Vicon Access control systems & kits(1)
Vicon has launched its enhanced Vicon Access Control (VAX) solution, an easy-to-use access control system that is fully scalable and able to accommodate small and enterprise scale installations. With the addition of readers, transmitters, elevator and I/O controllers, the new VAX will help maximise administrative efficiency and streamline operations. In keeping with Vicon’s new directive to drive standards-based interoperation, the VAX system was designed for complete integration with ViconNet video management software, allowing for the automatic linking of ViconNet video with corresponding access control events and ensures the ultimate in ease-of-use and flexibility. The VAX browser-based interface enables control of the system from any web-enabled PC, no matter where you are. With a unique design and patent-pending hardware, its innovative controller architecture is built with a single board, offering embedded Request to Exit Motion sensor, on board communications, back-up battery support and removable terminal blocks. Learn more about the exciting features in VAX!Add to Compare
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Gallagher 2 Door Kit - PoE+ for distributed one to two door access control using an Ethernet connection
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.
Users of security systems have long been willing to sacrifice certain aspects of security in favour of convenience and ease of use. The tide seems to be turning, however, with the industry at large showing significant concerns over cyber security. End user sentiments also seem to be following that trend, becoming more cautious when it comes to having their security systems connected to the internet. While it has become the norm for security systems to be accessible online, still it presents security threats that unconnected systems would not face. In 2018, we saw a notable shift from the convenience of a connected system to the less convenient, but more secure, standalone system. Consumers are willingly making the choice to trade convenience for security, and companies are responding. While cyber security concerns will continue to be a big topic of discussion, connected platforms will probably be the trend of 2019This in turn is driving an increase in more IoT-like deployments. Rather than the traditional client that is connected to a device to retrieve information, more often we are seeing more active devices, capable of reporting their presence and transmitting information on a scheduled basis, without the need for a client. Preventing security systems from outside threats This changes the dynamic of the network and alleviates many threats associated with traditional systems because there is no opportunity for outside threats to access your system since the device is transmitting information out vs requiring a connection to the outside world. With IoT deployments, when the device is active and sending messages out of the network segment, it is not vulnerable in the same way that the traditional systems are. While cyber security concerns will continue to be a big topic of discussion, connected platforms will probably be the trend of 2019. In 2018, we saw an increased acceptance in the residential market for smart home applications. While this has been an area of discussion for the past ten years, it is now gaining real traction. With artificial intelligent capabilities in tow, smart home deployments are more common than ever and the video analytics that accompany them are quite impressive. Cloud security for the commercial sector If consumers are trusting their home security systems with this, it only makes sense that they will begin trusting Google to provide security for their offices as wellIn addition to the residential market, connected platforms will likely start to impact the commercial space as well. The border between consumer and commercial user will become a little more blurred. Companies such as Google that cater primarily to home services have cloud capabilities beyond the means of many competitors, in turn giving them a favourable advantage to provide security for the cloud. If consumers are trusting their home security systems with this, it only makes sense that they will begin trusting Google to provide security for their offices as well. As far as ONVIF is concerned, we are excited to see how the market will adopt the newly released Profile T for advanced video streaming in the coming year. We are also excited to explore our relationship with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), by continuing our work on giving devices the ability to communicate upwards and proactively. It is clear that the market is open to adopting models in the quest for more efficiency without sacrificing security.
Edward Snowden’s name entered the cultural lexicon in 2013, after he leaked thousands of classified National Security Agency documents to journalists. He’s been variously called a traitor, a patriot, a revolutionary, a dissident and a whistleblower, but however you personally feel about him, there’s one way to categorise him that no one can dispute: He’s a thief. There’s no doubt about it: Snowden’s information didn’t belong to him, and the scary truth is that he is neither the first nor the last employee to attempt to smuggle secrets out of a building – and we need to learn from his success to try to prevent it from happening again. Since the dawn of the digital age, we’ve fought cyber pirates with tools like firewalls, encryption, strong passwords, antivirus software and white-hat hackers. But with so much attention on protecting against cyber risks, we sometimes forget about the other side of the coin: the risk that data will be physically removed from the building. Douglas Miorandi, director of federal programs, counter-terrorism and physical data security for Metrasens, recently discussed the major risks to physical data security with SourceSecurity.com. Q: What do you believe are the main physical threats to data? The biggest threats I have seen in the physical data security space have varied over the years, but there are four specific risks that remain the same across the board for any organisation, which are: Every organisation is at risk of having data walk out the building with that employee The Insider Threat The Outsider Threat The Seemingly Innocent Personal Item Poor or Nonexistent Screening To beginning with, every company or government agency has at least one disgruntled employee working for them, whether they know it or not, and that means every organisation is at risk of having data walk out the building with that employee. That is what security experts call the insider threat. Q: What do you think influences employees to steal data from their own organisation? People steal data from their workplaces because they see some means to an end, whether it’s to expose something embarrassing or damaging due to a personal vendetta, or because they can sell it to a competitor or the media and benefit financially – meaning they don’t even need to be disgruntled; they might just want a quick way to make a buck. Financial data, too, is attractive, both for insider trading and selling to the competition. People steal data from their workplaces because they see some means to an end, whether it’s to expose something embarrassing or damaging due to a personal vendetta, or because they can sell it to a competitor or the media and benefit financially This can happen to both private companies as well as government agencies. Take Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards for example, a Treasury Department employee who was caught in the act just last month, when she disclosed sensitive government information about figures connected to the Russia investigation to a reporter. She didn’t hack the system, she simply used a flash drive. And let’s not forget that Snowden was a contractor working for the NSA. Q: Many of us think of security threats coming from an outsider, do companies still face these type of threats? Yes. Unfortunately, organisations do not only need to worry about their own employees – companies and government agencies need to be wary of threats from outsiders. COTS devices include SD cards, external hard drives, audio recorders and even smart phones They can come in the form of the corporate spy – someone specifically hired to pose as a legitimate employee or private contractor in order to extract information – or the opportunistic thief – a contractor hired to work on a server or in sensitive areas who sees an opening and seizes it. Either one is equally damaging to sensitive data because of the physical access they have. Q: Whether it be an insider threat or an outsider threat, what are ways these individuals can steal sensitive data? There are two types of personal items that can be used to steal data: the commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) variety, and the intentionally disguised variety. This is considered risk number three – the seemingly innocent personal item. COTS devices include SD cards, external hard drives, audio recorders and even smart phones, any of which can be used to transport audio, video and computer data in and out of a building. Intentionally disguised devices are straight out of the spy novel; they could be a recording device that looks like a car key fob, or a coffee mug with a USB drive hidden in a false bottom. Intentionally disguised devices are straight out of the spy novel; they could be a recording device that looks like a car key fob, or a coffee mug with a USB drive hidden in a false bottom Q: What is the difference between COTS and disguised devices? The difference between COTS and disguised devices is that if someone gets caught with a COTS device, security will know what it is and can confiscate it. The disguised device looks like a security-approved item anyone could be carrying into the workplace, making it especially devious. Sometimes these devices don’t just function to bring information out of a building; they are used to damage a server or hard drive once it’s plugged in to a computer or the network. Some are both – a recording device that extracts data and then destroys the hard drive. Companies with airtight cyber security protocols can sometimes fall down when it comes to physically screening peopleQ: With these types of discrete items, can security personnel still catch individuals in the act? For example, through security screenings? Poor or nonexistent screening is the most substantial security threat to any organisation when it comes to sensitive data. Whether it’s an employee, an outside contractor or a device, the physical security risks are real, and everyone and everything entering and leaving a building needs to be screened. Unfortunately, screening often isn’t occurring at all, or is ineffective or inconsistent when it does occur. Even companies with airtight cyber security protocols can sometimes fall down when it comes to physically screening people and stopping them from stealing data through recording devices. Q: It’s surprising that so many organisations would neglect physical security when protecting their data. It’s a huge mistake, and the consequences can be dire. They range from loss of customer trust, exorbitant lawsuits and tanking stock prices in the private sector; and risks to national security in the public sector. Costs and resource allocation increase as well during efforts to reactively fix or mitigate the effects of physically stolen data. For both the private and public sectors, the risk for data to be physically removed from a building has never been greater. Years ago, it was much harder for the average Joe to figure out where they could sell stolen data. Now, with the Deep Web, anyone with Tor can access forums requesting specific information from competing spy agencies, with instructions on how to deliver it, greatly reducing the risk of getting caught – and increasing the likelihood people will try it. Although it’s getting easier to sell data, the good news is that all of these threats are avoidable with the right measures. Physical data security and cybersecurity must be considered the yin and yang of an airtight policy that effectively protects sensitive or confidential assets from a malicious attack Q: So how can an organisation protect against these risks? There are a number of ways – and the first one requires a change of mindset. Not long ago, the building/physical security department and the IT/cybersecurity department were considered two different entities within an organisation, with little overlap or communication. Organisations now are realising that, because of the level of risk they face from both internal and external threats, they must take a holistic approach to data security. Physical data security and cybersecurity must be considered the yin and yang of an airtight policy that effectively protects sensitive or confidential assets from a malicious attack. Q: How can companies and government agencies combine both physical data security and cybersecurity initiatives? Physical security managers can advise cybersecurity managers on ways to reinforce their protocols – perhaps by implementing the newest surveillance cameras in sensitive areas, or removing ports on servers so that external drives cannot be used. Organisations need to create an effective program and ensure it stays effective so people know it’s not worth the hassle to try In turn, the cybersecurity team can let the physical security team know that they have outside contractors coming in to work on the server, and the physical security team can escort the contractors in and stand guard as they work. Constant communication and a symbiotic relationship between the two departments are crucial to creating an effective holistic security protocol and, once you’ve got the momentum going, don’t let it slow down. Sometimes efforts start off strong and then peter out if priorities change. When guards are down, it’s an excellent time for a malicious actor to strike. Organisations need to create an effective program and ensure it stays effective so people know it’s not worth the hassle to try. It’s not just about the mentality, though. Using the right technology is just as important. Q: What type of technology can you use to protect physical data? Many problems can be avoided by simply using the right technology to detect devices that bring threats in and carry proprietary information out. Electronics such as hard drives, cell phones, smart watches, SD cards and recording devices have a magnetic signature because of the ferrous metals inside them. Using a ferromagnetic detection system (FMDS) as people enter and exit a building or restricted area means that anything down to a small microSD card triggers an alert, allowing confiscation or further action as needed. Electronics such as hard drives, cell phones, smart watches, SD cards and recording devices have a magnetic signature because of the ferrous metals inside them Q: How does FMDS work? In the most basic terms, FMDS uses passive sensors that evaluate disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field made by something magnetic moving through its detection zone. Nothing can be used to shield the threat, because FMDS doesn’t detect metallic mass; it detects the magnetic signature, down to a millionth of the earth’s magnetic field. FMDS is the most reliable method of finding small electronics items and should be part of the “trust, but verify” model Although it is a passive technology, it is more effective and reliable than using hand wands or the walk-through metal detectors typically seen in an airport, which cannot detect very small ferrous metal objects. FMDS can see through body tissue and liquids, so items cannot be concealed anywhere on a person or with their belongings. Whether or not the items are turned on doesn’t matter; FMDS doesn’t work by detecting a signal, but rather by spotting the magnetic signature that electronics contain. This is ideal, because most recording devices do not emit any signal whatsoever. In my experience, FMDS is the most reliable method of finding small electronics items (as well as other ferrous metal objects, like weapons), and should be part of the “trust, but verify” model, in which companies assume the best of their employees and anyone else entering the building, but still take necessary precautions. Q: What are the key takeaways for organisations looking to enhance data security? The toughest challenge in the security sector – whether it’s cyber or physical – is remembering that the bad guys are constantly looking for ways to slip in through the cracks, and security departments need to stay one step ahead to ward off both internal and external threats. Recognising the existing threats, putting together a holistic security strategy, and using the right technology to detect illicit devices comprises an effective three-pronged approach to protecting an organisation’s data. Organisations cannot afford to be passive about security and assume employees won’t steal data and spies won’t sneak in. Strong countermeasures are necessary because data loss can come from both inside and outside, in both private and public sectors, from places not everyone thinks of – and with technology like FMDS acting as a backup to the human element, organisations can lock down their data and keep the wolves in sheep’s clothing from getting through the door.
Vicon Industries, Inc., designer and manufacturer of video surveillance and access control software, hardware and components brings a new level of convenience and simplicity to its VAX Access Control solution with today’s introduction of mobile credentialing. This new feature allows VAX customers to present their smartphones, instead of cards or fobs, to specialised Bluetooth-enabled VAX door readers. Smartphone and mobile credentialing Upon installation of a custom smartphone “wallet” app and a simple authentication process that links that app to the specific phone, users enter their personal VAX credentials into the wallet. Multiple credentials can be accommodated. No additional activation steps, such as entry of personal information or Bluetooth linking, are required. To unlock doors using the mobile credentials, users unlock their phone, access the credential within the wallet app and push the “unlock” button. Credentials are uniquely linked to each smartphone and cannot be shared or installed across multiple devices. Android and iOS devices are supported. Strong AES encryption, combined with smartphone PINs or biometrics, make the mobile credentials even more secure than traditional smart cards. Two models of contactless door readers are available; one requires immediate proximity (1.5 inches) and one with read range of up to 15 feet. The Bluetooth readers can also accommodate traditional RFID access cards, providing flexibility to administrators wishing to offer both types of solutions to employees. Access Control Bret McGowan, Vicon’s V.P. of Sales and Marketing, says, “Access control is as much about convenience as it is security. If a solution isn’t easy for customers to use, doors will remain propped open and the system can’t do its job. Our new mobile solution makes it possible for employees to always have their credentials with them, even when they’re not carrying a purse or wallet. It’s another way we are using cutting-edge technology to deliver ‘advanced simplicity’ to the security marketplace.”
Vicon Industries, Inc, designer and manufacturer of video surveillance and access control software, hardware and components, announces that its SN673V-B Cruiser PTZ Camera with 20X optical zoom and 1080p HD video has been deployed in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, as part of the Coastal Conservation League’s novel project, ‘The Pelicam.’ The Pelicam is a weather-resistant Vicon camera, mounted on a pole along with solar panels, battery back-up and a wireless transmission system, on an isolated strip of land within the harbor. Wray Lemke, Founder and Vice President of electronic and security services company Mount Pleasant Radio, volunteered his time to bring this project to fruition. Conservation league The Pelicam’s location is a popular spot for pelicans and other shore birds to build nests and raise their young because it is inaccessible to raccoons, coyotes and other natural predators. The Vicon camera’s 20X optical zoom provides close-up video of the birds, allowing biologist from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the public to witness behaviours that would not normally be observable by humans. Conservation League makes use of the camera’s presets to quickly change between scenes, live-streaming on YouTube video of the most interesting wildlife The Conservation League makes use of the camera’s presets to quickly change between scenes, live-streaming on YouTube video of the most interesting wildlife on display at any given time. Video recorded to the camera’s local SD card is available for DNR biologists to review and study. Andy Hollis, Data and GIS Analyst for the Conservation League, says, “The quality of the new camera is great. It pans and zooms exactly as it should and its high magnification gets us in really close.” Building public awareness In addition to supporting the research needs of the DNR, the Pelicam is hugely popular within the community, garnering regular coverage in the local media and receiving more web traffic than any other page within the organisation’s website. Mr. Hollis explains, “As an advocacy organization working with local and state level government to enact programs and laws to support conservation, the Pelicam is one of the most highly effective tools we have for building public awareness and enthusiasm for our mission.”
Vicon Industries, Inc., designer and manufacturer of video surveillance and access control software, hardware and components, announced the launch of Valerus 18.2, the latest version of its popular thin-client VMS solution built upon true open standards. New to this release are features that include: automated NVR failover, enhanced configuration options that include an enhanced rules engine that can respond to external events, tighter controls for system access authorisations and network-wide log collection and reporting. It also offers support for Valerus SmartAnalytics, a soon-to-be-released, tightly integrated video analytics solution that offers real-time event detection, video search and business intelligence applications. Valerus’ new NVR failover option allows administrators to create ‘failover clusters’ within the network, in which one or more NVRs are identified as dedicated failover units to support primary NVRs. Failover NVRs automatically take over for primary NVRs within their cluster, maintaining all camera and system settings until the original NVR is restored to operation. Playback of recorded video remains seamless, eliminating the need for operators to know exactly when failover occurred. Valerus automatically retrieves video from the NVR on which it resides. Valerus SmartAnalytics for event detection Valerus SmartAnalytics can analyse video from multiple sources in parallel and allows for complex detection scenarios that link detection rules from different cameras The addition of Valerus SmartAnalytics as an option for users of Valerus 18.2 brings powerful, integrated analytics capabilities to the VMS platform. The Valerus SmartAnalytics engine applies detection rules based on sophisticated AI algorithms to provide live action alerts, post-event search and business intelligence trend analysis. Valerus SmartAnalytics can analyse video from multiple sources in parallel and allows for complex detection scenarios that link detection rules from different cameras. Unlimited combinations of analytics detection rules can be applied to each camera. Events and search tools appear within the Valerus interface, providing a simplified experience for system operators. Both NVR failover and Valerus SmartAnalytics support are offered through a new ‘enterprise’ level Valerus licensing tier. The Valerus SmartAnalytics modules will be available to customers running Valerus Enterprise, version 18.2, beginning in early fall, 2018. Customers currently running Valerus Pro or Core level software can easily upgrade to Enterprise without the need for camera relicensing or hardware replacement. Improving security staff’s situational awareness In keeping with the Valerus commitment to delivering ‘advanced simplicity’, Valerus 18.2 offers a simplified but more powerful system configuration user interface. Administrators can now use the Valerus rules engine to create multi-step automated actions in response to events generated by external systems. Administrators must now actively provide each user with access to Valerus resources by assigning him or her to one or more ‘roles’ – Admin, Operator, Supervisor and/or Investigator For example, an integrated LPR system’s identification of a black listed vehicle can prompt Valerus to immediately call up relevant cameras and send a text alert to specified operators, improving security staff’s situational awareness and ability to respond quickly. The configuration interface now simplifies load balancing, making it easier to move cameras between NVRs, and provides additional navigation buttons for jumping between the device and resource screens. Enhanced security through authorisation system Valerus 18.2 offers enhanced security through an updated authorisation system. Administrators must now actively provide each user with access to Valerus resources by assigning him or her to one or more ‘roles’ – Admin, Operator, Supervisor and/or Investigator. Assigned roles determine which resources are available to each user upon logging in. For support and maintenance teams, a single request can now provide system-wide software logs from all devices, making it easier to troubleshoot. “Vicon’s Valerus VMS platform has proven to be hugely popular in enterprise applications, from citywide and statewide surveillance systems, to healthcare and education campuses, to the largest Cathedral in the world. We anticipate that the features we are introducing with Valeurs 18.2 will do much to further that trend,” said Bret McGowan, Senior V.P. of Sales and Marketing.
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