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Intruder detectors - Expert commentary

The digital transformation of access control solutions
The digital transformation of access control solutions

The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorisation and the appropriate credentials. But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customised and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms power continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.

AI-based security software is the answer to vandalism and theft prevention
AI-based security software is the answer to vandalism and theft prevention

On November 2019 in Stockton, California, surveillance footage found that vandals shot out glass windows and doors in many places in a small business complex (FOX40). The intruders broke in only to leave with nothing, proving their intent was solely to vandalize the property. Meanwhile, it was reported that a trio of ATM thieves struck around 9 times across many different locations inside Brooklyn and Queens within just over a month in fall 2019 (ATM Marketplace). On average, the cost of vandalism to SMB is around $3,370 per incident (US Small Business Administration), including a staggering 692 vehicle vandalism claims per day. Likewise, the average cost of theft to SMB is about $300 per shoplifting incident and $1,500 per employee theft incident, which accounts for 38% and 34.5% of all theft instances, respectively (National Retail Security Survey). High-performance artificial intelligent systems can automate the monitoring tasks Vandalism and theft have proven time and time again to be inconvenient and deconstructively harmful towards SMB. However, these financial burdens can be prevented with the use of the right security system. AI-based security systems with Deep Learning contain many features that many SMB owners find advantageous in their pursuit to stop unwarranted and unwanted money loss.   Intrusion and loitering detection The first of many features that can help with vandalism and theft prevention is Intrusion Detection. High-performance artificial intelligent systems can automate the monitoring tasks for high-risk sites to provide a high level of security and security personnel monitoring efficiency. Traditional intrusion detection systems detect objects based on size and location, but they do not recognise the type of objects. Now, Intrusion Detection (Perimeter Protection) systems with cutting-edge, built-in AI algorithms to recognise a plethora of different object types, can distinguish objects of interest, thus significantly decreases the false-positive intrusion rate. The more advanced AI-based systems, like those we offered at IronYun, enable the users to draw ROIs based on break-in points, areas of high-valuables, and any other preference to where alerts may be beneficial. Similarly, AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store. The loitering time and region of interest are customisable in particular systems, which allows for a range of detection options. Advanced loitering detection software as such can detect and trigger real-time alerts for both people loitering and/or vehicles that are illegally parked in certain areas of interest. A benefit, which only certain advanced systems contain, is the ability to send trigger actions to 3rd-party systems in reaction to receiving an alert of loitering and/or intrusion detection. These trigger actions can be set to contact authorities immediately and/or trigger a scare tactic alarm or announcement to intruder/loiterer. Certain Face Recognition and License Plate Recognition software can record individual people/vehicles Face and license plate recognition In addition to the activity detection solutions, certain Face Recognition and License Plate Recognition software can record individual people/vehicles and use pre-configured lists to identify particular faces or plates that may be of interest, such as those in watchlists. These systems can also enable the users to upload images of faces not in the lists and search for them in the camera recording. For instance, if a person is detected several times loitering outside a store, one may save one of the detection photos into the watchlist, and set up an alert when said face is recognised again outside the building in the future. The alerts will help to deter and prevent vandalism or theft, and notify the authorities to the scene before the troublemaker completes the act. The main attributes of high-performance Face Recognition systems which maximise assistance with vandalism and theft management include: Face match rate > 90% with good camera angles and lighting. Processing multiple streams and multiple faces per image. Live face extraction and matching to databases of thousands of faces within 3 seconds.                                                                                                                State-of-the-art AI security software with Deep Learning allows the user to no longer need to install special LPR camerasIf the watchlist individual is wearing a mask or their face is not in view of the camera, their license plate may be a good indicator. If a particular car is detected several times loitering in the parking lot or street outside a store, the user can set the alerts for such car to get notified in the future. With an AI solution like this, common street cameras should be equipped with LPR capabilities. So, state-of-the-art AI security software with Deep Learning allows the user to no longer need to install special LPR cameras. High-performance alert mechanisms A high-performance AI solution, in addition to having high accuracy, should be able to: Easily integrate with 3rd-party systems Work well with all ONVIF IP cameras including infrared and thermal ones (for Intrusion detection) Analyses video streams in real time and trigger alerts within a few seconds Send alerts to multiple VMSs, connect with signalling devices such as loud speakers or flashing lights Send email notifications to security staff and police departments Send notification on mobile device using AI NVR mobile app Maintains a record of all alerts to provide evidence of intrusion and loitering instances for police and insurance agencies. To assist in theft and vandalism prevention, AI-based security systems with deep learning will do all of the tedious work for you. Their low cost and high performance also make them the most accessible security solutions in the market with large return on investment. Stopping crimes is a difficult, ongoing challenge, but with the right AI software, business vendors and police departments can do so with more ease.

How is ‘connected world’ defining the future of security
How is ‘connected world’ defining the future of security

There’s a lot of hype around the term ‘digital transformation.’ For some, it’s the integration of digital technology into everyday tasks. For others, it’s the incorporation of innovative processes aimed at making business optimisation easier. In most cases, digital transformation will fundamentally change how an organisation operates and delivers value to its customers. And within the security realm, the age of digital transformation is most certainly upon us. Technology is already a part of our day-to-day lives, with smart devices in our homes and the ability to perform tasks at our fingertips now a reality. No longer are the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities foreign and distant concepts full of intrigue and promise. Enhancing business operations We’re increasingly seeing devices become smarter and better able to communicate with each other These elements are increasingly incorporated into security solutions with each passing day, allowing enterprises the chance to experience countless benefits when it comes to enhancing both safety and business operations. The term ‘connected world’ is a derivative of the digital transformation, signifying the increasing reliance that we have on connectivity, smart devices and data-driven decision-making. As we become more familiar with the advantages, flaws, expectations and best practices surrounding the connected world, we can predict what issues may arise and where the market is heading. We’re increasingly seeing devices become smarter and better able to communicate with each other through the IoT to achieve both simple goals and arduous tasks. Within our homes, we’re able to control a myriad of devices with commands (‘Hey Google...’ or ‘Alexa...’), as well as recall data directly from our mobile devices, such as receiving alerts when someone rings our doorbell, there’s movement in our front yard or when a door has been unlocked. Analytics-driven solutions The focus is now shifting to the business impacts of connectivity between physical devices and infrastructures, and digital computing and analytics-driven solutions. Within physical security, connected devices can encompass a variety of sensors gathering massive amounts of data in a given timeframe: video surveillance cameras, access control readers, fire and intrusion alarms, perimeter detection and more.As the data from each of these sensors is collected and analysed through a central platform, the idea of a connected world comes to fruition, bringing situational awareness to a new level and fostering a sense of proactivity to identifying emerging threats. The connected world, however, is not without its challenges, which means that certain considerations must be made in an effort to protect data, enhance structured networking and apply protective protocols to developing technology. Physical security systems We can expect to see the conversations regarding data privacy and security increase as well As the use of connected devices and big data continue to grow, we can expect to see the conversations regarding data privacy and security increase as well. Connectivity between devices can open up the risk of cyber vulnerabilities, but designing safeguards as technology advances will lessen these risks. The key goal is to ensure that the data organisations are using for enhancement and improvements is comprehensively protected from unauthorised access. Manufacturers and integrators must be mindful of their products' capabilities and make it easy for end users to adhere to data sharing and privacy regulations. These regulations, which greatly affect physical security systems and the way they're managed, are being implemented worldwide, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the United States, California, Vermont and South Carolina have followed suit, and it can be expected that more countries and U.S. states develop similar guidelines in the future. Technology is already a part of our day-to-day lives, with smart devices in our homes and the ability to perform tasks at our fingertips now a reality Automatic security updates Mitigating the concerns of the ‘connected world’ extends beyond just data privacy. IoT technology is accelerating at such a pace that it can potentially create detrimental problems for which many organisations may be ill-prepared - or may not even be able to comprehend. The opportunities presented by an influx of data and the IoT, and applying these technologies to markets such as smart cities, can solve security and operational problems, but this requires staying proactive when it comes to threats and practicing the proper protection protocols. As manufacturers develop devices that will be connected on the network, integrating standard, built-in protections becomes paramount. This can take the form of continuous vulnerability testing and regular, automatic security updates. Protocols are now being developed that are designed to ensure everything is encrypted, all communications are monitored and multiple types of attacks are considered for defensive purposes to provide the best security possible. IoT-connected devices Hackers wishing to do harm will stop at nothing to break into IoT-connected devices Built-in protection mechanisms send these kinds of systems into protection mode once they are attacked by an outside source. Another way for manufacturers to deliver solutions that are protected from outside threats is through constant and consistent testing of the devices long after they are introduced to the market. Hackers wishing to do harm will stop at nothing to break into IoT-connected devices, taking every avenue to discover vulnerabilities. But a manufacturer that spends valuable resources to continue testing and retesting products will be able to identify any issues and correct them through regular software updates and fixes. ‘IoT’ has become a common term in our vocabularies and since it’s more widely understood at this point and time, it's exciting to think about the possibilities of this revolutionary concept. Providing critical insights The number of active IoT devices is expected to grow to 22 billion by 2025 — a number that is almost incomprehensible. The rise of 5G networks, artificial intelligence (AI) and self-driving cars can be seen on the horizon of the IoT. As more of these devices are developed and security protocols are developed at a similar pace, connected devices stand to benefit a variety of industries, such as smart cities. Smart cities rely on data communicated via the IoT to enhance processes and create streamlined approaches Smart cities rely on data communicated via the IoT to enhance processes and create streamlined approaches to ensuring a city is well-run and safe. For example, think of cameras situated at a busy intersection. Cameras at these locations have a variety of uses, such as investigative purposes in the event of an accident or for issuing red-light tickets to motorists. But there are so many other possible purposes for this connected device, including providing critical insights about intersection usage and traffic congestion. These insights can then be used to adjust stoplights during busy travel times or give cities valuable data that can drive infrastructure improvements. Physical security market The impact of connected devices on cities doesn’t stop at traffic improvement. The possibilities are endless; by leveraging rich, real-time information, cities can improve efficiencies across services such as transportation, water management and healthcare. However, stringent protections are needed to harden security around the networks transmitting this kind of information in an effort to mitigate the dangers of hacking and allow this technology to continuously be improved. Whether you believe we’re in the midst of a digital transformation or have already completed it, one thing is certain: businesses must begin thinking in these connectivity-driven terms sooner rather than later so they aren’t left behind. Leveraging smart, connected devices can catapult organisations into a new level of situational awareness, but adopting protections and remaining vigilant continues to be a stalwart of technological innovation within the physical security market and into the connected world.

Latest Eaton news

CSL adds another variant for Eaton to its CSL connected range
CSL adds another variant for Eaton to its CSL connected range

CSL is delighted to announce that they have added another variant for Eaton to their award-winning CSL Connected range. The CSL Connected range has been extended to include a GSM variant for Eaton. Their GSM variant is now available to order from your chosen ARC. In partnership with the Panel Manufacturers, CSL Connected combines their Critical Connectivity with the chosen alarm panel and the added option of an end-user App. This offers Installers professionally monitored signalling designed to discourage self-monitored systems that bypass ARCs. Providing customers with latest solutions CSL would also like to remind its user of all the options they currently have available across the 4 product variants and 6 manufacturers. CSL’s Sales Director, Rob Evans, commented: “CSL Connected has been really well received by Installers since its launch and to now add another variant for Eaton is great news for the industry. It is part of our ongoing commitment to provide our customers with the latest solutions to support their businesses.”

Stay ahead of 2020's trends with this cyber security guidance
Stay ahead of 2020's trends with this cyber security guidance

It seems that only a few days pass between cyber security stories of concern to the public such as personal data leaks and DIY home camera hacks. With this in mind and the need for increased connectivity, the industry is in need for guidance in cyber security. 2020 is set to be a year of change for the physical security industry. Here are the top four predictions to stay head of market trends in the year ahead. 1. There will be more clarity for installers about industry-standard for cyber security The professional security industry will next year see the launch of a new set of cybersecurity guidelines Through the work being conducted by the BSIA Cyber Security Product Assurance Group (CySPAG), the professional security industry will next year see the launch of a new set of cybersecurity guidelines. This will provide the industry with the guidance and clarity that is currently missing. A key area of clarification is the chain of responsibility. It is not just the responsibility of the manufacturer to keep everything secure from a cyber-perspective. The whole supply chain is responsible - once a product leaves the lab where they’re manufactured, conditions change. Those who maintain, install and operate the product have a shared responsibility to ensure that a product or system remains cyber secure. As the sector develops and more cyber-enabled products become available to the market, this cyber security approach will become more important, and a key differentiator to the DIY market, which can only be a good thing. 2. Cloud and 4G connectivity are giving end-customers better physical security The percentage of panels connected to cloud services is now increasing every year Manufactures have been producing cloud-ready products for several years. Initially, not all installers had been taking advantage of benefits of cloud-connected panels, however the percentage of panels connected to cloud services is now increasing every year. Trust and education have improved, meaning that installers and end-users have realised that connectivity is positive, enabling consumers to check on their properties remotely and allow installer to remotely support their customers. However, one area of constraint has been the dependency on customers networks which may, or may not, offer the level of performance that a robust and resilient security system demands. With the introduction of mobile data connectivity to connected products over the past few years, and as connectivity becomes more widespread across physical security products there will also be a greater shift toward mobile technologies such as 4G, either as a back up to a router connection or for complete network independence. 3. Connectivity is changing the way installers work Installers are a vital part of the chain of when a new alarm system is fitted into a property Installers are a vital part of the chain of when a new alarm system is fitted into a property, providing both installation and maintenance services. Traditionally maintenance activities have always been delivered on-site. With the increased ease of connectivity for security systems and the advancements in how these systems are used, installers are provided further opportunity to enhance customer service around the delivery of maintenance. It is no longer a requirement to have a customer wait until an engineer can attend a property to remedy a fault, as many can now be addressed within minutes from any location in the world. This ability allows installation businesses to focus their engineers on more critical tasks while delivering an overall higher level of customer service. Indeed, some installation businesses are moving to a model of having dedicated remote support engineers in addition to the road-based team. 4. Manufacturers are ready for IP-only alarms, ahead of the 2025 analogue switch off The PSTN switch off being conducted by BT and other service providers is due to be completed in 2025 The PSTN switch off being conducted by BT and other service providers is due to be completed in 2025 as part of the move to Next Generation Networks, ending the use of analogue phone lines and moves communications technology into an all IP-only space. Although some service providers have indicated that there may be some type of initial PSTN simulation, those providers that are doing this are also making it clear that this is only a temporary solution. The switch off will be a huge change for the security industry. Where heritage, analogue alarm systems are in use, installers will need to plan to reconfigure existing systems to use the temporary PSTN simulation functions (where available) or upgrade systems to an all IP solution. Although 2025 feels a long way off, installers and end-users need to start planning now and taking the necessary action. In our sector, manufacturers are ready for IP-only alarms through the provision of cloud-based solutions and the use of techniques such as SIA IP for ARC monitoring.

Eaton releases Scantronic grade 2 and 3 panels for residential and commercial buildings
Eaton releases Scantronic grade 2 and 3 panels for residential and commercial buildings

Eaton announces the availability of its new Scantronic grade 2 and 3 panels, both compatible with SecureConnect™ - an innovative smart security management system for residential and commercial buildings. The expandable, remotely configurable panels are ideal for medium and large premises, as they allow users to connect and manage up to 50 or 200 zones. SecureConnect™ panel benefits include a lower cost per zone thanks to an innovative, 10-zone expander design, rather than the traditional eight. This enables a simple decimal numbering system that’s far easier to understand. Cloud-connected capabilities Powerful Flexibus™ technology is also designed with installer convenience in mind On-device buzzers triggered from any keypad then save hours looking for hidden expanders in challenging locations – especially helpful when it comes to large complex sites. Powerful Flexibus™ technology is also designed with installer convenience in mind. Unlike with conventional panels, this offers the flexibility to install up to 50 devices in any of the following ways to optimise cable runs: allocating devices equally across all buses, installing all devices on a single bus, or using any combination in between. Not only is this a real saver in terms of cabling time, it cuts cabling costs significantly. Thanks to cloud-connected capabilities, users can set and unset their alarm system via the Secure Connect™ app from anywhere in the world, plus customisable push notifications and easy third-party product integration via LAN or cloud. Minimising training requirements Eaton Product Manager, Dave Ward, said: “Eaton first launched its SecureConnect™-enabled grade 2 radio and hybrid panels in 2016. These have been very well received by our customers since, thanks to their dependability, as well as their class-leading security capabilities." The i-on SecureConnect™ range now offers a solution for almost any installation" "These two new panels now provide the same features for metal housing expandable systems and those with Grade 3 capabilities. The i-on SecureConnect™ range now offers a solution for almost any installation.” A common programming method across all i-on control panels minimises training requirements and further reduces installation time. Semi Auto Addressing of the expander – instead of relying on the installer’s memory – prevents the confusion of two devices being accidentally given the same address. Smart security management system Like all Scantronic products, the new panel range comes with extensive technical service, training and support through the TouchPoint hub. SecureConnect™ is a smart security management system for residential and commercial buildings that enables remote monitoring of the latest IP intruder alarm devices via a user-friendly interface. The system delivers smart security control and convenience reinforced by protection against digital threats. It ensures both installers and system users remain securely connected to what matters most.