Q&A | April 7, 2014

Peer-To-Peer: Pitfalls Of Access Control & Video Surveillance Integration

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson

Physical Security

In the BSM article “Security In The Cloud,” Rueben Orr, co-owner, VP, and FSO of Security Install Solutions (SIS) explains the benefits of cloud access control systems. Citing the case of an installation in Denver, CO, Orr says the cloud-based solution provides a central view of all facilities, and the user no longer has to back up software or support servers. Also, administrators can log into the system remotely to resolve access control issues such as problems with ID cards.

In addition to offering information on the case study, Orr answered questions about integrating access control with video surveillance. “There has been a push the last few years for convergence, but I think we're seeing a trend away from that now,” says Orr. “We're heading back to compartmentalization — so if you lose one piece it doesn't take down the whole security system.”

Orr comments that integration drives down cost, but it doesn't provide a significant improvement to functionality. For example, if a customer uses a stolen credit card and the business owner wants to match the event with the video, an integrated system provides this information, but a separate search on the video system using date and time provided by the access control system would only take a few seconds more.

He points out an additional downside: “There's a growing demand for high quality video, and when you bring in that much information, the load on the network is much greater than what you'd expect from an access control solution. That creates bandwidth requirements that a cloud-based access control system does not have. If you try to put that all on one interface and bring in video, all the bandwidth benefits go away.”