Editor’s picks

What is the value of physical security data?
What is the value of physical security data?

We are living in the age of Big Data, and businesses are inundated with large volumes of data every day. Success depends on capturing, analysing and ultimately transforming that data into information and intelligence that can be used to improve the business. So, it is with today's physical access control and video systems, too, which also generate unprecedented levels of data. But how can we make the data useful to end users and how can they realise its full value? We asked this week's Expert Pa...

What are the security challenges of critical infrastructure facilities?
What are the security challenges of critical infrastructure facilities?

They call it “critical” for a reason. The so-called “critical infrastructure” is composed of the basic services that citizens have come to depend on, and which are necessary to support society and ensure national stability. The term includes high-visibility segments such as airports, refineries, transportation, wastewater, nuclear reactors, electric utilities, pipelines, and more. Because these functions are so critical, the stakes of providing security are higher than fo...

Why security industry companies need to adapt to retain skilled personnel
Why security industry companies need to adapt to retain skilled personnel

A downside of our thriving economic times is a shortage of skilled personnel to work in the physical security marketplace. Strong economic growth translates into a low unemployment rate, and greater competition among employers to attract the best talent. The field of cybersecurity, in particular, is seeing a serious talent shortage, but any physical security company can also attest to our own challenges finding and keeping the best talent; not to mention the obvious - that cybersecurity is now...

Arecont Vision Costar leadership plans for growth
Arecont Vision Costar leadership plans for growth

It has been an eventful few months for Arecont Vision, which has gone through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and, ultimately, was acquired by Costar Technologies Inc. What emerged is a new company, Arecont Vision Costar, poised for future growth unfettered by previous debt. For insights into what’s next for the newly minted company, we posed several questions to Jim Pritchett, CEO, Costar Technologies Inc., and Raul Calderon, President, Arecont Vision Costar. Q. Please relate how Costar came to...

Round table discussions

What is driving the growth of cloud systems in physical security?
What is driving the growth of cloud systems in physical security?

The physical security industry is embracing the cloud in a big way. Cloud-based systems – which involve accessing a shared pool of information technology resources via the Internet – are much higher-profile in the video and access control markets, and large and small companies are getting on the cloud bandwagon. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What factors are contributing to growth in cloud systems in the security market?

What is the value of physical security data?
What is the value of physical security data?

We are living in the age of Big Data, and businesses are inundated with large volumes of data every day. Success depends on capturing, analysing and ultimately transforming that data into information and intelligence that can be used to improve the business. So, it is with today's physical access control and video systems, too, which also generate unprecedented levels of data. But how can we make the data useful to end users and how can they realise its full value? We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: Relating to physical security systems, what is the value of data and how can that value be measured?

Which security vertical markets are impacted by seasonal changes in demand?
Which security vertical markets are impacted by seasonal changes in demand?

The beginning of the school year and upcoming seasonal changes remind us that demand for security systems, like almost everything else, is seasonal to some extent. Making improvements to educational facilities during the summer months – including installation of security systems – is the most obvious example of seasonal demand, but there are others. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which vertical markets for security are impacted by seasonal changes in demand?

Case studies

ASUCQ chooses SMARTair for real-time access control and virtual keys on a smartphone
ASUCQ chooses SMARTair for real-time access control and virtual keys on a smartphone

An initial investment of $100 million launched the first American public university campus in Mexico: Arkansas State University Campus Queretaro (ASUCQ). Within five years of its 2017 opening, around 7,500 staff and students are expected to use the site, including campus accommodation for up to 1,500 students. To accompany such a high-profile development, the university needed security and access control systems with a trusted and proven track record protecting staff, students and other university assets. They sought a technology-based solution to reduce security risks across the campus, and specifically an access control system able to monitor multiple spaces and monitor all access points in real time. System software and hardware should make it fast and intuitive to generate or modify access rights for any campus user. A single solution needed to work across both common university facilities and separate areas with student accommodation. Monitoring campus in real time With the SMARTair Wireless Online option, facilities managers monitor the campus in real time, with live updating of who enters where, and when ASUCQ turned to SMARTair to protect its investment and site users. So far, around 600 SMARTair battery-powered online escutcheons have been installed across campus. High traffic flows through many campus doors required robust access control devices. With the SMARTair Wireless Online option, facilities managers monitor the campus in real time, with live updating of who enters where, and when. Intuitive SMARTair software enables all day-to-day administration from a central control point. "SMARTair is a very secure access control system that is also very intuitive for user and access management,” says Jose Alfonso Suarez Torres, Operations Chief at ASUCQ. Future plans for ASUCQ envision a ‘university city’ with up to 20,000 students — all protected in real time with SMARTair access control. And because a SMARTair system is wireless, expanding and upgrading access control will never disrupt the daily work or campus life at this fast-growing university. SMARTair mobile solution Openow A single interaction with the SMARTair TS1000 software is all it takes to make a virtual key disappear automatically from a user’s Openow app The new SMARTair mobile solution, Openow also gives facility managers the option to send, revoke and amend the validity of users’ keys, wherever they (or the keyholder) may be — with no need for physical credentials like keys or smart-cards. Students and staff save time, with no access cards to collect or validate. Each user installs and validates their Openow app and collects keys virtually. Tap a SMARTair escutcheon with your phone... and the door unlocks, if you are authorised to enter. Administrators save time and resource at the end of a student or staff member’s time on campus. A single interaction with the SMARTair TS1000 software is all it takes to make a virtual key disappear automatically from a user’s Openow app. A simple, secure, modern solution to university access control.

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