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Nancy Feig
Nancy Feig
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IP-Based Surveillance Leads to Capture of Serial Bank Robber

IP-based surveillance leads to capture of serial bank robber.

Offering a glimpse into the future of bank security, Internet Protocol (IP)-based equipment led to the recent capture of a serial bank robber, according to Toronto-based Visual Defence. "The video surveillance system installed by Visual Defence ... allowed us to provide police investigators with high-quality images of the robbery suspect," said Zohar Hamenachem, chief security officer for Tel Aviv-based Israel Discount Bank ($38 billion in assets), in a release.

Israel Discount Bank's security system includes the Visual Defence digital video recording (DViR) platform, which integrates security systems at the bank's branches, including closed-circuit TVs and the burglar alarm system. "The system not only alerts us to potential threats, but it also automatically records all aspects of the event, from video to pre- and post-alarm reporting and response actions," Hamenachem said. "The system gives us the ability to view our response and fine-tune it for future events."

Visual Defence focuses on security convergence, integrating multiple security systems into one solution via an IP infrastructure, says Bethany Moir, marketing manager for the company. This enables a bank's security systems, including biometrics, intrusion detection, alarms and transactional data, to interact with each other over public networks and enhances functionality, she explains.

For example, one of Visual Defence's converged solutions allows banks to automate event-response procedures using a flow chart tool, Moir adds. "The flow chart is then translated into step-by-step instructions for the operator to follow when an event occurs," she says, noting that "all of the operator responses are recorded" for future evaluation. In addition, as banks look for additional return on their investments, they can tap IP-based cameras to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, Moir says, observing the number of people who pick up product information from an in-branch display, for example.

More Control and Flexibility

IP-based security cameras and systems give banks a command and control aspect they don't have with analog, says Jeff Vining, research VP at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner. For example, a command center can have central control over all the cameras in the network and can easily pinpoint where there is a security breach, he explains. Additionally, IP-based security systems offer much more scalability compared to analog cameras, he says, noting that they're also less expensive because they lack expensive cabling.

According to Vining, IBM (Armonk, N.Y), Cisco (San Jose, Calif.) and Mobotix (Kaiserslautern, Germany) now offer IP-based video surveillance and security solutions. IBM offers a solution specifically tailored to banking, which it claims can provide remote video viewing from anywhere on the network, he says. But the market is about five years away from a complete IP-based security system offering, Vining asserts. He notes that the failings of IP-based surveillance lie in overloading the bandwidth.

The global market for IP-based surveillance servers and cameras will experience a compound annual growth rate of nearly 11 percent through 2009, according to New Delhi-based market-research firm RNCOS. The total market for IP-based closed-circuit TVs was about $227 million in 2005 and will reach almost $12 billion by 2010, the firm predicts.

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