Just as summer usually means hotter weather, baseball, and getaways, it also is the season for education-oriented conferences. After all, why shouldn’t teachers and administrators be forced inside on a beautiful day just like their students often are? These conferences continue to be important because they introduce new topics as well as new approaches to old topics – both helping to improve the state of affairs in schools. Especially in the area of campus safety the integration of technology towards preventing and reducing the impact of incidents is significant and growing. One clear example is Kaspersky's recent warning about hackers using the security video network to gain access to overall network resources - this issue probably wouldn't have been talked about until recently, but now is a clear threat.
Viakoo is an exhibitor and sponsor at two campus safety events this summer: the recently concluded Campus Safety National Forum in Washington, and the National School Safety Conference in Las Vegas later this month. Whether it is using technology to engage with students who otherwise be doing mischief, deterring bad activities, fast detection of active criminal activity, or enabling processes and procedures to work as they should, the growth of technology in school safety is clearly beneficial (and more is needed!).
While it is still early days, the impact of the “Internet of Things”, or IoT, on school safety can already be seen. Viakoo is an Industrial IoT company with our technology focus on managing collections of devices that work together to accomplish a given task. Our first solution is for the management of large scale IP security video networks, and with over 90% of school using video surveillance there is an important connection between Viakoo and schools. In a recent survey Viakoo found that over 80% of physical security professionals have had undetected issues in their surveillance system, with a similar number reporting that they have gone to find video evidence only to find that it wasn’t there. While each part of the system may be working as it should (e.g. camera devices, video management systems, switches, storage, etc.) there clearly are problems in managing them towards accomplishing the task (in this case, properly capturing video).
It is in the realm of industrial IoT to solve that problem, but it must also be in a form that fits the application, the workplace, and the budget. Viakoo’s challenge with respect to schools is that problems must be identified immediately, so that preventive action can be taken (e.g. when a camera device goes down, send a guard to monitor that area). It must also fit how school security works, in that there is a variety of people who need to be informed and coordinated (in other words, a team workflow). And it also has to be cost-effective so it can be afforded within the school budget.
It was these criteria that set us on the path to create Viakoo. In short, for pennies per day per stream Viakoo will send a push notification to your smartphone immediately when an issue is detected, along with information on where the problem is and suggestions on how to fix it. It also enables easily sharing that information with others on the team. Getting started is as easy as filling out a web form – typically a customer is activated on Viakoo within a couple days or less.
To highlight our focus on campus safety, and how Viakoo can help improve it, Viakoo is donating use of the solution to 4 lucky schools in July. Each week this month we’ll be drawing a winner who can nominate the school of their choice, starting tomorrow. We’ll be drawing from the leads we gather at the campus safety conferences this summer, along with people who register on our website. The weekly winners will be posted on our website as well, so you can check to see who has won. We all care about making schools a safer place, and whether it is IoT, automated physical security system verification, or technologies still in development, Viakoo is committed to bringing meaningful solutions to help schools with their security efforts.