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How Surveillance and AI are Enhancing Bank Security

By Jessica Burton, Global Enterprise Software Product Marketing Manager at Seagate 

The adoption of AI in surveillance is positively impacting industries across the globe, and financial institutions are no exception. In fact, more and more financial institutions are now embracing a “digital first” mindset that goes beyond their typical online customer offerings and are making their way to the in-store experience. The addition of AI capabilities online and in-person is enabling enhanced customer service which is crucial considering the emergence of on-demand consumer expectations.In fact, American Express’ VP and head of emerging strategic partnerships was recently quoted on the importance of differentiating customer service by using a blend of automation and human assistance, and this trend goes way beyond payments technology and messaging platforms. It is also now expanding to on-the-ground, AI-powered surveillance technology that is being utilized to not only keep customers safe, but also ensure that they have the best possible customer experience.

In addition to the newly emerging benefits of surveillance though, there’s still no denying that banks are prime targets for theft. In 2018, the Federal Bureau Investigation reported 3,033 robberies at U.S. banks. To best defend themselves from intrusion and fraud, financial institutions must ensure they have a multi-layered security plan in place that includes leveraging the latest technologies to deter crime.

Leading the pack for technologies most sought after by the banking sector is surveillance cameras with artificial intelligence (AI). These video solutions provide remote monitoring and advanced AI capabilities. Their analytics send alarms based on pre-determined patterns or images that indicate high-risk scenarios, such as identified criminals entering the building or suspicious ATM tampering. The demand for technology and the data that fuels it is highlighted in Data Age 2025’s findings that the global data-sphere, meaning the amount of data created, captured, and replicated in any given year across the world, will grow from 33 zetta-bytes in 2018 to a mind-boggling 175 ZB by 2025. The direct correlation there is that a majority of this data will directly stem from IoT devices, metadata, and video surveillance.

So how are banks best leveraging surveillance cameras with AI to increase their protection? The first instance is through implementing facial recognition technology at entrances, teller windows and ATMs to make note of people of interest. Whether it’s identifying a VIP customer to ensure they receive the best service, or identifying blacklisted patrons that security will need to attend to, this technology enables a bank to take its customer service to the next level. In fact, some banks in China are even allowing customers to use their faces instead of their cards for account authorization and transactions.

The second example is through the installation of motion detection in vaults and restricted areas. For highly restricted areas, motion detection cameras can increase situational awareness. Security personnel can now receive an alert every time a safe opens, as well as view the video feed to see who is taking this action, providing them with the opportunity to verify if the individual making the withdrawal is in fact an employee. Guards can also receive an alert if a suspect enters a high-interest area of the bank during non-operating hours.

Object recognition at ATMs are also gaining traction and are used to identify PIN compromise, ATM card skimming and jack potting, all common crimes that take place at ATM terminals. When individuals commit these acts, they often try to block the nearby camera. With object recognition analytics, these cameras can notify security operators if something has been placed over the lens to block its view. This instant analysis helps to identify suspicious activity in real-time so that law enforcement can quickly intervene.

The adoption of surveillance cameras with AI substantially improves not only the customer experience, but also crime prevention efforts. It also increases the amount of video and metadata captured as well as the length of time the information can be stored for deep learning. To respond to this shift in data flow, it requires banks to deploy robust surveillance storage devices at every level of the data workflow.

Storage technology that utilizes AI is an excellent option for banks whose primary storage needs are on-site at the NVR level and that require real-time decision making. Supporting up to 64 high definition cameras and 32 AI streams, these drives can be tuned for 24/7 workloads. Furthermore, for banks storying petabytes of video and metadata from thousands of cameras, enterprise drives can be well-suited for data center environments as they have heavy read and write workloads. SEDs should also be top of mind when considering security as they are independent of the operating system and provide an added level of cybersecurity. Lastly, solid state drives should be utilized to improve server performance and make better sense of the analytics that are being captured through the AI surveillance technology.

Surveillance cameras and AI are revolutionizing the way financial institutions view bank security, customer service and as a result, storage solutions. They will inevitably impact purchasing decisions in the future and AI in surveillance will become an integral part of the security ecosystem, empowering the industry to meet expectations securely and successfully.