Government & public services security applications
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...
VMS software and IP products from Hikvision, a supplier of innovative video surveillance products and solutions, are now being used by the Government of Gujarat Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), to protect and administer education facilities and services across Western India. A government organisation that provides qualitative and higher level technical training for students from a diverse mix of financial and social backgrounds, the Directorate of Technical Education’s (DTE) goal...
MOBOTIX has announced a raised focus on cyber security by implementing the “MOBOTIX Cactus Concept.” The concept aims to deliver a comprehensive approach to protecting MOBOTIX products against the threat of cyber-attacks along with education and tools to help customers and partners build and maintain secure video surveillance and access control environments. Multimedia cybersecurity campaign The objective of the Cactus Concept is to implement a multimedia cyber security campaign in...
The Sinan Erdem Dome is the largest multi-purpose indoor venue in Turkey. Located in Istanbul, the dome has a seating capacity of up to 22,500, and hosts a number of events, including concerts, tennis matches, and basketball games. Strengthening stadium security Upon being chosen to host a number of games during the European Basketball Championships 2017, the chief European men’s international basketball competition held biannually, the Sinan Erdem Dome looked to strengthen their securit...
The G20 Summit is an annual meeting of leaders from 20 major economies to discuss global issues. In 2016, China hosted its first-ever G20 forum in the south-eastern city of Hangzhou. Securing the leaders of multiple countries is no easy task, and would require many months of preparation by thousands of labourers in order to ensure the two-day forum, transportation, and cultural activities ran smoothly. China’s largest security project The G20 World Summit was one of the largest security...
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport opened to serve the state of New Hampshire and the surrounding New England community in 1927, a little over two decades after the Wright brother’s first powered flight. Located three miles south of central Manchester, the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is the fourth largest passenger and third largest cargo airport in New England. The airport is also the busiest in the state, qualifying under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a “small...
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.
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?
In 1901 New York state made a pioneering regulation move and became the first US state to require automobile owners to register their vehicles. This marked the beginning of regulation on modern traffic, which - following decades of development - resulted in a multi-layer concept of regulation relating to vehicles and driver’s licenses, traffic signs and insurance mechanisms that we are all familiar with nowadays. While certain parallels can be drawn between the early days of cars and our contemporary experience with quadcopters, we are facing a new challenging era that is far more complex to organise and regulate. Integrating drones in existing regulatory ecosystem Similar to other pioneering technologies in the past, drones need to integrate into a long existing and well-balanced ecosystem, the rules of which have first been drafted some one hundred years ago and have evolved without taking vehicles such as drones into account. Yet the safety risks related to aviation hinder the quick integration of drones into that ecosystem, broadening the gap between existing regulatory landscape and the exponentially growing popularity and ever-advancing technology of drones. The safety risks related to aviation hinder the quick integration of drones into the legislative ecosystem For the past several years, governments and legislators have been trying to tackle this problem by trying to answer two questions: how to properly integrate drones into the airspace without creating a hazardous impact on existing airborne operations, and how to enforce regulations in order to prevent the side-effects related to careless or malicious drone flights, taking into consideration public safety and physical security. Counter-UAS measures and regulations Up until 2018, legislators tried to tackle these two questions as a whole by introducing bundled legislation drafts covering the entire landscape of gaps they needed to address, which resulted in multi-parliamentary committee efforts both in the US and abroad to review and approve each bill - a process that is very slow by design. It was only in the beginning of this year that the issues were starting to be addressed separately: legislation related to limitations and counter-drone measures on the one hand, and legislation related to integration into airspace on the other. Let’s take a closer look at Counter-UAS (unmanned aerial systems) measures and what makes them challenging in terms of regulation. Over the past years, various counter-drone technologies have been introduced to enable control over rogue drones in order to either stop them from achieving their flight purpose or prevent them from creating safety hazards to people or property. These measures can be grouped into 3 types of technologies: Military grade solutions - including lasers and surface-air missiles Kinetic solutions - including net-guns and autonomous drones set out to catch the rogue drone and disable it airborne Non-kinetic RF-based solutions - aimed at either disabling, disrupting or accessing the drone’s communications channels in order to trigger a return-to-home function, or guide the drone into a safe landing route Aside from combat military operations, the legality of using the above technologies is questionable as they tamper with an airborne aircraft, might be considered as wiretapping and/or violate computer fraud laws. Therefore, one can conclude that unless changes to regulation are made, non-military facilities will continue to be defenceless from and vulnerable to rogue drones. One can conclude that unless changes to regulation are made, non-military facilities will continue to be defenceless from and vulnerable to rogue drones European c-UAS legislation Next, let’s look at the state of c-UAS legislation in both Europe and US to better understand different legislative ecosystems and how they affect the possibilities of using counter drone measures. In the European Union, there is currently no uniform legislation, and the member countries rely on their own existing legal infrastructures. Roughly speaking, most countries use a method of exemptions to the communications and aviation laws to allow the use of counter drone measures after a close examination by the relevant authorities. Such exemptions are approved under scrutiny to particular sites, which provide some relief, but they do not allow broad use of countermeasures. Further discussion regarding a broader regulation change, on a country level or EU-wide, is only preliminary. US c-UAS legislation Preventing Emerging Threats - provides an initial infrastructure for counter drone measures to be used by various DoJ and DHS agenciesUnlike the EU, in the US exemptions are not possible within the existing legal framework, and the possible violation of US code title 18 means that the hands of both the government or private entities are tied when attempting to protect mass public gatherings, sports venues, or critical infrastructure. Therefore, it was more urgent to introduce legislation that would allow countermeasures to some extent. In September, US Congress approved the FAA-reauthorisation act for the next 5 years (H.R. 302), which was shortly after signed by the President and came into effect. Division H of the act - Preventing Emerging Threats - provides an initial infrastructure for counter drone measures to be used by various DoJ (Department of Justice) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) agencies under strict limitations. However, the act avoids determining which technology the agencies should use, yet it requires minimal impact on privacy and overall safety in order to strike the necessary balance. This is the first profound counter-drone legislation and is expected to be followed by additional measures both in the US and in other countries. Updating counter-drone legal infrastructure In summary, 2018 has been a pioneering year for counter-drone legislation, and while technology already allows taking action when necessary, legal infrastructure needs further updates in order to close the existing gaps: covering additional federal assets, state-level governments, and private facilities of high importance, such as critical infrastructure sites. Legislators in the US and around the world need to continue working in a rapid tempo to keep up with the growing threat of drones. As with cars a century ago, the number of accidents will rise with the increase in time taken to regulate.
Whether you are a veteran in the access control world or have never installed a card reader before, there are always ways to increase profits in the ever-evolving world of access control. The hope is that by considering a few key focal points, you can find ways to increase market share. Whether we are releasing an electronic lock through a simple intercom button or using biometric and multi-authentication based on a database; the tactics for bringing on more revenue is the same. Learning to focus on a few key items can help open up opportunities. Business access controls Understanding vertical markets is a strong strategy for success in increasing your profits with access controlIf you are new to access control, it’s important to determine the right product offerings for your business model and experience level of your team. Mistakes in estimating or installing can be costly and complex. Take advantage of manufacturer training both online and in the classroom for both your sales team and installation department. It’s important to understand the fire and building codes in your area to make sure you design the proper solution for your customers. Furthermore, understanding the products, components and proper wiring can save you money in labour and materials. Today we will look at four focus points: vertical markets, cloud-based access control, technology upgrades, and preventative maintenance and service agreements. These four focal points are simple to implement and can be easily added to your current operation. Vertical markets Understanding vertical markets is a strong strategy for success in increasing your profits with access control. The concept is that understanding a certain vertical and their security needs can increase your sales team’s marketability. If you spend your time focusing on the healthcare industry, for instance, you will see that HIPA requirements open doors for selling access control. Getting to know the regulatory concerns of different verticals is a great strategy for more effective sales Having logs of who entered your HR files room or patient records storage is a crucial part of addressing privacy concerns. Getting to know the regulatory concerns of different verticals is a great strategy for more effective sales. Another example could be apartment communities or other multifamily dwellings. In this competitive marketplace, these complexes are looking for ways to stand out in their market. Knowing this and being able to offer amenities like secured locks with Bluetooth credentials that tenants can open with their smartphones is a selling point for you and for your customer. Building on each customer you contact within a vertical is like free sales and marketing training. The more you learn from each potential client, the more you increase your conversation starters for the next potential client. Cloud-based access control With the growing cloud-based access control market, integrators can find more opportunities in small businesses and vertical markets that typically wouldn’t be on the radar of your sales team. A typical card access system often makes the move from the traditional lock and key systems to electronic card access cost prohibitive. This is due to the large upfront costs for a server, software and annual licensing. With cloud access, integrators can offer less expensive upfront costs with low monthly subscription fees that cover all software updates, database backups, security patches and more. The real benefit for the integrator is the reoccurring revenue. By helping our clients save money on server, software and IT infrastructure costs, we are securing reoccurring revenue for our companies that increase our profitability. Building reoccurring revenue not only provides cash flow but also keeps your name on the top of the minds of your customer and that leads to additional sales. By helping clients save money on server, software and IT infrastructure costs, we are securing reoccurring revenue for companies that increase profitability Technology upgrades Another often overlooked opportunity is technology upgrades. Training your sales staff and even service technicians to watch out for clients with older technology can reap major benefits. When you bring new technology to your clients, you show another value that you bring to the table. Even if your client isn’t ready to make an upgrade, you can easily plant a seed that will get their minds and budgets rolling. An easy example is a customer with an older intercom door access system An easy example is a customer with an older intercom door access system. This may have met their needs 10 years ago when it was installed, but the office has grown and perhaps an integrated card access intercom system is a great technology upgrade. Bringing this to the customer will once again show that you are the “subject matter expert” and your customer will be more apt to refer you to their friends and colleagues. Another easy way to find technology upgrades is to dig through your ageing client list and build a list of potential targets that you have not visited lately. If you keep records of what was installed previously, it will make it easier to plan ahead and bring solutions to your next visit, saving your sales staff time and again building confidence with your clients. Preventive maintenance and service agreements One thing that sales teams often miss is the opportunity to add service agreements and preventative maintenance agreements. Even if a customer already has an access control system, they may not have a service provider and may be interested in securing a service agreement. Typically, a service agreement can be written to cover all parts and labour or just labour for an annual feeShowing the value of a service agreement is paramount, adding annual or semi-annual preventative maintenance to your service agreement is one way to add value. Inspecting locking mechanisms, request to exit motions and buttons, door status switches, headend equipment, batteries and power supplies, can save your customer from a costly after-hours service call or the inconvenience of a non-functioning access control system during business hours. Additionally, checking computer hardware and software logs for errors can save a customer from a catastrophic failure. Typically, a service agreement can be written to cover all parts and labour or just labour for an annual fee. It is helpful to come up with a percentage of the install value that makes sense so that your sales team can easily quote a service agreement for your customer. Offering several levels of service also opens the table for negotiations. You can offer an “all parts and labour 24/7” or a “parts and labour M-F 8AM-4PM”, as an example. Offering guaranteed response times can also be a marketing strategy. Critical area access management Checking computer hardware and software logs for errors can save a customer from a catastrophic failureA 24-7 facility that has 200 employees moving in and out of critical areas may be a great potential customer for a high-level service agreement with semi-annual preventative maintenance and a guaranteed 4-hour response time. Where a small office that is only open during standard business hours may be better suited for a labour only M-F with annual preventative maintenance inspection. The point is that a creative, intentional, and focused approach to access control can yield the fruit that brings long-term success to your team. Building a plan and learning from each prospect, sale, and installation will develop a process that brings results. Attending a trade specific expo like ESX will give you the opportunity to meet with manufacturers and other integrators that can help you implement a product offering and strategy for success.
Schools are continuing to upgrade security measures for pupil safety. However, on top of all the fundamental challenges schools face, implementing well-rounded and effective security solutions can seem a great difficulty. Andrew Shaw, architectural consultant for Allegion UK, discusses the advantages of electro-mechanical solutions. Schools can equate to some of the most complex security challenges for architects, specifiers and school officials alike. This is because choosing the right solution requires a comprehensive analysis of a building’s design and layout and the different requirements of each perimeter, alongside specific uses, user groups and opening hours. Different areas and spaces, such as reception areas, entry points or classrooms, each need to be approached differently in terms of safety and security measures. Precautionary lockdown strategy Adequate training also means all staff know how to support an effective lockdown and facilitate a safe escape in the event of an emergency What’s more, if the building is used for out-of-hours purposes, or if contractors are on-site, these issues will also need to be addressed. Simply put, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for schools. Security hardware and a precautionary lockdown strategy are necessities, as they are integral to the safety of teachers, students and visitors. Adequate measures need to be implemented so that schools are prepared for, and safeguarded against, external threats or unauthorised access. Whilst a lot of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of facility managers, it’s also important for teachers and administrators to be aware of, and educated on, solutions and training. This means knowing how certain hardware works and how to spot a faulty product. Adequate training also means all staff know how to support an effective lockdown and facilitate a safe escape in the event of an emergency. Unique building requirements This is becoming increasingly important with newer systems too, especially as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more commonplace within the industry. Integrating electro-mechanical solutions into existing school security systems is now more commonly viewed as an achievable and viable option. Because an off-the-shelf security solution to fit all doesn’t exist, the benefits of integrating both electronic and mechanical solutions into systems are quickly becoming realised. As such, schools are growing more accustomed to tailored solutions based on their own unique building requirements and budgets. Each school layout is unique and, therefore, must address a range of security factors specific to different areas. Many areas within a school’s building design must accommodate for high capacity, especially in places that may be part of a fire escape route. Mechanical door hardware Schools need to consider the amount of exit and entry points, which will be dependent on the size and layout of the school grounds All schools need to address three different levels of security. The first level is the least vulnerable of the three and concerns the perimeter entry and exit points. The second level is more vulnerable than the first and relates to the point at which people are screened before entering the interior of the school. Finally, the third level - and the most vulnerable - refers to the core of the school that both pupils and staff occupy. The first level of security is the perimeter, and these areas become more important depending on the time of day. Schools need to consider the amount of exit and entry points, which will be dependent on the size and layout of the school grounds. Incorporating some level of electronic access control should be a consideration, whether that is a combination of electronic and mechanical door hardware, or a complete electronic solution. Greater visitor management An electromechanical solution, such as electric strikes, can be beneficial in the effectiveness of perimeter security as they provide greater visitor management and traffic control. Electric strikes are able to control access via keypads, cards and proximity readers. When combined with mechanical locks, they provide the benefits of unrestricted egress. This option also allows integration with central security systems, which can be automatically activated and pre-programmed for regular scheduled control. These solutions help lower the risk of potential unauthorised entry, which can lead to theft of equipment, and compromising people’s safety. They also aid facility and site managers in knowing where potential weak points are in the school perimeter. Because schools will most likely have multiple access points, the combination of mechanical hardware and access control systems allows for both security and convenience, providing greater control and monitoring. Efficient access control A well-designed school with a single-entry point allows for such monitoring, but should also cater to the efficient movement in and out of the building The second level of security is the administration or reception area. As this area will be designed primarily to facilitate visitor entry, it will require adequate monitoring of access control. This area should be able to restrict visitors from freely accessing the rest of the school. A well-designed school with a single-entry point allows for such monitoring, but should also cater to the efficient movement in and out of the building. To do this, the latches used on access-controlled egress doors can be electronically controlled from the reception area or school office. Exit or entry doors can be opened by a push from the inside and, if the entry area is also an emergency exit, electronically-powered panic bars can also provide an effective solution. When using access control solutions, schools are provided with information on who entered a part of the premises and when, are able to restrict or limit access to specific times of the day, and easily add and delete users, allowing them to manage access to the building more efficiently. Integrated centralised systems The areas most susceptible to vulnerability are the internal hallways, corridors, stairwells, entry points and restricted areas (such as staff lounges and science laboratories). These are the areas where a school must foster the safest environments for pupils, whilst also providing protection as they often contain confidential information, expensive equipment or chemicals. For these areas, there are a number of different solutions that will be beneficial, whether electronic, mechanical or a combination of the two. For electronic solutions, there are two options available: remote or centralised systems. With remote lockdown systems, individual locks are activated by remote control within proximity to the door. With integrated centralised systems, the access control system is linked to all doors within the school building and locked at the touch of a button. Mechanical solutions, which include a cylinder lock and key, are also ideal for places such as classrooms, as doors can be locked externally with a key or internally with a thumbturn, to prevent unauthorised persons from entering. When paired with electronic access control systems, mechanical hardware can provide simplified yet improved security levels. Electromagnetic door closers Electromechanically exit devices allow for monitored and safe access, whilst also allowing for an immediate exit In schools, it is often the case that entrance doors will also be fire exits. Electromechanically exit devices allow for monitored and safe access, whilst also allowing for an immediate exit. When integrated with electronic access control systems, emergency exit points become safer and more secure as access control measures can be added, whether for teachers, pupils or visitors. In the interest of fire safety, and to eliminate the illegal practice of propping fire doors open as well as aid free passage in busy areas, electromagnetic door closers can be linked with the building’s fire alarm system. When the fire alarm sounds (or in the event of a power outage), the electromagnet deactivates, bringing the door to a close in a normal manner, preventing the spread of fire and smoke. Building design requirements By design, electronic access control systems are also easy to use and maintain. The reliability and durability of such systems also means that there will be less need for excess time and money spent on maintenance, and there’s peace of mind in knowing the systems are code-compliant. Their flexibility additionally allows for the implementation of a highly-effective bespoke solution. Electronic access control and electronic devices are able to be integrated with or into a variety of other electronic and mechanical systems. This means schools are able to successfully tailor solutions to their own budgets and building design requirements. Fully integrated security solutions and biometrics are becoming increasingly affordable and accessible, giving school officials and managing teams greater control over their buildings. These solutions also give them scalability for the future, meaning systems are both future-proof and easily upgradable.
"Many disasters have occurred in the world, but few have also provided so much delight for posterity." There probably are no better words to describe Pompeii than Goethe’s during one of his trips to Italy – the area of Pompeii encompasses 440,000 square meters that include the archaeological excavations of the ancient Roman city submerged by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, frozen in time by the sudden rain of ash and lava rock that preserved it for centuries. In 1997 UNESCO declared Pompeii a World Heritage Site, on account of the fact that the extraordinary findings in the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and neighbouring cities buried by the eruption provide a complete and vivid picture of society and daily life that have been preserved nearly intact for two millennia. Presently Pompeii is the flagship of the Pompeii Authority, an Institute of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism provided with special autonomy, which is active in the area of protection, conservation, and public access to cultural heritage sites. The Great Pompeii project: video security needs The need to install a video security system was born of the Great Pompeii project, an undertaking ordered by the Italian Government for the purpose of reinforcing the effectiveness of the conservation actions and programmes in the archaeological area of Pompeii, by developing an extraordinary and urgently needed programme of conservation, prevention, maintenance, and restoration. An important and demanding operation, also in financial terms – €105 million from Fesr and national funding – with the objective of modernising the Pompeii archaeological site, not only by stabilising and restoring decorated walls and surfaces, but also by means of security and leveraging the video security system. Metoda's technical expertise "The reasons underlying theneed to implement a videosecurity system included protection of archaeological findings, to tourist control" The project, supported and accompanied by a suitable scientific and technical study plan for the purposes of identifying, researching the scientific knowledge and guiding the operating choices, called for launching a bid for tenders for a new video security system, which was eventually awarded to Metoda in August 2014. An Italian company in the providing solutions, software projects, and consulting in diverse IT and tele-communications sectors – from mobile payments to building management, including civil protection, security and networking – Metoda employs more than 300 experts, from professionals and specialised technicians involved in the business units dedicated to specific applications, including research and development, which collaborates with prestigious research institutes and universities for many years. "The feather in the cap for Metoda is SOA certification, which was received precisely because of our complex internal organisation and attests to the financial and technical capacity of the firm to qualify for designing and implementing large scale public tenders," explains Cesare Gonnelli, Deputy Manager of Metoda. From "under observation" to "under video surveillance" "The reasons underlying the need to implement a video security system were multifaceted, from protection of the archaeological findings, which are often the object of theft and vandalism, to tourist control," adds Gonnelli. The archaeological site, which may receive up to 15,000 tourists in a single day – a numerical turnout second to only the Coliseum – sends us very frequent reports of graffiti, scratches, and defacing of the walls and frescoes of the Roman Domus villas, which are at the heart of the archaeological site. These acts of vandalism are carried out by tourists with their pens and fingernails when they somehow manage to stay within the walls on purpose even after the site is closed to the public. Furthermore, as a result of the recent terrorist attacks, the Authority evaluated the opportunity of utilizing an advanced video security system in support of the physical surveillance activity of the guards. "In fact one of the priorities was being able to clearly distinguish the face of the people and monitoring behaviour that looked out of place inside the area, as well as any objects left behind and considered potentially suspicious," continues Gonnelli. MOBOTIX video surveillance solution Cameras were installed on light posts along the perimeter, and on the walls of the Roman Domus villas Partnering with MOBOTIX since 2011, Metoda had no doubt about the best product to offer to the Pompeii Authority for implementing the video surveillance project. "MOBOTIX easily satisfied the requirements of the bid for tenders, and was in fact the only technology truly capable of providing an answer to the actual requirements of the Authority. A resounding victory, most of all because of the quality of the images, which completely surpassed all the expectations of the customer.". The installation of the first video cameras – almost all of them D15, with the exception of about ten D25 chosen to blend with the architecture and style – started in July 2015, but already in December Pompeii was under surveillance by 240 video cameras, with the objective of reaching more than 380 before the end of the summer, installed both on the light posts placed both along the perimeter of the archaeological site, and on the internal and external walls of the Roman Domus villas. In any event, the video security system is a much more complex IT and telecommunications project, as it required the implementation of a complex network support infrastructure (12 fibre optic rings and 88 nodes) thanks to the strong expertise of Metoda in networking, with a department specifically dedicated to software development and the integration of IT and telecommunication systems. Event-activated video surveillance The video cameras are in operation 24 hours a day, but with the exception of special particular requirements, are only event-activated, in order not to overload the storage, notwithstanding the 700-TB NAS archive system. The recordings can later be viewed on nine 42-inch monitors in a dedicated control room provided with four workstations dedicated for the monitoring personnel. The cameras are event-activated, in order not to overload the storage, notwithstanding the 700-TB NAS archive system No issues were encountered during neither the installation phases nor the deployment of the system, thanks also to the technical expertise of Metoda. "Likewise, no complaints from the personnel in charge of using the system (for the time being the same guards at the park), who received a minimum amount of training, but certainly cannot be called ‘expert’ in the utilisation of advanced technology systems. The ease of use of MOBOTIX solutions certainly gave us an advantage in the quick deployment of the project," concludes Gonnelli. High image quality As in most of the projects implemented by MOBOTIX, the praise should also be attributed in this case to the excellent quality of the images, which cannot be compared – also according to Metoda – to any other system available in the market. Certainly the decentralised concept of MOBOTIX played an important role in promoting all the virtues of the system, especially because of the number of video cameras involved, which prevents overloading the network under "critical" utilisation conditions. Both Metoda’s and the end user’s needs have been satisfied – a fact only confirmed by the idea that considerations are being made to implement a video analysis system to support the anti-graffiti activities, with the objective of studying behaviours considered "suspicious." As such, they could prevent acts of vandalism that could cause irreparable damage to the artistic and cultural heritage.
Security expert Abloy UK has supplied South Staffs Water (SSW) with a bespoke PROTEC2 CLIQ® electromechanical security system for 91 of its operational sites. SSW supplies high quality drinking water to approximately 1.3m people and 35,000 commercial customers over 1,500 square km in the West Midlands, South Staffordshire, South Derbyshire, North Warwickshire and North Worcestershire areas. The SSW clean water sites include treatment works, reservoirs, pumping stations, boosters, and water towers. PROTEC2 CLIQ® electromechanical locking system The installation of the PROTEC2 CLIQ® system, which was completed by Lincoln Security, comprised of 600 Padlocks, 392 Cylinders, 200 User Keys and four Desktop Programmers. In addition, 10 Wall Programming Devices were strategically placed at offices and depots throughout the SSW geographical area to allow key holders to re validate when required. The locking systems are now fully operational, securing and maintaining the safety of equipment - such as pumps and telemetry units - operational apparatus, chemicals, and potable water within reservoirs. There is also scope for the system to be expanded to fulfill additional security and site access requirements, as they are needed. CLIQ®-powered electronic security Abloy’s PROTEC2 CLIQ® cylinder system was chosen because it is specially designed to provide the highest level of security for the most sensitive areas; it offers a patented disc controller structure that requires a moving element in the key. PROTEC2 CLIQ® also possesses key and key blank patent protection to prevent systems from becoming compromised through the unauthorised duplication of keys. The patent, which lasts until 2031, is one of the longest in the industry and covers the entire range. "We chose the Abloy PROTEC2 CLIQ® system because of the versatility and flexibility it offers" In a PROTEC2 CLIQ® locking system, different products can be keyed into the same master key system, meaning all products can be operated with just a single key, simplifying the locking system and key management. In addition, there are 1.97 billion different key combinations; providing the possibility to create extensive master key systems that fulfill the clients’ exact specifications. Versatility and flexibility Kate Wilkes, Resilience and Security Manager at South Staffs Water, said: “We chose the Abloy PROTEC2 CLIQ® system because of the versatility and flexibility it offers – our employees can use just one key for every site they need to gain access to. Individuals that only need to access certain assets can have a particular level of key and other employees can have a higher level where required.” Rob Bennett, Senior Market Development Manager at Abloy, added: “There are a number of specific requirements when securing water sites, and it can be difficult to maintain access to all areas without the risk of keys being lost and a system becoming compromised. “A web-managed, patent protected master-key system that combines electronic access control with the strength of Abloy’s mechanical locks is the ideal solution, as it reduces the number of keys carried by individual employees or contractors, offering a convenient and flexible high security provision.”
The municipality of Haarlemmermeer wanted to replace the existing access control system and bring city hall security up to modern standards. They looked for a system that could manage all municipal buildings centrally. For this reason, the system had to be easily expandable. The access control system also had to include camera supervision of employees' sign-in and sign-out process. Existing access control infrastructure When implementing the new system, the municipality wanted to reuse existing infrastructure and to be flexible in terms of the types of card readers that could be connected; an unambiguous design was preferred. Furthermore, the system had to be able to be expanded to include burglary protection and parking control in the future. There was also the desire to scale down and improve management of the current key plan. Integrated video management The municipality uses access control and IP video on the AEOS platform. AEOS also takes future desires into account such as intrusion detection, lockers and filing cabinets, wireless online locks and key cabinets. All this functionality can be implemented at a later date using the same AEOS platform and the same controller by adding the desired software components - also new locations can be easily added. AEOS was implemented in November 2010 with reuse of the existing infrastructure. AEOS provides access control and IP video management in a single integrated system. In this manner, cameras can be operated from a single location and the foundation is laid for simple, efficient integration and expansion with other systems in the future.
The municipal council of Odense, Denmark’s third biggest city, uses Vanderbilt’s SPC Connect to help monitor and maintain public buildings such as schools, libraries, museums, gyms, housing, and government offices. Remote and instant access Due to the number of buildings under their authority, the municipality of Odense needed a security solution that would provide remote and instant access to deal with potential alarms from any location, at any time. For example, a janitor in charge of maintaining several buildings throughout the municipality, could not be in all places at once should an alarm trigger. Or, if an alarm triggered in the middle of the night, the team leader at a government office might have to leave their bed and drive into the workplace to investigate. SPC Connect is helping to solve this problem. Vanderbilt's SPC currently protects 36 buildings in the municipality of Odense. Therefore, upgrading to SPC Connect was a natural progression for the municipal council. SPC Connect SPC Connect is a cloud-based service that can be used by installers or end system users to access their SPC systems securely. The SPC panel and Connect communicate using FlexC. This is a powerful protocol and can be used to support multiple paths such as Ethernet, GRPS, and 3G. This ensures the system is always connected.SPC Connect is a cloud-based service that can be used by installers or end system users to access their SPC systems securely With SPC Connect, the municipality of Odense’s end users are benefiting greatly from the SPC Connect app. This can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The app provides them with an interface that contributes clearer arming and status information and allows for remotely carrying out tasks such as controlling doors, setting or unsetting an alarm, or isolating a zone. This instant and remote access to any potential alarms helps save a huge amount of time for those involved in maintaining the system. For example, say a caretaker oversees maintenance for a dozen or so buildings, and an alarm is triggered in one of the buildings. If he happens to be working on the other side of the town and physically getting to the incident is logistically difficult, all he needs to do is take out his smartphone, access the SPC Connect app, view the event investigate further remotely. Simple as. Real-time security alerts The SPC Connect app allows you to receive real-time security alerts. You can then immediately investigate the issue and act if necessary. When an alarm is triggered, you will receive an email notification to your smartphone and then, with your IP cameras connected to SPC, you can check the live video feed on your smartphone to examine the alert further. It saves a lot of time and money, but it also brings comfort and peace of mind to the end user as well. All the user’s interactions through SPC Connect are secured with financial grade SSL security, giving peace of mind alongside powerful control.
Decommissioned in San Diego, California, the USS Midway served from 1945 until 1992, as the longest-serving American aircraft carrier of the 20th century. The historic naval ship museum opened to the public for tours on June 10th, 2004, and receives 1,000,000 visitors annually. The USS Midway’s mission is to preserve, inspire, educate, and entertain visitors as well as serve as America’s living symbol of freedom. Video surveillance system Throughout USS Midway’s 47 years of service, the aircraft carrier played key roles in the Cold War, served with the Atlantic Fleet, was combat deployed in Vietnam as well as the Arabian Gulf for Desert Storm, and many other operations throughout the world. The aircraft carrier is home to flight simulators, a gift shop, café and a theatre, measures 1,001 feet long, and contains 18 decks. The large number of tourists, volunteers, and museum staff occupying the facility, along with the many events held on-board on any given day, make safety and surveillance a top concern for the museum’s Board of Directors. Earlier this year, Director of Safety and Security, Bill McClurg, with the full support of the CEO and the museum’s board, led a team of USS Midway department directors including information technology, finance, and operations, and launched a project designed to update and improve the museum’s existing video surveillance system. The process culminated in the selection of VIVOTEK’s valued partner, Layer3 Security Services, a systems integration company headquartered in San Diego that serves companies, government agencies and institutions throughout Southern California. Network cameras The new video surveillance system features dozens of VIVOTEK network cameras including fixed domes, box cameras, and Pan Tilt Zoom models. “There were many reasons for selecting VIVOTEK for this demanding application,” said Dario Santana, President of Layer3 Security Services. “These include the breadth of VIVOTEK’s product line, the high degree of integration with ExacqVision’s VMS platform, and the products’ superior price and performance. In the end, it only made sense to select VIVOTEK for the USS Midway upgrade,” concluded Dario. In the end, it only made sense to select VIVOTEK for the USS Midway upgrade" VIVOTEK’s FD8365HV and FD8338-HV fixed dome network cameras were also positioned in areas in need of surveillance. Both camera models are able to withstand inclement weather and the IP66 and IK10-rated housing protects the unit against acts of vandalism, making these units a great selection for installation aboard the aircraft carrier. A variety of camera models were chosen to monitor specific areas of the museum and surrounding areas. VIVOTEK’s FD8373-EHV fixed dome network cameras were installed throughout the premises due to the 3-megapixel wide dynamic range CMOS sensor’s excellent ability to adjust to challenging lighting conditions. The WDR Pro feature allows the camera to capture both the dark and bright areas of an image and combine the differences to generate a highly realistic representation of the original scene. Zooming capabilities Working closely with Layer3, Bill McClurg also chose SD8364E, speed dome network cameras for the zoom capabilities in parking lot as well as ship deck monitoring and IP8155HP, box network cameras. VIVOTEK’s SD8364E 1080p full HD resolution speed dome delivers superb image quality with its 30x optical zoom lens, perfect for monitoring wide open spaces. SD8364E’s IP67 and NEMA 4X-rated housing protects against rain, dust, and corrosion as well as operates under extreme weather conditions making it suitable for San Diego’s climate. The IP8155HP professional box network camera offers 1.3-megapixel resolution and WDR Pro II providing extreme visibility in high contrast environments. “Layer3 Security Services and VIVOTEK far exceeded our expectations with the installation of our new upgraded surveillance system. Layer3’s ability to translate our needs into a workable design and their recommendation of VIVOTEK’s superior yet efficient product line led to a successful deployment. Effective video surveillance on a museum, whose mission is to be, ‘America’s Living Symbol of Freedom,’ is an essential element in preserving it for generations to come,” said Bill McClurg, Safety Director.
Public safety and the protection of property initiatives led the city of Mankato, Minnesota to deploy a city-wide IP-based video surveillance system. Founded in 1852, the city is the seat of Blue Earth County. It encompasses 18.26 square miles of land and water, and supports a population of about 41,000 (2015 US census estimate). Home to a variety of natural landmarks and higher educational institutes, Mankato provides a dynamic lifestyle for its citizens all year round. Surveillance for key community areas The new city surveillance system uses a range of Arecont Vision megapixel cameras to cover key areas of the community, with the largest concentration of cameras deployed in the popular downtown entertainment district. Surveillance is also in place throughout Mankato’s city hall, civic event centre, shopping areas, parking ramps, public safety centre, municipal water plant, public works centre, regional airport, and for multiple public parks and community streets. The limitations of the previous surveillance system inspired extensive enhancements and capabilities for the new project. The original system NVR supported primarily analogue technology cameras, with a small percentage of early generation IP cameras supporting only JPEG video. The image quality of megapixel cameras could not be matched by this system, nor could it be cost effectively grown to address city requirements. In order to enjoy enhanced security, increased public safety, and the protection of property, a more modern and capable surveillance system was required. The city thus engaged security and communications integrator WW Communications to design and deploy such a project.The limitations of the previous surveillance system inspired extensive enhancements and capabilities for the new project WW Communications WW Communications’ COO Mike Bales led the effort and selected Arecont Vision’s IP megapixel cameras as the core of the new project. With regards as to why Arecont Vision was selected for the project, Bales explained: “A variety of factors led to the use of Arecont Vision, not least of which was the commitment and quality they provide as an American-based manufacturer. They are one of the few vendors who design and build their cameras in the U.S., and their cameras’ features and reliability reflect that.” Delving further into what features specifically appealed to them, Bales concluded, “Simplified installation features such as remote focus, along with advanced features such as true WDR (wide dynamic range) were key factors in the decision. Additionally, the SurroundVideo camera series’ cost effectiveness and coverage capabilities placed Arecont Vision ahead of its competitors for the job.” SurroundVideo cameras were first designed and pioneered in the surveillance industry by Arecont Vision in 2006. Now in their fifth generation, they provide non-stop coverage with four individual megapixel sensors for superior situational awareness and image quality while reducing the total number of cameras required for surveillance projects. After deciding on a manufacturer, Milestone Systems was then brought on as the video management software for Mankato’s new surveillance system. Arecont Vision and Milestone are proven integration partners, having completed thousands of seamlessly-integrated city surveillance projects around the world. Arecont Vision and Milestone Systems Additionally, Milestone is a top-tier participant in the Arecont Vision Technology Partner Program and its VMS software is among those used in Arecont Vision’s MegaLab. “The close technology and support integration between Arecont Vision and Milestone helped ensure that a best-in-class surveillance system was delivered to the Mankato,” commented Bales. “The result is a single system for the city that is second to none in capabilities and can grow with the community’s needs.” The surveillance system has exceeded the expectations of the city to protect both people and property City surveillance project phases Phase one of the project included deploying thirteen cameras to the newly-built public safety centre. Phase two resulted in the deployment of thirty-seven cameras to the city’s entertainment district. The effectiveness of these cameras led to additional installations at city sites which greatly assisted in reducing common vandalisms and other public safety crimes. Phase three of the project involved the installation of twenty-three MegaDome 2 single sensor cameras onto the fourth floor of a brand-new, four-storey parking facility in the downtown area. Surveillance of the structure was further enhanced through use of a SurroundVideo Omni — a unique omni-directional camera introduced to the industry by Arecont Vision in 2014. Unmatched surveillance capabilities The Omni camera series offers four megapixel sensors that are mounted on three-axis gimbals inside a low-profile dome enclosure. The sensors can be individualised to cover virtually any direction, providing unmatched surveillance capabilities with a single high-resolution camera that is fully integrated with the VMS. With the recent Public Works Centre campus construction project, another three MicroDome G2 and five SurroundVideo Omni cameras were added to the city’s overall surveillance system. Five SurroundVideo Omni cameras and MicroDome G2 cameras were also installed along a pedestrian walkway that stretches from local hotels to the city’s civic centre and entertainment district. The system is expected to continue growing in order to address public safety and property protection concerns as they arise. Security and city-wide situational awareness After a Mankato bar closed for the night, a major altercation took place, where the Arecont Vision Cameras were crucial in solving the crime Depending upon the location and local requirement, the Mankato’s city surveillance system uses a range of Arecont Vision cameras. These include single sensor 2 – 5MP MegaDome 2 and MicroDome G2 cameras. 20MP SurroundVideo multi-sensor cameras provide 180° situational awareness coverage, while omni-directional SurroundVideo Omni G1 and G2 cameras cover an even wider range of deployments. The city surveillance system is managed and monitored from a command centre with a multitude of large screens displayed across a wall. “The surveillance system and the screens are critically important during high-traffic events in the city,” said Mr. Bales. “With three colleges here in town, homecoming is a very busy time of the year. There are also numerous festivals that take place in the city combined with a very dynamic downtown. Our staff is able to view the activities as they happen, enhancing security and city-wide situational awareness.” Video streaming to mobile devices It is not just the security centre that can monitor this system either — video can also be streamed to mobile devices and can be monitored for official use all over the city. The system provides public monitoring as well. There are about half a dozen locations downtown with indoor walkways and skyways that are covered by Arecont Vision cameras with live video, providing the public with supplementary awareness and security. The surveillance system has exceeded the expectations of the city to protect both people and property. An example of the system’s usefulness was evident in a recent incident that made national news. After a Mankato bar closed for the night, a major altercation took place, where the Arecont Vision Cameras were crucial in solving the crime. The city surveillance system caught the incident on camera, providing detailed video evidence which assisted law enforcement in proceeding accordingly. The cameras prompted the ideal outcome in an unfortunate situation, helping make the legal process more efficient and serving to greater deter the occurrence of future incidents. When probed on how the system has performed to date, Bales responded that Arecont Vision “exceeded the expectations.” Arecont Vision looks forward to continuing this legacy throughout its work with the City of Mankato.