The cloud is having a huge impact on the security industry, with end users now able to harness the power, flexibility and functionality it offers.
Pete England at 3xLOGIC, sister company of PAC & GDX looks at its key features and benefits and explains why it is a highly convenient means of storing and accessing data.
Digital transformation is giving organisations the tools needed to optimise their operations, make significant cost savings and reduce their carbon footprints. The cloud is playing a central role in this process and continues to be one of the fastest growing segments of IT spend. According to Gartner, the global public cloud service market is projected to reach $266bn in 2020, with Forbes stating that 83 per cent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by the end of the year.
Although the security industry was slow to recognise the advantages of the cloud, mainly due to concerns about data protection, that has now changed and it’s becoming the new normal. The opportunity to have just in time infrastructure and networks without long acquisition cycles is compelling and applications, particularly software as a service (SaaS), have enabled enterprises to treat the cloud as an IT ‘vending machine’. It’s not difficult to understand why some organisations opt for SaaS – it provides an opportunity to replace upfront capital expenditure with low variable costs that can scale with your infrastructure.
Of course, a cloud-based security solution still requires hardware, but instead of being transmitted back to an on-premise server or PC, all data is directed to an off-premise cloud platform. By storing this information in the cloud at a remote and highly secure data centre, it can be streamed to any device – smartphone, tablet or PC – on demand. Just as importantly, when it comes to managing and monitoring video, it negates the need for numerous displays in dedicated control rooms and addresses the bandwidth issues associated with picture quality, colour, resolution and compression. Remote diagnostics, technical issues and servicing can also be carried out by simply logging-in with a user name and password.
Ease of use, reliable access and operational expenditure savings are a powerful combination. However, another benefit of cloud based security is the ability to automatically update software. Never having to remember to update software, or pay for someone to do it, means always having the most up-to-date and secure version – ensuring any cyber vulnerabilities are immediately addressed.
The popularity of cloud-based video analytics is also closely linked with the growth in SaaS. By allowing aggregation, analysis and presentation of data acquired from video surveillance systems through an internet browser, data can be developed into statistical reports and graphs. Information regarding people, vehicle movement, building occupancy and other general activity is therefore readily available. Furthermore, the cloud reduces the need for IT resources because it offers the ability to outsource the infrastructure and resources required to manage large enterprise systems. This allows system administrators to save both time and the associated costs for solutions that provide everything from video system health monitoring and management to customised remote video auditing.
As with all security infrastructure, a blended approach is required, and understanding risk versus reward is vital when looking at cloud-based solutions. The enterprise must have a complete understanding of the environment, to allow for accurate decisions to be made and maximum value to be gained from any investment.
Rules of attraction
With rapid growth in the amount of data created by surveillance cameras and other security technology, giving companies the option to manage and archive surveillance video footage via cloud storage is, for many, highly attractive. It offers significant financial savings by enabling more cost effective scaling, alongside a vast reduction in hardware maintenance and management costs. So as enterprises continue to upgrade their networks to accommodate more traffic we will undoubtedly see further large-scale deployment of cloud-based security. Watch this space!
the global public cloud service market is projected to reach $266bn in 2020
83 per cent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud
software as a service (SaaS)
low variable costs that can scale with an infrastructure