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Not an afterthought: The significance of security control room aesthetics
Not an afterthought: The significance of security control room aesthetics

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

Mobile communications make the public an additional sensor on the field
Mobile communications make the public an additional sensor on the field

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 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

Latest IDEMIA news

Security Industry Association announces the agenda and speaker lineup for the virtual 2020 SIA GovSummit
Security Industry Association announces the agenda and speaker lineup for the virtual 2020 SIA GovSummit

The Security Industry Association (SIA) announces the agenda and speaker lineup for the 2020 SIA GovSummit, its annual public policy and government security technology conference, taking place June 1-4. Due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, SIA GovSummit will be held as a virtual event in 2020, and for the first time ever, the conference will be entirely free to all attendees from industry and government. Offering additional sessions “SIA GovSummit 2020 will explore how security technologies can be leveraged to drive success in government missions. With this virtual format, we look forward to delivering the programming to more interested attendees and presenting even more in-depth content on the topics that matter to government security practitioners at the federal, state and local levels,” said Jake Parker, senior director of government relations at SIA. SIA GovSummit 2020 will explore how security technologies can be leveraged to drive success" “As part of the 2020 virtual SIA GovSummit, we will be offering additional sessions and training on emerging technologies relevant to government and homeland security applications.” SIA GovSummit brings together government security leaders with private industry technologists for top-quality information sharing and education on security topics affecting federal, state and local agencies. The 2020 virtual conference will be held in four three-hour segments from Monday, June 1, through Thursday, June 4. Legislation impacting security technology On Day 1 of SIA GovSummit, discussions will focus on policies and legislation impacting security technology. Attendees will enjoy a keynote presentation from Brian Harrell, Assistant Director of infrastructure security at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Along with sessions on COVID-19 response and recovery, trends in federal procurement of security products and services, emerging applications and policy developments regarding facial recognition, the evolving landscape of data privacy policy and new federal guidance for counter-drone technology and what it means for site security. Physical access control systems Additional sessions will address the changing needs of the mission-critical federal market Day 2 of SIA GovSummit – with a focus on securing government facilities – will begin with a keynote presentation from Daryle Hernandez, chief of the Interagency Security Committee within DHS CISA. Additional sessions will address the changing needs of the mission-critical federal market, modernising physical access control systems protecting government facilities, applying cybersecurity practices and standards to government facilities’ video surveillance systems, protecting commercial data centres sued by government systems and protecting government facilities with autonomous drone systems. Supporting homeland security missions On Day 3, attendees will explore emerging technologies for the public sector. During a special keynote session, ‘The Women in Biometrics Awards Presents the Future of Biometrics in Government Security Applications,’ a panel of Women in Biometrics Awards recipients will look at how cutting-edge biometric applications are supporting homeland security missions. The Women in Biometrics Awards are a globally-recognised program co-founded by SIA and SecureIDNews and co-presented with sponsors IDEMIA, Biometric Update and the SIA Women in Security Forum that recognises innovative women guiding the biometrics and security industry. Additional topics will include leveraging fever detection and camera technology in COVID-19 recovery efforts Additional session topics will include leveraging fever detection and camera technology in COVID-19 recovery efforts, building current security operations centres for tomorrow, the future of audio surveillance technology in law enforcement and security systems, emerging safety and security technology for government buildings and how passive weapons detection technology can enhance security operations. Deploying security barriers Day 4 – focused on developing best practices for securing public spaces, facilities and venues – will begin with keynote remarks from Kathleen McGuiness, auditor of accounts for the state of Delaware. Additional sessions will highlight digital strategy, security, safety and privacy in the age of digital transformation; the integration of safety and security into public-private partnerships; the latest trends and guidelines for deploying security barriers; and using drones and robotics technology in security operations. The 2020 SIA GovSummit is free and open to all industry and government attendees.

Identity solutions provider, IDEMIA announces accepting seat on Kantara Board of Directors
Identity solutions provider, IDEMIA announces accepting seat on Kantara Board of Directors

Six new members joined Kantara Initiative including IDEMIA, globally renowned provider of trusted identity solutions and technology, it has been announced. IDEMIA is joining Kantara as a member and accepted a seat on the Kantara Board of Directors. Other organisations joining Kantara include:  Easy Dynamics Corporation, Folio Technologies Ltd., Microsoft, Neocapita Security Consulting Pty. Ltd and Turning Point Corporation. Privacy and digital identity solutions firm Kantara is unique because it is the only industry organisation focused on privacy and digital identity" “Kantara is unique because it is the only industry organisation focused on privacy and digital identity,” said Matt Thompson, Senior Vice President of Identity Solutions, IDEMIA. Matt adds, “We are honored to join the Kantara Board of Directors to help support and enhance its mission of developing best practices and trust schemes in the digital identity and privacy space with the goal of building trustworthy networks to ensure that people have control of their own data. IDEMIA architects contribute to several Kantara work groups developing and refining conformance criteria for Mobile Driver’s License and NIST SP 800-63-3 approval programs.” Enhancing identity and data security Over the last decade, Kantara has led the global effort in developing best practice and trust schemes in the digital identity and privacy space with the goal of building trustworthy networks and ensuring people have control of their personal data through specification and conformance scheme development. “IDEMIA joins the Kantara Board of Directors at a pivotal point,” said Colin Wallis, executive director, Kantara Initiative. Colin adds, “Kantara has secured the necessary pieces – specifications, trust frameworks and research and development initiatives - to positively impact digital identity and privacy in the daily lives of billions of people. IDEMIA will play an important role in support of our mission to improve trustworthy use of identity and personal data through innovation, standardisation and good practice.”

Boon Edam Inc. to unveil new Compact Turnstile and exhibit integrated solutions at ISC West 2020
Boon Edam Inc. to unveil new Compact Turnstile and exhibit integrated solutions at ISC West 2020

Boon Edam Inc., a globally renowned security entrances and architectural revolving doors provider, has announced that they are introducing a new optical turnstile, the Speedlane Compact, in a world premiere, in booth #8037 at the ISC West exhibition in Las Vegas on March 18-20, 2020. ISC West is the international largest security event in North America bringing together close to 30,000 participants for networking, education and discovery of new technology. In addition to showcasing this newest member of their premium optical turnstiles, the company will also be showcasing fully integrated solutions that address physical perimeter security and control pedestrian access. Boon Edam is also the official turnstile sponsor of the show. Integrated Technologies for Tailgating Mitigation Access technologies, such as card readers and biometric devices, are critical for controlling entry to secure areas 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 authorised people from holding the door and letting in 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: NEW Speedlane Compact Optical Turnstile: Following the enormous success in the high-end speed gate market with the top-selling Lifeline Series, the development began to fill the market need for a premium quality, mid-range product. Thus, the Speedlane Compact was created, a swinging barrier turnstile that offers easy installation and integration with access technology and attractive delivery turnaround times. “With this new product, we have a solution that fits in everywhere – both in dimensions and design, without compromising on safety, security or quality,” said Mark de Jong, Product Manager of the Security Products Portfolio. Lifeline Speedlane Swing Optical Turnstile: There will be two, sleek Speedlane Swing turnstiles in the booth featuring unique identity recognition technologies to demonstrate efficient and secure throughput. One Speedlane Swing will feature a custom, integrated pedestal that incorporates the MorphoWave Compact touchless fingerprint technology from IDEMIA. The patented touchless sensor technology scans four fingers in 3D in less than one second, ensuring the most accurate and reliable fingerprint matching for maximum security. The second Speedlane Swing will feature AnyVision facial recognition technology with enhanced AI capabilities. Lifeline Boost Access Control Pedestal: The Boost is a stylish pedestal designed by Boon Edam to complement the popular Lifeline optical turnstile series and house virtually any access technology inside. The Boost will include the latest version of Essex’s credential card reader, the iRox-T, which now features Bluetooth and OSDP capabilities that expand HID Global’s Mobile Access solutions. Tourlock 180+90 Security Revolving Door: The entrance of choice for the Fortune 500, the Tourlock provides the highest level of throughput (up to 42 people per minute in two directions) while preventing unauthorised entry. The Tourlock in the booth will include StereoVision piggybacking detection technology and an AMAG Symmetry card reader to demonstrate the combination of fast throughput with high perimeter security. Circlelock Security Mantrap Portal: Offering the highest level of security available in an entrance using StereoVision piggybacking detection technology, the Circlelock security portal prevents intrusion into the most sensitive locations 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 technology provides instant authentication inside the portal: the secure, edge-based facial recognition access control device by Alcatraz AI, called the Rock, ensures only the right person can enter. 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. Tailgating Prize Giveaway Boon Edam was confirmed as the global company in Pedestrian Security Entrances in the Americas according to a report by IHS Markit covering the 2016-2018 timeframe. To celebrate almost a decade of leadership, there will be a tailgating-themed prize giveaway in the booth.