How Do End Users Monitor Surveillance?

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Aug 13, 2012

How actively are surveillance systems monitored? Do end users prefer to passively use surveillance for recording activity, or do they actively monitor surveillance video so they can respond in real time? We asked a group of globally distributed end users how they use their system.

Overview

The question we posed to end users was: "How do you typically monitor your surveillance cameras?", and answers offered:

  • We have a dedicated security operator/team: Realtime Monitoring
  • We look in to the cameras only when needed: Forensic Review
  • Other: Mix of Both

The charts below take two slices of our results based on system size. We contrast the 'mega' end users with many cameras versus 'smaller', more typical deployments, with less than 100 cameras.

 

 

Confirmed Assumptions

These results should not be surprising given that organization with larger systems are presumed to have larger operating budgets and greater monitoring resources. Large surveillance systems are freqently accompanied by dedicated staff that actively monitor them. However, as the camera counts trend smaller, so does the propensity to monitor video surveillance in real time. We suspect that for end user deployments with 20 cameras or less, this trend would continue with nearly all responses indicating they view video forensically only.

Detailed Breakdown

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Digging into the detailed answers showed plenty of common ground between these two groups. In most cases, the criteria given explaining responses were similar regardless of system size. In the section below we group these answers into the common themes:

Lack of Resources: Despite the fact that system size plays a marked role in how systems are actually used, size does not affect how systems are desired to be used. The majority of answers choosing 'Forensic Review' or 'Mix of Both' specifically mentioned the lack the resources to actively monitor but would if they could afford it. The detailed answers in this category make this constraint plainly obvious:

  • "We couldn't justify the cost of paying somebody to sit and view cameras all day."
  • "We don't have the funds for someone to constantly monitor it."
  • "Due to staffing levels, I can not afford to dedicate one officer to monitor surveillance."
  • "Staffing is clearly an issue."
  • "Cannot afford to post men only to monitor."
  • "We don't have the manpower to watch the system live"
  • "I have 1012 cameras. I have one student employee for 20 hours a week and myself."

Clearly, most end users feel the greatest value of surveillance is achieved when operators are actively and constantly reviewed. If possible, end users would choose to have an active response to events as they occur rather than passively or forensically review recorded video.

Regulations: Many end users that actively monitor systems, especially those in the larger "more than 500 cameras" group, are required to do so by overarching regulations or legislation. Several answers made no comment on their preference to actively monitor or forensically review video, only that they are driven to do so without other options:

  • "must have it due to business requirements and certain regulations"
  • "We operate at a tribal casino of sufficient size to require a live staff."
  • "Gaming requires it"
  • "Required by MICS and law. Class III gaming facilities must have Surveillance observers watching cameras 7/24/365."

Monitoring by Committee: To a lesser extent, end users split monitoring duties between security and some other department. These answers also indicated that surveillance is not always relegated to only 'security' duty, but also sometimes provides 'operations' or 'facilities' with surveillance ability as well.

  • "We use both models based on volume of activity and risk level of location."
  • "IT compliments Public Safety and provides assistance with investigations"
  • "We have some staff that when time permits, looks at video. IT maintains."
  • "Security Team views sometimes, Process Operations at other times."
  • "Proactive monitoring as far as possible. Also reactive team to remove and process incident footage."
  • "Facilities group and Dispatch proactively monitor."
  • "The mix of both allows us the versatility to address a wide variety of business needs while keeping costs low."

Interestingly, this 'mixed user' model was cited more frequently in larger systems. Larger systems correspond to larger labor pools, and even if security lacks man hours to contribute to active monitoring, other departments may contribute labor to the effort. Another characteristic of smaller camera deployments are their tendency to deploy cameras only in 'security critical' areas, while larger systems are more likely to be scaled in supporting other departments.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Alarm.com Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 15, 2019
The once dot com startup has evolved to become a core provider for home security and is now expanding into commercial. In their first entry in...
Hikvision AI Problems Criticized By Chinese Publication on Apr 09, 2019
Hikvision's facial recognition works poorly, causes delays and worsens learning, according to a new investigation by one of China's leading...
Casino Security Consultant Carl Lindgren Interview on Mar 26, 2019
For more than 20 years, Carl Lindgren worked as a casino surveillance pro, while being active (and sometimes outspoken) on various online video...
IBM / Genetec Surveillance System Investigated Over Philippines Human Rights Abuses on Mar 22, 2019
A lengthy investigation into an IBM video surveillance project in the Philippines, raising concerns IBM helped local police conduct a bloody...
Large Hospital Security End User Interview on Mar 21, 2019
This large single-state healthcare system consists of many hospitals, and hundreds of health parks, private practices, urgent care facilities, and...
Silicon Valley Cybersecurity Insurance Startup Coalition Profile on Mar 20, 2019
Many industry people believe cybersecurity insurance is not worth it, as the voting and debate in our Cybersecurity Insurance For Security...
Top Metrics For Ensuring Integrator Profitability - Statistics on Mar 20, 2019
How do integrators ensure the profitability of their projects? As part of our profitability study, 100+ integrators answered the following...
Genetec Security Center 5.8 Tested on Mar 19, 2019
Genetec has released Version 5.8. This comes after a wait of more than a year that caused frustrations for many Genetec partners. Our previous...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....

Most Recent Industry Reports

19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled on Apr 23, 2019
IPVM interviewed 19 facial recognition providers at ISC West to understand their claimed accuracy, success and positioning. 9 from China, where...
Locking Down Network Connections Guide on Apr 23, 2019
Accidents and inside attacks are risks when network connections are not locked down. Security and video surveillance systems should be protected...
Hikvision Admits USA Sales Falling on Apr 22, 2019
Hikvision, in a new Chinese financial filing, has admitted that its USA sales are now falling. Less than a year after the US government passed a...
Speco Ultra Intensifier Tested on Apr 22, 2019
While ISC West 2019 named Speco's Ultra Intensifier the best new "Video Surveillance Cameras IP", IPVM testing shows the camera suffers from...
Arecont Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 22, 2019
Arecont's net negativity remained the same in IPVM's 2019 integrator study, though integrator's feeling became relatively more neutral compared to...
H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
ACRE Acquires RS2, Explains Acquisition Strategy on Apr 19, 2019
ACRE continues to buy, now acquiring RS2, just 5 months after buying Open Options. One is a small access control manufacturer from Texas, the...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
 Register for the Spring 2019 Access Control Course----Closed IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact