Companies moving to the Cloud
As companies reflect on the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent changes to business operations, the maturity and effectiveness of physical security infrastructure and data has become imperative to a successful transition to remote and hybrid work models. In particular, Cloud-based software solutions have proven critical to maintaining a strong security posture as travel and resourcing constraints limit the ability to monitor and manage security operations in-person.
Cloud-based security software that gives organizations the ability to access and control camera systems, monitor video feeds, conduct maintenance tasks, evaluate system health, and perform updates to firmware/software from remote locations have been identified as must-haves for maturing security organizations.
“While many physical security departments were hesitant to consider cloud-connected solutions in the past, they now better understand the benefits these solutions bring and how it can help them to better utilize their resources to achieve their respective business goals while minimizing their overall operational complexity.”
Answers from more than 2,000 security leaders give insight as to how the physical security industry is changing, with more movement towards the Cloud and an increase in investing in upgrades to legacy and/or disparate access control systems. A recent Genetec State of the Industry report (https://resources.genetec.com/en-infographics/state-of-physical-security-2021) showed that 45% of large companies (those with more than 1,000 employees) have already adopted cloud solutions. An impressive 94% of survey respondents stated plans to deploy Cloud or hybrid-cloud solutions for their long term plans, a major increase from 2020 when 26% of those surveyed said they began implementing their cloud journey. 35% of respondents said the pandemic directly accelerated or triggered their Cloud strategy.
Christian Morin, Vice-President, Product Engineering and CSO at Genetec Inc, stated, “While many physical security departments were hesitant to consider cloud-connected solutions in the past, they now better understand the benefits these solutions bring and how it can help them to better utilize their resources to achieve their respective business goals while minimizing their overall operational complexity.”
The challenges for organizations
Security professionals looking to transition to a Cloud environment are generally worried about maintaining secure and compatible systems during the migration period. When considering a transition to Cloud or hybrid Cloud physical security environments, security professionals cite outdated infrastructure, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and remote management challenges as their top 3 concerns. These challenges are only compounded as systems become more reliant on remote technology and devices continue to be spread across multiple networks.
Prior to the pandemic there was a traditionally slow trend to adopting Cloud-based software as it was often viewed as overly laborious since applications have usually been built into in-house hardware and infrastructure with limited remote capabilities. This hesitancy to leverage cloud-based solutions has largely dissipated, however, as companies realize that security infrastructure requiring on-premise maintenance may not always be feasible. Even with the above challenges in mind, 47% of Genetec survey respondents indicated plans to begin or further deploy parts of their security solution to the cloud. Cloud-based technology offers a way for companies to meet new challenges, scale as needed, and readjust to changing circumstances or events where access can become limited.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, organizations will contend with three undercurrents; changes in the physical dimension of work as workspaces evolve into hubs for collaboration and cohesion, workflow automation of the mundane in a bid to drive productivity and retention, and board-level interest in achieving operational resilience through integrated risk management.” said Pervez R. Siddiqui, Vice President, Offerings and Transformation at Genetec Inc.
Advantages of the Cloud
1. Adaptability and accessibility
The Cloud is reachable via internet access, from anywhere you can sign in, with many security solutions able to be controlled and managed through a computer browser or mobile device. Access is not limited to on-site locations, on desktops with dedicated software. Security personnel can manage the Cloud security solution from anywhere, offering more flexibility.
2. Reducing physical locations and real estate
Moving backend applications to the Cloud means the potential for better utilizing physical locations. Dedicated sites for security housing racks, cooling systems, and power hookups can be reduced and repurposed for other uses, giving companies the chance to mindfully maximize their real estate.
3. Updates can be done remotely
Cybercrime is a threat when the access to security systems can be done through the internet. Cloud architecture suppliers, however, know the threats to cybersecurity and will follow best practices to mitigate risk. Updates, patches, and system fixes are kept up to date and done automatically, as opposed to waiting for manual updates on most on-premise security systems. This could have the potential to make Cloud systems more secure, since they are updated on time to keep up with the latest security risks.
Migrating security systems to a cloud-based software, such as HiveWatch, gives organizations the ability to adapt as situations change. Key operations can continue despite limitations to physical access and circumstances, even when an unpredictable event occurs and the lasting impacts that it may have on businesses and activities.