CCTV and IoT

James Wickes, CEO and cofounder at Cloudview talks about how connected devices are breathing new life into the CCTV market and ultimately making security easier.

The Internet of Things has tremendous potential to transform how businesses operate. In fact, it’s already making an impact in video surveillance and monitoring. Not an area traditionally associated with the rapid adoption of new technology, but the IoT is reinvigorating the CCTV market.

Organisations both large and small are beginning to use IoT technology in conjunction with cloud services to improve the effectiveness of their existing CCTV hardware in order to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) due to come into effect in May 2018. These technologies enable visual data to be captured and stored securely off-site for as long as required, and viewed by any authorised person from any location using their smartphone, tablet or PC. Footage can be emailed directly to the police if required so it can be used straight away rather than it having to be collected. Another advantage is that criminals often damage or destroy CCTV equipment when committing a crime. Using the IoT and cloud devices ensures that the evidence is out of reach. 

It’s vital to ensure that visual data is protected, both when it is in transit and when it is stored. Solutions are available that provide encryption, ensuring it remains secure in all parts of the process meeting the requirements of the Data Protection Act (DPA) – and the upcoming GDPR. One such solution is the Cloudview service – a smart adapter is attached to existing analogue or IP CCTV cameras, providing IoT connectivity and security as well as accurate date and time stamping of footage that is then stored in the cloud.

“In the past, it could take the police up to two weeks to collect a USB stick. Now it is immediate.”
James Wickes, Cloudview

One organisation already using the IoT for video surveillance and monitoring is housing association Family Mosaic. It uses CCTV at many of its sites to assist in protecting residents and property from antisocial behaviour such as vandalism and fly tipping. When there was a recent issue with someone accessing one of its properties to try and steal mail, the neighbourhood manager was able to send CCTV footage to the police immediately so that the culprit could be identified. In the past, it would have taken the police as long as two weeks to collect a USB stick. 

Being able to access the system remotely also means that individuals who may be carrying out the antisocial behaviour do not realise that CCTV footage of their activities is being reviewed. In some cases, it can be dangerous to go on site to access CCTV recording equipment as the offenders may want to prevent the organisation obtaining the evidence. Now Family Mosaic can look at the video from any location, or provide access to the police if appropriate. 

In my view, this type of application is what the IoT is all about and where it can help improve society. Smart fridges are all very well for looking after your food but when it comes to crime no one likes a cold case.

James Wickes is the CEO and cofounder of Cloudview

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