Dedicated CCTV operators increase efficiency
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Dedicated CCTV operators increase efficiency - UK

October 2008

A UK surveillance group found their CCTV systems could help solve more crimes if CCTV operators were well-trained and located in a single dedicated CCTV unit. As well as staff being able to identify relevant data quickly, better systems also established strict evidentiary protocols, including secure sealing of tapes and helping police provide a strong audit trail. CCTV is most effective as a deterrent when potential criminals believe that being recorded doing something illegal on CCTV would be likely to result in police action.

IP cameras solve some CCTV problems - May 2008
IP cameras remove the need to dig trenches and lay cable-saving organisations with large systems many thousands of dollars. Image quality is also set to improve, especially compared to older analogue systems, as increasingly high resolution cameras come onto the market at ever more affordable prices.

Vandal and weather resistant-CCTV secure Irish towns
Advances in digital recording, wireless networks and tougher cameras now allow CCTV cameras to be installed closer to ground level, giving better image quality than otherwise would have been the case. These weatherproof and vandal-resistant cameras produce images that good enough to use as evidence in court, even if recorded in low-light situations, such as under street lighting.

Managing changes to storage formats
The switch to digital storage raises the question of how legacy data stored on tape should be securely archived to meet legal requirements and to allow companies to find specific data when needed. One company has decided to digitise their entire collection of 3500 hours of data as part of a transition to a tapeless, file-based workflow. The process is expected to take around three months.

Distributed architecture takes the load off networks - January 2009
One way to mange the potential for IP CCTV to overload networks is to move to distributed architecture. It means letting the cameras do the work of image processing and recording logic, sending only the finished result to a central monitoring station for any necessary human action or intervention, and for data storage. For motion-triggered CCTV, for example, this means that data would be sent for analysis and storage only when there is some movement. In contrast, a conventional CCTV system sends ALL data across the network for analysis at a central point, taking up valuable bandwidth for hours of non-action. Because less information is sent across a network from any single camera, more cameras of higher resolution can be connected to one central station, giving a more efficient security system.

The Italian solution
A wireless IP system connected to two fully redundant and independent wireless communication centres in an Italian city replaced an ageing, inadequate and expensive video CCTV system, allowing police to monitor the city areas, using the modern digital cameras with automatic motion tracking and 35x zoom in day and night modes. Clever use of fibre optics backbones and other innovations reduces the risk of loss of data due to power outages, for example.

Ensuring CCTV data for evidentiary purposes - South Africa, January 2009
The collection and use of CCTV data in legal proceedings was discussed at the iLegal conference in South Africa in 2008. Very popular was a panel session that discussed the evidentiary requirements for CCTV data to be accepted. This means the data custodians need to be able to prove the integrity of their CCTV system and the data collected. Courts would look for strict protocols and procedures for capturing and securing data. Watermarking ranked an important second to strictly enforced procedures in the evidence handling process.

Solid state storage media - UK, December 2008
This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of solid-state memory (like a flash drive) compared with hard drives. Solid-state memory is a more robust medium because it can withstand very poor environmental conditions, including all but the most extreme shock and vibration. Failure is less likely because there are no moving parts that could fail. It is already being used as a back-up medium for CCTV data, and for transferring CCTV data to a PC.

Overview of options for encrypting your back-up data - Australia, September 2007
This older article presents the options for securing back-up data using various methods of encryption-software-based encryption, in-line encryption, and drive-based encryption.

Options for safe and secure password management - USA, November 2008
Good control of password access to CCTV computer systems is widely considered to be essential. This review of covers nine products and provides a very brief overview of the general factors you should consider before buying specialised products. Links to reviews for each to the products tested are also provided.

Malware an increasing threat - December 2008
Malware-spyware, viruses and scams-have increase by a factor of ten in the 12 months to December 2008, according to one software vendor. The trick is to keep software up-to-date, use good security software, and be careful of what you choose to click on. As CCTV moves to network-based solutions, the need for vigilance will only increase.

Physical security needed for networks - January 2009
As well as the guarding against hacking, malware and other software threats to a CCTV network, managing the physical security is also essential. Only those with the need and appropriate clearance should be able to access CCTV or other IT networks.

Technical Considerations Associated With Deploying CCTV
A description of the most common technical considerations which must be addressed at the outset of any CCTV project.

Managing risks to CCTV data and systems
CCTV systems collect all types of information for a wide range of reasons. While the equipment is valuable, it is almost always the records, and the information they hold, that matter the most.