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Gallagher Command Centre Site Plan Viewer for centralised site management visibility and situational awareness
Gallagher Software Maintenance ensures security system stays up-to-date with latest security innovations
In 2017, IoT-based cyberattacks increased by 600%. As the industry moves towards the mass adoption of interconnected physical security devices, end users have found a plethora of advantages, broadening the scope of traditional video surveillance solutions beyond simple safety measures. Thanks in part to these recent advancements, our physical solutions are at a higher risk than ever before. With today’s ever evolving digital landscape and the increasing complexity of physical and cyber-attacks, it’s imperative to take specific precautions to combat these threats. Video surveillance systems Cybersecurity is not usually the first concern to come to mind When you think of a video surveillance system, cybersecurity is not usually the first concern to come to mind, since digital threats are usually thought of as separate from physical security. Unfortunately, these two are becoming increasingly intertwined as intruders continue to use inventive methods in order to access an organisation's assets. Hacks and data breaches are among the top cyber concerns, but many overlook the fact that weak cybersecurity practices can lead to physical danger as well. Organisations that deploy video surveillance devices paired with advanced analytics programs often leave themselves vulnerable to a breach without even realising it. While they may be intelligent, IoT devices are soft targets that cybercriminals and hackers can easily exploit, crippling a physical security system from the inside out. Physical security manufacturers Whether looking to simply gain access to internal data, or paralyse a system prior to a physical attack, allowing hackers easy access to surveillance systems can only end poorly. In order to stay competitive, manufacturers within the security industry are trading in their traditional analogue technology and moving towards interconnected devices. Due to this, security can no longer be solely focused on the physical elements and end users have taken note. The first step towards more secured solutions starts with physical security manufacturers choosing to make cybersecurity a priority for all products, from endpoint to edge and beyond. Gone are the days of end users underestimating the importance of reliability within their solutions. Manufacturers that choose to invest time and research into the development of cyber-hardening will be ahead of the curve and an asset to all. Wireless communication systems Integrators also become complicit in any issues that may arise in the future Aside from simply making the commitment to improve cyber hygiene, there are solid steps that manufacturers can take. One simple action is incorporating tools and features into devices that allow end users to more easily configure their cyber protection settings. Similarly, working with a third party to perform penetration testing on products can help to ensure the backend security of IoT devices. This gives customers peace of mind and manufacturers a competitive edge. While deficient cybersecurity standards can reflect poorly on manufacturers by installing vulnerable devices on a network, integrators also become complicit in any issues that may arise in the future. Just last year, ADT was forced to settle a $16 million class action lawsuit when the company installed an unencrypted wireless communication system that rendered an organisation open to hacks. Cybersecurity services In addition, we’ve all heard of the bans, taxes and tariffs the U.S. government has recently put on certain manufacturers, depending on their country of origin and cybersecurity practices. Lawsuits aside, employing proper cybersecurity standards can give integrators a competitive advantage. With the proliferation of hacks, malware, and ransomware, integrators that can ease their client's cyber-woes are already a step ahead. By choosing to work with cybersecurity-focused manufacturers who provide clients with vulnerability testing and educate end users on best practices, integrators can not only thrive but find new sources of RMR. Education, collaboration and participation are three pillars when tackling cybersecurity from all angles. For dealers and integrators who have yet to add cybersecurity services to their business portfolios, scouting out a strategic IT partner could be the answer. Unlocking countless opportunities Becoming educated on the topic of cybersecurity and its importance for an organisation is the first step Physical security integrators who feel uncomfortable diving headfirst into the digital realm may find that strategically aligning themselves with an IT or cyber firm will unlock countless opportunities. By opening the door to a partnership with an IT-focused firm, integrators receive the benefit of cybersecurity insight on future projects and a new source of RMR through continued consulting with current customers. In exchange, the IT firm gains a new source of clients in an industry otherwise untapped. This is a win for all those involved. While manufacturers, dealers and integrators play a large part in the cybersecurity of physical systems, end users also play a crucial role. Becoming educated on the topic of cybersecurity and its importance for an organisation is the first step. Commonplace cybersecurity standards Below is a list of commonplace cybersecurity standards that all organisations should work to implement for the protection of their own video surveillance solutions: Always keep camera firmware up to date for the latest cyber protections. Change default passwords, especially those of admins, to keep the system locked to outside users. Create different user groups with separate rights to ensure all users have only the permissions they need. Set an encryption key for surveillance recordings to safeguard footage against intruders and prevent hackers from accessing a system through a backdoor. Enable notifications, whether for error codes or storage failures, to keep up to date with all systems happenings. Create/configure an OpenVPN connection for secured remote access. Check the web server log on a regular basis to see who is accessing the system. Ensure that web crawling is forbidden to prevent images or data found on your device from being made searchable. Avoid exposing devices to the internet unless strictly necessary to reduce the risk of attacks.
In the next three years, software as a service ‘SaaS’ is likely to grow by around 23%. That’s according to reports by Cognizance. It’s growth rests on the adoption of cloud public, private and hybrid. Without the cloud applications can’t truly pervade an organisation, nor can operational or customer benefits be derived. But there’s no point in adopting the cloud if it’s not secure - the proliferation of SaaS demands security, none more so in a GDPR world. Large cloud environment But modern applications are difficult to secure. SaaS based, web, mobile, or custom made all work on different platforms and frameworks. It’s a headache managing all the APIs needed to automate and sync tools. This introduces risk. The greater the number of apps the broader the attack surface and therefore the greater the chance there will be blind posts. Keeping up to date with updates and new security policies is never easy There are also added hazards. Applications are always changing. Keeping up to date with updates and new security policies is never easy, but especially hard in a large cloud environment. Failure to adopt changes puts the organisation and customers at further risk. But the biggest obstacle is keeping applications and APIs out of harm’s way. It’s a near on impossible task when attack methods and sources are constantly changing. More advanced threats To be specific there are four emerging challenges when it comes to protecting apps. Firstly, managing the good and the bad bots and spotting which is which, secondly securing APIs as IoT adoption intensifies, thirdly the relationship between securing apps and DevOps and ensuring ownership of security, and finally denial of service attacks that use newer tactics such as brute force. Basic security hygiene dictates that security teams refer to the OWASP Top 10. It’s considered the ‘ten commandments’ in security circles, providing a starting point for ensuring the most common threats and vulnerabilities are managed, detected and mitigated. Web Application Firewalls also come into the fray with guidance on testing for the ways hackers exploit vulnerabilities. However, though the basics are good to have in place, there are always more advanced threats to take care of. Bots being a big one. Bot management The more sophisticated bots will go as far as to mimic human behaviourAstonishingly about half of internet traffic is bot generated. Half of it is from bad bots. Discerning the good from the bad isn’t easy though and explains why around 80% of organisations can’t make a clear distinction between the two. Bad bots can do a lot of damage like take over user accounts and payment information, scrape confidential data, or hold up inventory and skew marketing metrics. The more sophisticated bots will go as far as to mimic human behaviour and bypass tools like CAPTCHA and even device fingerprinting based protection ineffective. Securing APIs Then there’s the complications derived from machine-to-machine and internet of things (IoT) communications. The more integrated ‘things’, the more data there is, the more events there are report on, and the more activity there is reliant on APIs to make the ‘things’ useful and agile. That’s what makes them a target and the threats to API vulnerabilities include injections, protocol attacks, parameter manipulations, invalidated redirects and bot attacks. There’s the risk that business will grant access to sensitive data, without inspecting nor protecting APIs to detect cyberattacks. There’s the risk that business will grant access to sensitive data, without inspecting nor protecting APIs to detect cyberattacks Denial of service (DoS) You might think there’s little to add to the swathes of denial of service warnings. Yet when businesses are still being targeted and feeling the ill effects it’s worth mentioning again that different forms of application-layer DoS attacks are still very effective at bringing application services down. Even the greatest application protection is worthless if the service itself can be knocked down This includes HTTP/S floods, low and slow attacks (famous examples being Slowloris, LOIC, Torshammer), dynamic IP attacks, buffer overflow, Brute Force attacks and more. The IoT botnets are the culprits and have made application-layer attacks so popular that they have become the preferred DDoS attack vector. Even the greatest application protection is worthless if the service itself can be knocked down. Continuous security It may seem easy to say but for modern DevOps, agility is valued at the expense of security. We see time and again examples of where development and roll-out methodologies, such as continuous delivery, mean applications are exposed to threats each time they are modified. There’s no doubt it is extremely difficult to maintain a valid security policy and protect sensitive data in dynamic conditions without creating a high number of false positives. But we now find that this task has gone way beyond the capability of humans. Organisations now need machine-learning based solutions that map application resources, analyse possible threats, and create and optimise security policies in real time. Reaching this level in security planning should be a big wake-up call that security automation is an essential not a nice to have. Running security plans The board needs to know that investment is critical to protect their profits It’s critical that the security solution your company adopts protects applications on all platforms, against all attacks, through all the channels and at all times. The board needs to know that investment is critical to protect their profits. As such there are six things they need to know: Application security solutions must encompass web and mobile apps, as well as APIs. Bot management solutions need to overcome the most sophisticated bot attacks. DDoS mitigation must be an essential and integrated part of application security solutions. A future-proof solution must protect containerised applications, severless functions, and integrate with automation, provisioning and orchestration tools. To keep up with continuous application delivery, security protections must adapt in real time. A fully managed service should be considered to remove complexity and minimise resources. No amount of human power will beat the bots. That last point is the most critical. Skill is essential in designing and running security plans and policies that work. But the plans can’t be executed without automated tools. There are just too many decisions to make in a split second. Combining both is the path to an effective app protection strategy and a stronger brand to boot.
The industry faces numerous challenges in the coming year. Physical and cyber security threats continue to become more complex, and organisations are struggling to manage both physical and digital credentials as well as a rapidly growing number of connected endpoints in the Internet of Things (IoT). We are witnessing the collision of the enterprise with the IoT, and organisations now must establish trust and validate the identity of people as well as ‘things’ in an environment of increasingly stringent safety and data privacy regulations. Meanwhile, demand grows for smarter and more data-driven workplaces, a risk-based approach to threat protection, improved productivity and seamless, more convenient access to the enterprise and its physical and digital assets and services. Using smartphone apps to open doors Cloud technologies give people access through their mobile phones and other devices to many new, high-value experiencesEnterprise customers increasingly want to create trusted environments within which they can deliver valuable new user experiences. A major driver is growing demand for the ‘digital cohesion’ of being able to use smartphone apps to open doors, authenticate to enterprise data resources or access a building’s applications and services. Cloud technologies are a key piece of the solution. They give people access through their mobile phones and other devices to many new, high-value experiences. At the same time, they help fuel smarter, more data-driven workplace environments. With the arrival of today’s identity- and location-aware building systems that recognise people and use deep learning analytics to customise their office environment, the workplace is undergoing dramatic change. Improved fingerprint solutions Cloud-based platforms and application programming interfaces (APIs) will help bridge biometrics and access control in the enterprise, overcoming previous integration hurdles while providing a trusted platform that meets the concerns of accessibility and data protection in a connected environment. At the same time, the next generation of fingerprint solutions will deliver higher matching speed, better image capture quality and improved performance. The next generation of fingerprint solutions will deliver higher matching speed, better image capture quality and improved performance Liveness detection will ensure that captured data is from a living person. Biometrics authentication will also gain traction beyond access control in immigration and border control, law enforcement, military, defence and other public section use cases where higher security is needed. Flexible subscription models Access control solutions based on cloud platforms will also change how solutions are deployed. Siloed security and workplace optimisation solutions will be replaced with mobile apps that can be downloaded anywhere across a global ecosystem of millions of compatible and connected physical access control system endpoints. These connections will also facilitate new, more flexible subscription models for access control services. As an example, users will be able to more easily replenish mobile IDs if their smartphones are lost or must be replaced. Generating valuable insights with machine learning Machine learning analytics will be used to generate valuable insights from today’s access control solutionsEducation, finance, healthcare, enterprise, and other niche markets such as commercial real-estate and enterprises focussed on co-working spaces will benefit from a cloud-connected access control hardware foundation. There will be a faster path from design to deployment since developers will no longer have to create an entire vertically integrated solution. They will simply add an app experience to the existing access control infrastructure. New players will be drawn to the market resulting in a richer, more vibrant development community and accelerated innovation. Data analytics will be a rapidly growing area of interest. Machine learning analytics will be used to generate valuable insights from today’s access control solutions. Devices, access control systems, IoT applications, digital certificates and location services solutions, which are all connected to the cloud, will collectively deliver robust data with which to apply advanced analytics and risk-based intelligence. As organisations incorporate this type of analytics engine into their access control systems, they will improve security and personalise the user experience while driving better business decisions.
Maxxess will be at Intersec 2019 showcasing its latest advances in corporate risk reduction, improved people management and smarter hospitality access solutions - including new releases in its popular eFusion and Ambit solutions. eFusion security management The latest version of the VisitorPoint module within the eFusion security management platform will be showcased, offering a host of new streamlined functions for efficient people and visitor management. Harnessing current advances in cloud computing and mobile communications, VisitorPoint is being used at premises from hotels and campuses to corporate headquarters. It allows the whole process of visitor management to be streamlined in a way never previously possible. For example, it lets guests’ phones be used as access credentials, making it a perfect alternative to room keys in the hospitality sector. Compatibility of the VisitorPoint system with ASSA Abloy Hospitality products has proved to be particularly popular with hotels. VisitorPoint System VisitorPoint is also ideal for busy hotel reception teams who need to keep across who is entering the premises VisitorPoint is also ideal for busy hotel reception teams who need to keep across who is entering the premises. With the latest version of VisitorPoint, users can easily view pre-registered visitors in advance; manage and sign-in large groups in seconds; book meeting rooms; manage visitor car parking; and automate notifications and messaging. Now organisations can go even further in streamlining their people and diary management processes, thanks to integration with Outlook and Google calendars. A new VIP feature allows automatically tailored welcomes for specified guests and/or groups; and a QR Scan App allows visitors and VIPS to be immediately verified. In addition, a new, sleek self-service kiosk will be unveiled at the show, which is ideal for positioning in hotels and high-end corporate lobbies. Open-technology systems integration Meanwhile, with its versatile, open-technology software eFusion is proving a practical alternative to costly or complex conventional PSIM solutions. It offers the advantages of a modular, building block approach and gives users the freedom to integrate, customise and adapt their security systems to meet both current needs and emerging risks. Ensuring compatibility with leading surveillance, intruder, access and fire detection systems, eFusion now supports more than 60 off-the-shelf integrations and several important additions are confirmed for the show. These latest integrations include Jaquies IP intercom hardware; the mobile phone app GuardPoint; and the Metra locker system hardware. “For users who want control and better value from their security investments, eFusion with its expanding choice of integrations is the ideal management platform”, says Lee Copland, Managing Director, Maxxess EMEA. Smart, open infrastructure The eFusion platform allows legacy systems to be transformed into a smart, open infrastructure and extends the life of equipment" “The eFusion platform allows legacy systems to be transformed into a smart, open infrastructure and extends the life of equipment. Our technology is proving particularly popular because it gives users all the advantages of advanced PSIM without the associated cost or complexity.” eFusion can be easily scaled from one site to multiple sites globally and it can connect stand-alone systems for easy upgrades such as retro-fits with existing hardware. Network monitoring for public safety Also on show, Ambit allows security controllers to communicate directly with both individuals and groups and to monitor the safety of everyone on site (or on multiple sites), for example employees, residents, visitors, or contractors. Now Ambit users will benefit from direct notification of a wide range of risks thanks to a new integration with the NC4 incident alert service. NC4 monitors risks and issues alerts in real time, covering potential threats ranging from terrorist incidents to weather events, from civil disruption to cyber-attacks. With this new integration, as N4C alerts arise they will be filtered by proximity/relevance and directly sent to Ambit users. Lone worker monitoring Visitors to the Maxxess stand will also learn how Ambit’s latest life-saving technology comes with a choice of applications tailored to the user’s needs. For example, it can allow lone-worker monitoring; courtesy communications and remote escorting after-hours; panic alarm features; and individualised messaging during incidents. It can help security teams co-ordinate and work more effectively with emergency responders too as well as improving the efficiency of day-to-day operations. We are well positioned to further capitalise on major infrastructure projects across the region such as hotels and leisure" With new customers and projects including Bluewater Island, TAJ Hotel & Residences JLT Dubai, TAJ Hotel & Palace on Palm Jumeirah, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Emirates Flight Catering Extension, the Jewel of the Creek and Yahsat, 2019 will be an exciting year of growth for Maxxess in the Middle East. Maxxess expands Middle East reach “We are well positioned to further capitalise on major infrastructure projects across the region such as hotels and leisure. The demand for increased operational efficiencies across the MENA region has seen many organisations look to automate tasks and at the same time mitigate against the potential for human error. This is evident in the demand we’re seeing for streamlined visitor management, the elimination of keys and better optimised workforces across security and facilities management functions.”, said Lee Copland, Managing Director, Maxxess EMEA. He adds, “And as real-world applications for artificial intelligence become a reality, we are continuing to collaborate with our world leading video surveillance partners to bring these advanced analytics into the eFusion platform. Meanwhile, we will continue to support our customers in complying with revised fire and safety codes and new security regulations.”
VisitorPoint from Maxxess is a smart visitor management solution that offers an easy but powerful upgrade for a wide range of users. For those needing to replace a basic signing-in book for the first time, VisitorPoint is an attractive, user-friendly solution with a choice of useful features. And for larger organisations looking for a multi-site visitor management solution, it provides control and audit features that are future proof, flexible, and designed to complement security, fire and building management operations. It can be integrated with Maxxess software and eFusion range of modules, or adapted with a customised integration, plus it allows users to manage everything from visitor pre-registration, to SMS notification, identity verification and car park occupancy. Easy & efficient visitor management Putting more control in the hands of front-of-house teams, VisitorPoint allows pre-registered visitors to be viewed any time in advance. Visitor badges can be pre-printed for a smoother and more efficient welcome, and sign-in for large groups can be managed in seconds. Visitors check themselves in easily and efficiently using either an iPad or the VisitorPoint free standing touch-screen kiosk. The pre-registered visitor’s details are confirmed when they enter a reference code, passport number, QR code or any specified ID. A photo can be taken with the iPad or kiosk, printed onto the badge and/or saved to the record. Visitors can also be asked to read and sign any non-disclosure agreement (NDA), health and safety or safeguarding instructions on screen, The allocation and control of visitor car parking also becomes much more efficient as specific spaces can be easily assigned to specific vehicles in advance. Automatic email notifications and/or SMS messaging reduce the burden on front-of-house staff, with employees automatically alerted when their visitors arrive. The system can be set up so that both hosts and visitors receive a friendly reminder text ahead of the visit, at check in and check out. Useful information such as directions and meeting details can be added. Hosts can also check out a visitor, helping front-of-house staff to maintain up-to-date site occupancy records. For enhanced security, alerts can be sent when a visitor forgets to check out, or when a pre-specified visit is due VisitorPoint security enhancement For enhanced security, alerts can be sent when a visitor forgets to check out, or when a pre-specified visit is due. For senior security managers real time reports can be generated to show who is currently on site, where they are authorised to visit, as well as who been on site during any given timeframe. The smart VisitorPoint badge printer allows individual badge customisation so that details can be easily changed and added – for example with Wi-Fi codes, meeting room details and specific courtesy messages. This feature also makes it ideal for multiple tenancy sites, with individual badge branding and messaging, available to each tenant. “VisitorPoint is a highly flexible solution that can be used for both single and multiple sites,” says Lee Copland, Managing Director, Maxxess EMEA. “It allows a practical, easily managed upgrade from more basic solutions and it can be easily adapted to the organisation’s changing requirements in future years.”
Shaikh will also provide support for ambit, a patented, private, two-way, managed messaging service To meet growing demand in the Middle East for its award-winning integrated security, access control and operations monitoring solutions, US-based global corporation Maxxess has appointed Mr Majid Shaikh to join the company’s regional head office in Dubai. eFusion In his role as professional technical support and pre-sales manager, Mr Shaikh will provide design and technical expertise for the firm’s flagship eFusion solution. With highly versatile open technology software, eFusion supports more than 60 off-the-shelf integrations. This enables customers to integrate surveillance, access control, fire and intruder systems from top security vendors with back office processes, with less cost and complexity than conventional physical security information management solutions. Mr Shaikh will work closely with customers to design fully customised eFusion solutions that maximise protection from new and emerging threats, reduce the risk of business disruption, optimise process efficiency, improve return on investment and build competitive advantage from real-time information. Alongside support for eFusion, he will also provide support for ambit, a patented, private, two-way, managed messaging service that enables organisations to communicate directly with their mobile workforces via their mobile devices to provide a more effective solution for safety, security and emergency management. In-depth experience Mr Shaikh brings more than 12 years of in-depth technical and business development experience in the electronic security industry. He has particular expertise in ID technologies and access control across a wide range of vertical sectors, notably hospitality, education, government and commercial property. Since 2009, Mr Shaikh had worked at Salto Systems as area manager for UAE, Qatar, Oman and India. He has graduate and post-graduate degrees from the University of Mumbai and International University of Louisiana. Lee Copland, Maxxess Managing Director, EMEA, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Majid on board. The Middle East is a strategic region with a large installed base that is looking to upgrade and bring new technologies on line. End users want a smarter, more cost-effective approach to enhancing security and streamlining operations. eFusion meets this need by enabling customised solutions and mobile capabilities that integrate security and operational processes with real-time information to drive value, efficiency and traceability of people, products and assets. Majid will be instrumental in educating the market on how eFusion leverages existing investments and provides freedom of product choice without locking customers into recurring annual fees and tying them to complex and expensive systems integration services.” Mr Shaikh added: “It’s a fantastic time to join Maxxess while we’re experiencing tangible growth in the Middle East security market. eFusion is bringing to the region a highly exciting proposition which offers an industry leading number of integrations, a powerful access control engine with a hardware takeover capability that enables an affordable, simple and pragmatic approach to integrating disparate systems. Our end user customers benefit from a lower cost of ownership plus a faster, more accurate response to threats and incidents through one unified platform. eFusion offers the type of seamless integration that until recently was only attainable for the largest public sector and corporate enterprises.”
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