Taking It to the Banks
Faced with economic stresses and increasing fraudulent activity, financial institutions depend on integrator partners to help them achieve a greater return on their security investment. Chief among banking end users’ needs are intelligent video management solutions.
Even with prolonged economic turmoil wreaking havoc on so many of its institutions, large and small, the banking industry remains a solid market for installing security contractors. After all, protecting a bank’s assets has never been more urgent.
To successfully combat threats from fraud and robbery — not to mention budget pressures — banks need to embrace new technology that will enable them to identify and prosecute criminals more effectively.
Innovations like transaction to video integration, advanced video analytics and video search are enabling financial institutions to more efficiently address criminal behavior while at the same time manage their video security operations centrally.
Integrators that embrace these new technologies have the potential to bring new value to their end-user customers while reducing their own cost burden to support enterprise-class solutions.
Banks Being Hit on Multiple Fronts
To understand the burgeoning opportunities in the banking marketplace is to understand some of the difficulties banks are confronting in their business operations and security endeavors. For instance, U.S. regulators announced in October they shuttered about 100 banks in the past year, the most in a single year since 1992. According to a Bloomberg report, U.S. financial institutions have suffered more than $1 trillion in credit losses and write-downs since 2007.
Not only has the hectic financial environment led to the failures of multiple businesses, it has also resulted in extensive consolidation. The operating conditions for bank branches have changed as well. These facilities are no longer simply standalone brick-and-mortar locations; branch outlets are now common in grocery chains and standalone ATMs are becoming ubiquitous. This all means a financial institution’s dispersed geographical footprint has oftentimes increased its network and its risk profile.
These challenging times are having a direct effect on how end users, especially those that are experiencing budget cuts, address security. But statistics show that now is not the time for banks to be complacent. Robbery remains a clear and present danger; however, banks lose more than 170 times as much to fraudulent scheming.
Fraud continues to plague banks in various forms and although businesses put significant parameters in place to mitigate it, fraud is not decreasing. The 2007 American Banking Association’s Deposit Account Fraud Survey found that eight out of 10 banks experienced check fraud losses in 2006, up from 75 percent in 2003. On average, 44 percent of a community bank’s 2006 check fraud losses were attributed to organized scams while 14 percent of large banks’ check fraud losses came from professional swindlers.
The good news? A large majority (92 percent) of the attempts were caught by the banks’ prevention systems, thereby stemming the loss. These statistics show that even as banks face the crunch of the financial situation, it is paramount they continue to find ways to mitigate risks.
A Solution for Too Much Video
Video surveillance is an important part of a bank’s security strategy, but as more cameras and sensors are added to a system and the number of branches increase there is more information to sort through. With more than 68,000 branch locations in the United States alone, estimates are that banks capture more than 5 billion hours of video annually. How can bank security staff and investigators make productive use of the video?
Typical video management systems do little more than capture and store video, but today’s cutting-edge solutions are designed to bring intelligence to the massive amount of data customers are faced with every day.
The problem with video is its inherent lack of structure. In contains no notes, no tags or descriptions, nor any keywords to help you separate what’s important from what is not. That is a dilemma. It means for the most part that video is useless without a person to make sense of it, and we just don’t have enough people to keep up with all the video we are generating.
Investigators are often left to sift through countless hours of footage in order to pinpoint those vital few moments of video. Once found, the process of finding more video related to the same person or event is often just as arduous as the first inquiry. But if we could teach computers to make sense of video, even a little, that means we could make it searchable. And a good search engine, we have learned, can change the world. Just as search transformed users’ Internet experience, so too can search transform the use of video as a crime-fighting tool.
Search is what makes sense of video. A robust search function, one that enables end users to find data in seconds, is a cornerstone of making video usable. The ability to search through hours of video quickly gives customers the tools they need to build enforceable cases before a criminal can further damage their bottom line.
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