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Video analytics, AI rise in 2018

A slew of high-profile breaches, including the largest data breach in South Africa's history, in conjunction with a record number of armed robberies against businesses recorded last year, has moved security to the top of the priority list for many businesses.

In addition, cyber criminal organisations are increasingly sophisticated and well-funded, constantly finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities, and widen the attack surface. And trends such as BYOD and the Internet of things, has only made this easier, by providing them with new access points.

South African companies are looking to stay up to date with the latest security trends in technology, which will enable them to opt for the most effective solutions that protect their property, personnel, customers and assets, says Roy Alves, sales director at Axis Communications.

Video analytics

Alves discusses several tech trends he sees coming to the fore in 2018. The first is the re-birth of video analytics. "For the longest time, CCTV has been purely focused on security-driven applications. However, in the last few years – especially during 2017 – security cameras have been doing more thanks to the rise in sophisticated video analytics solutions."

These days the analysis of visual data from modern network cameras supports a wide range of functions, he says. These could include in retail for store optimisation, or enhancement of the customer experience, or even protecting endangered rhinos in South Africa. The ability to analyse the feed of data from network cameras will affect all sectors in the future.

Solutions, not products

Next, Alves cites a move towards solutions, not product. "The growth in analytics, and the added insight and value this delivers to organisations in specific sectors, is closely related to other trends, namely a move towards integrated solutions and away from specific products.

"The retail sector is a great example, where we now talk to customers about solutions for store optimisation – including specific elements like queue management – and loss prevention rather than specific surveillance products in isolation."

According to Alves, this is something he is seeing across all sectors, from education to banking. Organisations are wanting to solve key business issues and improve operations, instead of buying yet another product. He says by focusing on solutions, businesses will improve system reliability, performance and most importantly, getting more return on their security surveillance investments.

Deep learning

Finally, Alves says a trend that shows great potential is the opportunity for deep learning. Machine learning and AI are being integrated into devices and solutions by giants such as Huawei, Google and Microsoft.

"Within the video surveillance landscape, deep learning has an enormous potential for enhancing security through predicting events, based on behaviour in the future. This will allow for intervention before an incident takes place."

He adds that some of Axis Communications' partners are already doing very interesting work in this area. "For instance, facial recognition software solutions provider Herta is tapping into the power of deep learning in order to dramatically improve the accuracy of its facial recognition algorithms, making these more robust and accurate within the most challenging and complex user scenarios."

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