CCTV Switchers & Switches - Expert commentary

Surge protection for security installations: 2017 saw increased investment
Surge protection for security installations: 2017 saw increased investment

In 2017, DITEK saw how power surges from the many natural disasters that took place damaged many businesses. In a natural disaster, or even everyday business operations, a facility’s entire investment in security, life safety and surveillance systems technology can be disabled or rendered useless in a few seconds. Surge protection solutions can mitigate those risks and protect security investments. Proactive approach to risk mitigation Throughout 2017, we also witnessed a change in how enterprises view surge protection, which included how investments are being made in surge protection to protect valuable security, life safety and surveillance systems, while also reducing downtime, manpower costs, liability vulnerabilities, and possibly compliance issues that can force businesses to actually cease operations. Effective security management is about mitigating risks. But risks cannot be mitigated without a proactive approach. Enterprises and integrators, who take the time to assess risk and to develop a strategy to incorporate effective detection, deter and response criteria to protect physical assets will be successful in 2018. 2018 and beyond That strategy includes designing surge protection into new security systems, while also adding surge protection to existing systems. Enterprises and security integrators who implement a surge protection strategy during security planning processes – or after – will be exercising prevention and mitigation, and they will be successful in 2018 and beyond.  Surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise surveillance and security systems In 2017, Ditek continued to offer security end users a solid surge protection solution. We also successfully educated system integrators, who are seeking value-added products or services to incorporate into their portfolios, on the importance of surge protection devices. Educating security integrators We believe that surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise video surveillance and security systems, because they can and do meet safety and security challenges that have been rarely identified in the past. We are looking forward to 2018, when we will continue to develop new surge protection products – including a new product engineered to protect up to twelve individual fuel dispensers, which is critical to the financial operation of convenience stores. We will also continue to educate security integrators about the importance of including surge protection in the design/build RFP, to not only secure an enterprise’s valuable security equipment, but also to help integrators to differentiate their capabilities and knowledge from the competition.

Technology evolution leads to changes in security control room furniture
Technology evolution leads to changes in security control room furniture

Technology is changing the look and function of today’s security control rooms. Old-school CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitors are giving way to the thinner, flat screen monitors in the control room environment, but the transition is gradual. Randy Smith of Winsted still sees many control rooms that need to make the conversion, which is a boon to his company’s business. Furniture today is designed differently to accommodate the thinner monitors, often with larger screens. Need for integrated rack systems With the increase of IP-based systems comes the need for integrated rack systems that include advanced functionality such as cable management, adds Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Server rooms are environmentally controlled by cooling systems and power systems monitored on the IP network. Low-profile flat screens allow centres to utilise space vertically, thus creating a smaller footprint for the consoles. Additionally, with IP-based systems, workstations will have a smaller footprint because there is less cumbersome equipment. In most cases the servers are stored in a secured, climate controlled environment to eliminate overheating of the servers and maintain their security, says Coleman. This environment also helps with cable and power management. AFC builds technical furniture racks that adhere to the precise needs of computer network server room operators. The company designs and fabricates LAN workbenches with versatile functionalities, and server room workstation racks that are scalable. There is a complete line of IT workbenches, IT computer racks and computer server rack mounts with flexible mounting options. In most cases the servers are stored in a secured, climate controlled environment to eliminate overheating of the servers and maintain their security Flexible control room designs Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, says the transition from bulky CRT equipment to flat-screen (lower profile) monitors was a major disruption in control room design; it changed the whole dynamic. Another evolution is the use of IP video streaming, which allows more flexibility in manipulation of audio-video content, and requires more flexible control room designs. Another shift, driven by larger, higher-definition monitors, is a shift to fewer monitors that display more information. Instead of a smaller monitor for each information stream, larger monitors now consolidate that information into “dashboard” displays. Looking ahead, control rooms will need to be more flexible, both in the initial design and the ability to adapt to changing technology, says Papic. Legacy customers who are currently using PCs may be moving to more remote applications. Sit-stand equipment will continue to be increasingly prevalent. “There will be more emphasis on flexibility, technology integration, and the ability to change over the life of the system,” says Papic. Consolidation of multiple operations into a single system A trend in security is consolidation of multiple physical operations into a single system, says Papic. As a result, more customers are taking more interest in alarm management and situational awareness. How is the technology being used in terms of alarm triggers? How can the systems react rapidly and provide information to a larger audience in the control room? These questions impact how control rooms are designed, and Evans Consoles can adapt lessons learned from other markets to these trends in the security arena. Greater use of technology is inevitable, says Coleman of AFC Industries. “It is virtually impossible for humans to monitor all security data at the street level in our cities,” he says. “As computers become more powerful and their programs more all-encompassing, we will see a greater shift to robotic and technology uses that will provide enhanced monitoring capabilities and safety Read our Control Rooms series here

Will security industry consolidation stifle innovation?
Will security industry consolidation stifle innovation?

The security industry will continue to see consolidation through acquisition in 2017. At the advent of IP camera adoption, we saw a great decline in large vertically integrated companies, which spurred a new era of innovation within smaller IP camera manufacturers, VMS providers and other hardware companies for storage and managed switches.   We are now living in a new era of consolidation that is taking us full-circle back to vertical integration. Ultimately, the industry as a whole suffers because this consolidation will stifle innovation until the next big technology disruption takes shape. Interoperability across different verticals  This time last year, we noted that the marketplace was moving toward converged technologies and the need for alarm management across multiple platforms into a common interface, turned out to be a popular request. If anything, we are only seeing just the beginning phases of this transition. The biggest surprise is that interoperability is not only confined to security technology, but also extends to parallel systems such as building automation, safety and environmental controls, and even Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Using Video Event Management Software (VEMS) alongside these intelligent platforms proves to be a valuable verification process for many new and exciting vertical markets. Arteco plans to continue the revenue growth and brand awareness achieved in 2016 Event-based video security software At Arteco, our highest growth sectors tend to be slightly insulated from economic fluctuation in the sense that we focus on securing critical infrastructure (electrical utilities and communications) as well as corporate and education campuses. Unfortunately, the continued growth in active shooter incidents have made physical security concerns top of mind for many organisations regardless of economic impact. The unexpected repercussions are that many new security technologies are emerging that cater to real-time event notification on both the macro and micro level. The exciting part of this trend is that users are leveraging a layered approach with multiple autonomous applications working together toward a common goal to improve security, which will hopefully ensure a high level of protection.  Business growth and challenges Business has continued to grow year-over-year, and 2016 was a huge step forward for Arteco not only in terms of revenue growth, but also increased brand awareness in the United States and abroad. Our biggest challenge continues to be the crowded VMS market, which is filled with lower cost or even free substitute products. We are making great strides in overcoming this challenge by having a wonderful team of people, both on the technical and sales side of the organisation, who are focused on finding new and innovative ways to advance intuitive, open and affordable event-based and intelligent video security software into 2017. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here 

Latest Panasonic System Communications Company Europe news

Panasonic unveils state-of-the-art i-PRO X-Series of network security cameras with built-in AI capabilities
Panasonic unveils state-of-the-art i-PRO X-Series of network security cameras with built-in AI capabilities

Panasonic has announced its new i-PRO X-Series of network security cameras with built in AI capabilities making them ideal for the next generation of intelligent applications in business and society. i-PRO X-Series security cameras With its Software Development Kit, the camera range is designed for third party application development that can be tailored to a business customer’s needs. The range includes six new models, with 5MP resolutions available in July, 2020 and 4K resolutions at the end of the year, and indoor and outdoor vandal resistant dome or box configurations. The new cameras can install up to three video analytics applications, with two i-PRO applications plus the Software Development Kit included free-of-charge, if purchased before the end of March 2021. The two analytics applications available as of now are AI Video Motion Detection (AI-VMD) and Privacy Masking. AI Video Motion Detection AI engine enables alarm triggers, based upon predefined parameters, at a  very high level of accuracy AI Video Motion Detection (AI-VMD) is capable of detecting any human, vehicle, two-wheel motorcycle or bicycle and can be used for intrusion detection, identifying loitering, direction detection and many more applications. The AI engine enables alarm triggers, based upon predefined parameters, at a higher level of accuracy than ever before. The second application is Privacy Masking to detect and recognise human figures in a video scene and pixelate their figures or faces for privacy protection. This application is important for many businesses operating in geographies where strict privacy laws are in force, such as Europe with GDPR. It can be used to protect the identities of employees, customers and visitors in a wide range of industries. AI engine with on-board analytics The new i-PRO X-Series employ an AI engine with on-board analytics to detect suspicious changes in scenes, automatically adjust image settings of the scene being analysed, and optimise video compression to conserve network bandwidth and server storage capacities. “This new camera range, with its open Software Development Kit, offers exciting opportunities to tailor a host of next generation AI applications around the specific needs of business customers,” said Gerard Figols, European Head of the Panasonic Security Business Unit. New analytics applications He adds, “Our partners already have a number of innovative additional applications in development for future use with the camera range. We will be announcing more on these applications later in the year but the benefits of the cameras with these new analytics applications are widespread and vary from enhancing security to helping make a change in the post-COVID world.”

Panasonic unveils BizTalk, free online leaning resource for businesses in the ‘new normal’ work environment
Panasonic unveils BizTalk, free online leaning resource for businesses in the ‘new normal’ work environment

Panasonic has launched a free online resource for businesses to help them to continue to learn, change and share in the ‘new normal’ work environment. Panasonic BizTalk Panasonic BizTalk brings together a series of digital talks, webinars, training and Q&A’s with Panasonic experts and partners across its entire range of business technology. Areas of interest covered include mobile computing, security, broadcast, business communication and visual solutions, as well as industrial medical vision camera and integrated technology solutions to address vertical industry challenges. Comprehensive online learning environment “With businesses adjusting to a new type of working environment, our traditional methods of learning and sharing experiences, such as at physical events and conferences, have vanished but our industry and business challenges remain,” said Jan Kaempfer, Head of Marketing at Panasonic System Communications Company Europe. Jan adds, “As a result, Panasonic is focusing on providing its customers and partners with a comprehensive online environment for understanding industry trends, sharing experiences and learning about the latest technology solutions. This free resource will rapidly grow over the coming months and I encourage businesses, partners and media to participate.”

Genetec’s Firmware Vault helps organisations stay up-to-date with latest camera firmware and enhance cybersecurity
Genetec’s Firmware Vault helps organisations stay up-to-date with latest camera firmware and enhance cybersecurity

Genetec Inc., a globally-renowned technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, has announced that Firmware Vault, the industry’s first camera firmware update service developed by an open architecture VMS vendor, now supports cameras from Axis, Bosch, and Panasonic, in addition to existing support for Hanwha Techwin cameras. Firmware Vault Designed to help IT administrators and systems integrators stay up to date with the latest camera firmware, Firmware Vault helps organisations ensure they have the latest protection from the manufacturer against cyber threats. Outdated camera firmware presents one of the biggest weaknesses in cybersecurity defense. But for many security administrators, keeping pace with the latest updates can be very time-consuming. According to recent research conducted by Genetec, 68.4% or almost 7 out of 10 cameras are currently running out-of-date firmware. Enhancing cybersecurity protection  Ensuring that you are running the latest version of your cameras’ firmware can be tricky and time-consuming Firmware Vault streamlines the camera firmware update process so that customers can implement the latest cybersecurity protection measures as soon as they become available, a crucial step in ensuring their organisation’s resilience against cyber-attacks. Firmware Vault is available free of charge with Security Centre Version 5.8 and above. “Ensuring that you are running the latest version of your cameras’ firmware can be tricky and time-consuming. Yet, when the firmware on a single video surveillance camera is out of date, your entire IT network can be at risk of a cyber-attack. Firmware Vault makes it easy to keep on top of the firmware update process,” explains Mathieu Chevalier, Lead Security Architect, at Genetec. Cloud-based locker The Firmware Vault feature relies on the same highly-secure cloud-based locker used by the Genetec Update Service to provide access to Windows and Security Centre updates. When new camera firmware is available, system administrators are notified in the Security Centre Configuration Tool. This allows them to track and download new firmware packages and the latest manufacturer cybersecurity protection measures for the connected cameras in a matter of minutes. The Firmware Vault allows users to have a unified view of all cameras and their update status so that they can take corrective action more quickly and efficiently.