Cisco Systems is taking a closer look at enterprise security with plans to merge video-surveillance capabilities with its Internet Protocol (IP) networking technology.
The networking giant plans to develop and roll out the new security systems with the help of technology from SyPixx Networks, a company that Cisco recently announced plans to buy for $51 million.
Once the deal is finalized, Cisco will give customers the ability to integrate existing surveillance systems into a broad physical-security platform that will offer real-time access to video from anywhere on a corporate network.
The SyPixx portfolio includes analog-to-digital video encoders and decoders, video-transmission gear, video recording and management software, and servers. Most of SyPixx's customers are in the retail, casino gaming, transportation, and government sectors, said Steve Collen, marketing director at Cisco.
"This technology connects current physical-security systems across the network, including cameras, keyboards, and video storage," he said. "Video can be streamed to any group or place on the network for review at any time."
In addition, said Collen, video traffic on the network will be protected by existing network-security features, such as Cisco's Self Defending Network platform. Collen explained that this video content will be easy to access and archive, as events can be tagged for future reference, unlike analog video that requires a more time-consuming review to pinpoint a specific incident.
With video delivered on an IP network, software applications could monitor that video intelligently. And, said Collen, there is the potential for applications to notify an organization, via e-mail or phone, about potential security or safety incidents.
The New York State court system, as one example of this kind of IP-based security platform, has a network of some 350 IP cameras that record activity in court facilities statewide and send the captured feeds to a central storage system.
Another example is the New Orleans video-surveillance system that operates on a municipal Wi-Fi network. That system is credited with helping authorities reduce crime in the city.
Following the SyPixx acquisition, which likely will be completed by the end of April, physical security will become a new technology unit at Cisco.