Video Surveillance & Physical Security Industry Viewpoints
April 6th, 2023
Author: Kara Arroyo

Real-Time Alerting: The Key to Proactive, Real-Time Security

Proactive Follow Up to Security Incidence

Video surveillance cameras generate overwhelming quantities of footage. While video surveillance is associated with proactive security solutions, companies installing multiple cameras running 24/7 over days, weeks and months find themselves with hundreds and hundreds of hours of footage. With limited security teams who do not have the time or bandwidth to manually review hours of recorded video footage, many companies struggle to effectively react to incidence as well as proactively use past incidence to mitigate risks in the future.

To solve the challenge of resource bandwidth and time, AI (Artificial Intelligence) enabled video surveillance analytical solutions are quickly becoming mainstream for companies of all make, size and industry. Video analytics technology can be used to accelerate post-incident investigations and video evidence review – some organizations are even using it to assess trends and generate business intelligence to proactively plan and mitigate future incidence as well as operationally optimize their business. Examples of such proactive business management include better resource planning, floor re-design for optimal traffic flow and visibility when analyzing historical store busy times and shoplifting incidence. The possibilities are endless in capabilities for risk mitigation through historical incidence review.

What of true “proactive” real-time access to video intelligence to quickly identify, proactively assess, and preventatively respond to situations as they unfold real-time? Real-time security is key to proactive safety management.

What is Real-Time Security?

Real-time security simply refers to security applications that can be driven in real time. While video analytics are mission critical for investigations that take place post an event or for future risk mitigation planning, law enforcement and security teams also benefit from video analytics capabilities that help them respond to events about to occur or as they unfold. Whether attaining situational awareness, monitoring, and tracking during evolving incident, or making informed decisions on the fly, real-time security capabilities are crucial for effective safety and security and quite possibly can reduce the negative impact of incidence.

Increasing Situational Awareness for Proactive Response

The human eye has its limitations. Whether you have one, two or ten security guards – it is humanly impossible for security operators to have eyes on every corner of a property 24/7. However, through real-time alerting offered in many of today’s video analytical platforms, the right number of cameras, quality of cameras and the appropriate balance between sensitivity and accuracy, security operators can exponentially increase situational awareness.

Leveraging knowledge of expected and/or routine activity, operators can configure alerts to notify them of irregular activity. These proactive, real-time alerts can then be used to initiate further investigation, monitoring, or even immediate manual or automated response. From detecting unusual and excessive loitering to monitoring crowds or queues, understanding situational changes in the environment drives accelerated response to emergencies, threats, or suspicious behavior.

Exploring the Possibilities with Real-Time Alerting

Types of video analytics alerts that can effectively drive real-time security include, but are not limited to:

  • Group detection alerts – Airports, for instance, can leverage video analytics to detect long queues or overcrowding that may create a negative or harmful environment for staff or travelers, anywhere within video surveillance purview. By configuring alerts to be notified when groups are detected and/or thresholds are surpassed, airport security operators can be notified in real-time. From there they can determine how to respond, whether deploying appropriate operational protocols or security personnel to clear the congestion.

Video analytics can also be used to count objects other than people. Vehicles are one such option for object identification and tracking. Using airports for broader object tracking and proactive operations management, airports of all sizes looking to increase safety and security on runways might leverage video analysis to count and identify distinct types of vehicles – even airplanes – to risk mitigate potential accidents or act on authorized vehicles.

  • Dwell alerts – Dwelling or loitering can indicate a number of concerns. – From intent to commit a crime to a medical emergency, configuring real-time security alerts to detect dwelling is critical for situational awareness, validation, and proactive security response if appropriate. As an example of a proactive dwelling alert for a retail store who sells high value items. They have set up and receive an alert for someone dwelling in front of a specific display. With this alert, security can proactively monitor the situation and take action if necessary. Furthermore, if security operators receive recurring dwell alerts for the same area, this could be an indication of organized retail crime (ORC). The alerts can enable security to escalate the threat to appropriate law enforcement channels to protect people and assets accordingly as well as operationally evaluate solutions to mitigate future risk.

Dwell alerts are also particularly adept at detecting and mitigating vandalism. Advanced video analytics capabilities can intelligently detect suspicious behavior or loitering and alert property management to determine if closer inspection or action is needed.

  • Alerting configuration & customization – When users can define or detect specific or custom object classes, video analytics can further empower the accuracy and granularity of alerting to meet needs and catalyze responses. As an example, hospitals need to ensure that emergency or ambulance bays remain clear of cars, bikes, or people. Security operators can configure alerts based on object appearance and similarity criteria that will alert them of unauthorized entrance into these areas. This customization capability could also be used to sharpen alerting logic to include or exclude uniformed hospital staff such as nurses, doctors, or orderlies to eliminate operational friction within the hospital. This type of monitoring could also more rapidly pinpoint relevant details in a video search or alert when non-recognized individuals are detected entering areas for medical personnel only.

A similar example within a hospital or healthcare environment is, when a person goes missing and may present danger to themselves or others. Hospital operators can be agile in searching for and detecting people based on the characteristics of their clothing and trigger real-time alerts to track and find the missing person with speed and precision.


A Holistic Security Approach

Enabling effective security and safety management goes far beyond tools for accelerated investigations. Many of the problems that security operators face today unfold in real-time, and as such, they need innovative solutions to effectively predict, monitor, react and plan for proactive management of their environment. Real-time security is an effective component of holistic, proactive security management and risk mitigation.

Learn More About BriefCam’s Solutions for Real-Time Response