The 2024 Video Surveillance Checklist: Top 10 Features Your System Must Have to Deliver Optimal Security

2024 Video Surveillance Checklist: Top 10 Must-Have Features

While recent federal regulations relating to security concerns are leading many government agencies, businesses, and schools to remove their old cameras and related equipment the question remains: What type of system should these organizations implement in their stead?

This month we answer an equally important question: What features would be needed to create the most comprehensive video surveillance system?

Top 10 Video Surveillance System Features
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Whether you’re choosing a security camera solution for your business or evaluating school surveillance systems to discern the best option for you, there are some key considerations to make when upgrading. Replacing your old system with more of the same will leave you with security deficits that could cost you in the near term and the long run. To make this selection process easier, we’re sharing with you this video surveillance checklist, including the top ten features your video surveillance system must have to deliver optimal security.

High-Quality Video

The quality of your camera’s video and its resolution are related. As such, the most comprehensive video surveillance solutions include the best of both. While it’s essential to have at least 5MP video when selecting your cameras and surveillance equipment, be aware that 4k and 8MP are at the high end of quality and resolution options as well.

Eastern DataComm Pro Tip: Don’t be fooled by the popular buzzword “hi def”, short for “high definition”. It’s already outdated and many camera manufacturers consider 5MP the standard now.

video surveillance solutions

AI-Powered Video Analytics

While AI has become quite the buzzword, it’s important to sift through the noise. And here at Eastern DataComm, we believe in doing just that.

 We’re focused on how AI is really making a difference when it comes to video surveillance. Where do we see the greatest strides being made? Video analytics.

This means that searches can be defined based on the video data collected. Such an approach can help to rapidly improve your ability to find events in the record, saving time and resources.

AI-Powered Video Analytics

AI can also recognize abnormalities and alert you to them in real time, allowing for a more proactive system. This has the added benefit of reducing your company, school, or organization’s need to have a person constantly monitoring the video. Human intervention can be subject to error, not to mention the inherent resource allocation costs. This is definitely one instance that highlights the power of AI to share meaningful information and reduce resource expenditures that would otherwise be assigned to this task.

It also bears mentioning that the US Chamber of Commerce recommends the use of video analytics to  “empower businesses with critical data that helps business owners improve decision-making, understand customer behaviors, and better protect their assets.”

So, while you may find yourself inundated with a mountain of information when it comes to potential AI features for your video surveillance solution, we recommend reaching out to a trusted partner and focusing on the features that will make the most impact on your business, school community, or government agency.

Below,  you’ll find the AI features that our team finds most impactful for our customers’ video surveillance solutions.

License Plate Recognition

License Plate Recognition is a remarkable technology that automates the process of manually finding and extracting license plate information from a video. It can also alert you when a specific plate is captured on the video, making it extremely useful in parking lots, along driveways, and at building entrances.

In fact, according to a 2023 Video Surveillance Survey conducted by Campus Safety Magazine, License Plate Recognition is quickly gaining traction on campuses as a solid investment when it comes to AI for video surveillance. (2023 Video Surveillance Deep Dive) And with good reason!

License plate recognition can be exceptionally helpful in law enforcement investigations, in addition to acting as a crime deterrent. On school campuses, it is an easy way to maintain data regarding students and staff parking needs organized over time.

License Plate Recognition

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition technology is an advancement in video surveillance that helps you to address theft, locate missing individuals, and secure your buildings and grounds.

There are, of course, notable privacy and security concerns to consider with your team, including legal implications for those in public education. However, there are also advantages, including the potential for so-called “face similarity”, to find specific subjects quickly and accurately from an uploaded photo. Working with a trusted partner like the team at Eastern DataComm can help you select a solution that meets with your compliance and privacy needs.

Overall, these systems can play a helpful role in addressing crime in your school community and can be a welcomed addition to video surveillance systems for business as well.

Facial Recognition

Access Control Integration

One of the most powerful integrations to combine with your business surveillance system, campus video security system, or government agency surveillance system is access control.

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Integrating your video surveillance solution with your access control system allows you to see and regulate who enters your buildings, when, where, and how. This means harnessing the power of a state-of-the-art access control system that includes components like:

  • headend devices
  • swipe cards and card readers
  • request-to-exit systems
  • magnetic locks
  • door strikes
  • crash bars

Vehicle Recognition

Whether you’re concerned about customer parking for your business’s lot, or protecting where your students and staff leave their cars on your school’s campus, or the spaces where your government employees park, chances are you’ve wondered about what solution is best to monitor the vehicles near your buildings and grounds.

You may also have concerns about the cars that drive around or near your buildings as well. That’s exactly why vehicle recognition is such a must-include feature to employ when it comes to your video surveillance system.

Recognizing vehicles using video surveillance allows you to capture real-time video and store data for law enforcement investigations while taking proactive steps that add to the security of your parking lots, nearby roads, and grounds.

Environmental Sensor Integration

Environmental sensors help you to address concerns like air quality, vaping, food spoilage, and even overheating IT equipment. But did you know you can integrate your environmental sensors with your video surveillance system?

When it comes to optimizing your video surveillance solution, this approach allows you to monitor behaviors and conditions that impact the health and safety of your buildings’ grounds. This technology empowers you to address everything from motion and aggression detection to occupancy monitoring, and even monitor food temperature and noise levels. Furthermore, this solution can point to where issues may stem from so you can proactively and effectively address them before they become problematic.

You can also tie your environmental sensors to your video camera system. This allows you  to deliver pop-up alerts to various devices so that notable events can be easily detected, recorded, and addressed. Responding to real-time alerts as they happen can help you save money, time, and potentially lives in the case of emergency situations.

Environmental Sensor Integration

Emergency Response Integration

According to Campus Safety Magazine, systems integration is one of the most challenging issues facing schools and districts that want to implement more effective video surveillance solutions. In fact, a quarter of respondents shared that their video surveillance systems weren’t integrated with public safety systems like intrusion detection. (Campus Security Technology Trends To Watch in 2024)

And whether you’re a school administrator or a business owner, you don’t have to be part of that statistic.

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The truth is clear: Integrating your video surveillance solution with your emergency response system reduces the chance of human error during situations like lockdowns and active shooter events when time is of the essence.

It also gives you peace of mind that you’re doing all you can to provide for a comprehensively safe and secure working, learning, shopping, or publicly funded environment for those who frequent your buildings and grounds.

Automated Alerts

Leverage automated alerts using predetermined criteria that you select to help identify issues in real-time. Setting up the alert criteria with your video surveillance system helps to ensure you receive notifications as a situation unfolds, keeping you ‘in the know’ and enabling you to take a proactive corrective approach.

Automated alerts allow you to set criteria within your video surveillance system so that you receive automated alerts immediately when the system identifies issues matching your predetermined threshold selections.

These alerts make it easier for you to respond quickly and effectively to matters that require your immediate attention. For example, if you’re dealing with issues related to theft or intruders, you’ll capture the video in real-time so you can assess the situation safely and securely and involve law enforcement as needed.

Remote and Mobile Access

Whether you’re choosing security cameras for your business or for a school or government agency, the best solution will allow any verified user to connect regardless of physical location,  network, or device type. Approved users, regardless of where they may be physically located, would have access to the system.

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For example, your point of contact at the local police department, the IT director for your law firm, or the superintendent at the district administration building should be able to access your video surveillance system if you would like to grant them permission rights.

Each of these approved users should also have the ability to use a mobile device, laptop, or workstation PC to access the system. And as a system administrator, you can permit or restrict the different levels of access assigned to each user.

The result is video surveillance that’s accessible wherever verified users may need it.

Manageability, Traceability, and Security

World-class video surveillance systems are those that allow for multiple user types and roles, and Single Sign-On (SSO) integration. These systems also provide the opportunity to manage users so that system security is easily maintained.

This is especially helpful if you’re hoping to have the best business surveillance system in place. One that will empower you to assign certain staff or team members with access to your system or to certain portions of the system. This puts you in control of the roles and capabilities they’ll have when accessing your video surveillance solution.

In addition, you’ll want to be sure that you have the ability to define the cameras that can be viewable per user, and allow for logging of usage to ensure the system is secure and not being used in a way that puts you or your data at risk.

Visual Mapping

Visually mapping the layout of your video surveillance cameras to their physical locations on a floor plan is an excellent approach – one that we highly recommend. It can help provide a better sense of where your cameras are located and offer insight into their field of view. This can help you assess potential needs for additional cameras, especially if you conduct any building renovations or revamp your floor plan.

It’s also an important functionality to have when your system covers a lot of ground and is composed of a large number of cameras. This can come in handy for users who are not familiar with the location like emergency responders, making this an even greater asset when every second counts.

Enjoy the Peace of Mind Brought on by Optimal Video Surveillance System Security with Eastern DataComm

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Looking for a technology partner to help you optimize your Video Surveillance solution? You can contact us here to get started.