Video Management Software Helps Bank to Secure Their Most Vulnerable Installations
Banks are a type of business that devotes special attention to security. One of the reasons for this is that having a good reputation is very important to them. Banks use video surveillance systems for both security purposes and gathering information needed for handling customer complaints. So it is not only necessary to equip bank offices with these systems, but also ATMs that are often situated far from each other and from bank branches.
Video Surveillance at Bank Branches
Bank branches use various security measures, such as video surveillance systems, access control, and security and fire alarms. One of the unique qualities about many banks is the high number of offices that are often located far away from each other, such as in different regions. The easy way to reduce the costs of maintaining a video surveillance system located throughout different branches is to create a single distributed system that can be centrally controlled.
Video surveillance systems in bank offices can use both analog and IP cameras. It should particularly be noted that some video surveillance platforms provide the opportunity to create hybrid systems, which use both types of equipment. This allows the company to optimize expenditures by using expensive and secure high-resolution IP cameras only where it is really necessary. AxxonSoft's integrated software solution Intellect, is a platform that makes distributed and hybrid video surveillance systems possible.
The ATM is one of the most vulnerable sections of a client's service system. This is because banks generally, have a large number of ATMs that are not only set up at bank branches, but also great distances away from them. Yet ATMs that are set up at branch offices or next to them and usually work 24/7. In other words, these ATMs are available even when the office itself is closed. So ATM security systems play a particularly important role, since they protect the bank when there are no security guards nearby.
In addition to alarm sensors and anti-skimming systems, ATMs are equipped with video surveillance systems that are needed to record information about events taking place. This kind of information is required both to find out the circumstances behind various incidents, as well as behind grievances with bank clients. There are several options for implementing ATM surveillance systems.
The first option is a local video surveillance system that is not integrated with ATM software. Such systems are based either on stand-alone DVRs, or on the ATM's computer. For this purpose, a video capture card and an additional hard disk for storing video archives are added to the ATM computer, and video surveillance software is also installed. These systems cost the least, but have a number of disadvantages.
One of the drawbacks of not having an integrated system is that it is difficult to find video footage related to certain transactions. This footage can only be found according to the time when a card ID number appears on video, which is not very convenient. In addition to this, it is possible for the internal clocks in the ATM video surveillance system and in the processing center to be out of sync. In this case it becomes even more difficult to search for video footage based on when a transaction occurred.
One of the limitations associated with a local system is the need for a special team to leave in order to retrieve video archives, while another is the low speed for data acquisition. Additionally, the DVR can fail or be damaged by hackers , but a bank's security service can only find out about this after a few days during a scheduled ATM check. It should be noted that keeping a team to constantly complete ATM loopbacks is extremely costly, as ATMs are usually located considerable distances away from each other.
Integrated Local Systems
Another type of video surveillance system is the local system that is integrated with ATM software. These systems synchronize video with transaction data, allowing the user to search for video files not only by the transaction time, but also according to the transaction data. These systems are much more effective when searching for video files by transaction, but are still limited because they are outside of the information network. Also, these systems offer advanced features. For example, if any potentially dangerous events occur, such as an incorrectly entered PIN-code, the system can switch over to a mode for recording live video at 25 fps.
Integrated Distributed Systems
The third and final type of system is the integrated system that offers remote monitoring. This kind of system allows data to flow from a locally installed DVR that is integrated into the ATM's management software into a remote monitoring center. This gives the option to not only efficiently retrieve live video in the event that ATM alarm sensors operate, but also to access video segments associated with specific transactions for any DVR / ATM. This type of system is more effective in regards to safety; however, the technical implementation of similar systems is complex due to lower-bit-rate channel connections, which ATMs very often have.
AxxonSoft's ATM-Intellect is an example of an integrated system with the option of centralized control, solving the problem of lower-bit-rate channel connections. Geographically distributed networks include local ATM video surveillance systems, remote visual-inspection control panels for ATM groups, and video surveillance system diagnosis control panels.
Local video surveillance systems are placed at an ATM's location. They can be situated either inside the ATM itself, or next to it; but if the ATM is located inside a branch office, they will often need to be in a separate room. Local systems are based on computers with specialized software that operate the camera settings, record camera video into the archives, register and synchronize alarm sensor operations with videos and other ATM events and transaction data, and even convey alarm sensor alerts and requests for video archives.
ATM transaction data enters the computer of a local system and is linked to video files. Transaction parameters are superimposed over images in captions when viewing video files or still images that are relevant to a transaction. It is possible to retrieve archived video files according to these parameters, or according to their date and time.
Several local systems are connected to a network through a remote visual-inspection control panel which is located in a bank's security unit. Alerts and related video data come from local systems to the control panel, and the security staff is able to locate video images in archives of every system. The remote visual-inspection control panel and local surveillance systems interact via TCP/IP or X.25. Optionally, not only can special separately linked channels be used for this purpose, but also established ATM networks that connect each object with the bank's processing center. If the bandwidth is low, then video will not be transmitted, and only the alarm events and the related video footage will be transmitted. The video images can also be transmitted by an operator's request.
Additional benefits of the ATM-Intellect solution include the option to control video surveillance security system diagnosis, and to equip ATMs with the help of a diagnostic control panel located at the service company.
Advantages of an Integrated Distributed System
ATM-Intellect is an integrated distributed solution for ATM security that allows not only the installation of surveillance through a network of ATMs, but also:
- Efficient remote receipt of alert events from ATM's sensors and the related video files
- The integration of video files with ATM events, alarm sensor operations, and transaction data
- Remote record retrieval in video archives by all types of data above
- Remote status monitoring of ATM hardware and video surveillance systems
The option to work on conventional lower-bit-rate ATM network channels, namely on both TCP/IP and X.25, is one of the key advantages of ATM-Intellect solution. Another unique benefit is the possibility to cut staff costs and speed up data flow, as you do not have to travel to ATM sites to in order to retrieve video archives, or to monitor the hardware health.
Yet another pro of the ATM-Intellect solution is that it is based on Intellect's integrated security platform. Using this platform, it is possible to create a unified distributed bank security system that includes video surveillance, an access control system, an in-office security/fire alarm, and an ATM security system. Intellect allows for the organization of a single monitoring center to control and manage all of the bank's security systems. It also ensures the unification of hardware and cabling. For example, a bank's CCTV system and an ATM video surveillance system that are located at the same branch can be powered by a single computer. This enables you to cut costs on creating and maintaining the security system.