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The cyber security threat is constant and real. Entire businesses, large enterprises and even whole cities have been vulnerable to these attacks. Growing threat of cyber attacks The threat is not trivial. Recently, two cities in Florida hit by ransom ware attacks – Rivera Beach and Lake City – opted to capitulate and pay ransom totaling more than $1.1 million to hackers. The attacks had disrupted communications for first responders and crippled online payment and traffic-ticketing systems. It was reminiscent of the $4 billion global WannaCry attacks on financial and healthcare companies. A full two years after the WannaCry attack, many of the hundreds of thousands of computers affected remain infected. And hackers are continuously devising new techniques, adapting the latest technology innovations including machine learning and artificial intelligence to devise more destructive forms of attack. Indeed, AI promises to become the next major weapon in the cyber arms race. For enterprises, there is no choice but to recognise the threat and adopt effective countermeasures Enterprise security For enterprises, there is no choice but to recognise the threat and adopt effective countermeasures. Not surprisingly, as the number, scale and sophistication of cyber-attacks has grown, so has the significance of the Chief Information Security Officer, or CISO, who owns the responsibility of sounding the alarm to the C-suite and the board – and recommending the best defense strategies. Consider it a grim irony of the digital economy. As companies have migrated to the cloud to gain scale and efficiency and integrated new channels and touch points to make it easier for their customers and suppliers to do business with them, they have also created more potential points of entry for cyber-attacks. IoT increases threat of cyber-attacks Amplifying that vulnerability is the trend of allowing employees to bring their own laptops, smartphones and other digital devices to the office or use to work remotely. And thanks to the Internet of Things, as more devices connect to enterprise systems – from thermostats to cars – the threat surface or targets of intrusion are multiplying exponentially. According to the McAfee Labs 2019 Threats Predictions Report, hackers will increasingly turn to AI to help them evade detection and automate their target selection. Companies will have no choice but to begin adopting AI defenses to counter these cybercriminals. Importance of cyber security This escalation in the cyber arms race reflects the sheer volume of data and transactions in modern life. In businesses like financial services and healthcare it is not humanly possible to examine every transaction for anomalies that might signal cyber snooping. Even when oddities are glimpsed, simply flagging potential problems can create so-called threat fatigue from endless false alarms. What’s more, attacks like those from Trickbots are specifically designed to go undetected by end users. The fact is, even if throwing more people at the problem were a solution, there aren’t enough skilled cyber security workers in the world. By some estimates, as many as 10 million cyber security jobs now go unfilled. AI is being used to conduct predictive analysis at a scale beyond human means Deploying AI As a result, AI is being deployed on multiple cyber-defense fronts. So far, it is mainly being used to conduct predictive analysis at a scale beyond human means. AI programs can sift through petabytes of data, identifying anomalies and even helping an organisation recognise and diagnose intrusions before they turn into catastrophic attacks. AI can also be used to continually monitor and allocate levels of access to a network’s multitude of legitimate users – whether employees, customers, partners or suppliers – to ensure that all parties have the access they need, but only the access they need. Countering cyber security threats To harden defenses, some AI programs can be configured to perform simulated war games To harden defenses, some AI programs can be configured to perform simulated war games. Because cyber attackers have stealth on their side, organisations might need dozens of experts to counter only a handful of attackers. AI can help even the odds, scoping out the potential permutations of vulnerabilities. As CISOs – and the CIOs they typically report to – advise C-suites and boards on their growing cybersecurity risk, they can also help those leaders recognize an enduring truth: AI programs cannot replace experienced cybersecurity professionals. But the technology can make staff smarter, more vigilant and more nimbly responsive. AI-based cyber security tools Financial and healthcare companies are leading this charge because of the sheer volume and variety of transactions they handle and because of the value and sensitivity of the data. Organisations like the U.S. Department of Defense and the space agency NASA, as well as governments around the world are also implementing AI-based tools to address the cyber threat. For businesses of all types, the threat stretches from the back office to the supply chain to the store front. That is why recognising and countering that threat must involve everyone from the CISO to the CEO to the Chairman of the Board. The AI arms race is underway in security. To delay joining it is to risk letting your enterprise become one of the grim statistics.
With the recent news headlines about store closures and the collapse of well-known chains, alongside clear adjustments in business strategy amongst established high street favourites, there is no denying that the UK retail industry is under huge pressure. A recent report suggests growing issues are leading some retailers to increase risk-taking in the supply chain. But here, Steve Bumphrey, Traka UK Sales Director, looks at ways to help retailers embrace the storm, including paying attention to security, management processes and efficient customer focus. Challenges plaguing retail industry It’s been an awful year to date for UK retail if you believe the cacophony of negative headlines about the health of the UK economy and the confidence levels of the UK consumer. The sector is facing huge challenges in dealing with the evolution in on-line and smart mobile retailing The sector is undoubtedly facing huge challenges in dealing with the evolution in on-line and smart mobile retailing. Further concerns include an unwillingness of policymakers to address the changing retail environment and how business rates and general business taxation and regulation is making a difficult situation worse. Supply Chain Risk Report According to the latest Global Supply Chain Risk Report, published by Cranfield School of Management and Dan & Badstreet, those under pressure, are now facing increased exposure to risk if they are forced to cut costs in their supply chain. The report cites data for the retail sector that shows increased levels of risk-taking since Q4 2018, with retailers reporting high levels of dependency on suppliers and indicating a propensity to off-shore to low-cost, high-risk countries where suppliers are more likely to be financially unstable. In-store technology revolution The underlying evolution of technology taking hold of the retail industry and consequential changing consumer behaviour is what is really forcing the industry to step up and act. This is not only in the shift to online and smart mobile purchases, but also with the increased use of technology in store. Self-scanning and checkouts In a bid to enhance the physical shop experience, especially in supermarket outlets across the UK, retailers are increasingly giving customers autonomy with self-scanners and checkouts and need to be able to trust them to ensure an honest transaction. And for the shoppers, this dependency on technology and not human interaction to complete a shop means scanners must be instantly available and ready for use. Many different underlying competing challenges impact the retail industry Compensators At the recent British Retail Consortium’s ‘Charting the Future’ conference, looking at retail crime and security, Dr Emmeline Taylor, a criminologist at the City University of London identified in self -service shops, several new types of ‘offenders’ such as so-called ‘compensators’ including the atypical ‘frustrated consumer’ who, “fully intended to pay but were unable to scan an item properly”, adding to the security challenge. There are clearly many different underlying competing challenges impacting the retail industry. Arguably, the increase in technology and autonomous shopping, where less staff are present (or staff cuts planned) throws up more vulnerabilities, such as the opportunity for store theft. Use of body cameras Staff needs emerging technology such as body cameras to act as a deterrent to crime and keep employees safe Furthermore, staff may need greater use of emerging technology such as body cameras to act as a deterrent to crime and help keep employees safe. In essence, prevention is better than cure, and it’s certainly cheaper. Whether combating crime physically or online, or looking to find ways to counter the high street trends, working together, sharing information and taking a more holistic approach will help the development of a shared language between retailers. Retail banking It is also here where common approaches can help to deliver on efficiencies, in time, resource and budget that can serve to operate right through the supply chain, and minimise, or even negate the need to take any risks. It can even serve to enhance the customer experience, increasing confidence in the shopping environment. Of course, when discussing the high street, it is not just the department stores and chains that are feeling the impact. Well known banks are also having to redefine their priorities and role on the high street, with customers (especially younger generations) demanding a more efficient service than ever before. Well known banks are also having to redefine their priorities and role on the high street Asset protection Leading the way is Nationwide, globally renowned building society, which prides itself on being one of the largest savings providers and mortgages provider in the UK, promoting itself as running purely for the benefit of its customers, or ‘members.’ Richard Newland, Director of Branch & Workplace Transformation at Nationwide said, “Even more than getting a good ‘deal’ from a building society, the quality of our welcome, or our renowned level of service, we make sure our members feel safe with us, enough to trust us with their greatest assets. We are doing everything we can to evolve our business and focus our efforts on providing the best and most secure services that people value.” Key management systems Traka has supported Nationwide with the introduction of dedicated key management systems So committed to its branch network, it has pledged to its 15 million members that every town and city with a Nationwide branch, will still have one for at least the next two years. A bold statement in today’s climate. Traka has supported Nationwide with the introduction of dedicated key management systems, moving its branch network into a more digital system. Keys no longer need to leave site and the audit trail capability has helped to remove the manual paper recording, allowing status of keys to be established instantly, at any time. Changes in retail market This example, together with Traka’s portfolio of high street brands and globally renowned department stores that cannot be named for security reasons, demonstrates the need for retailers to embrace the need for change, both from a product offering and operational running perspective to achieve aspirations of resonating with customers. They also prove the opportunities for success, in an unquestionable difficult market environment. If retailers can listen to customers and respond accordingly, taking into consideration staff safety and security, alongside an ability to respond quickly to personalised enquiries and expectations. This way, perhaps, the current environment can be seen as an opportunity to innovate and embrace technology to form the high street of the future.
Should ‘Made in China’ be seen as a negative in security systems and products? It’s an important and complex issue that merits a more detailed response than my recent comment in the Expert Panel Roundtable. For me, there are two sides of the answer to this question: Buying products that have certain negative attributes that are not in alignment with some part of a belief system or company mandate. Buying products that do not perform as advertised or do something that is unacceptable. For integrators and end users making the buying decisions, the drive to purchase products may not be based on either aspect and instead on the product that can do the best job for their business. But for others, a greater emphasis on the ethical implications of purchasing decisions drives decision-making. What is ethical consumption? Ethical consumption is a type of consumer activism that is based on the concept of ‘positive buying’ in that ethical products are favouredEthical consumption — often called ethical consumerism — is a type of consumer activism that is based on the concept of ‘positive buying’ in that ethical products are favoured, and products that are ethically questionable may be met with a ‘moral boycott’. This can be as simple as only buying organic produce or as complex as boycotting products made in a totalitarian regime that doesn't offer its citizens the same freedoms that we enjoy in the United States. Consider the goals of the Boston Tea Party or the National Consumers League (NCL), which was formed to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. Some examples of considerations behind ethical consumption include fair trade, treatment of workers, genetic modification, locally made and processed goods, union-made products and services, humane animal treatment, and in general, labour issues and manufacturing practices that take these factors into account. Increase in ethical consumption The numbers show that ethical consumption is on the rise. In a 2017 study by Unilever, 33 percent of consumers reported choosing to buy and support brands that they believe are doing social or environmental good. In the same study, 53 percent of shoppers in the United Kingdom and 78 percent in the United States said they feel better when they buy products that are ‘sustainably’ produced. There’s clear evidence that products from some Chinese companies suffer from cybersecurity vulnerabilities Though the aforementioned question that sparked this conversation centres around concerns with products made in China, there are many other countries where, for example, governments/dictators are extremely repressive to all or parts of their populations, whose products, such as oil, diamonds, minerals, etc., we happily consume. There are also a number of countries that are a threat in terms of cybersecurity. It may be naive and simplistic to single out Chinese manufacturers. Impact on physical security products Product buying decisions based on factors other than product functionality, quality and price are also starting to permeate the security marketplace. While this hasn't been a large focus area from the business-to-business consumption side, it's something that should be considered for commercial security products for a variety of reasons. Hardware hacks are more difficult to pull off and potentially more devastating" There’s clear evidence that products from some Chinese companies suffer from cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Last fall, 30 U.S. companies, including Apple and Amazon, were potentially compromised when it was discovered that a tiny microchip in the motherboard of servers built in China that weren't a part of the original specification. According to a Bloomberg report, “This attack was something graver than the software-based incidents the world has grown accustomed to seeing. Hardware hacks are more difficult to pull off and potentially more devastating, promising the kind of long-term, stealth access that spy agencies are willing to invest millions of dollars and many years to get.” This, along with many other incidents, are changing the considerations behind purchasing decisions even in the physical security industry. Given that physical security products in general have been lax on cybersecurity, this is a welcome change. Combating tech-specific threats In early January, members of the U.S. Senate introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat tech-specific threats to national security posed by foreign actors and ensure U.S. technological supremacy by improving interagency coordination across the U.S. government. The bill creates the Office of Critical Technologies & Security at the White House, an indication that this issue is of critical importance to a number of players across the tech sector. Members of the U.S. Senate introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat tech-specific threats to national security posed by foreign actors To address a significant number of concerns around ethical production, there are certifications such as ISO 26000 which provides guidance on social responsibility by addressing accountability, transparency, ethical behaviour, respect for stakeholder interests, respect for rule of law, respect for international norms of behaviour and respect for human rights. While still emerging within physical security, companies that adhere to these and other standards do exist in the marketplace. Not buying products vulnerable to cyberattacks It may be counter-productive, even irresponsible, to brand all products from an entire country as unfit for purchasing. Some manufacturers’ products may be ethically questionable, or more vulnerable to cyberattacks than others; so not buying products made by those companies would make sense. The physical security industry might be playing a bit of catch up on this front, but I think we're beginning to see a shift toward this kind of responsible buying behaviour.
Hikvision, the provider of innovative video security products and solutions, exhibited its latest innovative technologies, products and solutions at the China Public Security Expo (CPSE) 2019 in Shenzhen from October 28 to 31. This year marked the second anniversary of Hikvision’s AI Cloud. Hikvision’s presentation was dubbed ‘Fusing Data for a Smarter World’ and showcased its AI Cloud platform which supports integration of IoT and information network data designed to empower new intelligent applications and services. Large number of AI Cloud applications Hikvision AI Cloud is based on a distributed architecture incorporating cloud computing and edge computing Hikvision AI Cloud is based on a distributed architecture incorporating cloud computing and edge computing. It extends artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms from the cloud, to an edge domain of on-premise video recorders and servers, and further to edge nodes with security cameras and other IoT devices. The three-layer architecture supports the goal to provide a new class of smarter and faster AI-powered applications. At the show, visitors could see a large number of AI Cloud applications in action. These applications were created to help customers achieve their digital transformation in areas like public safety, transportation, retail, finance, logistics, community, environmental protection, etc. Smart retail solutions With AI-based video analysis technology, Hikvision’s Intelligent Transportation System identifies traffic violations in order to reduce the number of human injuries and fatalities. By merging video information with other systems and algorithms, traffic data can be visualised on city maps to further guide traffic and improve urban commuting. The applications cover people-counting, merchandise popularity analysis and more Hikvision smart retail solutions address the challenges of retail business and provides cutting-edge technologies such as video analytics, big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, to meet the needs of offline retailers such as shopping malls, supermarkets, and brand stores. The applications cover people-counting, merchandise popularity analysis, remote patrolling of stores, cashier supervision, shelf management, unmanned containers, and more. Deep-learning intelligent cameras At Hikvision’s booth, visitors saw AI Cloud practices but also got a close look at the innovative products contributing to these projects, such as: Radar-Integrated Video Cameras: The integration of high-precision radar with deep-learning intelligent cameras enables long-distance detection under any weather condition. Multi-Lens Integrated Cameras: A multi-lens combination in one device to meet users’ multifunctional requirements in a single scenario. Additionally, Hikvision showcased intelligent products, including AI-equipped Turbo HD 5.0 cameras, the Easy IP 4.0 Series with Hikvision’s AcuSense and ColorVu technologies, and the DeepinView deep learning cameras. AI open platform algorithm At the booth, visitors could also interact with the Hikvision AI open platform algorithm warehouse and delivery process. Via an AI Cloud user interface, they could experience how to select different algorithm models from the warehouse, load them on the AI camera and perform real-time, intelligent identification and analysis of objects like potato chips, fire extinguishers, and other items. The Hikvision AI Cloud was developed to solve real-world challenges across multiple vertical markets, and to create continuous value to end users. The cutting-edge architecture is designed to enable collaboration between partners across edge computing, industry applications, service platforms and standard systems, and much more.
ACRE companies Vanderbilt, ComNet and Open Options are gearing up toward an exciting Intersec show that will highlight the collective experience and depth of solutions available from the ACRE portfolio. Key features on display will focus on the ACRE brand’s strength in cloud solutions, open platforms, smart integrations and cybersecurity. Core to this message will be the award-winning cloud-based solutions, SPC Connect and ACT365. ACT365 is Vanderbilt's platform for access control and video management. SPC Connect is a hosted cloud-based solution designed specifically for installers to monitor, manage and maintain SPC panels remotely from any location. Cybersecurity Protection Both these solutions have won a wealth of trophies between them such as Benchmark Innovation, GIT Security, PSI Premier and Detektor International awards. Designed to excel in several sectors, both have earned stripes and praise for excellence in banking and retail in particular. Vanderbilt SPC intrusion system is also known for its cybersecurity protections The Vanderbilt SPC intrusion system is also known for its cybersecurity protections and the bespoke communication platform, FlexC, that was built from the ground up with cybersecurity in mind. Open access control platforms ACT Enterprise and SiPass integrated (a product made by Siemens AG) will also be available for demonstrations. Both access control platforms are renowned for their integrations. ACT Enterprise integrates with Vanderbilt’s SPC, as well as world-renowned brands like Milestone, Hikvision and KONE to name a few. Most recently, Bluetooth Low Energy readers and Biometric fingerprint readers have been released by Vanderbilt in conjunction with ACT Enterprise 2.10. User-centric SiPass Integration SiPass integrated, a powerful open access control management software, scales from small to large, complex deployments. The user-centric design of SiPass delivers ease of operation and maintenance, with self-explanatory and straightforward menu structures and buttons. Another striking feature is its ability to replace traditional keycards with Android and iOS mobile devices, or wearables like Apple Watch and Android Wear. This feature addresses the game-changing shift toward smartphone technology. ComNet will also highlight their specialty in the transmission and networking aspect of data, video and audio, and their solutions’ ability to work seamlessly across any of the three standard communications media, as well as in multiple network architectures. All ComNet products come with a lifetime warranty and “Made in the USA” quality, making ComNet an excellent choice for all single-source solutions for any transmission product needs. DNA Fusion access control software DNA Fusion, seamlessly connects with security technologies — including video, biometrics Open Options will join their ACRE sister-companies, making their debut at Intersec, to showcase their powerful DNA Fusion access control software, as well as their Mercury-based hardware. In addition, Open Options plans to highlight exciting integrations, such as video management software from Milestone, XProtect. Open Options has been a pioneer in the open platform community focused on helping customers improve security by building trust through the most connected experience. Today, the company continues to be a provider of innovative access control solutions with the experienced, highly qualified service and support teams in the industry, providing access that connects. Open Options’ flagship access control platform, DNA Fusion, seamlessly connects with security technologies — including video, biometrics, wireless locks and more — to provide customers with a best-in-class security solution. Intersec Dubai takes place January 19-21, 2020. One can visit the ACRE companies at StandS1 C19.
When you’re securing premises in Iceland, you need a reliable system that can cope with both plummeting temperatures and low-light levels. Hikvision cameras were used in such a solution – chosen by Securitas Iceland to secure a harbour for customer Samskip in Reykjavik. Global logistics company Samskip is one of the larger transport companies in Europe with offices in 24 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. They operate an extensive network of container services to and from Iceland, along with refrigerated cargo logistics and international forwarding around the world. Special kind of surveillance system One of their locations is a harbour in Reykjavik, which includes warehouses. Operating in sub-zero temperatures and with low-light even in daytime for some of the year, Samskip needs a special kind of surveillance system. When temperatures are as low as -30˚C, electronics can become unresponsive, or stop working completely When temperatures are as low as -30˚C, electronics can become unresponsive, or stop working completely. These are also the temperatures where maintenance is more challenging – these are not ideal environments for technicians to be working outside. The biggest snow depth ever recorded in Iceland was 279cm in North Iceland in March 1995, for example. Although this was the worst winter ever recorded, it gives an idea of the potential extremes. There are also snow storms and the high wind chill factor to contend with. Providing clear images in failing light Low light in the winter months means that solutions in Iceland need to be better able to provide clear images in failing light. During winter, Iceland’s high latitude means shorter days - the longest day in the middle of December has only 5 hours of light, for example, with the sunrise at around 11am and sunset between 3 and 4pm. Despite these unique conditions, Samskip needed to have a good overview over all that is happening around the harbour complex, both inside and outside. Specifically, they needed to be able to trace products and goods in the warehouse. Iceland’s security provider, Securitas, rose to the challenge, providing a solution using more than 150 Hikvision products, including PanoVu and DarkFighter® cameras. All these cameras can operate to a temperature of -30˚C. Identifying potential issues The PanoVu cameras provide excellent wide angle surveillance to cover as much of the area as possible. DarkFighter technology is a popular choice in Iceland because it gives clear, useful images even in the lowest of light scenarios. The smart function on the cameras means that operators are able to identify potential issues by analysing people's behaviour. The solution included Seagate’s high-stability Skyhawk drives, especially developed for surveillance applications They can also trace a product between locations and see its condition at receipt and delivery, enhancing both security and business efficiency. To complement the Hikvision solutions, Securitas chose Seagate as their preferred storage vendor with their Skyhawk. The solution included Seagate’s high-stability Skyhawk drives, especially developed for surveillance applications. Providing reliable security Skyhawk surveillance drives are equipped with enhanced ImagePerfect™ firmware to deliver ultimate reliability and zero dropped frames, and SkyHawk Health Management, a software designed for prevention, intervention and recovery. Bergvin Þórðarson, Samskip’s Security Manager, says: “The cameras meet the requirements for analysis of people and merchandise. We are confident with both Hikvision and Securitas – in both their product and people. We know that they will fix any issues and react quickly if there’s a problem.” Securing large areas can be a challenge all on its own, but the addition of potentially crippling weather conditions means a security solution needs to be robust. Hikvision cameras were up to the challenge and provided reliable security for the entire operation.
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