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Automatic Gates – The latest development in access control
Automatic Gates – The latest development in access control

Automatic gates remain an increasingly popular security choice for family homes, business premises or public buildings – anywhere that full control over access is needed. While there is much to consider for installers when advising clients on the right solution for their property, from the size, weight and cost of a gate system, it’s useful to be aware of the latest developments in the market, as this can help to find the right option to fit their needs. The need for speed Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open, and there are many factors to take into consideration, when advising on which option to use. However, swing gate motors tend to be slower than the speeds achievable for sliding gates, which means the latter are usually more popular, especially for commercial sites where timing can be among the more important factors. One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors, such as those from Bft Automation, which allow for opening and closing at a quicker speed than has previously been achievable. Fast authorised access control From a security point of view, the ability to allow people and goods in and out of a property at a quicker pace reduces the risk of unauthorised entry, while waiting for a gate to close – an important consideration in both commercial and residential contexts. Other benefits of a faster motor include reduced waiting times. This can be particularly useful for properties in busy areas, where a vehicle could risk blocking traffic, while waiting to turn into a site controlled by a slower gate. Faster motors Also, a faster motor could potentially reduce the risk of an accident from vehicles entering a property at speed. For example, this might happen if someone was making their first visit to a property situated off a fast road in an unfamiliar area. Beyond these practical considerations, in today’s fast-paced world, people aren’t as used to having to wait for things and this applies to the time it takes to get in and out of their own property. So, security benefits aside, faster motors are likely to be more appealing for clients who have sliding gates fitted to their domestic property and who prioritise convenience. The choice of which of the new faster motors to use will be impacted by a number of factors, including the weight of the gates. Essentially, the lighter the gate is the higher the speed achievable. And, as always, it’s important to make sure that any installation complies with safety regulations. Intelligent torque management systems A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems, which update the level of torque required to perform the gate’s operation, allowing it to work at the optimum level, regardless of weather conditions, temperature or the degree of wear and tear on the device. Depending on the typical weather conditions experienced at the site and the anticipated frequency of use, it’s worth looking at options that take these factors into account. Importance of security rights In some scenarios, it’s important for particular individuals to have security rights. In which case, there are motors available that come with personalised keys, which are unique, providing an additional level of security. Installers often face the challenge of fitting gate motors in confined spaces, potentially making for a time consuming and technically demanding task. Available space When you only have a small space to work with, simple details can go a long way to helping you. For example, by putting the fastening screws on the front of a motor’s casing, installation and maintenance are easier and more convenient, even in particularly compact areas. Working with suppliers that offer more than just a manual means you’ll have access to advice and support on how new products work in practise and what you need to consider before advising on an installation.

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

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

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

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

Latest Aiphone news

Aiphone provides their IX Series video intercom for a better communication link between truck drivers at the quarries
Aiphone provides their IX Series video intercom for a better communication link between truck drivers at the quarries

A Southeastern U.S. company operating rock and asphalt quarries required a reliable, simple, and cost-effective way for truck drivers and dispatchers to communicate — often while in different states. Aiphone IX Series IP video intercoms provide an instant sight-and-sound connection via the company network. After loading their trucks at one of 10 Southeastern U.S. rock and asphalt quarries, drivers are required to stop at scales, weigh their loads, and check in with quarry dispatchers. Not all quarries had onsite dispatchers, sometimes the nearest dispatcher might be more than 100 miles away. Networked communications system For years, the quarries used IP-based video cameras to allow dispatchers to record licence plate and other truck information and landline telephones to talk with drivers. But some drivers new to a quarry didn’t see the phone and would sit and wait as the lineup to use the scales grew longer. The almost constant line of trucks also made it difficult for a dispatcher to step away from the desk, even for a few minutes. Noise from the trucks’ diesel engines made communication difficult Noise from the trucks’ diesel engines and nearby quarry operations made communication difficult. And dispatchers required additional phone lines in order to talk with one another. Connect truck drivers and dispatchers with an easy-to-use, networked communications system that could stand up to an often harsh, and always noisy environment. Requirements of the Quarries were as follows. An intuitive system simple for all drivers to use, including those making their first visit to a quarry The ability to connect drivers with any currently available dispatcher on the company network A system able to operate outdoors in extreme heat and cold while delivering powerful, clear audio Several telephone lines “The same Aiphone IX Series system intercoms are used to connect the dispatchers to each other, alleviating the need for several telephone lines. Our customer hadn’t even asked for that.” Rex Free Owner, Amber Video & Audio Service. “From my standpoint, there is nothing more pleasing than working with a company that supports you. The fact I can pick up the phone and talk to somebody that knows what I do, is great. If it’s an intercom, it’s Aiphone, period.” Rex Free Owner, Amber Video & Audio Services. Necessary communications link The Aiphone IX Series video intercom provided the necessary communications link The Aiphone IX Series video intercom provided the necessary communications link. Dispatchers gained additional video information, while accepting or initiating calls to walk drivers through the weigh-in process. Calls from a quarry can now be handled by any dispatcher on the network — no matter how far away. Before leaving their desks, dispatchers can set stations to transfer calls to another office to avoid delays in processing drivers. To overcome ambient noise, the quarries’ systems integrator, Amber Video and Audio, added an amplifier and horn speaker to the first installed IX Series intercom. Handling intercompany communications However, the extra equipment was eliminated from future installations as the intercoms provided sufficient volume on their own. Also, the stainless steel IX Series models stood up to the rugged environment including limestone dust, extreme temperatures, and even the occasional grazing from a truck sideview mirror. As an added plus, the integrator suggested dispatchers use the IX Series intercoms to communicate with one another, resulting in the elimination of several costly telephone lines. The systems have performed so well there are plans to add more locations to handle intercompany communications.

Aiphone provides IX Series video intercom to enhance visitor management system for Littleton Public Schools
Aiphone provides IX Series video intercom to enhance visitor management system for Littleton Public Schools

Keeping out unwanted visitors is a major task in a district with 16,000 students, 2,500 employees and 2,100 regular volunteers. Aiphone’s IX Series and a visitor management system work together to control and protect each school’s single visitor entry. “The mission of anything we do in security must enhance the ability for teachers to teach and students to learn,” said Guy Grace, Director of Security & Emergency Preparedness, Littleton Public Schools. Littleton Public Schools (LPS) operates 24 campuses in suburban communities within the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. Increasing entry security Keeping out unwanted visitors is a major task in a district with 16,000 students, 2,500 employees and 2,100 regular volunteers. Many campus security issues begin at the front door. The LPS security team works diligently to keep out unwanted visitors. However, this is a major task in a district with 16,000 students, 2,500 employees and 2,100 regular volunteers. Protect the entries at 13 elementary, 5 middle, 4 high school campuses, and 2 charter schools Enable security and other trained district staff to clearly see and speak with visitors before remotely unlocking a door Unify multiple systems to increase entry security Visitor management system Employees enter through assigned doors using an access control card All exterior doors at elementary and middle schools remain locked 24/7. Security officers are assigned to the two entries on each high school campus that remain unlocked during parts of each school day. Employees enter through assigned doors using an access control card and reader or a personal identification number entered on a keypad. An Aiphone IX Series video intercom, three security cameras, and a visitor management system protect each school’s single visitor entry. Visitors pushing the intercom call button gain the attention of a staff member using a master station in the school office. A trained employee can see and conduct a two-way conversation with the visitor before remotely unlocking the door. Intercoms are also installed at delivery bays and the front doors of 13 school-age childcare centres. Video management system The intercoms can be locally monitored and operated on campus or by security officers in the district’s unified command centre. In fact, the Littleton Public Schools Security team keeps the Aiphone camera and microphone on 24/7. The district also uses 190 Android™ tablets equipped with the IX Series Mobile App. These tablets allow district staff to leave the office and interact with children, while still maintaining control of the entry intercoms. The intercoms and security cameras provide live video to eliminate piggybacking The intercoms and security cameras provide live video to eliminate a practice known as piggybacking, in which additional people enter a door along with an approved visitor. The district’s video management system (VMS) records all IX Series audio and video for later review of incidents. Inside the school building, staff requires visitors to present a government-issued ID card which gets swiped through a visitor management system. Local criminal databases The card’s data will be compared to online federal and local criminal databases and sex offender registries. Approved visitors receive an adhesive ID badge to be worn while on campus. THE RESULTS Aiphone’s IX Series video intercoms are now a vital part of the district’s successful entry-control plan. Two to four video intercoms are installed at each district school. The units have helped staff keep non-custodial parents from gaining entry. “Let’s say we have a disgruntled, non-custodial parent show up at an elementary school – and this has happened more than once,” said Guy Grace, Director of Security and Emergency Preparedness, Littleton Public Schools. Valuable security equipment The units are always monitored including nights, weekends, and holidays “We don’t want that person in the building; he or she may be a potential threat. The Aiphone IX Series intercoms provide us with the information we need to get a sense of the person’s state of mind. That’s why I think this is one of our most valuable pieces of security equipment.” The ability of staff to communicate with people at school entries has helped break up fights and deter vandals. Students feeling threatened while on school property are instructed to use the intercoms to reach a security officer. The units are always monitored including nights, weekends, and holidays and can act as emergency ‘blue phones’ for people who use the school grounds. Remotely provide access The IX Series intercoms also let security officers remotely provide access to community groups, such as scouts, using school buildings after hours. It also helps the district to ensure that the facility user is following the after-hours facility use agreements. Aiphone’s IX Series video intercoms are now a vital part of the district’s successful entry-control plan. The IX Series intercoms also let security officers remotely provide access to community groups, such as scouts, using school buildings after hours.

Aiphone secures Racine Unified School District with their AX series exchange based video intercom
Aiphone secures Racine Unified School District with their AX series exchange based video intercom

Secure schools while safely permitting appropriate individuals into buildings. Install Aiphone’s AX series exchange‑based video intercom to provide reliable communication and to control access points. “When they see how easy the system works, and the minimal effort involved, they become dependent on the system,” said George Kadamian, Supervisor of Operations, Racine Unified School District. Located in the state of Wisconsin, the Racine Unified School District is an urban school district comprised of 37 buildings and covers over 21 square miles. Providing reliable communication The district operates three senior high schools, five middle schools, two middle/ high school alternative schools, four ancillary buildings, and 23 elementary schools. Secure schools throughout the entire district while safely permitting appropriate individuals into buildings. Secondarily, supply a system that did not cause personnel to feel daunted by a complicated interface. Install the AX Series, an easy‑to‑use exchange‑based video intercom, to provide reliable communication and to control access points. Supports up to 8 master stations and 120 doors/sub stations in a single system Easy homerun wiring with dedicated Cat-5e cable Integrates with CCTV systems for a broader view Convenient remote door unlocking Keyless entry with embedded card reader stations Providing quality education A secure school means everyone inside can concentrate on the subject matter at hand The importance of school security cannot be understated. A secure school means everyone inside can concentrate on the subject matter at hand, which is providing quality education. Sometimes the school staff, who are often in charge of operating certain aspects of the security system, feel they are being imposed with yet another duty. However, they usually find that having a reliable security system makes their job easier. George Kadamian is the Supervisor of Operations for the Racine Unified School District. “One of my primary goals is asset and facility protection during unoccupied hours, including the maintenance and upgrade of all district security systems,” says Kadamian. “I work closely with our security provider, response team provider, and local law enforcement agencies.” Good sound quality As with many school districts, security has been heightened since the tragic loss of lives witnessed at schools like Columbine and Virginia Tech. Over the last eight years, the Racine Unified School District has systematically installed Aiphone intercom units so buildings can be locked down while still providing access to parents and visitors. “In addition to being an urban district, there is a need, especially in the elementary schools, to prevent non-custodial parents or relatives from entering the buildings and removing children,” Kadamian explains. “An Aiphone unit was used 15 years ago in an application,” he continues. “Minimal repair and good sound quality of this sole unit resulted in me staying with Aiphone through the years, especially with the introduction of the integral camera/communicator units several years ago.” Features of AX Series Visitor screening with crisp audio and clear video Normal or priority call levels Hands-free or push-to-talk communication All call between master stations Selective call between master stations and from master stations to door stations PC programmable with a variety of settings Electronic access control It integrates with CCTV, electronic access control and transfers calls to a telephone line Presently, the Aiphone AX Series is being installed at the schools. This system compliments the existing security in place. It integrates with CCTV, electronic access control and transfers calls to a telephone line. The AX Series supports up to 8 master stations and 120 door stations all wired on Cat-5e cable. It is PC programmable for easy system set up. The master stations include a bright 3-1/2” colour TFT LCD while the system utilises open voice communication with both Push-to-Talk and VOX communication over two talk channels. Other features include: call transfer, priority calling, private communication, selective contacts for door release, scan monitoring, selective call, and master-to-master all call. Embedded card reader audio-video door stations are available for an all-in-one solution and are ideal for keyless entry. Door strike portion Centec Security of Waukesha, WI has performed all of the Aiphone installations over the years for the Racine School District. “The nature of the building (high school vs. elementary), itinerant staff and designated visitor/parent entrance will dictate the number of units required,” states Kadamian. “Generally we try to limit access to three doors in any one building and in all applications two internal monitors/ strike controls are installed in each office area.” Centec coordinates well with their lock shop sub-contractor so that the installation is seamless" The installation in most cases is completed within two days. “This installation is based on the mapping of wire runs, penetrations if applicable, wire mold runs and interior station locations,” explains the supervisor of operations. “Centec coordinates well with their lock shop sub-contractor so that the installation is seamless.” Centec Security sub-contracts with a lock shop in Madison, WI to perform the door strike portion of the installation. Sturdy master stations The AX Series is easy to install for the professionals at Centec. The AX Series’ intuitive programming not only saves time but saves on costs as well. A wide variety of door and sub stations, combined with sleek and sturdy master stations provide a system that is versatile, comprehensive, and simple for the user to operate. Kadamian agrees, describing the system as: outstanding, extremely reliable with minimal repairs needed. “Picture and sound quality are good,” he adds. There is a comfort level achieved by the school staff when they know that the students, as well as they themselves, are more secure. While at Racine the intercom units are used mainly to control the entrance of visitors and to prevent the unwanted removal of children by non-custodial/placement parents, school officials are aware that they can depend on the system to do much more if need be. Video output feature The video output feature allows composite video to be recorded or seen on a larger screen For example, the video output feature allows composite video to be recorded or seen on a larger screen. With the Paging feature, one can broadcast important announcements and the telephone transfer feature allows them to contact roaming guards. Master stations have the ability to use all call and group call features between other master stations. “Secretaries and clerks when advised that systems are being installed complain because they view it as just another job,” quips Kadamian. “However, when they see how easy the system works, and the minimal effort involved, they become dependent on the system. In those rare instances where repairs have been needed, the secretary or clerk is quick to contact me so that repairs can be affected.” As the person in charge, Kadamian uses one word to describe the AX Series: “Great! We won’t use anything else,” he comments. “The district is in line to receive a significant grant for CCTV and access control. Aiphone will continue to be our vendor of choice for visual/controlled access of specific entrances in all district buildings.”

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