The physical security industry continues to display a growing interest in cloud-based security solutions, with several providers and advocates reporting significant growth and investment.
As we’ve discussed across the video surveillance, access control and intruder alarm markets at IFSEC Connect, the popularity of cloud-based systems for security applications continues to grow.
Challenges may remain, as industry professionals cite fears over cyber security and data privacy, among others, but there is little doubt that cloud-based software is being embraced by vendors across the industry. Whether a hybrid approach or full-cloud adoption becomes the norm, there is a belief that the flexibility and scalability cloud-based options provide end-users with ensuring that ‘software as a service’ models will continue to grow.
Several vendors operate solely based on this belief, truly viewing it as the future for managing security devices and storing data.
Simon Cook, Associate Director of QCIC, argues that much of the hesitation in using the cloud is due to prevailing misunderstandings. For those who are apprehensive over the cloud’s security, he says: “In reality, most of the cloud exists in data centres owned by tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google, or in purpose-built, security-focused, data centres that utilise the latest security protocols, employ teams of staff to implement frequent upgrades and assign astronomical budgets for protecting data. These companies are able to provide greater security than most individual organisations.
“The cloud isn’t completely invulnerable. With more components potentially accessible via the internet, there is always a risk. However, the risk can be far greater with an on-premise solution that is not patched correctly or with devices running out of date firmware.”
Data is also regularly backed up and saved in an easily accessible location, say, proponents, while updates and patches to protect against cyber attacks can be delivered by an expert team remotely.
While the transition has taken some time, there are signs that cloud-based organisations are now seeing real progress. Eagle Eye Networks, a cloud video surveillance specialist, has recently announced record Q1 growth, investing in a new manufacturing facility in Austin and “near doubling” its team across several regions to meet demand, it says.
Dean Drako, the company’s founder and CEO, believes that “we have passed the tipping point in the video surveillance industry’s adoption of cloud video, as businesses of all types and sizes have realised the advantages of a true cloud solution.” This argument was undoubtedly vital in new investment from venture capital firm Accel in Q4 of 2020, which is set to enable Eagle Eye to leverage Artificial Intelligence on its cloud platform.
Cloudview, another provider of cloud video surveillance, also achieved more funding this year, with a £ 3 million investment boost to release its “next-generation of cloud video recording technology”. Understanding some of the industry concerns, its launch emphasises that data is “stored safely and is always accessible… with military-grade data security and privacy by design at its core”.
Investment in cloud security is increasingly justified, as investors decide to back cloud-based security solutions. In IFSEC Global’s 2020 Video Surveillance Report, we found that 44% of security professionals were using or installing cloud solutions, while a third would now prefer their storage model for AI to be operated on the cloud. Glowing references indeed for those espousing the benefits of making the transition.
While the sector is generally siloed in its approach – opting for separate solutions for Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) or Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) – industry analysts Omdia are beginning to highlight the potential growth of an integrated Physical Security as a Service system – one that combines both Access Control and Video Surveillance as a service solution.