Verint introduces advancements to enhance security operations in critical infrastructure and enterprise environments
Verint introduces advancements to enhance security operations in critical infrastructure and enterprise environments

Verint Systems Inc. recently announced enhancements and new functionality to its Nextiva portfolio, a comprehensive suite of video and situation management solutions designed specifically for an array of verticals, including critical infrastructure and enterprise environments. Over the past decade, the number and types of risks facing critical infrastructure sites and high-profile enterprise organisations have increased. To help mitigate potential impact, organisations are looking to strengthen their security programs through the addition of advanced security intelligence solutions. To support market requirements, Verint continues to advance its proven solutions for these environments with enhancements that leverage advanced technologies, are vertical-focused and backed by subject matter expertise. Among the latest capabilities in its Nextiva portfolio are a series of advancements designed to help security operations centres identify, manage, respond and investigate emerging security threats and situations more efficiently and effectively. They include: Nextiva PSIM Nextiva PSIM helps generate video-centric, real-time situation intelligence from vast amounts of data to enhance security, while streamlining management and optimising costs. The latest version of the PSIM solution introduces deeper integrations with third-party systems for video management, access control, license plate and face recognition to help accelerate implementations and streamline usability. An expanded software development kit (SDK) enables integrators to develop customised applications and integrations based on specific project and customer parameters. Nextiva PSIM also includes visual tracking to track subjects across cameras. The software platform leverages proximity calculations and visual video layout to enable operators to track subjects in highly dense and complex environments. An additional integration with ELERTS Security Ops Center provides a new Crowdsourcing Intelligence capability, enabling command, control and communications centres to provide situation awareness by allowing smartphone users to easily report safety and security concerns. Users can transmit photos, text and GPS locations to a designated command center, and operators can broadcast safety alerts and watch-lists to ELERTS app users. This real-time, two-way communication between dispatchers and smartphone users further expands the capability of the Nextiva PSIM solution from being able to gather data and extract intelligence from sensors and systems to now leveraging localised human intelligence, instinct and intuition. Nextiva Video Management Software Nextiva Video Management Software offers an intuitive user interface to help streamline system management. New enhancements include the ability to play back high-definition (HD) footage on low bandwidth for remote investigation, while allowing the complete video details to be accessed as needed. This adaptive remote viewing capability delivers faster investigations for mobile or remote operations, and enables organisations to take advantage of the rich video detail delivered by today’s HD surveillance cameras. Nextiva Surveillance Analytics Nextiva Surveillance Analytics leverages video to gain an enhanced level of security intelligence. Advanced and adapted algorithms deliver rapid detection. When combined with Nextiva Event Manager—a  powerful application for collecting case-related video, audio and data in a searchable database—rule-based video content analysis helps operators prioritise video events with detected rules violations, allowing them to respond accordingly. Nextiva IP Cameras The new Verint Nextiva V5620PTZ is an IP pan-tilt-zoom surveillance camera equipped with 1080p HD resolution. Designed as a compact but robust appliance, the all-weather, high-speed PTZ camera features powerful zoom capabilities and superior image capture for comprehensive coverage of expansive environments. In addition, Verint’s Nextiva V4320 WDR line features true wide dynamic range (WDR) technology using dual-shutter exposure to achieve a higher level of performance compared to digital WDR. Verint also continues to provide third-party camera integration options through its compliance with the latest Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) specifications, including ONVIF Profile S. The value of technology in critical infrastructure and enterprise markets Verint’s Nextiva portfolio of video and situation awareness solutions provides security leaders in cities, municipalities, transportation, energy, government, education, healthcare and corporate organisations with technology to help optimise their security operations. “With our enhanced suite of technologies, we have significantly advanced our solutions to help critical infrastructure and enterprise operations environments streamline video capture and enhance situation awareness,” explains Steve Weller, senior vice president and general manager, Verint Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions. “In doing so, we remain squarely focused on our customers and equipping them with the capabilities they require to meet their ever-evolving organisational and security needs.”

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Live-streaming mobile surveillance takes cameras to the action
Live-streaming mobile surveillance takes cameras to the action

Video surveillance across the world is growing exponentially and its major application is in both public safety and law enforcement. Traditionally, it has been fixed surveillance where cameras provide live streams from fixed cameras situated in what is considered strategic locations. But they are limited in what they can see given by their very definition of being "fixed." The future of video surveillance includes the deployment of more mobile video surveillance with the benefits it offers. Instead of fixed cameras, this is the ability to live stream from mobile devices on the move such as body-worn cams, drones, motorbikes, cars, helicopters and in some cases, even dogs!Sending drones into the air, for example for missing people or rescue missions, is much more cost-effective than deploying helicopters Advantages of mobile surveillance The advantage of mobile surveillance is that the camera can go to where the action is, rather than relying on the action going to where the camera is. Also, sending drones into the air, for example for missing people or rescue missions, is much more cost-effective than deploying helicopters. The ability to live stream video from cars and helicopters in high-speed pursuits can be used to take some of the operational issues from the first responders on the ground and share that “life and death” responsibility with the operational team leaders back in the command centre. This allows the first responders in the pursuit vehicle to focus on minimising risk while staying in close proximity of the fleeing vehicle, with direction from a higher authority who can see for themselves in real time the issues that are being experienced, and direct accordingly. In addition to showing video live stream from a pursuit car or motorcycle, by using inbuilt GPS tracking, the video can be displayed on a map in real time, allowing a command chief to better utilise additional resource and where to deploy them, through the use of displaying mapping information with real time video feed. It allows police chiefs to make better informed decisions in highly-charged environments. The 4G phone network can now be used with compressed video to live stream cost effectively Application in emergency situations The same is true of first responders in many different emergency situations. Mobile surveillance opens up a new area of efficiencies that previously was impossible to achieve. For example, special operations can wear action body-worn cameras when doing raids, fire departments can live stream from emergency situations with both thermal and daylight cameras, and paramedics can send video streams back to hospitals allowing doctors to remotely diagnose and prepare themselves for when patients arrive at the hospital. How can special operations and emergency first responders live stream video from a mobile camera with the issues of weight, reliability and picture-quality being considered? H265 mobile video compression Law enforcement insists on secure transmissions, and it is possible to encrypt video to the highest level of security available in the public domain The 4G phone network can now be used with compressed video to live stream cost effectively. The issue of course is that 4G is not always reliable. Soliton Systems has mitigated this risk of low mobile quality in certain areas, by building an H265 mobile video compression device that can use multiple SIM cards from different cellular providers simultaneously. H265 is the latest compression technique for video, that is 50% more effective than conventional H264, and coupling this with using multiple “bonded” SIM cards provides a highly reliable connection for live-streaming high-quality HD video. The 400-gram device with an internal battery can be connected to a small action cam, and can live-stream simultaneously over at least three different cellular providers, back to a command centre. Latency is typically less than a second, and new advance improvements are looking to reduce that latency further. Encrypted video transmission What about security? Law enforcement insists on secure transmissions, and it is possible to encrypt video to the highest level of security available in the public domain, i.e. AES256.What about integration into existing video infrastructure at the command centre? It is not untypical for a police force to have an existing video management system (VMS) at their command centre such as Milestone System’s Xprotect. The Soliton range of products are ONVIF-compliant, a standard used by video surveillance cameras for interoperability, allowing cameras and video devices that are ONVIF-compliant to simply “plug&play” into existing video management systems. These mobile transmitters are deployed with law enforcement and first responders across the globe. Their ability to provide secure, full HD quality and highly-reliable video streaming within a small unit, and to enable it to be integrated into the current eco-system that is already installed at the receiving end, has made them a favourite choice with many companies and government agencies.

Impact of sophisticated IT technologies on the security market
Impact of sophisticated IT technologies on the security market

Over the course of the past few months, I have discussed a myriad of topics, from Big Data, the Internet of Things and emerging video surveillance-use cases, to analytics, storage complexities and IT technologies like virtualisation and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). All of these trends have a significant effect on the security market, and in April they were highlighted in spades at ISC West. It’s great to talk about these trends but it’s far better to see how they are being leveraged in real-world applications. That’s really where we can all see the true value of new solutions and concepts. We’re lucky enough to work with some leading organisations that want others to benefit from their experience and I’m happy to have the opportunity to share two of these applications with you. Protecting educational facilities UCF has adopted advancements in technology, particularly video surveillance solutions, to help ensure stronger security on campus Educational institutions face an increasingly complex risk environment. Recent high-profile incidents emphasise these risks and magnify the vulnerabilities that educational facilities face. These incidents have led to more public demand for improved security solutions across campuses. The primary mission of these organisations is to deliver quality education to students, and they face the challenge of balancing between a highly secure facility and one that supports open interaction. The University of Central Florida is no different. This organisation, one of the largest universities in the country, has adopted advancements in technology, particularly video surveillance solutions, to help ensure stronger security on campus. Active shooter incidents In March 2013, UCF faced an active shooter situation in which a former student planned to pull the fire alarm in a residence hall and then attack his classmates as the building was evacuated. However, the shooter’s gun jammed, and as officers were closing in on the gunman, he took his own life. During the university’s response to the incident, accessibility to critical video data was a major issue. Educational institutions face an increasingly complex risk environment UCF had cameras in the area where the incident took place, but first responders had no way of viewing the footage without being at the physical location of the video recorder. At the time, UCF had a wide variety of standalone systems in place, including non-integrated video surveillance, access control and intrusion systems. As a result, there was no way to centralise video management, viewing and analysis. Upgrading from analogue systems Altogether, its security system consisted of older analogue platforms that were reaching end of life, 58 standalone servers, 12,000 access points and a wide variety of DVRs — all being managed in a siloed manner. UCF needed a solution that would allow officials to centralise system management, store video data more effectively and reliably, and enable the security team to deliver situational awareness to responders when needed. Security leaders sought a way to further modernise its security, surveillance, access control and IT infrastructure The university deployed an HCI solution, one that is optimised for demanding, data-intensive workloads like video surveillance. Using standard off-the-shelf server hardware, the system aggregates the storage and compute resources from multiple servers into a single unified pool that all cameras can access, which maximises performance and storage capacity utilisation. The platform also hosts the university’s video management solution, which serves as a centralised source to manage video and effectively protect its security data. Because of the growing demand for video across UCF's campuses — for both safety and business purposes — the HCI solution’s ability to eliminate the opportunity for data loss and easily scale were key components in its selection. Protecting air travel and airports In 2012, Charleston International Airport embarked on an ambitious upgrade project dubbed the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program. The $200 million initiative was designed to modernise and expand the facility to meet increased passenger demand. While the aesthetics and amenities of the airport were under construction, security leaders sought a way to further modernise its security, surveillance, access control and IT infrastructure. The IT and security teams needed to address the challenges of their existing standalone server environment, which included siloed systems, management complexity and high administrative and equipment costs. Charleston International Airport embarked on an ambitious upgrade project dubbed the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program Considering the high value of the airport’s video, security and IT data, it required a solution that could deliver reliable data protection, system resiliency and fault tolerance. The airport is required to store video for 30 days, but it seeks to expand its retention time to 60 days. Therefore, technology that can scale simply was key in the selection process. Storage system updates It also required a storage platform that could manage the demanding and write-intensive nature of its nearly 250 IP surveillance cameras — a challenging task for traditional video recorders. The airport deployed HCI appliances to better manage captured video data and expand its archive capability for video surveillance. Users rely on video to validate whether something did or did not happen - and this is essential in airports HCI surveillance solutions are designed to provide industry-leading resiliency. Even if multiple hardware failures occur, including an entire appliance, video management servers will remain online and recording, and any previously recorded video will continue to be protected and accessible. Reducing expenses and costs The solution also reduced total cost of operations by consolidating servers, storage and client workstations into one enterprise-class solution that is easily managed from a single user interface, without the need for specialised IT skills. These use cases demonstrate the value emerging technologies bring to these types of modern environments. And they show that solutions like HCI are no longer simply much-talked about technology trends. Video, IT and security data is critical to organisations of all types and they need to ensure their investment in capturing this data is protected. From a security standpoint, users rely on video to validate whether something did or did not happen. If that video data isn’t protected, they lose a very valuable investigative tool. That isn’t an option in today’s complex environment. That’s is why it is paramount to understand how new technologies can help expand current capabilities and evolve security operations. This can’t be left to chance.

4K analogue cameras are still an ideal solution for video surveillance systems
4K analogue cameras are still an ideal solution for video surveillance systems

One of the toughest business decisions companies need to make is when selecting a new video surveillance system, as it’s a rigorous process to compare camera offerings and technologies, and to evaluate price structures. With its proven performance over the last several years, IP surveillance systems have become the defacto standard for most professionals. Those experts typically cite the numerous benefits that IP cameras offer, including higher image resolution, ease of installation, scalability, and analytics as rationale – which are all valid. However, the biggest drawback is the high price tag when considering making the switch from an analogue to a dedicated IP surveillance system. In reality, many end users don’t need networked IP cameras in every location throughout their facility, as the additional features and benefits IP cameras typically provide may not be necessary in every location. Ultimately, the decision to stick with analogue or move to IP needs to be based on your surveillance objectives and future needs. Advantages of 4K Consider this – you’re managing an analogue surveillance system and your primary goal is to increase image resolution; 4K analogue cameras may be your ideal solution. Advanced 4K analogue surveillance cameras deliver a myriad of advantages, including: Superior resolution Lower cost and easy installation. Picture clarity even under changing or difficult lighting conditions Models with 2 and 4 megapixel resolution, such as Dahua’s HDCVI 4K cameras with scalable HD-over-coax technology, provide security professionals with greater situational awareness and are available in multiple form factors to provide exceptional quality video & audio for a wide range of surveillance applications.Since 4K analogue cameras are not connected to an IP network, they do not present the cybersecurity risks that are typically associated with IP cameras Greater distance, greater definition Another benefit of 4K analogue cameras is that their higher number of pixels provides increased digital zoom performance without pixilation versus traditional HD or 2K cameras. This allows security operators to see further into the distance with greater definition. The added resolution is especially important for popular applications that require higher levels of detail, such as face and licence plate recognition or object analysis, as well as emerging video analytics and artificial intelligence applications for future system enhancements. 4K analogue applications 4K analogue cameras are also ideally suited to cover large fields of view such as in sports stadiums or airports with great detail and accurate colour reproduction. Their superior digital zoom capabilities can allow 4K analogue cameras to do the work of two cameras – one for a wide view and another for close-up – without sacrificing quality or compromising security. This can also help dramatically reduce hardware and installation cost, and simplify video monitoring. Finally, since 4K analogue cameras are not connected to an IP network, they do not present the cybersecurity risks that are typically associated with IP cameras. With the ever-increasing amount of sensitive and personal information stored on networked drives at businesses of all types, the value of removing one more potential network entry point cannot be understated. Overall, with 4K analogue cameras, security professionals can take advantage of higher resolution video on an existing, cost-effective platform that’s safe from network intruders with isolated and limited installation downtime and exceptional cost-efficiencies.