Video surveillance has advanced rapidly since CCTV was invented in 1942. However, the ongoing growth in the use of video surveillance brings with it new challenges for data storage, and as the role of CCTV grows ever more important, it is critical that it is managed and protected in the correct way.
In particular, it’s vital to consider data storage and security, ensuring it abides by local and international laws and regulations. For digital evidence, it’s important to be able to offer seamless scalability to accommodate rapid growth, along with a comprehensive suite of data security features that meet strict requirements for file integrity, privacy, chain of custody, and compliance.
Key Issues: Capacity, Retention and Chain of Custody
In terms of capacity, video and digital images are exceptionally heavy users of storage space and the guidelines around managing evidentiary data are key to it being recognized as a valid source by the criminal justice system.
Many organizations require higher-resolution video to ensure compliance with insurance providers, maximize loss recovery and strengthen criminal cases in court, for example. It is therefore essential that data is stored in a solution that is scalable and cost-effective, allowing them to add capacity as needed, since running out of storage space is not an option.
Storage solutions that incorporate policy-based rules for data retention can help police departments to significantly boost their storage efficiency by automatically keeping all surveillance videos only for their legally mandated retention period. Similarly, a solution that can enable a digital chain of custody, including an audit trail, will help prove that any digital evidence is correct and has not been deleted or altered in any way and who accessed that information.
By implementing high quality storage solutions, the owner of the surveillance data – whether that’s local government or a business with its own CCTV – can be sure that it can be utilized as evidence. And when it comes to catching and prosecuting criminals, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The Nexsan Approach
Nexsan Assureon and Unity Assureon Archive (UAA) protect your information better than any other archive solution on the market, enabling organizations to meet regulatory demands while ensuring data does not become corrupted or worse yet, deleted before its time. If Assureon or UAA discovers lost or corrupted data during regular background maintenance sweeps, it will fix it first then let you know that a problem has been handled.
Surveillance videos require Chain of Custody and immutability tools to keep them admissible as evidence in legal proceedings. Unlike competing solutions, Assureon guarantees the integrity of archived data through the use of file serialization, file fingerprinting, audit trails, self-auditing, and self-healing capabilities. Because the Assureon secure archive is designed to work transparently with existing applications, no APIs are needed to deliver these benefits for the physical security network.
In order to ensure optimum storage for high-value surveillance solutions should encompass:
File Integrity – Each time a file is saved, a unique fingerprint is generated using both an MD5 and SHA1 hash of its contents and metadata, so history and contents cannot be altered after the fact (WORM storage).
Data Availability – Each file is assigned a unique serial number to ensure no files are missing or inappropriately added. Every file is checked every 90 days to make sure it’s still in the archive.
Secure Time – Tampering with the system time clock is prevented by using a global, redundant, secure time source.
File Redundancy – Each file and its fingerprint are stored twice in the Assureon. The second copy is either stored in a separate RAID disk set in the same Assureon or on a remote Assureon.
Data Verification – Files are continually verified against their fingerprints, repaired using their copies and safeguarded by RAID.
No Backups Needed – Redundant file copies within the secure archive system eliminate the need for costly backup and restore operations quickly by utilizing shortcuts.
To find out how Nexsan can help you or request a demo, please visit: https://www.nexsan.com/demo-request/