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Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities. Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year. As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies. SourceSecurity.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems. Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems? The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organisations. The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system. Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems? Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own. For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation. When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment? Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies. From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend. When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity. Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run. Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)? Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include: Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs Enhanced occupant experience and comfort Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul? Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organisations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies. There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future. As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritises use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline. Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings? Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems. This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.
According to the reports of not-for-profit organisation Gun Violence Archive, the year 2018 has seen 323 mass shooting incidents as of November 28 in the United States. This number is 346 for the year 2017 and 382 for 2016 (more statistics are available here), with “mass shooting” defined as cases where four or more people are shot or killed in the same time period and location. While definitions of mass shooting vary with organisations in the US, the count of over 300 incidents per year, or about once per day on average, is simply alarming. It raises public safety concerns, ignites debates and protests, which in turn lead to public unrest and potentially more violence, and increases costs for governments from the regional to federal level. Most importantly, the loss of lives demands not only improvement in post-incident handling and investigation, but also new prevention technologies. Gunshot detection solutions AI weapon detection offers a more efficient alternative to prevent active shooting There are several gunshot detection solutions in the security market, commonly used by law enforcement agencies to detect and locate gun fires. These systems function based on acoustic recordings and analyses and often in combination with signals detected by sensors of the optical flash and shockwave when a gun is fired. However, gunshot detection by nature dictates that the law enforcement can only react to a shooting incident that has occurred. With fast action, law enforcement can prevent the incident from escalating, but lives that are lost cannot be recovered. With the development of artificial intelligence in object recognition, AI weapon detection offers a more efficient alternative to prevent active shooting: AI can visually detect guns based on their shapes before they are fired. The AI is trained to recognise firearms in different shapes, sizes, colours, and at different angles in videos, so that the AI weapon detector can be deployed with existing cameras systems, analyse the video feeds, and instantly notify security staff when a gun is spotted. Comparison of the advantages for law enforcement and public security agencies Legacy gunshot detection using sensors AI weapon detection Reactive measure: detect after guns have been fired Proactive measure: detect before guns are fired Time to action: within 1 second Time to action: within 1 second Unable to provide visual data about shooter(s) Can provide data about shooter(s) based on the camera recording: clothing, luggage (backpack, handbag, etc.), facial features, vehicle Unable to track the location of the shooter(s) before and after shooting because of the lack of sound Can track the shooter(s) using AI Person & Vehicle Tracking, AI Face Recognition, and AI License Plate Recognition False detection caused by similar sound such as fireworks and cars backfiring Minimal to no false detection, as AI can distinguish different types of handguns and rifles from normal objects (umbrella, cellphone, etc.) Require physical deployment of gunshot detection sensors Can be used with existing camera systems, do not require special hardware Complicated to deploy, require highly trained professional Easy to deploy as an add-on to existing video surveillance system - Can integrate with gun-shot detection to create a “double knock” audio and video active shooter alert system Gun-shot detection advantages In addition to advantages for law enforcement and public security agencies, this type of visual-based pre-incident detector has three-fold advantages for the public: Save lives by spotting the shooter before the shooting event. Minimise the chaos entailing an incident: panic and chaos caused by a shooting incident often adds to injury, as people run, fall, trample on others… With an AI weapon detector, when a gun is spotted, the system sends an alert to security staff, who can quickly control the situation in an organised manner and apprehend the intending shooter. Can be added as a SaaS (Security as a Service) component to small business and home surveillance systems, e.g., intrusion detection alerts (home invasion incidents with firearms number over 2500 per year nationwide). For a complete active shooter detection system, video-based AI detector can operate in conjunction with gunshot detectors for enhanced security. Traditional X-ray based weapon detection or metal detection entrance systems are complicated and expensive; with AI video technology, active shooter detection system can be cost-effective, and after all, what price tag can one put on a life? Written by Paul Sun and Mai Truong, IronYun
As anyone who has ever flown on a commercial airline since 2001 knows, security measures at airports are well enforced and the emphasis on traveller safety is all around the airport and its grounds. Mass transportation, meanwhile, presents a special but not any less significant challenge when it comes to determining security issues. These facilities need to develop the means to protect a constantly changing and large population of passengers. And unlike airports these facilities often have hundreds of points of entry and exit on multiple modes—buses, subways, light rail, commuter trains, even ferries. About 2 million Americans will use the nation’s airways on a given work day, while 35 million people will board some form of public transportation. In fact, statistics have shown that nearly 11 billion trips are taken on public transportation every year. In some large metropolitan areas in North America where mass transit is well established, more than 20 percent of the area’s inhabitants get around via public transportation.About 2 million Americans will use the nation’s airways on a given work day, while 35 million people will board some form of public transportation Solving mass transit security For transportation officials and their security providers, solving the mass transit security issue begins with determining the key concerns and then creating the proper responses via security systems, policies and procedures to mitigate the risks. Although vandalism and graffiti are very visible signs of criminal behaviour in mass transit settings such as bus stops and subway stations, this is not where transportation officials typically focus their energy. Fences and gates can secure out-of-service buses and train cars, as can remote surveillance methods to keep such vandalism at a minimum. Instead, it is the day-to-day safety and security of transit riders and employees that should become the highest priority. This begins with creating the safest environment possible that is highlighted with appropriate signage and, when necessary, audible warnings, and supporting that with technology, such as surveillance cameras, that will document what has happened if an incident occurs.Analytics can also be useful in alerting security about other suspicious behaviours at a transit stop, such as an untended bag or package Crime prevention in transportation Analytics can also be useful in alerting security about other suspicious behaviours at a transit stop, such as an untended bag or package Incidents of concern within a transit setting can take several forms, ranging from legitimate accidents or crimes to false claims such as faked fall down the stairs to potential and actual suicides. Bus and subway stations also have become magnets for homeless people who may put themselves and others in harm’s way by trying to access less secure public areas within a station as temporary shelters. If someone is injured on a subway platform and the transit provider is held liable, it could be on the hook for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. Suicides are a major concern for operators, with personnel now being trained to look for individuals who seem distressed, are loitering in the area or are intentionally putting themselves in a dangerous situation, such as standing too close to the edge of a platform. The deployment of video analytics, which can be programmed to send alerts when certain pre-set actions occur, can help determine when such dangerous behaviours come into play. Analytics can also be useful in alerting security about other suspicious behaviours at a transit stop, such as an untended bag or package or a person going into a restricted area. Whether it is on the bus, train or ferry or at the stops themselves, cameras and intuitive video management systems are the key to both active and forensic transit security. Some cities use buses that are up to 60 feet long and those can be equipped with up to a dozen cameras Train security and safety By using the proper cameras and recording systems in a transit environment, quick-acting personnel can locate a person of interest who boarded a train at one station, follow him during his trip and produce a crisp, clear identifiable image at the end. Those setting up the system thus should keep in mind proper camera positioning, resolution and motion-based changes to framerates or other compression settings. A typical 30-foot bus often has six cameras—one each at the front and middle doors, two more within the bus and then one looking forward and another looking behind the bus. The latter two are important in the event of accidents to verify liability. Some cities use buses that are up to 60 feet long and those can be equipped with up to a dozen cameras.Train stations often deploy high-definition cameras to better support facial recognition software to get that actionable image Train cars are similarly equipped with two to four cameras to view activity down the centre aisle. Within the stations themselves, there can be from 15 to 30 or more cameras capturing wide-angle shots. Train stations, which have a restricted point of egress, often deploy high-definition cameras to better support facial recognition software to get that actionable image. Installing the right technology for the solution Although bandwidth and storage can be a concern, with motion-based recording, the resolution can be bumped up during event, resulting in a 1-megapixel stream jumping to 4 or even 8mbps when needed. By changing the resolution on demand, end users can cut their storage needs significantly. Transportation settings often rely on the same technology used in other security installations, primarily mini dome cameras, although there are some mini transit domes built specifically for the environment with the proper aesthetics. Because of vandalism threats, transit typically avoids pendant mounts, which can be more easily grabbed and damaged. Temperature ratings for cameras also come into play in cold climates with cameras often getting outdoor exposure.Today’s new buses and trains are constructed with the cameras onboard and newer stations also take security into consideration at the earliest design stage As trains and buses move along their routes, especially those that service outlying areas, Internet connectivity becomes an issue as well. Because it may be difficult for video to be sent in transit, security bus barns are equipped with Wi-Fi so video from onboard cameras can be downloaded at the end of the day. And the use of hardened recorders at the stations allows security personnel to retrieve recorded video. Transit security with modern technology Today’s new buses and trains are constructed with the cameras onboard and newer stations also take security into consideration at the earliest design stage. Older infrastructure from long-standing subway and bus terminals can prove to be a challenge when adding security, but these issues aren’t insurmountable. Often the solution is to add more cameras to cover the same square footage because of less-than-ideal sight lines and to place conduit wherever it works best, which may mean positioning it under platforms or in other out-of-the-way places within older stations. Looking ahead, transit security will continue to evolve, not only as new stations and modes of transportation are added to the system, but in terms of communicating with commuters. People can expect to get mass notification alerts on their mobile devices, and those same devices can provide vital data to transportation entities to better develop their overall systems.
Gallagher Security, a division of Gallagher Group, a privately-owned New Zealand company, is a global presence in integrated access control, intruder alarm and perimeter security solutions. Gallagher entered the global security industry in the 1990s with the purchase of security access control business Cardax. In the last several decades, the company has leveraged its experience in electric fence technology to develop a variety of innovative solutions used to protect some of the world's most high-consequence assets and locations. Solving business problems Among Gallagher’s recent innovations is the Security Health Check, a software utility that enables customers to run an automated check on their Gallagher Command Centre security system. To get an update on the company, we interviewed Richard Huison, Gallagher’s Regional Manager for the U.K. and Europe, who says he has a passion for technology and solving business problems. Huison says working in the industry for more than 20 years has shown him you can never stop evolving and adapting. Q: What are Gallagher's points of differentiation versus competitors? Huison: Gallagher’s strengths are in solving business problems outside of the normal access control and intrusion detection solutions. Enforcing company policy through compliance and competency is what really matters to business continuity. Using Gallagher Command Centre to oversee the security, health and safety and compliance brings true business value to the client who benefits from reduced costs and risk to the success of their growth and strategy. Q: What is the biggest challenge for customers in the security market, and how does Gallagher help to meet that challenge? Huison: A great solution fit is key. Where most fail is choosing a solution that does not meet the needs of the client in 10 to even 20 years’ time. As businesses evolve and grow, so must the security solution. In a recent conversation, a client had to replace a 300-door access control system that was no longer supported. ‘Why Gallagher?’ they asked. The answer: ‘If you had chosen Gallagher 10 years ago, we would not be having this conversation.’ Ensuing the system you choose is legacy-compliant is king. Gallagher’s brand is well known for protecting Critical National Infrastructure Q: Please describe Gallagher's geographic presence in the UK and Europe. Huison: Gallagher’s brand is well known for protecting Critical National Infrastructure. They choose to adopt our solutions because we meet the highest levels of resilience against cyber-attacks. Our ability to modernise legacy systems ensures the maximum return on investment with minimal disruption to business continuity. Gallagher solutions cover a broad mix of verticals, with strengths in high security, education and large corporate entities. Our Channel Partner network is continually growing so more clients can benefit from the diverse and powerful Gallagher Command Centre software. Q: Describe how Gallagher is typically integrated into larger systems. Huison: Our systems offer the flexibility of being standalone or globally networked via our Multi-Server environment. Most integration happens logically where data is pushing into our Command Centre database. The single point of truth allows for minimal data errors and efficiencies around manual input. The total cost of ownership is greatly reduced in allowing the system to work for the client and not the other way round. Over and above this, Integration into other solutions brings that rich data back to one software front end. Q: What is Gallagher's biggest challenge and how will the company seek to meet that challenge? Huison: Our biggest and continual opportunity is being a relentless innovator. We are not short of ideas and how we are bucking the trends with our solutions. Broadcasting these messages is not always easy in the digital age. This is why Gallagher is investing heavily in more shows, publications and specific vertical conferences globally. Q: What is the market's biggest misconception about Gallagher? Huison: Our brand is known for perimeter solutions with our monitored Pulse Fence. What many forget is we have a very powerful access control and integrated intrusion detection solution that meets Government standards around the world. We are unique in that all three can be controlled via one software platform that is cyber-resilient and infinitely configurable to suit many verticals. Q: What is your message to the security market? Huison: Many see Gallagher as only suitable for large and complex sites. I openly challenge our audience, speak to us and you may find we can provide an Enterprise Level solution that is delivered on budget and provide an outstanding return on investment for the client. Our pedigree of 80 years shows we never stop innovating and building that trusted advisor status with many lifelong clients.
A free cyber audit tool has been released to its customers by a global technology leader in integrated access control, intruder alarms management and perimeter protection, in what it believes is an industry first. Gallagher Security has unveiled its Security Health Check (SHC) tool to help its customers identify and understand potential vulnerabilities within their security system. Security risks and system vulnerabilities SHC identifies system vulnerabilities, assesses the severity of the threat, and provides specific recommendations Gallagher Security customers can use the SHC utility free to run an automated check via their Command Centre system at any time, reducing the time and expense of performing regular manual audits. SHC identifies system vulnerabilities, assesses the severity of the threat, and provides specific recommendations to mitigate the risk and ensure correct system configuration. It also provides a mechanism to compare against earlier audit results to ensure organisations can track improvement over time and better plan system upgrades. Gallagher chief technology officer Steve Bell said: “We designed SHC to give sites ownership of the state of their system as security risks and system vulnerabilities aren’t static. It’s important to us to promote and support a culture of ongoing improvement within our industry.” Lighting and building systems SHC proactively addresses the ever-evolving threat of cyber-attack, while supporting sites to protect the data held within their access control system. “Security systems can be vulnerable to cyber-attack for a variety of reasons, and the consequences can be significant,” said Bell. A cyber breach via security systems can potentially allow access to personal data" “A cyber breach via security systems can potentially allow access to personal data, restricted areas, and intellectual property, it could also lead to unauthorised control over HVAC, lighting and building systems in order to disrupt operations.” Gallagher believes that in today’s world of evolving threats, it’s no longer enough to supply the tools and walk away. Cyber-secure solutions As the first security system manufacturer to offer a system audit tool of this kind, Gallagher hopes to inspire the security industry to become more transparent with its customers and empower them to better understand their vulnerabilities. Gallagher dedicates significant resource to the research and development of cyber-secure solutions, and has a commitment to helping customers gain full visibility and a deep understanding of how their security system works.
The newest version of an iconic access control and site management system looks set to revolutionise, both, the operator and user experience. Gallagher Security has released Command Centre v8.10, the latest version of its site management software, with a range of features and enhancements that simplify and improve operation. Improvements to site plans reduce information overload for busy or complex sites by introducing progressive disclosure – the ability to zoom in to reveal more information. It is now easier to create a site plan that includes all floors in the building and easily navigate between them, while new site plan privileges provide greater control over the level of information operators are exposed to. Integration with IDEMIA MorphoWave Compact allows users to be identified with a wave of their hand. This high-level biometric integration delivers faster, more secure biometric access while simplifying the collection and management of biometric data and access rights, and preventing duplication and synchronisation issues. Reducing cyber risk Gallagher’s Mobile Connect app can now be used to open both Gallagher and SALTO Bluetooth® doors with Command Centre v8.10. The SALTO credential has been combined with the Gallagher credential to retain a single mobile credential for each user in Command Centre. Using a single credential and app to open doors creates a simpler experience for users and is easier for operators to manage on a day-to-day basis. The newest release introduces car park management, making it easy to manage and configure parking allocation. Site plan functionality provides detailed oversight, ensuring car park spaces are used efficiently. Improvements to the Inbound Events REST API allow Command Centre to receive external events from third party systems to generate alarms, view alarm instructions, provide alarm indications on site plans, generate notifications, and run reports in Command Centre. This new release builds on Gallagher’s ongoing commitment to design and manufacture security technology that protects people, places, and assets across the world. Enhanced functionality As with all Gallagher version releases, a wide range of minor enhancements that improve existing functionality are included. Gallagher offers a software maintenance programme which provides customers the opportunity to upgrade to every new version of Command Centre as it is released. Adopting the latest technology as it is released helps ensure customers stay ahead of emerging threats and new vulnerabilities – reducing their cyber risk, enhancing system performance, and guaranteeing continued compliance with government standards.
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