To the average consumer, we see video surveillance as what we get with our video doorbell or home system that has high-resolution cameras, easy-to-use app, real-time notification, and serverless cloud recording. The truth is in the commercial space, especially in the financial industry it is still not uncommon to see coax cabled analog cameras with definition so poor you can hardly tell a person from a pillar in the lobby. In fact, this has been so bad that even NASA is getting better video on Mars! Soteria is the Ultimate Security Middleware Service integrating enterprise 3rd party security platforms.
Understanding the risk that comes along with operating a financial institution is surprising if they don’t have state of the art systems in place. As Cook Security Group started to dig into this problem, we found two main reasons that were preventing financial institutions from keeping up with the other parts of the world.
- Cost: Since the financial crisis over ten years ago interest rates and other regulations have severely inhibited the ability for banks and credit unions to make money.
- Proprietary systems: For years large, proprietary companies have handcuffed banks and credit unions to their old, antiquated solutions making it impossible to move away.
Let’s focus on the first issue, cost. If you have purchased a home security system for yourself in the past you know it isn’t that expensive, and relatively easy to install, and set up. In the financial space, these systems are insanely expensive and for no real reason. Standard hard drives that you can buy online for $100 are being sold to banks and credit unions for thousands with the claim that they are special for the proprietary software being used. You are told that you have to buy the recording device (DVR) from the company that made the Video Management System (VMS) or software that is used to power the system. Furthermore, you are told you have to buy expensive cameras that will only work with their VMS. If you want analytics or other features, you are used to seeing in your home system get ready to pay out the nose with these features on a commercial system. Now you can see how if a camera dies, or a hard drive fails, or technology advances, these financial institutions are stuck with paying high prices to keep old antiquated systems in place unless they want to fork over more money than they can afford to replace the ENTIRE system for something else.
You would think that is enough to make you think twice about proprietary systems. Think again. The systems being closed off, inhibit the end-user’s ability to integrate 3rd party platforms. By only allowing a certain VMS to talk with a certain DVR and a certain camera, this restricts the user from being able to use the best of the breed.
With the launch of Soteria and Piko, Cook Security Group has disrupted this market segment. Not only does Piko allow for the use of any DVR or camera, but it also allows integration with free and open analytics. Beyond camera analytics, we recognize that the need for 3rd party enterprise applications is still a reality. Soteria is a security middleware platform that facilitates the integration of 3rd party applications. Integrating systems like access control in a building, alarm systems, and automatic incident management and ticket creation with people inside and out of your organization is all a reality now. On a fully configurable basis, any event that is created in one of these systems can be combined with another to provide real-time, actionable data.
Thanks to these advancements, a security system is no longer just a security system. It can be used for marketing analytics, retail trends, heatmapping, people counting, object detections, and the list goes on. Taking a single system that was once used for one purpose by one department can now be leveraged organization-wide for different reasons. The wait is over, this is a reality today. Best of all, the price point is in line with what it should be, and the system is open, secure, and simple, allowing you to rest easy that your technology is working for you.