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The Boring Blog

Milestone Admins, We have to do more in 20 min. Here is How.


Considering that the basic premise for ALL surveillance systems worldwide has, for many years, relied on real live humans to watch cameras, set those cameras up in optimal environments, maximize use of networks, then tie all that information into a VMS, it is kind of astonishing how inefficient that system really is.

Add to this the act of maintaining that network of cameras – updating passwords, firmware, adding and removing components, moving cameras around to gain greater efficiencies - and it is apparent that there are many layers of the process which rely on humans to perform, well…tasks that are repetitive and kind of dull.

Studies have proven that even the best security administrators, highly trained and dedicated to their role though they might be, start to drift off after only twenty minutes.

Now, astral-travelling might be fun sometimes, and in the right circumstances it can apparently be beneficial, as it gives the tired mind a little breathing space, like having a power nap. However, considering that the safety and well being of perhaps thousands of innocent people might be riding on that security admin’s bright-eyed enthusiasm and attention to the details required to correctly set up a medium to large VMS, that twenty-minute ‘sweet spot’ for effective management is a real problem.

"..that fatigue will inevitably lead to errors, which reduce the efficiency..."

Nobody is to blame for this issue - it is simply a fact of life. With relatively limited stimulus the human brain can only stay focused for so long before it gets bored, and no amount of coffee is going to fix it.

But when you consider that literally every surveillance system in the world is operating on a flawed premise – that every setting on every camera is optimized, all firmware is up-to-date, passwords are consistently changed to avoid a cyber breach or hacked camera, and that someone or even some team has the time and the focus to efficiently monitor, audit and remediate issues – it becomes clear that the world needs to find a better way.

Breaking it down

Breaking those issues down, it is possible to address all of them in a much more efficient manner, whereby a security administrator can save as much as 97 percent of the time it takes to perform routine tasks.

Changing passwords for example? That generally takes around 30 seconds. Consider one tired admin changing passwords on 500 cameras, and that is a whole lot of repetitive work. A tool that allows mass changes to the VMS across all of those 500 cameras, regardless of make or model, will save countless hours of manual input.

Changing camera settings is a similar process, and again can be optimized massively by utilizing a tool that can make those changes in bulk. Changing codec, frame rate, resolution, streaming mode, motion detection threshold and smart codecs can/should all be performed in bulk using appropriate tools, which again saves our jaded admin an awful lot of repetitive manual input.

Monitoring those camera settings and generating reports is a vital part of running an efficient security ecosystem. Providing information on stream resolution, IP/MAC address, device credentials and drivers along with a snapshot of each camera from the VMS will provide an easy way to monitor, audit and remediate any settings that are not conforming to the set standard.

Repetitive tasks are inherently arduous, and lead to fatigue. Coupled with a heavy workload and multiple manual keystrokes, that fatigue will inevitably lead to errors, which reduce the efficiency of a system as well as effectively waste countless hours of a highly trained professional’s working life. It is necessary to find a better way to perform these vital tasks, before the twenty-minute syndrome marginalizes both hard work, and a sophisticated video management system (VMS). Tools like The Boring Toolbox can make this a reality…..

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