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Deploying real-time video for critical infrastructure monitoring

April 30, 2024 — Insight

Critical infrastructure sectors such as energy, transportation, shipping, healthcare and emergency services are essential pillars of society — supporting economic stability, public safety, national defence and more.

So, it makes sense that critical infrastructure monitoring is a top priority for international governments. And yet, Gartner predicts that 30% of critical infrastructure organisations will experience a disruptive security breach by 2025.

As a result, managing critical infrastructure security is an around-the-clock task — one that CCTV and other video intelligence tools play a crucial role in supporting. And as local councils and business decision-makers depend on surveillance technology to ensure security, the need for robust, reliable video systems increases.

Fortunately, modern surveillance technology offers a solution: real-time video monitoring.

The role of video surveillance in protecting critical infrastructure

Video surveillance systems have long been a staple of infrastructure security. But thanks to modern technology developments, it’s possible to take these capabilities one step further — upgrading from ‘live’ to ‘real-time’ video for even more effective monitoring.

The primary difference between live and real-time video streaming is that ‘live’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘instant’. With live video, transmission delays are likely, resulting in footage gaps and blind spots in vulnerable locations — making it more challenging to optimise critical infrastructure security.

On the other hand, real-time video provides unparalleled visibility — delivering smooth streams with imperceptible delays to allow security teams and law enforcers to monitor activity as it unfolds.

This technology capability comes with many safety benefits. For example, real-time video can support decision-making and resource allocation to help infrastructure site managers quickly detect and respond to threats. Plus, the presence of state-of-the-art video cameras with powerful AI-driven analytics software is an effective criminal deterrent, resulting in fewer incidents.

And that’s not all. Real-time video surveillance systems offer many other advantages — helping operators run more resilient sites through better critical infrastructure monitoring…

Cost efficiency

Although the initial cost of upgrading surveillance systems can be off-putting for some authorities and business leaders, the long-term savings real-time video technology can offer will quickly outweigh installation expenses.

Harnessing instantaneous video intelligence can help reduce internal and external theft, prevent damage to equipment and even optimise site management — ensuring operations run as efficiently as possible. Plus, with an advanced video surveillance system monitoring people and assets at all times, operators can reduce the number of security personnel at their infrastructure sites to improve their bottom lines.

Remote visibility

For critical infrastructure managers who oversee multiple facilities, the ability to remotely access real-time video streams is essential.

Many critical infrastructure systems are interconnected, meaning disruption at one could have far-reaching implications. So, the convenience of remote critical infrastructure monitoring — supported by intelligent automated analytics tools — can ensure a swift incident response and provide peace of mind that no suspicious activity goes unnoticed.

Regulatory compliance

Modern camera systems can do more than improve security and emergency response. They can also form a crucial element of regulatory compliance, helping facilities managers and local authorities enhance critical infrastructure monitoring to meet health, safety and cyber security standards.

Cyber threats are particularly concerning for applications such as oil and gas, financial services and agriculture supply chains, especially amidst rising geopolitical tensions. But thanks to integrated end-to-end protections like encryption, operators can safely provide real-time video intelligence for compliance audits and meet national standards for physical security.

Evidence accuracy

Surveillance footage is often pivotal in criminal investigations. For example, one study of over 250,000 crimes recorded by the British Transport Police found that of the 45% of cases where CCTV recordings were available, the footage was considered valuable in 65% of them.

With this in mind, presenting high-quality footage free from lagging and processing issues can be a tremendous asset during a trial. Real-time video intelligence can provide these insights, helping to accelerate investigative findings. When paired with AI-powered analytics, this technology makes it easier to pinpoint malicious actors and behaviours — but only when operators take all the necessary steps to avoid complications down the line…

The practical considerations for deploying real-time video

Installing an innovative real-time video surveillance system to manage critical infrastructure sites might seem a no-brainer. Still, there are logistical hurdles for operators to jump before going full steam ahead with adoption.

One of the biggest challenges for modern video surveillance is ensuring systems have dependable access to the necessary bandwidth for low-latency streaming without installing and maintaining new wired or wireless infrastructure. This is often an issue at remote or congested sites, where reliable surveillance is arguably the most crucial but most difficult to implement cost-efficiently.

Fortunately, there’s a solution. With network-agnostic video intelligence software, site managers can gain real-time, high-quality video and audio from any location over cellular. That’s where we come in…

Digital Barriers’ EdgeVis platform uses a patented, AI-based video codec to provide premium-quality footage with up to 90% lower bandwidth costs. This software features end-to-end encryption, edge storage and advanced analytics — no specialist IT knowledge required.

Simple, reliable and secure by design, the EdgeVis portfolio is ideal for a range of critical infrastructure applications. Compatible with a range of leading video management systems, this solution is already trusted by global agencies and business decision-makers to deliver real-time intelligence and analytics — supporting seamless security and effective operations worldwide.

Real-time video over cellular is finally here. Explore the industries we support today, and contact our team at 020 3553 5888 to discuss the needs of your next critical infrastructure monitoring project.