Banking & finance security applications
Retail banks and financial services companies have a long history of dealing with the risk and potential threat of criminal activity. Arecont Vision understands the unique needs of the retail banking and financial services market and provides customer-proven megapixel camera technology to specifically meet those needs for our customers around the world. Bank crime statistics In a typical year in the United States, according to the FBI cash losses total around $7.5 million, only about 22% of...
Banks and financial institutions have more complex and diverse requirements for video surveillance technology than most other organisations. From corporate buildings, to branch offices, data centres, ATMs and cash depots. Several European Banks benefit from using Mirasys Video Management Software (VMS), which provides high privacy protection and robust technology. Networking the video management system of the bank’s branch offices provides users a single logical system that can be used fr...
“It’s obvious that a prominent bank like BNP Paribas has to take processes like security extremely seriously", said Alan Ford, Security Manager at BNP Paribas. Spread over several office buildings, more than 4000 staff make daily use of the AEOS Security Management Platform to enter the restricted areas for which only they have been authorised. BNP Paribas needs be certain that they can rely on their access control system. Even though their previous Nedap WinXS system did just t...
As technology continues to catapult forward at a significant pace in the 21st century, banks are increasingly facing new security challenges to safeguard their buildings, staff, customers, and financial operations. Because of this, it is critical that banks invest in security systems that meet the complex and unique requirements of the financial environment. Vanderbilt’s SPC provides this solution through advanced, dedicated intruder detection features and products for banking applic...
Intrusion can be very invasive, damaging and expensive for any industrial or commercial business. The damage of machinery or the theft of goods can be potentially devastating. Not only that, but each commercial and industrial property can vary dramatically in terms of the level of security required, along with the conditions of the installation. Aisles, machinery and varying environmental conditions are all considerations, as is the required function of the security system and the ability to mo...
Erste Group Bank AG built a new group headquarters on the site of the former Südbahnhof railway station in Vienna, with construction work taking place from 2012 to 2016. Employees who were previously distributed across 20 different locations throughout the city now all work in the same building complex. Advantages of new arrangement The advantages of this new arrangement are clear: Closer proximity and improved infrastructure strengthen cooperation and provide a modern, pleasant working e...
From satellite imagery to street views to indoor mapping, technology has disrupted our past world. This has left us dependent upon new ways to visualise large spaces. This new world has brought many benefits and risks. But what does that mean for the security professional or facility manager today and what technologies can be used to secure buildings and improve facility operations? A brief history of 3D technology Starting May 5, 2007 (inception 2001), Google rolled out Google Street View to augment Google Maps and Google Earth; documenting some of the most remote places on earth using a mix of sensors (Lidar/GSP/Radar/Imagery). The mission to map the world moved indoors May 2011 with Google Business Photos mapping indoor spaces with low cost 360° cameras under the Trusted Photographer program. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialisation, expensive hardware and unavailable computing power With the growth of 3D laser scanning from 2007 onwards, the professional world embraced scanning as effective method to create digitised building information modelling (BIM), growing fast since 2007. BIM from scanning brought tremendous control, time and cost savings through the design and construction process, where As-Built documentation offered an incredible way to manage large existing facilities while reducing costly site visits. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialisation, expensive hardware, unavailable computing power and knowledge of architectural software. Innovation during the past 8 year, have driven ease of use and lower pricing to encourage market adoption. Major investments in UAVs in 2014 and the commercial emergence of 360° photography began a new wave of adoption. While 3D scanners still range from $20K – $100K USD, UAVs can be purchased for under $1K USD and 360° cameras for as low as $100. UAVs and 360° cameras also offer a way to document large spaces in a fraction of the time of terrestrial laser scanners with very little technical knowledge. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors The result over the past 10+ years of technology advancement has been a faster, lower cost, more accessible way to create virtual spaces. However, the technology advances carry a major risk of misuse by bad actors at the same time. What was once reserved to military personal is now available publicly. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors. Al Qaeda terror threats using Google Maps, 2007 UK troops hit by terrorists in Basra, 2008 Mumbai India attacks, 2016 Pakistan Pathankot airbase attacks, ISIS attacks in Syria using UAVs, well-planned US school shootings and high casualty attacks show evidence that bad actors frequently leverage these mapping technologies to plan their attacks. The weaponization of UAVs is of particular concern to the Department of Homeland Security: "We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organisations exploit the internet to inspire, enable or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts." Example comparison of reality capture on the left of BIM on the right. A $250 USD 360° camera was used for the capture in VisualPlan.net software What does this mean for the security or facility manager today? An often overlooked, but critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing. Most facilities managers today work with outdated 2D plan diagrams or old blueprints which are difficult to update and share.Critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing Renovations, design changes and office layout changes leave facility managers with the wrong information, and even worse is that the wrong information is shared with outside consultants who plan major projects around outdated or wrong plans. This leads to costly mistakes and increased timelines on facility projects. Example benefits of BIM There could be evidence of a suspect water value leak which using BIM could be located and then identified in the model without physical inspection; listing a part number, model, size and manufacture. Identification of vulnerabilities can dramatically help during a building emergency. First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans and they must have immediate access to important building information in the event of a critical incident. Exits and entrances, suppression equipment, access control, ventilation systems, gas and explosives, hazmat, water systems, survival equipment and many other details must be at their fingertips. In an emergency situation this can be a matter of life or death. Example benefit of reality capture First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans A simple 360° walk-through can help first responders with incident preparedness if shared by the facility manager. Police, fire and EMS can visually walk the building, locating all critical features they will need knowledge of in an emergency without ever visiting the building. You don’t require construction accuracy for this type of visual sharing. This is a solution and service we offer as a company today. Reality capture is rapidly becoming the benchmark for facility documentation and the basis from which a security plan can be built. Given the appropriate software, plans can be easily updated and shared. They can be used for design and implementation of equipment, training of personnel and virtual audits of systems or security assessments by outside professionals. Our brains process visual information thousands of times faster than text. Not only that, we are much more likely to remember it once we do see it. Reality capture can help reduce the need for physical inspections, walk-throughs and vendor site-visits but more importantly, it provides a way to visually communicate far more effectively and accurately than before. But be careful with this information. You must prevent critical information falling into the hands of bad actors. You must watch out for bad actors attempting to use reality capture as a threat, especially photo/video/drones or digital information and plans that are posted publicly. Have a security protocol to prevent and confront individuals taking photos or video on property or flying suspect drones near your facility and report to the authorities. Require authorisation before capturing building information and understand what the information will be used for and by who.There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today Nefarious use of UAVs There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today, such as radio frequency blockers and jammers, drone guns to down UAVs, detection or monitoring systems. Other biometrics technologies like facial recognition are being employed to counter the risk from UAVs by targeting the potential operators. UAVs are being used to spy and monitor for corporate espionage and stealing intellectual property. They are also used for monitoring security patrols for the purpose of burglary. UAVs have been used for transport and delivery of dangerous goods, delivering weapons and contraband and have the ability to be weaponised to carry a payload.Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualisation of facilities is well worth the time The Federal Aviation Administration has prevented UAV flights over large event stadiums, prisons and coast guard bases based on the risks they could potentially pose, but waivers do exist. Be aware that it is illegal today to use most of these technologies and downing a UAV, if you are not Department of Justice or Homeland Security, could carry hefty penalties. Facility managers must have a way to survey and monitor their buildings for threats and report suspicious UAV behaviours immediately to authorities. At the same time, it’s critical to identify various potential risks to your wider team to ensure awareness and reporting is handled effectively. Having a procedure on how identify and report is important. Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualisation of facilities is well worth the time. It can help better secure your facilities while increasing efficiencies of building operations. Reality capture can also help collaboration with first responders and outside professionals without ever having to step a foot in the door. But secure your data and have a plan for bad actors who will try to use the same technologies for nefarious goals.
They say that every choice has a cost. It's a basic principle that, economically speaking, nothing is free. If it doesn't cost actual money, it may be expensive in terms of time, attention and/or effort. These are interesting observations to keep in mind as one peruses the various "free" video management system (VMS) offerings available on the market. Some are provided by camera companies to unify their products into a "system", even if it's a small one. Other free VMS offerings are entry-level versions offered by software companies with the intent of the customer upgrading later to a paid version. For more insights, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the value of “free” video management systems (VMSs) and how can a customer decide whether “free” is the right price for them?
Market dynamics are changing the U.S. residential security market, creating new business models that better appeal to the approximately 70% of households without a security system. Smart home adjacencies have helped revitalise the traditional security industry, and alternative approaches to systems and monitoring for the security industry are emerging, including a new batch of DIY systems. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras, and other products suffice for their security. Increasingly competitive landscape Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry For instance, IP cameras are a highly popular smart home device rooted in security, and Parks Associates estimates 7.7 million standalone and all-in-one networked/IP cameras will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, with $889M in revenues. Product owners may feel their security needs are fulfilled with this single purchase, as such dealers and service providers are under increasing pressure to communicate their value proposition to consumers. Categorically, each type of player is facing competition uniquely—national, regional, and local dealers all have a different strategy for overcoming the increasingly competitive landscape. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. While white-label devices are acceptable in some instances, dealers need to integrate with hero products whenever possible when those exist for a category. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services are all potential benefits and good for business Improved customer engagement That 2017 survey also revealed 36% of security dealers that offer interactive services report security system sales with a networked camera and 16% report sales with a smart thermostat. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services, enhanced system utility, increased daily value, and improved customer engagement with the system are all potential benefits and good for business. Security has served as the most productive channel for smart home solutions, mainly because the products create natural extensions of a security system’s functions and benefits, but as smart home devices, subsystems, and controllers expand their functionality, availability, and DIY capabilities, many standalone devices constitute competition to classical security. Particularly viable substitute devices include IP cameras, smart door locks, smart garage doors, or a combination of these devices. Products that are self-installed offer both convenience and cost savings, and these drivers are significant among DIY consumers—among the 6% of broadband households that installed a security system themselves, 39% did it to save money. Enhance traditional security Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security While many security dealers believe substitute offerings are a threat, some dealers do not find such devices an existential threat but instead view them as another path to consumer awareness. They argue that the difference between smart product substitutes and traditional security is that of a solution that provides knowledge versus a system that gives one the ability to act on that knowledge. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household. For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth Increased market growth A key counterstrategy for security dealers and companies is to leverage their current, powerful role as the prime channel for smart home devices. Many security dealers now include smart home devices with their security systems to complement their offerings and increase system engagement. For example, as of Q4 2017, nearly 70% of U.S. broadband households that were very likely to purchase a security system in the next 12 months reported that they want a camera to be included as part of their security system purchase. In response, many security system providers now offer IP cameras as optional enhancements for their systems. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth. Security dealers have an opportunity to become more than a security provider but a smart home solutions provider rooted in safety. Provide status updates Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services The alternative is to position as a provider of basic security with low price as the key differentiator. Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services independent of security. It has discovered that monetising smart home value propositions through recurring revenue becomes increasingly challenging as the value extends further away from life safety. Since the security industry remains the main channel for smart home services, security dealers are in a unique position to leverage that strength. Value propositions must shift from the traditional arming and disarming of a system to peace-of-mind experiences that builds off the benefits of smart devices in the home to provide status updates (e.g., if the kids arrived home safely) and monitoring at will (e.g., checking home status at any time to see a pet or monitor a package delivery). These types of clear value propositions and compelling use cases, which resonate with consumer and motivate them to expand beyond standalone products, will help expand the home security market.
Last week, the Schedule 84 Suppliers Research Panel participated in reviewing the 2018 contracting year with the GSA Schedule 84 leadership team. Our panel group consists of experienced contractors and consultants meeting for a monthly conference call. Schedule 84 is the GSA Schedules Contract for Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire and Rescue. Our opinions are part of a research programme to provide valuable feedback to the GSA Schedule 84 programme and on to the GSA central office. The director of GSA Region 7 Schedules Program, the Schedule 84 Branch Chief and the Category Manager Subject Matter Expert who manages our suppliers' panel gave us their full attention as we discussed the successes of the programme, hot topics, problems and the future. We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort and renewed enthusiasm Innovative review team We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort, renewed enthusiasm and productive changes building upon the successes of 2017. There was high praise for the accessibility to the Schedule 84 staff. Their consistent quick response to questions and concerns, thinking outside the box and supporting the programme by partnering with their contractors was much appreciated. There has been a renewed spirit of partnering to cooperatively bring the best to agency customers. It seems to be working as per the Centre Director sales are growing for GSA Schedule 84. Advocating for the security industry In my experience, business development starts with the Administrator from Region 7 in Ft. Worth, TX. As the annual Schedule 84 Industry Day at the SSAC begins he is shaking every hand and passing out his cards looking folks right in the eye asking, “how can I help you?” They have the best practices and most organised paperwork. The SSAC director has chosen well in her staff and is hands-on in every endeavour to direct things along when challenges occur or to improve the programme. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry It continues with the centre’s CASE Manager encouraging the contractors at events, visiting agency customers and promoting the GSA Schedules Program by helping coordinate the partnering. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry for adding new technology, meeting with industry associations, understanding the complexity and challenges of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD12) and advocating for the purchasing Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) utilising the appropriate standards and the GSA Program among other innovations. As far as the supplier panel, we gave our GSA Schedule 84 team and leaders high praise for 2018. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List Changes in the GSA programme Some changes this year in certain GSA programmes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) developed to assist with solution procurements. This new SIN was added to Schedules 03FAC, 56, 70, 71, 00Corp, 738X and 84. Under Schedule 84 it is SIN 84-500. GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex Essentially this SIN allows agencies procuring under the aforementioned GSA Schedules’ programmes to purchase and the contractor to add items and services not known prior to the task as a Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) not to exceed 33% of the order. For more information and FAQs on OLMs go to www.gsa.gov/olm. This is not to take the place of “Open Market” items for adding products only that are not listed on a company’s GSA Contract. Physical access control products Previously, GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex for the agencies. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List according to the standards created under FIPS201. These products appear under SIN 246 35-7 after being tested and approved by GSA. To be qualified to install these products under the GSA Program at least one individual from the GSA Contractor company must complete the class and be CSEIP certified before applying for labour SIN 246 60-5. Additionally, the company must demonstrate certain qualifications and have past performance for this type of work. The Security Technology Alliance offers the training class and certification. Certified individuals and approved products are listed at www.idmanagement.gov. Companies listed with SIN 246-35 7 and SIN 246-60 5 may be found by searching at www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov. Updates to guidance for procurement Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide. The ordering guide posted at www.gsa.gov/firesecurity is a valuable support tool created to assist agencies with understanding the requirements of FIPS201 and procuring a PACS. The guide includes relevant regulations, FAQs, sample systems designs, sample statements of work, a list of key points of contract for additional help and questions. In partnership with GSA and guided by the GSA Ombudsman group, the Security Industry Association and the Security Technology Alliance members and their contractor companies participated in a GSA Reverse Industry PACS Training Day on September 17, 2018. We presented from an industry perspective important fact on PACS system requirements, procurement planning, providing information on resources and further educating with panel discussions, individual presentations and amusing skits to over 300 Government agency staff and acquisition specialists. You can find some of the unedited recording of the PACS Reverse Industry Day Training on YouTube. Some changes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) GSA Schedules Program A hot topic about the GSA programme for 2018 was also an issue for the prior year. The GSA Schedules Program is a streamlined contracting vehicle incorporating specific Federal Acquisition Regulations for more efficiently purchasing commercial items. Companies may apply per a continuous open season for a 5-year contract with three 5-year options to renew. Contractors are vetted for past performance, corporate experience and financial capability. Products and services are considered for offering to Federal, State and Local customers (for Schedule 84) with pricing that is determined to be fair and reasonable through negotiations with GSA. To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor as well as the competition of identical or similar item pricing. The most vocal complaint of concern from the contractors was regarding the consideration of competitor contractors offering identical items with out-of-date pricing or holding a Letter of Supply not authorised by the manufacturer. GSA pricing tool Since the GSA utilises a pricing tool to determine if the pricing offered is competitive, a rogue competitor can cause a pricing action to possibly be rejected due to out of date information even as the manufacturer offers an update of the product. This is an issue on all GSA Contracts that the supplier panel hopes will be reconsidered by GSA policymakers at the central office. Most of us believe the Letters of Supply should only be issued by the manufacturer or with documented specific permission of the manufacturer to a reseller. Manufacturers may want to have a better understanding of the Letter of Supply, how it is considered by GSA and more carefully choose their Government partners for experience and compliance. Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy Overcoming challenges for the security community Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy. GSA eBuy is an online Request for Quotation (RFQ) programme that is for GSA Contract holders only. Agencies will post their requirements by Special Item Number for at a minimum 48 hours. Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract. GSA Participating Dealers may take orders on behalf of a manufacturer if they are authorised under the manufacturer’s GSA Contract. They may also have an online PO Portal to receive orders. But they have no access to GSA eBuy to response to RFQs. Usually, under these arrangements, the manufacturers do not respond directly, so there is a problem using GSA eBuy for opportunities as their GSA Participating Dealers have no access to respond. GSA Schedule 84 leadership In some instances, a contracting officer may allow an emailed quotation. However, with the use of the electronic ordering system, this has become a common problem we hope to bring to the attention of policymakers. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forwardThe GSA Schedule 84 leadership has been helpful to explain the challenges to the agencies to try and resolve such issues. So, what’s up for 2019? GSA modernisation is coming. There will be improvements to their tools and more consolidations of SINs and more. There have been discussions of a revival of the GSA Expo. The Expo offered training for contracting staff both Government and private industry. Valuable tools for vendor training Equally important is the networking, meetings and the exhibits of the contractors. Expos have been discontinued since 2012 but smaller events have been growing as well as online webinar training. Webinars are valuable tools for GSA and vendor training, but they do not take the place of being able to meet your customers face-to-face. GSA online eOffer and eMod programme have made processing actions more efficient. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward. The GSA online website for viewing the items on the GSA Contract and for purchasing items, GSA Advantage could definitely use an update as it has been basically the same for 20 years. Keep an eye on GSA Interact for the latest happenings with GSA.
One of the biggest recent security divestitures in the news was the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global, which occurred around a year ago. The seller in that transaction was ACRE (Access Control Related Enterprises), also the parent company of Vanderbilt and ComNet. We recently spoke to founder and CEO Joe Grillo, a 30-year industry veteran, about the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market, ACRE’s future, and new opportunities opened up by the Mercury sale. Q: What’s new with ACRE? Grillo: We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player" ACRE is a company I founded in 2012, and since then we have had six acquisitions and one divestiture. We’ll never focus on ACRE as a brand, but we currently have more visibility of ACRE as a parent company with our two strong brands, ComNet and Vanderbilt. Last year was a very busy year [with the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global] because it takes as long to sell a brand as to buy one, maybe more so. Q: What’s next? Grillo: What you are seeing from us this year is that we are again in a buying mode. No announcement yet, but we expect one by the end of the year. We are well-funded, have great partners, and see an opportunity to continue to grow acquisitively as our highly fragmented space of access control continues to consolidate. From the standpoint of ACRE, with the ComNet and Vanderbilt brands, we are also doing more integration on the backside – not what the customer sees. We will continue to grow toward a $200 million business. We were there when we owned Mercury, and we will get there again. We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player. Because ACRE are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity: ComNet is a good example" Q: Do you see the M&A market being more competitive – more companies looking to acquire? Grillo: There’s a lot of money chasing not-so-many deals, so evaluations can get expanded. But as interest rates creep up, it is definitely a challenge to find the right valuation, the right financing and the right strategic fit. It is a very strategic market. Q: There have been some big acquisitions lately. Were you guys involved at all in evaluating those opportunities? Grillo: Because we are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity. An example of that was ComNet. I would not have been aware that the founder passed away two years ago and that there was this opportunity to own the business. So we look at everything; anything that’s out there we look at. The biggest recent announcement in our world was S2 (being sold to UTC/Lenel), and, yeah, we looked at that. It didn’t fit our profile – it was too expensive. Great business, and it’ll be interesting to see how it fits into the UTC environment. There was also Isonas [which was recently sold to Allegion], but the size didn’t add enough scale, but I like the technology. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, which is more attractive than video systems for ACRE Q: So what are you looking for in an acquisition? Grillo: It’s hard for us to find something that moves the needle, and you have to find that right balance. Is it something we can digest and have the financing for, and also is there room on the back end? We are private equity-owned, so we know there will be an exit for our investors, too. So we have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible. If you look at our acquisitions, we have done two “carve outs.” The Vanderbilt name didn’t exist until we bought the business from Ingersoll Rand, and then we bought the [intruder] business from Siemens. That’s how Vanderbilt came about. You get a lot of value when you carve out a business, but there’s a lot of work. In the case of Mercury or Access Control Technology (ACT) that we acquired; they were growing and profitable but they stretch your finances a lot more. So you have to find the right mix in there. Q: Does video interest ACRE at all? Grillo: We have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible"ComNet is our video play. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, and 70 to 80 percent of that is used for video systems. But unlike cameras, which don’t interest us, it’s actually good margins, highly specialised repeat business and with good channel partners. So where are we going to play? Cameras – no (because of commoditisation). We have some recorder technology (from the Siemens acquisition) and we have the communication networking technology (with ComNet). On the software side, we have looked at a lot of the VMS companies, and a lot of them have been on the market. But the valuation expectations can be high because they are software companies. And we really believe in partnering as a good thing, too. If we integrate to Milestone or Salient or some of these companies, we will never lose an access control client because they chose a particular VMS. Q: ACRE is also looking to grow organically, isn’t it? Grillo: From a technology perspective, we are a product company and we are continuing to bring new products to the market with the ComNet communication networking business and the access control business. And in Europe, we have a third leg of the stool, which is the very successful intrusion and burgular alarm business we acquired from Siemens (SPC products now sold under the Vanderbilt brand). That business continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio.The intrusion and burgular alarm continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio" Q: But you don’t have to own a company to make it part of your solution. Grillo: An important word is integration. We have to integrate to all the wireless locks. We have to integrate to the VMS systems. But we don’t have to own them. Q: How has the Mercury Security divestiture impacted the rest of your business? Grillo: It has opened up the opportunity for us to look at Mercury partners as possible acquisition targets without worrying about conflicts with the very good business of Mercury. We have more flexibility now compared to the Mercury era. Q: How will the economic cycle impact the security market? Grillo: Interest rates are a much bigger issue than the overall economic cycle. We talk a lot about it with our owners – clearly interest rates are tightening up. If you go out to do acquisitions or to borrow money to do something with your business, it will be tougher than it was two years ago, and it may get worse in the next two years. Security is less impacted by the economic cycle than some industries.
In the simplest terms, video systems capture and record video. But supporting these basic operations are a growing number of other functions that expand usefulness and the ability to interact with related elements in a larger system. As video system functionality expands, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the most important function of a CCTV system and why?
Financial institutions of all sizes demand simple, reliable solutions to protect against fraud, theft, and accidents in the workplace. Advancements in camera resolution and storage capabilities have put pressure on banks and credit unions to upgrade their video surveillance systems. Upgrading to a modern, economical NVR server will greatly increase system performance and scalability for small-budget projects with benefits seen across both loss prevention and business insights. Reliable high performance However, not all banks have the same security budget as large institutions. This makes high-power, custom-built solutions seem unrealistic; however, small projects featuring bandwidth limitations need to retain the ability to scale up depending on future surveillance demands. Before any system expansion can occur, reliable high-performance must be established. White-box solutions compromise quality and underperform when exposed to the tough requirements of the financial security market. Fortunately, custom-built, video-optimised solutions are not exclusive to large multinational financial institutions. Network architecture When upgrading an ineffective digital security system, a new network architecture needs to be created. Usually, this means switching from DVR to NVR servers. As a result, network switches attach to the camera allowing for easier future system expansion. Along with the newly gained scalability, throughput performance on servers can achieve significantly higher levels.BCDVideo offers servers, networking and workstations that provide enterprise-quality performance for all financial projects, regardless of size Implementing a complete video solution with high-performance servers, modern networking protocols and powerful workstations in financial institutions is now possible, even for small projects. BCDVideo offers servers, networking and workstations that provide enterprise-quality performance for all financial projects, regardless of size. The Benchmark Magazine 2016 Infrastructure award winner Aurora Server Series earns its name by marking the dawn of a new era in DVR replacement. Small-budget projects that have previously succumbed to the pressure of sacrificing quality for short-term savings now have access to servers with redundant power, 12Gbps RAID controller with 2GB of Flash Based Write Cache, hot-pluggable helium hard drive, and 10,000 PassMark rated CPUs. These big project features fit price-conscious budgets while maintaining the high-performance found in enterprise surveillance. BCDVideo Titan Networking The Titan Networking Series is priced well below standard to ensure project size and scope does not prevent an integrator from deploying a complete networking solution. Without the added cost of a networking engineer, savings reach into the thousands. Additionally, by using cutting-edge technology like Shortest Path Bridging, Titan switches, backed by a five-year, on-site warranty, will run at a high-level for years. The Gamma Series workstations fill the void in commercial and enterprise environments. Ideal for access control and IP video surveillance, they are powerful enough to render high-quality megapixel images for applications running 24/7. Optimised for advanced graphics and video capabilities, smaller projects can use the Gamma Series as both a video recorder and viewer.
To the lay person they appear to be simple LED light spots going back to the original style of illumination of the old 1800s palace (1876) that currently houses the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, and that historically represents the first great building of the newly reborn Roman capital, as commissioned by the former Minister Quintino Sella. Hidden in plain sight The carefully hidden technology, however, transforms each of the 20 light points (appropriately designated “Roma lights”) decorating the external perimeter into a state-of-the-art tool to guarantee the security of the public in the area around the Ministry. The transformation is executed thanks to the internal installation of IP cameras produced and distributed world-wide by the German company MOBOTIX, equipped with software for recording and processing the images. Notwithstanding the innovation of the performance, the new lighting systems are perfectly integrated, from an aesthetic point of view, with the historic palace where they are installed: A very advanced system, therefore, in terms of technology, but completely hidden inside a design in perfect harmony with the place where the light spot is installed, as envisioned and implemented by Dr. Massimo Belli, Appointed Administrator of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Dr. Umberto Dall’Aglio, Director of the VI Office of the IV Department of the Ministry and by Architect Gianluca Canofeni, Director of the Works and Technical Administrator of the IV Department. High efficiency at a low cost The transformation is executed thanks to the internal installation of IP cameras produced and distributed by MOBOTIX “The motivation for the project was multifaceted: On the one hand to realise a control system based upon state-of-the-art video surveillance tools, and on the other hand implementing a new lighting project to substantially reduce electricity consumption – within the scope of energy efficiency –, guaranteeing at the same time a much longer useful life, and as a result a substantial reduction of maintenance costs”, said Lieutenant Colonel Saverio La Monaca, chief of the Central Security Organisation of the Ministry. As per the costs, the analysis carried out by the Ghisamestieri teams, obviously as a function of the actual system utilisation give a clear picture: It is foreseen that the initial investment will be recouped within only 4 or 5 years and economic savings of even 50% between the fifth and fifteenth year of useful life of the system. With respect to energy savings, MOBOTIX’ video cameras provide a further guarantee, since their energy consumption is extremely low in comparison with other technologies present on the market: about 4 to 6 watts per hour. MOBOTIX DualDome cameras The project, comprises today of 20 wall light spots installed in strategic positions throughout the Ministry. Each shelf hides inside 2 MOBOTIX DualDome cameras with 180 degrees field of view, for an overall total of 40 high-resolution IP security cameras. The images can be recorded inside the cameras 24/7 (colour, and black and white) to be viewed at the control centre located inside the Ministry building. The security personnel belonging to the military branch of the Financial Guard manage the complete video surveillance apparatus and constantly monitor the images of the cameras in real time. 10 wireless routers manufactured by the young Italian company 3WLan, are installed inside a similar number of wall brackets and are capable of guaranteeing the bi-directional Wi-Fi link between the control centre and the patrols active outside the palace. This is possible thanks to an authentication on a RADIUS server that identifies the access permissions of the router on a list of authorised equipment. Exchange data and images in real time The new wireless system guarantees much more reduced operating expenses against a much more intensive use profile" “Especially in case of demonstrations, which is actually very common, our security operators are involved in the so-called pacification operations outside the palace for the purpose of first of all protecting the ministerial magistrates. These are carried out both on foot and inside our patrols – which implies the need to rapidly cross-check the owner of a particular vehicle or verifying the personal data on passports and identification documents. "Before installing the new intelligent light spots we relied on a GSM system that was, however, very expensive. The new wireless system guarantees much more reduced operating expenses against a much more intensive use profile”, added Giancarlo Varvo, who is responsible for security. The video surveillance technology available on the patrol vehicles, which are also equipped with tools to read license plates, or palmtop operating systems (also known as explorers) supplied to foot patrols, once within the radius of coverage of the poles equipped with Wi-Fi antennas, have the option of exchanging data and images with the operations centre inside the Ministry by means of a recognition system. Furthermore, by connecting to a specific IP address, external patrols have the possibility to view the images recorded by a specific video camera in real time. Remote day/night illumination management Each support is also equipped with a remote switch that allows managing the illumination and video surveillance functions completely autonomously and independently from each other. While the light source turns on at dusk and switches off at sunrise, the cameras continue functioning 24/7, according to the specific settings they may record both in continuous mode or trigger upon an event, such as the movement of a pedestrian, or a sound. The cameras placed close to the entrances of the Ministry are capable of sending alerts in real time to the operations centre, or activating a bollard along the perimeter thanks to an automatic vehicle license plate reading system. Nothing to object about the support of the engineers of Ghisamestieri, that proved to beat all times available and collaborative in answering the requirements of the Ministry. Also, no complaints about Genius, a unique world-wide illumination solution, capable of offering high level design and advanced technology in a single solution. No objections about the technology made in Germany of MOBOTIX. Securing the facility with additional cameras In fact, the operations room located inside the Ministry remotely controls the recording of more than 1,600 cameras" “In addition to the project implemented with Ghisamestieri, we employed the technology of MOBOTIX also for other types of requirements, still obviously related to the security of the Ministry: 36 AllroundMono security cameras have already been installed on the roof of the palace to check potential attacks for instance through the air vent conduits to the so-called Tempest room, a completely aseptic environment for the protection of communications inside the Ministry. "In fact, the operations room located inside the Ministry remotely controls the recording of more than 1,600 cameras installed in various facilities connected to the department”, underscores Varvo. The light spots installed in Rome find their place in a wider project, where any illumination support can potentially serve as a technology node. Named “Genius” by their creators, regardless of the design or aesthetic form, any light spot is potentially capable of becoming a true security centre, perfectly integrated from the aesthetic and urban points of view into city decor. Equipped with microphones and speakers, MOBOTIX’ cameras can put the citizens in touch with the operations centres of the police or ambulances by means of special buttons placed at the base of the pole or through the implementation of an RFID or magnetic strip identification system. “With respect to traditional poles with well-visible cameras installed outdoors, Genius represents a true video security system, not just a simple crime deterrent”, concluded Varvo.
Hikvision, the global leader in video surveillance equipment, and their Abu Dhabi partner, Opal Protection Systems, have played a major role in preventing an attempted robbery at a Money Exchange in Abu Dhabi. A comprehensive Hikvision CCTV System captured the moments when a robed figure threatened employees with a pistol and alerted the Abu Dhabi Police Operations Room, which immediately dispatched officers to arrest the suspect. Footage of the unfolding drama has now been posted to YouTube and proved an online sensation with over 3 million hits. All the money exchanges in Abu Dhabi benefit from the world’s most highly advanced security technology, which is installed by authorised dealers under the strict surveillance of the police. Each is video linked to a 24/7 specialist police department, which can respond in a matter of minutes to any alert. The security system in the money exchange centre involved in the attempted robbery consists of 13 Hikvision easy-to-use IP cameras connected to a Hikvision DS-8616NI-ST Network Video Recorder (NVR). The cameras used include the DS-2CD2120F-I(W)(S) 2MP vandal-proof dome camera, the DS-2CD2520F 2 MP mini dome camera, DS-2CD2020-I 2MP IR bullet camera and the DS-2CD2D14WD 1MP mini camera. Surveillance helped police swiftly secure the situation “The incident in the Abu Dhabi exchange centre involved a woman using a fake gun and a knife in an attempted robbery,” says Yousef Moharib, General Manager at Opal Protection Systems Ltd, which implemented the Hikvision CCTV solution. “Thanks to the Hikvision security solution installed within the exchange centre, Abu Dhabi Police were able to secure the situation within minutes, and with maximum efficiency. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hikvision for their continued support and feel that this incident has further strengthened our partnership within the region. “We are aggressively focused on staying at the pinnacle of the systems integration industry. Our clients range from Government entities on a federal and municipal level to large enterprises throughout the Middle East. Opal offers clients a turnkey solution for its entire infrastructure requirement,” he added.
Based in Poland, Bank Pekao is one of the largest financial institutions in Central and Eastern Europe. Security is a paramount concern for the organisation, which is why it has chosen to implement Vanderbilt’s cutting edge video and access control technology across a large part of its estate. Leading financial institution Over the last 85 years Bank Pekao has become one of the leading organisations of its kind within Central and Eastern Europe. This Polish financial institution is considered one of the safest banks at the pan-European level and operates almost 1,000 branches, the second largest network in the country. The company belongs to one of the world’s biggest financial groups, UniCredit, which operates in 17 European countries with a network of 9,600 branches and around 145,000 employees. As a pioneer in its industry, Bank Pekao has been awarded many prestigious national and international accolades. In 2014 the company’s mobile banking application won Best Mobile Banking Award by Money.pl, and the Top Employers Institute named it Top Employers Europe 2015 for the sixth consecutive time. Security strategy & technology Its position as one of the safest and secure financial organisations in Poland has been achieved through the implementation of a carefully constructed security strategy, alongside a commitment to adopting cutting edge technology. This area is coordinated by the Bank’s Security Department which is managed by its Director- Janusz Szymków. "As part of this initiative we wanted to move towards an Internet protocol (IP) based solution that could centrally monitor, maintain and control different branch offices" Ryszard Pichnicki Operational Director at Bank Pekao Physical Security Office, explains, “Efficient security is vital, so we have a programme of continually upgrading our infrastructure to make it as reliable as possible. As part of this initiative we wanted to move towards an Internet protocol (IP) based solution that could centrally monitor, maintain and control different branch offices around Poland to allow more efficient management. This would mean that any issues could be identified immediately and remedial action taken when necessary.” Vanderbilt technology Pichnicki contacted Siedlce based intruder alarm system integrator, Cel-Tronics, for its suggestions. Bogdan Jedrych, the company’s Managing Director, explains, “We have worked with Bank Pekao for many years and are pre-approved as a technical partner. After gaining an understanding of what was required, we suggested a solution based around Vanderbilt’s cutting edge technology, including the robust Vectis video recording devices, SPC control panels and the SiPass integrated access control system. Ryszard Pichnicki made it clear that he wanted to implement products from a company that could guarantee availability without any restrictions to installers, and therefore working with Vanderbilt made complete sense.” Interoperability between SPC panels and access control systems SiPass integrated is a powerful and almost infinitely flexible access control system that provides a very high level of security without compromising convenience and ease of use. Krzysztof Krasowski, Vanderbilt’s Sales Manager for Poland, Baltics and Ukraine, says “SiPass integrated is a part of Bank Pekao’s system that restricts movement within each branch and, thanks to its diverse range of modes, can provide ultimate protection. Bank Pekao also required full interoperability between the SPC panels and access control systems for operations such as arm/disarm area, alarms notifications, input/outputs status reading. This is something that we are used to providing, so we had no problem meeting the brief.” Centrally managed single network This level of high-end operability means that the entire system is run over a single network that can be centrally managed, allowing it to work smoothly and ensuring maximum security for all bank branches. Furthermore, this approach was incredibly cost effective, as it eliminated the need for more than one cabling infrastructure. Integration possibilities It also provides an open interface for any third party software, offering the possibility to integrate access control with other systems – therefore creating one intelligent building management system that can check the status of doors, prompt the Vectis iX video recorders to activate, and provide a full audit trail. Vectis iX is based on the ONVIF open communication protocol, which allows these devices to be used alongside third party camera vendors. This has proven to be very beneficial, especially where cameras were already installed and needed to be integrated into the new system. Reusing in-situ infrastructure As the new solution is replacing a Vanderbilt Sintony based system, some of the in-situ infrastructure is being reused, providing further cost savings and reducing unnecessary waste In addition, the Vanderbilt solution is being rolled out in stages and because SiPass is open to readers that can communicate with other controllers, it is helping to provide a smooth migration path. As the new solution is replacing a Vanderbilt Sintony based system, some of the in-situ infrastructure is being reused, providing further cost savings and reducing unnecessary waste, in line with Bank Pekao’s environmental and sustainability policy. Cel-Tronics has installed the new technology in many of the Bank’s branches so far, with great success, and ais planning many more over the next few years. The programme has been very efficient as Bogdan Jedrych explained, “We prepare configuration files beforehand based on existing installations, adjusting them to local requirements. In future we will change the set-up via the central network and apply this to the additional controllers. This will give the flexibility to add/delete cards remotely, download reports and perform other operational tasks.” Bank Pekao’s Ryszard Pichnicki is very pleased with the results so far and concludes, “We take the issue of security very seriously and need to know that we have a system in place that can protect people, property and assets as effectively as possible. I’m confident that, thanks to Cel-Tronics and Vanderbilt, we have the best means of achieving this important objective.”
ASSA ABLOY’s Access Control’s Aperio® wireless locking technology has been installed at the headquarters of BMCE Bank in Casablanca, to provide an instant upgrade to an access control system, without compromising aesthetics. BMCE Bank is one of the largest commercial banks in Morocco, with a network of 540 branches. As part of a complete overhaul of its headquarters security arrangements, around 50 Aperio® C100 wireless online cylinders were selected for its glass doors. Easy to install, ASSA ABLOY Access Control’s Aperio® escutcheon enabled a simple security upgrade from the mechanical systems in place to a sleek access control wireless locking solution. With Aperio®’s flexible design and ability to work with RS485 and Wiegand Interface, and iClass, Mifare Plus and DesFire technology credentials, there was no issue with it instantly connecting to the existing online access control system at BMCE Bank, with minimal modification to doors and premises. Says Chris Bone, ASSA ABLOY Vice President Access Control EMEA: “To have selected Aperio® for such a prestigious building, where security is of paramount importance, is true testament to the abilities of this revolutionary technology.” “This installation really demonstrates how Aperio® can provide end users in any market across the globe, with a simple and intelligent way of upgrading the controllability and security levels of their premises.” Aperio® C100 wireless online cylinders were selected for 50 glass doors at the bank “And with its evolving connectivity and developments in RFID technology, its ability to connect with almost all access control systems is further evidence of how Aperio® continues to evolve and play such a major part in the security industry.” ASSA ABLOY Access Control worked alongside MAXXESS who provided an eFusion security management system and HikVision, which installed a 100 camera surveillance system, incorporating a hybrid recording solution. The contract to implement the complete integrated system was awarded to CST Sécurité, a leading Moroccan security systems integrator.
Mobotix AG, a leading manufacturer of digital high-resolution, network-based video security systems has released details of an installation of its MOBOTIX CCTV solution which is helping to protect and improve access for staff and clients at Pinfields Limited, a highly respected Midlands-based accountancy practice.Based in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, Pinfields has a long-established background offering high quality financial advice to small and medium enterprises since 1938. Due to their continuing growth, in August 2009 Pinfields moved into new purpose-built offices covering 5,500 sq ft over three floors. With a move to bigger premises, the firm decided to improve its security monitoring and access control requirements and approached Ecl-ips, a local business which specialises in monitoring and surveillance using IP technology. 360° all-round viewAfter surveying the building and discussing the exact requirements with the client, Aaron Kernaghan, Managing Director of Ecl-ips, recommended a solution that combined the MOBOTIX IP Surveillance cameras and a door entry and access control system from Access Control Technology (ACT).Due to MOBOTIX's innovative Q24 hemispheric camera, Ecl-ips only had to install one camera in the office building. Thanks to the 360° all-round view, the Q24 is able to capture an entire room. With a panorama function and a quad view, the camera can show images from four different angles simultaneously. Currently the MOBOTIX Q24 is the only product on the market that offers this functionality and reduces the number of cameras needed to provide surveillance of a room. The MOBOTIX M12 camera was situated at the front of the building to provide external surveillance of the premises. As with the Q24, all of the MOBOTIX cameras are high resolution cameras which store images that are more revealing and provide stronger evidence than other formats. MOBOTIX cameras record approximately 30 times more detail than 95% of all existing video systems worldwide. In virtually all applications, one MOBOTIX camera can replace several standard CCTV systems because MOBOTIX technology offers four times more coverage. Ecl-ips also installed a surveillance class network attached storage device which is capable of recording and storing up to 28 days of high-definition footage from the MOBOTIX cameras. Retrieval of these images is made simple by the utilisation of the license-free MOBOTIX MxControlCenter Video Management Software that has been set up and deployed on several client PCs within the business. One MOBOTIX camera can replace several standard CCTV systems because MOBOTIX technology offers four times more coverage Restricted access and time and attendance recorderThe ACT access control system recommended by Ecl-ips has exceeded the expectations of Nick Pinfield and his team. Ecl-ips fitted an ACTpro 3000 door access controller which allows the staff to gain access to the building via a key fob. This also records the exact time that they enter and leave the building, and by doing so provides the restricted access that was requested and delivers a time and attendance system. With the use of the ACTentry V-IP system, which combines door entry with audio video over IP, visitors to the Pinfields office simply press the door entry panel, which includes a camera, and from any PC in the business that has the client software installed they can view who is at the door and speak to them over the phone system before allowing them access to the building. Nick Pinfield, a Partner at Pinfields Limited commented: "The system recommended and installed by Ecl-ips has definitely exceeded my expectations. The quality of the MOBOTIX images is superb and we can even zoom in and out of the recorded images as and when we need to. I have found the system incredibly easy and intuitive to use. The access control has enabled us to be able to monitor and control our front door when reception is not attended. The time and attendance system is also very simple but highly effective and has fulfilled all of my requirements. This has also increased our productivity."Pinfield continued: "We have been delighted by the professionalism of Ecl-ips and the team of engineers that have worked on this project. They are a company that understand technology and in particular IP. It has definitely been money well spent."