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Critical infrastructure facilities that must secure large areas with extended outer boundary and numerous entry points, present a particularly difficult challenge when it comes to perimeter protection. As such, true end-to-end perimeter protection calls for the utilisation of a sophisticated, multi-layered solution that is capable of defending against anticipated threats. Integrated systems that incorporate thermal imaging, visible cameras, radar and strong command and control software are crucial for covering the various potential areas of attacks. Let’s look at these technologies and the five key functions they enable to achieve an end-to-end solution that provides intrusion detection, assessment and defense for the perimeter. 1. Threat recognition The first step in effectively defending against a threat is recognising that it’s there. By combining state-of-the-art intrusion detection technologies, facilities can arm themselves with a head start against possible intruders. An exceptionally important aspect of effective perimeter protection is the ability to conduct 24-hour surveillance, regardless of weather conditions, environmental settings, or time of day. Visible cameras do not perform as well in low light scenarios and inclement weather conditions. However, thermal imaging cameras can provide constant protection against potential intruders, regardless of visual limitations, light source or many environmental factors. In fact, facilities such as power stations located near bodies of water can use thermal cameras to create what is known as a “thermal virtual fence” in areas where they are unable to utilise the protection of a physical fence or wall. Deterring suspicious activity can be achieved through real-time two-way audio, a simple but powerful tool Critical infrastructure applications require not only continuous video surveillance and monitoring, but also a solution that yields highly reliable intrusion detection, with fewer false alarms. This need makes advanced video analytics a must for any adequate surveillance system. Features like dynamic event detection and simplified data presentation are game changing in supporting accurate intrusion analysis and facilitating a proactive response. Advanced analytics will provide multiple automated alarm notification options, including email, edge image storage, digital outputs or video management software (VMS) alarms. Incorporating high quality, unique and adaptive analytics can virtually eliminate false alarms, allowing security personnel to respond more efficiently and effectively, while also lowering overall cost for the end user. While surveillance technologies such as radar, thermal imaging and visible cameras, or video analytics work well on their own, utilising all of these options together provides an advanced perimeter detection system. For example, ground surveillance radar can detect possible threats beyond the fence line as they approach and send a signal to pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, triggering them to slew to a specific location. From there, embedded analytics and visible cameras can further identify objects, notify authorised staff, and collect additional evidence through facial recognition or high-quality photos. 2. Automatic response systems Once an intrusion attempt is discovered, it is important to act fast. Organising a response system that can initiate actions based on GPS location data, such as the slewing of PTZ cameras, automated intruder tracking or activated lighting sensors, greatly increases staff’s situational awareness while easing their workload. For instance, thermal imagers deployed in conjunction with video analytics can be used to generate an initial alarm event, which can then trigger a sequence of other security equipment and notifications for personnel to eventually respond to. Having all of this in place essentially lays the entire situation out in a way that allows responders to accurately understand and evaluate a scene. Power stations located near bodies of water can use thermal cameras to create a “thermal virtual fence” in areas where they are unable to utilise the protection of a physical fence or wall 3. Deterring suspicious activity After the designated auto-response mechanisms have activated and done their job, it is time for responders to acknowledge and assess the situation. From here, authorised personnel can take the next appropriate step toward defending against and delaying the threat. Deterring suspicious activity can be achieved through real-time two-way audio, a simple but powerful tool. Often, control room operators can diffuse a situation by speaking over an intercom, telling the trespasser that they are being watched and that the authorities have been notified. This tactic, known as ‘talk down’, also allows officers to view the intruder’s reaction to their commands and evaluate what they feel the best next step is. If individuals do not respond in a desired manner, it may be time to take more serious action and dispatch a patrolman to the area. 4. Delay, defend, dispatch and handle The possible danger has been identified, recognised and evaluated. Now it is time to effectively defend against current attacks and slow down both cyber and physical perpetrators’ prospective efforts. Through the use of a well-designed, open platform VMS, security monitors can manage edge devices and other complementary intrusion detection and response technologies, including acoustic sensors, video analytics, access control and radio dispatch. A robust VMS also enables operators to control functions such as video replay, geographical information systems tracking, email alerts and hand-off to law enforcement. With the right combination of technologies, facilities can take monitoring and evidence collection to the next level The primary purpose of the delay facet of the overall perimeter protection strategy is to stall an attempted intrusion long enough for responders to act. Access control systems play a key role in realising this objective. When a security officer sees a non-compliant, suspicious individual on the camera feed, the officer can lock all possible exits to trap them in one area all through the VMS. 5. Intelligence: Collect evidence and debrief More data and intelligence collected from an event equals more crucial evidence for crime resolution and valuable insight for protecting against future incidents. With the right combination of technologies, facilities can take monitoring and evidence collection to the next level. One innovative resource that has become available is a live streaming application that can be uploaded to smart phones and used for off-site surveillance. This app gives personnel the power to follow intruders with live video anywhere and allows operators to monitor alarm video in real-time. Geographic Information System (GIS) maps are computer systems utilised for capturing, storing, reviewing, and displaying location related data. Capable of displaying various types of data on one map, this system enables users to see, analyse, easily and efficiently. Multi-sensor cameras, possessing both visible and thermal capabilities, provide high-contrast imaging for superb analytic detection (in any light) and High Definition video for evidence such as facial ID or license plate capture. Integrating these two, usually separated, camera types into one helps to fill any gaps that either may normally have. Still, in order to capture and store all of this valuable information and more, a robust, VMS is required. Recorded video, still images and audio clips serve as valuable evidence in the event that a trial must take place to press charges. Control room operators can use data collection tools within their VMS to safely transfer video evidence from the field to the courtroom with just a few clicks of their mouse. More advanced video management systems can go a step further and package this data with other pertinent evidence to create a comprehensive report to help ensure conviction.
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.
The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) will be held at the Indiana Convention Center, June 3-6, in Indianapolis. The show focusses exclusively on the electronic security and life safety industry, including companies that service the connected Internet of Things (IoT) space for homes and businesses. The ESX Main Stage will highlight inspirational presentations from motivational speakers, Dr. Rick Rigsby and Kevin Brown. In addition, there will be a founder of a drone security company and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence from Kleiner Perkins for OpenXchange, and a Secret Service agent for the Closing Keynote. Sharing best practices and trends In breakout sessions, colleagues and business thought leaders will share best practices, trends and opportunities that helped their own companies and careers, so that others might replicate their successes or minimise their failures. These sessions are aimed at propelling attendees to reimagine their business models and go-to-market strategies, says George De Marco, Chairman of ESX and Managing Partner for DECO Ventures LLC. Examples of breakout sessions include: CounterPoint Forum – “False Alarm Dispatches - A Real Threat or a Nuisance to the Industry?” “Top 3 Ways to Grow Your Video RMR” “5 Faster, Smarter Ways to Improve Cash Flow” “Artificial Intelligence Real Time Video Monitoring Solutions” Promoting security professionals’ growth Our goal is to develop next-gen methods that deliver industry content and promote professional growth"“Each year, we challenge ourselves to raise the bar of the educational sessions and main stage events,” says De Marco. “One of the ways is introducing new faces and voices for the peer-developed and peer-driven educational sessions that offer best practices and identify trends, opportunities and challenges for industry professionals to consider today and in the future. Our goal is to develop next-gen methods that deliver industry content and promote professional growth as the industry pivots to the future.” New entrants and disruptors are challenging traditional go-to-market strategies, causing traditional companies to rethink how they rise above the noise in a changing competitive landscape and handle new consumer buying behaviours, says De Marco. Exhibitors at ESX Exhibitors that support ESX include Interlogix (Diamond sponsor), Napco (Platinum sponsor), Alula and DMP (Gold sponsor), and ADI, Altronix, Bold Group, Essence, ICT, Quick Response, Resideo, Secura key, Security Central and WeSuite (Silver sponsors). ESX seeks to connect exhibitors with the influencers and decision-makers from companies that represent a cross section of dealers, integrators and monitoring companies in North America. The exhibit hall will be the focal point for exhibitors to showcase their latest technology in the city’s impressive convention centre. The exhibit hall will be the focal point for exhibitors to showcase their latest technology in the city’s convention centre “We recognise individuals and companies during the Opening Celebration that help propel the industry forward and at our VIP Event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” says De Marco. “During the day, there are meals around the Main Stage sessions which gather attendees around the table for casual conversation before the presentation begins.” Indianapolis, home of the Indy 500, is a unique location that has a lot to offer the attendees of ESX. A special night at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will invite a limited number of guests to share great food and drinks, to experience a trip around the track in an official pace car, and to ‘kiss the bricks’, a speedway tradition. Centrally located in the US, Indianapolis is a convenient convention destination for travel, whether flying or driving. Connecting with peers and colleagues Another benefit of the show is the cross-section of companies represented in the industry, whether large, medium or small There are also networking opportunities throughout the week. The Pub Crawl, an attendee favourite, is a night where long-time friends gather, and new friendships are made. “This is where the real conversations happen between peers and colleagues about real problems of running and growing a company, and solutions that can make a difference,” says De Marco. Another benefit of the show is the cross-section of companies represented in the industry, whether large, medium or small players. This enables professionals to come together to connect with their peers and colleagues, allowing for deep discussions on how to grow their people, revenues and profits, including mentoring opportunities that encourage leadership development, says De Marco. The subject of finding qualified employees is top of mind for almost every industry today, especially the security industry. Sessions that address hiring and managing employees for industry professionals include “Hiring from Outside the Monitoring Industry: Surprising Resources for Great Operators” “Maximise New Employees: Why Onboarding is Critical to Their Success” “5 Tips for Effective Employee Performance Evaluations” Helping attendees to reinvent their business “Our focus is primarily on the attendee, helping them connect with suppliers, colleagues and opportunities that reimagine their businesses, so they can be stronger competitors,” says De Marco. “If we can provide the right knowledge to inspire or transform the attendees to take meaningful action or implement change that helps them remain relevant, we believe we have succeeded.” There will be an undercurrent of sadness at ESX this year because the industry recently suffered a loss. George Gunning, former CEO of USA Alarm Systems and one of the founding members of ESX, passed away in February. “We would be remiss if we didn’t recognise his contributions and influence on the industry and ESX over the years,” says De Marco. Another founding member of ESX who has passed away is John Murphy, formerly CEO of Vector Security.
3xLOGIC, Inc., global provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, and a three-time Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winner, announced that the company has added to its growing North American sales network, along with other personnel moves at its umbrella company, Stanley Products and Solutions (SPS). The company added two new RSMs to further penetrate key markets in the Pacific NW as well as the Mid-Atlantic regions and appointed a new Marketing Manager for the PACOM brand of products. 3xLOGIC adds security expert 3xLOGIC welcomes Joel Dombovy as a Regional Sales Manager (RSM) in the Northwest 3xLOGIC welcomes Joel Dombovy as a Regional Sales Manager (RSM) in the Northwest. Joel comes to the company with 14 years of security industry experience, working with companies such as Interlogix, GE Security, and Honeywell. John Saxen will support Joel as the Inside Sales Account Manager for the region. Jake Franklin takes over as RSM for the Mid-Atlantic. He joins the company from RF Technologies, a safety solutions company in healthcare where he was RSM for the Northeast. Prior to that, he worked as Critical Infrastructure Account Manager & Sales Representative at a security integration company. Jake’s passion for technology and previous security experience make him an excellent addition to 3xLOGIC’s powerful sales team. Bill Hobbs, Global VP of Sales for SPS, announced that both Joel and Jake will report to Jason Bryan, Director of Sales. PACOM expands marketing team Jennifer Joyce is the new Marketing Manager for PACOM, sister company of 3xLOGIC, as the company continues to expand efforts in the North American to market the wide range of PACOM solutions that have found success all over the world. She brings more than 25 years of marketing and design experience to the team. Her global marketing experience began with Firestone Industrial Products and Jennifer most recently spent her time in digital marketing as Marketing Director for Orbis Education. She will report to Suzi Abell, Senior Director of Global Marketing, SPS. Gavin O’Keeffe has been promoted to Director of Product Management Elsewhere in the larger SPS organisation Charlie Erickson has a new title reflecting his growing responsibilities—Chief Technology Officer. He continues to oversee Product Management as his team continues to expand. Reporting directly to Charlie, Michael Poe has been promoted to Director of Product Management. He will be leading the Video, Blue, DIY, and TRENDS products lines. Rick Walker will be aligned under Poe’s leadership. New PAC, PACOM, infinias head Also reporting to Charlie, Gavin O’Keeffe has been promoted to Director of Product Management, and he will be leading the PAC, PACOM, infinias, and Sonitrol product teams. We also welcome Darren Monroe, Product Manager for infinias to Gavin’s team. Darren will work in the 3xLOGIC office in Indianapolis and Gavin works out of the PACOM Australia office. Drew Alexander continues as Sr. Director of Program Management, and he will continue to add Program Managers to his team to facilitate a growing list of product launches and business initiatives.
Interlogix, a global leader in security and life-safety solutions, introduces Simon XTi-5i, a self-contained, wireless security system for heightened residential security and convenience. An update to the Simon XTi-5 system, the new platform supports 80 wireless zones, features a 5-inch color LCD touchscreen and is compatible with a wide range of devices through leading service providers. Interlogix is a part of Carrier, a leading global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. Simon XTi-5 wireless security system “The latest version of the Simon XTi-5 system helps synchronise homes to keep families connected, protected and a whole lot more,” said Cooper Briscoe, residential solutions product leader, North America, Interlogix. “The devices and accessories available through Interlogix and Alarm.com interactive services make it easy to customise systems that meet each family’s specific needs and priorities whether in a house, apartment or condominium.” When paired with an LTE modem from leading active home services provider Alarm.com, Simon panels can be used as a comfort management and automation system enabling local and remote control of Z-Wave devices such as wireless lighting controls, thermostats, door locks, garage doors and more. Home security and automation solutions The intuitive touch screen panel is easy to operate, making it ideal for users of all ages The new system features a selectable user interface that matches the Alarm.com interactive services mobile application in color, style and icons – simplifying the user experience. At-a-glance system status provides a complete view of home security and automation systems, indoor temperature and outdoor weather. The panel comes standard with support for up to 80 wireless zones and a built-in battery backup keeps the system running in case of power failures. Paired with an LTE modem from Alarm.com, the Simon XTi-5i panel enables other home security and automation features including: Real-time look-ins and review of recorded snapshots for visual verification of alarms by using the Interlogix Image Sensor Voice, email and text message reports Two-way emergency communication with monitoring station personnel using the panel’s built-in microphone Menu-based system programming and testing for fast and accurate installation of the panel and supported devices. The intuitive touch screen panel is easy to operate, making it ideal for users of all ages.
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