CCTV camera mounts - Expert commentary

Ergonomic standards increase control room productivity
Ergonomic standards increase control room productivity

  Ergonomics are a critical, but often misunderstood aspect of designing control rooms for security. Ergonomics have a deep impact on the integrity of an operation, and the issue goes beyond the control room furniture. Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, divides ergonomics into three areas: physical (reach zones, touch points, monitors); cognitive (the individual’s ability to process information without overlooking a critical element) and organisational (how the facility operates in various situations; e.g., is it adequately designed for an emergency event?). He says the Evans approach is to determine the precise placement required for each element an operator needs, and then to design and build console furniture to position it there. Basically, the idea is to tailor the control room to the operation. What tasks must an operator perform? Are they manageable or should they be divided up among several operators? Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate, and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations. It all begins with understanding the information that needs to be processed, says Papic. Increased productivity in the workplace Because personnel are often stationed at a specific console, desk or workstation for long hours, physical problems and productivity issues can result, says Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Ergonomically designed furniture and related products have been proven to increase productivity and alleviate physical stress in the workplace. Ergonomic furniture solutions are crafted for the ultimate in safety, adaptability, comfort and functionality. Coleman says AFC Industries can tailor furniture to specific needs and environment. For example, a height-adjustable workstation can be combined with adjustable monitor arm mounts to create a relaxed, comfortable environment. Furniture offers modern designs, comfortable ergonomics, and comprehensive features. Rugged materials withstand the 24/7 use of command control centres. Health benefits of ergonomic workstations A sedentary office environment is often an unhealthy one. “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, Cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. Ongoing research and studies have shown that a change in posture (i.e., using ergonomic sit-to-stand workstations) is an effective means to combat these negative health issues. Using sit-to-stand workstations helps to eliminate musculoskeletal disorders caused by long-term sitting. They can also improve productivity and focus from the increased blood flow. Energy levels can rise and employees burn more calories. Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations “The ergonomic environment we create for control rooms involves considering every need of the staff at each workstation and their equipment, as well as workflow within the entire room,” says Coleman. “From the proper setting of screen focal lengths to sound absorption and glare reduction, each requirement and phase of a control room design is a necessary process to ensure the protection and safety of people and property.” Emergency operations centre “The military has figured out that you are more alert when you are standing,” says Randy Smith, President of Winsted, and the realisation is guiding emergency operations centre (EOC) design toward sit-stand. “As soon as there is an emergency, everybody stands up,” Smith adds. Designing EOC environments also requires systems be integrated with annunciating signal lights to facilitate communication among operators. Winsted’s sit-stand consoles can be combined with a motorised M-View monitor wall mount, enabling a 60-inch wall monitor to be raised and lowered to match the positioning of the sit-stand console. Larger, wall-mounted screens are easier to use for operators, since a larger monitor size can make it easier to read text on a screen, for example. Combining the larger monitor with sit-stand capabilities provides the best of both options. Many operators today stand for 50 percent of their day, says Smith. Ergonomic standards guide the design of Winsted’s control room consoles, including ISO 11064 standards for the design of control centres. The furniture also is designed to accommodate industrial wire management (larger wire bundles), unlike furniture that might be bought in an office supply store. Read part 3 of our Control Rooms series here {##Poll37 - How well do you incorporate ergonomics into your control rooms?##}

Improving security system installations with Acceptance Testing
Improving security system installations with Acceptance Testing

Significant technological advancements have created endless possibilities in how security is not only deployed, but also leveraged by the end user – the customer. For example, customers can now view surveillance at eight different offices in eight different states from a single, central location. A security director can manage an enterprise-wide access control system, including revoking or granting access control privileges, for 10,000 global employees from a company’s headquarters. However, with that increased level of system sophistication comes an added level of complexity. After successfully completing the installation of a security system, integrators are now expected to formally and contractually prove that the system works as outlined in the project specification document. Tom Feilen, Director of National Accounts for Koorsen Security Technology explains that this formal checks and balance process is gaining momentum in the security industry. The step-by-step process of Acceptance Testing is more commonly being written into bid specifications, especially for projects that require the expertise of an engineer and/or architect. Simply put, it is a way for the end user to make sure the system they paid for works properly and is delivered by the integrator as outlined in the project’s request for proposal. While Acceptance Testing can be a time consuming process, it is a valuable industry tool. It is estimated that at least 95 per cent of integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process. Security systems have become more complicated in recent years. The introduction of IP-based, enterprise-wide and integrated solutions have all opened the door to more sophisticated access control and surveillance systems than ever thought possible. This process can vary depending upon the size of the project, but for a larger scale project, it is not uncommon for Acceptance Testing to take several weeks from start to finish. This timeline can be especially lengthy when the project involves hundreds of devices, such as access control readers, surveillance cameras, video recorders, intrusion sensors, and intercom systems. Most integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process What is involved in the Acceptance Testing process? While the specific process can vary from integrator to integrator, many follow a similar process with their customer to ensure the system works accurately and that the customer has the proper certification documentation. The initial part of the process typically involves generating a report of each device installed as part of the system. This list enables the systems integrator to systematically test each device ensuring that individual devices are not specific points of failure for the overall system. For example, in a building equipped with a system that automatically releases the egress doors upon the fire alarm activation, it is important to make sure each door’s electro-magnetic locking system is operating properly. The systems integrator would not only test that a door releases when the fire alarm sounds, but also to make sure the access control system is notified if the door is propped open or held open longer than in normal usage parameters. For a door that is also monitored by a surveillance camera, part of the testing would also involve making sure that an image being transmitted to a video monitor is coming from the correct surveillance camera and that the actual angle of the image is what the customer has requested and is correctly labelled as such. If a device does not function as it should, it is then added to a punch list that would require the systems integrator to repair that device within a certain period of time. Once repairs are made, the system integrator would then submit a letter to the client stating that every device has been tested and works properly. It is also important for the integrator that once the testing process is complete to obtain a customer sign off (Certificate of Acceptance) on all systems tested and documentation provided. This limits liability once the system is turned over. From a safety perspective, Acceptance Testing is also used to verify that T-bars and safety chains are installed on cameras that are mounted in drop ceilings. It can confirm that panels are mounted in a room that is properly heated and cooled to avoid major temperature swings. Also, as part of the Acceptance Testing checklist, it can insure that power supplies that drive all the security systems are properly rated with the recommended batteries for back-up. And, that emergency exist devices or card readers are not mounted more than 48-inches above ground. An Acceptance Testing process serves to protect the end user's investment After the project is complete, Acceptance Testing protects both parties involved against liability issues. One example is if the building has a fire and the functionality of the life safety system comes into question. Acceptance Testing can be used to prove that the system was able to function as specified and dispel any concerns about its performance. At that time, all close out sheets are turned in, along with as-built drawings and a manual providing a complete listing of each device and system installed. Today, these manuals not only come in paper form as part of a large binder, but also digital files saved to a disc. The benefit of providing the customer with a binder or documentation of the system is that should the end user/customer replace the person who manages security at the company, valuable information will not leave with that former employee. While this checklist to close out a project may appear trivial at first, it is an important part of the security project process. By implementing an Acceptance Testing program, it serves to protect the end user’s investment, ensuring that the systems integrators hired for the project is knowledgeable and provides quality work. For the integrator, it helps towards the end goal of a satisfied customer.

Latest Axis Communications news

Milestone Systems hosts the 2020 Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS), Texas
Milestone Systems hosts the 2020 Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS), Texas

Milestone Systems’ annual MIPS brings together a rich community of video, security, and technology solution partners focused on advancing innovation. Special guests including Milestone officers, industry leaders, renowned futurists, authors, and a popular TEDx speaker will share their inspirations. Milestone will also showcase three start-ups from its Kickstarter Contest with compelling technologies and businesses that comprehensively address pressing security and societal issues. Milestone Systems, a global provider of open platform video management software (VMS), is hosting the 2020 Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) conference, in Dallas, Texas on February 17-19, 2020. Partners, customers and influencers are invited to register for the special two-day event. Applied innovation in video surveillance Milestone will feature a variety of speakers and topics, including TEDx speaker Anders Sorman-Nilsson, and one of the Top Ten Futurists in the world, Gerd Leonhard. The event will also include an exhibition pavilion featuring products and programs from partners including Axis Communications, Dell, Intel, Herta, Lenel S2, and Seneca Data and an innovation showcase with the three most promising ideas from Milestone’s incubator program, Kickstarter. We glimpse at the future through the ideas of our Kickstarter contestants" “MIPS is a one-stop destination for applied innovation in video surveillance,” notes Tim Palmquist, Vice President for the Americas at Milestone Systems. “Each year we hear from an array of speakers that challenge our thinking about today’s technology and the new frontiers of tomorrow. We see new products and programs from the most innovative companies in our industry. Together with XProtect, they serve the needs of our many customers. Finally, we glimpse at the future through the ideas of our Kickstarter contestants. MIPS is a hub for business, network connections and, above all, novel ideas!” Video analytics Leveraging the power of the open platform, the Milestone XProtect video management software (VMS) is compatible with more than 8,500 security and surveillance devices, and more than 450 software integrations from over 3,500 technology partners. Technology partners include providers of network video cameras, cloud solutions, DVRs and NVRs, servers and storage equipment, alarm and detection systems, video analytics, GPS technology, laser and radar scanners, emergency call boxes and more. “The open platform provides an opportunity to innovate freely as circumstances and opportunities dictate, not as a VMS provider dictates,” says Palmquist. “This freedom of innovation has already yielded some of the very best technologies and collaborations in the security industry. It has also resulted in scalable and future-proof systems in healthcare, education, city surveillance and other verticals where Milestone is the platform of choice and where professionals accept nothing less than freedom of choice to do their jobs at the best of their capacity.” Milestone Marketplace 2.0 Integrators will promote their installation experience and connect with technology partners on Marketplace Milestone will launch version 2.0 of the Milestone Marketplace on its website which will enable customers to find resellers and integrators that deliver video solutions based on their pain points or location. Integrators will promote their installation experience and connect with technology partners on Marketplace hereby allowing end-users to access information on the latest innovations. “By launching Milestone Marketplace 2.0, we are inviting customers to search for the latest and greatest technologies in our community. Milestone supports the co-creation of solutions, allowing our community to supply best-in-class technology for a variety of customer needs,” says chief sales and marketing officer at Milestone, Kenneth Hune Petersen. Integrated cloud-based solutions A large part of the MIPS 2020 Dallas event focuses on the many advantages of an open solution, with the Milestone XProtect VMS platform enabling reliable and efficient integrations with thousands of third-party hardware and software products. Detailed discussions of solution applications as well as previews of new integrations and partnerships help integrators, resellers and partners of all types to shape the future of their own businesses. Cloud-based services and integrations will soon take video management systems to a new level MIPS 2020 promises to usher in new integrated cloud-based solutions, which will greatly impact the future of how video systems are designed, deployed, and monetised. Cloud-based services and integrations will soon take video management systems to a new level, expanding how security professionals think about technology and their own business models. Open for startups Additionally, three finalists in Milestone's annual Kickstarter contest will demonstrate their visions. MIPS 2020 participants will have an opportunity to vote for their favourite software coder with the winner being announced during the gala dinner. Milestone believes in inspiring talent to make the world see through connecting new technology ideas, business strategy, and innovation. Three 2020 finalists will have a chance to showcase their visions directly to the Milestone Community of partners and customers at the MIPS2020 conference and beyond. They are: Benoit Koenig is the co-founder and COO at Veesion. Benoit was confronted with shop-lifting on a regular basis in his family-owned supermarkets. During his studies in Artificial Intelligence, he saw the great potential of deep learning applied on video data, which inspired him to start Veesion with two other engineers. Veesion are developing a gesture recognition technology to detect shoplifting in the retail industry. Commenting on Benoit’s idea and company, Palmquist noted, “Veesion is what MIPS is all about. This is an innovation that addresses a major commercial issue for retailers around the world but does so using technology in a respectful, considerate and intelligent manner. I am proud and encouraged that Veesion is enabled by the open platform.” Jennifer Ivens is the founder of Canscan, a technology company that provides automated container inspection services. It was impatience and ambition that prompted her to leave her position as a logistics analyst for an ocean carrier to go into this business for herself. Canscan’s idea is the next-level shipping container checking system, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) called Virtual Checker. “Jennifer and her team have come up with an innovation that addresses many social, economic, and criminal issues. It has the potential to avert some of the human tragedies we hear of and see on television across the globe each year,” Palmquist said. Zeljko Tepic has over 15 years of experience in the development of client/server and cloud architectures. He works on projects involving advanced algorithms, signal processing, Artificial Neural Networks, deep learning, generic algorithms, fuzzy logic, spectral analysis, and more. Venzo Secure’s idea is to provide seamless awareness of critical events by transparently displaying an intuitive “alert timeline” on top of the XProtect Smart Client camera views. The solution will give customers the option to dynamically arrange a view of the cameras in the Smart Client which are closest to the event at hand, and to handle any related events, alarms, analytics or metadata inside the Milestone XProtect video platform, including those from third parties. “Smart city managers, emergency responders, and police will benefit from this new technology enabling them to better respond during a crisis. This technology is poised to save lives, and I am proud that Milestone is supporting Venzo through our Kickstarter program,” commented Palmquist. Over 750 attendees are expected to attend MIPS 2020 at The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Centre on February 17-19, 2020 in Dallas, Texas.

Why the security of retail systems is key to building long term customer trust
Why the security of retail systems is key to building long term customer trust

Cloud technologies and the IoT have opened up seemingly endless possibilities for the modern retail organisation. Customers have never had as much control over purchasing decisions as they do today, with the ability to make transactions at the touch of a button for goods and services from the comfort of their own homes or on the move. However, the customer data lying at the heart of this frictionless shopping experience presents an ever more attractive commodity to cyber criminals. Attacks are growing in number and it has been reported that in the last 12 months there have been 19 significant data breaches. This presents a major problem for both retailers and customers. Cloud technologies and the IoT have opened up seemingly endless possibilities for the modern retail organisation In addition to the immediate disruption and downtime a breach can cause, the damage to the reputation of a business or brand can be lifelong. With GDPR related fines from the ICO now as much as €20m or 4% of an organisation’s global annual turnover, whichever is higher, the resulting combination of the cost of the breach itself, reputational erosion and any crippling fines can be devastating. It is therefore essential that retailers are aware of the steps and procedures they should be following to ensure full data compliance and to guarantee the integrity of their IT infrastructure. Ensuring full GDPR compliance It’s vital to ensure that everyone understands the security implications and knows how to respond effectively in the event of a breach. Internally, all teams and departments should have the confidence to raise the alert if a breach is suspected. Externally, companies should look to encourage conversations across the entire supply chain to ensure requirements are effectively met and security risks are adequately addressed. It is a requirement of the GDPR that the necessary steps be taken to guard against attack and protect existing software and systems It is a requirement of the GDPR that the necessary steps be taken to guard against attack and protect existing software and systems. Effective cybersecurity lifecycle management of IoT devices, such as network video surveillance cameras, is an example of a measure which should be put in place to help prevent such devices from being compromised, mitigating risk and ultimately maintaining customer trust. Establishing a truly secure retail solution can only be accomplished if security has been analysed at every stage. Evolving physical systems For protection of the physical retail environment, the move away from legacy security solutions such as traditional CCTV, which typically sat outside of a company’s IT operation, to the modern cloud-enabled security technologies we see today, allows retailers to unlock a wealth of business benefits previously impossible with analogue technologies. Today’s systems provide far greater accuracy of detection, vastly improved image quality, even in low light, and an array of business intelligence options to aid operations, such as people counting, queue monitoring and stock control. Protecting the physical security of the retail environment The ability to create live security alerts as well as forensic evidence for later analysis allows security teams to be proactive rather than reactive. In addition, the growing use of edge capabilities to process data within the cameras themselves negates the additional time and potential lag associated with continually passing surveillance information back and forward to servers, streamlining and therefore vastly improving operations. System vulnerabilities equals vulnerable data For network cameras being introduced onto an IT network, it’s essential to ensure that they do not become compromised and used as a backdoor to gain entrance to a business’s innermost workings and most valuable commodity; its data. The importance of guarding against system vulnerabilities cannot be ignored and it is therefore vital to ensure that all installed technologies are Secure by Default; built from the ground up with cybersecurity considerations at the forefront, to strengthen system security. In addition, software updates and firmware upgrades will keep the devices protected in line with the evolving threat landscape. The importance of guarding against system vulnerabilities cannot be ignored Forging and maintaining relationships with stakeholders is key to establishing a healthy supply chain built on mutual trust and respect. Only by following such an approach can the integrity of systems be fully guaranteed, with trusted vendors and installers working together to ensure that ethical practices are followed, and cybersecurity principles are adhered to. Due diligence should be carried out to make sure that all stakeholders involved in the manufacture, supply and installation of security software and systems understand the importance of keeping security best practice at the forefront of everything they do. Addressing the ongoing challenge Retailers must be able to rely on technologies that support their operational requirements and address associated risks, while at the same time, supporting IT security policies. By following procedures around the cybersecurity of IoT devices, and realising the importance of implementing high quality products and services through relationships with trusted vendors and partners, retailers will benefit from connected physical security systems that deliver on the promise of better protection of the business and customer, to effectively mitigate the mounting cyber security threat.

Axis Communications publishes its whitepaper on how cyber-attacks are a threat to the retail industry
Axis Communications publishes its whitepaper on how cyber-attacks are a threat to the retail industry

Axis Communications, the provider of network video technology, publishes its latest whitepaper, Cyber security: the biggest threat to retail which highlights the increasing threat posed by cyber-attacks to today’s retail industry. The paper documents the measures that should be understood by data controllers, loss prevention & security personnel through to heads of operations to ensure the highest levels of security and provide the appropriate education and training for all key stakeholders to effectively mitigate the mounting cyber security threat. Modern retail organisation It has been reported that in the last 12 months there have been 19 significant data breaches The growth in and use of IoT devices and cloud technologies have opened up boundless possibilities for the modern retail organisation across physical and digital platforms. However, customer data is at the heart of a frictionless shopping experience and presents an attractive commodity to cyber criminals, with attacks growing in number on those retailers whose systems are inadequately secured. It has been reported that in the last 12 months there have been 19 significant data breaches, which present a major risk for both retailers and customers. In addition to the immediate disruption and downtime a breach can cause, the damage to the reputation of a business or brand can be lifelong. Furthermore, GDPR related fines from the ICO can now be as much as €20m or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is higher, and demands that necessary steps be taken to guard against attack and protect existing infrastructure. Personally identifiable information Axis’ whitepaper creates awareness of the challenges being faced and looks at how effective cybersecurity lifecycle management of IoT devices will help to better manage security and ultimately maintain customer trust. Collaboration with system vendors, integrators and installers is also hugely important" “Any organisation that generates or manages personally identifiable information (PII), effectively any data that could potentially identify a specific individual, must comply with GDPR. Establishing a truly secure retail solution can only be accomplished if security has been analysed at every stage. The key is to ensure that everyone involved understands the security implications of a breach and how to prevent one.” “Collaboration with system vendors, integrators and installers is also hugely important, and conversations across the supply chain will ensure requirements are met and security risks are adequately addressed,” Steven Kenny, Industry Liaison Architecture and Engineering, Axis Communications. Surveillance camera technology Alongside greater awareness of the need to comply with the GDPR, the Axis whitepaper stresses the importance of looking to guard against system vulnerabilities by working with trusted vendors who can install only those security technologies that are deemed to be Secure by Default. These technologies have been built from the ground up with cybersecurity considerations at the forefront. Technologies that are cyber secure offer peace of mind when connected to a network Technologies that are cyber secure offer peace of mind when connected to a network, and come with assurances that stringent guidelines are followed during the design and manufacturing process. Surveillance camera technology designed and manufactured in this way assures retailers that these security solutions will not be used as a backdoor into the network; such is the risk of introducing non-secured hardware. Addressing cybersecurity risks Key points covered in the retail whitepaper include: Review of cybersecurity challenges – Supply chain attacks, IoT vulnerabilities, the impact of operational downtime GDPR, data protection and privacy – Examining the necessary actions to ensure full compliance with the GDPR and DPA 2018 Video surveillance insights – Understanding how data analysis can inform security and business decisions, and supply chain evaluation Managing security effectively – Processes and tools to help the design, development and testing of systems in accordance with cybersecurity principles Converged security – A collaborative approach to addressing cybersecurity risks Video surveillance systems Many organisations have re-evaluated their entire strategy in order to ensure full GDPR compliance" “The retail industry is deemed the most at risk to cyber threats. It is crucial to find the balance between enhancing the customer experience and maintaining GDPR compliance; providing adequate security whilst not violating customer privacy,” says Graham Swallow, Retail segment lead, Northern Europe, Axis Communications. “While video surveillance systems are a necessity within the retail environment, many organisations have re-evaluated their entire strategy in order to ensure full GDPR compliance. Retailers must be able to rely on technologies that support their operational requirements and address associated risks, while at the same time, supporting IT security policies.” Connected physical security systems This whitepaper provides retailers with expert guidance, highlighting the appropriate policies and procedures around the cybersecurity of IoT devices, and reinforces the importance of selecting trusted vendors and partners. Axis is passionate about using technology to help create a smarter and safer world. This is demonstrated by a commitment to helping retailers understand the benefits of connected physical security systems that deliver on the promise of better protection of the business and customer.