CCTV camera lighting - Expert commentary

Security and safety drive smart building strategies for the future
Security and safety drive smart building strategies for the future

Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities. Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year. As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies. SourceSecurity.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems. Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems? The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organisations. The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system. Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems? Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own. For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation. When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment? Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies. From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend. When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity. Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run. Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)? Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include: Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs Enhanced occupant experience and comfort Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul? Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organisations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies. There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future. As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritises use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline. Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings? Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems. This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.

How to enhance IoT applications with network video surveillance
How to enhance IoT applications with network video surveillance

Remember the old adage “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts?” Nowhere is that truism more evident than when you add network video to the current generation of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Whether we’re talking about industrial IoT applications, “Smart – X” (city, building, parking etc.) or retail operations, integrating network video into the solution provides value far beyond simple situational awareness. Optimising sophisticated video technology When video systems first moved from analogue to digital and then became part of the IoT world, they were primarily used to provide visual validation of sensor-detected events. For instance, if an industrial controller sensed an environmental issue such as a temperature exceeding set threshold maximum limits, the sensor would trigger the management software to notify the operator that this event had occurred. The operator could then pull up the video feed of the closest camera and observe the area remotely. While this application is simple, it shows how video enhances sensor management.  As edge devices, such as sensors and network video become more intelligent, the interactions between systems are growing in sophistication and generating even greater value than each system could provide on its own.  To appreciate how these smart applications are being used to improve overall efficiencies and profitability, let’s delve into three areas where they’re being deployed: intelligent buildings, smart cities, and smart retailing.   By overlaying intelligent operational sensors with intelligent video, it’s now possible to automate lighting levels based on motion detection Video-based operational analytics Applying intelligent monitoring to environmental equipment (HVAC) makes it easy for building owners and property managers to determine existing operating costs based on current equipment performance. They can then compare that amount to the cost of upgrades and potential cost savings over time. Lighting is another significant operating cost within building management. By overlaying intelligent operational sensors with intelligent video (light sensors), it’s now possible to automate lighting levels based on motion detection. Lights can automatically turn on or off, brighten or dimmed, to eliminate wasteful energy consumption. With the addition of occupancy analytics via intelligent video, property managers can determine what caused the motion and learn other operational details such as occupancy counts. Did someone walk through and area causing lighting to turn on or up? Did they dwell in this area? These specifics can help managers efficiently optimise lighting controls and reduce the overall operating cost of the property. Businesses are also using smart applications to optimise allocation of desk space and conference areas. For instance, intelligent video can determine conference room occupancy (in use, number of people in room, free space even though showing booked) far better than stand-alone motion sensors. When tied to automated room assignment systems, the additional statistics provided by video analytics might suggest room changes based on room size and number of attendees through back-office applications such as Microsoft Outlook. These examples are just a few of a growing list of available video-based operational analytics currently on the market. Video analytics in smart cities Initial forays into smart city technologies such as smart lighting, smart grid, smart parking and so on relied on standalone sensor technologies. Their capabilities were good but limited. Smart Lighting for instance would use basic light detectors to turn street lighting. Smart Parking and traffic systems would use weight sensors to trigger vehicle counts, traffic signal changes or determine if a parking space was in use and paid for. Augmenting these applications with intelligent video and analytics, however, opens up a whole new world of additional details. In Smart Lighting, the video sensor can now trigger a change in lighting based on rules such as vehicular and pedestrian events. Video analytics can yield additional metadata such as vehicle type (commercial versus public use). Smart Parking becomes much more effective when you can begin to provide vehicle detail such as vehicle type or other information based on licence plate recognition. These additional details can help parking lots operate more efficiently and offer value-added services like space reservation and open space location notifications.  Augmenting smart city applications with intelligent video and analytics opens up a whole new world of additional details Smart Grid offers some less obvious but equally valuable system augmentation capabilities. We often associate Smart Grid with simple automated meter reading but these systems also traverse critical power infrastructure. Solution providers in this arena are now offering heightened asset and perimeter protection via integration of network-based radar detection with video and audio analytics. This strategic mix of technologies can be used to minimise false detection alarms, turn on/off or change lighting levels and point cameras to areas of interest for extremely effective and cost-effective perimeter security. Network video for retail intelligence Retailing was one of the earliest adopters of smart device integration with network video and video analytics to support loss prevention and customer safety. They’ve been using video to analyse customer traffic and behaviour in order to improve product placement, increase product sales, as well as cross-sell related items. Adding programmable “Digital Signage” to the mix created new opportunities to display targeted messages based on viewer demographics about additional products and services of potential interest. Integrating network video with point-of-sale terminals to reconcile cash register receipts, adding heat mapping analytics to study customer foot traffic patterns, measuring check out wait times to increase employee productivity and efficiency as well as improve the customer experience are just some of the ways retailers have applied the principles of IoT to their advantage. Overlay intelligent building controls and you can see the exponential power of integrating intelligent video with other IoT devices and systems. Retailing was one of the earliest adopters of smart device integration with network video and video analytics to support loss prevention and customer safety Minimising metadata overload Smart application integration produces an enormous amount of metadata. Collecting, transporting and synthesising this data into meaningful business intelligence can be daunting. It requires disciplined use of resources from the network infrastructure transporting the data locally to the various cloud technologies (private cloud, hybrid cloud, public cloud) storing and disseminating it securely.  Generally smart sensor data is fairly light weight in terms of actual data transmitted. Adding video elements can significantly increase bit-rate (bandwidth and storage) requirements. This highlights the need for the video to be more intelligent and interactive with the intelligent sensor and edge device technologies so that resources can be used more efficiently. Smart applications let you do that. You can fine tune video rules and optimise transmission based on retention value. You can program the video to sensor triggers or events, transmitting lower frame rate and resolution video for less interesting video and increasing the video settings when higher quality video is more relevant and valuable based on these sensor triggers. The back-end collectors of sensor metadata are becoming more mainstream and easier to operate.  In many sectors, service providers are offering management of this sensor output “As a Service.”  As smart IoT technology continues to mature, the benefits of integration between network video systems and other network solutions will only get better. We’re already seeing greater efficiency in operations as well as higher quantifiable returns on investment through cost savings and more in-depth, usable business intelligence.

Increased power grid security tackles natural and man-made threats
Increased power grid security tackles natural and man-made threats

Utility security staff have a responsibility to ensure they can identify risks associated with security threats Protecting North America’s power grid is a thankless job. Day in and day out, the good citizens of the United States and Canada wake up with the assumption that when they get out of bed each morning and flip on the lights, the room will illuminate, the coffee pot will come to life and their mobile phone will have been fully charged. After all, we live in a modern First World society, where we have come to depend on timely and efficient power at our fingertips. In reality, that reliable electricity that we all enjoy has many people working around the clock to ensure its reliability, resiliency and security. Today’s grid operators are inundated with natural and man-made threats. As utilities tackle the monster of the moment, which is the evolving cybersecurity threat, we must not take our eyes off the more primitive threat.   Security threats to US grid Electricity is perhaps the most vital of the critical infrastructures and key resources that support our society. The mission of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is to ensure the reliability of the North American bulk power system (BPS). While electric utility companies are responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the electric grid, regulators such as NERC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are charged with the overall responsibility of ensuring reliability and security. NERC develops and enforces Reliability Standards, annually assesses seasonal and long?term reliability, monitors the bulk power system through system awareness, operates the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) and educates, trains and certifies industry personnel. Normal everyday operations of the system are the responsibility of utility owners and operators. Currently, the most significant reliability threat to the U.S. grid is associated with squirrels and balloons, and not religiously inspired terrorists During emergencies, NERC supports industry actions to respond, mitigate and restore the BPS to normal operation by facilitating effective information sharing and communication with and between NERC registered entities, government agencies and the media. This information is not focused on operational decision making; but instead provides utilities data, best practices and mitigation strategies to help recover from crisis. Obviously as a regulatory body, NERC must stay out of emergency response until the utility has best mitigated the threat or reliability issue. Currently, the most significant reliability threat to the U.S. grid is associated with squirrels and balloons, and not religiously inspired terrorists. However – and more applicable to grid operators – we have recently seen noteworthy interest in disabling or destroying critical infrastructure. Coordinated attacks specifically targeting the grid are rare, but an attack by a disgruntled former employee, ideologically motivated activist, or a criminal stumbling across a “soft target”, could inflict significant damage. With an interconnected grid of over 450,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines (100 kV and higher) and over 55,000 substations (100 kV and larger), the targets of opportunity are endless. An attack by a disgruntled former employee, ideologically motivated activist, or a criminal stumbling across a “soft target”, could inflict significant damage Critical infrastructure protection Critical infrastructure protection is a cyclical process incorporating prevention, detection, mitigation, response and recovery. The key to this protection is the identification of credible threats, which will assist energy companies in assessing risks and potential vulnerabilities (weaknesses) of their facilities. Once a threat has been thoroughly analysed, it is then possible to institute preventative measures to deter, detect and delay an attack. Of course, critical infrastructure protection planning must always include mitigation, response and recovery actions in the event an attacker is successful. While the security of the grid is a shared responsibility between the government and the private sector, the primary responsibility rests with utility owners and operators. Utility security staff have a responsibility to ensure they are able to receive and act upon criminal intelligence and be prepared to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with security threats. Any protection programme that is developed must be as efficient and cost-effective as possible, as budgets are limited and ratepayers are sensitive to wasteful spending. Effective security programmes rely on risk management principles and associated tools to establish priorities, allocate budget dollars and harden infrastructure sites. Physical security protection encompasses defensive mechanisms to prevent, deter and detect physical threats of various kinds. Specifically, these measures are undertaken to protect personnel, equipment and property against anticipated threats. Properly conceived and implemented security policies, programmes and technologies are essential to ensure a facility’s resistance to threats while meeting demand, reliability and performance objectives. Unfortunately, many do not realise the amount of reports, guidelines, standards and assessments that have been developed for use Electricity industry physical security standards Significant progress has been made in the electricity industry surrounding the issue of security. Unfortunately, many do not realise the amount of reports, guidelines, standards and assessments that have been developed for use. The industry has gone through multiple iterations of mandatory Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Standards that focus on security protections. The CIP Standards, while not perfect, may be an example for other sectors to immolate. These standards are a minimum baseline for compliance and utilities should not assume that because they have a good compliance programme they are somehow immune from attack. In addition, many electric utilities undergo a sector-wide Grid Security Exercise (GridEx) every two years to hone their skills and provide updates to their security practices and policies. This is in addition to annual exercises mandated by the cyber standards. It is fair to say that the industry has been very responsive to the evolving security threat and the mandatory requirements found within CIP compliance. As a result of the 2013 California substation attack that destroyed $15 million dollars in infrastructure, industry now has a physical security standard. This standard was created to protect the most critical transmission substations and control centres in North America. While protections vary, many utilities have upgraded their security measures to include concrete or non-scalable perimeters, robust access control, cameras, lighting and armed guards. It is highly likely that we will one day see similar standards put in place to better protect non-nuclear generation facilities, but only time will tell. Many utilities have upgraded security measures to include concrete perimeters, robust access control, cameras, lighting and armed guards The piece that the industry continues to struggle with is information sharing and the ability to quickly obtain actionable threat intelligence; an issue which has been combatted head-on through the sharing of security information amongst utility partners. Large utilities with the manpower and resources to address this initiative are changing the security model from reactive to proactive. If you understand your adversary’s tactics, intent, and capabilities, you can develop strategies to combat their attacks and better plan for future threats. Better, more proactive security, can be achieved through information sharing agreements and partnerships with other utilities, regulatory agencies and intelligence partners. Many utilities do not have the dedicated resources to dissect and aggregate this data and are thus unable to react appropriately, or wind up drawing inaccurate conclusions. As a result, the electricity sector is demanding more access to actionable intelligence and threat streams. With this added intelligence, utilities can better pinpoint threats to specific systems and focus efforts on system recovery and restoration. This will undoubtedly drive better, more informed responses to security incidents. The FBI, DHS and the DOE have made considerable strides in improving information sharing, and giving classified access to intelligence products Improving information sharing Over the past few years, the FBI, DHS and the DOE have made considerable strides in improving information sharing and giving classified access to intelligence products such as bulletins, alerts and secret level briefings. These products have been used to mitigate threats, reduce risk and update internal security policies. Additionally, this data flow has enhanced communications between security teams, management and board members by providing authoritative threat warnings. This ultimately drives better investment strategies by more directly connecting security priorities with business risk management priorities. Unfortunately, utilities still see risks in sharing information with federal partners. Recently, the Washington Post released an article with a salacious headline falsely suggesting that the grid was hacked via Russian malware. Even after correcting the story, the question remains: who leaked the information to the Washington Post? Utilities all over the country were witnessing an information sharing failure. We must assume that at some point in the future a North American utility will suffer from a planned and coordinated attack against electrical infrastructure. Have we looked at credible threats closely enough and did we prepare our people to respond, recover and communicate? As an industry, we will be judged and hard questions will be asked about how seriously we considered the threats and what we did to mitigate future attacks. Success will be determined by how quickly we are able to respond and the swiftness of system recovery. There is no doubt that security is an “all hands” approach by everyone involved.

Latest LILIN news

LILIN and CyberLink enter strategic partnership with facial recognition system integration to offer one-stop intelligent security solution
LILIN and CyberLink enter strategic partnership with facial recognition system integration to offer one-stop intelligent security solution

LILIN, a globally renowned manufacturer of IP video cameras, recording devices, and software, announced a strategic partnership with CyberLink, a pioneer of AI and facial recognition technologies to strike business opportunities for facial recognition. Together, CyberLink’s FaceMe AI facial recognition engine will be integrated into the LILIN facial recognition system to create comprehensive smart security and smart retail solutions. FaceMe AI facial recognition solution CyberLink’s FaceMe AI facial recognition engine achieves up to 99.7% accuracy of the NIST FRVT test, ranked No. 1 in Taiwan, and when combined with LILIN’s smart security solutions, enables one-stop smart security, data analysis and warning system service. LILIN’s smart security solution is suitable for access control management of commercial offices and factories and can provide business analysis for the restaurant and retail industries as well. AI facial recognition system LILIN’s AI facial recognition system not only has the advantage of ‘3 High’ elements, encompassing a ‘High’ recognition rate Along with over 40 years of experience in IP video manufacturing and development of IP cameras, recording devices and software, LILIN continues to pursue innovation. LILIN’s AI facial recognition system not only has the advantage of ‘3 High’ elements, encompassing a ‘High’ recognition rate, ‘High’ capacity, up to 100,000 face database and ‘High’ elevation angle to be recognised, but also supports multiple image inputs, and image search facial recognition, making it easy to distinguish the trajectory of personnel. Furthermore, companies can create file identification through a photo of the ID, and use one-stop central management to synchronise the data immediately, greatly reducing the precious time spent on complicated processes! Intelligent security solutions “LILIN has many years of smart security experience, providing insight into the market’s needs for creating a comprehensive intelligent security solution. LILIN is pleased to partner with CyberLink and integrates FaceMe into our facial recognition system to strengthen smart retail, smart healthcare, smart factory, and smart business applications. Through continued efforts, I believe that LILIN will provide the most advanced total security solution for global customers.” said Mr. C.C. Hsu, LILIN’s President. “If there was ever a field worthy of continued research and innovation, it’s security,” said Dr. Jau Huang, CEO of CyberLink, adding “Without a doubt, LILIN is a globally renowned provider and manufacturer of IoT devices and CyberLink is a worldwide pioneer developing facial recognition applications for connected devices. Together, we are setting a new standard for what makes a place secure by bringing to market new technologies that make our customers safer, and our businesses smarter.”

Lessons Learned with Merit LILIN: What is the most innovative COVID-19 solution?
Lessons Learned with Merit LILIN: What is the most innovative COVID-19 solution?

The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time. In order to be able to fight against it, mask detection and temperature measurement have become daily routines for everyone. In this situation, Merit LILIN, with over 40 years of experience in IP video manufacturers of IP cameras, recording devices, and software, have created a cost-effective COVID-19 solution to ensure end-user health and safety. Temperature measurement Many solutions should provide temperature information, with alert settings that trigger alarms when temperatures are high. The main component of LILIN Temperature Measuring Camera is a dual-lens camera with two sensors, one a visible image lens and the other a thermal array sensor. This design not only provides temperature information and color image information but also high-temperature alert settings when the temperature exceeds.  Mask detection With COVID-19 rules and regulations now incorporating person protection equipment such as masks, many solutions are now geared towards mask detection. LILIN has its own mask detection AI, which can be run on an i3 CPU-supported PC. Using the LILIN AI system and Aida NAV server, the system can recognise if the person is wearing a mask or not. If the system identifies a user that is not wearing a mask, an alert goes out with an image of the person. It allows the application to run automatically and enforces the wearing of masks in many situations. A notification is sent to an administrator when an image of a person is captured.  Social distancing measures In addition to temperature measurement and mask detection becoming daily epidemic prevention matters, maintaining social distance is extremely significant as well. Through the LILIN Aida detection system, people can calculate the social density and use it with alarm notifications, if an area exceeds the density threshold. Moreover, the LILIN COVID-19 solution has a wide range of applications in different sectors, including schools, public transportation systems, offices, retail and more. By doing so, extensive safety measures can combat COVID-19, providing the public with intelligent epidemic prevention solutions, through innovative AI detection systems.

LILIN transforms intelligent traffic systems with the AIDA traffic management platform
LILIN transforms intelligent traffic systems with the AIDA traffic management platform

With the introduction of the AIDA Traffic Management platform, LILIN has transformed Intelligent Traffic Systems from expensive, often inaccurate, and inflexible computer-vision solutions into a new simplified platform with embedded Artificial Intelligence (AI) that learns, adapts and detects every detail of street-level vehicle activity. Engineered for seamless integration into LILIN Windows®-based VMS products including Navigator Control Center, Navigator Corporate, and Navigator Enterprise, AIDA Traffic Management installs on the edge and uses metadata to bring real-time traffic data to organisations and municipalities. Enforcing parking and traffic violations AIDA is purpose-built for a flexible range of ITS applications, making each user-selected function completely automated and cost-efficient. For example, AIDA can extract data from vehicles traveling on multi-lane highways or urban streets, allowing municipalities to better enforce parking and traffic violations, recover stolen cars, or assist law enforcement in Amber Alerts. AIDA can recognise 12 licence plates per second on vehicles traveling up to 125 miles per hour AIDA can recognise 12 license plates per second on vehicles travelling up to 125 miles per hour, casting an astonishingly wide net. Police can store and later access this data, enabling investigators to zero in on a suspect's whereabouts and behavioural patterns. Besides monitoring cars, trucks and motorcycles, AIDA can detect pedestrians loitering or entering restricted areas. Capturing vital operational data In a parking lot, AIDA can compare licence plate data to pre-defined lists of allowed or excluded vehicles before taking an appropriate action, such as opening a gate or generating an alert if an unauthorised vehicle enters an area as a value-added service. It can also locate available parking slots and broadcast this information to incoming cars. In addition to its security role, AIDA can capture vital operational data about parking infrastructures, including the number of cars served by time, day, and length of stay. This data can then be applied to help optimise a staffing schedule and maximise the profitability of a parking lot's rate structure. AIDA removes the hassles of traditional computer vision techniques that require extensive, CPU-draining image processing. In contrast, AIDA software incorporates an AI engine that is instructed to learn what to look for and is able to run multiple models on distributed AI CPU, GPU, and VPUs.