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April 21, 2020

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Remote working

Overcoming the challenges of remote working in security

Working remotely isn’t quite as straightforward for security personnel as it may be for others, particularly when servers and the technology to access surveillance equipment remains on site. Gary Trotter, co-founder of Ocucon, highlights some of the solutions now available that may help overcome this problem.

Ocucon-GaryTrotter-20In the current climate, as the majority of the country are being asked to work from home to protect their health, and the health of others, security professionals are facing a different sort of challenge.

While the country goes on lockdown, there are growing concerns that empty offices are attracting thieves. Police have been asked to carry out extra night patrols across empty city and town centres in case there is a surge in break-ins of commercial properties.

The surveillance of these empty properties often falls to security personnel who may be self-isolating and therefore cannot often work from their usual office. So, how can security workers ensure the properties they are responsible for are properly protected whilst not being able to access the property itself?

Working Structures

Whilst many professionals can easily set up a home working environment with a computer and internet access, the security industry is not often this straightforward in its working structure.

One challenge is that security personnel do not always follow the usual nine to five working patterns, and surveillance shifts from home can be disruptive to others living in the same place.


DOWNLOAD: Guides to remote working


Depending on the structure of the organisation, flexible working requests could be considered to ensure work is done in a way to produce minimal disruption to a household. This may include changing working hours, reducing hours, or splitting shifts around childcare. These requests can be statutory or non-statutory, however going down the legal route (statutory) may make it harder to return to a previous working set up when restrictions are lifted.

Additionally, it is important that teams are working together, even if they aren’t in the same location. This means ensuring relevant and efficient communication channels are in place. There are a number of free and paid-for solutions that help teams work in different locations, these include Microsoft Teams, Trello, Google Drive, Office 365, Slack, and Dropbox. Depending on the organisation, this sort of software may already in place.

Technology

The surveillance industry is pivoted around technology. Any property with a number of cameras will have a strong server and software to support footage, and a security professional will have a thorough and deep understanding of the architecture of this set up.

The majority of properties will have a surveillance system linked to a central, on-site computer, meaning it is impossible to access vital security footage remotely. A strong video management system (VMS) will be meticulously set up with the right hardware and software, usually specific and bespoke to that individual property and its needs – and always be stored on-site.

Cloud-based technologies have been adopted by other industries more quickly than the security industry – this is usually because, in order to comply with GDPR and Data Protection laws, footage must remain secure, and the cloud has the reputation of being hackable and insecure. However, the Cloud is evolving to ensure that footage can be securely accessed remotely.

For example, Ocucon has developed advanced, smart technology to provide Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) as a fully compliant and secure solution to remote access. Additionally, the technology is solving the long-standing issue of storage space, by using the cloud to create unlimited storage, and quick retrieval. This means security professionals working from home not only have secure access to all their footage, they can access it quickly and easily.

Privacy

As technology advances, the issue of privacy is also heightened. Working remotely adds an extra layer of questions around privacy and security, and the challenge is how to comply with privacy laws when not based in a central office.

Facial recognition is one of the fastest growing aspects of the security profession, with equipment being rolled out across cities. However, where this innovation falls down is in its intrusive nature and concerns over compliance with GDPR laws.


READ: Data and security consideration when remote working


Video redaction is a technology that is being developed and deployed to help combat these issues, allowing security professionals to remove or blur parties from CCTV footage to adhere to data compliance laws.

So far, video redaction has been very much a single system-based solution; it sits as a software on a single computer. It is also incredibly time expensive, depending on the number of faces in a frame, and the length of the video needing to be redacted. Professionals using this service will either have to pay someone else to redact for them, or face hours of manually redacting videos – something which cannot always be easily done from home with the software available.

Ocucon has developed Pixelate, an intelligent video redaction technology that significantly reduces redaction time for users through multiple redactions, while complying with GDPR laws to make handling CCTV easier and more cost effective. Pixelate is a completely online service, meaning it can be securely accessed remotely, and fully complies with data protection and GDPR laws in its storage of footage.

This is a challenging time for many, and for the security professional it is important to adapt to the challenge. Working remotely will never be the same as being on site for a security expert, however there are methods and solutions that means that they can keep people and properties safe.

Download the Intruder Alarm Report 2020

Download this report, produced in conjunction with Texecom, to discover how increasing processing power, accelerating broadband speeds, cloud-managed solutions and the internet of things and transforming the intruder alarm market, and whether firms are adopting these innovative new technologies.

AlarmReport-Main-19

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