The new powerful iSTAR eX Controller broadens the control panel offering from Software House®
The new powerful iSTAR eX Controller broadens the control panel offering from Software House®

Powerful, IP-enabled control panels for enterprise and government securityiSTAR Pro - supports up to 16 readersiSTAR Pro is an intelligent, modular controller designed to integrate various event management applications on one controller, providing ease of installation and interoperability among vital applications.  It is a highly dependable, cost-effective solution for enterprise-wide access control.iSTAR eX - supports up to 4 readersiSTAR eX is a four door Ethernet-ready controller that provides a FIPS 197-validated 256-bit encryption algorithm.  This is ideal for government applications or for any enterprise looking for the highest security available in the industry today. For large corporations with smaller facilities around the globe, iSTAR eX works with the scalable C•CURE® 800/8000 system and other Software House controllers to provide the most demanding customers with a solution they can use across their entire corporation. Features that make a difference:iSTAR eX controller features onboard FIPS 197-validated AES encryption, eliminating the need for external encryption boxesSupports redundant backup of configuration dataReliably backup your database to non-volatile flash memoryLCD provides important controller status and diagnostics informationEquipped with LEDs for each output, Ethernet and serial communication and onboard "heart-beat" monitor to ensure consistent operationDHCP support automatically assigns IP addresses for easy installationSupports multiple cards per cardholder and multiple formats for a highly secure, flexible solutionFully compatible with CCURE 800/8000 with full support of features such as government threat levels and event clearance filtersEmbedded Windows®  CE operating system

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Access control controllers - Expert commentary

The intersection of education and fire and security
The intersection of education and fire and security

Protecting against fire and security risks is an essential aspect of life for people and across all sectors. However, there is an increasing expectation and demand on fire and security providers, in areas such as education. The securitisation of our world paired with the rapid speed of communication and news updates means that young people especially have the potential to be more aware of potential dangers and threats to their own safety and the safety of those around them. Education institutions are large and sometimes sprawling sites that present considerable fire and security challenges. From kindergarten to university Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties, as well as the need to maintain the capacity of students, teachers and lecturers to study, learn and teach at the high level expected.Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties While some schools and universities are based in urban areas with a mix of heritage and high rise buildings, others are sprawled across green open spaces. Some of these sites have specialised sporting facilities, while others may be focused on engineering or scientific study, with costly technical equipment. Kindergartens and primary schools have their own unique requirements. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management. The demographic of these institutions is predominantly young children, who are often unaware of or only just learning about fire safety and personal safety. This creates a huge vulnerability and an added onus on teachers to keep their students safe. Facial recognition at West Academy of Beijing In response to this need, Chubb China upgraded the closed-circuit television (CCTV) system for Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) focusing on elevating video content analytic features, including maximised CCTV monitoring, automatic police calling, and a smart search solution. Complementing this, a facial recognition system capable of finding the exact location of a student on campus within 30 seconds was added, aided by real-time remote gate operation. This integrated and advanced system resulted won the "High Quality Educational Technology Suppliers for School" award for the WAB project at the 2019 BEED Asia Future Oriented Construction of Universities and Schools Seminar. This award recognises outstanding solution design and project execution. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management Awareness remains important at university As students graduate from kindergarten, primary school, junior and senior school, they become more aware of fire safety, relevant dangers and how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, external dangers remain. There are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers The safety of students in a university environment is also critical. It is often the first time young people live away from their family home and have the independence of adulthood. For this reason, there are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers. In the eventuality of a fire, students could be at great risk and, beyond the immediacy of physical harm, this can have serious ramifications for the reputation of an educational institution. Integrated solutions Integrated solutions must be nimble and adapted to a range of site types including campus residences, recreational areas, open spaces and lecture theatres. Chubb Sicli recently identified and overcame these challenges through the installation of a full suite of fire safety and security equipment and services at Webster University Geneva. Established in Switzerland in 1978, Webster University Geneva is an accredited American university campus that offers programs in English to students interested in undergraduate or graduate-level education.  Located in the Commune of Bellevue, just a few kilometres from Geneva's central station, the campus of Webster University Geneva includes five buildings in a park-style atmosphere. Full fire and security audit Chubb Sicli provided Webster’s fire extinguisher maintenance for over 25 years. This business relationship led to a full fire and security audit that identified the need for updates to the university’s security installation. The initial audit showed several improvements to the university’s security profile were needed.The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution, enhancing the security of the student population and its ever-evolving needs. This included complete fire detection and intruder alarms for all five buildings, upgrades to existing CCTV systems, new video surveillance equipment and an automated fire extinguishing system in the kitchen areas. In addition to this integrated system solution, Webster University required access control for all main entrances, with the requirement that all documentation to be made available in English, because Webster is an American company. Customised solution Chubb Sicli’s quality, capability, and security expertise provided a customised solution for the unique educational establishment. Not only was the solution both tailored and integrated, the approach and planning were based on audit, fire extinguisher and emergency light maintenance, fire detection, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance and Fire Detection. Through dedicated and integrated fire safety support, Chubb provides students and families peace of mind and security. From the moment a young child enters the education system, Chubb’s diligent and effective surveillance and fire safety systems work to prevent and protect, offering a new kind of ‘end-to-end’ service for education systems around the world.

How to build an insider threat programme
How to build an insider threat programme

Insider threat programmes started with counter-espionage cases in the government. Today, insider threat programmes have become a more common practice in all industries, as companies understand the risks associated with not having one. To build a programme, you must first understand what an insider threat is. An insider threat is an employee, contractor, visitor or other insider who have been granted physical or logical access to a company that can cause extensive damage. Damage ranges from emotional or physical injury, to personnel, financial and reputational loss to data loss/manipulation or destruction of assets. Financial and confidential information While malicious insiders only make up 22% of the threats, they have the most impact on an organisation Most threats are derived from the accidental insider. For example, it’s the person who is working on a competitive sales pitch on an airplane and is plugging in financial and confidential information. They are working hard, yet their company’s information is exposed to everyone around them. Another type of insider, the compromised insider, is the person who accidentally downloaded malware when clicking on a fake, urgent email, exposing their information. Malicious insiders cause the greatest concerns. These are the rogue employees who may feel threatened. They may turn violent or take action to damage the company. Or you have the criminal actor employees who are truly malicious and have been hired or bribed by another company to gather intel. Their goal is to gather data and assets to cause damage for a specific purpose. While malicious insiders only make up 22% of the threats, they have the most impact on an organisation. They can cause brand and financial damage, along with physical and mental damage. Insider threat programme Once you determine you need an insider threat programme, you need to build a business case and support it with requirements. Depending on your industry, you can start with regulatory requirements such as HIPAA, NERC CIP, PCI, etc. Talk to your regulator and get their input. Everyone needs to be onboard, understand the intricacies of enacting a programme Next, get a top to bottom risk assessment to learn your organisation’s risks. A risk assessment will help you prioritise your risks and provide recommendations about what you need to include in your programme. Begin by meeting with senior leadership, including your CEO to discuss expectations. Creating an insider threat programme will change the company culture, and the CEO must understand the gravity of his/her decision before moving forward. Everyone needs to be onboard, understand the intricacies of enacting a programme and support it before its implemented. Determining the level of monitoring The size and complexity of your company will determine the type of programme needed. One size does not fit all. It will determine what technologies are required and how much personnel is needed to execute the programme. The company must determine what level of monitoring is needed to meet their goals. After the leadership team decides, form a steering committee that includes someone from legal, HR and IT. Other departments can join as necessary. This team sets up the structure, lays out the plan, determines the budget and what type of technologies are needed. For small companies, the best value is education. Educate your employees about the programme, build the culture and promote awareness. Teach employees about the behaviours you are looking for and how to report them. Behavioural analysis software Every company is different and you need to determine what will gain employee support The steering committee will need to decide what is out of scope. Every company is different and you need to determine what will gain employee support. The tools put in place cannot monitor employee productivity (web surfing). That is out of scope and will disrupt the company culture. What technology does your organisation need to detect insider threats? Organisations need software solutions that monitor, aggregate and analyse data to identify potential threats. Behavioural analysis software looks at patterns of behaviour and identifies anomalies. Use business intelligence/data analytics solutions to solve this challenge. This solution learns the normal behaviour of people and notifies security staff when behaviour changes. This is done by setting a set risk score. Once the score crosses a determined threshold, an alert is triggered. Case and incident management tools Predictive analytics technology reviews behaviours and identifies sensitive areas of companies (pharmacies, server rooms) or files (HR, finance, development). If it sees anomalous behaviour, it can predict behaviours. It can determine if someone is going to take data. It helps companies take steps to get ahead of bad behaviour. If an employee sends hostile emails, they are picked up and an alert is triggered User sentiment detection software can work in real time. If an employee sends hostile emails, they are picked up and an alert is triggered. The SOC and HR are notified and security dispatched. Depending on how a company has this process set-up, it could potentially save lives. Now that your organisation has all this data, how do you pull it together? Case and incident management tools can pool data points and create threat dashboards. Cyber detection system with access control An integrated security system is recommended to be successful. It will eliminate bubbles and share data to see real-time patterns. If HR, security and compliance departments are doing investigations, they can consolidate systems into the same tool to have better data aggregation. Companies can link their IT/cyber detection system with access control. Deploying a true, integrated, open system provides a better insider threat programme. Big companies should invest in trained counterintelligence investigators to operate the programme. They can help identify the sensitive areas, identify who the people are that have the most access to them, or are in a position to do the greatest amount of harm to the company and who to put mitigation plans around to protect them. They also run the investigations. Potential risky behaviour Using the right technology along with thorough processes will result in a successful programme You need to detect which individuals are interacting with information systems that pose the greatest potential risk. You need to rapidly and thoroughly understand the user’s potential risky behaviour and the context around it. Context is important. You need to decide what to investigate and make it clear to employees. Otherwise you will create a negative culture at your company. Develop a security-aware culture. Involve the crowd. Get an app so if someone sees something they can say something. IT should not run the insider threat programme. IT is the most privileged department in an organisation. If something goes wrong with an IT person, they have the most ability to do harm and cover their tracks. They need to be an important partner, but don’t let them have ownership and don’t let their administrators have access. Educating your employees and creating a positive culture around an insider threat programme takes time and patience. Using the right technology along with thorough processes will result in a successful programme. It’s okay to start small and build.

The benefits of an integrated security system
The benefits of an integrated security system

Today, the world is connected like never before. Your watch is connected to your phone, which is connected to your tablet and so on. As we’ve begun to embrace this ‘smart’ lifestyle, what we’re really embracing is the integration of systems. Why do we connect our devices? The simplest answer is that it makes life easier. But, if that’s the case, why stop at our own personal devices? Connection, when applied to a business’ operations, is no different: it lowers effort and expedites decision making. Integrating security systems Systems integration takes the idea of connected devices and applies it to an enterprise Systems integration takes the idea of connected devices and applies it to an enterprise, bringing disparate subcomponents into a single ecosystem. This could mean adding a new, overarching system to pull and collect data from existing subsystems, or adapting an existing system to serve as a data collection hub. Regardless of the method, the purpose is to create a single, unified view. Ultimately, it’s about simplifying processes, gaining actionable insights into operations and facilitating efficient decision-making. Although integration is becoming the new norm in other areas of life, businesses often opt out of integrating security systems because of misconceptions about the time and resources required to successfully make the change. So, instead of a streamlined operation, the various security systems and devices are siloed, not communicating with each other and typically being run by different teams within an organisation. Time-intensive process When systems are not integrated, companies face a wide range of risks driven by a lack of transparency and information sharing, including actual loss of property or assets. For example, a team in charge of access control is alerted to a door being opened in the middle of the night but can’t see what exactly is taking place through video surveillance. Without integrated systems they have no way of knowing if it was a burglar, an equipment malfunction or a gust of wind. Without integration between systems and teams, the ability to quickly put the right pieces in front of decision makers is missing. Instead, the team would have to go back and manually look for footage that corresponds with the time a door was open to figure out which door it was, who opened it and what happened after, which can be a time-intensive process. Integrating access control and surveillance systems Theft and vandalism occur quickly, meaning systems and users must work faster in order to prevent it This slowed response time adds risk to the system. Theft and vandalism occur quickly, meaning systems and users must work faster in order to prevent it. Security systems can do more than communicate that theft or vandalism occurred. Properly integrated, these systems alert users of pre-incident indicators before an event happens or deter events altogether. This gives teams and decision makers more time to make effective decisions. Integrating access control and surveillance systems allows for a more proactive approach. If a door is opened when it’s not supposed to be, an integrated system enables users to quickly see what door was opened, who opened it and make a quick decision. Integrated solutions are more effective, more efficient and help drive cost-saving decisions. Ideally, companies should establish integrated solutions from the start of operations. This allows companies to anticipate problems and adjust accordingly instead of reacting after an incident has occurred. Security camera system Although starting from the beginning is the best way to ensure comprehensive security, many companies have existing security systems, requiring integration and implementation to bring them together. Typically, companies with established security systems worry about the impact to infrastructure requirements. Is additional infrastructure necessary? How and where should it be added? What financial or human resources are required? These concerns drive a mentality that the benefits gained from an integrated solution aren’t worth the costs of implementation. Thankfully, this is becoming less of a problem as security providers, like Twenty20™ Solutions, work to offer adaptable solutions. With flexible options, operators don’t worry about adding or replacing infrastructure to align with a provider’s model. This allows users to monitor camera footage and gate traffic from one system If a company has an existing security camera system, but identifies a need for access control, a modern integrated solution provider can supply the gates for access points and equip the gates and cameras with the technology to connect the two. This allows users to monitor camera footage and gate traffic from one system. This model also spares operators additional costs by using a sole vendor for supplemental needs. Overall management of security While a single, unified system is beneficial for cost saving, it can also help the overall management of security. The ability to view all operating systems in one dashboard allows security personnel to manage a site from any location, reducing the expense and effort required to manage a system. The mobile world today means security directors no longer need to be in a centralised operations center to see alerts and make decisions. This simplifies processes by allowing users to quickly see an alert, pull up a camera, delete a user or check an access log from a phone. Modern networks are secure and accessible to those with permissions, without requiring those users to be physically present. Consolidating security systems is the first step companies can take toward streamlining work, information and costs. The next step is integrating all sites, both remote and on-grid. Energy and communication technology The integration of sites and systems turns mountains of data and information into actionable intelligence Traditional methods demanded two systems: one for on-grid facilities and another for off-grid locations. With advancements in energy and communication technology, the need for multiple systems is gone. Data from remote sites can be safely and securely fed into an existing system. These remote locations may gather, distribute and manage data in a different manner than a connected system due to the cost of transmission via remote connections (i.e., cellular or satellite connection). The end result, however, is a consistent and holistic view of operations for the decision maker. The integration of sites and systems turns mountains of data and information into actionable intelligence. With connected devices monitoring occurrences at individual sites, as well as events across locations, the data tells a story that is unhindered by operational silos or physical space. Identifying patterns and trends Instead of providing 10 hours-worth of footage that may or may not be relevant, system analytics can provide users with the specific set of information they need. Incidents once discarded as ‘one-off’ events can now be analysed and data-mapped to identify patterns and trends, directing future resources to the most critical areas first. Consumers are increasingly expecting everything they need to be right where they need it – and businesses are right behind them. The current generation of security professionals are increasingly expecting the simplicity of their everyday personal tasks to be mirrored in enterprise systems, which means giving them the ability to see what matters in one place. A unified system can provide just that, a single view to help simplify processes, promote cost saving and accelerate decision making.

Latest Tyco International news

Johnson Controls release Illustra Pro Gen3 Bullet Camera with smart wide dynamic range
Johnson Controls release Illustra Pro Gen3 Bullet Camera with smart wide dynamic range

Johnson Controls has added to its successful Illustra Pro camera family with the Illustra Pro Gen3 Bullet, featuring new Smart Wide Dynamic Range that optimises video quality while minimising configuration time. Available with standard or telephoto lens and in megapixel resolutions of 3MP and 4K, the Pro Gen3 Bullet provides customers with a selection of video images to match their operational requirements and is ideal for a wide variety of deployments in both medium and large-sized facilities. Smart Wide Dynamic Range available in the Pro Gen3 Bullet reduces configuration time while greatly improving the quality of the video stream in varying lighting environments. By effectively reading the scene, the Bullet can adjust contrasting and overall scene balance without operator intervention. Setup and management costs Setup times are also reduced with the addition of configuration profiles, such as retail, gaming and indoor/outdoor scenes, where camera settings are automatically adjusted based on the environment, with a simple click of a button. The Pro Gen3 Bullet automatically adjusts settings to the desired mount for ceiling or wall for additional labor savings The Pro Gen3 Bullet also automatically adjusts settings to the desired mount for ceiling or wall for additional labor savings. “The smart technology embedded in our latest generation of Illustra Pro cameras automates picture tuning and ensures that what you see is always dynamically optimised even in changing scenes and lighting conditions. We are aiming to reduce operator setup and management costs while always delivering a perfectly configured picture,” said Ric Wilton, Director of Product Management for Illustra. “Adding intelligent, automated capabilities to our solutions is core to our product design and the Illustra portfolio.” Video Intelligence Analytics Building off the previous generation of cameras, the Bullet improves on important features such as Wide Dynamic Range, Illustra IntelliZip bandwidth management, effective failover redundancy, cybersecurity and Video Intelligence Analytics. Users can offload analytic streaming from network video recorders to the edge on Illustra cameras, saving time and resources. This feature, Video Intelligence Analytics, provides real-time, user-customisable event alarms that allow for quick reaction to incidents. By gathering transformative data instantly, users can better allocate human resources elsewhere. As part of the Tyco Cyber Protection Product Security Program, the new generation of Illustra Pro cameras will also have enhanced safeguards against cyber attacks. Cyber-threat resilience With cyber-threat resilience in mind, the solution includes “secure boot” which prompts the installer to change passwords upon installation. Additional safeguard controls include an enhanced security mode, which forces the use of complex, non-default passwords and encrypted communications. The Pro Gen3 Bullet is now available for order in both 3MP and 8MP form factors, with additional options coming soon.

Tyco launches a video support portal to provide technical support to its users
Tyco launches a video support portal to provide technical support to its users

Tyco, the security brand of Johnson Controls, launches a new video support portal which offers a comprehensive and easy to use one-stop resource for installers, system integrators and distributors who may require technical support for American Dynamics and Illustra video solutions. Visitors to the support portal are able to raise a support ticket for any product under warranty or use a Live Chat facility to instantly connect with a member of the video technical support team based at Tyco’s Centre of Excellence in Belfast. They are also able to participate in a Tyco video Q&A forum which provides the opportunity to share information with other customers, as well as register to receive regular product updates. Premium video solutions An easy to navigate technical library provides a wide range of support material An easy to navigate technical library provides a wide range of support material, such as installation and user guides, knowledge articles, ‘how-to’ guides and technical advisory bulletins, in support of American Dynamics and Illustra cameras, recording solutions and Video Management Software (VMS). “We believe that our premium video solutions should be matched with premium pre and post sales support services,” said Peter Ainsworth, VP Customer Experience Security Products for Johnson Controls. “In this respect, the launch of the new Tyco video support portal, which follows on from the successful introduction of the Software House portal, represents a giant leap forward in terms of our efforts to streamline how our customers are able to efficiently access all of our technical support resources, either from a desktop PC or via a mobile App.” Two-way exchange of files The ability to raise a support ticket via the portal negates the need for customers to visit individual brand websites to report a troubleshooting issue or spend time queuing on telephone support lines. The portal also provides a platform for a two-way exchange of files and directories The portal also provides a platform for a two-way exchange of files and directories, which significantly enhances the ability of the Tyco support team to quickly diagnose and resolve any technical issues. Available in iOS and Android versions from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, the free to download AD Support Portal mobile App enables users to access all the portal’s features via a smartphone or tablet. Real-time sharing of files and images When installed on an iOS device, the App offers a number of additional time saving and practical features. These include: Live Chat: With Live Chat functionality available on the mobile App, as well as on a desktop PC, customers can trouble shoot video issues in real time via intercom with Tyco’s dedicated support team. Live chat and real-time sharing of files and images whilst an engineer is on site facilitates a quick diagnose and faster resolution of customer support issues. QR Scanner: Installation and user guides can be quickly viewed by simply scanning the QR code on a product’s packaging. Camera Configuration Tool: By simply entering a camera’s IP address, a systems integrator is able to conveniently configure or adjust the camera’s settings. Highest level of technical support “We are confident customers will be impressed with the functionality and breadth of support currently available at support.americandynamics.com, regardless of whether they access it via a PC or mobile device,” said Peter Ainsworth. “However, this is only the start. Over the coming months, we will be looking to take on-board feedback from customers to ensure the portal meets their requirements and is continually improved. We will, for example, shortly be adding our exacq brand to the portal. This will enable customers to experience the same level of support for exacqVision NVRs and VMS that they are currently able to receive for American Dynamics and Illustra video solutions. It is all part of our mission to offer the highest possible level of technical support.”

Universal Security wins the Johnson Controls’ C-CURE 2019 partner of the year award
Universal Security wins the Johnson Controls’ C-CURE 2019 partner of the year award

Universal Security Systems Limited has won the 2019 C-CURE Enterprise Partner of the Year Award. The Award was presented to Alex Deal, Operations Director of Universal Security Systems, by Gordon Morrison, GB Sales Director for the Johnson Controls’ Tyco access control and video brands, at the C-CURE Enterprise Partner Appreciation Dinner, which took place on 15th January at Boisdale of Canary Wharf. User-friendly access control platform “We enjoyed significant sales growth during 2019 and this was achieved with the loyal support of all our certified Enterprise Partners whose professionalism has helped maintain the reputation of C-CURE 9000 as being the most robust, feature rich and user-friendly access control platform available,” said Gordon Morrison. Universal Security Systems support for C-CURE 9000 during 2019 was exceptional" “Universal Security Systems support for C-CURE 9000 during 2019 was exceptional, and they are therefore well deserved winners of the 2019 Enterprise Partner of the Year Award.” It was also announced at the dinner, which was attended by representatives from many of the UK’s security system integrators, that the Project of the Year Award had been won by Vindex Systems. Expertise of system integrators “The expertise of system integrators, such as Universal Security Systems and Vindex Systems, is ensuring that our mutual end-user clients are able to achieve maximum value from their investment in C-CURE 9000,” said Gordon Morrison. “The C-CURE Enterprise Partner Appreciation Dinner which is now an annual event, provided us with an opportunity to formally acknowledge the contribution all our Enterprise Partners are making to our ongoing success.”

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