For small and medium-sized businesses, the implementation of a fully integrated and unified security management solution may seem out of reach. Integrators and installers need to supplement the security systems with IT hardware and infrastructure, which often needs special configuration to meet the always-on demands of security and safety. However, a dedicated hardware and software system could provide an answer.
While security management systems provide a high degree of flexibility and added value, often the benefits are not realised by small- and medium-sized business and organisations. While dedicated security systems are within their reach, bringing disparate systems together as a unified solution requires central IT hardware and software.
The most common approach is for the integrator or installer to specify a COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) workstation, which then needs to be reconfigured to meet the needs of a security application. While many dedicated devices are available for larger installations, smaller businesses often rely on the customisation approach because of budgetary constraints.
Once the workstation is configured with the software loaded, there is also the issue of maintenance. Again, this can be challenge for integrators who are more skilled in working with dedicated security systems than off-the-shelf IT devices. Often, the cybersecurity requirements for systems need to be regularly enhanced, and some of the steps taken for typical workstations could interfere with usual security activities.
Importantly, many COTS workstations are built to handle typical everyday clerical activities, handling alphanumeric data in small batches. The load placed on a system by always-on security systems is outside of the expected work levels workstations have been designed to manage. For example, handling files usually only requires the transmission of data once work is completed, or updates are made. However, video streams constantly, around the clock, and unless the device has been designed with this mind, problems could occur.
A dedicated approach
When implementing a security management system, one way to ensure suitability with regard to hardware is to select a purpose-built dedicated workstation from a security manufacturer. They will have ensured the device is appropriately configured and has the build quality to support the higher load associated with always-on systems.
Hikvision’s all-in-one HikCentral-Workstation/32 provides small- and medium-sized businesses and organisations with a simple security management solution which can be used straight out of the box. The workstation has been designed to simply and cost-effectively manage video security operations, with the capacity to also utilise a range of other security and efficiency-enhancing functions.
The HikCentral-Workstation/32 delivers extensive video management functionality and centralises smart, practical applications to give integrators and installers a competitive edge. The Windows-based workstation is designed around Hikvision’s HikCentral video management software. It allows users to manage up to 32 cameras from one or multiple sites, including up to four ANPR cameras and two face recognition cameras. Users can stream video on laptops, tablets or mobiles, and receive automatic alerts to mobile devices.
A simple search function enables users to find required footage quickly, and they can also operate video intercom and access control across multiple doors and entrances. This enables businesses and organisations to manage staff and visitor attendance, and greet visitors with ease. They can utilise ANPR technology to manage parking, and face recognition to automatically alert staff when known VIP customers arrive on site.
HikCentral’s advanced temperature screening and mask detection modules manage access based on pre-determined criteria, helping to create COVID-Secure applications. The workstation also allows management of intruder alarms and radar perimeter detection.
The workstation stores up to six months’ worth of data, and is optimised for efficient bandwidth usage in small businesses. For peace of mind, it benefits from free servicing for 3 years, and free software technology updates for 2 years.
Gary Harmer, Hikvision UK and Ireland Sales Director, states, ‘The HikCentral-Workstation/32 has been optimised to suit the requirements of expanding SMBs, no matter their sector. A full video, access, alarm and intercom system for one or multiple sites can be simply and easily managed from one central location, and IT costs are kept down with easily understood, self-managed troubleshooting reports.
‘The control dashboard is straightforward and intuitive. It makes this workstation the ideal management hub at the heart of any small or medium organisation’s security set-up.’