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The statistics are staggering. The death tolls are rising. And those who now fear environments that were once thought to be safe zones like school campuses, factories, commercial businesses and government facilities, find themselves having to add the routine of active-shooter drills into their traditional fire drill protocols. The latest active shooter statistics released by the FBI earlier this year in their annual active-shooter report designated 27 events as active shooter incidents in 2018. The report reveals that 16 of the 27 incidents occurred in areas of commerce, seven incidents occurred in business environments, and five incidents occurred in education environments. Deadly active-shooter events Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years, including Sutherland Springs church, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the San Bernardino regional center, the Walmart in El Paso and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which have all occurred since 2015. Although these incidents occurred in facilities with designated entry points common to churches, schools and businesses, the two most deadly active-shooter events since 2015 were the Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and the Pulse nightclub killings in Orlando where 49 perished. As Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in San Antonio, Texas, said during a news conference following the August 31 mass shooting in Odessa, Texas that claimed seven lives: “We are now at almost every two weeks seeing an active shooter in this country." Active shooter incidents Between December 2000 and December 2018, the FBI’s distribution of active shooter incidents by location looks like this: Businesses Open to Pedestrian Traffic (74) Businesses Closed to Pedestrian Traffic (43) K-12 Schools (39) Institutions of Higher Learning (16) Non-Military Government Properties (28) Military Properties—Restricted (5) Healthcare Facilities (11) Houses of Worship (10) Private Properties (12) Malls (6) What the majority of these venues have in common is they all have a front entrance or chokepoint for anyone entering the facilities, which is why any active-shooter plan must include a strategy to secure that entry point. Situational awareness in perimeter and door security Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal" According to Paul Franco, an A&E with more than 28 years of experience as a consultant and systems integrator focusing on schools, healthcare and large public and private facilities, that while active shooter incidents continue to rise, the residual effect has been an increase in situational awareness in perimeter and door security. “Certainly, protecting people and assets is the number one goal of all our clients. There are multiple considerations in facilities like K-12 and Healthcare. Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal. But a critical consideration to emphasise to your client is getting that person out of your facility and not creating a more dangerous situation by locking the person in your facility,” says Franco. High-security turnstiles “Schools today are creating a space for vetting visitors prior to allowing access into the main facility. Using technology properly like high-security turnstiles offer great benefits in existing schools where space constraints and renovation costs can be impractical.” What steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe As a consultant/integrator, when discussions are had with a client that has a facility in a public space like a corporate building, government centre or industrial facility, what steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe and can protect its people and assets? For Frank Pisciotta, President and CEO of Business Protection Specialists, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina, a fundamental element of his security strategy is making appropriate recommendations that are broad-based and proactive. Properly identifying the adversaries “As a consultant, my recommendations must include properly identifying the adversaries who may show up at a client’s door, the likelihood of that event occurring, the consequences of that event occurring, determining if there are tripwires that can be set so an organisation can move their line of defence away from the door, educating employees to report potential threats and creating real-time actionable plans to respond to threats. A more reactionary posture might include such thing as target hardening such as ballistic resistant materials at entry access points to a facility,” Pisciotta says. Veteran consultant David Aggleton of Aggleton & Associates of Mission Viejo, California recommends that clients compartmentalise their higher security areas for limited access by adding multiple credential controls (card + keypad + biometric), along with ‘positive’ access systems that inhibit tailgating/piggybacking such as secure turnstiles, revolving door and mantrap if your entrances and security needs meet the required space and access throughput rates. Integrated solution of electronic access control Defining a single point of entry in some public facilities is becoming the new standard of care according to many A&Es and security consultants, especially in a school environment. This approach allows a concerted effort when it comes to staffing, visitor monitoring and an integrated technology solution. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach A proactive stance to securing a door entryway will use an integrated solution of electronic access control, turnstiles, revolving doors and mantraps that can substantially improve a facility’s security profile. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach, so it’s not a matter of if there will be a next active shooter tragedy, it’s only a matter of where. Enhancing access control assurance “There is no easy answer to this question,” says Pisciotta referring to how a secured entrance can deter an active shooter. “There have been at least two high-profile incidents of adversaries shooting their way into a facility through access control barriers. So, if the threat so dictates, a ballistic resistant might be required.” He concludes: “There is obviously no question that turnstiles, revolving doors and man traps enhance access control assurance. Electronic access control is easy to integrate with these devices and providing that credentials are secure, approval processes are in place, change management is properly managed and the appropriate auditing measures in place, access control objectives can be met.”
Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO at Morphean, discusses the business benefits from merging video surveillance and access control technologies as demand for ACaaS grows. The big question facing businesses today is how they will use the data that they possess to unlock new forms of value using emerging technologies such as the cloud, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence. Some data is better utilised than others: financial services were quick to recognise the competitive advantages in exploiting technology to improve customer service, detect fraud and improve risk assessment. In the world of physical security, however, we’re only just beginning to understand the potential of the data that our systems gather as a part of their core function. Benefits of ‘Integrated access control’ The first thing to look for is how multiple sources of data can be used to improve physical security functionsWhat many businesses have yet to realise is that many emerging technologies come into their own when used across multiple sources of data. In physical security, for example, we’re moving from discussions about access control and CCTV as siloed functions, to platforms that combine information for analysis from any source, and applying machine learning algorithms to deliver intelligent insights back to the business. ‘Integrated access control’ then looks not just to images or building management, but to images, building management, HR databases and calendar information, all at the same time. And some of the benefits are only now starting to become clear. The first thing to look for, of course, is how multiple sources of data can be used to improve physical security functions. For example, by combining traditional access control data, such as when a swipe card is used, with a video processing platform capable of facial recognition, a second factor of authentication is provided without the need to install separate biometric sensors. CCTV cameras are already deployed in most sensitive areas, so if a card doesn’t match the user based on HR records, staff can be quickly alerted. Making the tools cost-effective In a similar vein, if an access card is used by an employee, who is supposed to be on holiday according to the HR record, then video data can be used to ensure the individual’s identity and that the card has not been stolen – all before a human operator becomes involved. This is driving growth in ‘access control as a service’ (ACaaS), and the end-to-end digitalisation of a vital business functionThese capabilities are not new. What is, however, is the way in which cloud-based computing platforms for security analytics, which absorb information from IP-connected cameras, make the tools much more cost effective, accessible and easier to manage than traditional on-site server applications. In turn, this is driving growth in ‘access control as a service’ (ACaaS), and the end-to-end digitalisation of a vital business function. With this system set up, only access control hardware systems are deployed on premise while the software and access control data are shifted to a remote location and provided as a service to users on a recurring monthly subscription. The benefits of such an arrangement are numerous but include avoiding large capital investments, greater flexibility to scale up and down, and shifting the onus of cybersecurity and firmware updates to the vendor. Simple installation and removal of endpoints What’s more, because modern video and access control systems transmit data via the IP network, installation and removal of endpoints are simple, requiring nothing more than PoE and Wi-Fi. Of all the advantages of the ‘as a service’ model, it’s the rich data acquired from ACaaS that makes it so valuable, and capable of delivering business benefits beyond physical security. Managers are constantly looking for better quality of information to inform decision making, and integrated access control systems know more about operations than you might think. Integrating lighting systems with video feeds and access control creates the ability to control the lightsRight now, many firms are experimenting with ways to find efficiencies and reduce costs. For example, lights that automatically turn off to save energy are common in offices today, but can be a distraction if employees have to constantly move around to trigger motion detectors. Integrating lighting systems with video feeds and access control creates the ability to control the lights depending on exactly who is in the room and where they are sitting. Tracking the movement of employees Camera data has been used in retail to track the movement of customers in stores, helping managers to optimise displays and position stocks. The same technology can be used to map out how employees move around a workspace, finding out where productivity gains can be made by moving furniture around or how many desks should be provisioned. Other potential uses of the same data could be to look for correlations between staff movement – say to a store room – and sales spikes, to better predict stock ordering. What makes ACaaS truly exciting is it is still a very new field, and we’re only just scratching the surface of the number of ways that it can be used to create new sources of value. As smart buildings and smart city technology evolves, more and more open systems will become available, offering more ways to combine, analyse and draw insights from data. Within a few years, it will become the rule, rather than the exception, and only grow in utility as it does.
Today’s security industry technology standards create a common framework for achieving predictable performance. Systems are made more secure and easier to install, use and integrate with other devices. Standards are also intended to be living documents, open to continual refinements to benefit manufacturers, integrators and end users. An excellent example is the Open Supervised Data Protocol (OSDP), which is now the industry’s gold standard for physical access control installations. It was designed to offer a higher level of security with more flexible options than the aging defacto Weigand wiring standard. Updating OSDP-readers simultaneously One recent addition enables end users to push firmware and software updates to thousands of OSDP-enabled card readers simultaneouslyOSDP, first introduced in 2011 by the Security Industry Association (SIA), continues to evolve with significant manufacturer input. One recent addition enables end users to push firmware and/or software updates to a few or thousands of OSDP-enabled card readers simultaneously. Weigand technology requires updates to be made one at a time at each reader. Regularly changing reader encryption keys is an excellent way to enhance facility security. It’s easy using the OSDP file transfer capability and the latest DESFire EV2 credentials containing multiple encryption keys. You can transfer the next code on the card to all readers and the job is done. And there’s no need to create a new card for each user or reprogram each individual reader. AES-128 encryption ensures cybersecurity It’s time to migrate entirely away from Weigand technology. If greater security, convenience and reduced labour from the latest OSDP updates isn’t reason enough, here are a few more things to consider. The 40-year-old Weigand protocol provides no signal encryption, making it easy for hackers to capture the raw data transmitted between cards and readers. OSDP readers support AES-128 encryption while providing continuous monitoring of wires to guard against cybercriminals. Weigand reader installations require homerun cable pulls from the control panel to each peripheral device. OSDP readers can be daisy chained, providing additional savings on cabling and installation time. Weigand technology is simply too slow to work with today’s most versatile and secure card technologies. OSDP readers work with virtually all modern access control cards. The OSDP standard also works with biometric devices; Weigand does not. Meeting requirements of FICAM guidelines SIA is pushing to make the latest OSDP version a standard recognised by the ANSI, a move to enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. security businessesAlso, OSDP is becoming a must-have standard for organisations demanding the highest security levels. The standard meets requirements of the Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management (FICAM) guidelines that affect how the access control industry does business with the federal government. SIA is pushing to make the latest OSDP version a standard recognised by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI), a move to enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. security businesses. There’s still a large worldwide reader installation base that works solely with the Weigand protocol. Admittedly, changing them all at one time may be prohibitively expensive; however, standards should be viewed as a journey, not a destination. That’s why a measured migration is the right choice for many organisations. Begin by securing the perimeter. Replace only the outside-facing Weigand readers. As long as the walls are secured, the inside can remain a softer target until OSDP-compatible readers can be added indoors. The case for moving to OSDP as a standard is compelling. It offers our industry the opportunity to design access control software and products that provide what end users want most – greater security, flexibility and convenience.
Hikvision, the provider of innovative video security products and solutions, exhibited its latest innovative technologies, products and solutions at the China Public Security Expo (CPSE) 2019 in Shenzhen from October 28 to 31. This year marked the second anniversary of Hikvision’s AI Cloud. Hikvision’s presentation was dubbed ‘Fusing Data for a Smarter World’ and showcased its AI Cloud platform which supports integration of IoT and information network data designed to empower new intelligent applications and services. Large number of AI Cloud applications Hikvision AI Cloud is based on a distributed architecture incorporating cloud computing and edge computing Hikvision AI Cloud is based on a distributed architecture incorporating cloud computing and edge computing. It extends artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms from the cloud, to an edge domain of on-premise video recorders and servers, and further to edge nodes with security cameras and other IoT devices. The three-layer architecture supports the goal to provide a new class of smarter and faster AI-powered applications. At the show, visitors could see a large number of AI Cloud applications in action. These applications were created to help customers achieve their digital transformation in areas like public safety, transportation, retail, finance, logistics, community, environmental protection, etc. Smart retail solutions With AI-based video analysis technology, Hikvision’s Intelligent Transportation System identifies traffic violations in order to reduce the number of human injuries and fatalities. By merging video information with other systems and algorithms, traffic data can be visualised on city maps to further guide traffic and improve urban commuting. The applications cover people-counting, merchandise popularity analysis and more Hikvision smart retail solutions address the challenges of retail business and provides cutting-edge technologies such as video analytics, big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, to meet the needs of offline retailers such as shopping malls, supermarkets, and brand stores. The applications cover people-counting, merchandise popularity analysis, remote patrolling of stores, cashier supervision, shelf management, unmanned containers, and more. Deep-learning intelligent cameras At Hikvision’s booth, visitors saw AI Cloud practices but also got a close look at the innovative products contributing to these projects, such as: Radar-Integrated Video Cameras: The integration of high-precision radar with deep-learning intelligent cameras enables long-distance detection under any weather condition. Multi-Lens Integrated Cameras: A multi-lens combination in one device to meet users’ multifunctional requirements in a single scenario. Additionally, Hikvision showcased intelligent products, including AI-equipped Turbo HD 5.0 cameras, the Easy IP 4.0 Series with Hikvision’s AcuSense and ColorVu technologies, and the DeepinView deep learning cameras. AI open platform algorithm At the booth, visitors could also interact with the Hikvision AI open platform algorithm warehouse and delivery process. Via an AI Cloud user interface, they could experience how to select different algorithm models from the warehouse, load them on the AI camera and perform real-time, intelligent identification and analysis of objects like potato chips, fire extinguishers, and other items. The Hikvision AI Cloud was developed to solve real-world challenges across multiple vertical markets, and to create continuous value to end users. The cutting-edge architecture is designed to enable collaboration between partners across edge computing, industry applications, service platforms and standard systems, and much more.
ACRE companies Vanderbilt, ComNet and Open Options are gearing up toward an exciting Intersec show that will highlight the collective experience and depth of solutions available from the ACRE portfolio. Key features on display will focus on the ACRE brand’s strength in cloud solutions, open platforms, smart integrations and cybersecurity. Core to this message will be the award-winning cloud-based solutions, SPC Connect and ACT365. ACT365 is Vanderbilt's platform for access control and video management. SPC Connect is a hosted cloud-based solution designed specifically for installers to monitor, manage and maintain SPC panels remotely from any location. Cybersecurity Protection Both these solutions have won a wealth of trophies between them such as Benchmark Innovation, GIT Security, PSI Premier and Detektor International awards. Designed to excel in several sectors, both have earned stripes and praise for excellence in banking and retail in particular. Vanderbilt SPC intrusion system is also known for its cybersecurity protections The Vanderbilt SPC intrusion system is also known for its cybersecurity protections and the bespoke communication platform, FlexC, that was built from the ground up with cybersecurity in mind. Open access control platforms ACT Enterprise and SiPass integrated (a product made by Siemens AG) will also be available for demonstrations. Both access control platforms are renowned for their integrations. ACT Enterprise integrates with Vanderbilt’s SPC, as well as world-renowned brands like Milestone, Hikvision and KONE to name a few. Most recently, Bluetooth Low Energy readers and Biometric fingerprint readers have been released by Vanderbilt in conjunction with ACT Enterprise 2.10. User-centric SiPass Integration SiPass integrated, a powerful open access control management software, scales from small to large, complex deployments. The user-centric design of SiPass delivers ease of operation and maintenance, with self-explanatory and straightforward menu structures and buttons. Another striking feature is its ability to replace traditional keycards with Android and iOS mobile devices, or wearables like Apple Watch and Android Wear. This feature addresses the game-changing shift toward smartphone technology. ComNet will also highlight their specialty in the transmission and networking aspect of data, video and audio, and their solutions’ ability to work seamlessly across any of the three standard communications media, as well as in multiple network architectures. All ComNet products come with a lifetime warranty and “Made in the USA” quality, making ComNet an excellent choice for all single-source solutions for any transmission product needs. DNA Fusion access control software DNA Fusion, seamlessly connects with security technologies — including video, biometrics Open Options will join their ACRE sister-companies, making their debut at Intersec, to showcase their powerful DNA Fusion access control software, as well as their Mercury-based hardware. In addition, Open Options plans to highlight exciting integrations, such as video management software from Milestone, XProtect. Open Options has been a pioneer in the open platform community focused on helping customers improve security by building trust through the most connected experience. Today, the company continues to be a provider of innovative access control solutions with the experienced, highly qualified service and support teams in the industry, providing access that connects. Open Options’ flagship access control platform, DNA Fusion, seamlessly connects with security technologies — including video, biometrics, wireless locks and more — to provide customers with a best-in-class security solution. Intersec Dubai takes place January 19-21, 2020. One can visit the ACRE companies at StandS1 C19.
When you’re securing premises in Iceland, you need a reliable system that can cope with both plummeting temperatures and low-light levels. Hikvision cameras were used in such a solution – chosen by Securitas Iceland to secure a harbour for customer Samskip in Reykjavik. Global logistics company Samskip is one of the larger transport companies in Europe with offices in 24 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. They operate an extensive network of container services to and from Iceland, along with refrigerated cargo logistics and international forwarding around the world. Special kind of surveillance system One of their locations is a harbour in Reykjavik, which includes warehouses. Operating in sub-zero temperatures and with low-light even in daytime for some of the year, Samskip needs a special kind of surveillance system. When temperatures are as low as -30˚C, electronics can become unresponsive, or stop working completely When temperatures are as low as -30˚C, electronics can become unresponsive, or stop working completely. These are also the temperatures where maintenance is more challenging – these are not ideal environments for technicians to be working outside. The biggest snow depth ever recorded in Iceland was 279cm in North Iceland in March 1995, for example. Although this was the worst winter ever recorded, it gives an idea of the potential extremes. There are also snow storms and the high wind chill factor to contend with. Providing clear images in failing light Low light in the winter months means that solutions in Iceland need to be better able to provide clear images in failing light. During winter, Iceland’s high latitude means shorter days - the longest day in the middle of December has only 5 hours of light, for example, with the sunrise at around 11am and sunset between 3 and 4pm. Despite these unique conditions, Samskip needed to have a good overview over all that is happening around the harbour complex, both inside and outside. Specifically, they needed to be able to trace products and goods in the warehouse. Iceland’s security provider, Securitas, rose to the challenge, providing a solution using more than 150 Hikvision products, including PanoVu and DarkFighter® cameras. All these cameras can operate to a temperature of -30˚C. Identifying potential issues The PanoVu cameras provide excellent wide angle surveillance to cover as much of the area as possible. DarkFighter technology is a popular choice in Iceland because it gives clear, useful images even in the lowest of light scenarios. The smart function on the cameras means that operators are able to identify potential issues by analysing people's behaviour. The solution included Seagate’s high-stability Skyhawk drives, especially developed for surveillance applications They can also trace a product between locations and see its condition at receipt and delivery, enhancing both security and business efficiency. To complement the Hikvision solutions, Securitas chose Seagate as their preferred storage vendor with their Skyhawk. The solution included Seagate’s high-stability Skyhawk drives, especially developed for surveillance applications. Providing reliable security Skyhawk surveillance drives are equipped with enhanced ImagePerfect™ firmware to deliver ultimate reliability and zero dropped frames, and SkyHawk Health Management, a software designed for prevention, intervention and recovery. Bergvin Þórðarson, Samskip’s Security Manager, says: “The cameras meet the requirements for analysis of people and merchandise. We are confident with both Hikvision and Securitas – in both their product and people. We know that they will fix any issues and react quickly if there’s a problem.” Securing large areas can be a challenge all on its own, but the addition of potentially crippling weather conditions means a security solution needs to be robust. Hikvision cameras were up to the challenge and provided reliable security for the entire operation.
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