Interview: Ettiene Van Der Watt, Axis Communications MENA Director
Investing in a security system is a significant decision, but understanding what you want from it can help optimize the investment and achieve a better ROI in the long run.
By: Mahir Hodžić
a&s Middle East: What are the factors entities should pay careful attention to when selecting a security surveillance solution?
Ettiene: Investing in a security system is a significant decision, but understanding what you want the network cameras to accomplish, considering their impact on the rest of the system, estimating the running costs, thinking about what kind of support the manufacturer offers, interrogating how seriously your provider takes cybersecurity, and predicting the impact the right solution will have on your organization can help optimize the investment and achieve a better ROI in the long run.
On top of these factors, organizations also need to consider other factors, including how the surveillance system and the data it captures will be protected. One of these is privacy, i.e. organizations should choose a surveillance system that protects the privacy of individuals who are being monitored. This means that the system should only be used for legitimate purposes and the data collected should be kept secure. Also, organizations should be accountable for their use of surveillance systems. They should have clear policies in place for how the data collected will be used, and they should be able to demonstrate that they comply with those policies. Finally, they should choose a sustainable surveillance system. This means the system should be energy efficient and made from recycled materials where possible.
a&s Middle East: With COP28 set to take place in Dubai later this year, sustainability is top of mind in the UAE. Can you please provide us with an overview of Axis’ sustainability agenda?
Ettiene: We support the 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda, which act as a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. Our sustainability approach is based on four cornerstones. The first is respecting people and our planet. We believe that people and our planet are our most important assets. We treat everyone with respect, and we work to protect the environment. Next, we need to protect people as well. We provide a safe and healthy workplace for our employees. We also offer a variety of benefits to help them balance their work and personal lives. By innovating responsibly, we develop innovative products and services that help people live safer and more sustainable lives. We also work to minimize our environmental impact. Finally, by being trustworthy we are committed to transparency and accountability. We believe that building trust with our customers, partners, and employees is essential to our success.
Sustainability plays a key part in the Axis Road Map Directive – our three-year plan for product development. We are committed to developing more sustainable products that help our customers live safer and more sustainable lives.
a&s Middle East: Cybersecurity is another major concern in the region and with the lines blurring between IT and operational technology (OT), can you discuss how Axis ensures the security of its own solutions?
Our vulnerability disclosure program allows security researchers to report vulnerabilities to Axis safely and responsibly
Ettiene: Considerable effort is put into ensuring our software is robust and resilient to cyberattacks. Protecting customer information and privacy is a top priority. Any identified vulnerability, whether in our products and services or IT infrastructure, is taken extremely seriously, and dealt with immediately.
First, Axis products are “secure by design”. They are designed with security in mind from the ground up. This includes features like tamper resistance, encryption, and role-based access control. Next, Axis regularly releases security updates for its products to protect against known vulnerabilities. We also have a vulnerability disclosure program that allows security researchers to report vulnerabilities to Axis safely and responsibly. Axis also offers security training to its employees and partners to help them stay updated on the latest security threats. Finally, our company undergoes regular security audits by independent third parties to ensure our security practices are adequate.
With built-in cybersecurity controls, Axis devices are designed to decrease the risk of compromise. We have a strong commitment to continual improvement, development, and protection of information assets and sensitive data, as well as legal compliance.