Avigilon Control Center 4.6 network video management system provides a powerful engine for HD surveillance
Avigilon Control Center 4.6 network video management system provides a powerful engine for HD surveillance

Avigilon Control Center 4.6 The award-winning, enterprise-class NVMS platform, Avigilon Control Center was engineered from the ground up to intelligently manage HD video, delivering both situational awareness and complete image detail. Avigilon Control Center captures, transmits, manages, stores, archives, plays back, and exports HD video while efficiently handling bandwidth and storage. Avigilon Control Center's modular, open architecture allows system designers to integrate Avigilon solutions with existing assets including analogue and IP cameras, access control and other intrusion systems.  New features Expanded third party IP camera support Avigilon Control Center 4.6 delivers expanded support for a wide range of third party IP cameras and analogue encoders from vendors such as ACTi Corp., Sanyo Electric Co., Mobotix, and VideoIQ, in addition to ONVIF certified cameras for the purpose of building hybrid systems and preserving existing assets. Management of surveillance video from third party cameras and analogue encoders is in the camera's native compression format, including H.264, MPEG4, or MJPEG.  Expanded analytics support In addition to its current integration with SightLogix outdoor video analytics cameras, Avigilon Control Center 4.6 now also supports video analytics solutions from vendors including VideoIQ, creating an integrated situational awareness platform for real-time incident management and response.  Advanced HD video management functionality Avigilon Control Center 4.6 offers enhanced HD video management features including an 'in-panel' acknowledgment of alarms from within the monitored video stream, streamlined advanced alarm management functionality, and expanded monitoring capabilities. In addition, Avigilon Control Center 4.6 can activate digital outputs from within the monitored video stream, enabling guards to open a gate or trigger a siren or alarm directly from the video.  Expanded mapping interface An advanced graphic mapping interface enables operators to layout cameras and servers on an imported map for easy navigation of large surveillance systems and provides the ability to view alarm status directly on the map. A powerful rules engine enables operators to map any camera or system event to a set output action for access to surveillance images from any location, resulting in faster identification and improved response times.  Enhance audit trail capabilities With new features to maintain details of user actions, Avigilon Control Center 4.6 ensures that a detailed audit trail is available for the highest level of system security possible.

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Avigilon links high definition video with point of Sale transaction data
Avigilon links high definition video with point of Sale transaction data

Launched at ASIS 2009 in Anaheim, CA, the Avigilon Control Center HD Point-of-Sale (POS) Transaction Engine is a new add-on feature to the award winning Avigilon Control Center Network Video Management Software (NVMS). Avigilon Control Center HD POS Transaction Engine links live and visually lossless recorded high definition video with transaction data, enabling security professionals to search and quickly find specific transactions and associated indisputable video evidence for event validation.Meeting the increasing demands for better video quality, Avigilon Control Center HD POS Transaction Engine helps customers reduce shrinkage and theft, and address compliance requirements, by enabling security professionals to more quickly and successfully find video surveillance footage associated with a specific transaction. The transaction engine provides customers the ability to link vital business intelligence with HD video, helping to analyse operations and improve bottom line performance."With the current economy, all departments within an organisation are focusing on performance," said Dave Tynan, vice-president of global sales and marketing at Avigilon. "The new Avigilon Control Center HD POS Transaction Engine is a highly effective tool for associating any character based transaction data-such as point of sale data and bar code data-with HD video to provide indisputable and instantaneous evidence to deal with liabilities, shrinkage, service level improvement, and process efficiencies."Avigilon Control Center HD POS Transaction Engine includes the following features and benefits:Multiple streams of transactions from devices such as cash registers, automated teller machines (ATM), or bar code scanners can be associated to a single HD camera to cover a larger field of viewTransactions are linked to associated video to allow instant review, including accessing individual transactions using a powerful search functionTransaction information is simultaneously displayed alongside live or recorded videoException filtering and reporting allows the triggering of events when transactions match certain criteria. These events can be mapped to on-screen alerts, e-mail alerts, and other system events.

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Avigilon Control Center high definition surveillance software offers improved performance and manageability
Avigilon Control Center high definition surveillance software offers improved performance and manageability

Avigilon, the performance and value leader in high definition (HD) and megapixel video surveillance systems, announced the release of Avigilon Control Center 4.2, the company's latest release of its award-winning HD surveillance software with High Definition Stream ManagementTM (HDSM). With new features to improve performance and manageability, Avigilon Control Center 4.2 captures, transmits, manages, stores, archives, plays back, and exports HD video while efficiently handling bandwidth and storage requirements. "Organisations around the world are using Avigilon HD surveillance systems to monitor operations, validate safety procedures, and ensure compliance with industry regulations or corporate best practices," said Dave Tynan, vice president of global sales and marketing at Avigilon. "With added features for improved manageability and a more powerful network video management software platform that supports data from any resolution or camera technology, Avigilon Control Center 4.2 delivers superior evidence to lead to improved response times and greater investigative success." Avigilon Control Center 4.2 includes the following new features and benefits: Web Browser Based Avigilon Control Center ClientAvigilon Control Center 4.2 now includes full-featured client software that can be used inside Microsoft Internet Explorer without requiring the installation of software on the remote viewing machine. Using HDSM, the new web browser based client enables quick and reliable access to HD surveillance images from remote machines which allows security professionals real-time access to surveillance images from any location. Site Grouping for Dynamic System Explorer Layout Avigilon Control Center 4.2 facilitates the customised grouping of servers, cameras, views, maps, and web pages within the system explorer. Benefitting large sites, custom grouping allows easier navigation and system management by grouping surveillance components logically instead of physically. With this feature, surveillance professionals can group components by site, location, owner, role, or whatever grouping makes most sense for their particular installation. Audio Alerts for Rules Engine Events and Alarm Monitoring Security operators need to know when an important event happens. Avigilon Control Center 4.2 features pre-loaded or customised advanced audio alerts to ensure that security professionals are alerted to important events. Manually Triggered Recording Manually triggered recording capabilities allow operators to manually start recording for a specific camera using a newly designed button on the image viewing panel. This feature enables operators to instantly turn on recording if observing an event on a monitored system and works in conjunction with alarms, events, motion, and all other existing recording triggers. Expanded Third Party IP Camera Support Avigilon Control Center 4.2 records and manages video from a wider range of third party IP cameras and analogue encoders for the purpose of building hybrid systems and preserving existing assets. Management of surveillance video from third party cameras and analogue encoders is in the camera's native compression format, including H.264, MPEG4, or MJPEG.

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Avigilon Control Center high definition surveillance software offers improved performance and manageability
Avigilon Control Center high definition surveillance software offers improved performance and manageability

Avigilon Control Center 4.0, the latest version of the award-winning High Definition (HD) network video management system it includes important new features to improve performance and manageability, Avigilon Control Center 4.0 also offers support for third party IP cameras, becoming a truly open enterprise class network video management software platform. "As an open enterprise class network video management software platform, Avigilon Control Center 4.0 offers support for third party cameras and IT compliance without compromise," said Dave Tynan, vice-president of global sales at Avigilon. "By further enhancing the ability to capture and manage surveillance video, Avigilon Control Center 4.0 ensures that the best evidence is preserved." "By elevating its end-to-end HD video surveillance system with the introduction of Avigilon Control Center 4.0, Avigilon continues to demonstrate its understanding of marketplace needs," commented Dilip Sarangan, analyst with Frost and Sullivan. "Avigilon Control Center 4.0 will satisfy the IT community and demanding surveillance professionals with features like backward compatibility, a truly open platform, advanced data management and audio recording, while continuing to deliver exceptional video quality and forensic efficiency." Avigilon Control Center 4.0 includes the following new features and benefits: Third party IP camera support Avigilon Control Center 4.0 will record and manage video from a wide range of third party IP cameras and analogue encoders for the purpose of building hybrid systems and preserving existing assets. Management of surveillance video from third party cameras and analogue encoders will be in their native compression format, including H.264, MPEG4, or MJPEG. Audio recording The new audio recording functionality allows users to record audio streams and associate the recorded audio with corresponding video, providing security professionals with an extra layer of security for improved overall protection. The ability to record audio synchronized with HD video allows institutions, such as correctional facilities, to take advantage of HD surveillance while recording the audio required to secure their facilities. The Avigilon Control Center software will be able to record audio directly from Avigilon HD Dome Cameras, Avigilon analog encoders, and compatible third party IP cameras. Advanced data management Advanced data management features include the ability to redundantly record surveillance video from all cameras to multiple NVRs for a complete live mirror of all data. Failover NVRs record video automatically in the event of an issue with an existing NVR, while simple schedulable backup and restore capabilities make it easy to backup and restore either a subset or all surveillance video recorded to an NVR to another storage device. Improved event bookmarking and management Improved event bookmarking and management features facilitate searching and allow bookmark protection to permanently preserve bookmarked events when an NVR overwrites the oldest recorded video. Bookmarked meta-data will also be extended to include additional indexed information regarding an event to facilitate rapid searching and review of recorded HD surveillance video. Avigilon Control Center 4.0 with HDSM Avigilon Control Center 4.0 will record and manage video from a wide range of third party IP cameras and analogue encoders for the purpose of building hybrid systems and preserving existing assets. Management of surveillance video from third party cameras and analogue encoders will be in their native compression format, including H.264, MPEG4, or MJPEG.  Avigilon Control Center is the award winning HD network video management software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) that delivers full situational awareness and detail, leading to faster response times, reduced investigation times, and superior overall protection. Avigilon Control Center is available as stand alone software or pre-installed and configured on Avigilon HD NVRs. Avigilon Control Center is a secure and reliable open enterprise class network video management platform for capturing, managing, and storing high definition surveillance video while efficiently managing bandwidth and storage. Providing the industry with a complete HD and megapixel surveillance system, Avigilon offers the industry's greatest choice in HD cameras from one to 16 megapixels.

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CCTV software - Expert commentary

4 smart ways to use security to power the business of the future
4 smart ways to use security to power the business of the future

In the new era of work, our relationship with the workplace is defined by flexibility and mobility. Employees are working across the home, office, and blended spaces more than ever before, as well as working varied hours to suit the modern work schedule.  This new hybrid workforce model holds the potential for more diverse talent and better productivity, but it also comes with its challenges – one being how to ensure security, health, and safety in the workplace.  Strong and smart security ecosystem While nearly one-third of companies report that they’ve implemented a hybrid model, according to a recent survey by STANLEY Security, many still have much to do to prepare their office for the future.  Building a strong – and smart – security ecosystem is crucial in preparing for the future. As such, businesses should consider technologies that help protect their people, as well as safeguard their assets, optimise their operations, and secure their network. 1)Protect your people  Implementation of a security ecosystem combines health, safety, and security hardware and software solutions seamlessly Nearly 60% of mid-market and enterprise businesses across the UK and US report that the health and safety of their employees and customers are a primary concern when implementing modern and hybrid working models.  This begs the question: How can businesses create a safe and healthy work environment when 59% are planning to bring employees back on-site in some capacity within the next 18 months? The answer lies, in part, in the implementation of a security ecosystem that combines various health, safety, and security hardware and software solutions seamlessly. Integrating platform Nearly half (46%) of business decision-makers say they are interested in adopting an integrated platform such as this. This means integrating traditional and digital security solutions, then leveraging the data and insights they produce to further enhance the workplace experience. Take this example:  With employees and visitors moving in and out of the office at different times, a business may lack oversight of occupancy or density levels, people flow, workspace scheduling, visitor check-in processes, and more. However, with visitor management, access control, and other building/business systems integrated, employees can reserve a workspace for a specific date and time and be granted access to the building. Leveraging AI and machine learning Visitors can pre-register, answer a health screening questionnaire, and receive a mobile credential before arriving. Once the visitor arrives on-site, the system can alert the respective department – all without the close contact typically required for traditional visitor check-in processes. When layering artificial intelligence and machine learning on top of the data, a business may identify trends in people flow and opportunities to optimise congested areas. They may also see that certain rooms within the building get more use than others and leverage these insights to manage their space more effectively.  All of this is powered by a security ecosystem that can help a business better protect its people while realising other benefits in the process. 2) Safeguard your assets Businesses are concerned about the security of their assets when it comes to the hybrid workforce model Even more, businesses are concerned about the security of their assets when it comes to the hybrid workforce model. About 72% of leaders say this is, in fact, their primary concern with the hybrid approach.  This figure isn’t surprising when you consider the impact of the pandemic, which left many businesses closed either temporarily or permanently, with few people allowed on-site to manage facility operations.  As a result of the pandemic, we saw tech adoption accelerate at an astonishing rate – simply because businesses had to implement cloud and remote technologies to survive during a time when buildings were closed indefinitely.  Remote management and visibility This was particularly true for security solutions, such as cloud video surveillance and cloud access control solutions like wireless IoT-connected locks. Nine out of 10 businesses (91%) report that they have already implemented cloud security technology; of those, nearly half (48%) stated that this was due to the pandemic. These technologies allow for remote management and provide visibility into business operations at the same time. In a retail setting, for example, cloud video surveillance allows businesses to identify and track not only criminal activity, but also foot traffic patterns, peak operating hours, staff shortages, and more.  Loss prevention strategy When integrated with the retailer’s point-of-sale (POS) system, businesses can gain greater insights into their traffic counts, end cap effectiveness, loyalty card activity, and a variety of POS exceptions, such as high-dollar transactions, repeated transactions, excessive returns, employee discounts, and more. For retailers especially, a security ecosystem means a more efficient loss prevention strategy that helps safeguard assets and profits. 3) Optimise your operations The “future of work” is still very much a work in progress, but one thing is clear: Businesses are looking for ways to increase efficiencies, drive cost savings, and, ultimately, optimise their operations – especially now with the challenges posed by price inflation. A relatively untapped opportunity for businesses to achieve these goals lies within their security infrastructure. Security technology and solutions gather incredibly rich data which, when unlocked, can help businesses understand how their buildings are being used, when the busiest times are, where there are highly trafficked areas, and more.  Leveraging cloud video surveillance systems, businesses could identify emerging staff training needs Cloud video surveillance systems For example, by leveraging the insights produced by cloud video surveillance systems, businesses could identify emerging staff training needs, which could ultimately result in improved employee satisfaction and reduced attrition. However, much of this data sits untouched within the infrastructure, leaving businesses unaware of the opportunities in front of them. 44% of businesses that currently use a cloud security system for its primary use say they want to know how else this technology can be utilised, and an additional 20% aren’t even aware that it could be used in other ways. AI and analytics The interest in adoption is promising for the office of the future, especially when we see that the majority of businesses (78%) would consider using AI and analytics technologies to optimise their operations, helping their business to operate more effectively and efficiently.  The increase in adoption of cloud technology – paired with the rise in interest in AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics – could make it possible for businesses to uncover invaluable insights from their security infrastructure and leverage them to adapt and build business resilience. 4) Secure your network Advanced technology help businesses improve their cybersecurity, making it harder for hackers to gain entry With cyber threats becoming more prevalent, businesses are increasingly looking to secure their networks and protect their data. More than half (54%) of those surveyed expressed interest in using AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics to secure their network by identifying and eliminating cybersecurity threats.  Advanced and automated technology can help businesses improve their cybersecurity, making it harder for hackers to gain entry to the larger corporate network. Modern cybersecurity tools that use AI and machine learning can detect anomalies in network traffic or alert and act on suspicious behaviour.   Cybersecurity software For example, if an IoT device suddenly begins broadcasting and establishing connections with multiple devices, cybersecurity software could detect this abnormal behaviour, send an alert, and suspend traffic or quarantine an endpoint immediately – saving precious time during a potential breach.  A single data breach could result in widespread distrust from workers and customers, potentially leading to decreased business as well as litigation issues. As such, businesses need to take action to update and strengthen their defences so that they can avoid downtime and continue to operate with peace of mind.  Prepare your business for the future Businesses will continue to look for more ways to extract value out of their existing infrastructure, including their security technology. For many, the tools to do so are already in place, it’s just a matter of unlocking the insights with a security ecosystem.  With such an ecosystem – one that helps protect a business’ people, assets, and network, while optimising operations – companies can better safeguard the future of their workspaces and usher in the new era of work with confidence. 

How are new management systems innovating the hospitality industry?
How are new management systems innovating the hospitality industry?

Technology has certainly become an intrinsic part of our day-to-day lives, from the retail industry, to food and beverage outlets, and even within the health and fitness industry. It’s all around us, in varying formats, making processes more efficient. It has refined some of our older approaches, and in the hospitality industry, this is certainly true. Technological advances are leading the way forward for the future of hotels, and with the sector now free from COVID-19 restrictions, venues are looking for ways to improve the guest experience with technology. A staggering recent statistic has suggested that 75 percent of activities in hospitality could one day become automated — so where exactly are we heading on this journey into the future of hotels? Join Cairn Collection, owner of The Stirling Highland, and explore a whole host of innovations that are changing the face of hotel management systems. The 21st-century check-in desk The breadth of technology that is slowly becoming more widely available is transforming the hospitality industry The digital age is constantly finding new ways to innovate and prove its value and worth for modern consumers, and the breadth of technology that is slowly becoming more widely available is transforming the hospitality industry. In the past, connotations of a check-in desk were long queues and excessive pieces of paper — from room service menus to a mini catalogue of highlights of the local area. Technological innovations such as face recognition are one of the major ways that this process is changing. Using artificial intelligence A handful of hotels have already trialled or introduced artificial intelligence (AI) into their daily running, and it looks set to become far more mainstream by 2025. From paying the bill by using biometrics to allowing hotel managers to handle data more efficiently, AI looks set to be welcomed with the potential for it to reduce costs by 13 percent. The entire hotel check-in process could become automated, making one of the most established parts of the hotel experience redundant — but staff could be freed up to engage with customers, allowing them to get into their rooms quicker in the meantime. Many venues have even gone fully paperless when it comes to checking in, choosing instead to upload the process to cloud computing systems where information can be stored and viewed by connected devices. Convenience is the key More hotels operate their room unlocking facilities through mobile phone-connected technology, NFC After having checked in to a hotel, guests will want to explore the room that they’ve booked. Doing so has never been easier, and the classic magstripe locks which were once the most commonly used method of accessing hotel rooms are being progressively phased out. More and more hotels now operate their room unlocking facilities through mobile phone-connected technology, near-field communication (NFC).  This technology allows for data transfer at up to 424 kb per second, and it is enabled when connected devices come into contact with each other. Mobile key systems Most mobile key systems require guests to download and activate a key through the hotel’s digital app, and upon arrival, they can use the activated key to unlock the door to their hotel room. Combined with online/digital check-in services, guests can use the e-key to check in early or at a time that suits them best, knowing that they don’t have to wait around to pick up a physical key. Small touches like this build a sense of brand familiarity for customers, as well as streamline their hotel experience, and this distinguishes them from competitors. Hotel management systems Hotel management systems need to account for the experience that guests have while staying at the venue Of course, hotel management systems also need to account for the experience that guests have while staying at the venue and technology can do a lot to enhance this. Hotels have to innovate the spaces that they are presenting to their customers and technology has become a valuable asset to help enhance customer satisfaction, as the hotel room is certainly not simply a place for rest anymore. Voice-enabled devices Voice-enabled devices are becoming common features in rooms, with popular models such as Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon Echo providing guests with information on the local area — if you’re looking for the perfect backdrop to the business dinner you’re attending, just ask Alexa! Hotels could even record and distribute their personalised voice messaging to help reinforce the brand presence into the technology. Technology can help you attract and retain customers by offering services above and beyond what they’d usually receive A room and then some As the generational switch to millennials and Gen Z continues, the need for an experience has grown and, through a mixture of technology, hotels can cater to these revised consumer needs. From setting up messaging platforms to providing a remote control that monitors absolutely everything in the room — from atmospheric mood lighting to music streaming services and more, a hotel room can be whatever the user wants, and the experience is therefore generated by the customer. Technology doesn’t stop advancing, and there are constantly new, refined approaches to hotel management systems that have marked a stark departure from ways of the past. With guests returning after over a year of COVID-19 restrictions, competition for their business is even tougher. Technology can help you attract and retain customers by offering services above and beyond what they’d usually receive.

Network operator fraud remains the biggest threat to the revenues of mobile operators
Network operator fraud remains the biggest threat to the revenues of mobile operators

As anti-fraud company Revector marks 20 years of operating, CEO and Founder Andy Gent believes that telecommunications fraud is still not high enough on the corporate agenda for network operators – this should be a significant concern to shareholders.  In 2001, Revector was launched to combat specific fraudulent activity against mobile network operators. The company’s management expected the business to have a shelf life of no more than five years – such as the belief that mobile operators would quickly get a grip on network fraud and reduce it to zero.  Twenty years later frauds continue to persist – costing shareholders, networks, and Governments billions in lost revenue annually.  Revenue through mobile service According to Andy Gent, fraudsters are, at heart, business people, exploiting an opportunity for money. Gent explains how this relates to network fraud thus, “Mobile service providers generate revenues in two ways - by having their subscribers that pay the company to access the networks they run and associated services such as voice calls, text messages, and data usage. The second – known as termination revenue – involves transporting calls from other networks.”  Revenues from termination are shared between all networks that help deliver the call Revenues from termination are shared between all networks that help deliver the call, as Gent outlines: “Imagine a call from the UK to Australia. This will pass through several service providers that will each take a small percentage of the call revenues for passing on the call.”  “Telecommunications companies establish relationships with others around predictable calling patterns. For example, BT may know that they need one million minutes of calls to South Africa per month. They, therefore, establish a relationship with a South African telecommunications company to provide this.”    Trading termination minutes The issue comes when the unexpected happens, for example, an earthquake in Cape Town. Now UK residents with relatives in Cape Town suddenly demand a lot more telephone time. BT needs more minutes than it has. It is unlikely that its partner in South Africa can provide these – they are facing the same issue due to the increased volume of calls in and out of the country – so it will look to the open market for the minutes it needs.  Gent continues, “Termination minutes are traded in the same way as other commodities. Exchanges combine minutes from multiple sources, bundle these together and sell them. The issue is where these minutes come from. The bundles may well include “white” routes – premium minutes provided by legitimate telecommunications companies. However, many will include so-called “grey” routes.”    A simple but effective fraud  Grey routes are not provided by the telecommunications companies but by third parties or through fraudulent means. Typically, the “grey” routes come at a lower cost than the “white” routes, but some telecommunications service providers may not know this or care about it. The natural pressure on cost means some telecommunications companies end up using “grey” route minutes. The threats to network providers’ revenues come from these “grey” routes.  A primary risk is SIM Box fraud.  SIM Box fraud  SIM Box fraud occurs where there is a differential price between the cost of routing a call in a country and the cost of terminating a call, as Gent outlines below: “Imagine a network is offering a promotion with free calls to others on the same network. At the same time, the value of terminating a call to that network’s customers is $0.05 per call.” One single SIM card being used in this way can generate $3000 per month and there are hundreds of cards in each SIM box “If someone can procure SIM cards with the promotion, these can be loaded into a SIM Box – a device that can house hundreds of SIM cards in racks and be connected to the internet - to terminate calls. The owner of the SIM box can then offer to terminate calls for $0.03 per call. The cost to the SIM box owner is close to zero – the local minutes they are using to terminate calls are bundled with the SIM deal.  The $0.03 per call is pure profit after the SIM cards and SIM boxes have been purchased.”  While this sounds like a complicated scam it can be lucrative. One single SIM card being used in this way can generate $3000 per month and there are hundreds of cards in each SIM box.   Loss of termination revenues Service providers can quickly find a large proportion of revenues lost to SIM boxes. Gent has seen “up to 90 percent of termination revenues being lost.” “The nature of SIM box fraud is transitory: fraudsters will pick the countries with the strongest opportunity to generate revenues quickly, sweep in and terminate calls for a month or two before the operator notices the revenue drop and takes action.”    Is it illegal?  If this practice sounds entrepreneurial rather than illegal, it is probably because it seems like a victimless crime. However, mobile network operators have paid millions if not billions for the ability to operate networks and generate termination revenues. A reduction in this revenue will mean less investment into next-generation networks or customer service.  For the consumer, illegal termination often means poor quality calls with a lack of services such as caller line identification (CLI). But perhaps the most concerning issue is where the proceeds of crime go, as Gent outlines. “Often these SIM box frauds are run by criminal gangs using the process to launder money or finance organised crime or people trafficking.”  “With widespread restrictions on the number of SIM cards that can be sold to one person, the only way to procure enough SIM cards is via criminal activity. Gangs bribe or coerce network operation staff into supplying SIM cards by the thousand, generating millions in illicit revenues.”  Other telecommunications fraud  Threat to operator termination revenues comes from OTT service providers that have an eye on termination revenues Another threat to operator termination revenues comes from Over-the-Top (OTT) service providers that have an eye on termination revenues as well as competing with telecommunications service providers for a share of the voice and messaging market.  While most telecommunications companies see Voice over IP (or OTT) as fair competition, in recent years several new OTT service providers have grown extremely quickly. WhatsApp, for example, was incorporated in 2009 and acquired by Facebook just five years later for almost $20 billion.  The business models of these companies vary. Some focus on the “freemium” approach where the initial service is free but add-ons become chargeable. OTT app fraud However, recently some OTT players are looking to terminate revenue to monetise their business models. These operators have been offering competitive termination rates by hijacking a traditional call made from one telephone number to another and terminating it within an OTT app, as Gent explains, “We are seeing OTT apps intercepting traditional telephone calls and delivering them within a user’s app.”  “The call starts as a dialled telephone call, but the user receives it within an OTT app.  If OTT players can achieve this, they can generate termination revenues at zero cost – other than to the traditional operator.”  Using an app to make calls “Of course, if the recipient of the call believes the caller has used an app to call them, they are more likely to use this method of communication in the future – and less likely to dial a number directly. For the OTT players, termination acts as a marketing tool as well as a revenue stream.”  According to Gent, one OTT service provider has gone as far as including a setting within their app that states “receive regular incoming calls within the app when possible”.  This is defaulted to “on” when the app is downloaded.  Only the most technologically savvy users would even know it was there.  Combatting the fraud against networks  Networks are less worried about losing revenue to fraud and more about grabbing as many subscribers as possible" Why do networks not do more to combat fraud?  The reality, according to Gent, is a combination of priorities and ignorance. He comments, “Most mobile network operators are large but still relatively young companies – typically built around customer acquisition.”  “Networks are less worried about losing revenue to fraud and more about grabbing as many subscribers as possible.  This has led to a mindset where whatever the questions the answer is always more marketing promotions.”  A small number of innovators around the world continue to fight these frauds directly, but the fraudsters simply move on to the next victim and, when the anti-fraud measures are relaxed, the fraudsters return.  An opportunity for the future  As mobile networks mature and become more commoditised, Gent believes the issues around combatting fraud will become a wider concern. “If you had told me in 2001 that fraud would still be an issue in 2021, I would have been shocked. Yet operators are still losing significant revenues to criminals. Addressing this needs to remain a priority for the industry, not just to ensure networks have the revenues to build and maintain robust networks but also to ensure that criminal behaviour that this kind of illicit activity funds is reduced. This is not just an issue for network operators but also for wider society.” 

Latest Avigilon Corporation news

Netwatch forms partnership to integrate their proactive video monitoring with Avigilon Control Centre VMS
Netwatch forms partnership to integrate their proactive video monitoring with Avigilon Control Centre VMS

Netwatch North America, the pioneer in proactive video monitoring solutions, is now an authorised partner for Avigilon, a subsidiary of Motorola Solutions, specialising in the design and manufacture of AI-powered video analytics and network video management software and hardware. Through this partnership, Netwatch’s purpose-built platform for proactive video monitoring will integrate with Avigilon Control Centre video management software and analytics. Outstanding customer service “We are extremely pleased to enter this partnership with Avigilon,” said Justin Wilmas, President, Netwatch North America. “Their world-class video management solutions and advanced AI-enabled user interface, paired with our leading Proactive Video Monitoring solution, will make for a winning combination to help protect our customers and their businesses against crime and vandalism.” As an authorised partner, Netwatch aligns with Avigilon’s rigorous standards for outstanding customer service, technical expertise, and best-in-class support.

Motorola Solutions’ Safe Hospitals solution offers a unified technology ecosystem to help hospitals proactively manage threats
Motorola Solutions’ Safe Hospitals solution offers a unified technology ecosystem to help hospitals proactively manage threats

The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the health care systems and brought new challenges to the safety and security operations of hospitals. On top of this, hospitals still have to manage a variety of pre-pandemic concerns, such as attempted patient elopement, prescription drug theft, unruly visitors and trespassing. Safe Hospitals solution Motorola Solutions has announced its Safe Hospitals solution, a unified technology ecosystem that combines video, data, analytics and voice technologies, to help hospitals proactively manage threats, drive operational efficiencies and create the environment of safety needed to provide the highest level of patient care. With 23 hospitals, nearly 11,000 clinical employees and more than 2 million outpatients seen every year, across the US states of Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, SSM Health has deployed a Safe Hospitals solution from Motorola Solutions to mitigate complex safety and security risks. Unified technology ecosystem “What sets our security solution apart is the simplicity and speed that comes from using technologies that work together,” said Todd Miller, SSM Health Regional Director of Security, adding “We can move quickly from detection to action to mitigate disruptions to our operations and patient care.” Todd Miller adds, “The benefits of this are felt across the organisation - it gives our security officers more confidence, because they have the right resources in place to do their jobs in a truly professional manner, clinical staff feel more comfortable and safe in the workplace, which leads to greater retention and patient care, and we save time and money by deploying hospital resources efficiently.” Combining video and analytics Safe Hospitals solution combines video, analytics and command centre software  The Safe Hospitals solution combines video and analytics, command centre software and critical communications solutions, in order to help hospitals detect and analyse events, seamlessly communicate and respond appropriately in any situation. For example, Avigilon cameras with analytics can detect a vehicle belonging to a banned individual on hospital grounds, triggering an automated alert to MOTOTRBO two-way radios, allowing security officers to assess the scene via camera feeds and dispatch personnel to the right location with details about the incident. Simple cloud-based platform This kind of intelligent workflow is created by the hospital in a simple cloud-based platform, which allows the hospital to tailor how the technologies work together, in order to meet their specific needs. The automation and integration of security technology in this new and meaningful way can be critical in saving minutes and seconds, in every incident response. “Facing complex daily challenges, health care workers can only provide the highest level of care when an environment of safety is certain,” said Sharon Hong, Vice President of Enterprise Technologies at Motorola Solutions. Enhanced incident detection and analysis Sharon Hong adds, “By creating one connected ecosystem of technologies, our Safe Hospitals solution allows for quick and clear detection and analysis of what is happening on hospital premises, bringing the speed and awareness needed to address concerns and resolve incidents appropriately, helping staff get back to what they do best, taking care of their patients.”

What are the positive and negative effects of COVID-19 to security?
What are the positive and negative effects of COVID-19 to security?

The COVID-19 global pandemic had a life-changing impact on all of us in 2020, including a multi-faceted jolt on the physical security industry. With the benefit of hindsight, we can now see more clearly the exact nature and extent of that impact. And it’s not over yet: The pandemic will continue to be top-of-mind in 2021. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What have been the positive and negative effects of Covid-19 on the physical security industry in 2020? What impact will it have on 2021?

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