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Smart Cameras vs. Legacy Cams: IoT, Simplicity and Analytics

Simplicity and peace of mind are compelling reasons to move from legacy camera and recording equipment to smart cameras for enterprise security systems.

December 19, 2019 4 minute read

Legacy camera deployments are complex, hard to manage and consume a lot of bandwidth on your network. You may have network video recorders (NVRs), pan-tilt-zoom controllers, servers and more equipment than you can effectively manage. Let’s talk about some of the ways that smart cameras have improved physical security and visibility for the business.

Legacy camera systems are main source of IoT attacks

Security cameras are one of the most vulnerable pieces of the network. Routers and connected cameras are by far the main source of IoT attacks, accounting for over 90% of all attacks on the honeypot. This is up from 3.5% in 2017* and a trend we expect to continue. Legacy deployments are vulnerable because they are complex and difficult to manage. Each extra piece of hardware has its own software that needs to be maintained, updated and patched. We see that many IT departments are understaffed and overworked; firmware upgrades that require manual intervention are often put off.

Smart cameras are more secure for a couple of reasons. It's one of those cases where simplicity equals more security.

  • Smart cameras reduce the amount of hardware involved in the deployment. There are no NVRs or servers required which reduces the amount of equipment our customer have to manage.
  • Smart cameras are cloud managed, which means that firmware updates can be automatically scheduled and implemented, ensuring current versions and patches are always up to date.

Simplicity = peace of mind + time saved

When we compare legacy camera deployments to the new smart security camera design, we start to see how a simplified deployment can give us more confidence that we have the footage we need and save us time. 

Chart comparing Legacy Cameras and Smart Cameras

Motion detection, alerts & traffic patterns 

Smart cameras are equipped with some additional capabilities that can help the business as well. One of these features includes the ability to pair motion detection with custom alerts. 

Meraki MV wireless smart camera
Meraki MV Wireless Smart Camera

As an example, this can help security teams in places like schools. If nobody should be in a specific area of the school during specific times of day, they can create an alert and have it sent to the security guards if there is motion detected.

People and object identification abilities helps retail businesses better understand how many people are interacting with them at any given time. Business owners can start to see percentages of people walking by their location vs the ones that enter the location. They can use this information in many ways over time, e.g. to determine if certain marketing campaigns increased foot traffic in their location.  

traffic pattern heat map - Meraki Smart Camera
Traffic pattern heat map -
Meraki Smart Camera

Finally, another feature is heat mapping. This can help our healthcare sites track the patient traffic flow throughout the clinic or campus. By creating zones within a camera, you can get very specific with this tracking. You can start to detect hot spots where people gather, allowing you to make business decisions about waiting room layouts or improving patient experience in those areas.

Why WWT for smart cameras 

World Wide Technology has been certified since 2016 when we debuted as the only Cisco Meraki Gold Certified Partner that is also classified as an application program interface (API) developer and value added reseller (VAR). Not only does WWT sell and install cloud managed cameras like Meraki MV, we bring long-standing experience implementing and integrating solutions to assist our customers on the path to cloud migration, smart communities, IoT connected facilities, and defining their IoT vision and roadmap.

*According to the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) from February of 2019, “Routers and connected cameras were by far the main source of IoT attacks, accounting for over 90 percent of all attacks on the honeypot. The proportion of infected cameras used in attacks increased considerably during 2018. Connected cameras accounted for 15 percent of attacks, up from 3.5 percent in 2017.”
 

Review top use cases, installation considerations and insights your business can glean when Meraki cameras are integrated with analytics.
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