Videoloft’s VP of Marketing, Diana Lord explores the growth, benefits and implications of cloud CCTV technology.
In recent years, the adoption of cloud-based CCTV systems has surged, reshaping the landscape of modern surveillance. From enhanced scalability and accessibility to advanced analytics and cost efficiency, cloud-based CCTV platforms have revolutionised the way organisations approach security and monitoring.
Innovations in modern security systems, the growing adoption of IP cameras and the increasing importance of businesses and organisations having watertight security protocols has boosted demand for video surveillance globally. In fact, at the end of 2021, over one billion surveillance cameras are estimated to have been installed worldwide, according to IHS Markit’s latest report.
Traditionally, footage from video surveillance systems is stored locally onsite, however, at Videoloft we’ve recently seen a huge shift in the way companies are choosing to store their footage – with more and more businesses adopting cloud-based CCTV storage solutions.
Cloud storage empowers businesses to effortlessly access, retain and share video surveillance recordings – thus improving operational efficiency. Despite these advantages, some businesses remain reluctant to embrace cloud technology, opting to stick with local storage alternatives such as NVRs or DVRs. Although local recorders offer dependable video recording and storage capabilities, they are not without their shortcomings.
Local recorders are susceptible to deliberate sabotage and theft, and if a recorder was to malfunction the first you’d know about it was when you went to retrieve your footage – at which point it’s already too late. As well as this, in order to access local storage, you often have to be physically on-site. This comes at the cost of accessibility, which can be a problem for large companies with multiple sites, or those companies who are in remote locations and need to access their footage quickly.
The adoption of cloud-based CCTV systems has witnessed exponential growth over the past decade. This surge can be attributed to several factors:
Scalability and Flexibility – Adding cloud to a security system can transform even the most basic security system into an intelligent Video Management System and offers the advantage of scalability. Businesses can easily add or remove cameras and change storage requirements as their needs evolve, without the need for substantial investment.
Remote Accessibility – Cloud CCTV systems provide real-time access to camera feeds from anywhere in the world. No matter if there is a single camera at one location, or thousands spanning multiple sites. Cloud CCTV empowers you to access that footage securely.
Data Redundancy and Security: Cloud storage ensures data redundancy and offers enhanced security measures, safeguarding against data loss due to hardware failures or physical damage.
Gone are the days of traditional on-site CCTV setups, burdened with hardware complexities and limited accessibility. Cloud-based CCTV is changing the conventional boundaries of video surveillance, and businesses that embrace it are reaping the benefits.
Integrating a cloud-based CCTV platform such as Videoloft with a new or existing security system will allow businesses to access real-time camera feeds and historical recordings from virtually anywhere. With Videoloft’s solution, users can effortlessly access their cameras from anywhere using the Videoloft mobile app and web-based VMS. Additionally, users have the flexibility to monitor camera live feeds on a local display for added convenience.
Scalable and Flexible
The traditional CCTV setup of on-site recorders often poses challenges when adapting to evolving surveillance requirements. With a cloud-based solution, scaling up or down becomes a seamless process. Organisations can easily add or remove cameras and storage resources, ensuring that their surveillance infrastructure remains flexible.
Centralised Camera Footage
Cloud CCTV storage is particularly useful for businesses with cameras in multiple locations who are looking for a way to view these cameras at the same time, in one central platform. Without cloud, these businesses could often only view the footage from these cameras by accessing the local storage device on site.
One such company who have deployed Videoloft’s cloud platform is FTH Hire – a tool and plant hire company that was looking to centralise camera footage from multiple depots so they could view all their cameras in one place. Moving to a cloud-based storage solution was a game changer for FTH Hire as it allowed them to view all their depots simultaneously on a single screen, remotely and in real-time.
Cloud storage providers facilitate seamless collaboration between teams, by allowing multiple stakeholders to access and share surveillance data. With Videoloft’s VMS platform users can have different permission levels, and access to some cameras but not others – this proves useful for companies with multiple locations as site managers are able to access their own individual cameras.
Easily upgrade an existing system
Some cloud CCTV storage providers have broad compatibility and can be added to an existing security system. This means that you can bring lots of legacy systems together into one platform, and add sophisticated video management system features to older, analogue systems at a fraction of the cost it would be if you had to rip out and replace that hardware.
Cost saving is one of the main reasons a school in Derbyshire chose to add Videoloft’s cloud to its existing system. The school had a mix of old, outdated analogue and IP systems. Adding cloud meant that the school could bring all these systems together into one platform, and they avoided the expense and disruption of having to replace what they already had and start from scratch.
Meet regulatory requirements
As video surveillance becomes more popular, an increasing number of regulatory bodies and insurance companies are demanding that companies store footage for longer periods of time or add cloud back-up to their security footage. At Videoloft we’re seeing an increasing number of enquiries from businesses across numerous sectors who need cloud backup to meet their insurance company’s requirements.
Aella, a fintech company with offices in Nigeria, California and the Philippines needed to retain CCTV footage of the card issuing process for at least 90 days to meet Nigerian banking regulations. It couldn’t do this using local storage, so it added Videoloft’s cloud platform to its existing Hikvision systems and chose a plan which enabled it to store its video in the cloud for 1 year – going above and beyond the stipulated regulatory requirement.
Cloud storage solutions are usually quick to deploy, often requiring little on-site installation. This agility allows businesses to adapt swiftly to changing security requirements, deploy new cameras, and respond effectively to changes within their organisation.
Many CCTV cloud storage providers offer video analytics, meaning businesses can transform their video data into valuable intelligence, allowing them to make informed security decisions and giving unparalleled peace of mind.
Videoloft’s analytics solution allows users to quickly locate and review important incidents and access footage where specific objects such as people or vehicles have been detected, saving time and providing valuable insights.
Strengthening security and redundancy
In an age where data breaches and security threats are present daily, data security is of utmost importance.
One of the main reasons people look for a cloud-based solution is because they’ve been let down by their local storage, either by tampering, theft, fire or flood. Not only are local recorders vulnerable to damage and theft, but they also need regular firmware updates and without them, they can be insecure.
Most cloud storage providers release regular software updates to ensure their platforms are always up to date and therefore protected from vulnerabilities and malicious attacks. Reputable cloud providers also use robust security features including video encryption, regular pen testing and password encryption.
Whilst the adoption of cloud-based CCTV systems presents numerous advantages, it’s important to consider certain challenges.
Setup and migration
Transitioning from traditional on-premises systems to cloud-based solutions requires careful planning and employee training. Thankfully, the integration of cloud storage solutions is typically straightforward and swift, with minimal installation time.
Cloud based systems rely on consistent internet connectivity. Network disruptions could potentially impact monitoring and data access. However, with Videoloft loss of network doesn’t mean loss of video surveillance footage. The Videoloft Cloud Adapter comes with built-in storage which acts as a backup in case of network outage, or poor connection.
In an era driven by technological advancements, adopting cloud storage for your organisation’s CCTV system is a practical step forward. The tangible advantages, including improved accessibility, scalability and data security, present a logical choice for modern businesses. By leveraging the power of cloud, companies can strengthen their surveillance capabilities while streamlining operations. In a landscape where efficiency and innovation are paramount, embracing cloud storage becomes a strategic move that ensures a more secure and efficient future.
It’s also important to note that adopting cloud isn’t necessarily an all or nothing scenario. Many organisations prefer a hybrid approach to video storage – they keep their local recorder and add cloud backup, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of the cloud, whilst still maintaining their local storage.