Security Systems Need Protection

How to Reduce Surveillance System Downtime

Video surveillance has come a long way from the grainy images and low-tech capabilities of systems past. Video analytics, AI edge computing, and IoT connectivity continue to amplify the applications of video surveillance beyond what was once possible. Today, surveillance systems are as ubiquitous as cell phones, but also represent a significant investment for the entities that employ them. For most entities, ensuring surveillance system uptime isn’t just an objective, it is a necessity.

Surveillance System Downtime Has High Costs

Many organizations rely on real-time video surveillance to prevent crimes such as theft and property damage. Others use video surveillance to prosecute crimes or reduce liability, as is the case with false injury claims. Even highly regulated businesses, such as casinos, are legally not permitted to operate if their surveillance system is not working. In each of these cases, surveillance system downtime could lead to potentially millions in lost revenue, damage to the brand, and/or costly regulatory fines.

Perhaps more importantly, an inoperable surveillance system poses a significant threat to security operations. If a system is unable to perform its primary surveillance functions, crimes can go both unnoticed and unprosecuted. This degrades an organization’s overall security posture, putting people and property at risk. The fact is, some damages cannot be calculated in terms of dollars and cents.

Therefore, it is the deploying entity’s responsibility to ensure their surveillance systems experience as little downtime as possible. Doing so helps protect people, property, and profits. While this may seem like a big task, here are 5 easy ways to implement strategies for reducing surveillance system downtime:

1. Invest in Surge Protection

Uncontrolled power is one of the largest contributors to surveillance system downtime. Damaging power surges and spikes have the potential to take out an entire network of cameras without warning. The idea that such damaging power events are only caused by lightning is a dangerous misconception that puts surveillance systems and other sensitive electronic equipment at risk. In reality, power surges happen much more frequently than storms. Deploying surge protection acts as a first line of defense, helping to ensure that your surveillance systems are not impacted by these all-too-common power disruptions.

Read More About The Benefits of Surge Protection for Security Systems

2. Have a Backup System in Place

Data loss is another big contributor to the tremendous impact of surveillance system downtime. This is why it’s essential to not only protect your hardware from physical damage but also have a backup system in place for your critical data. Without a backup system, a damaging power event has the potential to permanently delete critical video data. Backup copies can be used to restore systems, but only if the data is current. Protecting data storage devices with surge protection gives these critical files a better chance of surviving common power surges without corruption or damage.

3. Deploy Surge Protection in Layers

Modern surveillance systems have the benefit of connectivity; however, this also increases the threat of power surges as networked devices like IP/PoE cameras are connected to other vulnerable devices. For example, a surge can travel through the cabling of an IP camera, damage or destroy the network switch, and possibly cause further issues with other connected devices such as servers running VMS software. Therefore, the only way to provide comprehensive surge protection for your surveillance system is to deploy Surge Protection Devices (SPDs) in layers. It is recommended that surge protection be installed first at the facility service entrance, as this can stop damaging surges generated outdoors from entering a facility entirely. SPDs should also be applied at network switches and the head-end of all cameras, especially outdoor PoE or PoE+ IP cameras, where surges can be stopped in their tracks and prevented from damaging other connected equipment.

Read How to Protect PoE Devices from Power Surges and Other Disruptions

4. Ensure Ongoing Protection

Protecting surveillance systems, their connected equipment, and applicable data storage devices is the mission-critical function of surge protection. To do this job dutifully, however, SPDs will self-sacrifice, often without notice, to protect their connected equipment. This can happen all at once in the event of a severe power surge, or it can happen over time as smaller surges gradually take their toll. SPDs therefore require routine inspections to ensure they have not reached end of life. Innovative SPDs will include advanced end of life indicators, such as visual indicators, audible alarms, dry contact communications, or a combination of all three, to indicate that the surge protector has been compromised and needs to be replaced.

How to Know When Your Surge Protector Has Reached End of Life

5. Choose the Right Provider

Just like video surveillance systems themselves, surge protection is similarly an investment that should be thoughtfully considered for its’ various applications. Reducing surveillance system downtime via surge protection and uninterruptible power supplies begins simply by working with a trusted partner. DITEK offers a wide range of products to fit the various types of video surveillance systems, using cutting-edge technologies and convenient end-of-life indicators for maximum performance and ease of use. Our products are made in the USA and backed by comprehensive warranties so your surveillance system can experience maximum uptime for years to come.

Discover DITEK Surge Protection for Digital Video Surveillance and Analog Video Surveillance.