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Securing mobile vehicles: The cloud and solving transportation industry challenges
Securing mobile vehicles: The cloud and solving transportation industry challenges

Securing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in the transportation industry is multi-faceted for a multitude of reasons. Pressures build for transit industry players to modernise their security systems, while also mitigating the vulnerabilities, risks, and growth-restrictions associated with proprietary as well as integrated solutions. There are the usual physical security obstacles when it comes to increasingly integrated solutions and retrofitting updated technologies into legacy systems. Starting with edge devices like cameras and intelligent sensors acquiring video, analytics and beyond, these edge devices are now found in almost all public transportation like buses, trains, subways, airplanes, cruise lines, and so much more. You can even find them in the world’s last manually operated cable car systems in San Francisco. The next layer to consider is the infrastructure and networks that support these edge devices and connect them to centralized monitoring stations or a VMS. Without this layer, all efforts at the edge or stations are in vain as you lose the connection between the two. And the final layer to consider when building a comprehensive transit solution is the software, recording devices, or viewing stations themselves that capture and report the video. The challenge of mobility However, the transportation industry in particular has a very unique challenge that many others do not – mobility. As other industries become more connected and integrated, they don’t usually have to consider going in and out or bouncing between networks as edge devices physically move. Obviously in the nature of transportation, this is key. Have you ever had a bad experience with your cellular, broadband or Wi-Fi at your home or office? You are not alone. The transportation industry in particular has a very unique challenge that many others do not – mobility Can you trust these same environments to record your surveillance video to the Cloud without losing any frames, non-stop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? To add to the complexity – how do you not only provide a reliable and secure solution when it’s mobile, travelling at varying speeds, and can be in/out of coverage using various wireless technologies? Waiting to upload video from a transport vehicle when it comes into port, the station, or any centralised location is a reactive approach that simply will not do any longer. Transit operations require a more proactive approach today and the ability to constantly know what is going on at any given time on their mobile vehicles, and escalate that information to headquarters, authorities, or law enforcement if needed; which can only occur with real-time monitoring. This is the ultimate question when it comes to collecting, analysing, and sharing data from mobile vehicles – how to get the video from public transportation vehicles alike to headquarters in real time! Managing video data In order to answer this question, let’s get back to basics. The management and nature of video data differs greatly from conventional (IT) data. Not only is video conducted of large frames, but there are specific and important relationships among the frames and the timing between them. This relationship can easily get lost in translation if not handled properly. This is why it’s critical to consider the proper way to transmit large frames while under unstable or variable networks. The Internet and its protocols were designed more than two decades ago and purposed for conventional data. Although the Internet itself has not changed, today’s network environments run a lot faster, expand to further ranges, and support a variety of different types of data. Because the internet is more reliable and affordable than in the past some might think it can handle anything. However, it is good for data, but not for video. This combination makes it the perfect time to convert video recording to the Cloud! Video transmission protocol One of the main issues with today’s technology is the degradation of video quality when transmitting video over the Internet. ITS are in dire need for reliable transmission of real-time video recording. To address this need a radical, yet proven, video transmission protocol has recently been introduced to the market. It uses AI technology and to adapt to different environments in order to always deliver high quality, complete video frames. This protocol, when equipped with encryption and authentication, enables video to be transmitted reliably and securely over the Internet in a cloud environment. One of the main issues with today’s technology is the degradation of video quality when transmitting video over the Internet Finally, transportation industry has a video recording Cloud solution that is designed for (massive) video that can handle networks that might be experiencing high error rate. Such a protocol will not only answer the current challenges of the transportation industry, but also make the previously risky Cloud environment safe for even the most reserved environments and entities. With revolutionary transmission protocols, the time is now to consider adopting private Cloud for your transportation operations.

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

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

Cybersecurity: what we can do as an industry
Cybersecurity: what we can do as an industry

In 2017, IoT-based cyberattacks increased by 600%. As the industry moves towards the mass adoption of interconnected physical security devices, end users have found a plethora of advantages, broadening the scope of traditional video surveillance solutions beyond simple safety measures. Thanks in part to these recent advancements, our physical solutions are at a higher risk than ever before. With today’s ever evolving digital landscape and the increasing complexity of physical and cyber-attacks, it’s imperative to take specific precautions to combat these threats. Video surveillance systems Cybersecurity is not usually the first concern to come to mind When you think of a video surveillance system, cybersecurity is not usually the first concern to come to mind, since digital threats are usually thought of as separate from physical security. Unfortunately, these two are becoming increasingly intertwined as intruders continue to use inventive methods in order to access an organisation's assets. Hacks and data breaches are among the top cyber concerns, but many overlook the fact that weak cybersecurity practices can lead to physical danger as well. Organisations that deploy video surveillance devices paired with advanced analytics programs often leave themselves vulnerable to a breach without even realising it. While they may be intelligent, IoT devices are soft targets that cybercriminals and hackers can easily exploit, crippling a physical security system from the inside out. Physical security manufacturers Whether looking to simply gain access to internal data, or paralyse a system prior to a physical attack, allowing hackers easy access to surveillance systems can only end poorly. In order to stay competitive, manufacturers within the security industry are trading in their traditional analogue technology and moving towards interconnected devices. Due to this, security can no longer be solely focused on the physical elements and end users have taken note. The first step towards more secured solutions starts with physical security manufacturers choosing to make cybersecurity a priority for all products, from endpoint to edge and beyond. Gone are the days of end users underestimating the importance of reliability within their solutions. Manufacturers that choose to invest time and research into the development of cyber-hardening will be ahead of the curve and an asset to all. Wireless communication systems Integrators also become complicit in any issues that may arise in the future Aside from simply making the commitment to improve cyber hygiene, there are solid steps that manufacturers can take. One simple action is incorporating tools and features into devices that allow end users to more easily configure their cyber protection settings. Similarly, working with a third party to perform penetration testing on products can help to ensure the backend security of IoT devices. This gives customers peace of mind and manufacturers a competitive edge. While deficient cybersecurity standards can reflect poorly on manufacturers by installing vulnerable devices on a network, integrators also become complicit in any issues that may arise in the future. Just last year, ADT was forced to settle a $16 million class action lawsuit when the company installed an unencrypted wireless communication system that rendered an organisation open to hacks. Cybersecurity services In addition, we’ve all heard of the bans, taxes and tariffs the U.S. government has recently put on certain manufacturers, depending on their country of origin and cybersecurity practices. Lawsuits aside, employing proper cybersecurity standards can give integrators a competitive advantage. With the proliferation of hacks, malware, and ransomware, integrators that can ease their client's cyber-woes are already a step ahead. By choosing to work with cybersecurity-focused manufacturers who provide clients with vulnerability testing and educate end users on best practices, integrators can not only thrive but find new sources of RMR. Education, collaboration and participation are three pillars when tackling cybersecurity from all angles. For dealers and integrators who have yet to add cybersecurity services to their business portfolios, scouting out a strategic IT partner could be the answer. Unlocking countless opportunities Becoming educated on the topic of cybersecurity and its importance for an organisation is the first step Physical security integrators who feel uncomfortable diving headfirst into the digital realm may find that strategically aligning themselves with an IT or cyber firm will unlock countless opportunities. By opening the door to a partnership with an IT-focused firm, integrators receive the benefit of cybersecurity insight on future projects and a new source of RMR through continued consulting with current customers. In exchange, the IT firm gains a new source of clients in an industry otherwise untapped. This is a win for all those involved. While manufacturers, dealers and integrators play a large part in the cybersecurity of physical systems, end users also play a crucial role. Becoming educated on the topic of cybersecurity and its importance for an organisation is the first step. Commonplace cybersecurity standards Below is a list of commonplace cybersecurity standards that all organisations should work to implement for the protection of their own video surveillance solutions: Always keep camera firmware up to date for the latest cyber protections. Change default passwords, especially those of admins, to keep the system locked to outside users. Create different user groups with separate rights to ensure all users have only the permissions they need. Set an encryption key for surveillance recordings to safeguard footage against intruders and prevent hackers from accessing a system through a backdoor. Enable notifications, whether for error codes or storage failures, to keep up to date with all systems happenings. Create/configure an OpenVPN connection for secured remote access. Check the web server log on a regular basis to see who is accessing the system. Ensure that web crawling is forbidden to prevent images or data found on your device from being made searchable. Avoid exposing devices to the internet unless strictly necessary to reduce the risk of attacks.

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The Open Security & Safety Alliance membership doubles within six months; attracts players from different sectors
The Open Security & Safety Alliance membership doubles within six months; attracts players from different sectors

The newly established Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA or 'the Alliance'), a non-profit, non-stock corporation formed to outline specifications for a common standardised platform for security and safety solutions, announced that since its formation in Fall 2018, the organisation has grown by 50% and initiatives are in full-swing. The Alliance is quickly attracting players ranging from device manufacturers, software developers and system integrators to distributors and system on a chip (SoC) companies. “We’re extremely pleased OSSA is drawing strong support from progressive companies across various sectors, as our purpose is to all start from a common platform business model to spur innovation and add real value for customers and users as they manage and monitor property, people and surrounding circumstances,” said Johan Jubbega, President, Open Security & Safety Alliance. “Each new member brings diverse insight and expertise to the bigger picture we’re working to bring into focus for stakeholders in the security, safety, building automation solutions and associated industries.” OSSA member roster The Open Security & Safety Alliance’s five founding companies – Bosch Building Technologies, Hanwha Techwin, Milestone Systems, Pelco by Schneider Electric and VIVOTEK Inc. – today are working alongside 15 inventive international players that currently comprise the OSSA member roster: OSSA Member  Business Focus Aitek Management Software Provider Ambarella Inc. SoC Manufacturer AndroVideo Inc. Video Surveillance Device Manufacturer Anixter Inc. Distributor HiSilicon Technologies Co., LTD SoC Manufacturer Hunt Electronic Video Surveillance Device Manufacturer Kings Secure Technologies Installation/Commissioning Services NetApp Inc. Recording/Storage Device Manufacturer QUALCOMM Incorporated SoC Manufacturer Security & Safety Things GmbH (SAST) Service Provider SOCIONEXT Inc. Video Surveillance Device Manufacturer Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc. Imaging Products & Solutions Topview Optronics Corp. Video Surveillance Device Manufacturer Wavestore Global Ltd Management Software Provider United Technologies Access Control Device Manufacturer Differentiating security and safety use cases Workgroups have been instrumental in launching key programs throughout the past six months. To support the Alliance’s mission to drive the development of differentiating security and safety use cases – including those utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning – members have already achieved valuable outputs including: Specification of a common Technology Stack to cater to innovation and reduce market fragmentation Definition of a common and vendor-agnostic operating system (OS) that together with the Technology Stack will fuel the development of value-added solutions for customers and users Description of a common market approach to data security and privacy Establishment of an ecosystem of like-minded companies Keynote speeches at Milestone’s Integration Platform Symposium and VIP customer events in the U.S., EMEA and Asia-Pacific region First prototype cameras based on the commonly defined Technology Stack and OS have been realized and will be showcased at ISC West 2019 Benefits of joining OSSA The Alliance is designed to include everyone and offers membership levels to meet the needs of companies big or small. Benefits of joining OSSA include access to the Alliance framework and the ability to connect, discuss, influence and collaborate with other Alliance members to steer change for the betterment of the industry. Together, OSSA members are providing standards and specifications for common components including an operating system, IoT infrastructure, collective approach for data security and privacy, and a drive for improved levels of performance across products, solutions and services. Visitors for ISC West are invited to hear first-hand about the benefits of OSSA membership. Many members will be exhibiting at the event.

EtherWAN Systems to sponsor 2015 Secutech Excellence Awards for 5th consecutive year
EtherWAN Systems to sponsor 2015 Secutech Excellence Awards for 5th consecutive year

EtherWAN will setup Ethernet Switches for the live demonstration as well as provide technical support on site EtherWAN Systems, Inc., a global Ethernet connectivity solution provider, announced its consecutive 5th year of sponsorship to the Secutech Excellence Awards in Secutech International during 28-30 April, 2015. EtherWAN will setup Ethernet Switches for the live demonstration as well as provide technical support on site. The switches will connect with 7 NVRs and 47 IP cameras, including those with ultra HD, IR bullet, and panorama features. The audience will see the live performance results of the surveillance equipment from each contestant. Secutech’s official network topology to utilise EtherWAN’s Ethernet Switches EtherWAN’s PoE Solution products have been tested compliant with world-leading IP camera manufacturers such as Axis, BOSCH, Brickcom, Dahua, EverFocus, Hikvision, Hunt, Merit LILIN, Raylios, Sunell, TVT Digital, Tyco, Ingrasys, Shany, Panasonic, Sony and Vivotek etc. with smooth transmission result. Other than the sponsorship in the IP camera award, EtherWAN’s Ethernet Switches also support the NVR award site, which is co-located to Secutech Award, with approximate 10 different NVR brands in the contest to display the best storage performance. The official network topology for this event will utilise EtherWAN’s 8-port and 16-port PoE Managed Ethernet Switch with dual Gigabit uplink ports connecting to another 24-port full Gigabit Managed Ethernet Switch to shape the best network traffic. EtherWAN’s equipment will be running non-stop together with all devices from each contestant. “We are very much pleased to be once again appointed as the Ethernet equipment sponsorship to this event. It is also the 1st time that Secutech International highlights the subject of Network Transmission being technically-exclusive of other exhibition categories. With almost two decades' experiences in Ethernet technology, we are confident that our support can make the event another success, just like all we did in previous years.” said Maggie Chao, VP of Sales & Marketing in EtherWAN Systems. Case-proven product quality in indoor and outdoor environments EtherWAN has proven its technology know-how in network solutions and case-proven product quality in both indoor and outdoor environments. EtherWAN will continue to serve a sound role in the industry of network, especially when connectivity is crucial.

Understanding and sourcing the right OEM/ODM manufacturer
Understanding and sourcing the right OEM/ODM manufacturer

Local surveillance companies often struggle when deciding between distributing third-party brands or selling their own branded surveillance products, especially when the company has already achieved some level of recognition among their customers and/or other key players. Distributing a famous third-party brand is a way to “play it safe” in an environment where there is little budget to spend on marketing, public relationships and other expenses related to product placement. Someone else has already made those investments. Nevertheless, when talking about identity, owning a brand eases the way for customers to associate the local company with the type of products/services it offers. A local company seeking more prestige can create its own “additional value” for clients, rather than simply merchandising and trading. By the time a local surveillance company decides to sell its own branded products, another decision needs to be made: whether to manufacture products or to find OEM/ODM manufacturing sources. Understanding the differences between the approaches related to project development and budget planning will provide guidance to any local company. The keys for setting a production line Self-manufacturing represents tremendous challenges of time management and investment. The local company needs to be absolutely sure there is enough time to assemble the qualified human resources who are capable of developing the required hardware and software resources to create surveillance products that can evolve and overcome challenges in a competitive market. After gathering the right professionals, the next challenge is time management. Every team at any organisation, regardless of size, needs time for training and consolidation. For this reason, the local company has to estimate a buffer time for this learning process, when mistakes are allowed in order to achieve a very stable product. Another aspect to take into account is infrastructure. The company will need to own adequate space and required equipment for the manufacturing processes. Obviously, the required investment is enormous, and the ROI gain might be slower than expected if the wrong decisions are made. Currently OEM/ODM manufacturing sources are located in China and Taiwan Therefore, finding an OEM/ODM manufacturer eases the way to enable any local company to achieve a unique identity; especially when creating strategic surveillance solutions that require customised technology. The benefits of working with OEM/ODM manufacturing In the medium-long term, working with OEM/ODM sources does not require a big investment, and the ROI is faster. The local company can focus resources on marketing and new business development – not have to spend resources on manufacturing and fixed assets such as plants, facilities, and operators. All the complexity of manufacturing processes and investments is taken care of by the OEM/ ODM manufacturing source. It is important to mention that an existing product line can be expanded faster by using one or more OEM/ODM sources. Products with similar characteristics might only require new features to increase the competitive value inside the whole chain of distributors, sellers and resellers. After identifying the advantages of the OEM/ODM approach, the next important step is to find the right OEM/ODM source; otherwise, the maximum value might not be achieved, and the business direction would get blurred. Points for choosing an OEM/ODM source Providing an acceptable lead time is not the only parameter to determine a good OEM/ODM manufacturing source. To find the right OEM/ODM partner, an exhaustive analysis of the factory must be performed in areas as Scale, Human Resources, Quality and Operations. For example, a scale analysis offers a good reference to estimate project development. Also, it helps to evaluate the general performance of the factory and its ability to meet client demands. Some other criteria for evaluating scale are monthly capacity production, amount of production lines and workers. "It is important that an OEM/ODM manufacturing source be willing to hear about developing new designs and concepts from the branding company" In the human resources area, analysis requires more than taking a quick look at how many workers and experts are committed to the job; rather, consider the factory organization and its employee development programs. Does the factory fulfil the whole design and manufacturing process, or just a part of it?  Not providing the whole service might lead to gradual cost increases, since other sources need to be contacted to fill all the manufacturing gaps. Furthermore, experts should strive for developing new technologies, being one step ahead and not behind. Also, it is important that an OEM/ODM manufacturing source be willing to hear about developing new designs and concepts from the branding company. Any branded company needs to take advantage of this expertise from manufacturers, meaning that serious employee development programs would be held internally for training and developing knowledge. A manufacturer company with high employee turnover could put the smoothness of the project development at risk; the company might spend too much time constantly training employees, and the acquired knowledge might consequently be leaked. Also, the factory requires implementing high control standards, including packaging for overseas shipment. For product improvements, it is important to evaluate the return merchandise authorisation (RMA) process and how feedback flows from the customer.  All of this will help to evaluate quality that should be complemented with the best infrastructure. Finally, analysing operations cannot be overlooked. It is preferable that the business model of the manufacturer source be pure OEM/ODM-based; in this case, the roles of both actors (buyer and factory) are clearly established, and there will not be any risk that the factory decides to approach the buyer’s client.   "In the medium-long term, working with OEM/ODM sources does not require a big investment, and the ROI is faster" Public companies offer more complete and precise information about their financial states; obviously, healthy finances represent a more stable operation and provide more security for the money invested in merchandise. Conclusion Currently OEM/ODM manufacturing sources are located in China and Taiwan. There is no doubt that China offers very attractive prices and lead time, but Chinese manufacturers still face unpredictable situations of quality control, sometimes undermining credibility related to IP surveillance in some regions of the world.  Although Taiwan manufacturers cannot compete against the Chinese in price, they offer high quality and a balanced solution, making them highly trustworthy for any IP surveillance business.

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