Access control software - Expert commentary

How body worn cameras and AI can curb the issue of abusive behaviour
How body worn cameras and AI can curb the issue of abusive behaviour

Amongst the many negative consequences of the pandemic is a rise in violent and abusive behaviour across society. Health workers have experienced it on a regular basis. So too have police officers and public transport workers. Unfortunately, violence and abuse towards shop workers is also endemic in British society. To address this problem which, in truth, has been on the rise since long before the emergence of COVID-19, we need better deterrents. The ability to prosecute these offences is one such deterrent, but just as important is the ability to deescalate situations before they spill over into unacceptable or unlawful behaviour. Major retail customers In both instances, organisations of all sizes are now recognising that the answer could involve greater use of rapidly advancing body worn camera technology. Andy Marsh, the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, is one of the police officers responsible for introducing body worn cameras to the UK police force, where they are now in widespread use. Andy Marsh is one of the police officers responsible for introducing body worn cameras to the UK police force He explains that “The reason the majority of people don’t speed or drink-drive is that rational human beings weigh up the risk and consequences of breaking the law and getting caught. Body worn cameras help provide appropriate ‘desistance’, especially where there are forward-facing screens so the person interacting with the wearer can see themselves and their behaviour.” Evidence shows that if a forward-facing camera is switched on before the intervention becomes hostile, it will generally lead to a de-escalation – as often as 90% of the time, according to one of our major retail customers. Digital evidence investigations Only a tiny handful of abusive incidents ever translate into arrests and prosecutions. A key issue is a lack of clear evidence – how to get past the usual impasse of one person’s word against the other. Body worn cameras break the deadlock and allow organisations to report incidents to the police with confidence, knowing that they will lead to action. Marsh suggests that “We usually see an earlier admission, an earlier guilty plea and a more appropriate sentence, where body worn camera footage is in play.” The technology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. For example, it’s now possible to record high-definition footage on a lightweight device that’s barely the size of a palm. And it’s not just about the evidence organisations gather themselves. Many police forces are looking at ways to make it easier for businesses and the public to collaborate on digital evidence investigations. Body worn cameras This is good for the victims of crime because it means we get the evidence more quickly" “We’ve created an online crime portal in Avon and Somerset which people can use to pass digital evidence and material to us without an officer having to attend their premises. This is good for the victims of crime because it means we get the evidence more quickly and can take action more swiftly to resolve that issue,” adds Marsh. Our body worn cameras can now even support facial recognition thanks to new, smart AI on the devices themselves, which can scan and process faces within a three-metre distance against a pre-defined database of people (which we call a watchlist). Any matches trigger alerts or additional camera activity such as recording and streaming, while the facial recognition data of people not on the watchlist itself is not recorded or saved to assuage privacy concerns. Similar criminal behaviour Where could this technology come in handy? Well, staff at gambling venues or in-store retail workers could undoubtedly benefit from the ability to quickly spot known fraudsters or addicts who have requested that venues refuse their custom. Stewards at mass sporting events could play a key role in helping to identify people who have been banned from attending. The primary reason for using body worn cameras is to increase the safety of frontline workers The primary reason for using body worn cameras is to increase the safety of frontline workers, deescalating confrontations and limiting the use of force. AI-powered facial recognition can also serve this purpose by helping them make better-informed choices about how to handle specific situations. For example, it is a massive advantage to police officers on the beat to understand that the person they are dealing with may have a history of similar criminal behaviour. Facial recognition technology But it’s also an advantage within retail, where aggressive incidents are on the rise and staff need all the help they can get to determine what an appropriate response should be to a particular customer incident. In fact, extensive consultation with our retail, police, transport and gambling customers indicates that introducing facial recognition technology to body worn cameras could be instrumental, not just in helping to prevent crime, but in tracking down vulnerable and missing people too. Of course, facial recognition technology has to be balanced against the need to protect the privacy of ordinary citizens. Video recording using body worn cameras has to be done proportionately – the same is true for the use of facial recognition technology. The technology also has to be compliant with GDPR, Data Protection, the Information Commissioners recommendations and so on. Positive working environment Violent and abusive incidents affect everyone in the immediate vicinity and create a culture of fear Importantly, it should be for a specific, proportionate and justifiable reason which, of course, means it should never be used for indiscriminate mass surveillance. Every organisation using this technology must remember that a facial recognition system match is not proof of someone’s identity, but rather, an indication of likelihood to help inform the user rather than dictate the course of action. Violent and abusive incidents affect everyone in the immediate vicinity and create a culture of fear and apprehension. This is why it’s so important to get on top of the problem – both on a societal and at an organisational level. Body worn cameras have a vital role to play, as an evidence-gathering tool and as a deterrent that empowers the wearer and creates a more positive working environment. Deterring unlawful behaviour One of the critical roles these cameras play is in staff training, providing real-world video evidence that can be used to educate and upskill workers across a variety of industries. Society’s problem with abusive and violent behaviour cannot be solved by technology alone. But with exceptional quality camera footage now a reality, and the possibility of AI technology at the device level in real-time, body worn cameras will only get better at deterring unlawful behaviour and helping to protect hardworking frontline staff. Alasdair Field is CEO of video technology provider Reveal, which works with UK police forces and major brands such as Matalan, JD Sports and Boots to help them improve staff safety, deescalate confrontations and reduce violent and abusive incidents.

What you need to know about open source intelligence (OSINT) for emergency preparedness?
What you need to know about open source intelligence (OSINT) for emergency preparedness?

Have you ever stopped to consider the volume of new data created daily on social media? It’s staggering. Take Twitter, for instance. Approximately 500 million tweets are published every day, adding up to more than 200 billion posts per year. On Facebook, users upload an additional 350 million photos per day, and on YouTube, nearly 720,000 hours of new video content is added every 24 hours. While this overwhelming volume of information may be of no concern to your average social media user posting updates to keep up with family and friends, it’s of particular interest to corporate security and safety professionals who are increasingly using it to monitor current events and detect potential risks around their people and locations—all in real-time. Meet the fast-paced and oft-confusing world of open-source intelligence (OSINT). What is Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)? The U.S. Department of State defines OSINT as, “intelligence that is produced from publicly available information and is collected, exploited, and disseminated promptly to an appropriate audience to address a specific intelligence requirement.” The concept of monitoring and leveraging publicly available information sources for intelligence purposes dates back to the 1930s. The British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) was approached by the British government and asked to develop a new service that would capture and analyse print journalism from around the world. Monitoring and identifying potential threats Originally named the “Digest of Foreign Broadcast, the service (later renamed BBC Monitoring which still exists today) captured and analysed nearly 1.25 million broadcast words every day to help British intelligence officials keep tabs on conversations taking place abroad and what foreign governments were saying to their constituents. OSINT encompasses any publicly accessible information that can be used to monitor and identify potential threats Today, OSINT broadly encompasses any publicly accessible information that can be used to monitor and identify potential threats and/or relevant events with the potential to impact safety or business operations. The potential of OSINT data is extraordinary. Not only can it enable security and safety teams to quickly identify pertinent information that may pose a material risk to their business or people, but it can also be captured by anyone with the right set of tools and training. OSINT for cybersecurity and physical threat detection Whether it be a significant weather event, supply chain disruptions, or a world health crisis few saw coming, the threats facing organisations continue to increase in size and scale. Luckily, OSINT has been able to accelerate how organisations detect, validate, and respond to these threats, and it has proved invaluable in reducing risk and informing decision-making – especially during emergencies. OSINT is typically shared in real-time, so once a situation is reported, security teams can then work on verifying critical details such as the location or time an incident occurred or provide the most up-to-date information about rapidly developing events on the ground. They can then continue to monitor online chatter about the crisis, increasing their situational awareness and speeding up their incident response times. OSINT applications OSINT can help detect when sensitive company information may have been accessed by hackers  Severe weather offers a good example of OSINT in action. Say an organisation is located in the Great Plains. They could use OSINT from sources like the National Weather Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to initiate emergency communications to employees about tornado warnings, high winds, or other dangerous conditions as they are reported. Another common use case for OSINT involves data breaches and cyber-attacks. OSINT can help detect when sensitive company information may have been accessed by hackers by monitoring dark web messaging boards and forums. In 2019, T-Mobile suffered a data breach that affected more than a million customers, but it was able to quickly alert affected users after finding their personal data online. OSINT is a well-established field with countless applications. Unfortunately, in an ever-changing digital world, it’s not always enough to help organizations weather a crisis. Why OSINT alone isn’t enough? One of the core challenges with leveraging OSINT data, especially social media intelligence (SOCMINT), is that much of it is unstructured and spread across many disparate sources, making it difficult to sort through, manage, and organise. Consider the social media statistics above. Assuming a business wanted to monitor all conversations on Twitter to ensure all relevant information was captured, it would need to both capture and analyze 500 million individual posts every day. Assuming a trained analyst spent just three seconds analysing each post, that would amount to 1.5 billion seconds of labor—equivalent to 416,666 hours—just to keep pace. While technology and filters can greatly reduce the burden and help organisations narrow the scope of their analysis, it’s easy to see how quickly human capital constraints can limit the utility of OSINT data—even for the largest companies. Challenges with OSINT OSINT data collection includes both passive and active techniques, each requiring a different level of effort and skill Additionally, collecting OSINT data is time-consuming and resource-intensive. Making sense of it remains a highly specialised skill set requiring years of training. In an emergency where every second count, the time required to sift through copious amounts of information takes far longer than the time in which an organisation must take meaningful action to alter the outcome. Compounding the issue, OSINT data is noisy and difficult to filter. Even trained analysts find the need to constantly monitor, search, and filter voluminous troves of unstructured data tedious. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have helped weed through some of this data faster, but for organisations with multiple locations tasked with monitoring hundreds or thousands of employees, it’s still a challenging task. Adding to the complexity, collecting OSINT data isn’t easy. OSINT data collection includes both passive and active techniques, each requiring a different level of effort and skill. Passive vs Active OSINT Passive OSINT is typically anonymous and meant to avoid drawing attention to the person requesting the information. Scrolling user posts on public social media profiles is a good example of passive OSINT. Active OSINT refers to information proactively sought out, but it often requires a more purposeful effort to retrieve it. That may mean specific login details are needed to access a website where information is stored. Lastly, unverified OSINT data can’t always be trusted. Analysts often encounter false positives or fake reports, which not only take time to confirm accuracy, but if they act on misinformation, the result could be damage to their organisation’s reputation or worse. So, how can companies take advantage of it without staffing an army of analysts or creating operational headaches? A new path for OSINT Organisations can leverage the benefits of OSINT to improve situational awareness and aid decision-making Fortunately, organisations can leverage the benefits of OSINT to improve situational awareness and aid decision-making without hiring a dedicated team of analysts to comb through the data. By combining OSINT data with third-party threat intelligence solutions, organisations can get a cleaner, more actionable view of what’s happening in the world. Threat intelligence solutions not only offer speed by monitoring for only the most relevant events 24/7/365, but they also offer more comprehensive coverage of a wide range of threat types. What’s more, the data is often verified and married with location intelligence to help organisations better understand if, how, and to what extent each threat poses a risk to their people, facilities, and assets. In a world with a never-ending stream of information available, learning how to parse and interpret it becomes all the more important. OSINT is a necessary piece to any organisation’s threat intelligence and monitoring system, but it can’t be the only solution. Paired with external threat intelligence tools, OSINT can help reduce risk and keep employees safe during emergencies and critical events.

Key-centric access management system: providing the highest possible levels of security
Key-centric access management system: providing the highest possible levels of security

In daily work and life, various locks have always played the role of protecting asset safety. In different usage scenarios, the most appropriate lock must be selected to maximise benefits. In the past applications, the difficulties encountered by managers are as follows. Unlocking authority is difficult to control, unclear access records, emergency unlocking, and troublesome upgrade and installation. Through the following points, how the key-centric access management system solves such problems. Access management system The key-centric access management system, also known as intelligent passive electronic lock system, which is based on three elements: electronic keys, electronic cylinders and management software, can provide powerful and traceable access control. Each smart key is unique and cannot be copied, and in the event of loss or theft, these keys can be quickly disabled. Each smart key is unique and cannot be copied, and in the event of loss or theft, these keys can be disabledIn the process of using traditional mechanical locks, it is not difficult to find that it is quite complex to realise the access control of unlocking. The difficulty is that the keys can be copied at will, the use records are not clear, and the credibility of employees cannot be guaranteed... etc. For managers, this is a safety issue that cannot be ignored. Mechanical lock system And through the key-centric access management system, we can accurately assign access authority for each user, and set different access authority for locks in different areas. For example, we can set the XX user to have access to the archive room (A) from 10:00 on May 1, 2021 to 17:00 on June 1, 2021, within this time range. Outside this time range, there will be no unlock authority. The flexibility of the traditional mechanical lock system is insufficient. There is no clear record to determine who entered the area. It is usually a simple paper record that records the unlocking records of the employees. The authenticity and validity of the system need to be examined. In the key-centric access management system, when an employee unlocks the lock, the unlock record will be synchronised to the management terminal. Remote authorised unlocking With the key-centric access management system, remote authorised unlocking can be realised Through secondary records, managers can easily track employees and supervise employees' visits to each area. In daily work, there are often emergencies that require temporary visits to certain specific areas. If you encounter a situation where the distance is extremely long, and you don’t have the key to that area, you can imagine how bad this is. The process of fetching the keys back and forth is time-consuming and laborious. With the key-centric access management system, remote authorised unlocking can be realised. You can apply for the unlocking authority through the mobile APP, or you can temporarily issue the unlocking authority for the area on the management terminal, which saves time and effort. When faced with the failure of ordinary mechanical locks to meet management needs, some managers can already think of upgrading their management system, that is, the intelligent access control system. Passive electronic locks But before making this decision, the manager will inevitably consider the various costs brought about by the upgrade, including installation costs (cable cost), learning costs, and maintenance costs. Since most of the universal intelligent access control systems on the market require wiring and power supply, the cost of transformation and upgrading is quite high for managers who have such a huge amount of engineering. The key-centric access management system is the ‘gospel’ for managers. Since passive electronic locks and ordinary mechanical locks have the same size, they can be directly retrofitted to existing hardware, and they can be replaced step by step simply and easily. At present, the key-centric access management system is being known and applied by more and more managers and enterprises. Application industries include, such as power utilities, water utilities, public security, telecommunication industry, transportation, etc.

Latest Inner Range (Europe) Ltd news

IDIS and Inner Range tech partnership expands integration options for enterprise sites
IDIS and Inner Range tech partnership expands integration options for enterprise sites

Demand for more powerful, flexible but simple integrated security and site management solutions - in applications including data centers, healthcare, banking, and critical infrastructure – is being met by a new technology tie-up between Korea’s IDIS and Australian-headquartered Inner Range. The collaboration brings together IDIS’s end-to-end video offering with Inner Range’s enterprise-level access control and intruder detection system Integriti, giving end-users everything they need for more efficient and productive control of their security, safety, and building systems from a single management platform.  Easy integration process IDIS technology is easy to install with Integriti, with a simple three-step process IDIS technology is easy to install with Integriti, with a simple three-step process and is already proving its value with small to enterprise-level projects in key regional markets. The partnership will support continued growth in Asia and Australasia where IDIS has strategic partnerships with some of the most respected distribution partners, including Hills Limited in Australia, while major U.S. and European applications are also now confirmed or in prospect, say the two companies. Examples include a global data and asset storage provider which has just completed a significant upgrade. Projects in retail, commercial office space, and local government are also underway. Control and management Inner Range’s Integriti access control and integrated management platform work seamlessly with the IDIS DirectIP® range of NVRs and cameras, giving them additional control and management via the total cost and license-free video management software (VMS), IDIS Center.  Using mobile credentials The comprehensive choice of door controllers, readers, and keypads from Inner Range can be extended with a range of third-party readers including Mifare, HID, biometrics, and mobile credential support from multiple vendors. Video solutions Linking access and alarm devices with IDIS’ award-winning video tech, including deep learning analytics, allows granular monitoring and recording of activity across single and multiple sites – for example, door entry, forced-door, and a range of alarm trigger events – and provides instant visual verification of threats and faster incident response, together with comprehensive audit trails and reporting for both incident investigations and improved site management. Access control and security management The integrated approach helps customers mitigate current risks while ensuring a futureproof platform Together, the Inner Range intelligent access control and security management system and IDIS’ end-to-end video solutions can be used as the foundation platform for fully integrated solutions that incorporate everything from security, life safety, and building management systems to visitor management and site-specific systems and devices. This integrated approach helps customers mitigate current risks while ensuring a futureproof platform that will provide them with the scalability and flexibility to adapt as they face future operational challenges and an ever-evolving threat landscape. Easy and affordable maintenance “Our modular, out-of-the-box approach integrates simply and effectively with Inner Range’s Integriti system, offering customers integrated security management more affordably.” “Our partnership ensures a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), combined with assured local support, extended equipment warranties, and easier maintenance,” says Andrew Myung, President, IDIS America. Quick and efficient process “Our new seamless integration with IDIS is a simple three-step process, allowing security managers and integrators to quickly and efficiently associate cameras with any entity on the Integriti system and plot them on schematic maps.” “Our partnership extends the technology choice available to systems integrators and offers attractive new options for their customers,” says Tim Northwood, General Manager, Inner Range.

Inner Range announces integrations with FLIR Latitude and IDIS CCTV
Inner Range announces integrations with FLIR Latitude and IDIS CCTV

Access control and security system manufacturer Inner Range has announced new integrations with FLIR Latitude and IDIS CCTV. The new integrations work with Inner Range’s enterprise-level intelligent, integrated access control system, Integriti, and bolster options for clients around video surveillance. Enhancing VMS and CCTV  FLIR Latitude is a powerful and versatile network VMS with enhanced cybersecurity. Its CCTV cameras automatically load configurations in Integriti, provide 64-bit integration server support, and security managers can set trigger inputs for CCTV events. Cameras by Korean video surveillance firm IDIS can show camera status in Integriti, display video time frames, show on-screen displays, and allow reverse playback. All-in-one security & access Inner Range general manager, Tim Northwood, said, “Integriti’s open IP platform means it can offer clients highly bespoke solutions by seamlessly integrating with a whole host of third-party systems." "CCTV is a key element of any access or security solution and we’re delighted to be working with IDS and FLIR to help our customers create one unified system that meets all their individual security and access needs.”

2N to host a virtual event to highlight the benefits of integrating cyber security, office access and video analytics under one platform
2N to host a virtual event to highlight the benefits of integrating cyber security, office access and video analytics under one platform

2N, the provider of IP intercom systems, has come together with four other tech firms to promote the practical benefits of bringing together building cyber security, smart office access, and video analytics within one unified platform. The companies will showcase the practical benefits to installers, integrators and building users during the latest 2N On Air event at 2pm BST on Thursday, May 20th. The event comes as evidence grows of UK firms rethinking building space in 2021; a survey of 500 HR managers by YouGov found that one quarter intends to close, downsize or consolidate their offices post-pandemic. In addition, just over half is planning some form of remote working. Building management insights The event’s sessions will show the different benefits achievable when combining mobile access to offices, security and greater building management insights. Sessions will include: Together with Milestone, a pioneer in video management software, demonstrating how to maintain maximum office occupancy levels in an office and comply with safety measures, by combining 2N access control with video management systems. With network security solutions provider Axis, how to connect IP-based intercoms to video and surveillance software – enabling organisations to bring vehicle number plate recognition into building security. Alongside Integriti security platform provider Inner Range, looking at the implications of an intruder gaining building access and the role of door communication systems. Learning how 2N intercoms can be set up to call around the entire building and direct visitors’ calls to the right employee with help from Cisco. Comprehensive access solutions Attendees will also gain a bonus preview of 2N’s latest intercom, the 2N® IP Style. Michal Kratochvíl, CEO of 2N, said: “Working alongside other great tech firms like Cisco, Milestone, Axis and Inner Range is strategically important for 2N because it helps us meet the growing demand for smarter, more comprehensive access solutions. We also can’t wait to preview our new 2N® IP Style, one of the most luxurious intercoms we have ever produced.”

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