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Intruder detectors - Expert commentary

Cutting through the hype: AI and ML for the security space
Cutting through the hype: AI and ML for the security space

Today’s organisations face numerous diverse threats to their people, places and property, sometimes simultaneously. Security leaders now know all too well how a pandemic can cripple a company’s ability to produce goods and services, or force production facilities to shut down, disrupting business continuity. For example, a category three hurricane barreling towards the Gulf of Mexico could disable the supplier’s facilities, disrupt the supply chain and put unexpected pressure on an unprepared local power grid. Delivering timely critical information Tracking such risk is hard enough, but managing it is even more difficult. A swift response depends on delivering the right information to the right people, at the right time. And, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Indeed, 61 percent of large enterprises say critical information came too late for them, in order to mitigate the impact of a crisis, according to Aberdeen Research (Aberdeen Strategy & Research). These challenges are accelerating the hype around Artificial Intelligence (AI) These challenges are accelerating the hype around Artificial Intelligence (AI). The technology promises to help us discover new insights, predict the future and take over tasks that are now handled by humans. Maybe even cure cancer. Accelerating the hype around AI But is AI really living up to all this hype? Can it really help security professionals mitigate risk? After all, there’s a serious need for technology to provide fast answers to even faster-moving issues, given the proliferation of data and the speed at which chaos can impact operations. Risk managers face three major obstacles to ensuring business continuity and minimising disruptions. These include: Data fatigue - Simply put, there’s too much data for human analysts to process in a timely manner. By 2025, the infosphere is expected to produce millions of words per day. At that pace, you’d need an army of analysts to monitor, summarise and correlate the information to your impacted locations, before you can communicate instructions. It’s a herculean task, made even more difficult, when we consider that 30 percent of this global datasphere is expected to be consumed in real time, according to IDC. Relevance and impact - Monitoring the flood of information is simply the first hurdle. Understanding its impact is the second. When a heat dome is predicted to cover the entire U.S. Pacific Northwest, risk managers must understand the specifics. Will it be more or less hot near their facilities? Do they know what steps local utilities are taking to protect the power grid? Such questions can’t be answered by a single system. Communication - Once you know which facilities are impacted and what actions to take, you need to let your employees know. If the event is urgent, an active shooter or an earthquake, do you have a fast, effective way to reach these employees? It’s not as simple as broadcasting a company-wide alert. The real question is, do you have the ability to pinpoint the location of your employees and not just those working on various floor in the office, but also those who are working from home? How AI and ML cut through the noise Although Artificial Intelligence can help us automate simple tasks, such as alert us to breaking news, it requires several Machine Learning systems to deliver actionable risk intelligence. Machine Learning is a branch of AI that uses algorithms to find hidden insights in data, without being programmed where to look or what to conclude. More than 90 percent of risk intelligence problems use supervised learning, a Machine Learning approach defined by its use of labelled datasets. The benefit of supervised learning is that it layers several pre-vetted datasets, in order to deliver context-driven AI The benefit of supervised learning is that it layers several pre-vetted datasets, in order to deliver context-driven AI. Reading the sources, it can determine the category, time and location, and cluster this information into a single event. As a result, it can correlate verified events to the location of the people and assets, and notify in real time. It’s faster, more customised and more accurate than simple Artificial Intelligence, based on a single source of data. Real-world actionable risk intelligence How does this work in the real world? One telecommunications company uses AI and ML to protect a mobile workforce, dispersed across several regions. An AI-powered risk intelligence solution provides their decision makers with real-time visibility into the security of facilities, logistics and personnel movements. Machine Learning filters out the noise of irrelevant critical event data, allowing their security teams to focus only on information specific to a defined area of interest. As a result, they’re able to make informed, proactive decisions and rapidly alert employees who are on the move. Four must-have AI capabilities To gain real actionable risk intelligence, an AI solution should support four key capabilities: A focus on sourcing quality over quantity. There are tens of thousands of sources that provide information about emerging threats - news coverage, weather services, social media, FBI intelligence and so much more. Select feeds that are trusted, relevant and pertinent to your operations. Swift delivery of relevant intelligence. To reduce the mean-time-to-recovery (MTTR), risk managers need an accurate understanding of what’s happening. Consider the different contextual meanings of the phrases ‘a flood of people in the park’ and ‘the park is at risk due to a flood’. Machine Learning continuously increases the speed of data analysis and improves interpretation. Ability to cross-reference external events with internal data. As it scans different data sources, an AI engine can help you fine-tune your understanding of what’s happening and where. It will pick up contextual clues and map them to your facilities automatically, so you know immediately what your response should be. Ready-to-go communications. Long before a threat emerges, you can create and store distribution, and message templates, as well as test your critical communications system. Handling these tasks well in advance means you can launch an alert at a moment’s notice. The ability to minimise disruptions and ensure business continuity depends on speed, relevance and usability. AI and ML aren’t simply hype. Instead, they’re vital tools that make it possible for security professionals to cut through the noise faster and protect their people, places and property.

The physical side of data protection
The physical side of data protection

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated our digital dependency, on a global scale. Data centres have become even more critical to modern society. The processing and storage of information underpin the economy, characterised by a consistent increase in the volume of data and applications, and reliance upon the internet and IT services. Data centres classed as CNI As such, they are now classed as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and sit under the protection of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). As land continues to surge in value, data centre operators are often limited for choice, on where they place their sites and are increasingly forced to consider developed areas, close to other infrastructures, such as housing or industrial sites. Complex security needs One misconception when it comes to data centres is that physical security is straightforward One misconception when it comes to data centres is that physical security is straightforward. However, in practice, things are far more complex. On top of protecting the external perimeter, thought must also be given to factors, such as access control, hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM), protecting power infrastructure, as well as standby generators and localising security devices to operate independently of the main data centre. Face value How a site looks is more important than you may think. Specify security that appears too hostile risks blatantly advertising that you’re protecting a valuable target, ironically making it more interesting to opportunistic intruders. The heightened security that we recommend to clients for these types of sites, include 4 m high-security fences, coils of razor wire, CCTV, and floodlighting. When used together in an integrated approach, it’s easy to see how they make the site appear hostile against its surroundings. However, it must appear secure enough to give the client peace of mind that the site is adequately protected. Getting the balance right is crucial. So, how do you balance security, acoustics and aesthetics harmoniously? Security comes first These are essential facilities and as a result, they require appropriate security investment. Cutting corners leads to a greater long-term expense and increases the likelihood of highly disruptive attacks. Checkpoints Fortunately, guidance is available through independent accreditations and certifications, such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) LPS 1175 ratings, the PAS 68 HVM rating, CPNI approval, and the police initiative - Secured by Design (SBD). Thorough technical evaluation and quality audit These bodies employ thorough technical evaluation work and rigorous quality audit processes to ensure products deliver proven levels of protection. With untested security measures, you will not know whether a product works until an attack occurs. Specifying products accredited by established bodies removes this concern. High maintenance Simply installing security measures and hoping for the best will not guarantee 24/7 protection. Just as you would keep computer software and hardware updated, to provide the best level of protection for the data, physical security also needs to be well-maintained, in order to ensure it is providing optimum performance. Importance of testing physical security parameters Inspecting the fence line may seem obvious and straightforward, but it needs to be done regularly. From our experience, this is something that is frequently overlooked. The research we conducted revealed that 63% of companies never test their physical security. They should check the perimeter on both sides and look for any attempted breaches. Foliage, weather conditions or topography changes can also affect security integrity. Companies should also check all fixtures and fittings, looking for damage and corrosion, and clear any litter and debris away. Accessibility When considering access control, speed gates offer an excellent solution for data centres. How quickly a gate can open and close is essential, especially when access to the site is restricted. The consequences of access control equipment failing can be extremely serious, far over a minor irritation or inconvenience. Vehicle and pedestrian barriers, especially if automated, require special attention to maintain effective security and efficiency. Volume control Data centres don’t generally make the best neighbours. The noise created from their 24-hour operation can be considerable. HVAC systems, event-triggered security and fire alarms, HV substations, and vehicle traffic can quickly become unbearable for residents. Secure and soundproof perimeter As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing So, how do you create a secure and soundproof perimeter? Fortunately, through LPS 1175 certification and CPNI approval, it is possible to combine high-security performance and up to 28dB of noise reduction capabilities. As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing. Seamlessly locking thick timber boards create a flat face, making climbing difficult and the solid boards prevent lines of sight into the facility. For extra protection, steel mesh can either be added to one side of the fence or sandwiched between the timber boards, making it extremely difficult to break through. A fair façade A high-security timber fence can be both, aesthetically pleasing and disguise its security credentials. Its pleasant natural façade provides a foil to the stern steel bars and mesh, often seen with other high-security solutions. Of course, it’s still important that fencing serves its primary purposes, so make sure you refer to certifications, to establish a product’s security and acoustic performance. Better protected The value of data cannot be overstated. A breach can have severe consequences for public safety and the economy, leading to serious national security implications. Countering varied security threats Data centres are faced with an incredibly diverse range of threats, including activism, sabotage, trespass, and terrorism on a daily basis. It’s no wonder the government has taken an active role in assisting with their protection through the medium of the CPNI and NCSC. By working with government bodies such as the CPNI and certification boards like the LPCB, specifiers can access a vault of useful knowledge and advice. This will guide them to effective and quality products that are appropriate for their specific site in question, ensuring it’s kept safe and secure.

We need to talk about intelligent enclosure protection
We need to talk about intelligent enclosure protection

Enclosures containing electronics, communications or cabling infrastructure offer a simple attack point for cyber breaches and an opportunity for a physical attack on the hardware. Yet, many of these assets are housed within enclosures that provide minimal security features to offer a deterrent to any would-be attacker. This has always just been a pet hate. Walking down the high street of a town anywhere in the United Kingdom, you can often see open street communication cabinets. You can actually look directly inside at the equipment. And if I was a bad guy, I could quite easily just put my foot into their enclosure and quite quickly take out their infrastructure. Charged service for enclosures This seems crazy when a US$ 2 magnetic contact on a door can quickly tell you whether your enclosure is open or shut, and can be vital in keeping your network alive. Moreover, the operators of these systems, whether it is telecoms or internet providers, are providing a charged service to their customers, so they should really be protecting their enclosures. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? More sobering, if you contrast this security approach to the approach taken in the data centre world, an environment that already has multiple stringent security protocols in place, you get a very different picture. For instance, security devices can capture snapshots of anyone who opens a cabinet door in a data room, so it is recorded who has opened that door. While that is just one simple example, it begs the question. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? In my mind, a lot of it boils down simply to education. Network connection, easy point of cyber attacks Our preconceived idea about cyber security is some big corporation being knocked out or held to ransom by, again in our mind, someone sitting at a laptop, probably with their hood up over their head, typing away in the darkness, attacking us through the internet. But how the would-be criminal is going to come at us is just like in sport. They attack at the weakest point. Networks can be deployed in the outside world in many ways, such as cameras monitoring the highways. That means those locations will have a network connection. And that can be a point of attack in a non-secure outside world. Enclosures can be broken into by attackers Many people think, ‘That is okay because I’m going to take that ethernet device that my cameras are connected to and I’m going to put it inside an enclosure.’ However, what people do not realize is that the only thing that the enclosure is doing is protecting the ethernet device from Mother Nature. Because, without proper security, those enclosures can be broken into pretty easily. Many of them are just a single key that is not in any way coded to the device. Twofold cyber security People need to realise that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking Therein lays the problem. People need to realise that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking into the weakest physical point. And so, a simple boot through the open door of an enclosure can vandalise the devices inside and take down a small or large part of a network. And by definition, this meets the criteria for a cyber-attack. So, how do we go about tackling this problem? Well, security is a reaction marketplace. And for enclosures, there’s not, at present, a plethora of solutions out there for to counter these types of attacks. It can be challenging to find what you’re looking for through a quick Google search compared to searching for more traditional security protection measures. Deploying smart sensors and detectors But, under Vanderbilt and ComNet, we are currently taking our knowledge and experience from system installation and compiling it together. We’re bringing different products from different parts of our business to make a true solution. For instance, we have sensors for enclosures that detect anything from gas or smoke to open doors, detectors that will tell you if someone is trying to smash open your enclosure with a sledgehammer, or that someone is trying to lift your enclosure off of its mount. More importantly, as is not really a one-size-fits-all solution, we have developed a menu structure available that allows customers to pick and choose the ones that will best fit their own requirements.

Latest Eaton news

Eaton launches a range of GRP cameras for use in hazardous area communications
Eaton launches a range of GRP cameras for use in hazardous area communications

Power management company Eaton announces the launch of a pioneering range of GRP cameras for use in hazardous area communications. Corrosion-free and much lighter in weight than their metal counterparts, the new GRP cameras offer end-users significant improvements in a lifetime performance, as well as reduced transportation, operating and maintenance costs. Eaton GRP cameras are ideally suited to remote monitoring of process and security activities in harsh environmental conditions or explosive atmospheres. Their Ex rating, light weight and durability make Eaton GRP cameras an excellent choice for offshore and onshore hazardous area installations, pipelines and processing plants: typically within the oil & gas, chemical and waste treatment industries. Hazardous area applications The cameras are also ideal in grain handling and marine environments such as sea ports, specialist ships and windfarms. Commenting on the launch Brian Taylor, Product Manager, explains: “No other camera manufacturer has launched an Ex camera product in composite material, so Eaton is once again leading the way.” No other camera manufacturer has launched an Ex camera product in composite material" “The use of GRP to replace 316 stainless steel or aluminium may seem like a radical move, but Eaton has developed its own, high-grade GRP specifically for use in hazardous area applications, which has been used as the housing material for over 25 years on our Ex range of MEDC sounders, beacons and speakers. Its proven performance in the field means we know that the new GRP cameras will really deliver in terms of durability and reliability, offering Eaton customers compact camera stations with significant weight and performance benefits.” Compact camera stations The new GRP camera station range will include three designs – fixed (XFG), dome (XDG) and next-generation PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras. The XFG is first to market and is certified IP66, IP67, NEMA 4x & 6: making it suitable for outdoor, corrosive, and indoor applications in Zone 1, 2, 21, 22, Class I Div 2 (Gas Groups A-D) and Class II Div 2 (Dust Groups F & G). In addition to the GRP cameras, Eaton offers a complete Ex product portfolio of washer tanks, beacons, sounders, speakers and junction boxes: enabling specifiers and installers to source a full range of hazardous area communication products from a single supplier.

Identiv shares details on why Bahnhof Data Centre is one of the world’s most secure buildings
Identiv shares details on why Bahnhof Data Centre is one of the world’s most secure buildings

Pionen is a former civil defence centre constructed in the White Mountains Södermalm borough of Stockholm, Sweden in 1943 to safeguard essential government functions. It was transformed into a data centre by the Swedish internet service provider, Bahnhof. Sweden’s Bahnhof Data Centre was officially opened on September 11, 2008, and the company continues to use the facility till now. The building is concealed under the mountain and is secured by a 15.75 in (40 cm) thick door and can only be reached by an entrance tunnel. Due to all of these features, the data centre can withstand even a hydrogen bomb. Constructing something exceptional The Bahnhof Data Centre is also a co-location centre. In 2010, WikiLeaks used its co-location services to store its servers. The facility is architected in such a way that it looks like a vision right out of a science fiction movie. Bahnhof purposefully planned its server environment to bring to mind the cinematic look and feel of science fiction movies like Silent Running and Logan’s Run. The company has preserved the place’s cold war moniker, Pionen White Mountains The Bahnhof Data Centre exists in a previous nuclear shelter about 100 ft (30 m) under the ground. The company has preserved the place’s cold war moniker, Pionen White Mountains, and some of its accoutrements. One of the signs near the entrance reads: these doors should be locked at DEFCON1. This extraordinary facility came to life thanks to a distinct design idea, thoughtful use of technology, and a strong aspiration to construct something exceptional. Hydrogen bomb explosion Bahnhof Data Centre facts are as follows: It took 20 months to design and construct the facility. The centre has an IT usable capacity of 800 kW. There are 140 cabinets with a power density of 5.7 kW average per cabinet. There is no particular maximum. Cooling, organised cabling, and electrical wiring are fitted under a 3.3 ft (1 m) deep raised flooring. The facility is located in a site that was initially an army bunker and nuclear shelter during the cold war. The shelter was designed to withstand a hydrogen bomb explosion. It houses the Network Operations Centre (NOC) for all of ISP’s operations. They have five (5) data centres in the country, with Pionen being the largest. The facility also serves as a co-location hosting centre, so one can really put their own servers here. It features two Maybach MTU diesel engines and Baltimore Aircoil fans. A team of only 15 senior technical employees work permanently in the facility. Former nuclear bunker The data centre is situated below 30 m of solid granite foundation The Bahnhof Data Centre is a Hollywood-style Swedish data centre situated in a former nuclear bunker, deep in the bedrock right beneath the city of Stockholm. It was constructed to be able to survive a blast by a hydrogen bomb. The building has a total area of 10,764 sq ft (1,000 sq m), with 5,382 sq ft (500 sq m) of hosting area and 2,153 sq ft (200 sq. m) for back-of-house systems. The residual area is for office and personnel spaces. It can tolerate a structural loading of 403 lbs per sq ft (2 tons per sq m). The data centre is situated below 30 m of solid granite foundation. Glass-walled room When one enters the facility, the first thing they will notice are two huge engines that automatically start in the event of a power cut. These are genuine German submarine engines. The mountain walls inside are covered with green plants that makes one feel as if they provide the site with extra oxygen. Excess heat created by the servers is recycled into the local district heating network There is also a massive insulated, circular glass-walled room that floats above the ground, serving as a conference room. The round carpet inside the conference room looks like the moon. For a pleasant work atmosphere, the facility has simulated daylight, conservatories, man-made waterfalls, and a massive 2600 lt saltwater fish tank. Excess heat created by the servers is recycled into the local district heating network, making this facility one of the most environmentally-friendly data centres across the globe. Co-location hosting According to Jon Karlung, CEO at Bahnhof, the exceptional design of the data centre makes it a much-talked-about facility worldwide. If one has been inside the building, they will certainly tell other people about it. The exclusive approach also aids the business to get the word out about their building. It makes them stick out, and as the building provides co-location hosting, they have consumers who often visit the site and work there. These individuals share what they see with others, which creates positive word-of-mouth marketing for the company. Server capacity services Bahnhof has delivered internet and hosting services since its establishment in 1994 Bahnhof has delivered internet and hosting services since its establishment in 1994. In 2006, it came across an exciting prospect to expand its premises and include a subterranean bunker initially serving as an army shelter and nuclear bunker during the Cold War era. In 2007-2008, Bahnhof Data Centre was totally repurposed to become the remarkable facility. Over 4,000 cubic m (141,300 cubic ft) of solid rock was blasted away to create the 1,200 sq m that the company required. The redesigned facility became operational in September 2008, accommodating a huge part of the company’s network operations and serving as a co-location centre for a range of businesses and people looking for server capacity services. Human-friendly atmosphere The Bahnhof Data Centre is different from all other hosting facilities across the globe. It was inspired by movies like The Empire Strikes Back and James Bond. The building has an exceptional human-friendly atmosphere, housing magnificent waterfalls, conservatories, a glass-walled meeting room floating above the ground, and artificial daylight. Bahnhof Data Centre is one of the best-connected sites in the North European region Bahnhof Data Centre is one of the best-connected sites in the North European region. It provides triple redundancy internet backbone access. The network has complete redundancy with both fibre optics and additional copper lines with several different physical ways into the mountain. The data centre depends on Eaton’s UPS protection to offer rock-solid network operations and co-location services. The backup power supply is guaranteed by two Maybach MTU diesel engines that were initially designed for submarines. They can generate 1.5 megawatts of power. A submarine sound-horn is fitted near the engines and alarms in case of a system breakdown. Rack-mounted servers The cooling is controlled by Baltimore Aircoil fans generating a cooling effect of 1.5 megawatts. This is sufficient to cool hundreds of rack-mounted servers at a time. With a massive 11,950 sq ft space, the facility houses a NOC for all of the ISP’s operations. The network of Global Switch includes numerous main production servers As one of five data centres, it is the biggest and is operated by a team of 15 senior technical employees. The network of Global Switch includes numerous main production servers, backup servers, and administrative, standby, and dedicated servers. Pionen is Bahnhof’s largest data centre and can house over 6,000 server computers. Subterranean data centre What makes Bahnhof Data Centre one of the most secure buildings? As the world becomes increasingly dependent on online services, internet service providers are going above and beyond to protect their systems. This fact is more obvious at the subterranean data centre run by Bahnhof. When Karlung secured a former nuclear shelter below 100 ft of Stockholm bedrock as the location for a data centre, he believed it would be suitable to bring his love of 1970s science fiction to the design of the site. The facility is a server housing centre that can endure a hydrogen bomb explosion. In case of power failure, backup power is delivered by a few German submarine engines. Fabricated waterfalls, interior jungle plants, lowland smog, and a meeting room with an image of the moon’s surface on the flooring provide the preferred effect of a sci-fi dream pad. Access control system Its working atmosphere is made more liveable for workers with artificial daylight Constructed 30 m underneath a granite mountain, the building was initially used as a cold war shelter and was planned to provide security from a nuclear conflict between Soviet and Western forces. With servers situated deep within the mountain and only reachable through one tunnel sheltered by a 40 cm thick steel door and can run independently of the national grid because of two submarine engines that serve as backup generators. Although the data centre is acknowledged to be one of the most secure facilities across the globe because of its underground location, its working atmosphere is made more liveable for workers with artificial daylight, conservatories, and a saltwater fish tank. Identiv’s flexible physical access control system (PACS) and video intelligence solutions provide the highest security at the lowest cost possible. Regardless of the physical location, one can easily manage access control through the robust, feature-rich systems, hardware, and software. Their technology integrations deliver high-security physical security solutions in partnership with other providers.

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.”

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