Leveraging video surveillance technology may significantly impact the ability of federal agencies to prevent crime, theft and terrorism over the next five years, according to MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT.
Sponsored by IT solutions provider EMC Corporation, MeriTalk’s report, The Video Vortex, is based on an online survey of 151 US federal IT and physical security decision makers in January 2015.
According to the report, by 2020, video surveillance is expected to reach approximately 3.3 trillion captured video hours globally. Security concerns are one of the main drivers behind this growth.
The report found that although a staggering 99 percent of federal IT decision makers believe video surveillance technology can prevent a number of security threats, 54 percent of video surveillance data goes unanalyzed.
While video surveillance provides an abundance of valuable data that can improve situational awareness and provide intelligence, the data is only useful if analyzed. Federal agencies can use the data for detecting suspicious behavior, object recognition, traffic monitoring, incident detection, face matching, safety alerts, anomaly detection and crowd counting.
“[Video data] is growing so fast that we’re having problems analyzing it all,” a federal IT manager commented in the MeriTalk report.
To maximize the untapped potential of video surveillance, collaboration between IT and physical security managers is vital. For example, 76 percent of the surveyed physical security managers say responsibility for the agency’s video surveillance infrastructure is shared between physical security and IT managers. However, only 33 percent of IT managers believe the responsibility is shared.
Moreover,although collaboration is part of standard operating procedure (SOP) for 78 percent of defense agencies, less than half of civilian agencies have done the same. The report indicated agencies that do require collaboration between IT and physical security managers are significantly ahead and better prepared to face the influx of video data emerging over the course of the next several years.
For example, the report disclosed 63 percent of agencies which have collaboration built into their SOP are likely to analyze their video data compared to 47 percent of agencies have not prioritized collaboration. The agencies requiring collaboration are also two times as likely to operate an edge-to-core architecture.
“The numbers say it all – the key to a more secure country is improved collaboration,” said Michael Gallant, senior director, video surveillance, EMC Corporation. “Physical security and IT need to avoid being ships passing in the night, and join each other at the helm. A more collaborative approach will make agencies more prepared, and more likely to analyze video surveillance data to derive actionable insights.”
Nearly all of the respondents said their agency’s IT infrastructure is not prepared for the growth of video surveillance in the years ahead. Storage, personnel, and computing power need to increase for agencies to be ready to fully harness the potential of video surveillance.
“More than the same old movie, video empowers Uncle Sam – whether it’s identifying trends or catching the bad guys,” said MeriTalk founder Steve O’Keeffe. “Teamwork and innovation are the keys to ensuring the story is happily ever after, rather than a horror movie.”