Access control software - Expert commentary

Why visualisation platforms are vital for an effective Security Operation Centre (SOC)
Why visualisation platforms are vital for an effective Security Operation Centre (SOC)

Display solutions play a key role in SOCs in providing the screens needed for individuals and teams to visualise and share the multiple data sources needed in an SOC today. Security Operation Centre (SOC) Every SOC has multiple sources and inputs, both physical and virtual, all of which provide numerous data points to operators, in order to provide the highest levels of physical and cyber security, including surveillance camera feeds, access control and alarm systems for physical security, as well as dashboards and web apps for cyber security applications. Today’s advancements in technology and computing power not only have increasingly made security systems much more scalable, by adding hundreds, if not thousands, of more data points to an SOC, but the rate at which the data comes in has significantly increased as well. Accurate monitoring and surveillance This has made monitoring and surveillance much more accurate and effective, but also more challenging for operators, as they can’t realistically monitor the hundreds, even thousands of cameras, dashboards, calls, etc. in a reactive manner. Lacking situational awareness is often one of the primary factors in poor decision making In order for operators in SOC’s to be able to mitigate incidents in a less reactive way and take meaningful action, streamlined actionable data is needed. This is what will ensure operators in SOC truly have situational awareness. Situational awareness is a key foundation of effective decision making. In its simplest form, ‘It is knowing what is going on’. Lacking situational awareness is often one of the primary factors in poor decision making and in accidents attributed to human error. Achieving ‘true’ situational awareness Situational awareness isn’t just what has already happened, but what is likely to happen next and to achieve ‘true’ situational awareness, a combination of actionable data and the ability to deliver that information or data to the right people, at the right time. This is where visualisation platforms (known as visual networking platforms) that provide both the situational real estate, as well as support for computer vision and AI, can help SOCs achieve true situational awareness Role of computer vision and AI technologies Proactive situational awareness is when the data coming into the SOC is analysed in real time and then, brought forward to operators who are decision makers and key stakeholders in near real time for actionable visualisation. Computer vision is a field of Artificial Intelligence that trains computers to interpret and understand digital images and videos. It is a way to automate tasks that the human visual system can also carry out, the automatic extraction, analysis and understanding of useful information from a single image or a sequence of images. There are numerous potential value adds that computer vision can provide to operation centres of different kinds. Here are some examples: Face Recognition: Face detection algorithms can be applied to filter and identify an individual. Biometric Systems: AI can be applied to biometric descriptions such as fingerprint, iris, and face matching. Surveillance: Computer vision supports IoT cameras used to monitor activities and movements of just about any kind that might be related to security and safety, whether that's on the job safety or physical security. Smart Cities: AI and computer vision can be used to improve mobility through quantitative, objective and automated management of resource use (car parks, roads, public squares, etc.) based on the analysis of CCTV data. Event Recognition: Improve the visualisation and the decision-making process of human operators or existing video surveillance solutions, by integrating real-time video data analysis algorithms to understand the content of the filmed scene and to extract the relevant information from it. Monitoring: Responding to specific tasks in terms of continuous monitoring and surveillance in many different application frameworks: improved management of logistics in storage warehouses, counting of people during event gatherings, monitoring of subway stations, coastal areas, etc. Computer Vision applications When considering a Computer Vision application, it’s important to ensure that the rest of the infrastructure in the Operation Centre, for example the solution that drives the displays and video walls, will connect and work well with the computer vision application. The best way to do this of course is to use a software-driven approach to displaying information and data, rather than a traditional AV hardware approach, which may present incompatibilities. Software-defined and open technology solutions Software-defined and open technology solutions provide a wider support for any type of application the SOC may need Software-defined and open technology solutions provide a wider support for any type of application the SOC may need, including computer vision. In the modern world, with everything going digital, all security services and applications have become networked, and as such, they belong to IT. AV applications and services have increasingly become an integral part of an organisation’s IT infrastructure. Software-defined approach to AV IT teams responsible for data protection are more in favour of a software-defined approach to AV that allow virtualised, open technologies as opposed to traditional hardware-based solutions. Software’s flexibility allows for more efficient refreshment cycles, expansions and upgrades. The rise of AV-over-IP technologies have enabled IT teams in SOC’s to effectively integrate AV solutions into their existing stack, greatly reducing overhead costs, when it comes to technology investments, staff training, maintenance, and even physical infrastructure. AV-over-IP software platforms Moreover, with AV-over-IP, software-defined AV platforms, IT teams can more easily integrate AI and Computer Vision applications within the SOC, and have better control of the data coming in, while achieving true situational awareness. Situational awareness is all about actionable data delivered to the right people, at the right time, in order to address security incidents and challenges. Situational awareness is all about actionable data delivered to the right people Often, the people who need to know about security risks or breaches are not physically present in the operation centres, so having the data and information locked up within the four walls of the SOC does not provide true situational awareness. Hyper-scalable visual platforms Instead there is a need to be able to deliver the video stream, the dashboard of the data and information to any screen anywhere, at any time — including desktops, tablets phones — for the right people to see, whether that is an executive in a different office or working from home, or security guards walking the halls or streets. New technologies are continuing to extend the reach and the benefits of security operation centres. However, interoperability plays a key role in bringing together AI, machine learning and computer vision technologies, in order to ensure data is turned into actionable data, which is delivered to the right people to provide ‘true’ situational awareness. Software-defined, AV-over-IP platforms are the perfect medium to facilitate this for any organisations with physical and cyber security needs.

How AI is revolutionising fraud detection
How AI is revolutionising fraud detection

The Annual Fraud Indicator estimates that fraud costs the United Kingdom approximately £190 billion every year. The private sector is hit the hardest and loses around £140 billion a year, while the public sector loses more than £40 billion, and individuals lose roughly £7 billion. The effects of fraud can be devastating on both individuals and organisations. Companies can suffer irreversible damage to reputation and be forced to close, and individuals can experience significant personal losses. Everyone should be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves against fraudulent activity. Fraud detection technology Fraud detection technology has advanced rapidly, over the years and made it easier for security professionals to detect and prevent fraud. Here are some of the key ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising fraud detection - with insight from Tessema Tesfachew, the Head of Product at Avora. An anomaly can be described as a behaviour that deviates from the expected An anomaly can be described as a behaviour that deviates from the expected. According to Tessema Tesfachew, “Autonomous monitoring and anomaly detection specifically, have made detecting fraudulent activity faster and more accurate. Machines can monitor data 24/7 as it comes in, build patterns of behaviour that take into account seasonality and shifting trends, and identify events that don’t fit the norm.” For example, banks can use AI software to gain an overview of a customer’s spending habits online. Having this level of insight allows an anomaly detection system to determine whether a transaction is normal or not. Suspicious transactions can be flagged for further investigation and verified by the customer. If the transaction is not fraudulent, then the information can be put into the anomaly detection system to learn more about the customer’s spending behaviour online. Accurate root cause analysis Root cause analysis goes one step further than anomaly detection, by allowing security professionals to pinpoint what caused the anomaly. Tessema explains how an example of this would be if a system detects that the rate of fraudulent transactions has increased. Root cause analysis would pinpoint the specific ATM or point of sale, where this increase is occurring. Swift action can then be taken to prevent fraudulent activity at that location in the future. Fewer false positives As mentioned, false positives can occur if a fraud detection system identifies behaviour that goes against the norm, for instance, if a customer makes a transaction in a new location. In many cases, customers are required to complete identity verification to prove that a transaction is not fraudulent. Digital customer identity verification can help brands build a strong and reputable image. That said, forcing users to complete identify certifications regularly can cause frustration and harm the customer experience. AI anomaly detection AI fraud detection systems can carry out accurate data analysis in milliseconds and identify complex patterns in data AI anomaly detection is far more accurate and results in fewer false positives. Increasing the accuracy of anomaly detection helps companies improve customer relationships and build a strong reputation. This will have a positive impact on brand image and sales revenue. AI fraud detection systems can carry out accurate data analysis in milliseconds and identify complex patterns in data. Machines are more efficient than even the most skilled fraud analysts and make fewer errors. This is why AI fraud detection software is the preferred option in larger organisations. Importance of fraud analysts However, fraud analysts still play an important role in fraud prevention. Using a combination of human intervention and AI is usually the most effective approach when it comes to fraud detection. According to pymnts.com, innovative organisations now use a variety of AI and supervised and unsupervised machine learning to identify and protect against fraud. AI systems can complete time-consuming and repetitive tasks, such as data collection and analysis. This means that fraud analysts can focus their time and attention on critical tasks that require human intervention, e.g. monitoring risk scores. AI can automate processes and enhance the quality of the fraud analysts’ work. Conclusion In to Tessema Tesfachew’s opinion, “Fraud detection has become vastly more efficient and effective with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Previously, methods for detecting fraudulent activities were still data-rich, but relied more on human intervention and expert bias, and were thus, more time consuming and prone to error.” AI technology, particular anomaly detection, has streamlined fraud detection and created a more efficient, and accurate system for detecting and preventing fraud. Covid-19 has increased the number of online transactions, which creates more opportunities for fraudulent activity. However, it also allows businesses to gain more information on their customers and enhance the capabilities of AI security software. It is more important than ever for organisations to utilise AI technology in fraud detection strategies.

Tackling the challenge of the growing cybersecurity gap
Tackling the challenge of the growing cybersecurity gap

The SolarWinds cyberattack of 2020 was cited by security experts as “one of the potentially largest penetrations of Western governments” since the Cold War. This attack put cybersecurity front and centre on people’s minds again. Hacking communication protocol The attack targeted the US government and reportedly compromised the treasury and commerce departments and Homeland Security. What’s interesting about the SolarWinds attack is that it was caused by the exploitation of a hacker who injected a backdoor communications protocol.  This means that months ahead of the attack, hackers broke into SolarWinds systems and added malicious code into the company’s software development system. Later on, updates being pushed out included the malicious code, creating a backdoor communication for the hackers to use. Once a body is hacked, access can be gained to many. An explosion of network devices What has made the threat of cyberattacks much more prominent these days has been IT's growth in the last 20 years, notably cheaper and cheaper IoT devices. This has led to an explosion of network devices. IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth Compounding this issue is that IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth. Inevitably, leading to vulnerabilities, limited IT resources, and an increase in IoT devices get more attention from would-be hackers. Bridging the cybersecurity gap In the author’s view, this is the main reason why the cybersecurity gap is growing. This is because it inevitably boils down to counter-strike versus counter-strike. IT teams plug holes, and hackers find new ones, that is never going to stop. The companies must continue fighting cyber threats by developing new ways of protecting through in-house testing, security best practice sources, and both market and customer leads. End-user awareness One of the key battlegrounds here is the education of end-users. This is an area where the battle is being won at present, in the author’s opinion. End-users awareness of cybersecurity is increasing. It is crucial to educate end-users on what IoT devices are available, how they are configured, how to enable it effectively, and critically, how to use it correctly and safely. Physical security network Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem A valuable product that tackles cybersecurity is, of course, Razberi Monitor™, which is new to ComNet’s portfolio. Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem. It monitors and manages all the system components for cybersecurity and system health, providing secure visibility into the availability, performance, and cyber posture of servers, storage, cameras, and networked security devices. Proactive maintenance By intelligently utilising system properties and sensor data, Razberi’s award-winning cybersecurity software prevents problems while providing a centralised location for asset and alert management. Monitor™ enables proactive maintenance by offering problem resolutions before they become more significant problems. Identifying issues before they fail and become an outage is key to system availability and, moreover, is a considerable cost saving.

Latest Rosslare Enterprises Ltd. news

Rosslare Enterprises receives CE (RED) and FCC certification for UHF-SMART BLE-ID and long-range integrated UHF readers
Rosslare Enterprises receives CE (RED) and FCC certification for UHF-SMART BLE-ID and long-range integrated UHF readers

Rosslare Enterprises Ltd., global provider of professional security solutions, announces that it has been awarded CE (RED) 2017 Edition, and FCC (CFR 47 – Part 15.B) certification on its new AY-U920BT and AY-H915BT UHF SMART BLE-ID and long-range UHF Readers.“We are very pleased to be able to present these products to North America and European Union channel partners that are certified to operate within the radio equipment limits of those countries,” said Ezra Ozer, Director of Marketing. UHF-RFID passive tag technology  For parking management, a UHF solution is very convenient for drivers, as they do not need to open any windows to present a RFID tag to a wall reader The main benefits of this UHF-RFID passive tag technology featuring EPC-Gen 2 tag include the ability to read multiple tags within the read range (up to 70 tags) and the ability to achieve a read range of up to 12 meters (U920) and 6 meters (U915), where standard RFID and NFC are between 6 to 70 cm. This tenfold increase in range of an UHF-RFID tag allows for much more freedom of motion for the user. For parking management, a UHF solution is very convenient for drivers, as they do not need to open any windows to present a RFID tag to a wall reader (safe from open window hazards). The UHF reader also reads from a range that allows quick and efficient access to the car park, as the gate begins to open as you approach from a distance. This in many cases lets the car arrive at an already open gate, which saves time. UHF-ID tagging solution The UHF-ID solution is passive, meaning that the tag on the car has no local power source and enables the daily operation to be maintenance free, which reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO). With no batteries to change, the solution is maintenance free once installed. Because none of the components have any moving parts, there is very little wear and tear. The BLE-ID Bluetooth credential feature allows for driver and vehicle authentication by systems that have a vehicle with several driversIn addition, the readers support Rosslare BLE-ID credentials that are based on smartphone apps (available for Android and iOS), which allow the user to submit the credential to the readers from the smartphone. This allows remote enrollment via an in-app email – to register to the access control system – making it very easy to add users and visitors access credentials on route to any site.  Efficient driver and vehicle authentication The BLE-ID Bluetooth credential feature allows for driver and vehicle authentication by systems that have a vehicle with several drivers. The system can log which driver is with which vehicle and request dual authentication. This feature is especially useful for businesses that want to monitor vehicle and driver use and be able to manage the driver authorisation to use the vehicle.  “We developed this product with the customer in mind to cover as many new use cases as possible, and to provide a system solution approach. We strive to offer something innovative and unique to the global access control market, and with this product we are establishing a new baseline for user convenience and security for our channel partners. With this reader and smartphone app offering, we are providing our channel partners with new ways to win and generate project revenues with a huge value-added to the end user,” said Omer Davidov, Product Manager.

Rosslare launches BLE-ID app for mobile access control and automation applications
Rosslare launches BLE-ID app for mobile access control and automation applications

Rosslare Enterprises Ltd., a worldwide provider of professional security solutions including access control, detectors and guard patrol, announced the launch of the Rosslare BLE-ID app. By installing the app in their smartphones, users can use the smartphone as a credential for access control and automation applications. The ID code generated by the app is unique to the device, and may be transferred easily by email to the system administrator. The main benefit of this technology is that the user is no longer obligated to carry a physical RFID card Cost-effective credential solution Rosslare’s new CSN SMART readers will appear in the app, and the user just needs to tap on the reader name to submit the credential to that particular reader. The main benefit of this technology is that the user is no longer obligated to carry a physical RFID card. In addition, the 10-meter operating range of the app introduces a new set of convenience factors. The CSN SMART readers feature a multi-credential UID read technology for contactless smart cards (13.56 MHz) that can read the Card Serial Number (CSN) of many smart card RFID standards. The readers have the ability to read Rosslare’s BLE credential technology and PIN codes (AY-H6355BT), providing the most cost-effective credential solution for any application. The readers are rated IP65 and feature a modern design that can fit comfortably in any installation environment, indoors or outdoors. The app is available for download from Google Play Store and App Store. The creation of the BLE app evolves from our customers, who needed an alternative credential that can be used together or as a physical credential card" Secure entrances with personal devices With the new release, clients utilising Rosslare technology are able to secure their facility entrances and exits using personal devices as identification. This new app makes access control more cost-effective and easier for Rosslare clients everywhere. "The creation of the BLE app evolves from our customers, who needed an alternative credential that is affordable, reliable, and their users will embrace, and can be used together or as a physical credential card. Step into the future with Rosslare smart solutions," said Ezra Ozer, Director of Marketing of Rosslare’s Security Products division.

Rosslare AC-825IP Networked Access Control platform receives UL294 Certification
Rosslare AC-825IP Networked Access Control platform receives UL294 Certification

Rosslare Security, a leading global provider of professional solutions, is pleased to announce that it has received the UL294 Certification for its AC-825IP Networked Access Control platform. The AC-825IP incorporates a bi-directional push communication for enhanced data transmission speed and reliability to manage events in real time. The controller comes with one onboard expansion slot and can be further expanded by connecting up to 12 expansion boards via OSDP: R-805 – 12 outputs, S-805 – 12 inputs, D-805 – 4-door expansion, and P-805 – 16 inputs and 8 outputs. The AC-825IP features a new spacious and lockable metal enclosure that includes a control board, switch mode power supply, a built-in power management board/charger, sounder, and a revolutionary enclosure illumination bar that lights up when the enclosure is opened. Includes Pull-Safe lockable mechanism The metal enclosure also includes a Pull-Safe™ lockable mechanism for the C13/14 power connection to prevent accidental disconnection and tampering, another unique feature created by Rosslare Security. “Receiving UL Component Recognition for our network controllers’ platform shows customers that our products meet the industry’s highest security and safety standards.” said North America National Sales Manager, Rosslare Security Products, Inc.

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