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The jury is in: traditional security is out — and it’s being replaced with service-based solutions. The bottom line is: if you’re not embracing it, you’ll soon be left behind. XaaS — the collective term referring to the delivery of anything as a service — includes all services made possible through the use of the cloud. Security-as-a-Service (SaaS), which encompasses any type of system from access control to video surveillance, has paved the way for users to gain significant functionality and scalability not previously experienced with more traditional methods. Complicated IT functions SaaS allows manufacturers to provide numerous benefits to their customers As such, there is a marked transition for manufacturers from simply designing and building products to providing a service rooted in a partner- and customer-centric focus. This change hasn’t come easily. Some are still holding out and waiting for the “fad” to pass. However, the potential advantages for all parties involved far outweigh the perceived negative points. First and foremost, SaaS allows manufacturers to provide numerous benefits to their customers. An “as-a-service” model shifts the burden of data maintenance and infrastructure spending to an integrator/dealer partner or service provider. This relieves the end user of the expertise necessary to implement complicated IT functions to keep networked and on-premise solutions up-to-date. Traditional security systems Additionally, end users demand solid customer service. For some end users, traditional security systems are so similar in features and functionality that the key differentiator is the ability of the integrator or manufacturer to provide exceptional customer service and training. This is made possible through the service-based model, where customers appreciate a strong relationship with their integrator or manufacturer that provides them with additional knowledge and assistance when necessary. The cloud has proven to be highly functional, flexible, and convenient for organisations Everyone also wants convenience. In the consumer market, we invest in things like meals that are pre-measured, prepped, and ready to be cooked, or companies that auto-ship dog food to our door each month. This ease-of-use translates over to the B2B market, where time is money and systems that save valuable resources are highly regarded. The role of the cloud The cloud has proven to be a highly functional, flexible, and convenient method for organisations to leverage as part of their strategies to protect and modernise their facilities. And the service-based nature lends itself well; forward-thinking integrators and dealers can diversify their product arsenal while still capitalising on a recurring monthly revenue model (RMR). But then why has there been so much resistance to this change? Over the last 10 to 15 years, the cloud has gotten a bad rap for a myriad of reasons, including usability, management, and unreliability. However, that view of the cloud is changing for the positive as the technology becomes more advanced and innovators learn more about what it means to design a product or service with security at its core. "As-a-service” platform For example, one of the biggest misconceptions that plagues the cloud is the idea that it is not secure. However, the security of public cloud service providers is integral to their success because their business depends on it. Developing an ongoing and trustworthy relationship with customers can only be made possible through the assurance that their services are safe and the customer’s data is protected. As such, they’ve embraced the service-based model that is, at its core, the future of the business world as we know it. There isn’t a person, manufacturer, or integrator partner out there today who isn’t somehow touched or influenced by an “as-a-service” platform. And it’s about time the service-based model that leverages the public cloud reaches the masses.
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.”
There’s a lot of hype around the term ‘digital transformation.’ For some, it’s the integration of digital technology into everyday tasks. For others, it’s the incorporation of innovative processes aimed at making business optimisation easier. In most cases, digital transformation will fundamentally change how an organisation operates and delivers value to its customers. And within the security realm, the age of digital transformation is most certainly upon us. Technology is already a part of our day-to-day lives, with smart devices in our homes and the ability to perform tasks at our fingertips now a reality. No longer are the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities foreign and distant concepts full of intrigue and promise. Enhancing business operations We’re increasingly seeing devices become smarter and better able to communicate with each other These elements are increasingly incorporated into security solutions with each passing day, allowing enterprises the chance to experience countless benefits when it comes to enhancing both safety and business operations. The term ‘connected world’ is a derivative of the digital transformation, signifying the increasing reliance that we have on connectivity, smart devices and data-driven decision-making. As we become more familiar with the advantages, flaws, expectations and best practices surrounding the connected world, we can predict what issues may arise and where the market is heading. We’re increasingly seeing devices become smarter and better able to communicate with each other through the IoT to achieve both simple goals and arduous tasks. Within our homes, we’re able to control a myriad of devices with commands (‘Hey Google...’ or ‘Alexa...’), as well as recall data directly from our mobile devices, such as receiving alerts when someone rings our doorbell, there’s movement in our front yard or when a door has been unlocked. Analytics-driven solutions The focus is now shifting to the business impacts of connectivity between physical devices and infrastructures, and digital computing and analytics-driven solutions. Within physical security, connected devices can encompass a variety of sensors gathering massive amounts of data in a given timeframe: video surveillance cameras, access control readers, fire and intrusion alarms, perimeter detection and more.As the data from each of these sensors is collected and analysed through a central platform, the idea of a connected world comes to fruition, bringing situational awareness to a new level and fostering a sense of proactivity to identifying emerging threats. The connected world, however, is not without its challenges, which means that certain considerations must be made in an effort to protect data, enhance structured networking and apply protective protocols to developing technology. Physical security systems We can expect to see the conversations regarding data privacy and security increase as well As the use of connected devices and big data continue to grow, we can expect to see the conversations regarding data privacy and security increase as well. Connectivity between devices can open up the risk of cyber vulnerabilities, but designing safeguards as technology advances will lessen these risks. The key goal is to ensure that the data organisations are using for enhancement and improvements is comprehensively protected from unauthorised access. Manufacturers and integrators must be mindful of their products' capabilities and make it easy for end users to adhere to data sharing and privacy regulations. These regulations, which greatly affect physical security systems and the way they're managed, are being implemented worldwide, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the United States, California, Vermont and South Carolina have followed suit, and it can be expected that more countries and U.S. states develop similar guidelines in the future. Technology is already a part of our day-to-day lives, with smart devices in our homes and the ability to perform tasks at our fingertips now a reality Automatic security updates Mitigating the concerns of the ‘connected world’ extends beyond just data privacy. IoT technology is accelerating at such a pace that it can potentially create detrimental problems for which many organisations may be ill-prepared - or may not even be able to comprehend. The opportunities presented by an influx of data and the IoT, and applying these technologies to markets such as smart cities, can solve security and operational problems, but this requires staying proactive when it comes to threats and practicing the proper protection protocols. As manufacturers develop devices that will be connected on the network, integrating standard, built-in protections becomes paramount. This can take the form of continuous vulnerability testing and regular, automatic security updates. Protocols are now being developed that are designed to ensure everything is encrypted, all communications are monitored and multiple types of attacks are considered for defensive purposes to provide the best security possible. IoT-connected devices Hackers wishing to do harm will stop at nothing to break into IoT-connected devices Built-in protection mechanisms send these kinds of systems into protection mode once they are attacked by an outside source. Another way for manufacturers to deliver solutions that are protected from outside threats is through constant and consistent testing of the devices long after they are introduced to the market. Hackers wishing to do harm will stop at nothing to break into IoT-connected devices, taking every avenue to discover vulnerabilities. But a manufacturer that spends valuable resources to continue testing and retesting products will be able to identify any issues and correct them through regular software updates and fixes. ‘IoT’ has become a common term in our vocabularies and since it’s more widely understood at this point and time, it's exciting to think about the possibilities of this revolutionary concept. Providing critical insights The number of active IoT devices is expected to grow to 22 billion by 2025 — a number that is almost incomprehensible. The rise of 5G networks, artificial intelligence (AI) and self-driving cars can be seen on the horizon of the IoT. As more of these devices are developed and security protocols are developed at a similar pace, connected devices stand to benefit a variety of industries, such as smart cities. Smart cities rely on data communicated via the IoT to enhance processes and create streamlined approaches Smart cities rely on data communicated via the IoT to enhance processes and create streamlined approaches to ensuring a city is well-run and safe. For example, think of cameras situated at a busy intersection. Cameras at these locations have a variety of uses, such as investigative purposes in the event of an accident or for issuing red-light tickets to motorists. But there are so many other possible purposes for this connected device, including providing critical insights about intersection usage and traffic congestion. These insights can then be used to adjust stoplights during busy travel times or give cities valuable data that can drive infrastructure improvements. Physical security market The impact of connected devices on cities doesn’t stop at traffic improvement. The possibilities are endless; by leveraging rich, real-time information, cities can improve efficiencies across services such as transportation, water management and healthcare. However, stringent protections are needed to harden security around the networks transmitting this kind of information in an effort to mitigate the dangers of hacking and allow this technology to continuously be improved. Whether you believe we’re in the midst of a digital transformation or have already completed it, one thing is certain: businesses must begin thinking in these connectivity-driven terms sooner rather than later so they aren’t left behind. Leveraging smart, connected devices can catapult organisations into a new level of situational awareness, but adopting protections and remaining vigilant continues to be a stalwart of technological innovation within the physical security market and into the connected world.
People and vehicle access control specialist, Nortech is heading into the end of the year on a high with compliance with the latest ISO 9001 certification standard, a busy year at exhibitions and getting involved with a local teen pioneer being among the company main 2019 highlights. Nortech’s Managing Director Steve Blackler commented, “We are very pleased with how the company has progressed this year. We continue to grow and meet new standards and were also delighted to meet with Freddie Howells, a young inventor from nearby Usk over the summer to support him in his work to create a facial recognition door lock for an elderly relative with dementia.” Door Pi Plus facial recognition home security system Freddie was approached by Nortech to help develop his award-nominated home monitoring system After appearing in the news earlier in the year, Freddie was approached by Nortech to help him further develop his award-nominated home monitoring system. Freddie was invited to Nortech to discuss his product with the team and also received a tour of the site as well as some training to help him to expand his access control knowledge. When Freddie heard his 88-year-old great aunt Pat who has dementia was struggling with potentially letting strangers into her home, he wanted to do something, so went on to invent something that would help her and others when home alone. Freddie developed a facial recognition, door entry and home monitoring system, the Door Pi Plus, where a motion sensor attached to the individual’s front door detects motion and it triggers the camera to take a picture of the visitor. ID tagging and two factor authentication The image is checked against a database of ‘known’ faces and if the person is recognised they are able to scan their ID tag for two factor authentication. If the face and ID match, the door is opened. If the face and ID are not recognised the visitor is prompted to call a number to gain access. Following his visit to Nortech, Freddie has been offered ongoing support by the team to assist him in finalising his invention so it continues to help his great aunt and others in the future. Home monitoring system After taking on a number of apprentices in the last year, September has seen the intake progress into college programmes whilst still gaining experience alongside the Nortech technical team. The company’s commitment to growth and the community has played a big part in its success and enabled it to expand in other areas. To further help its installers, Nortech is developing a tech support area for its current website To further help its installers, Nortech is developing a tech support area for its current website to ensure engineers can access the material they need easily when installing Nortech products. Work on the website has led to more traffic and takes on board the suggestions made by those who frequently work with Nortech, who are then likely to also look at other areas of the website. Nortech technology support Among the news items regularly posted on its website and social media are references to Nortech’s presence at several shows this year and its pride in making the shortlist for a number of industry awards. Alongside the roadshows the company frequently attends, Nortech has also attended Parkex, Elevate and the LEGIC conference over the last few months and is constantly further developing its existing product range to satisfy industry demands. Nortech has supplied products and solutions to the security industry for over 25 years as an independent British company. The company uses extensive experience and expertise to create new security products to fit their clients’ needs and designs everything with the customer in mind.
People and vehicle access control specialist Nortech is now offering Nedap’s ANPR Lumo, an advanced licence plate camera for vehicle access control. The ANPR Lumo is an all-in-one licence plate camera, including embedded software, analyser and IR illuminator. With a range of action of 2 to 10 metres, the advanced camera ensures a smooth recognition of vehicles. Applications include automatic toll collection Typical applications include vehicle access control, automatic toll collection, free flow applications at parking facilities or other situations in which it not desirable to issue RFID tags. If vehicles need to be granted access temporarily or incidentally, the licence plate camera is the perfect solution. Features include: Standalone solution - The ANPR Lumo offers built-in vehicle access control features. The option to configure time-based access control lists (white list, black list, ignore list, etc.) in the web based software enables the camera to be used as a standalone solution. High accuracy - The deep learning algorithms enable a high accuracy with common license plate formats, like Europe, and regions with non-standardised license plate formats, such as the USA and Pacific. In addition, the ANPR Lumo is able to recognise ADR Hazard Identification Numbers (HIN), also known as Kemler Codes, which are used for the road transport of dangerous goods. Libraries - The ANPR Lumo covers a broad list of countries supporting a large range of IR-reflective license plates. User-friendly configuration - The web based software enables easy configuration of the ANPR Lumo. It allows for configuration of the output messages for RS485, Wiegand or Ethernet. In addition, digital I/O, region of interest and network settings can be defined. REST interface - The ANPR Lumo is equipped with a REST API that allows third parties to easily integrate the camera. The REST interface enables third party systems to request the last read licence plate and add licence plates to the white list. Easy installation - A mounting bracket is included as standard with the ANPR Lumo to ensure easy installation. With this bracket, the licence plate camera can be mounted onto a wall or pole and allows the camera to be adjusted to ensure reliable reading. Communication interfaces - The ANPR Lumo supports the industry-standard communication interfaces: RS485, Wiegand and Ethernet. This enables seamless integration into any existing or new access control/parking system. Wiegand interface - Most access control panels support Wiegand. The ANPR Lumo converts licence plate numbers into Wiegand ID strings and the built-in Wiegand option ensures easy and seamless integration into any new or existing access control panel.
People and vehicle access control specialist, Nortech offers a number of products within the Nedap product range that use vehicle tagging to identify individual vehicles while they are moving through a monitoring point. uPASS Reach reader The uPASS Reach reader offers long-range vehicle identification for up to 5 metres using the latest UHF technology. With consistent reading up to 5 metres and adjustable onsite reading as just two of the benefits of the system, the uPASS Reach reader has an elegant slim design, LED and audible read indication and is encased in weatherproof housing. It also operates with passive UHF tags, self-adhesive windscreen tags and hand-held tags with dual-technology options. Long-range passive UHF tags The reader output allows the access control system to open the gate/barrier when an authorised vehicle arrives When the uPASS Reach reader is installed (maximum height two metres) next to an automatic gate or barrier, long-range passive UHF tags are identified at a distance of up to 5 metres as soon as they are visible in direct line of sight of the reader. The reader output allows the access control system to open the gate/barrier when an authorised vehicle arrives without the need for the driver to present a card or badge, and the built-in high intensity LED provides the user visual feedback that the tag has been read. UHF tags are also both battery and maintenance-free. UHF Windshield Tag To work alongside the uPASS Reach, Nedap has designed four different UHF tags to suit all environments. The UHF Windshield Tag is a passive UHF transponder and offers long range identification up to 5 metres when installed inside non metallised windscreens. This provides cost-effective long range vehicle identification for access control applications and is available as a standard peel off version or as a tamperproof version for additional security. Passive UHF Exterior Tag Where vehicle windscreens are fully metallised, Nedap offers a passive UHF Exterior Tag which can be easily fitted onto non-metallic / plastic parts of the vehicle such as the headlights. For added security, the UHF Exterior Tag is a tamper resistant, transparent, adhesive tag. It will show visual proof of removal and is extremely difficult to remove, intact and functional. The chip inside is also protected against harmful UV rays. UHF Heavy Duty Tag This tag features a rugged design for long term use in outdoor and industrial environments The Nedap UHF Heavy Duty Tag is a passive UHF transponder which again offers long-range identification up to 5 metres with the uPASS Reach. However, this tag features a rugged design for long term use in outdoor and industrial environments. The UHF Heavy Duty Tag is a cost-effective solution for installations where the tag needs to be mounted onto the exterior of the vehicle and can also be cable tied or bolted onto bicycles, forklifts and many other industrial devices. Finally, the UHF ISO Combi Card is a card featured with long-range UHF tag and proximity or smartcard technology. Used for both people and vehicle access, it enables the use of one card for both vehicle and building access applications. Available with a range of formats such as Mifare, Legic and HID. Efficient vehicle identification reader The uPASS Reach reader complies with the ISO18000-6C and EPC global Gen 2 directive. This long-range vehicle identification reader is based on latest passive UHF technology. It is used in combination with battery free UHF (EPC Gen 2) tags, making this access control solution totally cost efficient. The uPASS Reach is ideal for convenient vehicle access to public car parks, private-run parking spaces and lots, gated communities and staff parking areas in corporate offices and government buildings.
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