Enhance Existing Systems With Cloud Security

Sep 23, 2022 | Cloud-Based, Security

Security systems are a big investment for any size organisation. With security risks and vulnerabilities constantly changing, it can be difficult to know if existing systems are able to keep up. As a newer technology, the cloud has enhanced the functionality and flexibility of security systems, including access control and video surveillance. However, with the prevalence of startup security companies, and numerous legacy security companies offering cloud-converting products for on-premise systems, how do you know if what you’re getting is the best investment for your business?

Limitations of existing security systems 

When looking for ways to enhance your security, it’s key to identify the shortcomings of your current system. For organisations running on on-premise and legacy access control and video security systems, these are the top reasons companies are switching to cloud-connected technology. 

Inefficient updates

When dealing with a legacy access control and video security system, organisations may find they are limited in the capabilities and features available as the system continues to age. Adaptability is essential in today’s market, and systems that require cumbersome in-person updates and time-consuming maintenance slow down business – and potentially leave you exposed to a breach in the meantime.

Separate physical and cyber security systems

As many traditional, on-premise systems were set up prior to the trend of security convergence, organisations often come up against siloed tech stacks and teams. With more devices and user access points now relying on local networks or internet connectivity, the importance of cyber and physical security convergence has proven vital to mitigating risk. 

Redundant operations

In addition, siloed tech stacks often result in redundancies across systems. This inefficiency can slow down response times, and make analysing data from disparate systems a painstaking, costly process. 

On-premises vs. cloud-native vs. hybrid solutions

So, can migrating to the cloud really fix these issues? First, it’s important to know the difference between on-prem systems, cloud-native security systems, and hybrid solutions.

On-premise security technology requires physical servers and hardware on the property. This is often the preferred option for organisations with strict security compliance needs, such as government or financial institutions. Some on-premise systems require installing thick software clients on local workstations. However, a browser-based access control system like Motorola Solutions Access Control Manager (ACM) simply requires users to be connected to the local network to access the management dashboard. Similarly, on-premise video security systems like Pelco use recording hardware located on-property, rather than a hosted third-party server. One of the benefits of on-premise systems is that organisations can maintain full ownership and control of the system at all times. 

In contrast, cloud-native security systems, such as Ava’s video security platform and Openpath’s business access control system, are hosted on secure, third-party servers. This eliminates the need to have dedicated and trained IT staff on-site. Another benefit of cloud security is that all data and controls can be accessed remotely, from any device on any network via a secure login. 

With existing systems in place, hybrid security solutions are a great option for many organisations. In a hybrid deployment, an organisation with a camera network or access control hardware already installed can use a cloud connector or gateway to add the flexibility and features of cloud software to their existing system. This is also a key element of establishing cyber and physical security convergence for traditional systems – operators need to have full visibility of suspicious activity across the physical property and networks, and it’s most efficient to have all systems, sites, and endpoints monitored via a single, combined dashboard.

Benefits of hybrid security solutions 

  • Because a hybrid solution gives you the benefit of connecting current systems to the cloud, there’s no need to rip and replace all existing hardware.
  • With cloud-based systems, you can get more advanced features and the newest capabilities added to your platform.
  • Connecting to the cloud gives you the ability to scale the system with ease, with all sites managed in a single dashboard. 
  • Maintain strict security standards for organisations with security compliance needs, without compromising convenience or flexibility.
  • Centralise system management with remote access to all your data and controls, without needing to connect to a VPN or be within range of a local network.
  • Easily adapt the system as your needs change with SaaS software models.
  • Cloud-based systems with open architecture offer greater flexibility and automation potential through system integrations.

Use cases for hybrid security systems

Flexible credential support for keyless entry

Many traditional and on-premise access control door readers support only a limited range of keyless credential types, namely badges or key fobs. Upgrading the entire system is a challenge, especially for larger enterprises or buildings with many wired controllers and readers. While this may not seem like a priority, many legacy key card, keypad, and key fob entry systems are insecure with known vulnerabilities. They’re also simply not as modern and convenient. 

As smartphones become even smarter, and keyless entry becomes the norm across all industries, door control system technology can quickly fall behind. For businesses looking to add mobile unlock technology to their buildings, a backward compatible solution like Openpath streamlines the process. With standard wiring, Openpath Smart Readers easily replace traditional access readers. Plus, they can support many popular credential types, so businesses won’t need to reissue all their existing badges and fobs. With Openpath Smart Readers, businesses can allow touchless mobile entry for all or some users, without forcing everyone to switch immediately. 

Add AI capabilities to existing cameras

Security cameras are often expensive and complicated to install. This means constantly replacing cameras to get the latest features is usually not high on the priority list. However, that means missing out on the newest technology, like AI-enhanced analytics and alerting. With an on-premise camera system like Avigilon or Pelco, organisations can easily upgrade their surveillance features without replacing the hardware. 

A hybrid cloud video security system is a great option for those with on-premise video platforms. Solutions like Ava Aware Cloud can add advanced AI analytics to existing cameras. For example, A business that has an Avigilon camera system already installed can connect their Avigilon cameras to Ava Aware via a Cloud Connector to instantly get better visibility and insights with Ava’s powerful machine learning capabilities and advanced detection software. 

With this type of deployment, security operators can view footage from both Ava cameras and their existing cameras in a single feed. Plus, Ava cloud storage plans can alleviate the IT burden on local DVR and NVR devices.

Adding video to access events 

Visual verification is essential for remote security management. When it comes to access control, it can often be difficult to verify that the person using the credential is who they say they are. Even with traditional security cameras, high angles and installation costs can make adding more cameras an inefficient use of security budget. 

The Openpath Video Reader Pro is a single device that combines powerful access control with a built-in, high-definition camera. This gives a clear visual of all entry activity right where it happens, but can go one step further when integrated with existing video surveillance systems. The Video Reader Pro is compatible with ONVIF video systems and legacy access control systems in Standalone Mode, allowing non-Openpath subscribers to still get the benefit of live video of every access event. When used with an on-premise system like the Avigilon Control Center (ACC), security teams can view video from every camera alongside footage from the Video Reader Pro in one combined dashboard. 

Cross-system communication and data insights 

When it comes to efficiency, converged security is a necessary strategy to optimise visibility without burdening IT and onsite security teams. By combining physical and cybersecurity measures, teams are able to streamline monitoring and response processes. The cloud takes this a step further, enabling security teams to operate and respond to incidents remotely. Combining analytics and insights from previously disparate systems into a single source of truth makes it easier to spot anomalies, and to initiate prompt and accurate responses. 

By pairing the data from an access control system with live video feeds, security teams can visually verify what’s happening in the moment. Take the example of an intruder alarm at a property. When a door sensor is triggered on a property, security teams can use mapping to pinpoint the exact location of the incident. With live video and entry activity from an Openpath Video Reader Pro connected to ACC, administrators can check which credentials were used to unlock the door, and visually verify their identity or spot potential tailgating incidents. Advanced search and reporting tools can then assist in locating the suspect if they are still on the property, and help security teams know how to direct first responders. 

With more data coming in across systems, AI-powered analytics and detailed reports enable businesses to streamline auditing, and know where to focus when it comes to securing their properties.

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