by Keith Drummond, Senior Sales Director, IDIS America


Looking ahead to a new year, and a new decade, IDIS predicts 2020 to be a very exciting year rich in technology innovations. Here we offer our insights on what we believe will be the Top Tech Trends to keep a close eye on in 2020.



Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning and Analytics on the Edge

Artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning technologies are quickly earning their place in consumer and commercial security deployments. Because an AI system gives the user the ability to tap into other information facilitated by sensors, including people counting, identity management, and heat monitoring, AI is providing end users with much more information than traditional security applications can. As a result, AI technologies will only continue to evolve and take a prevalent place in the video surveillance market.

The benefits are widespread and far-reaching. Among them, Deep Learning capabilities drive operational efficiency while also enhancing safety and security. Labor-intensive processes that once needed to be done manually can now be automated. Because Deep Learning learns over time, it distinguishes between environmental factors vs. actual threats, such as an intruder, translating into fewer false alarms, reduce the chance of control room operators shutting down alarms, resulting in a quicker, more appropriate response to incidents.

Events such as theft can now be investigated much more quickly using powerful search functionality that lets the user search vast volumes of video data just like they’d search Google, reducing investigations from hours and days through to minutes. Analytics on the Edge, which are onboard the cameras already, are another tech trend that will define 2020. These are more cost-effective than Deep Learning, as deep learning capabilities typically require a more sophisticated set up with servers and processing power, and many customers/applications simply don’t want to incur the additional costs of implementation, maintenance and ongoing license fees. We predict Edge Analytics will become much more commonplace in 2020 and customers will start to demand them as standard.



Cybersecurity losses are painful. They can include direct business costs, penalties from regulators, catastrophic revenue decline and long-term damage to reputation in the event of a successful cyber-breach. New cybersecurity vulnerabilities are reported so often these days that it’s no surprise we expect cybersecurity concerns to remain top of mind for end users of all kinds. In addition to having obvious faster installation benefits, plug-and-play surveillance is becoming increasingly popular for delivering cybersecurity advantages since it eliminates the need for engineers to manage multiple IP addresses and associated passwords during implementation. Consequently, it, mitigates against human error and the common malpractice of saving passwords in vulnerable spreadsheets and the larger the deployment and bigger the risk particularly when installers are up against tight deadlines.

It only takes a single vulnerability in one device to put the entire surveillance system at risk and endanger the customer’s network. So integrators and end users, beware - while the Internet and mobile access are becoming increasingly more in-demand with video surveillance cameras due to the convenience they deliver, vulnerabilities are inherent in some models of Internet connected video cameras, according to ZDNet. A business technology news website published by CBS Interactive, along with TechRepublic, ZDNet cautions that a series of security vulnerabilities in a range of some popular smart cameras leaves them vulnerable to hackers, who can exploit the devices to conduct surveillance and compromise other parts of the network the device is connected to. These flaws could allow attackers to access live video and audio feeds, and remotely get root access to the camera -- potentially gaining access to the rest of the network. End-to-end surveillance set up simplifies this, allowing managers and engineers to propagate every device simultaneously and making it faster and easier to keep security policies and systems fully updated and protected.


Cozying Up to the Cloud

Scaling the learning curves to transition from traditional physical security solutions to cloud-based ones can be an intimidating proposition for some systems integrators and end users, alike. But cloud storage can serve as a strong selling point for SI’s. As technology continues to evolve, many are realizing that a cloud-based solution if deployed correctly using the right infrastructure can be more secure than many local solutions.

Cloud-based technology can make businesses more efficient, effective and profitable. There’s a lot less down time with a cloud-based solution, as well as less data loss, less liability, less theft, and less business destruction.

Many enterprise businesses have the resources to maintain their video and access structure, but many small to mid-sized businesses don’t have an IT department and outsourcing something as important as their security is challenging. With a cloud-based system they don’t have to worry about the updates, and instead just pay their subscription cost. Yet this can be the biggest obstacle to adoption since fees together with cloud storage, often dictated by laws or industry requirements, can be prohibitive.  But if money isn’t a problem, for staff it’s a game changer - they don’t have to worry about networking power, cooling, patches, upgrades, backups, data base administration, etc. Those tasks lie with their integrators, so integrators need to vet the tech partner they go to market with. Most are emailing software updates so they’re still very much touching their client with this model. They’re doing the installation and still have all the hardware and moving parts they still get service for, so it doesn’t eliminate the truck roll, it’s just taking the server and storage devices out of the end user’s hands. The onus on systems integrators is ensuring the solutions used are safe and protected from outside threats. It’s also important that integrators understand cloud infrastructures and that can be quite the learning curve for traditional installers.  They also need to seek out vendors that prioritize cybersecurity through comprehensive data protection and reliability. And integrators need to be prepared to offer immediate, efficient and remote support to their customers and ensure the vendors they work with have the tools and resources and infrastructure available for them to succeed.


Data Protection and Privacy

The debate around privacy continues around the world and, while many governments are still evaluating the impact of technologies such as Social Media, the prevalence of surveillance and deployment of facial recognition technologies have given way to the introduction of many new privacy and data laws. These include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) in the U.S., and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which has also come into play this month. CCPA is a bill that enhances privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California, United States, and an unprecedented privacy law that grants California residents sweeping rights concerning the collection and use of their information.

The world has already seen that violations can come with hefty fines such as those faced by British Airways and Facebook for data and privacy breaches. Customers are becoming more astute and unsurprisingly, asking more questions when it comes to making sure video surveillance manufacturers and analytics vendors are committed to respecting and safeguarding individuals’ privacy as well as educating their customers and integration partners. When it comes to products and solutions, it is the end-user that is primarily responsible for making sure that any such use of a product or solution to process personal data is compliant. So, it’s becoming imperative that organizations work with manufacturers they can trust that follow “privacy by design” which includes robust security controls, up to date with cybersecurity technologies, and provide secure hardware, software and thorough aftercare. They are also looking for vendors that offer cost-effective tools and features to support compliance. For example, making sure there are robust measures to prevent unauthorized access to video and privacy masking technologies.


Demand for High Quality Image Capture in All Lighting Conditions

We’re expecting demand for advanced low-light functionality to continue to soar throughout the year driven by environmental pressures to reduce light pollution and energy usage, as well as to avoid the capital and installation costs of supplementary security lighting.  As a result, users are looking for the latest generation of video surveillance cameras that can deliver forensic-grade images in darkness.  And built-in IR LED illumination is good for most environments because they consume minimal energy and are automatically activated and depending on the model provide effective surveillance in low light up to 350 meters.

Yet basic IR won’t satisfy the requirements for all applications, and will need the combination of a high-grade lens, advanced sensor technology and a design that optimizes light without causing diffused reflection meaning cameras specifically designed to avoid image degradation that can capture high-quality, vivid, true color video in extremely low light conditions.

And there isn’t a single solution for every low light environment, but with the right advice from systems integrators, designing a video surveillance solution to cope should no longer be a challenge. A combination of high resolution and low sensitivity is vital, but it’s also important that cameras have performance enhancing features and functions, such as Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), auto iris, cut filters and image stabilizers. That means customers are looking to manufacturers to offer a myriad of capabilities as standard on a range of camera models from bullets, domes, box, fisheyes and PTZs to deal with all light conditions, while thermal imaging is still set to be a popular choice for many perimeter applications.  


End-to-end vertical solutions

One-stop-shop solutions are becoming more popular with both systems integrators as well as end-users as they provide simple pricing and enable engineers to design a job more confidently compared to managing a custom, mix-and-match installation combining surveillance tech working with different vendors.

An end-to-end solution provides everything needed to build a complete video solution, for every size of project and every level of security. It should include everything from an extensive range of cameras and recorders, a suitable choice of VMS, and analytics options, right through to network accessories and specialist, durable monitors and video walls designed for 24/7 operations. Single-source, fully compatible technology gives customers and their integration partners the confidence that all hardware and software will work together delivering rich functionality and features first time, every time. And all of that saves time and money. Beyond that, customers also want solutions designed for their unique business needs be that retail, banking, education or healthcare. They’re looking for the right cameras to meet their specific challenges, suit their applications, and provide analytics capabilities at the right price points to not only strengthen safety and security but also deliver business intelligence that increases profitability and operational efficiency.

BLOG: 5 Device Hardening Techniques for Robust Cybersecurity
2020-03-16Learn more
2020-03-02Learn more