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Security control rooms should be functional and durable, and their aesthetics should incorporate matching colours that are conducive to a 24/7 operating environment—not too much contrast and easy on the eyes. Another factor driving aesthetics is an enterprise’s desire to create a ‘showpiece’ to demonstrate a commitment to security for shareholders and other stakeholders. “Everyone wants to have a good-looking control room and a cost-effective design,” says Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles. Role of lighting and aesthetics in control rooms “Lighting is a critical factor for operators,” adds Papic. Studies of control rooms have sought to address issues of circadian rhythms (physical, mental, and behavioural changes that a person undergoes over a 24-hour cycle, based on responses to light) and the impact of changing light colours throughout the day. Flexibility is key. Properly adjusted light can increase alertness at 2 a.m.; controlling the colour, tone and intensity of light can increase productivity any time of day. Evans Controls has experts who can do a lighting study of a room as part of construction services and consulting. Evans Controls has experts who can do a lighting study of a room as part of construction services and consulting Aesthetics, depending on the control room, can be very important, agrees Randy Smith, President of Winsted. His company accommodates aesthetics by using a variety of matching laminates, solid (Corian-type) surfaces, and sometimes real wood. They can put in a console with matching work surfaces, a credenza or other furnishings, or can even match existing décor in a facility. Customised tailored furnishing Security control rooms, often operating in glass enclosures, are often used to “make a statement” about the security of a facility, says Smith. Companies want the control rooms to be up-to-date, and have “cool designs.” Sometimes they want to add a company logo to a work surface or side panels, or they want to employ corporate colours in the design. Winsted can customise its offerings to meet any such requirements, says Smith. In too many instances, the control room is an afterthought: They just install furniture that fits with the monitors. How the furnishings are tailored to the operator is often not considered, says Papic. He offers several other considerations: Will the furniture last the lifetime of the control room? How adaptable is a design to possible future changes, whether larger monitors, managing cables, or ability to reconfigure the console? Furniture should not be viewed as a transactional item; there are more issues to address beyond physically housing the equipment, says Papic. Read part 5 of our Control Rooms series here
Today, almost every employee carries with them a smart device that can send messages, capture, and record images and increasingly live-stream video and audio, all appended with accurate location and time stamping data. Provide a way for staff to easily feed data from these devices directly to the control room to report an incident and you have created a new and extremely powerful ‘sensor’, capable of providing accurate, verified, real-time multi-media incident information. You need only to watch the television when a major incident is being reported. The images are often from a witness at the scene who recorded it on their device. It is madness that it has until now been easier for people to share information around the world via Facebook and YouTube etc, in a matter of minutes, than it is to transmit it to those that need to coordinate the response. The public as an additional security and safety sensor In the UK, a marketing campaign designed by government, police and the rail industry is currently running. Aiming to help build a more vigilant network on railways across the country and raise awareness of the vital role the public can play in keeping themselves and others safe, the ‘See It. Say It. Sorted’ campaign urges train passengers and station visitors to report any unusual items by speaking to a member of rail staff, sending a text, or calling a dedicated telephone number. Essentially, the campaign is asking the public to be an additional safety and security sensor. However, with the help of the latest mobile app technology, it is possible to take things to a whole new level and this is being demonstrated by a large transport network in the US. This organisation recognised that the ideal place to begin its campaign of connecting smart devices to the control room as an additional sensor, was by engaging its 10,000 employees (incidentally, this is approximately twice the number of surveillance cameras it has). These employees have been encouraged to install a dedicated app on their mobile devices that enables them to transmit important information directly to the control room, as well as a panic button for their own safety. This data can be a combination of images, text, audio, video and even live-streaming, to not only make the control room aware of the situation but give them eyes and ears on the ground. For the control room operator, the insights being fed to them from this ‘sensor’ have arguably more value than any other as they provide pinpoint accurate and relevant information Combatting control room information overload For the control room operator, the insights being fed to them from this ‘sensor’ have arguably more value than any other as they provide pinpoint accurate and relevant information. For example, if an alert comes in about a fire on platform 3, the operator doesn’t necessarily require any of the information from the other sensors, nor does he need to verify it’s not a false alarm. He knows that the information received has been ‘verified’ in-person (it is also time and location stamped) and that there is an employee located in the vicinity of the incident, who they can now directly communicate with for a real-time update and to co-ordinate the appropriate response. Compare this to a 24/7 video stream from 5000 cameras. It is in stark contrast to the typical issue of sensors creating information overload. The employee only captures and transmits the relevant information, so in essence, the filtering of information is being done at source, by a human sensor that can see, hear, and understand what is happening in context. So, if an intruder is climbing over a fence you no longer need to rely on the alert from the perimeter alarm and the feed from the nearest camera, you simply send a patrol to the location based on what the person is telling you. Furthermore, if the control room is operating a Situation Management/PSIM system it will trigger the opening of a new incident, so when the operator receives the information they are also presented with clear guidance and support regarding how to best manage and respond to that particular situation. Transport networks are using staff and the public as additional safety and security sensors Application of roaming smart sensors To be clear, this is not to suggest that we no longer need these vitally important sensors, because we do. However, one major reason that we have so many sensors is because we cannot have people stationed everywhere. So, in the case of the US transit company, it has been able to add a further 10,000 roaming smart sensors. This can be applied to other industries such as airports, ports, warehouse operations, stadiums, and arenas etc. Now, imagine the potential of widening the scope to include the public, to truly incorporate crowdsourcing in to the day-to-day security function. For example, in May, it was reported that West Midlands Police in the UK would be piloting an initiative that is asking citizens to upload content relating to offences being committed. Leveraging existing hardware infrastructure Typically, when introducing any form of new security sensor or system, it is expected to be an expensive process. However, the hardware infrastructure is already in place as most people are already in possession of a smart device, either through work or personally. What’s more, there is typically an eager appetite to be a good citizen or employee, just so long as it isn’t too much of an inconvenience. Innovations in smart mobile devices has moved at such a pace that whilst many security professionals debate if and how to roll-out body-worn-cameras, members of the public are live-streaming from their full HD and even 4K ready phones. The technology to make every employee a smart sensor has been around for some time and keeps getting better and better, and it is in the pockets of most people around the world. What is different now is the potential to harness it and efficiently bring it in to the security process. All organisations need to do is know how to switch it on and leverage it.
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
Boon Edam Inc., a pioneer in security entrances and architectural revolving doors, announces they are emphasising the theme of tailgating mitigation and integration in booth #1103 at the GSX (formerly ASIS) exhibition in Chicago, Illinois from September 10-12. GSX is an annual event that brings together over 20,000 participants from across the security profession for a week of networking, educational opportunities and discovering the latest security solutions. Boon Edam is also the official turnstile sponsor of the show. Appropriate entrance solution Security entrances coupled with access technologies provide a complete solution Access technologies, such as card readers and biometric devices, are critical for controlling entry to secure areas within a building. However, these solutions are only effective at mitigating tailgating when coupled with the appropriate entrance solution. Swinging doors do not stop one authorised person from opening the door and then holding it open for a number of others. Security entrances coupled with access technologies provide a complete solution that ensures only one person can enter per valid authorisation. The following solutions will be on display in Boon Edam’s booth: Lifeline Speedlane Swing Optical Turnstile: The industry’s slimmest optical turnstile will feature a custom, integrated pedestal that incorporates the MorphoWave™ touchless fingerprint technology from IDEMIA. This solution enables high throughput with the enhanced security of rapid biometric identification, all in a stylish, cohesive design. New! Lifeline Boost Access Control Pedestal: The Boost is a brand new, stylish access control pedestal designed by Boon Edam to complement the popular Lifeline optical turnstile series. The Boost will include the latest version of Essex’s credential card reader, now with optical Bluetooth and OSDP capability, the iRox-T with BLE expands for HID Global’s Mobile Access solutions. Tourlock 180+90 Security Revolving Door: The entrance of choice for the Fortune 500, the Tourlock will feature an AMAG Symmetry card reader to demonstrate access control integration paired with the door’s uniquely high, bi-directional throughput and its ability to prevent tailgating and piggybacking without manned supervision. Circlelock Mantrap Portal: Offering the highest level of security available in an entrance, the Circlelock security portal prevents intrusion into the most sensitive areas such as data centers. The portal will be configured to demonstrate two-factor authentication: an AMAG Symmetry card reader on the outside of the portal conducts the initial authorisation, while facial recognition provides instant authentication inside the portal. The secure, edge-based facial recognition access control device by Alcatraz, called the Rock, can also be experienced at their booth (GSX booth #1047). BoonConnect Software: An IP-addressable, proprietary software system providing diagnostic and configuration tools for the Tourlock security revolving door and Circlelock mantrap portal. Users can remotely access door operations and events using devices such as a tablet, laptop or smartphone via a secured corporate network. Upcoming tailgating season Boon Edam is celebrating its position as the market pioneer for security entrances, according to a report by IHS Markit®, with a tailgating-themed prize giveaway. All visitors to GSX are invited to participate by visiting booth #1103 during show hours. Participants will have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes that will help them make the most of the upcoming tailgating season: the Big Green Egg® grill, a YETI® cooler and more. Winners will be selected at random after the exhibition, and an announcement will be made to all participants via email by Friday, September 27.
The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) was founded in 2008 with a goal of creating ‘plug-and-play interoperability’ among physical security devices, systems and services. Since then, the organisation’s mission has both expanded to include logical security and focused more narrowly on identity, a critical aspect of security today. In recent years, PSIA has concentrated on its PLAI (Physical Logical Access Interoperability) specification, which provides a means to enable disparate physical access control systems (PACS) to communicate to each other and share employee identity data. This is especially important for companies who have made acquisitions and inherited different incompatible PACS systems. “PLAI can unify a security environment through one trusted source, even if there are multiple PACS systems,” says David Bunzel, Executive Director of the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA). Bridge between disparate PACS The PLAI specification provides a bridge between disparate PACS, allowing a single trusted source for identity management. Leading PACS vendors including JCI (Software House), Lenel, and Kastle Systems and biometric vendors including Eyelock, Idemia, and Princeton Identity, have each implemented PLAI adapters, supporting this specification. AMAG will have their adapter in the coming months, and Honeywell and Siemens have it on their road maps. At ISC West last April, PSIA was able to demonstrate five of these vendors sharing records and the ability to add and terminate an employee and have it updated across each PACS and biometric system. PSIA was able to demonstrate five of these vendors sharing records at ISC West last April The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) has evolved from supporting physical security to also integrating logical security. Access to facilities and secure areas of buildings is increasingly dependent on software and hardware systems which can validate a person’s identity. “The PSIA has chosen to focus on interoperability between identity management systems and access control devices,” says Bunzel. “We have successfully demonstrated the technology, and it is now being specified by consultants, integrators and enterprise customers in actual security systems. We expect to see some large companies announcing PLAI implementations in the next quarter.” Open standards processes PSIA relies on an open standards process, with collaboration among leaders in the various parts of the security industry. Specifications are architected, discussed, drafted, and reviewed by members of the organisation in technical committees. The process is dynamic, with periodic updates added, which will improve and enhance the specifications as appropriate. The PSIA has focused on identity management for enterprise customers, says Bunzel. “We have active members who make devices that support access hardware (for example, locks and biometric systems) who by design complement PACS vendors and HR management systems.” PLAI also enables a variety of services for enterprise customers that may rely on a security credential" “We continue to add more PACS and biometrics vendors to the PLAI ecosystem, expanding the value of the specification in the market,” says Bunzel. “PLAI also enables a variety of services for enterprise customers that may rely on a security credential, including printing services, parking, and facility management. In the near future, the PSIA expects to extend PLAI into elevators. There are other identity management capabilities, and the PSIA will evaluate opportunities as the market demands them,” says Bunzel. In addition to PLAI, PSIA has several ‘legacy’ specs, but they are not actively working on further iterations. PSIA could always consider new development on legacy specs if the market demanded it. Some legacy specs address video, and security cameras often work with access control systems. However, PSIA currently is leaving video to ONVIF. The near-term direction and plan for the PSIA is to focus on PLAI and its commercialisation.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has named Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.) as the 2019 recipients of the SIA Legislator of the Year Award. The awardees will be honoured at the upcoming SIA GovSummit, taking place June 26-27 in Washington, D.C. The SIA Legislator of the Year Award is presented annually to members of Congress and other elected officials who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in advancing legislation and policies that encourage the effective use of technology solutions to enhance public safety and security and protect critical infrastructure. Recognition for promoting workforce development Sen. Fischer recently recognised SIA, along with SIA member companies Intel and VMware, as supporters of the DIGIT ActWith this award, Sen. Klobuchar will be recognised for her leadership on workforce development and life safety issues important to the security industry and its mission. In 2019, Klobuchar authored S.379, a bill that would allow workers to use “529” education savings accounts for training and credentialing programs, and S. 481 – the Nicholas and Zachary Burt Memorial Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act – which would provide grant assistance for the purchase and installation of carbon monoxide detectors in dwelling units of low-income families and elderly persons, child care facilities, public schools and student housing owned by public universities. Sen. Fischer authored bipartisan legislation that would convene a working group of federal entities and private-sector stakeholders tasked with providing recommendations to Congress on how to facilitate the growth of connected Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. S. 1611, also known as the Developing and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, calls for the United States to craft a national strategy to position the United States as the global leader in IoT technologies. Sen. Fischer recently recognised SIA, along with SIA member companies Intel and VMware, as supporters of the DIGIT Act. Installing vehicular barriers to mitigate attacks Rep. Payne, who serves as chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery, recently introduced H.R. 2160 – the Shielding Public Spaces From Vehicular Terrorism Act – which would help communities leverage homeland security grants to install vehicular barriers and implement other protective measures and direct research and development efforts on the emerging threats from vehicular attacks. Rep. Payne recently introduced H.R. 2160 – the Shielding Public Spaces From Vehicular Terrorism Act Payne also crafted H.R. 6920, the School Security Is Homeland Security Grant Act, which clarified allowable uses, requires a percentage of homeland security grants to be used for enhanced school security measures and increases overall authorisation for the grants. Enhancing perimeter and school security “SIA’s policy priorities include notable measures that help increase safety and security across many sectors, including the critical areas of perimeter security and school security, while helping the industry to stay ahead of megatrends such as the proliferation of IoT and the recruitment and retention of qualified workers,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “SIA applauds Sen. Klobuchar’s work to promote the 21st-century technology workforce essential to our industry, Sen. Fischer’s leadership in recognising the security industry’s role in fostering IoT growth, and Rep. Payne’s contributions to mitigating the threat of vehicular attacks and protecting students, staff, faculty and visitors in our nation’s schools.” Session on physical access control systems SIA GovSummit – the annual government security conference hosted by SIA – brings together government security leaders and private industry technologists for top-quality information sharing and education on security topics affecting federal, state and even local agencies. Attendees will find specialised sessions on topics such as modernising federal physical access control systems Attendees will find specialised sessions on topics such as modernising federal physical access control systems, the U.S. Department of Defense’s unified facilities criteria for security systems, facial recognition technology use for public safety and homeland security missions and helping communities protect religious institutions, crowded spaces and other soft targets. SIA GovSummit is free for all government employees, including federal, state, county and municipal-level staff (both domestic and international), plus all military, law enforcement and public safety representatives. Sponsors of the event This event is made possible thanks to the following sponsors and partners: Premier Sponsors LenelS2, HID Global, Tyco Security Products and Allegion; Event Sponsors AMAG Technology, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, Axis Communications, B&B Roadway Security Solutions, Calpipe Security Bollards, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, dormakaba, Gallagher, Genetec, Gibraltar, GSA Schedules, Inc., Hanwha Techwin America, HySecurity, IDEMIA, Identiv, ISC Security Events, Louroe Electronics, Marshalls, Milestone Systems, the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies, NetApp, Panasonic, the Secure Worker Access Consortium and TCP Security Solutions.
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