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Video Analytics is the Key to Improving Access Control

Sara Kumar, Product Manager at Identiv security video analysis software, shares how video analytics can help enterprises be alert to cyber breaches

One of 2020’s biggest predicted security trends is closing the gap between traditional video surveillance and access control, a move designed to increase high-level security. Key drivers of this trend are the Internet of Things (IoT) and advancing technologies, which are accelerating digital transformation, creating opportunities to increase productivity and optimize operations through greater connectivity and information sharing. But, this growing prevalence of interconnected devices means businesses have access to more data than ever before, forcing leaders to find efficient ways to extract the right information and make the best business decisions to keep businesses running at optimal levels – especially as the world continues to navigate a slow-paced recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the explosion of data, businesses now have to adapt to a new normal – one that extends beyond the everyday security functions to one that tracks video analytic behaviors to place an even greater emphasis on customer safety, as well as social distancing. With all of this new data, combined with the increased focus on customer safety and security, there must be a concise method to comb through the data.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and video analytics can help this process by providing metadata. In security applications, standard analytics tools can help you identify metadata associated with motion, color, facial, license plate recognition, access granted, access denied, people count, and dwell time. And, although access control may not seem to benefit as much from an analytic layer as video surveillance, the opposite is true. Any event coming from an access control system could – and should – be viewed as potential analytics metadata to a video management system (VMS). Conversely, an image of a person coming through an entry point (and identified through the system as an alert) is metadata that a VMS can communicate to an access control system.

So, what types of VMS events can be used with access control systems? Here are several use cases:

  • Tailgating: People-counting tied to a VMS shows two people going through a door in rapid succession, but the physical access control system (PACS) only shows a single access grant. This is called tailgating. The access control system can receive this event from the VMS, which the PACS system records as a possible tailgating event, and compares it to its access grant system. If there was only a single access grant, it can flag it or alert an administrator, who can then forensically use both systems to see who the first entrant was and perhaps, also the person who tailgated, and then take appropriate steps.
  • Lockdowns: In the shadow of COVID-19, one might use occupancy data from a VMS to trigger a lockdown of an area, and not permit new entrants until the occupancy drops below a certain threshold. This could be used for classrooms, stores with electric doors, subway platforms, retail businesses, hospitals, and other environments looking to control access levels.
  • Access control verification: The PACS system registers an access grant, and requests an image from the camera pointed at that door from the VMS at a specific time. The access control system logs all of this so that audits can be performed to make sure the person with the credential is the person who should have the credential. This could also be used with facial recognition by a VMS to compare the person’s employee photo with the mage captured by the VMS to analyze the likelihood that it’s the same person, and then alert if suspected to be not.
  • Access denied logging: The PACS system denies access and requests an image of the event from the VMS. This would allow the PACS system to log images of all access denied, and would allow the VMS search for all video images or clips associated with access denied events coming from the PACS system.

Video analytics and access control are great security solutions independently, but are even more effective when combined to enhance monitoring. Over the coming years, we can expect to see an uptick in use cases that emerge from combining these two systems.

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