Today, more and more video security cameras are increasingly connected to the internet and transitioning into intelligent sensors that collect significantly more data than video security images alone. However, as this level of connectivity and collection of business-sensitive data becomes more widespread, the threat from cybercrime also rises.

This is clearly an issue that affects everyone. After all, nobody is immune from cybercrime, not even the experts, which raises the question: What is the viewpoint of the experts when it comes to data security? Geoff Kohl, Senior Director of Marketing for the Security Industry Association, was keen to get the opinions of those who are experiencing the current situation with regard to data protection, and its impact on video security, first-hand. What follows is an outline of the discussion with Gregor Schlechtriem, Senior Vice President business unit Security of Bosch Building Technologies, a global player in video surveillance, and Pierre Racz, CEO of Genetec, who are world-renowned for their software in the safety and security domain.

End-to-end security system

According to the experts, data security starts with an end-to-end solution

The introduction of a key statistic started the conversation: by 2025, it is expected that 75 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. Clearly, this also impacts video security as it is no longer isolated and part of a ‘closed’ system; it has become part of the IoT. Therefore, the focus cannot remain solely on image quality and the reduction of bitrates; equal prominence must be given to data security. According to the experts, data security starts with an end-to-end solution.

For example, the consequences of having an unprotected computer inside your firewall are immeasurable; it’s like an open door to cyber criminals. To successfully minimise the risks the complete video security infrastructure needs to be considered, rather than single components. This is a key advantage of an end-to-end security system that eliminates potential weak links.

Secure communication between trusted devices

So, end-to-end data security solutions have their advocates, but what makes them so persuasive, and effective? Well, solutions such as those developed by Bosch and Genetec are designed to safeguard communication between trusted devices, ensure that video in transit (streamed) or in storage remains encrypted and any commands and configurations to control cameras and other devices are transmitted via a secure channel (HTTPS).

When one side questions the design of the other we accept that the observation is accurate"

To achieve this effectively requires collaboration, which is why, according to Geoff Kohl, an ecosystem of trusted partners is invaluable, “Risk is not the responsibility of one company. Everyone has to be working together. Bosch and Genetec are obviously doing this.”

To support Geoff’s opinion, Pierre Racz believes that trust is a quality to be earned, not bought. A case in point is the 15-year working relationship between Bosch and Genetec, “The engineers know each other. We have a trusted relationship, so when one side questions the design of the other we accept that the observation is accurate.”

Management of massive data

In what ways can more focus be applied to data security? Although the basic task of video security systems remains unchanged, new technologies are consistently being introduced that offer new possibilities. An example of this is IP technology which, when combined with the increasing computation power, enables video security cameras to capture images of a quality that was previously unimaginable.

End-to-end-data-security-cybercrime-920x533
GDPR instils an obligation to guarantee privacy by design

According to Gregor Schlechtriem, “As the industry moves to delivering great image quality it creates new challenges, like how to intelligently manage the massive influx of data. On the other hand, video security devices connected to the internet and the wealth of their collective data is a fantastic enabler for new opportunities.” Video security has undergone substantial changes and offer limitless possibilitiesHe is also of the opinion that video security data should be viewed as business tool that provides insights to improve efficiency, increase security or create new business opportunities. It is clear that, compared to the earlier days, other departments, like marketing, are getting more interested in video security data.

Meanwhile, as CEO of Genetec, Pierre Racz confirms that video security has undergone substantial changes and offer limitless possibilities. The change to a digital (IP) infrastructure enables the use of video analytics that deliver metadata. This metadata adds sense and structure to video data and provides metrics such as speed, direction, colour, size, object class and trajectory. The result of this enriched, more business-focused video data collection is a deeper level of business intelligence.

Minimising risks

Gregor Schlechtriem is only too aware that this level of connectivity also brings a higher level of risk, “Because there is valuable information included in videos we have to focus more on data security, and think beyond the basic tasks of a security system.” Pierre Racz agrees.A digital infrastructure and connectivity opens up countless opportunities The consequences of being hacked are clearly front of mind for him, “If we turn on the news today we can see the circus that has resulted from the global chaos caused by a recent cyber-breach.” By focusing on minimising these risks, Pierre Racz believes that IoT and the technology enabling us to collect and interpret video data will outweigh the risks and provide improvements in health, and wealth.

The key learning here is that a digital infrastructure and connectivity opens up countless opportunities, as expressed by Gregor Schlechtriem, “It is the enabler to generate valuable data for your business, to understand what’s going on with video analytics at the edge and derive invaluable data for situational awareness to improve your business. If you don’t use IP, you miss out.”

Internet connected IoT
The change to a digital (IP) infrastructure enables the use of video analytics that deliver metadata

Operational efficiency

Pierre Racz agrees, “Compared to video cassettes we can provide so much more value with the kind of technology that can be initially utilised for security, but then leveraged for operational efficiency and even shared with other departments, such as marketing.” He also believes that, although the economic lifetime of analog equipment is almost double that of digital equipment, analog is a low pass filter, so image quality is limited to standards established in 1937.

As Geoff concludes the interview and the various opinions are assessed, it’s clear that the end-to-end data security solutions such as those employed by Bosch and Genetec are the way forward for video data security.

GDPR influence

Considering the recent changes in European regulations, Geoff Kohl of the Security Industry Association now invites invited Gregor Schlechtriem and Pierre Racz to briefly share their thoughts regarding GDPR – one of the first official data protection acts – and its impact on solutions and business models.

If these regulations are applied to Facebook, the resultant penalty will be $1.6b"Pierre Racz highlights the recent Facebook case, “If these regulations are applied to Facebook, a technologically savvy company with $40b of revenue, the resultant penalty will be $1.6b. There is no better example of why data negligence and fiduciary irresponsibility is simply unacceptable.”

Gregor Schlechtriem’s point of view is that GDPR instils an obligation to guarantee privacy by design, therefore it should influence any business model from the moment of conception. “You have to bring the right ingredients to the table to guarantee privacy, it’s the responsibility of the system owner. That’s why we analysed our systems to ensure our technology was capable of meeting the requirements.” And, of course, trust. But the significance of this to people's everyday lives must also be considered; a sentiment which Pierre Racz captures perfectly, “Privacy is our democratic right.”

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The Security Event 2019: a new security event to reconnect UK commercial security industry
The Security Event 2019: a new security event to reconnect UK commercial security industry

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If a global manufacturer has a footprint in both the US and Europe, any tradeshow will be managed locally Norman: Our founding partners are Assa Abloy, Avigilon, Anixter, Comelit, Dahua, Honeywell, TDSi, Texecom, Tyco and Videcon. The full list of exhibitors and supporting partners can be found on our website. The reasons why they have signed up are very simple. They all see the exact same gap in the industry event landscape as we do. We believe there is a need for a 3-day channel focused commercial security exhibition based at The NEC in Birmingham. Our exhibitors want to re-engage with the thousands of industry colleagues who no longer attend the other events on offer. Q: Your 2019 show will be the same week as ISC West in Las Vegas. Do you think the competitive calendar will be a factor? Norman: In terms of our both our audience and our exhibiting base there is very little overlap with ISC West. 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The Security Event will continue to evolve year after year, but I am determined that we stay true to our original concept and the principles on which the show was founded. After all, it is this formula that has proved to be so popular to date.

How Internet of Things (IoT) aids facility management and physical security
How Internet of Things (IoT) aids facility management and physical security

As buildings become more complex and smarter, the age-old traditional maintenance methods that are based mostly on hands-on human monitoring are becoming more and more inadequate. Instead, the world is fast adopting building automation as a key component of smarter and more proactive maintenance strategies. The aim is to free up maintenance staff and give them time to focus on other tasks while machines monitor the different systems that work together to make the facility functional. Specifically, Internet of Things - or, IoT - enablement appears set to transform the way facility managers deliver service to building occupants. The trends are many and the possibilities are almost mind-boggling, from inventory management, to work scheduling and energy efficiency, the list goes on and on. Below, we look at a few ways in which IoT is being used for Facility Management and Security. 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Selected equipment are fitted with sensors that monitor specific operational parameters and let maintenance professionals know how the machines under supervision are working, understand their current condition, and then pinpoint the optimum time they need to be maintained. The information generated this way is vital as it allows maintenance staff to intervene just in time to avoid costly downtime and other associated inconveniences. This is, in a nutshell, the basics of predictive maintenance and condition-based maintenance. These days, by implementing condition-based maintenance, IIoT is being used to effectively monitor a wide range of systems such as lighting, HVAC, fire suppression, security, etc. The applications are numerous and so are the benefits. On page 52 of this guide by the US Department of Energy, they state that a functional predictive maintenance program could yield up to 10 times ROI, reduce maintenance costs by 25% to 30%, and reduce downtime by 35% to 45% Along with fire suppression, IIoT is effectively monitoring a wide range of systems such as lighting, HVAC and security Remote monitoring of facilities Physical inspections have been a critical condition for the success of conventional maintenance programs, even in hazardous environments. But, with the increasing emphasis on personnel safety, organisations want alternative solutions that allow staff to examine assets without being physically present. Facility managers and their team working in industries like manufacturing, oil and gas, and mining can relate with these constraints. And these industries can benefit greatly from deploying predictive maintenance solutions. For example, in the oil and gas industry, IIoT sensors can be used to monitor remote and highly critical assets. These sensors can be used on pipelines to detect anomalies (especially corrosion) and pass that information to supervisors for necessary action. By doing this, potential failures are quickly predicted to avoid often disastrous incidents. Managing energy consumption Sensors are also being embedded in building components and devices like HVAC systems, lights, doors, windows to understand energy consumption and proactively manage it. Facilities that use this technology could achieve substantial energy savings. In a press release by IT research and advisory company, Gartner, they stated that IoT can help reduce the cost of energy - as well as spatial management and building maintenance - by up to 30%. Looking at HVAC systems very closely, we see that they are a major source of energy usage in any building These sensors work by monitoring different conditions in the building and causing a power-saving action based on the data received. For instance, occupancy sensors can order lights to turn on when it senses motion in a room and then turn off the same lights when there is no presence there. That way, there is no need to wait for someone to remember to switch off the lights when they are not needed.   Another very common use is in HVAC monitoring. Looking at HVAC systems very closely, we see that they are a major source of energy usage in any building. So, the issue is how can one use IIoT to manage HVAC and possibly reduce their energy usage? 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Is the physical security industry doing enough to prevent school shootings?
Is the physical security industry doing enough to prevent school shootings?

School shootings continue, as does a search for answers. What solutions are there to prevent school shootings and/or to improve the response (and thus minimise the death toll)?  In the physical security industry, we like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem, but realistically speaking, how effective are they at the end of the day? We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective are they at the end of the day? The sad answer – even after dozens of school shootings and even in the wrenching aftermath of the latest one – is that we don’t know. There is a gaping lack of knowledge and research when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of preventative measures as they relate to school shootings. Scarce resources on preventative measures The dearth of knowledge on the subject leaves schools at risk of spending scarce resources on measures that don’t have any real impact, or worse, that have a negative effect on education environments. The natural impulse following a school shooting is to do something – anything – to prevent the tragedy from happening again at any school, but especially at my school. But how is money best spent?Successful businesses are a good thing, but not at the expense of misspending education resources on solutions that don’t solve anything Congress has passed the Stop School Violence Act of 2018 to provide $50 million per year to develop programs to train students, teachers and law enforcement to prevent violence, and to create anonymous reporting systems, such as hot lines, for school violence threats. The bill authorises another $25 million for improvements to school’s physical security infrastructures. Congress also provides $1.1 billion in Title IV block grants, which districts can use to pay for diverse needs such as security systems. Several states are providing additional funding for physical safety measures and campus police, and local districts are also stretching their budgets to address security concerns. But is that money being targeted to measures that will help the situation? What is the role of technology in preventing school violence, and are we as an industry at risk of over-selling our preventative capabilities and diverting money from other measures that might have more impact? Successful businesses are a good thing, but not at the expense of misspending education resources on solutions that don’t solve anything. More metal detectors, armed guards and police officers could cause anxiety in some students and even interfere with the learning process Studies on school safety and protection Researchers, advocates and educators gathered this fall at American University to consider the need for better research to inform decision-making on safety, reported Education Week.The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them" A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. points to the problem: Lack of data and research on what works and what doesn’t. “Despite growth in the school safety-technology sector, rigorous research about the effectiveness of these technologies is virtually non-existent,” according to Rand. “The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them in vetted, digestible ways to help them with procurement.” Jeremy Finn, a professor of education at the University of Buffalo, has pointed out the difficulty of assessing the effectiveness of measures designed to deter events that likely won’t occur anyway. “How do you know when you have deterred a school shooting?” he asks. “It didn’t happen.” The effects on our students  Might technologies aimed at making schools more secure have an adverse effect on the learning environment? More metal detectors, armed guards and police officers could cause anxiety in some students and even interfere with the learning process. The physical security industry should freely acknowledge that the technologies we offer are only part of the solution to school violence Do security measures aimed at preventing active shooting incidents absorb resources that might better be used to address a more general and/or likely security threat such as vandalism or student discipline? Theoretically, security measures in general should help to prevent the probability of an active shooter at the same time they are addressing a wider range of concerns and threats. But do they? At the very least, we in the physical security market should be aware, and should freely acknowledge, that the technologies we offer are only part of the solution to school violence. Schools should take the broadest possible approach to the range of security challenges, and technology should be one tool among many. Furthermore, better data to measure what works is sorely needed to illuminate the best path forward.