Guest Editorial by Rick Bentley, CEO at Cloudastructure
Many years ago, I was running an IoT company when a laptop was stolen from our office. We went to the landlord to retrieve the surveillance video only to discover the system had been unplugged for the sake of a vacuum cleaner.
I asked the landlord, “How can you buy a security system so crappy it only stores data onsite and provides no notifications when it goes down?”
He balked and informed me it was actually the best system on the market. At that moment, I decided this was an industry that needed my engineering help.
I started what is now Cloudastructure in 2003, and started developing cloud-based surveillance. But companies still shied at the public cloud, and the technology wasn’t there.
I hip-pocketed working on the project for many years. I was working at Google X as an advisor when they released Tensorflow in 2015. I began working on the issue of cloud-based surveillance in earnest again and subsequently raised more than $30 million to launch Cloudastructure.
I don’t know for a fact, but it’s entirely possible I’ve been designing cloud-based surveillance longer than any engineer in the security industry.
Today, I’d argue we have an AI surveillance system with more cloud integrity than any competitor on the market. What does that mean?
Well, servers are servers, whether you own them or Google does. What makes a server “cloud” is not just who owns the server, but who also performs the labor to install and manage the software on it.
In a cloud, the provider supplies the computers, manages and runs those computers, from the operating system (OS) through the application layer, and provides data integrity, business continuity, uptime, etc. all of which pretty much means the data has to be offsite.
It’s a simple concept, and yet it’s rather amazing how many supposed “cloud” systems violate that core value proposition with shortcuts that ultimately open customers to risk.
(Cloud-based video surveillance keeps the enterprise safe and secure. Securely store, index, and access footage in the cloud, so users always know what is happening, 24/7 from any internet-enabled device. Courtesy of Cloudastructure and Vimeo.)
Here’s how our system works:
Cloudastructure records surveillance camera footage on a dedicated form factor we call a Cloud Video Recorder or CVR.
The CVR then delivers that data encrypted to the cloud over an outbound HTTPS connection – the same way you log into Gmail or Amazon or your online bank.
This way, there are no open ports or holes in the firewall, there’s no fixed IP address, and the system requires no VPN.
Our AI/ML analytics exist within the cloud. We run all the videos through a computation pipeline of increasing difficulty: every object is indexed much the way Google indexes content), and tags faces, license plates, make/model of car, weapons, objects, animals, etc.
Our analytics can search for bad actors, based on facial recognition software that leads the industry in accuracy, or by age, gender, the color of clothing, mask vs no-mask, or for license plates, particular models of cars, as well as searching by location/camera/etc.
When clients access either their footage or analytics, they access it within that cloud – there’s no thick client software – it’s 100% browser-based, and there are no DB sync tools across NVRs, etc., that other solutions use.
The dashboard they see offers the ability to view both live view and recorded history, across all locations AND accounts with role-based access control.
Our Live View enables our users to view all their cameras with less than a 10-second delay (we are always working on making this shorter). Because it’s in the cloud, there are no limits to how many people can review recorded or live stream footage simultaneously.
If public safety officials, for example, need to review the footage of a fire or a shooting, multicasting is no trouble: if 1mbps is uploaded from CVR to the cloud, and 10 people need to log in and see the live stream, it’s still only 1mpbs upload on the customer’s network—not the 10x one might expect with10 simultaneous viewers
In short, the system is designed for simplicity and power: a true cloud-based AI/ML surveillance offering.
(See More of the cloud-based storage capabilities of Cloudastructure. Courtesy of Cloudastructure and YouTube.)
We protect the data from hackers and environmental risk, and provide multi-layered redundancy while alleviating the client entirely of managing the server or software, all while offering clients AI/ML software and analytics that allow them to transform their video data into actionable information.
We have even shed any notion of our personal preferences in terms of “which cloud” or “which hardware,” declaring ourselves agnostic in both cases in order to dedicate ourselves entirely to the cloud and software pieces.
Our federal clients tell us they love the unified view, the lack of need for IT support, the easy capacity to share clips between agencies without users being able to access other data, and the additional steps we take in dealing with privacy including SSO, 2FA, roles for privacy, FIPS 140-2, and the encryption to go with it.
Are there features today that on-premises systems have that we do not? Sure, on some of them. But that’s temporary.
On-premises systems cannot handle the processing power necessary – video files are large and processing them takes tremendous computational power that can’t be deployed cost-effectively at every location.
Cloudastructure and the AI of Tomorrow
Over the next few years, we’re aiming to be the leader in cloud-based AI capabilities.
In the near future – this year – we are aiming to introduce a new access control system that integrates with our AI system: Face and badge will be compared biometrically, trained via ML, (no need for a guard to compare, lookup records, etc.).
The system will also feature tailgate detection to prevent individuals from piggybacking through a door using one authorized badge.
Longer-term, we aim to be the team that solves persistence and tracking: AI/ML that can follow an object/person/license plate around, frame by frame.
Computer Vision generally has no memory currently: a dog that was in front of a camera is identified as a dog, maybe even recognized as a dog in the system, but once it walks out of the camera’s view and re-enters, it’s a new dog that must be recognized, and the camera is incapable of identifying that dog with any degree of certainty based on a partial view – such as a wagging tail or hind leg.
Logic that out to bad actors and you can see how transformative that will be. There is no one company that has solved this yet across the entire industry – AI is still in its toddler years.
That is the holy grail that will define technological advancement in surveillance, and it’s incredibly hard to do.
We will also aim to solve anomaly detection, so that when a camera is spray painted one night so bad actors can breach the premises, the AI/ML algorithms will realize that it is dark long past the amount of time it’s supposed to be dark, and assess the possibilities for why that is and react.
Another example would be time-distance violations – if the system reads that I’m in San Francisco one minute and my badge shows up in New York five minutes later, something is very wrong and alerts need to go out or retraining needs to happen.
Why Choose Cloudastructure?
Secure. Scalable. Better Visibility.
The Ethical Dilemmas of AI
Facial Recognition is generating and will continue to generate ethical dilemmas. It’s entirely reasonable for citizens to expect a judicious measure of privacy in public spaces, as well as on their own property.
Equally, law enforcement has a right to see faces when a crime has been committed, and our AI facial recognition software is more accurate than a human being in positively identifying a culprit.
Equally, a company has the right to check surveillance footage when a laptop has been stolen from their property (and now we’ve come full circle).
At Cloudastructure, we believe firmly in the right to privacy. We provide options for customers to switch facial recognition off if they so desire, and our recommendations to them at installation include recommendations that ensure privacy.
We also comb all federal, state, and municipal legislation to ensure our customers are in compliance.
AI has been sensationalized to a great degree in the media, most notably in the movies. But while a villainous, all-knowing SkyNet sells popcorn and cokes, it is not reality or even close to reality.
The reality is an AI-based surveillance system on your cameras can spot a fire, someone who has collapsed in a remote spot in the building, or a violent crime in progress, and alert humans to help. And in our eyes, that’s worth doing.
About the Author
Rick Bentley is the Founder and CEO of Cloudastructure, a cloud-based video surveillance system for enterprises. Bentley also founded Televoke Inc, which was eventually bought by Uber. He raised eight figures of Venture Capital from VC’s including Softbank and WI Harper and is a full-time Advisor to Google X.
Headquartered in Miami, Florida, with R&D in Silicon Valley, California, Cloudastructure’s award-winning surveillance video management system is designed and supported by world-class technical resources drawn from five continents.
The platform’s unique architecture enables AI and computer vision for scalable, flexible, cost-effective security and eliminates the resource-intensive management and data risks of on-premises solutions.
Cloudastructure enables a unified view of multiple sites for motion, facial recognition/detection, anomaly detection, object counting, LPR, advanced analytics, and compliance and delivers up to a 75% lower total cost of ownership than other systems.
To Learn More about Cloudastructure Smart Surviellance, please visit www.cloudastructure.com.
Cloudastructure Returns to Compete in 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program
American Security Today’s Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program, and now in its Seventh Year, continues to recognize industry leaders of Physical and Border Security, Cybersecurity, Emergency Preparedness – Management and Response, Law Enforcement, First Responders, as well as federal, state and municipal government agencies in the acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to Keep our Nation Secure.
Cloudastructure is a cloud-based surveillance platform integrated with powerful analytics, that uses machine learning (ML) computer vision to recognize objects, faces and more, to allow users to rapidly search video footage much like one does on the web through the company’s sophisticated object tagging capabilities.
The Cloudastructure cloud-based platform also offers an alternative to on-premises solutions, which can be costly to operate and scale and require on-site monitoring.
Cloudastructure, clients can securely store their recorded and live video feeds in the cloud through a browser, so they can safely store, index, access, monitor and review their surveillance footage in the cloud, 24/7 from any internet-enabled device.
The United States was forever changed 20 years ago on September 11th, and we were fortunate to have many of those who responded to those horrific tragedies join us at the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon.
In the days that followed 9/11, the critical needs of protecting our country catapulted us into new and innovative ways to secure our homeland – which is how many of the agencies and enterprise organizations that are today ‘ASTORS’ Awards Champions, came into being.
Our 2021 keynote speaker featured a moving and informative address from TSA Administrator and Vice-Admiral of the United States Coast Guard (Ret), David Pekoske; to our attendees who traveled from across the United States and abroad, on the strategic priorities of the 64,000 member TSA workforce in securing the transportation system, enabling safe, and in many cases, contactless travel.
Legendary Police Commissioner William Bratton of the New York Police Department, the Boston Police Department, and former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department was also live at the event, meeting with attendees and signing copies of his latest work ‘The Profession: A Memoir of Community, Race, and the Arc of Policing in America,’ courtesy of the generosity of our 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Premier Sponsors.
The 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is Proudly Sponsored by New PLATINUM SPONSOR: NEC National Security Systems (NSS), New Premier Sponsors Rajant Corporation, and guardDog AI, and returning Sponsors to date, Automatic Systems, RX Global, and SIMS Software!
The continually evolving ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program will emphasize the trail of Accomplished Women in Leadership in 2022, as well as the Significance and Positive Impact of Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in our Next Generation of Government and Industry Leaders. #MentorshipMatters
So be on the lookout for exciting upcoming announcements of Speakers, Presenters, Book Signing Opportunities, and Attendees at the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon in November of 2022 in New York City!
Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at https://americansecuritytoday.com/ast-awards/.
|Access Control/ Identification||Personal/Protective Equipment||Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism|
|Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System||Interagency Interdiction Operation||Cloud Computing/Storage Solution|
|Facial/IRIS Recognition||Body Worn Video Product||Cyber Security|
|Video Surveillance/VMS||Mobile Technology||Anti-Malware|
|Audio Analytics||Disaster Preparedness||ID Management|
|Thermal/Infrared Camera||Mass Notification System||Fire & Safety|
|Metal/Weapon Detection||Rescue Operations||Critical Infrastructure|
|License Plate Recognition||Detection Products||COVID Innovations|
|Workforce Management||Government Security Programs||And Many Others to Choose From!|
Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?
Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2021 over 200 distinguished guests representing Federal, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms gathered from across North America, Europe, and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields which included:
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- ICE Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI)
- Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
- The Federal Protective Service (FPS)
- Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
- DHS Science & Technology (S&T)
- The National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Health (NCDMPH)
- The American Red Cross
- The InfraGard National Alliance
- The Metropolitan Police (MPD)
- The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)
- Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS)
- The Federal Air Marshals Service
- The San Diego Harbor Police Foundation, and Many More!
Corporate firms, the majority of which return year to year to build upon their record of accomplishment include:
AlertMedia, Allied Universal, AMAROK, ATI Systems, Attivo Networks, Axis Communications, Automatic Systems of America, BriefCam, Canon U.S.A., Fortior Solutions, guardDog.ai, Hanwha Techwin of America, HID Global, Mark43, IPVideo Corporation, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Lumina Analytics, NEC National Security Systems, NICE Public Safety, OnSolve, PureTech Systems, Quantum Corporation, Rave Mobile Safety, Regroup Mass Notification, Robotic Assistance Devices, Rajant Corporation, SafeLogic, Senstar Corporation, ShotSpotter, Singlewire Software, SolarWinds Worldwide, Teledyne FLIR, Valor Systems, and Wiresecure, just to name a few!
Why American Security Today?
American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State, and local levels of government as well as firms allied to the government.
American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers’ eyes throughout the story with cutting-edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.
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AST Digital Publications are distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals, in federal, state, local, and private security sectors.
‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’
AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.
Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture, and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.
These experts are from Government at the federal, state, and local level as well as from private firms allied to the government.
AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website, and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.
AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.
Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.
(See just a few highlights of American Security Today’s 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East. Courtesy of My Pristine Images and Vimeo.)
To learn more about ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, please see the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2021 ‘A Year in Review’.
The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of Annual ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firm’s products and services, including video interviews and more.
It serves as your Go-To Source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2021 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and/or organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.
From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection, and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.
It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.
For a complete list of 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, begin HERE.
For more information on All Things American Security Today, as well as the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at email@example.com.
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