Editor’s picks

Why visualisation platforms are vital for an effective Security Operation Centre (SOC)
Why visualisation platforms are vital for an effective Security Operation Centre (SOC)

Display solutions play a key role in SOCs in providing the screens needed for individuals and teams to visualise and share the multiple data sources needed in an SOC today. Security Operation Centre (SOC) Every SOC has multiple sources and inputs, both physical and virtual, all of which provide numerous data points to operators, in order to provide the highest levels of physical and cyber security, including surveillance camera feeds, access control and alarm systems for physical security, as...

Gunshot detectors shorten response times and make cities safer
Gunshot detectors shorten response times and make cities safer

Gunshot detectors use digital microphones installed on (or in) buildings or along streets that listen for evidence of gunshots, provide near instantaneous notification, triangulate the location of shooters and direction of a shot, detect the type of gun and ultimately aid in catching fleeing suspects and solving crimes. Gunshot detection is just one technology playing a role in the larger trend by city agencies to improve core city services. Cities are turning to what are referred to as ‘...

Will airport security’s pandemic measures lead to permanent changes?
Will airport security’s pandemic measures lead to permanent changes?

Travel volumes at airports have been increasing of late, although still below the 2.5 million or so passengers the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened every day, on average, before the pandemic. As passengers return, they will notice the airport security experience has changed during the pandemic – and many of the changes are likely to continue even longer. Need for touchless technology The lowest U.S. air travel volume in history was recorded last April, with approxim...

Baltimore is the latest U.S. city to target facial recognition technology
Baltimore is the latest U.S. city to target facial recognition technology

The city of Baltimore has banned the use of facial recognition systems by residents, businesses and the city government (except for police). The criminalisation in a major U.S. city of an important emerging technology in the physical security industry is an extreme example of the continuing backlash against facial recognition throughout the United States. Facial recognition technology ban Several localities – from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco, from Oakland, California, to Boston &n...

Round table discussions

Which security markets are embracing touchless and contactless systems?
Which security markets are embracing touchless and contactless systems?

The idea of touchless systems has gained new levels of prominence during the last year, driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Contactless systems have been part of the industry’s toolbox for decades, while technologies like facial and iris recognition are finding new uses every day. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security markets are embracing touchless, contactless systems and why? 

What is the impact of privacy concerns on physical security?
What is the impact of privacy concerns on physical security?

Adoption of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in 2016 set a new standard for data privacy. But adherence to GDPR is only one element, among many privacy concerns sweeping the global security community and leaving almost no product category untouched, from access control to video to biometrics. Because privacy concerns are more prevalent than ever, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact on the physical security market?

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

Many of us take critical infrastructure for granted in our everyday lives. We turn on a tap, flip a switch, push a button, and water, light, and heat are all readily available. But it is important to remember that computerised systems manage critical infrastructure facilities, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline is an example of the new types of threats. In addition, any number of physical attacks is also possibilities. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting critical infrastructure?

Case studies

Hikvision provides their HikCentral video management software to enhance real-time monitoring at Care Protect’s office in Belfast
Hikvision provides their HikCentral video management software to enhance real-time monitoring at Care Protect’s office in Belfast

When Care Protect wanted to upscale its operations in healthcare safety and monitoring services to a large private provider, it turned to Hikvision’s HikCentral video management software, in combination with offsite cloud video storage from Manything Pro. Care Protect is an innovative organisation. It was created to promote excellent, sustainable and consistent care delivery in health and social care settings. That innovation is reflected in the way the company integrates technology into the very heart of its care provision services. It uses the latest camera and audio technology, alongside the latest secure cloud-based video storage services, with a team of health and social care professionals reviewing and assessing around the clock. Social care environments Because of this diligence in monitoring, high levels of independent scrutiny can be guaranteed. The result is that through this transparency, reassurance is available for residents and their families, knowing that vulnerable adults and children are better safeguarded and protected. In all cases, system use is with the prior consent of residents and relatives or next of kin only. Care Protect was established to help address public concerns over incidents of poor care or malpractice Care Protect’s independent monitors are very well qualified, with years of relevant health and social care experience, together with all necessary Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and Security Industry Authority (SIA) licencing. Collectively they offer a high level of sector knowledge and expertise essential to assist and advise those with responsibility for safeguarding and quality and clinical governance. One of the key reasons that Care Protect was established to help address public concerns over incidents of poor care or malpractice in health and social care environments, some of which have seen wide media coverage. Private healthcare provider As a result, sound and motion detection alarms and infrared filming is utilised so immediate alerts can be raised if an incident is seen or heard or there is a connectivity or maintenance issue. Video recordings also include the use of privacy settings to block any agreed zones or areas of view as required. With video footage playing such a crucial role in Care Protect’s service, it is of pivotal importance that the system in place to manage the viewing of that video is stable, reliable and effective. One of Care Protect’s clients is a large private healthcare provider, for which Care Protect monitors bedrooms and communal areas of child and adult wards in hospitals nationwide throughout England. Care Protect also monitors elderly care homes for several different providers. Offsite video storage Care Protect also monitors elderly care homes for several different providers Care Protect’s IT & Systems Director, Andy Johnson, said Care Protect Directors have a background in the care industry, which has informed the monitoring system the company utilises. “We’ve developed a system based on the reviewing of recorded footage by social workers and nurses to advise, initially, on the quality of practice,” Johnson explains. “The contract with the large private healthcare company saw our operation change to caring for patients who pose a high risk to themselves for self-harm. Because of the importance of this monitoring in ensuring the patients’ wellbeing, it was critical that we were able to efficiently manage that video, both in terms of live monitoring and offsite video storage.” Cloud video storage The new focus required an upscaling of Care Protect’s operational office in Belfast (the company’s head office is in Yarm, Cleveland). A key element of this upscaling was the use of Hikvision’s HikCentral video management software, which needed to be able to deliver high quality images to a Samsung multi-screen video wall for real-time monitoring. Resident and patient rights to privacy remain at the core of Care Protect’s operations Video management via HikCentral at Belfast is critical, as is the offsite cloud video storage provided by Manything Pro, as Care Protect is careful to ensure there is no local recording of video onsite at the customer’s facilities so that it cannot be tampered with. Resident and patient rights to privacy remain at the core of Care Protect’s operations, and they ensure they comply with and exceed all relevant legislation and guidelines, including the Data Privacy Act and Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. Intelligent surveillance platform HikCentral is a comprehensive, intelligent surveillance platform. The newly improved HikCentral delivers data and intelligence via a pre-installed VMS on standard, off-the-shelf servers, and contains advanced functions including advanced live view and playback, thermal imaging, queue detection, low bandwidth adaptability, video linkage with access control, enhanced alarm management and smart wall operation – as in use at Care Protect. HikCentral manages the cameras, the smart wall monitors, and the video decoders that drive the images to the multiple screens in the Belfast hub. These screens cover 21 separate hospital sites for Care Protect’s private health provider customer. “One of the key features of HikCentral for us was the new smart wall functionality,” Johnson says, “Allowing us to manage multiple screens from the one place, rather than having software to run an application to then put it on the screens.” Network mini domes We use Smart Maps within HikCentral for interactive floor plans for the hospitals we monitor" Care Protect also makes good use of HikCentral’s Smart Maps function. “We use Smart Maps within HikCentral for interactive floor plans for the hospitals we monitor,” Johnson explains. “We have a selection of the communal cameras live on the maps, and our reviewers can click into the relevant area and get an overview without having to further interrogate those floor plans.” The appeal of this VMS, he says, was down to both the newly mature and advanced functions of the latest version of HikCentral, as well as its very competitive pricing compared to its rivals. Care Protect uses 500 HikCentral licences and a variety of Hikvision cameras are deployed across the customer’s facilities, predominantly unobtrusive 4MP and 6MP high resolution network mini domes. Hikvision Smart functionality on those cameras also proves extremely useful, Johnson says. Smart camera functions “The use of Hikvision Smart events on the cameras helps our reviewers to know how many people are in a room or a designated zone at a particular time,” he says. “These sorts of Smart features can greatly assist our reviewers, allowing us to be more efficient and effective in responding to the needs of patients.” Those in-built Smart camera functions are complemented by the use of audio analytics Those in-built Smart camera functions are complemented by the use of audio analytics. In some cases this audio software is used to trigger cameras so that potential incidents can be automatically viewed and assessed by a Care Protect reviewer. The results of utilising this technology, according to Johnson, have been highly successful. “We have been able to upscale our operation to 27 screens, to accommodate 21 hospital sites for our biggest customer, to great satisfaction from their end as it is safeguarding the vulnerable patients that they care for,” he says. Poor network conditions In addition to monitoring the live streams for certain hospitals, Care Protect’s independent monitors are tasked with reviewing all recorded video to ensure that the quality of care provided meets the required standards. For this they utilise the services of Hikvision cloud video technology partner, Manything Pro. Care Protect have almost 3,000 cameras recording video to the Manything Pro platform. All video is stored offsite in the secure Manything Pro cloud and can be accessed via the Manything Pro app and website. Manything Pro software runs on Hikvision cameras and is constantly monitoring the bandwidth conditions on each site. If necessary, the software will dynamically adjust the video bit rate to ensure recorded events are sent to the cloud even in poor network conditions. “We use Manything Pro for our cloud storage, so any recorded footage goes up to them, and we review through their website,” he says. “Some providers that we work with aren’t part of the live streaming through HikCentral in our Belfast monitoring centre. For these sites we also use the Manything Pro app and website to view the camera live streams.”

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