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A winning proposition for critical infrastructure

28 May 2020

Article by Axis Communications' Karin Brits.

When is a surveillance system more than a surveillance system? When it not only protects an organisation’s premises but also supports efficient, reliable operations, and health and safety.

Network surveillance supports critical infrastructure organisations in three ways: It helps them reach their goals for security, for operations and for health and safety, all with a single integrated system controlled from a remote location.

With network surveillance, everyone wins

Keeping critical infrastructure safe is vital to the economic and physical wellbeing of society and the individuals who live in it. Network surveillance does a far better, more cost-effective job of protecting the critical infrastructure from bad actors than analog cameras or physical protection.

But network surveillance also goes well beyond superior intrusion protection. It does double-duty as a valuable supplement to data from industrial control systems, and triple-duty as a way of monitoring policy adherence, evaluating risks in real-time, and improving health and safety practices. The result is a more secure site, uninterrupted operations and a safer, healthier workforce – along with costs that can be shared across an organisation.

Hands down, the best way to protect against intruders

Network surveillance presents a cost-effective replacement for traditional approaches to security such as analog cameras, fences and guard patrols. It is also a highly economical high-tech alternative to costly solutions like radio-frequency intruder detection, electric fences, long-range sensors and microwave or infrared barriers.

Double duty: network surveillance in support of operations

The same network surveillance that so effectively protects critical infrastructure from bad actors can also simultaneously help prevent inefficiency and costly downtime in an organisation’s operations. This can essentially double the return on investment and create an opportunity to share costs between departments.

An open network surveillance solution can also be used as a complement to production monitoring systems (such as SCADA). This allows organisations to visually verify production and temperature data and assess reported failures. In addition, temperature alarm cameras can be used to monitor for temperature variance and leaks.  All of this can once again be accomplished for extensive areas and across multiple sites from a central remote location.

Triple-duty: network surveillance for a safer and healthier workplace

An in-place network surveillance solution can also help critical infrastructure organisations comply with regulations and live up to their obligations regarding health, safety and the environment (HSE) - at little or no additional cost.

By visually monitoring policy adherence and evaluating and mitigating risks in real time, critical infrastructure organisations can enforce safety regulations as well as gather useful data.

A valuable business tool

The worth of network surveillance goes well beyond superior intrusion protection. It is also a valuable business tool that can help critical infrastructure organisations better protect the reliability of their operations and the health and safety of their employees.

First and foremost, because network surveillance lets them observe exactly what is happening at multiple sites from a central, remote location. But also because it adds an extra layer of intelligence to systems they already have in place. And both the benefits and the costs of network surveillance can be shared across organisations.

 A single, smart video surveillance system can go far beyond physical security and address all the key aspects of critical infrastructure protection.