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 Pelco, Inc news

Looking back at 2020: Security mergers and acquisitions continue despite COVID-19
Looking back at 2020: Security mergers and acquisitions continue despite COVID-19

Consolidation continued in the physical security marketplace in the turbulent year 2020. There were several mega-deals in addition to shuffling among small and medium-sized companies. Here is a sampling of M&A from this year, compiled from our archive of company news. With the changing economic climate, how much more is ahead in 2021? Stay tuned. Wesco merges with Anixter WESCO International, Inc., a provider of business-to-business (B2B) distribution, logistics services and supply chain solutions, announced it completed its merger with Anixter International Inc., creating a premier, global B2B distribution and supply chain solutions company. Anixter becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of WESCO International. ACRE acquires Razberi ACRE acquired Razberi Technologies, Farmers Branch, Texas, and the product line of intelligent video appliances, automated security software and health monitoring software will be added to and sold under the ComNet brand and portfolio of products. ComNet will now be selling Razberi products through its established channels. Motorola acquires IndigoVision Among the benefits is enhanced geographical reach across a wider customer base Motorola Solutions says the IndigoVision range of products, global presence and customer base are ‘highly complementary’ to Motorola Solutions' existing presence in video security. Among the benefits is enhanced geographical reach across a wider customer base. Motorola acquires Pelco “Pelco’s track record of innovation, internationally recognised brand, global channel and customer installed base enable us to further expand our global footprint with enterprise and public safety customers,” said Greg Brown, Motorola Solutions’ Chairman and CEO, about the iconic brand. Johnson Controls swallows Qolsys Qolsys Inc., residential and commercial security and smart-home manufacturer, enhances Johnson Controls global innovation platform, delivering next generation security and smart building solutions. JCI had already owned a majority stake in the company since 2014. ADT and Google Home partnership The partnership will combine Nest’s award-winning hardware and services, powered by Google’s machine learning technology, with ADT’s installation, service and professional monitoring network to create a more helpful smart home and integrated experience for customers across the United States. Upon the closing of Google’s equity investment in ADT, Google will own 6.6% of ADT’s outstanding aggregate common equity. Securitas acquires STANLEY in Five Countries The acquisition is aligned with Securitas’ ambition to double the size of its security solutions Securitas acquired STANLEY Security’s electronic security businesses in Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Singapore and India. The acquisition is aligned with Securitas’ ambition to double the size of its security solutions and electronic security business and expands Securitas’ electronic security footprint and capabilities. Allied Universal to Buy G4S Ending the year on a high note, the boards of directors managing Allied Universal and G4S reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer. The deal brings to a close a six-month bidding war for G4S. The combined business is expected to generate approximately $18 billion in annual revenues with a global workforce of more than 750,000 people in 85 countries. Quantum acquires Western Digital business line Quantum Corporation entered into an agreement with Western Digital Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Western Digital Corp., to acquire its ActiveScale object storage business. The acquisition demonstrates Quantum’s commitment to innovation and growth, extending the company’s leadership role in storing and managing video and unstructured data using a software-defined approach. AVA/Vaion/Jazz Networks Ava, a unified security company, announced the completion of the merger between Jazz Networks, renowned cyber security insider threat detection and response firm; and Vaion, an end-to-end video security solutions provider. Ava is now positioned to deliver unified cyber and physical security solutions to organisations worldwide.

Global MSC Security Conference & Exhibition rescheduled to November 2020
Global MSC Security Conference & Exhibition rescheduled to November 2020

Global MSC Security has announced that its Security Conference & Exhibition will take place as a live, virtual event on 10th November 2020, with keynote presentations from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter QPM LLB and Philip Ingram MBE. The free-to-attend event will take place from 2 pm until 3.30 pm from a bespoke streaming studio with the presenters in attendance and the audience joining remotely; it is sponsored by Genetec and Pelco, and supported by the International Security Journal. Tony Porter will use one of his final public appearances as the Surveillance Camera Commissioner to discuss a recent Court of Appeal case and its implications for the use of facial recognition technology. Video analytics Joining Tony Porter will be Philip Ingram MBE, who will use his experience as a former Colonel with British military intelligence and a chemical weapons expert, to provide insight into the Salisbury Novichok poisoning which took place in 2018. He will consider how video analytics (including facial recognition) can be utilised in investigations and applied in a strategic way to mitigate the impact of such incidents. The audience will also have the ability to pose questions to the presenters and sponsors during an interactive panel session towards the end of the programme. In addition to this virtual presentation, Global MSC Security has also confirmed that its annual conference & exhibition, charity gala dinner and the prestigious Gordon McLanaghan Award for Security Innovation, will return to the Bristol Hotel in Bristol on 15th and 16th March 2021, expanding on the ‘virtual’ topic of the use of Artificial Intelligence and Analytics in Video Surveillance. Amongst others, Philip Ingram will provide more in-depth analysis of the topic he will cover during the on-line event. 2020 conference and exhibition rescheduled The Managing Director of Global MSC Security, Derek Maltby states: “Our annual event attracts more than 150 attendees, and we pride ourselves on it being an intimate educational event with lots of networking opportunities. Rather than limit numbers and compromise on the quality of the event, in light of current essential social distancing measures, we have decided to run our first live virtual conference and reschedule our 2020 conference and exhibition to March 2021.” Earlier in the year 2019, Global MSC Security announced Meningitis Now as its nominated charity for 2020 and the company announced that its fundraising support will continue into 2021. A new prospectus has been launched highlighting sponsorship and exhibition opportunities for 2021.

What is the impact of lighting on video performance?
What is the impact of lighting on video performance?

Dark video images contain little or no information about the subject being surveilled. Absence of light can make it difficult to see a face, or to distinguish the color of clothing or of an automobile. Adding light to a scene is one solution, but there are also new technologies that empower modern video cameras to see better in any light. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what impact does lighting have on the performance of video systems?