Can Retailers (or Anyone) Define and Meet Security Video SLAs?

by John Gallagher | Mar 18, 2015 5:25:53 PM

A service-level agreement, or SLA, is a contract between a service provider and a customer that specifies, in measurable terms, what services the service provider will furnish and to what performance expectations. In many cases an SLA is determined by a combination of business needs, budget and the capability of the underlying technologies. End-customers want their infrastructure to work as expected without failures. However, one commonality in the video surveillance world is the difficulty in providing meaningful SLAs when it comes to defining and negotiating services. Where we’ve seen this particularly impacting business is in retail. Not only is security video used for safety and security reasons, the security video network is an active element in operational workflows such as analytics for traffic analysis, SOA deployments for loss prevention, and defining staffing requirements and schedules.

In a recent blog posting from Anton Chuvakin, VP of Research for Security and Risk Management at Garner, Anton took aim at the question of how SLAs should be determined in the context of managed security service providers (MSSP). In many cases the determination of how to respond to an alert must be done internally, but if the monitoring is outsourced through an MSSP the data needed to determine the response may not be there. In this situation the SLA is a shared responsibility, but with the primary data being the hands of only one entity (the MSSP).

The Viakoo solution was developed not only to detect issues (monitoring), but also to quickly resolve them with simple, clear guidance. Not only do we enable effective communication between Security and IT departments, but also between customers, vendors and service providers. Quickly resolving network-level issues that impact SLAs requires all parties to collaborate from a common view of reality – that’s what Viakoo does. An MSSP, working with an organization and their partners, can provide each party with direct access to the configuration, diagnostics and guidance needed to properly resolve issues. Because there are a variety of relationships between the MSSP and customer, Viakoo enables flexibility how an MSSP and customer can work together with the data and insights generated by Viakoo.

More importantly, a platform such as Viakoo can provide cumulative uptime measures, response measures, compliance measures and other data that can not only drive operational improvements, but also be used as a basis for holding MSSPs accountable to their SLAs.

In the emerging age of Big Data, there is an opportunity to build strategic insight and capabilities. When it comes to mission-critical and/or highly sensitive data, there also must be some guards and controls to ensure the customer’s organization is protected. Viakoo was built to support InfoSec policies that provide protection, while enabling rapid problem resolution. Sign up for a Viakoo demo account to better understand how you can define and manage to meaningful SLAs for security video networks.

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