CCTV software - Expert commentary

Physical security and the cloud: why one can’t work without the other
Physical security and the cloud: why one can’t work without the other

Human beings have a long-standing relationship with privacy and security. For centuries, we’ve locked our doors, held close our most precious possessions, and been wary of the threats posed by thieves. As time has gone on, our relationship with security has become more complicated as we’ve now got much more to be protective of. As technological advancements in security have got smarter and stronger, so have those looking to compromise it. Cybersecurity Cybersecurity, however, is still incredibly new to humans when we look at the long relationship that we have with security in general. As much as we understand the basics, such as keeping our passwords secure and storing data in safe places, our understanding of cybersecurity as a whole is complicated and so is our understanding of the threats that it protects against. However, the relationship between physical security and cybersecurity is often interlinked. Business leaders may find themselves weighing up the different risks to the physical security of their business. As a result, they implement CCTV into the office space, and alarms are placed on doors to help repel intruders. Importance of cybersecurity But what happens when the data that is collected from such security devices is also at risk of being stolen, and you don’t have to break through the front door of an office to get it? The answer is that your physical security can lose its power to keep your business safe if your cybersecurity is weak. As a result, cybersecurity is incredibly important to empower your physical security. We’ve seen the risks posed by cybersecurity hacks in recent news. Video security company Verkada recently suffered a security breach as malicious attackers obtained access to the contents of many of its live camera feeds, and a recent report by the UK government says two in five UK firms experienced cyberattacks in 2020. Cloud computing – The solution Cloud stores information in data centres located anywhere in the world, and is maintained by a third party Cloud computing offers a solution. The cloud stores your information in data centres located anywhere in the world and is maintained by a third party, such as Claranet. As the data sits on hosted servers, it’s easily accessible while not being at risk of being stolen through your physical device. Here’s why cloud computing can help to ensure that your physical security and the data it holds aren’t compromised. Cloud anxiety It’s completely normal to speculate whether your data is safe when it’s stored within a cloud infrastructure. As we are effectively outsourcing our security by storing our important files on servers we have no control over - and, in some cases, limited understanding of - it’s natural to worry about how vulnerable this is to cyber-attacks. The reality is, the data that you save on the cloud is likely to be a lot safer than that which you store on your device. Cyber hackers can try and trick you into clicking on links that deploy malware or pose as a help desk trying to fix your machine. As a result, they can access your device and if this is where you’re storing important security data, then it is vulnerable. Cloud service providers Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software in the personal computer Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software that is likely in place on your personal computer. Hyperscalers such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Service (AWS) are able to hire countless more security experts than any individual company - save the corporate behemoth - could afford. These major platform owners have culpability for thousands of customers on their cloud and are constantly working to enhance the security of their platforms. The security provided by cloud service providers such as Claranet is an extension of these capabilities. Cloud resistance Cloud servers are located in remote locations that workers don’t have access to. They are also encrypted, which is the process of converting information or data into code to prevent unauthorised access. Additionally, cloud infrastructure providers like ourselves look to regularly update your security to protect against viruses and malware, leaving you free to get on with your work without any niggling worries about your data being at risk from hackers. Data centres Cloud providers provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and AI Additionally, cloud providers are also able to provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and artificial intelligence, as well as data redundancy, where the same piece of data is held within several separate data centres. This is effectively super-strong backup and recovery, meaning that if a server goes down, you can access your files from a backup server. Empowering physical security with cybersecurity By storing the data gathered by your physical security in the cloud, you're not just significantly reducing the risk of cyber-attacks, but also protecting it from physical threats such as damage in the event of a fire or flood. Rather than viewing your physical and cybersecurity as two different entities, treat them as part of one system: if one is compromised, the other is also at risk. They should work in tandem to keep your whole organisation secure.

Making school safety a priority with smart technology
Making school safety a priority with smart technology

With pupils in the UK set to go back to school on 8 March, there are a number of safety measures schools need to implement to ensure the health and wellness of the staff, students, and school communities.  The first lockdown and closure of schools brought on by the coronavirus pandemic fired a “warning shot” for education facilities managers, forcing head-teachers to re-examine school safety standards. Now that a third lockdown is here and schools have been shut down for a second time, anyone behind the curve with the benefits of smart technology should get on board now before children return to the school environment. And with the ever-changing variants of the COVID-19 virus, schools can’t afford to be “late to class” when it comes to health and safety. Preventing the spread of disease Some schools in the US have been using smart technologies for a while to measure utility consumption and efficiency, streamline maintenance and enhance general school safety. These technologies are playing a significant role in keeping school buildings healthy and preventing the spread of disease. Let’s take a look at how smart technology can help schools to become safer, as well as more energy-efficient and cost-effective.   Thermal detection cameras  Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing. These cameras provide medically-accurate, real-time temperatures of individuals in real-time. If a high temperature is detected, the software sends an instant alert to the relevant party. It can also be set to deny access to those with high temperatures or to people not wearing masks.  Safer water  As the coronavirus continues to sweep through the world’s population, healthcare providers should also be on heightened alert for Legionnaires’ disease, another potential cause of pneumonia with similar symptoms. Legionella is a potentially deadly bacteria that can infect a school’s water supply and cause an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. It’s a school's duty of care to prevent Legionella infection by monitoring the risk of the bacteria proliferating.  Particularly as schools reopen and previously stagnant plumbing and cooling systems return to use, additional Legionella cases could rear their ugly head to emergency departments in the coming months. Traces of Legionella were recently found at a Worcestershire school. The school was forced to remain shut while treatment and testing took place. Automated flushing and temperature testing Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters The Health and Safety Executive advises, “If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease… If the water system is still used regularly, maintain the appropriate measures to prevent legionella growth.” Typically, managing the risk of Legionella includes running all outlets for two minutes, taking and recording the temperature of the water to ensure that it’s not conducive to Legionella growth. This is a time-consuming process, which is why schools are looking for automated water temperature monitoring systems. This smart system with automated flushing and temperature testing reports and records water temperature data in real-time. Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters.  Cleaner air  Advisers say that improving air filtration and ventilation in schools can help mitigate the potential airborne transmission of COVID-19. Strategies include: Increasing outdoor air ventilation Filtering indoor air Using portable air cleaners with HEPA filters  Smart building technologies such as advanced HVAC controls can help facilities managers promote cleaner air with less hassle. For example, smart HVAC systems use sensors to remotely monitor and control variables such as:  Humidity Temperature Indoor air quality The level of carbon dioxide and other pollutants The technology is also energy-efficient and cost-effective.  While these solutions may be key to the reopening of schools in the era of COVID-19, they also bring long-term benefits. Although COVID-19 may have accelerated the adoption of smart technology, many of these solutions are focused on health, wellness, and security in general; which have been needed in school systems for a long time.

Will network requirements help you build your business or put you out of business?
Will network requirements help you build your business or put you out of business?

Once upon a time, providers had end-to-end control when deploying a physical security platform, which is not the case anymore when we consider the modernisation to IP. When considering the move to IP physical security, the provider needs to ensure the customer has a robust PoE backbone to connect the IP security device back to the application. Network readiness requirements have complicated IP security deployments, making it challenging for current providers while opening the door to new competitors. Competition is increasing Network providers see the move to IP as an opportunity to expand their wallet share. As the trusted advisors to IT teams, network providers leverage their position to win over the physical security business. As the time, cost, and complexity increases to move a customer to IP; providers need to expand their offering, considering the decline in endpoint revenue margins (the "race to the bottom"). Unfortunately, PoE networks are becoming increasingly complex as IoT endpoints are continually introduced to the network. Before the IP/IoT deployment can occur, the network provider (now your competition as well) will have the opportunity to edge you out and offer an IP/IoT solution with the network. The traditional approach is outdated They have standardised this cookie-cutter solution that may work for some, but not for all While we accept that we are collectively relying on our networks to support an increasing number of devices and applications, many have not considered the local area network's evolution. Organisations no longer only connect data terminals and printers to the network - they connect all manner of intelligent devices, including Wi-Fi access points, cameras, phones, access control, lighting, intercoms, and more. Many traditionalists will recommend the rip-and-replace of existing infrastructure while layering all IoT devices on the same network. They have standardised this cookie-cutter solution that may work for some, but not for all. What if there was a better way? Create the best outcome for you and your customer Let's start by thinking about the customer's desired outcome. The customer wants new capabilities within an acceptable ROI. Given the complications surrounding COVID-19, these organisations may require solutions very quickly to operate safely and within governmental guidelines. However, these organisations first need to establish a LAN framework without high costs, disruption to business, or complexity. They do not want to compromise network security or their business. They do not want network requirements to account for the majority of their budget as there is no ROI in infrastructure. The infrastructure supports the ROI gained from the devices and applications it enables. How do we provide a network solution that addresses both the customer and the provider's needs? Customers need a network that: Eliminates competitive pressures, giving providers end-to-end control over the network and the entire digital transformation experience. Shorten sales and deployment cycles to simplify network readiness and reduce the budget allocation towards infrastructure. Focus on device and application implementation and adoption to improve the customer's ROI. Build a physically separate PoE backbone for IP/IoT applications to maximise network security and performance while simplifying ongoing management. Eliminate the dependency on other providers. Advice from Albert Einstein We cannot solve a problem using the same kind of thinking we used when we created it" To help achieve these outcomes, I encourage you to accept some advice from Albert Einstein. Einstein once said, "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." Sometimes we are unwilling to accept new ideas because of preconceived notions about how things "ought to be done." We must embrace innovation and challenge our best practices that are based on past education. Einstein also said, "We cannot solve a problem using the same kind of thinking we used when we created it." Sometimes we must challenge ourselves to think differently by using innovations to create better outcomes for our businesses and customers. Consider this for a second: are you focused on the problem rather than finding a unique alternative solution? Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Your customers are all unique with different digital transformation challenges and objectives. The cookie-cutter, rip-and-replace method has not worked for all. If it did, every organization would have all the IP and IoT solutions they need. It's time to consider a fresh new approach that may challenge your education. Don't let our education get in the way of your learning! Looking to innovation and modern solutions The idea of The Modern LAN, introduced by Frost & Sullivan, aims to present a paradigm shift in LAN design for IP and the IoT. The whitepaper, available for free using the link above, offers an enhancement to traditional LAN design to address IP and IoT devices' specific needs. Today, we connect more than just data terminals, and we must design our networks accordingly. Instead of starting with the network, Modern LAN design suggests starting with the endpoint requirements and building a network to address these considerations. One of the foundations of Modern LAN design is to consider all networking innovations available. NVT Phybridge PoE innovations allow you to leverage different cable types, including coax, single-pair UTP, and multi-pair UTP cabling, to enable IoT devices at much greater distances than traditional switches. Aligned with Modern LAN design, you can transform the existing network into a robust and secure PoE backbone instead of removing and replacing the reliable infrastructure. PoE switch solutions PoE switch solutions leverage different core technology that vary in capability and effectiveness I know what you may be thinking: Am I compromising on network performance by leveraging these innovations? The answer is: it depends on the technology. PoE switch solutions leverage different core technology (Homeplug, VDSL, ADSL, Ethernet, etc.) that vary in capability and effectiveness. For more than 15 years, NVT Phybridge has been a global pioneer in long-reach PoE technology. We were the first company to develop a switch that delivered Ethernet and PoE over a single pair of UTP wire with up to 1,200ft (365m) reach, which is four times the reach of standard switches. We have spent the last 15 years surprising the industry with our capabilities and satisfying customers with our technology. Performance is paramount We understand that innovation is met with scrutiny and skepticism. We also know that some companies make claims that they cannot back up, which can sometimes shed a negative light on an entire industry or product category. However, our enterprise-grade networking solutions have helped thousands of customers modernise to the next generation of intelligent devices without high costs, complexity, or disruption to their business. For example, our CLEER24 switch is a 24-port Ethernet over Coax innovation that delivers Ethernet and PoE+ over a single coax cable with up to 6,000ft (1,830m) reach, which is 18-times the reach of a standard switch.  Transform network readiness requirements into an opportunity to grow your business! Be a thought leader, leverage Modern LAN design, and introduce NVT Phybridge PoE innovations to your customers. It's time to change the conversation around LAN design and improve the outcome for you and your customers.

Latest Mitsubishi Electric news

Radiflow now at 5,000 sites globally, post record year with new products and strong growth in customers and revenues
Radiflow now at 5,000 sites globally, post record year with new products and strong growth in customers and revenues

Radiflow, a renowned provider of cyber security solutions for industrial automation networks, announced significant growth in revenues and bookings following the launch of new products in 2020 and continued international expansion. “Although last year has been a challenge for many vendors due to the impact of the global pandemic reducing overall IT spending, the OT cyber security space has been relatively unaffected and Radiflow has experienced its best year to date,” explains Ilan Barda, CEO of Radiflow. Cyber security space “Our critical national infrastructure (CNI) business continued its consistent growth, but the biggest growth has been within manufacturing - an area that had traditionally been less active in the cyber security space and has been prompted to strengthen its defences following a number of high-profile breaches during 2019/20 - today, nearly one third of our revenues come from manufacturing.” Radiflow recorded a 2x increase in sales as compared to the previous year and a 3x increase in bookings Radiflow recorded a 2x increase in sales during 2020 compared to the previous year and a 3x increase in bookings building a strong basis to continue its growth in 2021. Regionally, Europe has been the fastest growing sales territory for Radiflow including new customers in power, oil & gas and manufacturing. In parallel 2020 did also see major deals in North America and Asia Pacific including new US power utilities and national water and transportation operators in APAC. Critical business operations As of December 2020, Radiflow industrial cyber security solutions for critical business operations have been successfully deployed in over 5,000 sites by major utilities and industrial enterprises worldwide. Radiflow has also grown its team and partner community to meet international expansion. A major highlight is the creation of a new sales team to cover Western Europe led by the appointment of 2 new sales directors: Jesper Nilsson, Sales Director, who brings extensive experience in cyber security including his last role in CyberX and Katrin Rabe, Channel Director, who worked in large multi-national industrial automation vendors such as GE. Risk modelling and management On a commercial level, Radiflow expanded its network of partners especially with tier-1 system integrators that can serve the new tier-1 customers and provide the suite of services around Radiflow products. For example, Radiflow announced a collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric UK to address the needs of IEC62443 cyber security standards in the Critical Infrastructure and Industrial Automation markets. Radiflow will be announcing additional such partnerships with global system integrators during the first half of 2021. Part of the surge in sales in 2020 and increased pipeline for 2021 is due to the launch of Radiflow CIARA, a new platform offering Cyber Industrial Automated Risk Analysis (CIARA) to deliver emerging best practice around risk modelling and management using the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards. Assets data collection CIARA uses automatic data-driven algorithms as a response to the growing digitisation of the production floor CIARA is the first fully automated tool for assets data collection, data-driven analysis and transparent risk metrics calculation, including risk scoring per zone and business process based on business impact. The unique platform uses automatic data-driven algorithms as a response to the growing digitisation of the production floor. “CIARA delivered a number of industry firsts and addressed a significant sector wide need to streamline previously complex and time-consuming risk assessment processes,” explains Barda. “It not only solves an immediate tactical issue, but has also helped us to expand the conversation with our clients to the wider Radiflow portfolio which has led to significant sales growth.” Industrial automation networks On the technology research side, Radiflow has engaged in several joint projects including with the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation to apply advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to cyber security for industrial automation networks. Radiflow was also part of a project with the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) around Cybersecurity for Distributed Energy Resources. “Our goal for 2021 is to capitalise further on the foundation we have built during the previous year,” says Barda. “We have introduced unique technologies combined with a growing partner community and the next phase is to expand our geographic reach to meet the untapped opportunity - especially in Europe.” Barda concludes.

Radiflow collaborates with Mitsubishi Electric UK to address the needs of IEC62443 cyber security standards
Radiflow collaborates with Mitsubishi Electric UK to address the needs of IEC62443 cyber security standards

Radiflow, a provider of cyber security solutions for industrial automation networks, announces a collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric UK to address the needs of IEC62443 cyber security standards in the Critical Infrastructure and Industrial Automation markets. Radiflow develops trusted industrial cyber security solutions for critical business operations that have been successfully deployed in over 4,000 sites by major utilities and industrial enterprises worldwide. Security risk assessments The combination of the automation knowledge and tools of Mitsubishi Electric UK with the cyber security and IEC 62443 compliance skills of Radiflow, provides a holistic view of a client’s risk posture. Radiflow will also provide Mitsubishi Electric UK customers with a consultancy service for cyber security, which includes the provision of OT security risk assessments, provision of Radiflow intrusion detection software and general advice on alignment with IEC 62443-3. Supporting asset owners There is a growing demand for solutions that address the requirements of cyber security in the OT space" In addition, the solution will help customers to support asset owners in satisfying the requirements of the NIS Directive along with due diligence in alignment with CPNI (Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure) best practice. Commenting on the announcement, David Bean, Solutions Manager for Mitsubishi Electric UK said, “Our new collaboration with Radiflow provides expertise in the field of OT cyber security which compliments and broadens the services that we offer our customers through the Mitsubishi Electric UK System Service Operation. There is a growing demand for solutions that address the requirements of cyber security in the OT space and we are looking forward to delivering those solutions and building our relationship further with the team at Radiflow.” Data-driven analysis Ilan Barda, Founder & CEO of Radiflow added, “Radiflow sees huge value for OT organisations to have cyber security services and solutions aligned with their automation systems. By combining the automation knowledge and tools of Mitsubishi with the OT cyber security skills and tools of Radiflow, we are able to provide a holistic view of an organisation’s OT risk posture.” In August, Radiflow launched Cyber Industrial Automated Risk Analysis (CIARA), the first fully automated tool for asset data collection, data-driven analysis and transparent risk metrics calculation including risk scoring per zone delivering best practice around risk modelling and management using the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards.

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announces the launch of 4-terminal N-series 1200V SiC-MOSFETs
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announces the launch of 4-terminal N-series 1200V SiC-MOSFETs

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that the company is poised to launch a new series of silicon-carbide metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), the N-series of 1200V SiC-MOSFETs in a TO-247-4 (4-terminal) package, which achieves 30% less switching loss compared to the existing TO-247-3 package products. N-series 1200V SiC-MOSFETs The new 4-terminal N-series 1200V SiC-MOSFETs will help to reduce the power consumption and physical size of power supply systems that require high-voltage conversion, such as electric vehicle (EV) on-board chargers and photovoltaic power systems. Sample shipments will start in November 2020. Product features include: Four-pin package helps reduce power consumption and physical size of power-supply systems - SiC-MOSFET chip with good figure of merit (FOM3) of 1,450mΩ-nC and high self-turn-on tolerance is mounted on TO-247-4 package, which is equipped with independent driver source terminal as well as conventional 3-pin package. Adopts four-pin package to reduce parasitic inductance, a problem in high-speed switching - Eliminating gate-source voltage drops due to current variations helps to reduce switching loss by approximately 30% compared with TO-247-3 products. Using a higher carrier frequency to drive the new power semiconductors helps to reduce switching-power loss, enabling smaller and simpler cooling systems, as well as smaller reactors and other peripheral components, thereby helping to reduce the power consumption and physical size of overall power-supply systems. Six models for diverse applications, including AEC-Q101 compliant models - New lineup includes models compatible with Automotive Electronics Council's AEC-Q101 standards for use not only in industrial applications, e.g. photovoltaic systems, but also EV applications. Creepage distance (shortest distance over the surface between two conductive parts) between drain terminal and source terminal made wider than in TO-247-3 package products for more flexible application, including in outdoor installations where dust and dirt easily accumulate.

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