Q&A with Fabliha Chowdhury, Product Marketing Manager at Genetec
When it comes to large-scale banks with local branches in various parts of a country or around the world, managing disparate legacy security systems is an increasingly pressing concern.
Our customers in the banking industry often speak to us about the importance of implementing a unified platform and the crucial role that migrating to a cloud-based video surveillance solution has played in their approach.
Two key challenges are the lack of IT resources and ever-shrinking budgets. In particular, large-scale banks are looking for ways to free up their limited IT resources so that teams can focus on core business activities.
To address this, a growing number of financial institutions are looking at migrating their video surveillance to the cloud.
What are the challenges facing today’s large-scale banks?
Large-scale banks deal with billions of dollars of investment, revenue, and savings. On top of that, they’re also managing vast amounts of private information, including data captured by their video surveillance systems.
For decades, banks have been using legacy solutions to cobble together their physical security systems. This siloed approach to security cannot keep up with changing customer needs or the evolving threat landscape that banks are dealing with today. These systems now pose a serious challenge as banks work to protect themselves against rising cyberthreats and look to use analytics to improve operations.
A siloed approach has also kept banks from centrally managing their network infrastructure as well as coordinating operations across all locations. And it’s this lack of a global view that makes it difficult for banks to effectively leverage physical security data and ensure a consistent level of cybersecurity protection across all branches.
How do banks meet the challenges associated with dispersed operations?
The reality is that upgrading existing infrastructure at each branch can be prohibitively expensive. The costs can include end-of-life for existing hardware, on-site structural modifications, purchasing new systems, allocating additional space for servers, and labor for every phase of an upgrade.
Banks need to develop a comprehensive strategy for addressing the challenges associated with having a series of branches located across a territory or around the world. A two-step approach that involves unifying systems and moving operations to the cloud would give them greater control while saving money and improving operational efficiency.
Why do banks need to unify their systems?
Without a unified solution, large-scale banks have trouble seeing all the equipment they own or determining if they are meeting cybersecurity protection requirements at all branches. Implementing a unified security platform like Genetec™ Security Center allows for centralized monitoring and greater control over the management of physical security systems at each location.
This means a bank can monitor operations at all its branches, including remote and isolated locations, without disruption and ensure that consistent cybersecurity standards are being maintained at all times.
A unified system also helps security personnel and law enforcement during a post-event investigation.
With disparate systems, extracting video for an investigation is labor-intensive and prone to human error. When an incident occurs at a branch, security personnel have to search through hours of video from multiple cameras to identify and collect the footage they need. This process is even more difficult and time-consuming when an investigation requires looking through video from multiple branches.
When a bank deploys a unified solution, the system can automatically associate video and other data streams, like access control. This both reduces the time necessary to find and correlate information and eliminates human error. The evidentiary process is also greatly simplified when multiple locations are involved because the system itself can search through and correlate video feeds and other data from every branch.
How does migrating to the cloud help?
A cloud-based video management solution (VMS) like Genetec Stratocast™ reduces upfront and total VMS ownership costs and also provides long-term scalability. Unlike on-premises VMS solutions, a true cloud-based VMS—which does not use recording servers—protects dispersed branches without the need for precise planning or investing in expensive infrastructure. It also provides central monitoring capabilities when video is connected back to a bank’s head-end.
Moving to the cloud means that banks don’t have to purchase, maintain, or decommission equipment after they reach end-of-life. In addition to reducing costs, this also saves time for overstretched IT teams.
By eliminating recording infrastructure, banks can reduce how much they spend on electricity and floor space. This can be particularly significant for branches in cities with expensive real estate. When you consider how much a branch pays per-square-foot in New York City, for example, removing the need for a dedicated server room can represent huge savings. All of this is then multiplied many times over for every server at every branch in the bank’s network.
In terms of scalability, a cloud-based VMS allows banks to scale their system as the individual needs of their branches evolve. Banks can avoid the over- or under-allocation of planned resources by paying only for the amount of cloud storage they actually use. And, as business needs change, they can easily add or remove cameras and select the resolution and storage that best meet their current needs.
What are the cybersecurity advantages of moving to the cloud?
Moving to the cloud also helps banks secure their video data against loss and cyberthreats. When stored off-premises, a bank’s video footage is safe from tampering and always available, even in the event of on-premises hardware failure. And, because data centers keep three local copies of all data, cloud solutions ensure that any video stored in the cloud is never lost.
When it comes to improving cybersecurity, migrating to a cloud-based VMS means banks get end-to-end encryption of video, both in transit from their site to the cloud and at rest. And, since all video is stored offsite instead of on a physical server, a bank’s valuable data is beyond the reach of cybercriminals looking to steal, destroy, or tamper with locally stored images.
With a cloud-based VMS, application enhancements can also be seamlessly deployed in real time. For banks, this means that they can rest assured that their VMS solutions are up to date with the latest fixes and cybersecurity measures.