Organizations rely on Convergint Technologies to proactively and cost-effectively manage security strategies that protect their critical infrastructure. Convergint integrates existing IT systems with disparate building systems to increase situational awareness, mitigate risk, and maintain compliance.
One of Convergint’s premium partners is Sony Video Security, a leader in providing advanced imaging and 4K network cameras. Subject matter expert Allen Chan, Application Design Manager at Sony, discusses security camera solutions and trends within the industry.
Tell us about your professional background and role at Sony.
I graduated with a degree in electronic and communications engineering and have worked primarily within the CCTV video space for more than 30 years. I started at Sony in 1987 as the technical manager. This was about six months after the Sony Security Systems division was formed, so I have been with the company for quite a while. Prior to the partnership with Bosch in February of 2017, I was the senior product manager for a video security systems group. Now I am an Application Design Manager specializing in ensuring we have top-of-the-line products to offer to our customers.
What are some current security problems you are seeing in the market right now?
A current security problem is there are no industry standards regarding the measurement of certain specifications. This makes deciding on the right camera a difficult task. For this reason, it’s important for customers to work with Convergint to properly examine and test the camera for the intended application.
For example, the minimum illumination specifications for cameras are all over the place, and there is no industry measurement standard procedure. We have no control over the lighting where cameras are installed, especially outdoors. It’s crucial that the camera produces good images in all lighting environments because most applications are not live or manned applications. So for forensic purposes, you need to have good image quality.
What are some examples of solutions that Sony can deploy to help?
Sony can help customers ensure they are deploying the best camera solution for their business.
Since many applications need to run 24/7, the technology needs to be able to adapt to different conditions. The Sony cameras can work in harsh environments that include severe backlight which require good wide dynamic range capability. What we suggest is for the customer to do a “product shootout” in certain environments to see how the camera will perform in those conditions.
What common trends are you seeing in video surveillance today?
One common trend in video surveillance today is the need for high-resolution images. Customers want to increasingly see the video in more detail. More detail requires higher quality cameras with better resolution. Sony uses 4K which is 4X full HD.
Multi-sensors are another common trend. There are some panoramic cameras that have multi-sensor. The idea is to see a wide view of the area. The reason for a multi-sensor is in terms of installation and infrastructure cost.
When there’s a higher resolution, you need more bandwidth. Another common area of concern is mitigating against bandwidth limitations. In regions with less bandwidth, there are solutions being leveraged that are more efficient in this regard. There are, of course, pros and cons to using every solution that must be taken into consideration.
What is Sony doing to address cybersecurity concerns?
Sony is taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity. To mitigate risk, we have designed security tools in the camera, such as authentication schemes and secure sockets. However, there is really no way to totally block off vulnerabilities or attempts to hack. Once a vulnerability is found, we release new firmware to stop the threat.
But even if cyber vulnerabilities are nearly impossible to entirely prevent, there are certain steps an organization can take to reduce exposure to such threats. One such step is to ensure that only the people who need to access the video system have authorization for it. One of the most commonly overlooked threats is username and password credentials. Nearly 15% of organizations do not change from the default password, which presents a significant vulnerability.
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