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A Smart City is Smart, only when it is secured with Smart Surveillance!

The phase of transformations that India is going through at present is now virtually changing every facet of life in our country. Today, we are making digital payments at the retail outlet in our neighbourhood, ordering products of our day-to-day needs online, and making our travel arrangements just with few touches and clicks on our smartphone. Imagine doing that a few years ago. However, the grand scheme of things is further going to change dramatically as smart cities surface within the country.


Smart Cities come with the promise of a more evolved and ‘smarter’ management of resources, to a point that there are virtually no bottlenecks or inefficiencies. But can the management of smart cities be possible without a robust surveillance solution? Let’s have a look.


The process of making our cities smarter - The undeniable need of deploying high-tech surveillance:


India is on verge of developing smart cities that will integrate sophisticated technologies and advanced systems. This will boost the overall productivity and enhance the ease of living of its inhabitants. With it, multiple present-day city challenges – including traffic jams, pollution, policy lapses, and crime rate – will wane out from urban regions, only to eventually disappear.


In order to see how surveillance systems will add value to this ecosystem, we have to go through the labyrinth of processes that complicate a city’s day-to-day functioning. A majority of challenges faced by any city can be solved through relevant data generation and proactively taking suitable course of action. But this turns out to be a daunting task.


For instance, let’s assume that a city is countering the problem of increasing garbage accumulation. Now, this requires thorough surveys of various localities by the designated personnel. It is a fairly time-consuming process and the reports generate thereafter are still prone to inaccuracies (given human-related errors, omissions, and biases as well as the dynamically changing ground situations). However, the entire process can be completed in roughly a few minutes if we leverage analytics-based surveillance cameras. Doing so will, additionally, provide us real-time ground realities, thereby limiting inaccuracies that we would experience otherwise.


Advanced surveillance systems can also ensure greater compliance of traffic rules (which can substantially decrease traffic jams and on-road incidents), while simultaneously providing the city traffic trends, which, in turn, can enable local authorities to time-effectively undertake infrastructure development projects (for absorbing the imminent traffic flow). These factors can ensure that a city’s roads are always clutter-free and prevent revenue losses in fuel idling as well as pollution. All aspects of day-to-day city activities can be enriched by leveraging similar analytic-driven surveillance systems.


Security of citizens and the underlying infrastructure - Why a usual IP surveillance system cannot work?


Now, these vulnerabilities can be leveraged by a cyberattacker either to create a similar (or even a larger botnet), or to penetrate deeper into the underlying IT framework. So, with the need of deploying IP surveillance systems also comes a visible need to make sure that these systems are not vulnerable to predominant cybersecurity threats. Lately, a few surveillance players have eliminated this challenge by ingraining advanced cybersecurity measures with their devices. Using such devices can help to a great extent.


Hence, it can be concluded that as dominant is the need of surveillance systems in our upcoming smart cities, we also need to make certain that these surveillance systems are ‘smart’ enough to be deployed at the first place. Otherwise, we will needlessly have to incur additional expenses later in infrastructural enhancements, and that too, possibly after undergoing through an unwanted episode.


Sanjeev Gulati
Country Manager - India & SAARC, VIVOTEK

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