The benefits of cloud-based security
What is cloud-based security?
Cloud security solutions refer to a fully hosted, cloud-based electronic security system, the brains of which reside in a data centre. They are also known as ACaaS (Access Control as a service) or VSaaS (Video Surveillance as a service). This service typically includes video recording, storage, application and database hosting, remote viewing and administration, management alerts, enhanced cybersecurity and more.
93 percent of businesses have now adopted cloud solutions in one way or another, for example office 365, one drive or google drive. Technology advances, coupled with the increase in available bandwidth now make cloud-based security solutions a very attractive option.
Here, we take an in depth look at the functional, financial and environmental benefits a cloud based electronic security system could have for your company.
Hardware and Storage
It is very easy to work with a cloud-based system. You don’t need to install any servers, operating systems and applications or configure any storage or routers. You simply connect the field devices directly or via a Bridge to the cloud server. All other settings and system configuration can be done remotely, from wherever you want.
Hardware support, software and firmware updates and security patching are automatically performed by the cloud software vendor, which means that you can be assured that the system is fully up to date with the latest features and secure from cyber-attacks.
The initial capex costs are much lower. You no longer need to pay for:
Server Hardware/ installation
PC client SW install/upgrades
And when all maintenance costs are considered, ongoing monthly subscription fees are lower due to the economies of scale of the shared cloud infrastructure and support. You no longer need to pay for:
Annual server maintenance
Operating system backups
Ongoing OS security patches
SW update installation
Flexibility in Storage
Advanced cloud systems offer a flexible combination of storage in the cloud. You always have the same quick access to the data or video footage, no matter where this is viewed from or stored. You can increase the retention period or the resolution immediately, without having to adjust anything to your existing hardware. Because cloud systems use large, shared cloud infrastructure for video storage, they offer enormous economies of scale and flexibility.
Advanced cloud systems support a wide range of analogue and IP cameras as well as card/ credential readers. Once the initial wiring/ termination of the device has been completed, it can be configured on the system as you would normally. Dashboards show the device status with automated alerts sent via email in the event a device goes offline.
Bandwidth management is an essential part of cloud-based system. Not only within a LAN but also for a WAN-environment, it is possible to indicate per camera and per time units, and which part of the available bandwidth may be used, so that other data streams can be prioritised without losing essential video data. This type of intelligence overcomes any reservations over available bandwidth.
Rapid technology evolution. The cloud vendor automatically sends technology updates over the internet to your on-site device. Your system is constantly changing with the latest innovations and therefore has a longer service life. APIs for analysis, integration, and applications are accessible and publicly published. Fully functional APIs can be used in other systems.
Advanced cloud-based video management systems do not have the cybersecurity vulnerabilities that traditional systems do. There are no open ports, no local firewalls, and no local software. No firewall installations are required. Some cloud VMS vendors have established dedicated cybersecurity teams to monitor new vulnerabilities such as Ghost and Heartbleed, and apply security patches directly to the local device via the cloud.
Cloud-based systems are designed for remote access. Advanced systems ensure smooth data/ video access and streaming. The support of universal web browsers and mobile apps are common, which all results in thick client licenses being a thing of the past.
Redundancy and Reliability
Cloud data centres have double and triple redundancy. The shared infrastructure results in full server use and economies of scale. Advanced cloud systems provide several days of on-premise storage as a backup to protect against the loss of the internet, along with alert notifications.
If we take a look at the established trend in other industries, it is logical that security systems are also moving to the cloud. The main functional considerations are the rapid technological evolution, cybersecurity, flexibility in the storage period, and the easy and secure way of sharing information.
Financial considerations are the lower cost of capital and lower total administrative costs resulting from economies of scale. Furthermore, the payment model “Pay for what you use” ensures better coordination between end-users and suppliers for the continuous growth of the customer’s business.
More efficient and effective management comes in the form of easy implementation, superior multi-site integration and management, and instant alerts for system-related alarms (no internet, camera offline, etc.).
At Nexus we work with the world’s leading cloud security system vendors Eagle Eye Networks, Brivo, Morphean, Commend Avigilon and Milestone to provide innovative and futureproof solutions for our customers. If you would like to find out more, get in touch today.