Redefining Physical Security: The Power of Disaster Recovery for Video Surveillance Systems

Wed Sep 27 2023By Daniel Collins

There are two simultaneous technology shifts currently happening in the video surveillance space. There’s the shift from a primarily on-premises environment to cloud infrastructure and then there’s the shift of concepts: physical security to security technology. The traditional model of physical security, which is currently still being used today, relies on video surveillance cameras specifically for public safety and protection of assets.   

As new AI/ML technologies continue to be introduced and improved throughout this space, users can now rely on automation to extract valuable insights from the video captured by their fleet of cameras. Advances in software like computer vision has unlocked a suite of new uses for physical security devices and their data. This is where we are seeing the shift to security technology. Industries and organizations are beginning to utilize video surveillance cameras to help provide valuable insight to their business from data heavy applications and use cases. Areas that come to mind are logistics, manufacturing, retail, and transportation. Video surveillance cameras are now even used in certain situation for environmental monitoring. The video they capture is now the foundation for the wealth of information gleaned from computer vision. 

As industries and organizations begin to lean heavily on video data to provide valuable insights for their field or business, there’s one piece that’s typically overlooked and often obstructs the forward momentum into adopting these technologies: Data Protection.


The power of disaster recovery for video surveillance systems

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Who’s securing physical security? 

Ten years ago, security systems were managed by designated security team personnel. With the transition to network physical security systems, the lines have continued to blur with IT teams now taking on the responsibility of video surveillance data management. As the shift to security technology takes place, the advancements in video surveillance analytics and video camera resolutions have made surveillance footage an incredibly rich and valuable source of data for businesses. 

This is why the lack of focus on cyber security practices for video surveillance data generated by organizations comes as a complete surprise.  

According to Genetec’s annual report, State of Physical Security 2022, only 39% of respondents with an “IT” job function indicated that cyber security tools would be a focus in 2023. It drops significantly for those with a “Safety and Security” job function with 25% of respondents indicating that cyber security tools were a focus in 2023.  

In fact, the most common answer I receive when speaking to organizations about their data protection practices for on-premises video surveillance infrastructure is:  

“We use RAID”  

My most common response… 

“Still a single point of failure”  

But how can it be a single point of failure if all of my drives are redundant – one goes down and another one immediately spins up. The real problem is the centralized location of the storage infrastructure. Any natural disaster, bad actor, or human error can quickly disable systems and destroy video located in a single location. 

Think of it this way: There’s a tall tale that only a few people at Coca-Cola know the actual recipe of how the soda is made. Those people can never travel together or even be in the same room as each other. If something happened while they were all together the organization risks losing the recipe forever.  

Whether that story is true or not it’s a great example of how to approach Disaster Recovery for your video surveillance data: keep 1 copy of video data onsite and 1 copy of video stored in the cloud. This way if something happens to your local system (fire, enraged employee, ransomware) you can easily rehydrate a new system with your protected data from another location.  

If there’s ONE reason to adopt cloud in some form for video surveillance infrastructures, it’s to provide offsite storage for protection and recovery of video data. 

Not all clouds are created equal 

There’s a stigma in the video surveillance world that cloud storage is too expensive and not secure. That’s only true when you don’t do your research. It’s important to remember that not all cloud storage providers are created equal – look for the ones that are actively involved in the space.   

A cloud storage provider that’s compatible with video surveillance systems will offer a storage solution that’s low-cost and provides seamless integration with the onsite VMS, instantly playing back video on-demand without charging hidden fees for egress and API calls. When it comes to data protection, the most secure cloud providers will offer an immutability feature to their customers. Video Immutability ensures the highest level of security for any organization utilizing video surveillance. Immutable video protects users against accidental or malicious data destruction. Video objects within an immutable bucket cannot be deleted or modified by anyone for a designated retention period.  

Wasabi Surveillance Cloud: The first step to disaster recovery 

At Wasabi, we understand the “On-premises First” approach. That’s why we offer a solution that seamlessly integrates with the video management system at the file level to simply and securely replicate video data from current local systems to the Wasabi cloud. Wasabi Surveillance Cloud enables you with the fastest possible disaster recovery combining offsite-data protection and immutability with high availability ensuring you’ll never lose your video data. 

Video Surveillance is not only an invaluable tool for security but also for gaining valuable insights for your business. However, the importance of safeguarding surveillance data cannot be overstated. Implementing disaster recovery practices with offsite cloud storage is not just a smart choice but a crucial step to protect your data from a wide range of threats.  

Treat your data like the Coca Cola recipe!  

Dive deeper into the importance of implementing a video surveillance data protection strategy with our upcoming webinar: Redefining Physical Security: The Power of Disaster Recovery for Video Surveillance Systems.  

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