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In 2017, IoT-based cyberattacks increased by 600%. As the industry moves towards the mass adoption of interconnected physical security devices, end users have found a plethora of advantages, broadening the scope of traditional video surveillance solutions beyond simple safety measures. Thanks in part to these recent advancements, our physical solutions are at a higher risk than ever before. With today’s ever evolving digital landscape and the increasing complexity of physical and cyber-attacks, it’s imperative to take specific precautions to combat these threats. Video surveillance systems Cybersecurity is not usually the first concern to come to mind When you think of a video surveillance system, cybersecurity is not usually the first concern to come to mind, since digital threats are usually thought of as separate from physical security. Unfortunately, these two are becoming increasingly intertwined as intruders continue to use inventive methods in order to access an organisation's assets. Hacks and data breaches are among the top cyber concerns, but many overlook the fact that weak cybersecurity practices can lead to physical danger as well. Organisations that deploy video surveillance devices paired with advanced analytics programs often leave themselves vulnerable to a breach without even realising it. While they may be intelligent, IoT devices are soft targets that cybercriminals and hackers can easily exploit, crippling a physical security system from the inside out. Physical security manufacturers Whether looking to simply gain access to internal data, or paralyse a system prior to a physical attack, allowing hackers easy access to surveillance systems can only end poorly. In order to stay competitive, manufacturers within the security industry are trading in their traditional analogue technology and moving towards interconnected devices. Due to this, security can no longer be solely focused on the physical elements and end users have taken note. The first step towards more secured solutions starts with physical security manufacturers choosing to make cybersecurity a priority for all products, from endpoint to edge and beyond. Gone are the days of end users underestimating the importance of reliability within their solutions. Manufacturers that choose to invest time and research into the development of cyber-hardening will be ahead of the curve and an asset to all. Wireless communication systems Integrators also become complicit in any issues that may arise in the future Aside from simply making the commitment to improve cyber hygiene, there are solid steps that manufacturers can take. One simple action is incorporating tools and features into devices that allow end users to more easily configure their cyber protection settings. Similarly, working with a third party to perform penetration testing on products can help to ensure the backend security of IoT devices. This gives customers peace of mind and manufacturers a competitive edge. While deficient cybersecurity standards can reflect poorly on manufacturers by installing vulnerable devices on a network, integrators also become complicit in any issues that may arise in the future. Just last year, ADT was forced to settle a $16 million class action lawsuit when the company installed an unencrypted wireless communication system that rendered an organisation open to hacks. Cybersecurity services In addition, we’ve all heard of the bans, taxes and tariffs the U.S. government has recently put on certain manufacturers, depending on their country of origin and cybersecurity practices. Lawsuits aside, employing proper cybersecurity standards can give integrators a competitive advantage. With the proliferation of hacks, malware, and ransomware, integrators that can ease their client's cyber-woes are already a step ahead. By choosing to work with cybersecurity-focused manufacturers who provide clients with vulnerability testing and educate end users on best practices, integrators can not only thrive but find new sources of RMR. Education, collaboration and participation are three pillars when tackling cybersecurity from all angles. For dealers and integrators who have yet to add cybersecurity services to their business portfolios, scouting out a strategic IT partner could be the answer. Unlocking countless opportunities Becoming educated on the topic of cybersecurity and its importance for an organisation is the first step Physical security integrators who feel uncomfortable diving headfirst into the digital realm may find that strategically aligning themselves with an IT or cyber firm will unlock countless opportunities. By opening the door to a partnership with an IT-focused firm, integrators receive the benefit of cybersecurity insight on future projects and a new source of RMR through continued consulting with current customers. In exchange, the IT firm gains a new source of clients in an industry otherwise untapped. This is a win for all those involved. While manufacturers, dealers and integrators play a large part in the cybersecurity of physical systems, end users also play a crucial role. Becoming educated on the topic of cybersecurity and its importance for an organisation is the first step. Commonplace cybersecurity standards Below is a list of commonplace cybersecurity standards that all organisations should work to implement for the protection of their own video surveillance solutions: Always keep camera firmware up to date for the latest cyber protections. Change default passwords, especially those of admins, to keep the system locked to outside users. Create different user groups with separate rights to ensure all users have only the permissions they need. Set an encryption key for surveillance recordings to safeguard footage against intruders and prevent hackers from accessing a system through a backdoor. Enable notifications, whether for error codes or storage failures, to keep up to date with all systems happenings. Create/configure an OpenVPN connection for secured remote access. Check the web server log on a regular basis to see who is accessing the system. Ensure that web crawling is forbidden to prevent images or data found on your device from being made searchable. Avoid exposing devices to the internet unless strictly necessary to reduce the risk of attacks.
Where are video surveillance cameras headed? At the core of next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are advanced chips with artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge, enabling cameras to gather valuable information about an incident: scanning shoppers at a department store, monitoring city streets, or checking on an elderly loved one at home. Thanks to advanced chip technology, complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras —professional to consumer — fueling the democratisation of AI in the IP camera market. Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras Expanding the global IP camera market The video surveillance equipment market grew to $18.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase this year, according to IHS Markit. The latest research points to video everywhere, edge computing, and AI as the top technologies that will have a major impact in both commercial and consumer markets in 2019. Computing at the edge means that the processors inside the camera are powerful enough to run AI processing locally, while still encoding and streaming video, and are able to do it all at the low-power required to fit into the limited thermal budget of an IP camera. New SoC chips will be able to perform all of the processing on camera and provide accurate AI information, with no need to send data to a server or the cloud for processing. Instead, data can be analysed right in the camera itself, offering high performance, real-time video analytics, and lower latency — all critical aspects of video surveillance. This new AI paradigm is made possible by a new generation of SoCs, a key driver behind the market growth of IP cameras. Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras to fuel the advent of AI in the IP camera market Micro-processor-enabled video analytics Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most time Microprocessor-enabled analytics allow users to more easily extract valuable data from video streams. How about an insider’s view into retail customer behavior? Consider video cameras at a department store, monitoring shoppers’ behavior, traffic patterns, and areas of interest. Next-generation cameras will recognise how long a shopper stays in front of a specific display, if the shopper leaves and returns, and if the shopper ultimately makes a purchase. Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most time, so retailers will be able to adjust product placement accordingly. Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly. By understanding customers’ behavior, retailers can determine the best way to interact with them, target specific campaigns, and tailor ads for them. Cue the coupons while the shopper is still onsite! Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly Fast processing for rapid response at city level City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations such as loitering, big crowds forming, or cars driving the wrong way.Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyse traffic situations Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyse traffic situations, adjust traffic lights, identify license plates, automatically charge cars for parking, find a missing car across a city, or create live and accurate traffic maps. Real-time HD video monitoring and recording When it comes to home monitoring, what will next-generation video surveillance cameras offer? Real-time monitoring and notification can detect if a person is in the back yard or approaching the door, if there’s a suspicious vehicle in the driveway, or if a package is being delivered (or stolen). Advanced video cameras can determine when notifications are and aren’t required, since users don’t want to be notified for false alerts such as rain, tree branches moving, bugs, etc. Next-generation video camera capabilities can also help monitor a loved one, person or pet, helping put families at ease if they are at work or on vacation. For example, helpful analytics may be used to detect if someone has fallen, hasn’t moved for a while, or does not appear for breakfast according to their typical schedule. City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations Next-gen IP cameras When evaluating next-generation IP cameras (cameras on the edge), look at the brains. These cameras will likely be powered by next-generation SoCs chips. Here is what this means to you: Save on network bandwidth, cloud computing and storage costs. There is no need to constantly upload videos to a server for analysis. Analysis can be performed locally on the camera, with only relevant videos being uploaded. Faster reaction time. Decisions are made locally, with no network latency. This is critical if you need to sound an alarm on a specific event. Privacy. In the most extreme cases, no video needs to leave the camera. Only metadata needs to be sent to the cloud or server. For example, the faces of people can be recognised in the camera and acted upon, but the video never reaches the cloud. The cameras can just stream a description of the scene to the server “suspicious person with a red sweater walking in front of the train station, has been loitering for the last 10 minutes, suggest sending an agent to check it out.” This could become a requirement in some EU countries with GDPR rules. Easier search. Instead of having to look through hours of video content, the server can just store/analyse the metadata, and easily perform searches such as “find all people with a red sweater who stayed more than five minutes in front of the train station today.” Flexibility/personalisation. Each camera at the edge can be personalised to work better for the specific scene it is looking at, compared to a generic server. For example, “run a heat map algorithm on camera A (retail) as I want to know which sections of my store get the most traffic; and run a license plate recogniser on camera B (parking lot) as I want to be able to track the cars going in/out of my parking lot.” No cloud computing required. For cameras in remote locations or with limited network bandwidth, users have the ability to perform all analytics locally, without relying on uploading video to a server/cloud. Higher resolution/quality. When AI processing is performed locally, the full resolution of the sensor can be used (up to 4K or more), while typically the video streamed to a server will be lower resolution, 1080p or less. This means more pixels are available locally for the AI engine so that you will be able to detect a face from a higher distance than when the video is streamed off camera. AI at the edge Professional-level IP cameras capable of performing AI at the edge are coming soon with early offerings making their debut at this year’s ISC West. As we enter 2020, we will begin to see the availability of consumer-level cameras enabling real-time video analytics at the edge for home use. With rapid technology advancement and increased customer demand, AI is on the verge of exploding. When it comes to image quality and video analytics, IP cameras now in development will create a next-generation impact at department stores, above city streets, and keeping an eye on our loved ones.
Across the country, law enforcement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the near overwhelming number of calls coming from security alarms. Police departments commonly define a false alarm as a call, which upon investigation, shows no evidence of criminal activity, such as broken windows, forced doors, items missing, or people injured. While false alarms bog down police, they can also negatively impact customers and integrators. End users can expect hefty fines for false alarm responses, and when these customers receive large bills from the city, many turn to installers, dealers, and even manufacturers expecting them to accept the responsibility and pay the bill. What first brought the issue of alarm verification to your attention? It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight I’ve been aware of the problem of false alarms for about 5 years. I believed audio capture, through microphone deployment, could be an active part of the solution when used as a second source for indicating ‘out of the norm’ activity and as an equal component with the video surveillance technology. In 2015, I found similarly minded security professionals when introduced to the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response. After reading PPVAR’s paper on ‘Audio Verified Alarms Best Practices; [April 2015],’ I knew that the Partnership was on to something important. In our lives, two of the five senses we count on day-in and day-out are sight and sound. It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight. What is the false alarm rate? In 2016, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that over 98 percent of all alarm calls in the United States were false. This number is obviously staggering, and something we need to work towards correcting. Why did this issue resonate so strongly with you? When I first investigated this issue, I was sure that the security industry would have already recognised this and was acting to ensure improved alarm verification, preferably through a combination of audio and video technologies. However, I quickly saw that this was not the case, or even close to the norm. I have questioned the rationale behind the lack of adoption and found the deployment of audio is often hindered by the concern of privacy. I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio As CEO of Louroe Electronics, I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio. I’ve had to reassure many security personnel and customers how the law supports the use of audio in public places as long as there is no expectation of privacy. By dispelling fears with facts around deploying and implementing audio sensors, customers can confidently include audio in their surveillance systems and gain a more effective security solution. Who is affected by this? Truth be told, everyone from the end user to the manufacturer is affected by this issue. Not to mention the strain this puts on law enforcement who are tired of ‘wasting time’ and effort out in the field on these nuisance alerts. When an end user receives a bill for their false alarm, many of them will immediately blame the integrator and or the monitoring center for a faulty set up and management and expect the integrator to remedy the situation, including carry the burden of paying the fines. The integrator, on the other hand, will turn to the manufacturer, assuming faulty equipment and installation instructions; therefore, looking for reimbursement for the cost. What is the average false alarm fee? It depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for responseIt depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for response. According to the Urban Institute, fees generally range from $25-$100 for the first offense, rising as high as a few thousand dollars per false alarm if a location has a large number in a single year. What’s worse, in extreme cases, alarm systems may even be blacklisted by the police dispatch center if they have raised too many false alarms in the past. Why do you believe audio is the ideal technology for secondary source verification? Video surveillance has been the main option for security monitoring and alarm validation for decades, however industry professionals are realising that video alone is not enough. Video only tells half of the story, by adding audio capture, the responsible party gains a turnkey solution with the ability to gather additional evidence to verify alerts and expand overall awareness. In reality, audio’s range is greater than the field of view for a camera. Sound pickup is 360 degrees, capturing voices, gunshots, breaking glass, sirens, or other important details that a fixed camera many not see. How would a secondary source verification system work with audio? Using a video monitoring solution equipped with audio, the microphone will pick up the sounds at the time a visual alert or alarm is triggered. If embedded with classification analytics, the microphone will send alerts for specific detected sounds. The captured audio, and any notifications are immediately sent to the monitoring station, where trained personnel can listen to the sound clip, along with live audio and video from their station. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response From here, an informed decision can then be made about the validity of the alarm, along with what the current threat is at the location. If the alarm is in fact valid, the information is then passed along to the law enforcement within minutes. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response. It also provides more information in a forensic evaluation. Are there any additional resources you would suggest looking into? Yes, we would suggest looking into the following to see a few different perspectives on the matter: NSA Support For 2018 Model Ordinance For Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response Support for the Term “Verified Alarm” and Prioritising Verified Alarm Responses Urban Institute Opportunities for Police Cost Savings without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms
Sensor manufacturer, OPTEX Europe, returns to IFSEC during its 40th anniversary in 2019 to showcase two new solutions with visual verification at their heart: the enhanced version of its LiDAR range; and innovative RADAR technology Firstly, OPTEX provides a way to upgrade its best-selling 12m outdoor intrusion sensors to an app-based visual verification solution by introducing a Wi-Fi 180° day/night camera. The VXI-CMOD will send home and business owners immediate notification of an intrusion when it occurs, and a dedicated app provides access to the live view with sound, as well as the access to recorded pre and post event footage. Secondly, the intelligent visual verification solution for monitored alarm systems will be launched at IFSEC for the UK market. It consists of an innovative hardware, the OPTEX Bridge and a performant software package powered by CHeKT that takes separate intruder and ONVIF compliant CCTV technologies installed on the same site, but acting independently, and ‘bridges’ them to create one, seamless, integrated monitored solution. Intruder alarms can now effectively be visually verified. Display of compact surveillance radars Both REDSCAN series feature extended detection range, up to respectively 30m and 100mThe company will also be showcasing the enhanced short- and long-range LiDAR sensors. Both REDSCAN series now feature extended detection range, up to respectively 30m and 100m. The REDSCAN RLS-2020 is also now Grade 3 compliant opening up new opportunities for indoor applications. To detect and track people, vehicles, and drones in wide open areas, OPTEX will display compact surveillance radars manufactured by its business partner Spotter RF. “OPTEX is excited to be returning to IFSEC in the year of our 40th anniversary,” says Masaya Kida, Managing Director of OPTEX EMEA. “While we are proud of our heritage, we know that we can never stand still, and so we continue to design and innovate new products and solutions for an ever-changing world. Our management, sales, technical, marketing teams will be all present at the show to demonstrate the new sensors and visual verification solution as well as discuss any new opportunities.”
OPTEX, the sensor manufacturer, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019 and has taken a look back at the changes in the industry and its impact on them. Founded on 25th May 1979, the idea and principles of the company were first agreed in a coffee house in Kyoto, Japan, between Toru Kobayashi, an electronics engineer and three of his colleagues. They had a vision for a new business, a business that had sensing technology at its heart, precision technology that could detect the 'status' and 'changes' of people and things. Wireless outdoor security Soon after its creation, OPTEX recorded a number of significant milestones: In 1980, OPTEX developed the world’s first automatic door sensor using Far-Infrared technology, a technology now adopted as standard. In 1983, OPTEX developed one of the first, wireless outdoor security sensors – a significant innovation in its time. On the security side of the business specifically, OPTEX’s sensing algorithm know-how, built up through many years of field-based technological development, is its most valuable asset, and central to the evolution of its Far-Infrared, Near-Infrared and Laser sensor technologies. Different security applications In 2000, OPTEX developed laser technology for security applications and brought the innovative LiDARs REDSCAN RLS-3060 to the market; IP-ready and featuring very precise detection using X&Y coordinates, the sensor opened new possibilities for many different security applications. The OPTEX Group now comprises 1,963 employees across 35 companies Alongside this, OPTEX developed its PIR range starting with the curtain FTN series, the Super Multidimensional Analysis (SMDA) logic – sensing analytics to make the sensor very stable. Toru Kamimura, CEO of OPTEX CO LTD in Japan says: “The company is proud of what it has achieved to date.” Artificial intelligence software The OPTEX Group now comprises 1,963 employees across 35 companies. delivering products and services worldwide and turns over approximately $366 million. “OPTEX never stands still. We are taking our knowledge and ‘know how’ to new levels, using machine-learning and artificial intelligence software to enhance its detection algorithms and introduce greater automation, and create the sensor detection technology for the next generation of security professional,” he says. “Together with our technology partners we are developing more customised solutions to solve specific security or safety problems.”
The 3rd edition of Intersec Saudi Arabia got underway with 111 exhibitors from 20 countries zooming in on the Middle East’s largest commercial security and fire safety market. Running for three days at the Jeddah Centre for Forum and Events, Saudi’s foremost security, safety, and fire protection trade show targets the Kingdom’s vast market which is estimated to grow at an annual compound growth rate of 7.7 percent over the next seven years. It was opened yesterday in a pre-show ceremony by Lt. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Amr, the director-general of Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Civil Defense. Economic diversification plans According to 6WResearch, homeland security and policing currently holds the lion’s share of Saudi’s market spend A report released on the side-lines of the show by consultancy firm 6WResearch said the total spend on Saudi’s commercial security, information security, homeland security and policing, physical and perimeter protection, and fire safety markets was worth US$8.5 billion in 2018, a five percent increase over the previous year. By 2025, the market will be worth US$14.4 billion, driven by a combination of increased investments in infrastructure in line with the Saudi Vision 2030, the stabilisation of oil prices, and the government’s ongoing economic diversification plans. According to 6WResearch, homeland security and policing currently holds the lion’s share of Saudi’s market spend, at US$4.6 billion in 2018. This is followed by information security (US$2.6 billion), commercial security (US$838 million), fire protection (US$273 million), and physical and perimeter protection (US$198 million). Integrated platform The impressive opportunities are underlined by a long list of manufacturers and suppliers this week in the Red Sea port city, spearheaded by the show’s launch partners eager to boost business opportunities. Hikvision, the world’s largest video surveillance provider, is among these, and is putting the spotlight on its latest suite of technologies, much of which is powered by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. Others include Al Alameya, Axis Communications, Bristol, Drager, Genetec, NAFFCO, Nedap, and ZMR. With 69 per cent international participation, more than 500 brands, and an enlightening three-day conference programme, Intersec Saudi Arabia caters to growing demand for an integrated platform providing crucial access to one of the world’s most promising markets. Intersec Saudi Arabia is licenced by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Intersec in Dubai, the world’s largest trade fair for security, safety, and fire protection. Safety and security industries Intersec Saudi Arabia is a vital platform bringing together key stakeholders in the Kingdom’s security, safety, and fire protection industries" “Safety and Security is high on the agenda of Vision 2030 of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and there is a perennial requirement of safety and security products, fire protection and the accompanying innovations that are displayed at this event,” commented Zahoor Siddique, Vice President of Intersec Saudi Arabia’s organiser ACE Exhibitions. “Intersec Saudi Arabia, apart from targeting the five million population of the Western Region inclusive of the annual pilgrimage, round-the-year Umrah pilgrims, oil and gas installations, airports and seaports, the multitude of events taking place Kingdom wide, is the ideal meeting and networking showcase for safety and security industries.” Andreas Rex, Show Director of Intersec, added: “Intersec Saudi Arabia is a vital platform bringing together key stakeholders in the Kingdom’s security, safety, and fire protection industries. In its 3rd edition in 2019, it will once again be at the forefront of the latest technologies and solutions dedicated to meet the demand of the Middle East’s largest market.” Smart patrol solutions GET Group Holdings was among those launching new products in the Saudi market, including its latest Smart Patrol solution that assists law enforcement agencies by providing full 360 degrees surveillance, body-worn cameras, speed detection and violation as well as identification of wanted people and vehicles. GET also launched its AI-Powered process automation solutions to manage and optimise enterprise and government operations. Mrs. Maysoon Jamal, CEO of GET Group Holdings, said: “The Saudi security market is crucial to our business and our products especially for government and law enforcement agencies. We’re looking for great growth in three main categories: Secure card printing especially through our Heidi and GET/Toppan ID Card Printers, Smart Patrol Solutions, and Robotic Process Automation.” Promising markets Intersec Saudi Arabia is held under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Interior, and supported by the Saudi Civil Defense Other exhibitors this week include Optex Europe Limited and Fiber Sensys, both of which recently joined forces to better serve Saudi Arabia and the regional market in deploying perimeter protection and intrusion detection systems. Intersec Saudi Arabia is held under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Interior, and supported by the Saudi Civil Defense. It features a three-day security and fire safety conference programme operating under the wider theme of ‘Safety, Civil Security and Technology: Future Integrated Solutions’. Intersec Saudi Arabia 2019 covers the key product groups of Commercial Security, Information Security, Perimeter & Physical Security, Homeland Security & Policing, Fire & Rescue, and Safety & Health. The dedicated showcase caters to growing demand for an integrated platform providing crucial access to one of the world’s most promising markets.
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