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Edge devices (and edge computing) are the future. Although, this does seem a little cliché, it is the truth. The edge computing industry is growing as quickly as technology can support it and it looks like we will need it to. IoT global market The IoT (Internet of Things) industry alone will have put 15 billion new IoT devices into operation by the year 2020 according to a recent Forbes article titled, “10 Charts That Will Challenge Your Perspective of IoT’s growth”. IoT devices are not the only edge devices we have to deal with as the total number of connected edge devices includes the likes of devices like security devices, phones, sensors, retail sales devices, and industrial and home automation devices. The IoT (Internet of Things) industry alone will have put 15 billion new IoT devices into operation by the year 2020 The sheer number of devices begins to bring thoughts of possible security and bandwidth implications into perspective. The amount of data that will need to be passed and processed with all of these devices will be massive. There needs to be consideration taken by all business owners and automation engineers into how this amount of data and processing will be conducted. Ever-expanding edge devices market As the number of edge devices in the marketplace and their use among consumers and businesses rises, the need to be able to handle the data from all of these devices is no longer going to be suitable for central server architectures. We are talking about hundreds of billions and even trillions of devices. According to IHS Markit researchers’ study, there were 245 million CCTV cameras worldwide. One has to imagine there are at least 25% of that many access control devices (61.25 million devices) based on a $344 million market cap also calculated by IHS Markit’s researchers. If all the other edge devices mentioned earlier are considered then one can see that trying to route them all through servers for processing is going to start to become difficult if it hasn’t already, -which arguably it already has, as is evidenced by the popularity of cloud-based solutions amongst those businesses that already use a lot of edge devices or are processing a lot of information on a constant basis. Cloud computing The question is whether cloud computing the most effective and efficient solution as the IoT industry grows The question is this; is cloud computing the most effective and efficient solution as the IoT industry grows and the amount of edge devices becomes so numerous? My belief is that it is not. Taking the example of a $399 USD device that is just larger than the size of a pack of cards and runs a CPU benchmarked at the same level as a mid-size desktop. This device has 8GB RAM and 64GB EMMC built-in and a GPU that can comfortably support a 4K signal at 60Hz with support for NVMe SSDs for add-on storage. This would have been unbelievable five years ago. As the price of edge computing goes down, which it has done in a dramatic way over the last 10 years (as can be seen with my recent purchase), the price to maintain a central server that can perform the processing required for all of the new devices being introduced to the world (due to the low cost of entry for edge device manufacturers) becomes more expensive. This introduces the guarantee that there will be a point where it will be less expensive for businesses, and consumers alike, to do the bulk of their processing at the edge as opposed to in central server architectures. Cloud computing is now being overtaken by edge computing, the method of processing data at the edge of the network in the devices themselves Edge computing There are a plethora of articles discussing and detailing the opposition between the two sides of the computing technology coin, cloud computing and edge computing. The gist of it is that “cloud computing” was the hot new buzzword three years ago and is now being overtaken by “edge computing.” The truth is that cloud computing is a central server architecture hosted at someone else’s location. Edge computing is going to be a necessary development in the technology industry Edge computing is the method of processing data at the edge of the network (in the devices themselves) and allowing for less resources required at a central location. There is certainly a use case for both, however the shift to edge computing amongst the general public and small to mid-sized businesses will not be a surprise to those players, who have been paying attention. One article titled, “Next Big Thing In Cloud Computing Puts Amazon And Its Peers On The Edge” by Investor’s Business Daily takes the stance that edge computing is going to completely displace centralised cloud computing and even coins the phrase, “Cloud computing, decentralised” to explain edge computing. It speaks for the stance that most experts in technology seem to be taking, including Amazon Web Services’ VP of Technology, Marco Argenti according to the same article. We know that edge computing is going to be a necessary development in the technology industry, and it is happening as I write this, and quickly at that. Cost efficiency of edge processing As time goes on, the intersection between the prices of network bandwidth, edge processing and maintaining super powerful central servers will cause edge processing to be the most efficient and cost-effective way to maintain a scalable network in any environment, including datacenters. Owning a central server or utilising edge computing become the better options As it currently stands, most residential users can only achieve a 1Gbps WAN (internet) connection, and small to medium-sized business can’t get much more but seem to get much less, based on my personal experience. When more than 1Gbps needs to be processed, cloud computing becomes very expensive at which point, owning a central server or utilising edge computing become the better options. Then you look a total cost of ownership and when the cost of edge computing is less expensive than the cost of maintaining central server architectures, edge computing becomes the single best option. So, I’ll say it again, edge devices (and edge computing) are the future.
ISC West continues to innovate and adapt to the changing needs of the security marketplace. In 2019, there will be 200 new exhibitors, 100 new speakers and an expanding mix of attendees that includes more end users and international attendees. The International Security Conference & Exposition (ISC West) will be held April 10-12 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Among the more than 200 new exhibitors on the show floor will be Dell Technologies, Resideo, SAST (a Bosch IoT startup), Belkin International, NetApp, Lenovo, Kingston Technology and many others. The event continues to see more and more solutions in the area of IoT/connected security, a surge in barrier/bollards exhibitors, an increased number of start-up companies, and an emphasis this year on stadium/major events security. Plus, the new exhibit area of ISC West, Venetian Ballroom, will include a mix of solutions from mid-sized domestic and international companies, and is the home of the Emerging Technology Zone – back for its second year with 50-plus start-up companies expected. The International Security Conference & Exposition (ISC West) will be held April 10-12 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas “ISC West is no longer just about video cameras, access control systems and alarms,” says Will Wise, Group Vice President, Security Portfolio for Reed Exhibitions, which produces and manages ISC West. Embracing and stimulating the market dynamic of comprehensive security for a safer, connected world, solutions on display at the show reflect convergence across physical security, IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology). The ISC West expo floor includes specialised featured areas such Connected Home, Public Safety & Security, Connected Security, Unmanned Security Expo and the Emerging Technology Zone. Plus, complimentary education sessions in the Unmanned Security Expo theatre will include topics such as drones, counter-drone solutions, ground robotics and regulations/policies that support autonomous technology. This year’s event will feature more than 1,000 products and brands covering everything from video surveillance, access control and alarms/alerts, to IoT, IT/cybersecurity convergence, AI, embedded systems, drones and robotics, smart homes, smart cities, public safety and more. The ISC West expo floor includes specialised featured areas such Connected Home and the Emerging Technology Zone Elevating the Keynote Series Over the past few years, ISC West has elevated its Keynote Series (open to all attendee types) to include more speakers and dynamic content covering relevant topics. Attendees should be sure to head to the Keynote room Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m. before the expo floor opens at 10 a.m. Relating to attendance, ISC West continues to diversify and grow the attendee universe by attracting additional enterprise government end-users across physical and IT/OT responsibilities. The show also continues to attract and grow the channel audience, and there will be an increasing number of International attendees. “Years ago, ISC West was known exclusively as a dealer/integrator/installer show, but not anymore,” says Wise. “Today, the demographic mix continues to evolve as the event diversifies its product and educational offerings, embracing the current market reality of collaboration among integrators/dealers/installers, end-user decision-makers, and public safety and security professionals.” When planning for the show, be sure to view the list of special events and take advantage of the additional connection-making opportunities Within the SIA Education@ISC West conference program, there are over 100 new speakers. Through ISC West’s strong partnership with the Security Industry Association (SIA, the Premier Sponsor of ISC), the SIA Education@ISC West program has expanded and become increasingly dynamic and diverse over the last three years. In addition, ISC West and SIA are hosting a Women in Security breakfast on Friday morning April 12th. Women in Security is a new track for the education program. “Our attendance data reflects the demand for a mix of physical security integrator and end-user content, a balance of technical and management/strategic topics, and diverse topics incorporating IoT and cybersecurity/physical security convergence, and analytics expertise,” says Wise. “Last year was a record year for conference program attendance, and 2019 will yet again set new benchmarks.” Mobile apps, information desks and ease of registration ISC West is also focusing on the attendee experience. Need advice on what exhibitors are a fit for your business needs and interests? The Information Desk adjacent to the main expo entrance will provide customised recommendations based on the information attendees provided during the registration process. Attendees can download the official ISC West mobile app and create a MyShow account through the ISC West website Attendees can download the official ISC West mobile app and create a MyShow account through the ISC West website to research exhibitors and product categories, receive exhibitor recommendations that best fit business needs, review complimentary educational opportunities as well as 85-plus sessions from the paid SIA Education@ISC program. There are many networking opportunities being offered at the show this year. When planning for the show, be sure to view the list of special events and take advantage of the additional connection-making opportunities. Whether attendees want to network with peers or customers at an awards ceremony (Sammy Awards, Fast 50, New Product Showcase Awards), Charity event (AIREF Golf Classic, Mission 500 Security 5K-2K Run/Walk), or an industry party (SIA Market Leaders Reception, ISC West Customer Appreciation Party at Tao), there are a variety of special events offered, all designed to help you make new connections. Make sure to check out the ISC West website for all the Special Events taking place at ISC West.
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.
Apollo Security, a premier provider of access control and alarm monitoring solutions for over 30 years announces the appointment of Reuben Rebullar as Director of Engineering. Mr. Rebullar will be responsible for ongoing development and expansion of Apollo’s robust open hardware platform and feature rich software platform. Integrated security systems expert Mr. Rebullar joins Apollo with 12 years of experience in the hardware and software industry, most recently serving as Engineering Manager at Mercury Security in Long Beach, CA. He will oversee the development of Apollo’s fast-growing ASP Series Network Clustering Integrated Controllers as well as APACS software platform. While known primarily for integrated security systems, Apollo has been providing OEM hardware solutions for the entire life of the company and recently established ApolloEM as a division dedicated to sales and support for software developers and advanced system integrators. “We are delighted to welcome Reuben to the Apollo family and look forward to the new exciting innovations he and his team will deploy for our customers,” commented Clifford Crane, Managing Director of Apollo.
ADME, Inc., parent company of Apollo Security Access Control has announced creation of a new division for sales and support exclusively for its Software OEM and Integration partners. This new division, named ApolloEM, will be responsible to provide support for industry partners that use Apollo’s hardware platforms along with their own software solutions. “Providing hardware-only solutions to our partners has been a significant part of Apollo’s business since the very beginning,” explained William Lorber, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Establishing a separate division to strengthen our role as an Access Hardware OEM became logical as more partners are coming on board to utilise our new product line.” Lorber went on to explain that Apollo’s new ASP Series Controllers allow easy integration as well as post-factory customisation with App Scripting.” ASP-4 integrated controller/reader interface The flagship of the new hardware series, ASP-4 is a four-door integrated controller/reader interface designed for secure, high volume applications. In addition to expansion options via OSDP to support up to 20 readers, the ASP-4 can work in a network device cluster to support up to 128 doors working as a single management unit. Other features such as a native Open Platform SDK, on-board app scripting and 3rd-party serial device support make ASP Series an attractive choice for system integrators and software OEMs in the security industry. ApolloEM ApolloEM will provide support for existing partners as well as market to potential new partners. Upcoming events for 2018 include Security Essen and ASIS/GSX as well as product and technical seminars worldwide.
Everyone can agree the convergence trend is in full force in the electronic security industry and organisations are pushing more and more for integrated solutions that can not only enhance ROI but also solve problems that have traditionally been out of the realm of electronic physical security systems. This leaves system integrators and other solution providers in a difficult position as they scramble to be competitive especially when faced with an industry dominated by a few power players. Tackling this problem can now be a matter of survival for small to medium players especially in regional markets. To address this need, Apollo Security Access Control has introduced the new ASP Series Controllers that promise to set a new standard in for secure, scalable and customisable solutions. For 30 years, Apollo has been known for producing some of the most robust hardware in the industry and with the ASP series a new layer of flexibility has been added by allowing ‘post-factory’ customisation in addition to many other feature upgrades. This will have the effect to put more control in the hands of integrators and even end-users so they are not locked into hardware solutions that are ‘off the shelf’ and don’t provide any ability to adapt to customer specific needs for the present or the future. The flagship of Apollo’s new controller series, the ASP-4 is an intelligent access controller designed to provide a high performance security solution Intelligent access controller The flagship of Apollo’s new controller series, the ASP-4 is an intelligent access controller designed to provide a high performance security solution with the ability to solve non-standard problems. Natively, the ASP-4 can support four readers and four doors, but when clustered with 32 other ASP devices it can secure up to 128 doors in one management unit by utilising inter-device communication across standard IT networks. Each ASP-4 can also support up to 16 additional readers by utilising OSDP Secure Channel communications, supporting configurations such as 4 Doors with In/Out (8 Readers) or even more doors by adding input/output modules for door control. Enterprise capacity of 250,000+ cardholders, 300 access levels with up to 50 access levels per card is provided at each device, providing total cardholder and access rights database redundancy, preventing reduced functionality modes such as ‘facility code check only’. The ASP’s real power lies however with the ability to customise the functions of the controller by loading customised App Scripts and third-party protocols. Using industry standard ‘C-like’ programming language, the ASP can have new functions designed by the integrator. Running customisations at the hardware level instead of in software offers the benefits of drastically reduced time/cost of implementation as well as superior reliability. Whereas before if an organisation wanted to integrate a new device such as an alarm panel, fire system or similar they would have to request software customisation which can take months and cost tens of thousands of dollars, with the ASP such a task can take days or weeks and be completed with a budget of hundreds of dollars. An example of how effective this customisation works was provided by a subsidiary of a large multi-national Corporate access control solutions An example of how effective this customisation works was provided by a subsidiary of a large multi-national that was struggling to comply with strict labor regulations. Under these rules, workers in their factory can only work six consecutive days, requiring the seventh day for rest. The HR department struggled to keep track of this as each employee’s rest day could be prior to when six days was expired; in addition to workers switching shifts and other complications the tracking was too difficult to be done manually, so an automated solution was necessary. The current access control solution the company was using didn’t provide any solution for this so the only possibility was expensive customisation which would take 3-4 months and then provide no guarantee in the future what would happen if needs changed. With ASP-4, Apollo’s local partner was able to offer a much more rapid solution. The requirements were programmed into a logic script that was loaded to the controller. This script checks every cardholder at time of access for any violation of the rules and will deny access if necessary, then displaying a reason on an LCD display as well as flash an indicator light so that the cardholder will know it is not simply an access level error that has denied their entry. This customisation took less than one man-day to program and was tested over the course of one week and was then ready to be deployed. The ability to do this customisation gave the partner the edge needed to provide a timely, cost effective solution to a problem that could have cost the company greatly if a work-related accident resulted in legal action. In the future, the logic script can be easily changed for example if the company would like to move to a five-day work week in the future. Additional customisation possibilities are possible using the serial connections of the ASP Real-time monitoring Additional customisation possibilities are possible using the serial connections of the ASP. This allows integration of input devices such as scales or barcode scanners, or interface to any device that has a serial interface such as displays, mimic panels, entry phone systems and more. Protocols for these devices can be embedded in scripts and the devices can assume alarm input/output functions or even new card reader types can be supported such as wireless locks or long-range RFID readers. In addition to being customisable, the ASP of course is designed with security in mind. With all communication channels being secured with 128-bit TLS encryption which prevents attempts to intercept or forge data. Security goes all the way down to the reader using OSDP Secure Channel to protect card reader data transmission lines. Being able to communicate simultaneously with up to five software hosts also gives the ASP ability to be monitored in real-time by redundant systems, ensuring that important alarms are always delivered in time for the security team to react. Software OEMs and System Integrators The ASP Series has been designed from the ground up to be friendly to Software OEMs and System Integrators using other systems in place of or in addition to Apollo Security’s software platform. A native Open Platform SDK allows tight integration with all the ASP’s standard features in addition to the customisations available through scripting and embedded software. The SDK comes with several integration pathways including .NET and Python and includes sample code, tutorials and online developer support. To better support Software OEM partners, Apollo Security’s parent company, ADME INC., has recently announced a new division, ApolloEM which will provide support for partners that utilise the ASP hardware platform in their own software solutions. William Lorber, Vice President of Sales and Marketing said, “Establishing a separate division to strengthen our role as an Access Hardware OEM became logical as more partners are coming on board to utilise our new product line. We are excited to see the solutions that our partners develop on this platform.” Lorber added that partners will be able to share and market their solutions on the upcoming App Script Library platform that Apollo will roll out later this year to expand the effectiveness of ASP solutions.
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