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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.
Christopher Columbus and his Spanish colonisers brought sugarcane into the Dominican Republic at the end of the 15th century. Today, agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the Dominican Republic’s national economy and sugarcane is the country’s most important agricultural product. The processing of the sugarcane stalk produces sucrose, the main product of sugarcane. Cane accounts for about 80 percent of the world’s sugar produced, while most of the remaining percentage is made from sugar beets. Named after the man who is credited with bringing the crop into the Dominican Republic, Cristobal Colon is the second largest producer of sugarcane in the country based in San Pedro de Macoris, 45 miles east of Santo Domingo. Getting compensated accurately The company produces sugarcane in two regions of the Dominican Republic with the second site about 30 miles west of Santo Domingo. While 95 percent of the company’s revenue comes from sugarcane, Cristobal Colon also produces meats and fruits, including mangos and pineapples. Overall, Cristobal Colon owns about 23,000 hectares (or around 57,000 acres) of land, on which approximately 3,500 migrant personnel work during the harvesting season between December and May. Off-season, the company continues to employ about 1,000 people on its plantations. With such a busy harvesting season and employees that are paid in cash, Cristobal Colon was having difficulty making sure that its workers were getting compensated accurately. The company, like many others that have large amounts of migrant workers, was relying on ID cards and management’s visual verification of each person to make sure that the correct individuals were receiving their cash wages. Sometimes workers did not have their ID cards with them, and they were using another individual’s ID card to collect wages that were not their own. Espinal and his team began researching for a fail-proof way to better identify workers for cash payments out in the field Biometrically authentication “It’s a very weak way to identify people; sometimes we just had to trust that the co-worker was identifying himself correctly,” said Edgar Espinal, information technology manager at Cristobal Colon. A few years ago, Espinal and his team began researching for a fail-proof way to better identify workers for cash payments out in the field. A previous failed attempt with one software developer left Espinal searching the Internet for a software company that could help, which is how he came upon HID Global and its credential verification software development division in the United States. Cristobal Colon asked HID Global to develop a custom product that would allow them to biometrically authenticate their employees before handing them their wages, without the use of cards or certificates. Rather than a one-to-many match process to verify if a person has certificates or access to a particular site, Cristobal Colon needed a way to identify a person one-to-one, to ensure they were who they said they were. Development of the software Managers out in the field needed to know if the person giving them his fingerprint was in fact the exact person he claimed to be. “Our basic need is to know who the person giving us their fingerprint is,” said Espinal. “It took about four months to fully develop.” HID Global relied upon the expertise of employee Miriam Celi, a software engineer whose native language is Spanish To develop the solution for Cristobal Colon, HID Global relied upon the expertise of employee Miriam Celi, a software engineer whose native language is Spanish. Celi developed the software to meet the sugarcane producer’s specific needs, and wrote the program in Spanish, which included all of the manuals and graphical displays. “When we received the call from Edgar at Cristobal Colon, we knew this was going to be a unique project,” said Geri Castaldo, vice president, Business Development, Federal Identity with HID Global. “Not only was it an interesting use case for biometric software, but it’s the first time we’ve developed a solution in Spanish.” Handheld mobile readers Once HID Global developed the software to be used without cards for identification, Cristobal Colon’s IT staff built an interface with the company’s human resources and payment systems. They tied it together using handheld mobile readers from Intermec with Edgeline Technologies’ PIV endcap, which includes a Sagem compact biometric module. “It is of great importance to know we are paying the right people, regardless of whether they have a personal ID with them or not,” said Espinal. Employees are first enrolled on a desktop computer at the company’s headquarters by taking their fingerprints and making sure there are no duplicates in the system. The fingerprints are stored in the company’s HR database along with a PIN for each person. Espinal and his team were worried that the system would run into problems identifying people, since many of the workers have worn out fingerprints Problems identifying people That data is pushed to Intermec handheld devices equipped with Edgeline fingerprint accessories for use in the field. Managers on the plantation sites then use the handheld devices to scan fingerprints and PIN numbers before paying the employee. If both steps are exact matches, the worker receives their wages. Initially, Espinal and his team were worried that the system would run into problems identifying people, particularly since many of the workers have worn out fingerprints or calluses on their hands from manual labour. “We were expecting violations and a lower rate of positive ID because of the nature of them working with their hands,” Espinal explained. “We have had a few people try to misidentify themselves, but it hasn’t been possible. We have had 100% validation with no false positives or non-validations. It has exceeded our expectations.” Streamlining business practices The sugarcane producer began with 10 mobile devices and soon after increased its count to 30. Most recently, Cristobal Colon added eight more mobile devices, and more tablet PCs and desktop stations running the software to keep up with new applications that its IT staff continues to develop. One of those new applications that Cristobal Colon has found useful is tying the biometric information it has for employees into its cafeteria payment system. “Employees validate themselves with their fingerprints in the cafeteria and it goes directly into our payroll system,” Espinal explained. “We are very excited about that and it’s something that the software made possible for us to do.” As Cristobal Colon’s needs have expanded, the sugarcane company has found more possibilities to use its HID Global biometric verification software that go beyond paying workers in the field, and they continue to look for ways to use the software to simplify and streamline business practices even further. Company wants to have a way to ensure they are providing the appropriate people with their allotted number of services Expanding biometric enrolment Cristobal Colon is currently in the process of gearing up to use the software to develop a Census application, which will expand biometric enrolment into the company’s database to include family members of employees and people living in the community. The company provides a number of services to community members, such as sanitary services, education and medical services and the company wants to have a way to ensure they are providing the appropriate people with their allotted number of services, as well as making sure services are not duplicated. “We want to know every one’s biometric signatures, and better track what services are being used and who is getting the services,” Espinal said. “These are all things that we couldn’t have developed without the right partner. HID Global really worked with us to find a unique solution for our market that we couldn’t find anywhere else, and together, we developed a terrific product.”
SETAF 2016 will bring together military and industry experts to lead focused discussion group SMi Group is delighted to welcome on board Systems Engineering and Assessment Ltd (SEA), the latest speaker to sign up for SMi's 2nd annual Soldier Equipment and Technology Advancement Forum (SETAF) taking place 14-15 March in London. Uniting military & industry experts SETAF 2016 will bring together military and industry experts to lead focused discussion groups and help participants drill down on the latest strategic, technical and scientific research, all designed to allow those at the forum to return to their organisations better equipped to solve the next big programme challenges. Join the following discussion groups with SEA's Land Project Manager Justin Prowse and Senior Principal Consultant Colin Rayment: Situational Awareness: Effectively delivering data to the dismounted soldier for increased situational awareness and decisive decision making (with British Army and BAE Systems) Approaches to enhancing soldier lethality via weapon system upgrades and increased co-operation with supporting arms (with British Army, John H. Northrop and Associates and United States) The science behind the system (with DSTL, Thales and Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology) Confirmed attendees With top-ranking military officers representing 10 nations and leading soldier programmes experts all under one roof, this is the event you cannot afford to miss. Our expert speaker line up 2016 includes key decision makers from the military sector (US Army, DSTL (UK), British Army, German Army, Swedish Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence (Netherlands)) and the industry sector (BAE Systems, Sagem, Rheinmetall Electronics, Thales) and many more. Over 20 hours of informal networking, more than at any other soldier system meeting in 2016! Confirmed attendees include representatives from Ministry of Defence Singapore, Thales Norway, Bundeswehr, Ultra Electronics, MOD Abbeywood, Otis Technology, Bren-Tronics, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Fokker Special Products, and many more. Unique opportunities for discussion, including 2 morning coffee breaks, 2 networking lunches and 2 afternoon tea sessions. Make new contacts and form the relationships you can count on in the future. After the success of our last conference, SETAF 2016 is guaranteed to sell out once again.
Sagem and Thales bring to Sofradir IR technologies originally developed for their internal purposes Sagem (Safran group), Thales and Sofradir have signed an agreement for Sofradir to acquire Sagem and Thales’ infrared (IR) detector technology development and manufacturing facilities. Sagem and Thales bring to Sofradir IR technologies originally developed for their internal purposes. IR detectors are advanced technology components at the centre of multiple military, space, commercial and scientific applications: thermal imagers, missile seekers, surveillance systems, targeting systems or observation satellites. Their performance and price are key to the competitiveness of optronics systems. Under the agreement, Sagem will transfer to Sofradir the Indium Antimonide (InSb) technology. The Quantum Well-Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) and Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) technologies will be transferred to Sofradir from the GIE III-V Lab, an economic interest group with partners Alcatel Lucent, Thales and research institute CEA (the French nuclear energy and alternate energies commission). By consolidating these IR technologies under one roof, Sofradir joins a very small circle of IR detector manufacturers with expertise in all the cooled and uncooled IR technologies. The acquisition will reinforce Sofradir’s leading position in Europe and pave the way to a global leadership position in the imaging market. Sofradir is currently ranked number one for volume deliveries of IR detectors based on its Mercury Cadmium Telluride (HgCdTe) technology. Serge Adrian, senior vice president of land defence at Thales and Philippe Petitcolin, chairman and CEO of Sagem praised the agreement that strengthens a key technopole and further enhances years of research initially carried out by Thales and then by the III-V Lab and Sagem: “We are confident that Sofradir will take these IR activities to the next level and benefit from the synergies between the different IR technologies.” “The technologies from Sagem and the III-V Lab enable Sofradir to have from this point forward the complete portfolio of infrared technologies. These assets consolidate Sofradir’s leadership position,” said Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO of Sofradir. “With the new technologies, Sofradir along with its subsidiary ULIS will be able to select the technology best adapted to our clients’ applications. We are in a fortified position to offer IR products with more innovation, performance and compactness in order to respond to any IR market need.”
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