CCTV pan tilts - Expert commentary

Overcoming challenges and mapping the future of video surveillance
Overcoming challenges and mapping the future of video surveillance

Over the last year, we have continued to see the rise of manufacturers from China in the mid- to low-end market for video surveillance - a trend that currently shows no signs of tapering. Additionally, the shift from analogue to IP systems has remained consistent, with end users increasingly looking to network-enabled devices to mitigate risk from both a physical and cyber perspective. Complex network attacks in 2016 demonstrated the need for increased network security for network-connected devices such as IP cameras and network video recorders. More and more manufacturers are considering the potential for such attacks when designing updates for existing hardware and software technology, strengthening password requirements, incorporating robust data encryption, and educating integrators and end users on how to put protocols in place to protect the valuable information being collected. Increased security collaborations Today’s surveillance technology - and the new innovations right around the corner - incorporates more IT protocols in response to high-profile cyber incidents. As a result, IT standards will finally start being adopted by security system manufacturers over the course of the next few years. At the same time, we'll see increased collaboration between IT and security leaders within enterprises. Intelligent, big data analysis Video technologies such as panoramic 360-degree cameras with advanced dewarping capabilities are being rapidly adopted, along with video analytics software that enables the extraction of data for business intelligence, apart from just security video. The future includes more widespread availability of cloud technologies and services. In 2017, we can look forward to the more widespread adoption of intelligent analytics and big data analysis, which has the potential to streamline processes and optimise sales operations for organisations to drive new levels of business intelligence. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here Save

Security lapses and hooliganism dampening Euro 2016 – How will France re-structure security focus and ensure fan security?
Security lapses and hooliganism dampening Euro 2016 – How will France re-structure security focus and ensure fan security?

No matter how strong the security planning, it will take only one small failure tocreate an opportunity for unimaginable events(Photo credit: Marco Iacobucci EPP / Shutterstock.com) Successful security at UEFA Euro 2016 may well depend on the ability of the French to bring cohesiveness to disparate technologies. Given the scale of the threats, a variety of security solutions are being used visibly and behind the scenes – in addition to the presence of 90,000 police, gendarmerie and uniformed soldiers. I can’t remember an event where there has been a greater need for multi-agency working than the Euro 2016 football tournament now taking place at 10 stadiums across France, a country still recovering from the Paris attacks in November, torn apart by ethnic tensions, and in the grip of labour strikes. The security backdrop to the tournament is already dampening what should be a joyous festival for 2.5 million spectators watching the 51 matches over four weeks. Despite the comprehensive resources available to France and her neighbours, I see little cause for optimism. Security communications Starting at a macro level, there will be an enormous signals intelligence (SIGINT) operation in an attempt to intercept and analyse information from suspected terrorist cells, potential “lone wolf” jihadists and anybody whose communications arouse suspicion. The French government has been fighting a protracted battle to have voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) communication services (notably Skype, which is a known favourite of terrorists) registered as telecoms operators and thus subject to stricter regulation.  The French government has beenfighting a protracted battle to haveVoIP communication servicesregistered as telecoms operatorsand thus subject to stricter regulation Internet communication may yet solve rather than cause problems during the tournament with the release of a mass notification phone App. In the event of an attack, the App will alert users on a geo-location basis and in a discrete manner should they be near an incident. Users will also be able to pre-program up to eight geographical zones that they might be visiting in order to receive context-specific information and advice on how to minimise risk. Hooligans distract police attention from terrorism During the first weekend, the tournament was already marred by fighting between Russian and English fans (with involvement from locals) in the port of Marseille, where tear gas and water cannon have been deployed. An England supporter is critical after suffering a heart attack while being beaten senseless. UK politicians have been quick to denounce these incidents but also to make the broader point that hooliganism distracts French police from vigilance against terrorism. The England vs Russia game in Marseille has thrown up concerns at many levels. Toward the end of the match, Russian fans donned gum shields and martial arts gloves, turned their t-shirts into masks and charged English fans including family groups who were forced to jump over perimeter barriers with 10-foot drops in order to escape. Neutral observers complained about a lack of police presence and ineffective stewarding. Inappropriate security scanning As if this wasn’t bad enough, Russia’s equalising goal in the final minutes saw one of their supporters using a flare gun. Yes, a flare gun, which is larger than a handgun. This was accompanied by smoke bombs. A photo is doing the media rounds of a Russian holding two flares, each the size of a Coke bottle. One doesn’t have to speculate long on what might have happened if these containers were filled with plastic explosives. During the first weekend, the tournament was already marred by fighting between Russian and English fans(Photo credit: Marco Iacobucci EPP / Shutterstock.com) Am I alone in thinking that terrorists, seeing how lax security must be at the Stade Vélodrome, may be tempted to smuggle in more sophisticated explosives? The presence of the fireworks is doubly embarrassing since security at the Stade de France failed miserably in May during a domestic cup final when dozens of firecrackers were brought into the ground despite what was claimed to be vigilant searching of fans. Debate over fan zone The French are flexing their technological muscle and have made much of the fact that there is anti-drone technology at the 90,000-capacity fan zone beneath the Eiffel Tower. This is to guard against a possible terrorist “spectacular” such as a chemical or biological attack of the kind hinted at in data found on a laptop used by Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam. The future of the fan zone is uncertain. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy sees it as a sitting duck for a terrorist attack and has asked for it to be scrapped while police chief Michel Cadot wants it to operate only during games played outside the two Parisian stadiums. Am I alone in thinking thatterrorists, seeing how laxsecurity must be at the StadeVélodrome, may be tempted tosmuggle in more sophisticatedexplosives? Generally, the French government prefers a concentration of fans rather than dispersed groups. Of course, commerce should not be a factor, but there will inevitably be behind-the-scenes pressure from advertisers to retain fan zones since their merchandising potential is enormous. If they go ahead, the zones will feature CCTV surveillance, bag searches and even body-frisking should police suspicions be aroused. Conducting mock disaster drill to improve emergency response I recently reported on a disaster scenario exercise in London, and the French are conducting exhaustive equivalents in order to test response techniques should there be an attack at a stadium or fan zone. One such operation saw volunteers pretend to be fans at a mocked-up Northern Ireland vs Ukraine game in Lyon where actors, pretending to be jihadists, conducted a suicide bombing. Other drills have simulated chemical attacks, and in Nîmes over 1,000 cadet police officers acted out the role of spectators at a fan zone while colleagues in protective clothing went through decontamination routines. Violence likely to overshadow Russia vs. Ukraine match In terms of fan behaviour, what are the upcoming games with the most potential for violence? Turkey vs Croatia has passed off peaceably despite grave concerns. One nightmare scenario that UEFA must be dreading is if Russia were to come top of their group and Ukraine qualify as a third-placed team. Then the tournament has the prospect of the two sides meeting in Paris. Anybody who thinks this would be a sporting contest is misguided. The game would be a hate-filled microcosm of the recent Russian annexation of Crimea and the war in east Ukraine. No matter how much planning and technology the French authorities have at their disposal, it will take only one small failure to create an opportunity for unimaginable events. All we can hope is that sport will soon disappear from the front pages of our newspapers and be relegated to the back with the tournament remembered for sporting achievement rather than security lapses. Read more about security at UEFA Euro 2016 here  

London Metropolitan Police adapting to changing patterns of crime
London Metropolitan Police adapting to changing patterns of crime

The nature of crime in general – and particularly types of theft – are changing. Craig Mackey, Deputy Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service, says falling rates of conventional “property” crime are being of offset by an increase in computer-related crimes. Fall in “property” crime rate Mackey stressed that there has been no “magic bullet” responsible for the pronounced fall in burglaries and other property crimes. Theft of, say, a flat-screen television from a house in Brent [a north-west London borough] by a prototypical thief is no longer representative of the standard challenge facing the Met, he notes. Rather, sending out 10,000 phishing emails is more likely to be the operational method of the average small-time criminal. In 2014, burglaries in London fell by 8% (7,500 incidents) to their lowest level in London since 1974. (This figure was not quoted specifically by Mackey but has been reported widely by major news sources including the BBC.) Deputy Commissioner Mackey speculated on the typical day of an employee in London and observed that they are probably far more vulnerable to criminals during their leisure computing time once they have returned to the suburbs than they are while travelling to their place of work Deputy Commissioner at Cass Business School Addressing MBA students at Cass Business School, City University London, Deputy Commissioner Mackey asked how many of the audience had an iPhone 6 in their pocket. Seeing a healthy show of hands, he pointed out that now Apple has enabled a remote “Kill Switch” facility for its latest release. The phones now have little intrinsic worth when stolen. What thieves really value is the data they can extract from a mobile phone in the first vital minutes before it is reported missing. The second most senior British chief police officer, Deputy Commissioner Mackey addressed the MBA students on current trends in policing. His wide-ranging talk covered many aspects of security technology as it relates to modern policing. His lecture at the London Transport Museum was set against a backdrop of a city where people speak 300 languages and are bucking national trends insofar as the population is getting younger. For the evolving Met, “new policing” is synonymous with new types of crime that increasingly take place on the Internet and can be anything from online harassment to fraud Internet-related crime Deputy Commissioner Mackey speculated on the typical day of an employee in London and observed that they are probably far more vulnerable to criminals during their leisure computing time once they have returned to the suburbs than they are while travelling to their place of work. He noted with concern that people unthinkingly share information on Facebook that they would hesitate to share with one of his officers. For the evolving Met, “new policing” is synonymous with new types of crime that increasingly take place on the Internet and can be anything from online harassment to fraud. Better police support through refurbished Met premises SourceSecurity.com (with justification) speculated gloomily about every conceivable physical threat to London during the 2012 Olympics. The fact is that the Met, aided by regional police forces and the army, delivered a spectacularly successful Games to the capital and the rest of the world. Just as the Olympic sites have continued as sporting and residential legacies for Londoners, the Metropolitan Police Service is seeking to evaluate and change the usage of its own real estate. "Policing can only have legitimacy if it enjoys the trust of the community, and we’re working with the Royal Society of Arts to help us move forward in terms of talking to stakeholders" The deputy commissioner described how the service’s properties are being modified in line with modern requirements and explained how a third of the square footage of police premises will be released since many of them “have more to do with Peel than a strategic plan.” The reference to Sir Robert Peel may have been lost on Mackey’s audience since most of these high-achieving MBA students were under 30 and resembled a mass audition for the British (and US) reality TV show “The Apprentice.” Twice a prime minister during the 19th century, Peel founded the modern police force and his name survives in the antiquated slang “Peeler” for a policeman. Mackey’s history lesson had a point. He was at pains to show that police premises will either be refurbished so that they are better designed places of work for staff and more suitable places for the public to visit, or they will be returned to the property market with the capital being reinvested into technology that better reflects the challenges faced by a modern police force. In this way, the deputy commissioner argued (credibly) that cuts of £800m to a £3.5bn budget over the next four years will not be at the expense of front-line staff whose numbers will in fact increase from 63 to 74 percent of total employees. (The Met is one of the few police forces worldwide to be increasing its presence on the street.) And business support will be squeezed from 26 to 15 percent of wage bills. The deputy commissioner took evident pride in being able to tell his audience that even in a time of spending austerity, London can make a credible claim to be the safest major city in the world. He said: “We talk about policing as part of the economic development of London. People thinking of relocating here will ask: ‘How safe is it? How tolerant is it of business and how inclusive is it?’ With fewer senior managers and supervisors in the force, we see a culture where there is less and less physical reliance on front desks and counters for getting hold of police support. We offer this service but in reality it isn’t used very much, and a more technological approach is better suited to putting people through to interpreters for any of the 300 languages I’ve mentioned. Policing can only have legitimacy if it enjoys the trust of the community, and we’re working with the Royal Society of Arts to help us move forward in terms of talking to stakeholders. Outside of the Ministry of Defence and the National Health Service, this is likely to be the biggest [post UK general election in May] change programme. It would be an organisational challenge for anybody.”

Latest Axis Communications news

Axis expects body-worn camera system to expand the technology use cases
Axis expects body-worn camera system to expand the technology use cases

Axis Communications has introduced a body-worn camera solution, which the company says represents a natural extension of their corporate vision, business strategy and core competence. The new body-worn cameras and other elements of the system will provide Axis new opportunities to grow by tapping into existing and new customers. The fast-growing body-worn camera market is an attractive one, and Axis sees opportunities to extend the use of body-worn cameras beyond the current core market of police and corrections officers. Private security applications for the technology include healthcare, education, banking, public venues, retail, logistics, transportation and places of worship. The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind, says Martin Gren, Founder and Director of New Projects at Axis. “We try to make it fit with existing customers.” Deploying and using the system The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind Gren says the system is easy to deploy and use. The Axis W100 camera provides 1080p images, wide dynamic range (WDR) and has dual microphones, operating 12 hours on a single charge. GPS/GNSS global satellite navigation provides location, and a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer offer additional data beyond the video image. For example, sensors might be triggered in some situations to initiate recording.  One-bay (Axis W700) or eight-bay (Axis W701) docking stations enable high-speed supervised data offloading and battery charging, and a system controller (Axis W800) provides a central point for integration and management. Use of Zipstream compression technology saves on bandwidth and storage. Video cannot be accessed in the field, but only when a camera has been docked. There are many layers of security, and encryption protects all data used in the system from being accessed by outside agents. The USB interface cannot be connected to an ordinary computer but only to the docking station.     Open standards Open standards ensure easy integration with video management systems and/or evidence management systems, whether on-premises or in the cloud. At the time of release, the Axis body-worn camera system is already integrated with Milestone XProtect, Genetec Security Center, and Axis Camera Station VMSs. It is also integrated with the Genetec Clearance cloud-based evidence management system. An application programming interface (API) will facilitate additional integrations over time.  The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels of distributors, systems integrators and resellers. The camera is part of the Axis “ecosystem,” which includes the company’s familiar network cameras as well as recent additions such as access control, network audio systems (including loud speakers), intercom door stations, a radar detector and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. “The more things you integrate, the more value you add to customers,” said Gren. The new body-worn camera systems are core products for Axis; they are not made by another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and merely sold under the Axis label. “When we decided to do body-worn cameras, OEMing was not an option,” said Gren. “Instead we took some experienced Axis engineers and a bunch of new ones to develop this product line to ensure the same Axis quality and compatibility.” Introducing the new product The body-worn camera system was unveiled remotely in a press conference webinar; the original plan was to introduce the new product at ISC West, which was cancelled to minimise spread of the novel coronavirus. In addition to announcing the new product, the Axis executives provided commentary and insight into the ongoing coronavirus crisis. “The security industry is a close-knit community that is connected in more ways than one,” said Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Vice President of the Americas. “We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision to address such challenges.” We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision" “There is some disruption in the Axis supply chain, but we have a broad partner-based supply chain when it comes to our sub-suppliers, our seven global CLCs (Configuration and Logistics Centers) and the distributors who keep inventory for integrators,” said Nilsson in the March 18th press call. “There is some stress on some components, but things are working relatively well under the circumstances. We are monitoring it on a day-to-day basis, but so far we have been able to hold things up very well.” Gren offered a comment on the possible use of thermal cameras (which Axis makes) to measure body temperature during the COVID-19 crisis: “When we designed our thermal cameras, that was a common question,” he said. “But in general, it is difficult to use a thermal camera to get an accurate reading. We have one model – the Q2901 – that is a temperature-accurate thermal camera, and if you look straight into the camera, it is accurate to around 1° F. However, there are more efficient ways to [measure temperature]. In general, it’s not a business application I would recommend.”

Honeywell Xtralis VCA suite of security software is available for licensing by third parties to improve analytic capabilities
Honeywell Xtralis VCA suite of security software is available for licensing by third parties to improve analytic capabilities

Honeywell, a pioneer in products, software and technologies for connected buildings and homes, announced that its Xtralis VCA suite of security software is available for licensing by third parties. Now, both Xtralis LoiterTrace video detection software and Xtralis IntrusionTrace video detection software will be made available to third parties looking to improve the analytics capabilities of their security offerings.  Xtralis IntrusionTrace, a high-performance intrusion detection software solution designed for continual outdoor operation is now integrated into its first external partner, Axis Communications Inc., a provider of network video, and their Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP).  Honeywel-Axis integration  “The ACAP offers a variety of services and applications for select devices to ensure our customers can deploy value-added services on our cameras,” said Alex Walthers, business development manager, ADP, Axis Communications, Inc.   “We are pleased to collaborate with Honeywell to allow mutual customers to embed Honeywell’s Xtralis IntrusionTrace on Axis cameras. This technology brings video detection analytics that has been tested and hardened to the market.”  Beyond Xtralis IntrusionTrace, the VCA suite available for licensing also includes Xtralis LoiterTrace Beyond Xtralis IntrusionTrace, the VCA suite available for licensing also includes Xtralis LoiterTrace, an advanced detection system that provides timely notification of unauthorised loitering in both indoor and outdoor areas.  Intrusion detection products   “Nearly three decades ago Xtralis commercialised the first video motion detection product in the industry; and since then our intrusion detection products have been the industry benchmark and top choice for protecting perimeters with the highest security requirements,” said Alessandro Araldi, Vice President of global product management, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies.   “Honeywell is making Xtralis IP available for leading security manufacturers. We are pleased to have Xtralis IntrusionTrace offered on select Honeywell cameras as well as the ACAP and are looking forward to even more manufacturers leveraging our technology,” Araldi added.  The Xtralis VCA suite can be integrated with cameras, network video recorders, video management systems and third-party panel and platform providers. 

SIA announces appointment of new Chairman and 2020 Executive Committee, along with five new Board Members
SIA announces appointment of new Chairman and 2020 Executive Committee, along with five new Board Members

The Security Industry Association (SIA) welcomed a new chairman, announced its 2020 executive committee and welcomed five new members to the SIA Board of Directors at The Advance, SIA’s annual membership meeting, held virtually on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. SIA’s The Advance SIA ratified the selection of Pierre Trapanese, CEO of Northland Controls, as SIA’s chairman of the board. Trapanese has 33 years of international project and financial management experience in the security industry. He has been the sole owner of Northland Controls since 2005 and has transformed it into a global service provider with 250 Northlanders spread across offices in 5 countries. During The Advance, SIA also announced the addition of five new voting members to the SIA Board of Directors to serve terms from 2020 to 2022: Jonathan Aguila, director – systems and technology, Facebook – Global Security Stacy Deveraux, president, Electromechanical Solutions Group, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Mike Mathes, executive vice president, Convergint Technologies Erica McBride-Rapp, logistics manager, Allegion Tim Palmquist, vice president, Americas, Milestone Systems Following the ratification, the SIA Executive Committee for 2020 includes: Chairman: Pierre Trapanese, CEO, Northland Controls Director of Technology: Kim Loy, Vandebilt Treasurer: Scott Dunn, director, business development, Axis Communications Secretary: Lynn de Séve, president, GSA Schedules Inc. Immediate Past Chairman: Scott Schafer, principal, SMS Advisors New additions to SIA Board I am thankful to SIA for welcoming me as SIA chairman and entrusting me with the responsibilities of this role" Additionally, three existing SIA board members – Janet Fenner, chief marketing officer at Intelligent Security Systems; John E. Mack III, executive vice president, co-head of investment banking and head of mergers and acquisitions at Imperial Capital; and Tom Nakatani, vice president of customer monitoring technology and product development at ADT – renewed their involvement in the SIA Board of Directors for an additional term. “I am thankful to SIA for welcoming me as SIA chairman and entrusting me with the responsibilities of this role,” said Trapanese. “We congratulate the new and returning members to the SIA Board of Directors and the SIA Executive Committee – this is a remarkable group of security leaders poised to guide the association and industry forward.” SIA Board of Directors The SIA Board of Directors is comprised of industry professionals representing a broad spectrum of interests in the security industry. The full list of current board members can be found here. During The Advance, in addition to announcing the new board chairman, new and returning board members and executive committee, SIA shared market intelligence for the year ahead and presented its annual membership awards – the SIA Chairman’s Award, Sandy Jones Volunteer of the Year Award, Committee Chair of the Year Award and Member of the Year Award.