Are you responsible for upgrading security systems within critical infrastructure? If so, you probably want a solution that will protect essential services—and the people who rely on them—for many years to come. This article explains how Milestone Systems meets the security requirements of organizations like yours. It also talks about the most popular Milestone products within your sector.
What jobs do you need a security system to help with? When speaking to customers within critical infrastructure, the key jobs that we tend to hear are:
- Intrusion detection
- Thermal and fire detection
- Leak detection
- Access control
- License plate recognition
- Fraud/internal theft avoidance
All of these jobs involve monitoring of premises and people, and can help mitigate a wide range of threats. But we’re not the only company that can help you with these jobs. So why choose Milestone?
Milestone is a great match for customers who are looking for scalability, regulatory compliance and long-term support. Let’s explore each of these requirements.
- Do you need software that’s scalable?
Different customers within critical infrastructure take different approaches; nuclear power plants will include 24/7 on-site armed security while a water utility company might have hundreds of unmanned sites where remote monitoring is used to detect leaks from damaged pipes. But whether you supply power, natural gas, telecommunications or water management services, you likely have some common needs. Chances are that you need to monitor multiple sites to ensure both physical security and cybersecurity. And each site probably has many different security cameras, access control points and sensors. Can Milestone support hundreds or even thousands of these devices? Yes.
But what’s just as important is that Milestone supports pretty much every type of monitoring device, regardless of the manufacturer. That’s why we call our technology “open-platform”; it works with what you already have. Many of our customers are looking to swap out legacy NVR systems with a new solution, but they don’t have the budget to simultaneously upgrade all of their hardware. With Milestone, you can utilize existing cameras, sensors and more, and then gradually upgrade them as the need arises. Being open-platform also means that our software also works with a whole host of physical security identity manager (PSIM) applications. Want to check if Milestone supports your preferred applications? Check out our technology partner page.
- Do you need to adhere to specific standards and regulations?
We don’t need to tell you that both physical and cyber attacks are on the rise. Or that legislation is tightening for any software that processes biometric or other personal data. Instead, let’s look at the most common standards and regulations that customers ask about:
✓ FIPS 140-2: If you’re in any way connected to a U.S. or Canadian government network and infrastructure, it’s mandatory to comply with FIPS 140–2. The good news is that, since 2020, our customers have been able to use Milestone XProtect in FIPS-compliant mode.
✓ Penetration testing: Milestone works with independent agencies that go to town trying to find vulnerabilities in our XProtect software. While we don’t publicize reports, information is available upon request for organizations considering Milestone.
✓ GDPR: Milestone XProtect® is built on privacy principles. It enables customers to make their video management software GDPR compliant.
Some customers have also asked Milestone for documentation on how we identify and manage the risk of modern slavery within our operations and supply chains. Please find our official statement here.
- Do you need ongoing support?
Milestone was the first company to provide an open-platform video management software solution. We’ve been in the business for over 25 years. But why should you care? Well, considering the financial and human implications of an attack on critical infrastructure, our customers want to work with vendors with an excellent track record. Milestone has been and continues to be dedicated to ensuring the highest standard of security and quality. The regulations listed in the previous section might not mean much at first glance, but you’d be hard pressed to find other VMS providers that can tick the same boxes while simultaneously being open-platform.
Additionally, Milestone has an expansive network of partners around the world. For our customers, this means that there will always be professionals nearby who know how to support people in your sector with their Milestone installations for many years to come. It’s not easy to choose the best investment for public funds. But reliability tends to be one of the biggest factors. It also comforts many Milestone customers to know that they can reach us directly. Read the below section on Care Premium to learn more.
Within critical infrastructure, the vast majority of security devices are hooked up to Milestone’s XProtect Corporate software. Organizations who opt for XProtect Corporate also have the Care Plus or Care Premium service. Here’s why.
- XProtect Corporate:
XProtect Corporate isn’t the only variant that supports thousands of devices. XProtect Expert can handle just as many. Like Corporate, it also encrypts data over your network and offers failover for the recording server and management server. That said, XProtect Corporate is still the most popular variant within critical infrastructure. The reasons vary depending on the organization, but here are the highlights:
✓ XProtect Corporate supports federated (or “interconnected”) architecture so that different sites can be managed and updated separately, providing an extra layer of security. It also helps to minimize maintenance costs as issues can still be resolved centrally and remotely instead of having to make in-person visits across different sites.
✓ XProtect Corporate comes with evidence lock, allowing data to be stored indefinitely until it needs to be deleted. For other XProtect variants, you need to proactively bookmark anything that you don’t want to be automatically deleted after 30 days.
✓ XProtect Corporate includes our Smart Wall; a customizable video wall that’s become a must-have for many security operators. This is also available with XProtect Expert, but requires additional licensing.
✓ XProtect Corporate also incorporates our Incident Manager which helps operators streamline the logging and documenting of incidents (video and audio). This is also available with most XProtect variants, but with Corporate there’s no additional cost.
✓ XProtect is GDPR-ready and build on privacy by default principles. it enabled customers to achieve GDPR complaince and other privacy standards to fulfill your legislative needs.
It’s actually possible to have different variants of XProtect running on different devices and/or across different sites. However, if your project includes hundreds or thousands of cameras, we strongly advise that you stick to a single variant. Especially when different IT and security teams need to work together to share evidence and maintain systems, it’s a whole lot easier if everyone is working with the same toolbox. You can learn more about the different XProtect variants here.
- Care Plus or Care Premium
XProtect is a perpetual license, meaning that you own the rights to run the software forever. That said, the new features that come with Milestone’s three yearly releases are only available with our extra Care services. For customers who have either XProtect Corporate or Expert, roughly 85% opt for Care Plus. This service includes access to all updates that come with increasingly efficient and proactive security features.
Care Premium includes the same update benefits as Care Plus. The main difference is that it also includes 24/7 technical support from Milestone’s own team. While the majority of our customers receive ongoing support from their system integrator, about 15% of Expert and Corporate customers within critical infrastructure sign up for Care Premium. In these cases, the reassurance that they can always reach Milestone directly, regardless of the date or time, is worth the extra investment. That said, if you’re unsure of whether the needs of your organization justify the extra cost of Care Premium, you can always start with Care Plus and then upgrade later. Learn more here.
While this article has covered the most universal requirements within critical infrastructure, we know that each customer has a list of needs that’s specific to their organization. Whether you work in-house or as an advising A&E consultant or system integrator, we’d be happy to hear from you:
- Have a general question and/or need help applying for a tender? Contact our sales team.
- Want to see XProtect in action? Book a demo.
- Looking for a trusted Milestone reseller? Find one close to you.
- Need documentation? It’s all publicly available here. A great starting point is our system architecture guide for IT professionals.