It’s hard to believe, but IFSEC 2018 is just around the corner, and the Meraki team will be back for a second year. From 19 – 21 June, stop by Booth D520 at ExCeL London to chat with the team, ask for a demo, and see some of the newest MV security camera developments and feature releases in action. Get hands-on with MV12 hardware and see the tiny camera that’s shaking up the surveillance and video analytics worlds with built-in computer vision and machine learning.
The Merakians staffing the booth will be happy to answer all your burning questions about the rest of the Meraki portfolio as well!
Since Meraki launched the MV family nearly a year and a half ago, the wishes coming in from the Make a Wish tool in the dashboard have not stopped flowing. One of the most consistently requested features? Motion alerts. Today, this handy tool is available across all MV hardware models.
Whether for keeping tabs on valuable merchandise in a retail store, increasing the efficiency of a shipping and receiving dock, or keeping school grounds clear of trespassers, motion alerts have enormous business potential across all verticals. The engineering team behind MV has created an exceptionally straightforward way to implement alerts and we can’t wait to see how our customers use them.
Once a camera’s alerting schedule, minimum event trigger length, and alerting region have been selected, alert behavior can be configured on the Alerts page (alongside offline device alerting). The default alerting email(s) can be used, or add a motion-alert-specific email address for more granularity.
Each alert generated by the dashboard will link directly to the relevant video clip, no manual video scrubbing needed. Take a peek below.
Pro-tip: most major mobile carriers allow you to send emails to an SMS phone number (see the list of phone number “conversions” by carrier below). Take advantage of this “hack” in the dashboard to get motion alerts sent directly to a mobile device as a text.
A little over a year ago, Cisco Meraki launched a brand new product category and expanded its portfolio to include security cameras. The introduction of MV brought a revolutionary architecture to the physical security world, placing video storage and processing onboard each camera. Today we are announcing MV12, representing the next leap forward in security cameras and advanced video analytics.
Unlike many other video analytics solutions that require bulky servers, expensive software, and oftentimes dedicated camera hardware to operate, MV12 stays true to Meraki’s core values by offering an all-in-one solution. By taking advantage of the same hardware that powers many of the world’s smartphones, and placing one on every single camera, the heavy lifting of analyzing video happens at the edge–not in the cloud or on a server.
What does this mean in terms of functionality? At launch, MV12 will already be implementing machine-learning-based computer vision, which are just fancy words describing the cameras’ ability to detect people (not to be confused with “facial recognition,” which ties images to unique identities) and get more accurate over time. MV12 uses this functionality as the foundation for tools like people counting. But best of all, this is just the starting point for a multitude of functionalities that can be implemented on the MV12 platform.
Plus, the same standard license introduced with MV21 and MV71 gives users access to every part of the dashboard, providing not just the analytics piece but also the ability to configure, manage, and monitor a global deployment of cameras from anywhere in the world. This makes MV12 extraordinarily scalable, efficient, and cost effective for a multitude of deployments.
The new product family also brings an exciting laundry list of additional hardware features and enhancements:
We’re back at it again for Cisco Live! EMEAR next week — for the first time ever, Cisco’s largest event in Europe will take place at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain from January 29 to February 2, 2018. Our teams have been working hard since the last Cisco Live! in Cancun and are excited to show you our latest announcements.
You can’t miss Meraki’s booth right at the entrance to the World of Solutions. We’ll be fully stocked with 9 one-to-one demos; live cameras to showcase in-booth; technical sessions; an Innovation Showcase by our SVP, Todd Nightingale; dedicated demo and workshops in the DevNet Zone; as well as a packed schedule of customer meetings and fully sold-out customer party.
It’s not too late to sign up for some of our technical sessions at the event. Take a look at the Session Catalog today to register!
The DevNet Zone at Cisco Live! Barcelona is an area for engineers and developers to come together and innovate using Cisco technologies and platforms. In addition to our demo pod, where you can meet our team and get a personalized demo, we have a variety of workshops below that are still open for registration. Sign up today!
Tuesday, January 30 9:00 – 9:45 AM & 5:00 – 5:45 PM: Automation with Meraki Provisioning API (Courtney Batiste, Solutions Architect)
5:00 – 5:45 PM: Everything about Bluetooth Apps and Asset Tracking (Colin Lowenberg, Solutions Architect)
Wednesday, January 31 9:00 – 9:45 AM: Analytics with Meraki CMX Location API (Cory Guynn, Solutions Architect)
Thursday, February 1 9:00 – 9:45 AM: Analytics with Meraki CMX Location API (Cory Guynn, Solutions Architect)
Security cameras can serve a multitude of different functions, from providing live footage to a security guard, to analyzing customer behavior in a retail location, to supplying evidence in a liability claim. With each of these use cases comes a different retention policy. Scheduled recording and motion-based retention, both available in public beta now, allow users to customize their camera settings to match their specific retention needs.
Hot on the heels of some otherproductimprovements in just the last couple of months, the engineering team has worked tirelessly to produce features that would help accommodate the most commonly received request from MV customers.
Scheduled recording minimizes extraneous recording for customers who only use cameras during certain hours—think process controls in a factory—with the potential to greatly extend storage duration. Plus, scheduled recording can be used to disable historical footage altogether in instances where only live footage is needed and/or permissible.
Motion-based retention works differently than other motion-based recording solutions on the market. Instead of triggering a camera to record only when it senses motion, which can often result in false negatives and lost footage, MV uses a hybrid cloud processing approach to give a more reliable result. MV will record all footage and then, using the same motion indexing engine as the Motion Search tool, will gradually and intelligently trim segments of footage which contain no motion. This gives users the flexibility to retain the most recent 72 continuous hours for extra security before trimming out the motionless video. This approach also means that motion-containing video segments can be better padded to ensure no valuable footage is lost.
Based on the motion data from all cameras that have been deployed since launch in October, 95% of MVs are expected to record 30 days or more at Standard image quality.
To enable schedules and motion-based retention, simply choose a camera and go to its settings page. Select the “Quality and Retention” tab. To create a new schedule, select “Scheduled” and “Change Schedules.” Select an already-created schedule te mplate, or “New schedule.” Then, just drag the time sliders to adjust when cameras are recording. Click on any timeline to create multiple recording segments in one day.
Motion-based retention can also be enabled on this page. The chart on this page shows how much motion that specific camera actually captured in the past week. Based on an average of the same time period, the dashboard will provide an estimate of the total retention capacity for the selected camera. Adjusting the image quality from Standard to Enhanced will also affect this value. Use scheduled recording in conjunction with motion-based retention to build the retention plan that works best for you.
Finally, video exports now feature timestamps embedded as watermarks. This small-but-mighty feature update will help provide users a more robust experience, should video need to be shared as evidence with law enforcement. Timestamps include the camera name, date, time, and timezone to ensure absolute clarity when reviewing footage.
Optimized retention is now available in beta. To take advantage of this functionality in your network, go to Network-wide, then click General. At the bottom of the page, select “Yes” in the dropdown menu next to ‘Try beta firmware.’ Please proceed with caution, however, if your cameras are housed in a combined network, as enabling this setting will apply to all device types in that network, not just cameras.
If you still haven’t gotten your hands on an MV trial, be sure to contact us to learn more.
In the enterprise technology industry it is often common practice for important customers, partners, and industry analysts to be presented a roadmap. This long established tradition communicates the vendor’s goals and aspirations for their product, while setting the expectations for the recipient.
In a rapidly changing world this traditional approach can hamper the productivity of small, highly agile teams like those at Meraki. It can artificially force a focus on feature delivery, not on solving customer problems. To ensure the MV team can respond quickly to market changes and customer needs, the team follows a set of goals that help communicate the intent and vision for the future of the product.
The goals underpinning the development plans are split into three areas. These drive our internal discussions and allow parties external to the organisation to determine our priorities, taking the place of a feature by feature roadmap.
Cost reduction through architectural simplification
Firstly we must deliver immediate value. This must be simple to understand and easy to achieve. In the context of MV this is our architecture: centralized cloud control with video stored at the edge. Eliminating the Network Video Recorder (NVR) and Video Management Server (VMS) has immediate up front savings and continued operational savings.
Operational simplification through automation
Next we must ensure that customers benefit during day-to-day operations. An example of this goal is Motion Search’s elimination of the dull and highly time consuming process of reviewing video. MV processes all video on the camera and lets users quickly find the footage of interest.
Business value through intelligence
Finally, we look at how security cameras can offer value beyond their primary purpose. 90+% of recorded video is never viewed, but what if the camera can analyze what it sees without human intervention? Can a camera be seen as a sensor in the context of marketing or occupational safety? MV has not yet delivered in this area, but it is an area of intense interest that will shape the future capability of the product.
The recent launch of Meraki MV security cameras is just the first step on the road. As has been the case with the development of other Meraki products, early adopters of cloud managed technology continue to benefit from ongoing feature development. As Meraki continues to deliver solutions to challenging problems, so existing customers investment in Meraki continues to improve.
Providing up-to-date information to the right people at the right time has always been a fundamental driver of telecommunications technology. With Meraki MV security cameras it is exceptionally easy to provide situational awareness to first responders in emergency situations.
Due to its cloud architecture and browser-based interface, the MV system allows any number of police officers or firefighters access to video from any device with a modern web browser. This ability to gain situational awareness in just a few minutes can have a big impact on public safety when a crisis occurs.
Four major attributes of MV’s functionality enable this capability. The first is the automatic delivery of video to remote viewers through the cloud. This automatic cloud stream is dynamically created when the Meraki dashboard detects the user’s device can’t connect directly to the camera for instance, from outside of the building. This secure encrypted video delivery eliminates the need for a VPN and the associated complex configuration.
The Meraki cloud will automatically detect whether the viewing computer is in the same network as the cameras, sending video directly or proxying through the cloud.
The second is that because the cloud acts as a proxy for the video coming from the MV cameras, video is only streamed once from the camera to the cloud but many times from the cloud to the clients. This allows the system to scale in an emergency to allow for many first responders to have access to video simultaneously. This happens automatically and dynamically with no pre-planning or configuration required.
Video streams once from the cameras to the cloud, but can stream to multiple remote computers simultaneously.
Thirdly, the implementation of HLS for video transport means video can stream to any device with a modern web browser. In an emergency situation all you need is access to an Internet-connected device and a web browser: no special computer, no software to install, and no wasted time.
Finally, comprehensive access controls allow for login and video viewing privileges to only be assigned to those who should have them. These privileges can be integrated with existing user databases with Meraki’s support for SAML, or new access can be provisioned directly within a couple of minutes with just a user’s email address.
Combined, Meraki MV’s features offer a new level of capability and customizability when it comes to public safety. When making the right decision is paramount, the value of having rapid access to the right information cannot be overestimated. Contact us today to find out more about MV and to arrange a trial to test the technology for yourself.
A big challenge of managing the physical security of a large office, school, or other campus is keeping an eye on what’s important at any given time. One way to help streamline this daunting task is grouping relevant video feeds—whether by location, tag, or anything else—into video walls. This not only helps with the organization of seemingly endless video streams, but also creates screens that can be used in a ‘command center’ setup in the main security office or elsewhere.
In contrast to many hard-to-manage and/or clunky video management software (VMS) packages available today, the browser-based Meraki dashboard provides a simple and streamlined experience. Meraki MV doesn’t require any additional software packages or plugins, and best of all, with the dashboard interface, you can create a video wall in just a few clicks. See it in action:
The last couple of weeks have shown how vulnerable our connected world can be. Reports of a new wave of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks at a scale beyond what has been seen before are attracting worldwide headlines. With traffic floods now reaching the terabyte scale, only those with global resources and deep pockets can withstand such an onslaught.
“The attack began around 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 20, and initial reports put it at approximately 665 Gigabits of traffic per second.”
KrebsOnSecurity Hit with Record DDoS – KrebsOnSecurity – September 21st 2016
Powering this new wave of cyber weaponry is the Internet of Things (IoT). A nascent breed of devices taking their steps into the world at a time where the value of something is dramatically amplified by its integration into the network. Unfortunately this rapid push to connect everything has not always been balanced with the rapid push to secure the underlying technology architecture.
“That cyberattack was powered by something the internet had never seen before: an army made of more than one million hacked Internet of Things devices.”
How 1.5 Million Connected Cameras Were Hijacked to Make an Unprecedented Botnet Motherboard – September 29th 2016
One of the unwilling device types in these recent attacks are IP enabled security cameras. These cameras and recording systems are typically well connected and remotely accessed. When this is combined with poorly implemented web interfaces, default passwords, and a lack of cyber security oversight, systems are effectively waiting to be exploited.
“Attackers used an army of hijacked security cameras and video recorders to launch several massive internet attacks last week, prompting fresh concern about the vulnerability of millions of “smart” devices”
The Meraki MV Security Camera delivers on the promise of simple connected devices without security compromise. At the heart of MV is the same core software powering other Meraki devices like wireless access points and security appliances. This code has been honed over the last 10 years, battle tested in the most demanding of locations, and it provides the most secure control infrastructure of any security camera available.
All MV management traffic and video transport is encrypted by default: it’s not even possible to configure MV to operate without encrypted communications. Administrative access to the cameras is only available through the Meraki dashboard, an interface that can be secured with advanced technologies such as two factor authentication.
Beyond the individual devices, the Meraki infrastructure is housed in SSAE16 / SAS70 Type II certified data centres, undergoes daily penetration testing, and is covered by our security rewards program. These policies and processes allow us to meet the most rigorous of customer requirements, including the need to be PCI compliant.
The initial savings of a low cost or consumer grade security camera system may prove expensive later on. If it is trivial for cameras to be used to attack legitimate businesses and other organisations, how much extra effort would it take for someone to start snooping through those same cameras?
With the advent of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the MV team will be posting more information on MV’s security architecture to highlight our commitment to a safe world of connected devices. Until then, for further information please contact us to find out more.
Meraki MV security cameras have arrived, and they remove much of the hassle IT administrators and security camera specialists have dealt with for decades. With high write endurance, solid state storage on each camera, the MV family has turned the network video recorder (NVR) and standalone video management software (VMS) into relics of the past. Management through the beloved browser-based Meraki dashboard allows users to view video from anywhere, saving time and money. MV cameras, available in both an indoor and outdoor model, have been designed from beginning to end with simplicity in mind.
MV21 Indoor Security Camera
MV71 Outdoor Security Camera
Why security cameras? Hot on the heels of the Meraki Communications MC74 launch in May, Meraki is continuing to expand its mission of simplifying not just networking, but IT as a whole. The team has become adept in identifying areas of IT that are particularly outdated or unnecessarily complicated—think PBX and WLAN controllers. With this in mind, adding cloud managed security cameras to the Meraki line up was a no-brainer.
Security cameras are necessary to keep every business, big or small, safe and operating smoothly. While consumers have begun to take note of some cloud-based security camera solutions, the reality in the enterprise world is that these plug-and-play solutions do not exist, and the consumer-focused solutions have significant bandwidth limitations of their own.
Today’s enterprise security solutions rely on on-premise hardware, the NVR,to store video footage. On top of the hardware and operating costs associated with these on-prem solutions, the NVR can cause major headaches when administrators need to retrieve video after an event has occurred. Because of the high costs associated with installing up-to-date surveillance solutions, many businesses continue, even in 2016, to operate using NVRs in conjunction with DVDs, thumb drives, and VHS in some cases. The brand new MV family removes all of these pain points and streamlines the entire security camera interaction, from installation to management to software updates, in typical Meraki fashion.
A real security camera spotted in the wild by a Merakian a few weeks ago.
MV utilizes 128GB of industrial grade, high write endurance, solid state storage on every camera to eliminate the NVR. At launch, each camera will be able to store up to 20 days of 24/7, 720p footage on the edge. With continuous software optimizations and updates (scheduled by administrators and pushed automatically from the cloud, as with the rest of the Meraki full stack), this 20 day figure will only increase over time.
The Meraki MV edge storage architecture. Video is stored on the edge of each camera and can be streamed locally or remotely. The Meraki dashboard identifies if the viewing computer is in the local network automatically.
Two models will be available to ship mid-October: the MV21 indoor model features a simplified industrial design, cutting down significantly on installation and maintenance time, while the MV71 outdoor model is IP66 weather rated and IK10 impact rated to withstand demanding environments. Both models feature infrared illumination for nighttime vision, so users won’t be left in the dark.
Best of all, MV is managed through the Meraki dashboard, right alongside our wireless, switching, network security, mobility management, and communications solutions. Users can create video walls in a snap to group video streams and view them from anywhere in the world with any Internet connection. Of course, this begs the very important question—how does this affect a user’s bandwidth consumption? The Meraki dashboard is intelligent enough to automatically detect whether the viewing computer is in the same network as the cameras and will stream video locally over the LAN if possible, saving bandwidth on local monitoring.
What about when the user is remote? The dashboard will proxy video through the cloud to the viewer. All MV communications, both management and video delivery are encrypted. It is not possible to configure the system to deliver video over an un-encrypted protocol. In order to minimize WAN bandwidth usage in this use case and to improve the overall user experience of MV, Meraki engineers have worked hard to build some powerful, and very cool features:
Laptop gone missing? With the built in motion search tool, the IT admin can retroactively select an area of interest in a video stream and see the motion events that happened in that area. Drag a box to select the desk, the chair, or the windowsill where the laptop might have been last, and the dashboard will return a list of video clips showing motion within that area. Motion search allows users to view only what’s important, eliminating the need to stream hours or even days of footage just to identify key events.
Export Video Clips
Once the culprit has been identified, instead of reaching for those recording devices of yesteryear—those DVDs, thumb drives, and VHS tapes—simply click “Export” and the dashboard will generate a shareable mp4 link that can be sent to law enforcement or downloaded to a computer.
Granular Access Controls
Because privacy is such an important consideration when deploying a video security system, Meraki engineers built in very granular access controls. Pick who can see video streams based on individual camera names or group tags. Choose who can view live and historical video. Set restrictions on who is allowed to export video clips. All of this can be done through the dashboard in just a couple of clicks.