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Video surveillance is getting smarter and more connected
Video surveillance is getting smarter and more connected

The global pandemic has triggered considerable innovation and change in the video surveillance sector. Last year, organisations around the globe embraced video surveillance technologies to manage social distancing, monitor occupancy levels in internal and external settings, and enhance their return-to-work processes. Forced to reimagine nearly every facet of their operations for a new post-COVID reality, companies were quick to seize on the possibilities offered by today’s next-generation video surveillance systems. Whether that was utilising motion sensing technologies to automatically close doors or switch on lighting in near-deserted office facilities. Or checking if people were wearing masks and adhering to distancing rules. Or keeping a watchful eye on streets and public spaces during mandated curfew hours. Beyond surveillance and monitoring use cases, organisations also took advantage of a raft of new Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to undertake a range of tasks. Everything from automating their building management and optimising warehouse operations, to increasing manufacturing output and undertaking predictive maintenance. Behind the scenes, three key trends all contributed to the growing ubiquity of video surveillance observed in a variety of government, healthcare, corporate, retail, and industry settings. Video surveillance takes to the Cloud Last year the shift to digital working led organisations to rapidly embrace cloud-enabled services, including cloud-hosted Video Surveillance As A Service (VSaaS) solutions that provide tremendous economies of scale and flexibility. Alongside significant cost savings, these solutions make it easier for organisations to enhance their disaster recovery and manage their video surveillance estate in new and highly effective ways. Surveillance cameras with audio recording were used more than 200% by customers between 2016 and 2020For example, in addition to enabling remote access and maintenance, today’s cloud-powered systems eliminate any need to invest in local storage technologies that all too often fail to keep pace with an organisation’s growing data storage requirements. Indeed, data from our worldwide customer base survey reveals how in 2020 an impressive 63% of organisations had abandoned using any on-premises storage option and were instead only storing all their video surveillance recordings and data in the Cloud. A deeper review of the global stats shows that the average cloud recording retention period for this stored data was 28.2 days, with organisations in Asia topping the global average at 38 days – 33% higher than was observed in any other region. Improvements in bandwidth and scalability engendered by the Cloud have also helped boost the growing utilisation of audio recordings in addition to visual image capture. Indeed, our research found the number of surveillance cameras with an audio recording facility used by customers jumped more than 200% between 2016 and 2020. Making sense of Big Data The enhanced ease of connectivity and scalable bandwidth made possible by the Cloud is stimulating more companies to connect a lot more video surveillance cameras to their networks. The top motivation for doing so is to generate live metrics and data that can be utilised to deliver enhanced business insights and operational intelligence. In recent years, a rich choice of video analytics solutions have been developed for a variety of industry verticals. The range of functionalities on offer is impressive and covers a variety of applications. Everything from making it easy to classify and track objects and behaviour patterns in real-time, to undertaking anomaly detection, or generating predictions based on past and present events/activities. Data collected via today’s cloud connected cameras can now also be used to feed deep learning training and AI analytics, utilising the unparalleled virtualised processing capacity of the Cloud to convert Big Data into usable information quickly. By integrating this information with data from other enterprise data capture systems, organisations are now able to gain a 360-degree view of their operations – in almost real-time. IT is now in the driving seat No longer the sole preserve of on-site security staff, the wider application and business use of video surveillance means that IT is increasingly taking the lead role where the management and control of these systems are concerned. IT is asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need Aside from the fact that IT has a vested interest in addressing the cybersecurity implications that come with attaching a growing range of IoT devices to the enterprise network, they’re also increasingly being asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need. As organisations expand their integration of video with other business applications, such as point of sale, access control, process control and manufacturing systems, this trend is only set to accelerate. Looking to the future Right now, the video surveillance industry is at a key tipping point, as video systems become increasingly strategic for enabling the enterprise to boost productivity, stay compliant, and fulfil its obligations to protect employees and customers. As the technology’s contribution to enhanced data-driven decision-making and problem solving continues to increase, expect the adoption of IP connected video cameras to burgeon as organisations look to capture more data from their day-to-day business operations.

Video intercoms for a smarter, safer workspace
Video intercoms for a smarter, safer workspace

Though many office workers across the globe have found themselves working remotely for the past year, we are seeing a bit of a silver lining, as vaccine rollouts hint at a return to some pre-pandemic sense of normalcy. However, while some of us might opt for a fully-remote work life, others are anticipating a hybrid solution. Even before the pandemic, offices were taking a new, more open layout approach—moving past the days of cubicles and small office configurations. Going forward, offices and other workspaces will be tasked with supporting a hybrid work solution, as well as increasing hygiene measures. Video intercom solution This is where an IP video intercom solution can assist. Below are four ways they can help usher in a smarter, safer work environment: Video intercoms assist in creating a more hygienic work environment - The outbreak of COVID-19 has raised awareness of germs and just how easily a virus can be transmitted by face-to-face contact. Germ barriers are popping up in many aspects of our daily lives, where we were not likely to see them before Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach As such, we’re becoming accustomed to seeing plexiglass barriers at restaurants, grocery stores, and even coffee shops. However, many don’t realise that one of the best germ barriers is a simple door. Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach. All it takes is a knock or a doorbell ring to make us open our germ barrier and be face-to-face with whomever is on the other side. Increasing hygiene safety A simple step to increase hygiene safety and visitor security in commercial buildings and workspaces is an IP video intercom. Installing a video intercom will allow staff to see and speak with visitors without breaching that all-important germ barrier. A video intercom system provides a first line of defence, enabling the user to visually confirm the identity of the person on the other side of the door first before granting access. It can also be used to make sure proper procedures are being followed before a person is allowed to enter, such as using hand sanitiser, wearing a mask, and following social distancing guidelines. Basic security needs A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities Video intercoms for occupancy management and basic security - A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities—ranging from grocery stores and retail shops to restaurants and commercial buildings. Workspaces and offices are no exception. A video intercom provides a quick and convenient method of seeing who, or what, is on the unsecure side of the door before opening. For basic security needs, if a business has a door opening into an alley, a video intercom would be used to ensure no one is waiting outside to force their way in when the door is opened. Personal protection equipment Such solutions can also be used to ensure a person is carrying proper credentials, or wearing proper personal protection equipment (PPE), before entering a sensitive area. For example, if a lab has a room which can only be accessed by two persons at a time wearing specific protective gear, a video intercom could ensure each person is properly equipped, before allowing access that particular room. Additionally, for office or workspaces that have shared common areas, such as a cafeteria, gym or even conference rooms, managing access to these spaces will remain a priority, especially with post-pandemic restrictions in place. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace Deliveries of packages, work-related materials, or even food are common in any office or workspace. Video intercoms can assist in facilitating safe deliveries by visually and audibly confirming the identity of the individual. The visitor could be your next big client, your lunch delivery, a fellow employee with a faulty access card, or your mail. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace. Visitor management systems Video intercoms provide a cost-effective solution in small to mid-sized office facilities - One significant advantage of video intercom systems is the variety of applications available. Systems range from simple one-to-one video intercoms, to buzz-in systems, to full-fledged visitor management systems in mixed-use buildings. While they might lack the resources and manpower many enterprises have, small-to medium-sized offices can also take steps to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Like any business, controlling who comes into the building is a primary way of maintaining safety. Video intercoms work in conjunction with access control systems to provide an identifying view of visitors or employees with lost or missing credentials. They allow staff to both see and hear those on the unsecured side of the door to determine intent before granting access. Most quality video intercoms will provide a clear enough image to allow an identification card to be read by holding it close to the lens, adding another opportunity to verify identity. Touchless intercom activation One major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation Video intercoms provide a touchless option - Even prior to COVID-19, one major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation or touchless intercom activation of a video intercom for those without proper credentials. Though touchless isn’t a new solution to the access control market, the pandemic introduced a renewed focus on these types of solutions to provide hygienic access to visitors. For offices and other workspaces looking to make investments into post-pandemic solutions to assist in reopening, touchless can support these efforts. When it comes to smart, secure workspaces, many people think instantly of cameras or monitors, access control, and alarm systems. Proper access credentials However, video intercoms are often the missing piece of a building’s security puzzle. A video intercom provides an identifying view that is not always available from a camera covering a large area. They allow those without proper access credentials a method of requesting entry, and just like cameras, they can be activated by alarms to allow staff to clearly see and communicate. If a workspace or office is important enough to be secure, it’s important enough to be sure of who is there before the door is opened. In 2021, it’s not enough to ensure the physical security of your staff and visitors, but also to ensure they are accessing a hygienic environment. Video intercoms provide that security and peace of mind.

Making school safety a priority with smart technology
Making school safety a priority with smart technology

With pupils in the UK set to go back to school on 8 March, there are a number of safety measures schools need to implement to ensure the health and wellness of the staff, students, and school communities.  The first lockdown and closure of schools brought on by the coronavirus pandemic fired a “warning shot” for education facilities managers, forcing head-teachers to re-examine school safety standards. Now that a third lockdown is here and schools have been shut down for a second time, anyone behind the curve with the benefits of smart technology should get on board now before children return to the school environment. And with the ever-changing variants of the COVID-19 virus, schools can’t afford to be “late to class” when it comes to health and safety. Preventing the spread of disease Some schools in the US have been using smart technologies for a while to measure utility consumption and efficiency, streamline maintenance and enhance general school safety. These technologies are playing a significant role in keeping school buildings healthy and preventing the spread of disease. Let’s take a look at how smart technology can help schools to become safer, as well as more energy-efficient and cost-effective.   Thermal detection cameras  Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing. These cameras provide medically-accurate, real-time temperatures of individuals in real-time. If a high temperature is detected, the software sends an instant alert to the relevant party. It can also be set to deny access to those with high temperatures or to people not wearing masks.  Safer water  As the coronavirus continues to sweep through the world’s population, healthcare providers should also be on heightened alert for Legionnaires’ disease, another potential cause of pneumonia with similar symptoms. Legionella is a potentially deadly bacteria that can infect a school’s water supply and cause an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. It’s a school's duty of care to prevent Legionella infection by monitoring the risk of the bacteria proliferating.  Particularly as schools reopen and previously stagnant plumbing and cooling systems return to use, additional Legionella cases could rear their ugly head to emergency departments in the coming months. Traces of Legionella were recently found at a Worcestershire school. The school was forced to remain shut while treatment and testing took place. Automated flushing and temperature testing Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters The Health and Safety Executive advises, “If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease… If the water system is still used regularly, maintain the appropriate measures to prevent legionella growth.” Typically, managing the risk of Legionella includes running all outlets for two minutes, taking and recording the temperature of the water to ensure that it’s not conducive to Legionella growth. This is a time-consuming process, which is why schools are looking for automated water temperature monitoring systems. This smart system with automated flushing and temperature testing reports and records water temperature data in real-time. Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters.  Cleaner air  Advisers say that improving air filtration and ventilation in schools can help mitigate the potential airborne transmission of COVID-19. Strategies include: Increasing outdoor air ventilation Filtering indoor air Using portable air cleaners with HEPA filters  Smart building technologies such as advanced HVAC controls can help facilities managers promote cleaner air with less hassle. For example, smart HVAC systems use sensors to remotely monitor and control variables such as:  Humidity Temperature Indoor air quality The level of carbon dioxide and other pollutants The technology is also energy-efficient and cost-effective.  While these solutions may be key to the reopening of schools in the era of COVID-19, they also bring long-term benefits. Although COVID-19 may have accelerated the adoption of smart technology, many of these solutions are focused on health, wellness, and security in general; which have been needed in school systems for a long time.

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Security Industry Association awarding scholarships to young professionals towards continuing education and professional development
Security Industry Association awarding scholarships to young professionals towards continuing education and professional development

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has selected five recipients for the 2020 SIA RISE Scholarship, a program offered through SIA’s RISE community of young security professionals that supports the education and career development goals of young industry talent. Through this scholarship program – open to SIA student members and RISE members who are employees at SIA member companies – each awardee will receive a $3,000 scholarship to use toward continuing education and professional development courses, SIA program offerings and/or other academic or education programs. SIA RISE community and scholarship Scholarship funds can be used to expand knowledge in the areas of business, human resources, information technology, marketing/sales, project management, security engineering and/or risk management. SIA is proud to help foster the careers of young talent in the industry through SIA RISE community and scholarship" “SIA is proud to help foster the careers of young talent in the security industry through the SIA RISE community and scholarship,” said Don Erickson, CEO of SIA. “This year’s scholarship honorees are an impressive group of dedicated, accomplished young professionals that represent the next generation of security leaders, and I look forward to supporting their professional growth and celebrating their many successes ahead.” Robust security program The winners for the 2020 SIA RISE Scholarship are: Dr. Hanna Farah, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Feenics In his role as CTO at Feenics, Hanna Farah is responsible for creating a security and access control platform and developing quality and security processes. Prior to his time at Feenics, Farah has held positions at Deloitte, Graphite Software, the University of Ottawa, Electronic Health Information Laboratory and IBM. He holds a Ph.D., a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in software engineering from the University of Ottawa. Farah plans to use the SIA RISE Scholarship to develop further knowledge to build a robust security program at Feenics that ensures the company’s practice and products adhere to high security standards, including acquiring expertise and certifications such as the Certified Cloud Security Professional credential. Integrated security system Kyle Gansemer, Systems Designer, VTI Security At VTI Security, Kyle Gansemer is responsible for integrated security system design and review of system functionality to determine proper operation of access control, IP video and other security systems and controls. Prior to his time at VTI Security, he served as a design/manufacturing engineer at Optical Mechanics Incorporated. Gansemer holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University and CompTIA’s Security+ and Network+ credentials. He plans to use the scholarship funds to expand his cyber security expertise through completing courses related to cloud services, ethical hacking/defenses and systems analysis. Data integration Suzanne Holmberg, Data & Analytics Manager – EMEIA & APAC, Allegion Suzanne is responsible for creating teams in Europe and Asia to deliver on data integration and data science projectsIn her role at Allegion, Suzanne Holmberg is responsible for creating new teams in Europe and Asia to deliver on data integration, analysis and data science projects. Prior to her current role, Holmberg served as global analytics manager, analytics leader and sales business analyst at Allegion and held sales operations and marketing positions at Belden, Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina and is currently enrolled in the Global Executive MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Holmberg will use the scholarship funds toward completion of the MBA program, which brings working professionals from around the globe together and grows individuals beyond their comfort zones through international residencies that emphasise how culture and institutions shape business in Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America. Research and development Nelson Jenkins, Mechanical Engineer, Allegion Nelson Jenkins is a design engineer with diverse experience across project lifecycle, including research and development, manufacturing and product leadership. At Allegion, he has started a grassroots organisation to help promote a culture of innovation at the company. Prior to his role as product designer at Allegion, Jenkins served as design strategist consultant at Zeren Fitness and as a researcher with Carnegie Mellon University’s CSSI program; he holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in applied physics from Morehouse College. He will use the scholarship funds to complete a course on disruptive theory offered through Harvard Business School. Executing marketing techniques Jessica Sargo, Channel Marketing Manager, Brivo SIA’s RISE community fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry through fun, in-person networking events In her role at Brivo, Jessica Sargo leads efforts for a cross-departmental partner training program, supports partner recruitment and retention campaigns, develops web and mobile applications for partner conferences, creates communications plans and manages logistics for trade shows and partner events. Prior to her time at Brivo, she held marketing positions with TwentyEighty Strategy Execution and Teaching Strategies, LLC; she holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida. Sargo plans to use the scholarship funds to complete a digital marketing education course and further her knowledge of executing marketing techniques through social media, mobile applications, search engines and other digital channels. Business skills development In addition to awarding the RISE Scholarship, SIA’s RISE community fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry through fun, in-person networking events held during top trade shows and in major cities across the country; thought leadership opportunities; career growth webinars on topics of interest; career tracks at ISC West and East each year; and the AcceleRISE conference for tomorrow’s security leaders, featuring top-quality idea sharing, coaching, business skills development, networking and inspiration. SIA RISE is open to all young security professionals employed at SIA member companies who are under 40 and/or have been in the security for less than two years.

Belden launches OCTOPUS ethernet PoE switches to enhance network performance
Belden launches OCTOPUS ethernet PoE switches to enhance network performance

Belden, Inc., a provider of signal transmission solutions for mission-critical applications, releases its Full Gigabit OCTOPUS ethernet PoE switches. The new managed switches from Hirschmann are designed to meet evolving data demands by increasing bandwidth and ensuring reliable, high-speed connections, even in the toughest industrial settings. “As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) increases the number of devices typically operated across a network, bandwidth expectations also rise, while the available operating space often decreases,” said Rolf-Dieter Sommer, product manager at Belden. Optimising network performance Hirschmann’s Full Gigabit OCTOPUS switches offer an economical, yet powerful solution" “Equipped with Gigabit ethernet on all ports and enclosed in an L-shaped housing, Hirschmann’s Full Gigabit OCTOPUS switches offer an economical, yet powerful solution for optimising network performance in extreme, condensed operating spaces.” Hirschmann’s Full Gigabit OCTOPUS switches offer the following benefits: Maximise network performance and guarantee high-speed connections with full Gigabit ethernet options on all ports Ensure network reliability under extreme conditions with vibration and waterproof IP67 housing design Save precious operating space with unique L-shaped IP67 housing for efficient cabling and cabinet less mounting Reduce cabling to end devices using Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch variants Highly configurable switches Hirschmann’s Full Gigabit OCTOPUS switches are highly configurable and come with a variety of feature sets including three housing sizes for 8, 16 or 24 ports, tailored to specific networking demands. The switches are also compact and don’t require cabinets, making them easy to install and maintain. The Full Gigabit OCTOPUS switches are also well-suited for applications requiring superior data transfer rates Built in compliance with international train approvals for use alongside tracks or onboard trains, the new switches are ideal for transportation applications, including traffic control systems, rail-rolling stock, mass transit systems and railway and train stations. The Full Gigabit OCTOPUS switches are also well-suited for applications requiring superior data transfer rates in extreme operating conditions, such as general manufacturing, automotive and machine building settings. Next generation of industrial networking solutions As an early innovator in industrial ethernet, Belden knows industrial IT and delivers the next generation of industrial networking solutions, including wired, wireless and embedded products. With its global brands – Hirschmann, GarrettCom and Tofino Security – Belden helps companies minimise downtime and take advantage of the real-time data access and control made possible by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Through a seamless, secure and scalable industrial Ethernet infrastructure, companies are equipped to revolutionise their operations and achieve improved efficiency, productivity and agility.

Belden Inc. announces team for efficient cable and connectivity solutions in global hospitality market
Belden Inc. announces team for efficient cable and connectivity solutions in global hospitality market

Belden Inc., a global provider in signal transmission solutions for mission-critical applications, announces a new team dedicated to supporting the connectivity needs of the global hospitality market. This team, specialising in cable and connectivity infrastructures, is comprised of experts in each of Belden’s four hospitality sectors: hotels and resorts, casinos, cruise lines and theme parks. In the hospitality market, facilities are constantly innovating to keep guests satisfied. As technology quickly evolves, Belden designs effective, efficient cable and connectivity solutions to accommodate hospitality venues of today and tomorrow. In-room technology and automated processes This proven track record is found in facilities such as Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbour, the Grand Velas Los Cabos and Carnival Cruise Lines. Belden’s hospitality team serves as a single point of contact for global support. The team partners with end users, designers and consultants, and oversees and certifies contractors for installation. This allows each project to be backed by an incomparable warranty that protects and futureproofs investments. “With this experienced team in place, Belden is able to offer a unique service to organisations within the hospitality market,” says John Wojnicki, Director of Global Hospitality. “Not only do our solutions support in-room technology and automated processes, but Belden has simplified the project-management experience as well. By coordinating projects from start to finish, we remove stress and work from our customers’ plates, giving them peace of mind in knowing that we’ve got them covered - every step of the way.” Team of hospitality Belden’s committed team of hospitality experts is led by the following individuals: John Wojnicki, who has been in the industry for 45 years. Wojnicki has been a pioneer in introducing casinos, hotels, theme parks and cruise lines to the industry. His global engagement with associations and conferences, such as HTNG and HITEC, allows Belden to work with all major hospitality brands to learn more about their needs and create solutions to serve them efficiently and effectively. David Wells, who is an industry-recognised, long-time consultant. He brings extensive knowledge about the hospitality industry to this role. During his 19 years in the industry, Wells has designed and consulted on many low-voltage systems that have an impact on ever-changing hospitality networking systems. Wil Boyd, a global strategic account manager who has been with Belden since 2009, has supported, and managed some of Belden’s largest installations. Boyd’s 25 years of experience have made him the driving force behind Belden’s commitment to the cruise line industry.

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