SourceSecurity.com’s most trafficked articles in 2017 reflected changing trends in the market, from facial detection to drones, from deep learning to body worn cameras. Again in 2017, the most well-trafficked articles posted at SourceSecurity.com tended to be those that addressed timely and important issues in the security marketplace. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click.

 

Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles posted at SourceSecurity.com in 2017 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with the author’s name and a brief excerpt.

MOBOTIX' new CEO Thomas Lausten predicts a bright future for MOBOTIX AG
MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software

1. MOBOTIX Aims High with Cybersecurity and Customer-Focused Solutions [Jeannie Corfield]

With a new CEO and Konica Minolta on board, MOBOTIX is set for expansion on a global scale. But how much growth can we expect for a company like MOBOTIX in an increasingly commoditised surveillance market, where many of the larger players compete on price as a key differentiator? While MOBOTIX respects those players, the German manufacturer wants to tell a different story. Rather than competing as a camera hardware manufacturer, MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software – camera units are just one part of an intelligent system. When MOBOTIX succeeds in telling this story, partners understand that it’s not about the price.

2. ‘Anti-Surveillance Clothing’ Creates a New Wrinkle in Facial Detection [Larry Anderson]

The latest challenge to facial recognition technology is “anti-surveillance clothing,” aimed at confusing facial recognition algorithms as a way of preserving “privacy.” The clothing, covered with ghostly face-like designs to specifically trigger face-detection algorithms, are a backlash against the looming possibility of facial recognition being used in retail environments and for other commercial purposes.

3. Drone Terror: How to Protect Facilities and People [Logan Harris]

Already, rogue groups such as ISIS have used low cost drones to carry explosives in targeted attacks. Using this same method, targeting high profile locations to create terror and panic is very possible. Security professionals and technologists are working furiously to address the gaps in drone defence. Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) is a security technology addressing the problems with other types of detection. CSR, like traditional radar, has the benefit of being able to detect and track foreign objects in all weather conditions, but at a fraction of the size and cost.

Deep learning and artificial intelligence are having an increasing impact on the security industry
The last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning

4. Deep Learning Algorithms Broaden the Scope of Video Analytics [Zvika Anshani]

Until recently there have been minimal applications of Machine Learning used in video analytics products, largely due to high complexity and high resource usage, which made such products too costly for mainstream deployment. However, the last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning. The recent increased interest in Deep Learning is largely due to the availability of graphical processing units (GPUs). GPUs can efficiently train and run Deep Learning algorithms

5. Body Worn Cameras: Overcoming the Challenges of Live Video Streaming [Mark Patrick]

Most body camera manufacturers, that are trying to stream, attempt to use these consumer technologies; but they don’t work very well in the field, which is not helpful when you need to see what is happening, right now, on the ground. The video must be of usable quality, even though officers wearing the cameras may be moving and experiencing signal fluctuations – most mobile video produces significant delays and signal breakups. Video and audio must always remain in sync so there’s no confusion about who said what. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of the scene and support immediate decision-making by local and remote team members and support teams moving to the scene.

6. QinetiQ Demonstrates New Privacy-Protecting Body Scanner for Crowded Places [Ron Alalouff]

QinetiQ has developed a scanner that can be used in crowded places without having to slow down or stop moving targets. The body scanner, capable of detecting hidden explosives or weapons on a person, has been demonstrated publicly in the United Kingdom for the first time. SPO-NX from QinetiQ – a company spun out of the UK’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) in 2001 – can quickly screen large groups of people for concealed weapons or explosives in a passive, non-intrusive way, without needing people to stop or slow down.

7. ISC West 2017: How Will IT and Consumer Electronics Influence the Security Industry? [Fredrik Nilsson]

A good way to predict trends [at the upcoming ISC West show] is to look at what’s happening in some larger, adjacent technology industries, such as IT and consumer electronics. Major trends on these fronts are the most likely to influence what new products will be launched in the electronic security industry. Proof in point is H.264, an advanced compression technology ratified in 2003 and adopted as the new standard by the consumer industry a few years later. By 2009, it became the new compression standard for the video surveillance industry as well.

Security is increasingly integrated into smart building management systems
By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment

8. Integrating Security Management into Broader Building Systems [Gert Rohrmann]

Security solutions should be about integration not isolation. Many organisations are considering their existing processes and systems and looking at how to leverage further value. Security is part of that focus and is a central component in the move towards a more integrated approach, which results in significant benefits. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, including building automation, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment.

9. How to Use Video Analytics and Metadata to Prevent Terrorist Attacks [Yury Akhmetov]

How we defend and prevent terrorism must be based on intelligent processing of information, and an early awareness of potential threats – and effective preventive action – may eliminate most attacks. Video analytics, automated surveillance and AI decision-making will change the rules of the struggle between civilians and terrorists by making attempted attacks predictable, senseless and silent. To what extent can technology investigate and prevent terror crimes considering the latest technology innovations?

10. Next Generation Video Analytics: Separating Fact from Fiction [Erez Goldstein]

‘Next generation video analytics’ is a catchy marketing phrase, is how much substance is behind it? Video analytics as a technology has been with us for many years, but there has always been an air of confusion and mystery around it, in large part created by Hollywood movies, where every camera is connected, an operator can search the network and locate the villain in a matter of seconds. I am pleased to say that, in many respects, fact has caught up with fiction, with the newest video analytics solutions that are now on the market focusing on search and specifically real-time search. These solutions have been tried, tested and proven to help reduce search time from hours to minutes and even seconds.

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In case you missed it

What are the security challenges of the hospitality market?
What are the security challenges of the hospitality market?

Hospitality businesses work to provide a safe and pleasant customer experience for their guests. Hotels offer a “home away from home” for millions of guests every day around the world. These are businesses of many sizes and types, providing services ranging from luxury accommodations to simple lodging for business travelers to family vacation experiences. Hospitality businesses also include restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other venues. Security needs are varied and require technologies that span a wide spectrum. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of the hospitality market?

Physical and cyber security precautions when travelling
Physical and cyber security precautions when travelling

Surveillance systems can track the locations of mobile phone users and spy on their calls, texts and data streams. The Washington Post has reported on such systems that are being turned against travellers around the world, according to security experts and U.S. officials. The summer season highlights the need to take extra precautions when travelling. When travelling anywhere in the world, for business or pleasure, citizens need to be aware of and alert to looming physical and cybersecurity threats. To elaborate on expert security tips, strategies and advice for traveling this summer, we presented several questions to The Chertoff Group, a global security advisory firm that enables clients to navigate changes in security risk, technology and policy. Chris Duvall, Senior Director at The Chertoff Group, offers insights into cybersecurity concerns, physical security precautions, and recommends digital resources/apps for consumers while traveling. Q: How are security risks – physical and digital – changing? Why are threats greater today than five years ago? The exponential number of headlines over the past few years is a strong indication that both physical and digital risks are evolving and increasing Duvall: The exponential number of headlines over the past few years is a strong indication that both physical and digital risks are evolving and increasing. The scope, severity and complexity of physical and cyber risks are increasing and becoming more dangerous and destructive. This is especially true for those travelling outside the U.S. On the physical side, threat actors are actively seeking “soft targets” – public events, social settings, mass audience venues, etc. – to communicate their message, sow chaos and inflict catastrophic harm. On the digital or cyber side, we have seen a shift from “thrill hacking,” to an increase of “hacking as a business” (through credential compromise and ransomware), to an increase in “hacking for harm” - with the rise of “nuke ware” and ransomware without a clear financial motivation. Q. What specific precautions should a traveller take to protect their calls, texts and data streams from being spied on? Duvall: When travelling abroad, we recommend to our clients that their personnel and executives should practice good internet and social media hygiene. Some best practices include: Avoid using public Wi-Fi services—unless you use private VPN service for encryption Increase the privacy setting on your technical devices Disable location identifiers on apps Create a new (unlinked) email for internet correspondence Consider purchasing international MyFi devices to decrease the risk of getting your personal identification information (PII) or protected healthcare information (PHI) stolen  Use temporary (i.e. burner) phones to protect your data and your contacts Q. What cybersecurity concerns are likely to impact travellers? Are the threats greater outside the United States or in any specific parts of the world? Significant precautions should be taken to protect personal electronic devices (PEDs) and the data connected to PEDs Duvall: The international cybersecurity landscape has grown increasingly dynamic, with threats posed by government authorities (in some countries), terrorists, insurgents, and criminals, requiring travelers to be proactive and vigilant. U.S. citizens, particularly executives of U.S.-based technology companies, must be aware that they are considered high-value targets for nation-state intelligence services and criminally-motivated bad actors. Many countries will go to great lengths and expense to acquire and exploit proprietary information from U.S.-based companies, and views U.S. executives visiting the country as “soft” targets of opportunity. As such, significant precautions should be taken to protect personal electronic devices (PEDs) and the data connected to PEDs. The tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) utilised by bad actors are often covert and nearly undetectable by the affected person. Threat actors routinely access, monitor and utilise Wi-Fi networks at hotels and in public spaces to compromise target devices. Other targeting methods include luggage searches, extensive questioning, and unnecessary inspection and downloading of information from personal electronic devices. There are numerous, high-risk countries for which the U.S. Government warns travellers to be wary of mobile malware, mobile device privacy attacks and hot spots for mobile botnets. The U.S. Department of State has the most recent and up-to-date list. For example, the U.S. Government has investigated numerous incidents in which U.S. travellers’ PEDs (personal and company devices) have been compromised by Russian authorities while transiting Russian airports, left unattended in public spaces and in travellers’ hotel rooms.  When travelling to an unfamiliar place, research your destination to understand the local roads and transportation, geography, local roads, culture, etiquette and laws Q: What physical security precautions should a traveller take? Duvall: Here are some useful precautions: When traveling to an unfamiliar place, research your destination to understand the local roads and transportation, geography, local roads, culture, etiquette and laws. Protect your personal information and travel itinerary as much as possible. Limit the amount of jewelry worn, cash, credit cards and electronic devices carried while traveling. Avoid staying on the ground floor of a hotel. Consider choosing a room on the 2nd through 7th floors as these rooms may be more difficult to break into than those on the ground level, but still able to be accessed by fire/emergency response equipment. Never answer your hotel room door for anyone until you’ve determined who they are, why they are at your door, and if it is necessary for you to open the door to interact with them. Carry a rubber door stop/wedge with you to install on the room side of the door before you go to bed. Vary your patterns and routines when venturing out in to a new location, do not become predictable. Politely decline offers of food or drink from strangers (If you do accept beverages, ensure that they are in sealed containers and that there is no evidence of tampering). Never discuss your itinerary, personal, business or other sensitive information where others can hear you. Q: How can companies be proactive in protecting their business travellers? Companies should educate their employees on the importance of maintaining good internet hygiene while travelling abroad Duvall: When travelling on business, companies should provide their employees with clean computers and cell phones before departure. Upon return, the company should immediately wipe the computer clean to prevent any malicious threats from penetrating the company’s internal, cyber-infrastructure. Additionally, companies should educate their employees on the importance of maintaining good internet hygiene and recommend their employees disconnect from social media platforms while travelling abroad. Some general tips to recommend to your employees when travelling abroad include: Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (https://step.state.gov/step/) Visit Travel.State.Gov to view travel related information specific to the country or countries you’re visiting, including local US Embassy or Consulate contact information, as well as current travel advisories and alerts. Always leave a copy of your transportation and hotel itinerary and driver’s license (or passport if travelling internationally) with a family member or trusted friend. Always use a baggage tag with a protective cover Avoid using public Wi-Fi services Q: What digital resources and/or apps might a traveller benefit from (and how)? Duvall: The Chertoff Group recommends researching the below travel-related apps before departing on a trip: TravWell: This app provides destination-specific vaccine recommendations, a checklist of what you need to do to prepare for travel, and a customisable healthy travel packing list. The app can store travel documents, keep records of medications and immunisations, and set reminders to get vaccine booster doses or take medicines. My TSA: This app provides real-time updates on airport delays. It includes how long security lines are at various airports; information about what you can and cannot bring onto an airplane; and a frequently-asked question list, including new advanced imaging technology. Border Wait Time: The app provides estimated wait times and open-lane status at land ports of entry, which may be particularly helpful when in an area with multiple crossings. Mobile Pass: The Mobile Passport app speeds you through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at (1) cruise port and (24) airports Q: As a security expert, what’s your best advice for travellers? Duvall: At the end of the day, travel security is not rocket science. Simply put, travellers need to: Be aware and situationally alert at all times. Be aware and situationally alert to the location of your luggage and carry-ons at all times. Don’t access unknown, unsecured or public Wi-Fi if at all possible. Turn off “auto connect” features and institute stringent privacy controls as much as possible. Try to “blend in” – you don’t have to try to look like a local but travellers should avoid gaudy and expensive attire wherever possible. Use your common sense – if an offer, invitation or opportunity seems to good to be true... it probably is.

Mass transit security evolves with modern security solutions
Mass transit security evolves with modern security solutions

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.