Mirasys VMS V8.4: a foundation of security
Mirasys VMS V8.4: a foundation of security

In Mirasys VMS Version 8 particular attention has been paid to security and privacy. Also, pre-existing familiar product features such as audit trail and versatile material management and search functionality brings significant benefits, for example, for the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. Mirasys V8.4 is also a foundation for totally new opportunities related to this; what comes to system management and usage reporting, for example. Functional effectiveness Mirasys VMS is quick and easy to install, and especially effective in networked, IP-based CCTV systems and their operational and management needs, such as centralised management and upgrading/updating of servers, drivers and client applications without requiring on-site travel to remote locations. User profiles are easy to create and change. Servers can be pre-installed and pre-configured before delivering to the deployment location.  The Mirasys VMS V8 modern Spotter for Windows user interface can be adapted to individual and specific needs and preferences and provides more visual space for videos without sacrificing any functionality. The new HTML5 (Hypertext Markup Language, Version 5) based user interface in V8.4 offers easy access to the Mirasys system from anywhere; PCs, tablets or smartphones. Integration with other systems Video management systems are also more and more frequently integrated with other systems such as building management or access control. Video feeds will in the future also often be a replacement for on-site visits or tours by personnel. This reduces operational costs for security and building maintenance. User interfaces Video surveillance camera features are consistently improving. Image quality can be exceptionally good compared to what it used to be only a few years ago. The newest cameras also require much less network bandwidth due to more effective encoding formats, such as H.265/HEVC (from 40% up to 60% of bandwidth and storage space savings, depending on the footage and device without any loss of quality, or increased quality at the same level with the H.264/AVC encoding) that many IP camera manufacturers have started to support. Individual servers can handle more simultaneously connected cameras than before, and the entire system no longer has an actual upper limit. Mirasys VMS V8 is the answer to the scalability and performance needs of new camera technologies from any manufacturer. Thus, the video management system can be designed freely using the best equipment for the customer-specific requirements, and can also support all future needs.  User-specific requirements As video management evolves, traditional command and control (monitoring) services also change. In addition to security monitoring, this will also involve monitoring other systems (building management, access control, fire alarms, or even manufacturing, logistics and operational systems or processes). More and more often these are done by a service provider, and not the organisation whose premises, systems or processes are monitored and/or managed. Further, systems today have more and more different types of users; and variation in user skills or access rights can be significant. This leads to individual, user-specific requirements for system access and use, while simultaneously requiring that the users must be able to access the system from different locations and using different devices. Versatile possibilities and efficiency of management For systems integrations and management, Mirasys VMS Version 8.4 brings new and more versatile possibilities with its new HTTP based Application Programming Interface (API). A particularly significant benefit is that the HTTP API allows also for automation of the system configuration and management. The new HTTP API provides modern REST-compliant (Representational State Transfer, or ”RESTful”) web services which allow requesting systems to access and manipulate textual representations of web resources using a uniform and predefined set of stateless operations from any platform (almost any operating system and practically any programming language). Version 8.4 also brings a new software licensing model that brings remarkable simplification, effectiveness and cost savings, because from V8.4 onwards every server no longer requires its own server-specific software license, but all the software and licence features and limits (such as number of cameras, number of servers, number of simultaneously logged in users or any other functions) can, in any size system, be managed through a single system-wide software licence controlled via the system’s Management servers. The new V8.4 licences are also no longer dependent on the server’s MAC (Media Access Control) address, but uses a multi-factor “License Protection Key” that remains valid even if the hardware system has to be changed (e.g., new or replacement NIC, Network Interface Card, or new or replacement graphics controller, etc).

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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 Mirasys Ltd news

Bold Communication announces the launch of their innovative Gemini CCTV monitoring platform
Bold Communication announces the launch of their innovative Gemini CCTV monitoring platform

Bold report their new Gemini CCTV monitoring platform release includes new integrations and features to enhance the monitoring control room user experience and in response to the latest technology. These include the addition of three new CCTV system interfaces and a number of feature enhancements. March Networks, which operates in government, retail, education and banking sectors, amongst others, joins Mirasys VMS and Hanwha Techwin, formerly Samsung, along with many existing CCTV integrations.    Gemini can be deployed in the cloud or on local servers as required. New features in the latest release include - direct camera import to save having to add cameras manually and rekeying descriptions, camera views and alarm zones integration, Hikvision DeepinMind object identifier, site polling, batch contacts editing, SMS dynamic messaging and broadcasts, and intelligent alarm signalling processing to dramatically reduce duplicate and false alarms.

GJD exhibits detection and LED illumination solutions at Security TWENTY 18 Scotland
GJD exhibits detection and LED illumination solutions at Security TWENTY 18 Scotland

GJD, a manufacturer and designer of smart electronic perimeter detection and high-performance LED illumination equipment, is exhibiting at Security TWENTY 18 Scotland on Tuesday 1st May 2018 at the Hilton Hotel on Willian St, Glasgow. Delegates will get the chance to talk to the GJD team, as well as watch interactive product demonstrations of the company’s innovative detection and LED illumination solutions. Ana Maria Sagra-Smith, GJD’s Sales and Marketing Director commented: “Following a successful ST18 Midlands event, we are looking forward to exhibiting at ST18 Scotland and showing visitors our latest technology.”There are many advantages of using GJD’s IP enabled devices including convenient and cost-effective compatibility with most VMS, CCTV and smart home platforms Motion detectors to IP solutions GJD will be showcasing its full range of products including external motion detectors, infrared and white-light LED illuminators, laser sensors and IP technology. The company’s external IP range offers versatile solutions for quick and easy installation, making it ideal for those who are thinking about moving from analogue to IP, as well as experienced IP installers. There are many advantages of using GJD’s IP enabled devices including convenient and cost-effective compatibility with most major VMS, CCTV and smart home platforms including Hikvision, Dahua, LILIN Surveillance, Network Optix, Mirasys Carbon, Milestone XProtect, Wavestore, Control4, Crestron, Lutron, URC and RTI. These are just to name a few, others are constantly being added. Efficient incident response On the day of the exhibition, GJD is hosting a business card raffle for a chance to win a bottle of bubbly. GJD's security solutions rapidly identify genuine alerts, reduce false alarms and optimise the callout of responders, making our products a truly valuable asset to both people and properties in all industry sectors across the world.

Mirasys Video Management System meets banks and financial institutions’ requirements
Mirasys Video Management System meets banks and financial institutions’ requirements

Banks and financial institutions have more complex and diverse requirements for video surveillance technology than most other organisations. From corporate buildings, to branch offices, data centres, ATMs and cash depots. Several European Banks benefit from using Mirasys Video Management Software (VMS), which provides high privacy protection and robust technology. Networking the video management system of the bank’s branch offices provides users a single logical system that can be used from any site or from an external service provider's service centre. Hence, VMS services are produced in the most cost-effective way whether it be locally, centrally or outsourced.The unique, non-fragmenting storage file system provided by Mirasys protects against hard disk failure The Mirasys VMS checks the system performance in real time and helps to prevent system failure. Enhanced multi-disk recording minimises data loss and maximises recording continuity. The unique, non-fragmenting storage file system protects against hard disk failure. Benefits to financial sector Perimeter and motion detection monitors sensitive and restricted areas, such us bank vaults or safety deposit boxes, and alerts personnel only if an important event occurs, saving time and operational costs. People counting and other data reporting enables reduction of business inefficiencies and enhances customer service. Advanced alarm management tools enable the creation of specific alarm lists based on the motion, sound or text data triggers; reducing the number of false alarms. Dwell time and stopping detects people loitering at the ATM. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) alerts on potential threats and suspicious vehicle movement and reports on car parking utilisation.Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) alerts on potential threats and suspicious vehicle movement and reports on car parking utilisation Recorded video watermarking guarantees the integrity and authenticity of recorded and exported video data for court evidence. User authentication and setting specific user rights ensures control of system access and protects sensitive data. Also, product features such as audit trail and versatile material management and search functionality support, e.g., the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. The purpose of the audit trail events is both to show what the user has done, and also to track other (programmatic) changes that change the user interface. Key to data security is operational policies for: account security (e.g., personal user accounts, instead of shared accounts, rename default administration accounts, etc.); password security (don't leave systems with default passwords, don't permit too short passwords, use passphrases instead, etc.), and; software and device firmware updating. Mirasys recommends that systems are kept up to date with the latest software versions. In a networked, multi-server or multi-site environment, all Mirasys VMS servers and client applications can be centrally upgraded from the Mirasys management server. Manage easily various event sources in multiple locations with the flexible Mirasys Smart Event Management platform How to protect your surveillance online For deployments, Mirasys recommends that surveillance cameras are installed, when possible, in a private camera network, where the direct camera communications take place only inside the camera network to VMS servers, and is separate from the client access (“viewing”) network (and from the public Internet, in particular). This also prevents the camera streaming and signalling from being forwarded inadvertently to any external systems not part of the VMS solution. In addition, camera access from outside the private network is thus not possible. It is also recommended to protect wide area network links with VPN (Virtual Private Networking), or other secured, connections.Integrated systems such as access control, intruder detection and fire alarm systems serve as sensors for the video management system For server-to-server and client-to-server signalling, the data communication is in Mirasys VMS both compressed and encrypted by default for sensitive data (such as usernames and passwords and other details). Integration and Internet of Things in VMS With larger video management solutions, the integration of different systems is valuable because it allows automated functionalities that eliminate human errors and delays. Integrated systems such as access control, intruder detection and fire alarm systems serve as sensors for the video management system. IoT (Internet of Things) is increasingly applied in the video management. The sensors continuously provide information and, if necessary, based on this information, the predefined decision chains automatically open a video connection to the event place without any delay or error. The resulting snapshot may be one image or a set of several images that supports decision making in a problem situation. All the information is also stored for later processing. The event picture is routed either automatically or manually for people and organisations needing the information. Also, related Standard Operating Procedures can be automatically opened.Mirasys VMS is the answer to the scalability and performance needs of new camera technologies from any manufacturer Mirasys VMS is quick and easy to install, and especially effective in networked, IP-based CCTV systems and their operational and management needs, such as centralised management and upgrading/updating of servers, drivers and client applications without requiring on-site travel to remote locations. User profiles are easy to create and change. Servers can be pre-installed and pre-configured before delivering to the deployment location. Easy-to-use user interface The Mirasys VMS user interface can be adapted to individual and specific needs and preferences and provides more visual space for videos without sacrificing any functionality. A HTML5 (Hypertext Markup Language, Version 5) based user interface in Version 8.4 offers easy access to the Mirasys system from anywhere; PCs, tablets or smartphones. Video surveillance camera features are consistently improving. Image quality can be exceptionally good compared to what it used to be only a few years ago. The newest cameras also require much less network bandwidth due to more effective encoding formats, such as H.265/HEVC (from 40% up to 60% of bandwidth and storage space savings, depending on the footage and device without any loss of quality, or increased quality at the same level with the H.264/AVC encoding) that many IP camera manufacturers have started to support. Individual servers can handle more simultaneously connected cameras than before, and the entire system has no actual upper limit. Mirasys VMS is the answer to the scalability and performance needs of new camera technologies from any manufacturer, and the Mirasys based video management system can be designed freely using the best equipment for the customer-specific requirements and can support also all future needs.

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