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October 1, 2021

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The Video Surveillance Report 2021

Video Surveillance

“82% of schools and colleges plan to adapt existing video monitoring systems to keep ‘COVID safe”, report finds

A new education sector study of 91 education organisations based in the UK, US, Sweden and Norway, carried out by AVA Security in March 2021, has found that four out of every five (82%) of existing CCTV and video monitoring systems are set to be extended and adapted to help keep schools and colleges ‘COVID Safe’.

Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems to support COVID safety measures. For example, 50% of those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 6 months.

The AVA Security Education Sector Trends Report 2021, is said to provide further data and insight linked to how Operations, Security and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic.

38% of educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff and visitor movements in, out and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection, highlights the report. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next six months.

New COVID Safe-specific video analytics seeing significant take up

Nearly a third (29%) were already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the next six months.

41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels inside retail areas, dining facilities and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 6 months.

Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask.

However, the education sector is more cautious to deploy of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22% of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double to 29% over the next six months according to respondents.

The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes will be the cost in upgrades, however. 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year. A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely before the end of 2021.

Such concerns may hamper the upgrade/adaptation of video surveillance systems process, particularly those institutions who may need a complete overhaul of older, analogue-based systems.

Cyber security has become key IT priority as online learning and remote systems management continues

As IT, Operations and Security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cyber security to protect access to vital data and online learning resources.

Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely’ that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cyber security for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cyber security focus was ‘likely’.

Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’.

Workspace management technologies finding favour in schools

Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities, while minimising risk of COVID infection.

For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps.

Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation.

AVA Security has published its Education Sector Video Security Trends Report 2021 which can be accessed here. 

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