A security camera system with remote viewing is a powerful tool for fast and effective incident response, a critical measure for securing your organization. The quicker you are made aware and get footage into the hands of first responders, and the safer your organization will be in the event of an emergency.
The brief window of time for identifying and mitigating physical security threats requires immediate detection and rapid response. This traditionally required constant vigilance by a physical security team, but modern surveillance technology is equipped with proactive features that can prevent or mitigate incidents without 24/7 onsite monitoring. Proactive security measures can include motion detection and SMS alerts to notify you the moment suspicious activity occurs, or integrated access control to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive areas.
While incidents often occur suddenly and unpredictably, having the right system and strategy in place will help remotely secure your organization and increase visibility. As you research solutions and formulate your strategy for handling physical security threats, keep in mind four key aspects of incident response where remote surveillance can optimize efficiency and safety. These include detection, analysis and assessment, crisis communication and containment, and last but not least, digital evidence management.
“Verkada allows our IT team the ability to provide high-quality footage to stakeholders and necessary authorities, while cutting response time down from days to minutes."
Dan Dauer, VP of Information Technology, World Oil Corp.
1. Detect Intrusions and Threats in Real-Time
When it comes to physical security threats, the first step to effective incident response is detection. Easier said than done, as this remains one of the biggest challenges facing IT and physical security professionals today. In the event of an incident, every second matters—any delay in response leads to the increased risk of damage, loss of valuable inventory and potential danger to onsite staff.
The unfortunate reality is that it is impossible to know when an attack will occur, and oftentimes, malicious acts go undetected until far after the event has already occured. While some cases are more obvious and provoke immediate responses (i.e. break-ins), others can be subtle and appear innocuous, such as employee theft in retail settings. The latter is a challenge to pinpoint but can be prevented and more easily tracked with a proactive security system in place.
Rather than take a passive reactive approach to video security, a proactive solution notifies you the moment a suspicious activity occurs or a person of interest appears in-frame so you can take immediate action.
How Verkada Does It: With powerful edge-based processing, proactive notifications deliver real-time alerts when unusual motion or people of interest are detected in-frame. In these events, site managers or physical security personnel are notified via email or SMS with an image and link to quickly review footage and decide on next steps.
2. Assess Potential Threats from a Safe Distance
Once a threat has been detected, the next step is effectively responding to the situation as quickly as possible. This often requires a coordinated incident response plan which requires video footage that contextualizes the situation, quickly identifying who and what was affected. For older systems it can be difficult to access cameras remotely, making it more efficient to simply be onsite to pull footage. However, modern solutions provide remote access to monitor incidents in real-time from a safe distance.
A security system with remote video access can be a useful asset for response teams to map and intercept potential threats. With a high-level view of where threats are located, response teams can gain valuable context into ongoing events. Remote surveillance can also uncover critical information, such as whether a perpetrator is armed.
In similar ways, real-time incident data provides valuable insights that aid response teams in containment. A proactive response strategy requires a security system that can quickly deliver live updates and information. The more data points you can get into the hands of first responders, the better equipped they will be to successfully contain a threat.
How Verkada Does It: Verkada enables remote access to footage without the need to perform any technical configuration, allowing users to quickly access camera feeds from their phone, computer, or designated viewing station to scope out a situation. With centralized access to cameras across multiple sites, users can decisively pinpoint the site, floor, and camera they need to formulate a response plan.
3. Response Strategy and Containment
Once information has been gathered, the next step is to get it into the hands of first responders in the least amount of time possible. Effective crisis communication requires relaying information to the right people at the right time, and sharing critical video data—such as the location or identity of a threat—needs to happen promptly and precisely. To enable this, your surveillance system needs to provide an easy way to share footage.
The response strategy spans both technical and business aspects of an organization, requiring both internal and external coordination. Internal teams should be able to control access to footage and provide archived clips to outside entities—like the police or fire department—when needed. To streamline communications, some organizations—such as schools and universities—may choose to coordinate with local police departments so that proactive notifications are sent directly to officers.
How Verkada Does It: With Command, live and historical feeds can be shared via SMS, direct link or email. Users never need to leave the platform, and it takes only a few seconds, ensuring an efficient and streamlined incident response time. Best of all, all clipped files are shared in standard mp4 format, so recipients don’t need additional downloads to view video footage. Besides video footage, users can also share entire floor plans, so first responders can follow along with what’s going on in real-time and piece together insights across different cameras.
4. Simplify Incident Investigations & Resolve Claims with Objective Video Evidence
It is important for incidents to be clearly and correctly documented to ensure their legitimacy and usability during investigations. A reliable security system that follows federal or local requirements—such as retention laws—specific to each industry is a necessity for legal compliance. With the digital evidence that surveillance systems record, teams should be able to piece together a clear view and story for the incident: what happened, when and how, and what was compromised. This will not only assist in investigations, but also makes it possible to create a detailed response plan for remediation to prevent and mitigate future incidents.
Having video footage as visual evidence provides users with the confidence to effectively facilitate investigations and reach a definitive conclusion. To reduce the burden for IT teams, who may have to pull footage redundantly throughout the course of an investigation, many video security technologies allow external stakeholders to gain access to specific cameras over specific periods of time, so footage can be pulled independently without causing a strain on internal resources. This can be a powerful way to not only reduce the cost of overhead, but also save time during ongoing claims and investigations.
How Verkada Does It: Cameras record continuously and reliably with up to 4K resolution to ensure availability and clarity of video evidence. Archived clips are stored indefinitely in the cloud and automatically time stamped with the time and date to ensure its usability in court.
When it comes to fast and effective incident response, a remote monitoring system is a powerful asset to detect, scope, contain, and remediate threats in real-time. With Verkada, industry leaders have reduced their incident response times from days to minutes.
To assess what kind of solution is best for your organization, check out A Guide to Remote Video Monitoring.