorporating networked devices to embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) as technology continues to grow and change.
More recently, the adoption of the cloud has made its way from the mainstream into security with integrator partners seeing the value of cloud-based services for their businesses.
Many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are also realizing the benefits of cloud and turning to cloud-based services to meet their business, IT, and security needs.
Centralization. The cloud allows appropriate users to access information from any place at any time, from a range of connected devices. For many SMBs, there is no control room in operation to field every alert that comes in through a system, making it difficult for security leaders to address incidents as they are unfolding. The cloud’s centralization and ability to address threats remotely are selling points for cloud-based services.
Scalability. Video is a valuable tool for any SMB, but in today’s evolving risk landscape the influx of video data can become overwhelming. As an SMB grows, using a cloud solution to store and manage video data allows for rapid adjustment and agility, reducing the complexity that might come with expansion.
Cybersecurity. With the right protocols, the cloud can enhance data protection. End users can reduce their security footprint through the cloud, and by utilizing practices such as vulnerability testing and encryption, sensitive data is out of bad actors’ reach.
Resiliency. Latency can be a challenge when working with the high bandwidth of video data collected from cameras across a facility. The traditional way of managing this information was with on-premise video devices and services, which were subject to downtime or lengthy maintenance cycles that often-required months of wait time for security patches and costly visits to the sites by technicians. With today’s cloud-based services, however, these challenges are addressed through decreased latency and increased resiliency of data stored in the cloud.
Automatic updates. The cloud takes the burden off limited IT departments when it comes to system management because upgrades and security fixes are automatically installed, making cloud services especially beneficial for organizations with small—or nonexistent—IT teams.
Cost-effectiveness. The upfront investment in a cloud services model is more affordable than a hardware-based model. Resources can be saved when the management of the system shifts to an integrator partner and cloud services provider. On-premise systems require constant updates to be performed in person by a member of the IT staff or by requesting service from the integrator—which can mean additional billable hours. End users benefit from cloud-based services with regards to both time spent on updates and money spent on hardware updates.
When properly secured and managed, the cloud enables businesses to not only enhance operations but to also create a proactive and reliable data strategy to mitigate risk and make intelligent decisions.
Key Questions to Ask Your Integrator
Shifting security and business operations to the cloud doesn’t come without careful considerations for the safety and security of the organization from a physical and cyber standpoint.
That’s why it’s important to pose the following questions to integrator partners about implementing new solutions into the business:
1. Do I always have access to my video and access control data?
2. How are cybersecurity concerns addressed about the cloud versus on-premise solutions?
3. Are there analytics available in the cloud? How can I best use those?
4. What considerations for supporting cloud-based services does your company provide?
5. Who are the customers most suited to the cloud-based video services offering?
Cody Flood is senior director of sales at Arcules.