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Cloud physical security

Better budgeting and improved intelligence from cloud physical security

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Scott Gray, Head of Sales at Morphean, looks at how embracing cloud can represent a prudent financial move as well as vastly improving security and operations…

The days of standard CCTV systems are coming to an end, and for good reason. Today’s technological developments mean that modern network cameras can deliver so much more than their one-dimensional forebears which can offer only the most basic security provision. Digital transformation has brought with it the many merits of cloud connectivity, which further opens up a vast array of possibilities for connected devices, offering the highest levels of protection while unlocking many additional benefits for the modern business, based on collected data, analytics and AI.

Yet even when armed with full knowledge about its capabilities, some are reluctant to embrace cloud physical security, preferring instead to rely on dated, legacy methods to protect their premises and assets. This may be because taking the plunge seems too great a risk, and many are perhaps fearful of stepping away from a world they understand into one which seems uncertain. In reality, cloud physical security offers great promise while simultaneously removing many of the headaches related to more traditional setups; chief among them being cost implications and the justification of budgets.

Move from CapEx to OpEX – and secure IT budgets

Recent research shows that 51% of current IT budgets will be channelled towards cloud-based systems’ development and operations by 2025[1]. It is therefore time for those businesses that have not already embraced cloud to change how they think about security. The rapid growth of cloud presents an opportunity to make use of connected, integrated solutions for a wide range of business and security requirements. Demand for more flexible working processes is driving a continual shift towards cloud infrastructure, and as more applications are moved to cloud platforms, so being able to centrally monitor and control every aspect of operations, including security, will become a necessity.

Traditionally, taking the decision to implement a new security system would involve a substantial financial outlay in the form of capital expenditure (CapEx). This places a significant drain on existing budgets, and funding may prove extremely difficult to secure during the ongoing financial crisis. Cloud physical security, however, is built around a monthly billing cycle with no large upfront costs. This allows businesses to make small monthly payments which can be regarded as operational expenditure (OpEx). And those responsible for finance and budget allocation are more likely to approve smaller incremental costs in return for a solution that represents the cutting edge of security.

Employ cutting-edge solutions that represent value-for-money

A move to the cloud will require a shift in mindset for those organisations that are more comfortable with the static costs associated with traditional systems. However, the pay-as-you-go cost model of cloud crucially allows businesses to make use of the latest technology and services as soon as they are available, often through simple software upgrades and remote updates. This removes the need for disruptive onsite maintenance or the overhauling of technology, and the associated cost implications, every time an upgrade is required. With cloud, changes made quickly as business strategies evolve result in a fluid system that adapts and responds to business growth, with security that is constant.

A modern security solution needs to be robust, intelligent and reactive. Adapting business, finance and technical operations to take advantage of cloud’s many benefits will mean that a company’s technology infrastructure becomes much more flexible and responsive as a result. The introduction of new capabilities such as remote monitoring of the security system mean that, via a powerful dashboard, the system can be monitored instantly by mobile device, bringing complete peace of mind to security personnel even when offsite. Those with administration rights can control which members of staff have access to the system, ensuring data protection policies are upheld.

Forecast accurate cloud expenditure with flexible billing

A significant benefit of the cloud billing model is its flexibility, enabling change without up-front cost or commitment. Instead of trying to estimate the use of resources based on what might be required in the year ahead, cloud allows the system to be scaled up or down at any time with businesses only paying for what they use. As activity can be closely tracked, cloud expenditure can be forecast more accurately. Cloud also makes it much simpler to identify business areas where other savings can be made. Intelligence from collected data in real time can be used to report back on staff movements, enabling rules to be set. Automated heating, for example, could be set to activate only in the most frequented areas, driving down running costs thanks to the insights that cloud makes possible.

In the past the installation of a security solution was a task that ended when the system was operational. Now, the deployment of a cloud solution marks the start of an ongoing partnership which is intended to help businesses make the most from their chosen system. Working closely with a provider will enable organisations to ensure that the solution meets their exact requirements. Use of AI and analytics even means that the system will become even more accurate over time as it aggregates and interprets data about the business’ security and operations, ultimately improving ROI.

As new services and tools are released, cloud enables businesses to access the very latest technologies and use them to their optimum potential. Cloud is revolutionising physical security with its cost system and simplified budgeting making cutting-edge physical security widely available to all. Those businesses that are willing to make the move to cloud will be those that continue to benefit from the many new capabilities that the digital transformation in security makes possible.

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DOWNLOAD: Cloud physical security now a critical link in digital transformation agenda

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

A new practical guide has been published by Security-as-a-Service specialist Morphean to help security businesses understand and adopt the digitalised world of physical security.

It argues that cloud physical security is now playing a critical role in the digital transformation agenda, as AI-driven analytics help unlock superior security and intelligence benefits while helping to mitigate the rising cost base being felt by many security businesses across Europe.

Digitalisation has ushered in a new era of hosted security platforms that are disrupting the industry. With the cloud providing the critical infrastructure, exciting new technologies and systems are emerging that enable the sharing of powerful data-driven insights from surveillance data. These benefits relate not only to improved security, but also to operational intelligence to drive efficiencies and profitability for end users. It will increasingly be those security professionals who can combine a physical securityskillset with knowledge of the cloud, networks and systems, that will reap future rewards.

However, as the cost-of-living crisis deepens with energy and fuel prices running at their highest rates in decades, the guide reasons that cloud, AI and analytics have multiple economic benefits for partners. Switching to the cloud not only represents more predictable budgeting and recurring revenue for the partner business, but also leads to cost savings by making better use of people and internal resources, while helping them to gain a competitive edge as customer requirements rapidly evolve.

Cloud physical security, charged per device per month, offers the partner a route to more sustainable revenue growth and contracts to be leveraged by upselling more features. In addition, with cloud, a highly skilled technical engineer can set up systems remotely, not only saving money on fuel but completing several customer jobs in the time that it would take to set up just one system at a customer site. Selling and deploying faster and more efficiently represents a better return on the individual’s salary investment.

Key areas covered in the guide include:

  • Cloud physical security: A new digital dawn for CCTV
  • The business case: Reduce costs and streamline operations
  • Analytics and data-driven decisions: Improve security and business performance
  • Employing sustainable practices: Achieve green targets
  • Improving cybersecurity knowledge: Protect networks and systems
  • Trusted partnerships: Build relationships that lead to long-term success

Martyn Ryder, VP Sales and Marketing at Morphean, explained: “Such is the nature and complexity of the modern threat landscape that companies are increasingly turning to external partners to strengthen their security posture. To remain competitive physical security specialists need to arm themselves with knowledge of network connectivity, AI and the power of analytics to help them position cloud physical security technology as more than just business security, but also business intelligence. In so doing, the partner can also access many potential cost-saving benefits to future-proof their business.”

The guide also explores the importance of establishing trusted partnerships to work more collaboratively, in order to minimise system vulnerabilities and to mitigate cyber security risk. Learning to recognise the cyber risks will help security professionals and their customers ensure the most appropriate security protocols are in place for maximum protection of networks and systems.