Network video recorders (NVRs) - Expert commentary

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.

Latest Hanwha Techwin Europe news

Hanwha Techwin announces its Wisenet Network Video Recorders are now supported by Seagate high-density hard disk drives
Hanwha Techwin announces its Wisenet Network Video Recorders are now supported by Seagate high-density hard disk drives

Hanwha Techwin has announced consultants, system designers and system integrators are now able to specify Wisenet Q series and Wisenet WAVE PoE NVRs supplied with Seagate hard disk drives (HDDs). High-density HDDs “Seagate’s space-efficient, high-density HDDs (hard disk drives) are able to perfectly meet the data storage demands of video surveillance systems and equally important, they have a reputation for being ultra-reliable,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. Uri Guterman adds, “Our decision to collaborate with Seagate Technology will therefore enhance the ability of these Wisenet NVRs (Network Video Recorders) to robustly fulfill the requirements of virtually any video surveillance applications, other than those, which require a server-based storage solution.”  Wisenet Q and WAVE PoE NVRs Wisenet WAVE PoE NVRs provide a cost-effective way of utilising the Wisenet WAVE VMS Wisenet WAVE PoE NVRs provide a cost-effective, seamlessly integrated and optimised way of utilising the latest version of the feature-rich Wisenet WAVE video management software (VMS), without having to install a server. Wisenet Q PoE NVRs are designed to be suitable for virtually any small to medium size video surveillance applications, which require a cost-effective, robust and reliable video recording and storage solution. Retail and corporate applications As such, they are ideal for budget limited office, retail and warehouse type applications that do not need a high number of cameras, but where users wish to have the ability to record high-definition images.

Hanwha Techwin expands Wisenet X PTZ PLUS range of cameras equipped with AI object tracking
Hanwha Techwin expands Wisenet X PTZ PLUS range of cameras equipped with AI object tracking

The six new cameras added to the Wisenet X PTZ PLUS range have been developed by Hanwha Techwin to enable users to capture evidence grade images of activity occurring in large open area applications. The ability of the new 2MP, 6MP and 4K Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras to operate effectively in environments such as airports, car parks, industrial estates, stadia and city centres, is enhanced by a long list of technically advanced features, which include AI-based object tracking, precise PTZ control and improved pre-set accuracy. The cameras, which have a lightweight, compact form factor, are also able to capture high-quality images of objects up to a distance of 200 metres regardless of the lighting conditions, with the help of adaptive IR technology which adjusts the angle of the camera’s IR LEDs to match the level of zoom. AI auto-tracking Operators can programme a camera to lock onto and auto-track a specific object with the help of deep learning video analytics An AI auto-tracking feature allows control room operators to efficiently monitor the movement of objects while remaining hands-free to control other cameras. With a right-click of a mouse, operators can programme a camera to lock onto and auto-track a specific object. It does so with the help of deep learning video analytics which detects and classifies people and vehicles. The video analytics is supported by AI algorithms unique to Hanwha Techwin. Alternatively, operators can take advantage of highly accurate manual control PTZ functionality to zoom in to see close up detail of target objects and track their movement. Other key features and functions Pre-set Accuracy: During their life cycle, most PTZ cameras are likely to be expected to ‘pan and tilt’ many thousands of times and it is not unknown for positioning errors to occur. Wisenet PTZ PLUS cameras, which have a pre-set accuracy of ±0.1˚, are able to detect if they are not precisely aimed at the specified field of view and will move within one second to the correct position. Focus Save: Applied to up to 32 pre-defined areas, focus save functionality ensures that regardless of the lighting conditions, a camera is able to rapidly come into focus when it is moved to a new position. Tilt Range: The cameras’ extended tilt range of up to 110⁰ allows any objects positioned above the cameras to be seen. Wisenet7 chipset At the heart of all Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras is Wisenet7, Hanwha Techwin’s most powerful chipset to date, which with extreme’ Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) functionality that utilises Local Contrast Enhancement and Scene Analysis technologies, is able to facilitate the capture of ultra-clear images from scenes containing a challenging mix of bright and dark areas. Excellent low light performance is also assured thanks to the utilisation of 3D noise reduction technology which, while minimising motion blur, uses several filters to isolate and remove pixels that are causing noise, while a new noise reduction algorithm improves the edge and colour of objects. Cyber secure Wisenet7 chipset incorporates a list of technologies that significantly enhance the cyber security credentials Complying with UL CAP and Secure by Default standards, the Wisenet7 chipset also incorporates an impressive list of ground-breaking technologies that significantly enhance the cyber security credentials of the Wisenet PTZ PLUS cameras. They also benefit from a Hanwha Techwin proprietary device certificate issuing system which embeds unique certificates into Wisenet products during both the development phase and manufacturing process. This further enhances the camera’s ability to prevent hackers from tampering with its firmware. Installer friendly Compact and approximately 65% lighter than most PTZ domes, the camera-mount installed Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras can be quickly and easily deployed, requiring engineers during a first fix to just ‘match 3 points and twist’. This conveniently enables them to tighten screws without having to hold onto the camera. Unlike conventional PTZ cameras which require up to 5 separate cables, the Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras only need a single RJ45 cable to operate and this is installed with a flexible bush to ensure the camera is waterproof. The new Wisenet PTZ PLUS cameras are as follows: Wisenet XNP-9250: 4K 25x PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-9250R: 4K 25x IR PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-8250: 6MP 25x PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-8250R: 6MP 25x IR PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-6400: 2MP 40x PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-6400R: 2MP 40x IR PTZ camera Authority comments “Our comprehensive Wisenet camera line-up offers a variety of options for monitoring wide open areas. However, I would encourage consultants, system designers and system integrators to take a close look at our PTZ PLUS range when there is a need to closely monitor and automatically track moving people or vehicles,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. “Our design, development and manufacturing teams have combined their expertise to pack these cameras with a long list of practical features and innovative technology which collectively will surely meet, if not exceed, users’ expectations.”

Hanwha adds Wisenet PNM-9022V and Wisenet PNM-9322VQP to their range of multi-directional cameras
Hanwha adds Wisenet PNM-9022V and Wisenet PNM-9322VQP to their range of multi-directional cameras

Two new Wisenet cameras equipped with Hanwha Techwin’s ground-breaking Wisenet7 chipset have reinforced the company’s claim to be the manufacturer of multi-directional cameras.  The 4-channel PNM-9022V utilises alpha blending technology to stitch the overlapping images captured by its four Full HD sensors into a seamless 8.3-megapixel 209° image, thus ensuring an operator never loses sight of a person or vehicle moving across a wide area. Digital PTZ functionality Superseding the highly successful Wisenet PNM-9020V, the PNM-9022V can also be used to capture 180° images, with operators able to take advantage of digital PTZ functionality across two of the camera’s channels. With Wisenet7 SoC, Hanwha Techwin’s most powerful chipset to date, at its heart, the PNM-9022V’s 4 sensors, which come with 2.8mm fixed focal lenses, are able to capture high definition colour images when the lighting level is as low as 0.03 Lux. Wisenet7 also features Hanwha Techwin proprietary ‘extreme’ Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology which, performing at up to 120dB, utilises new Local Contrast Enhancement and Scene Analysis technologies to enable the camera to capture ultra-clear images from scenes containing a challenging mix of bright and dark areas. Certificate issuing system Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) technology utilised by the PNM-9022V corrects the distortion created Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) technology utilised by the PNM-9022V corrects the distortion created through the use of wide-angle lenses. This delivers images which more closely resemble what is seen through the human eye. As part of the fast-growing number of new cameras which incorporate the UL CAP certificated Wisenet7 chipset, the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) compliant PNM-9022V is packed with an impressive list of technologies to protect it from cyber-attacks. It also benefits from a Hanwha Techwin proprietary device certificate issuing system, which embeds unique certificates into Wisenet7 products during both the development phase and manufacturing process. This further enhances the camera’s ability to prevent hackers from tampering with its firmware. Cable connection purposes 2 Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC slots enable up to 1TB of video or data to be stored at the edge should there be disruption to the network. Video of any incidents, which potentially might have been lost on the recorder side, can therefore be retrieved from the camera when the network connection has been restored. Minimising the time needed to be spent on site, the PNM-9022V has a hinged backplate to provide easy access for cable connection purposes. Installers have to simply install the back plate, clip the camera in place and tighten two screws. Intelligent video analytics Other key features include the following: A suite of built-in Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA), which includes audio detection, defocus detection, directional detection, enter/exit, appear/disappear, motion detection, virtual line and camera tampering detection. Heatmap video analytics which provides business intelligence on customer density and buying behaviour. Support for WiseStream II complementary compression technology, as well as H.265, H.264 and MJPEG compression formats. Bandwidth efficiency is improved by up to 75% compared to current H.264 technology, when WiseStream II is combined with H.265 compression. PoE+ which negates the need to install a power supply and separate cabling for the camera. IP66, IK10 and NEMA4X rated for protection against water, dust and mechanical impact. Cost-effective solution Coinciding with the launch of the PNM-9022V, the PNM-9322VQP with 4 sensors and an integral PTZ camera, is designed to provide a highly cost-effective solution for detecting and tracking objects over wide open areas. The option of exchangeable 2 and 5-megapixel lens modules enables the camera’s sensors to work together to seamlessly capture 360° images of up to 20-megapixel resolution. In addition, the device’s PTZ camera element can be configured to zoom in and track a moving object or move to a user defined preset position when the line crossing detection function of the multi-directional camera detects activity. It is also able to ‘hand-over’ to cameras covering adjacent areas to ensure operators can continue to observe people or vehicles as they move out of its field of view. Providing audio support The NDAA compliant PNM-9322VQP supersedes the highly successful PNM-9320VQP Equipped with the Wisenet7 chipset, the NDAA compliant PNM-9322VQP supersedes the highly successful PNM-9320VQP, with the additional benefit of providing audio support. “These two new models perfectly complement our other existing 2, 3, 4 and 5-channel multi-sensor cameras which collectively enable us to offer customers an affordable multi-directional camera solution for virtually any video surveillance project,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. Providing significant savings “All of these cameras will help users achieve a high return on investment (ROI) as they can perform the role of a greater number of standard HD cameras. In doing so, they provide significant savings on camera purchasing costs and with less cable, conduit, mounting hardware and network switches required, installation costs are reduced as well. With only a single IP connection, they also only require one VMS licence.” “The value of these two new cameras being NDAA compliant and UL CAP certificated should also not be underestimated. System integrators will quite often find that both can be a key requirement when they are submitting tenders for projects involving end-users which operate multi-nationally.”

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