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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.

Latest Video Storage Solutions news

BCDVideo announces release of Hybrid Cloud Connectivity solution, in partnership with Tiger Technology
BCDVideo announces release of Hybrid Cloud Connectivity solution, in partnership with Tiger Technology

BCDVideo, a globally renowned video data infrastructure solutions firm, has debuted its new Hybrid Cloud Connectivity offering, in partnership with premier software developer, Tiger Technology. Known for their work designing secure, high-performing data management solutions for companies across Enterprise IT, Surveillance, Media and Entertainment, and Small Medium Business (SMB)/Small Medium Enterprise (SME) markets, Tiger Technology’s software expertise pairs with BCD’s prowess in security to create this breakthrough programme. Hybrid Cloud Connectivity All BCDVideo and Video Storage Solutions' (VSS) video appliances will include the Harmonize Bridge This joint offering provides security customers with a highway to connect their video management systems (VMS), picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), Artificial Intelligence and analytics to the cloud. All BCDVideo and Video Storage Solutions' (VSS) video appliances will include the Harmonize Bridge, powered by Tiger Technology. These cloud-ready appliances will begin rolling out as a standard feature on March 1, 2021. The BCD Harmonize Bridge offering is unique in that the integrator or the end-user can choose the cloud provider of their choice. Partnership with Tiger Technology A partnership with Tiger Technology means BCD customers may seamlessly manage cloud storage and services, all while maintaining legacy applications and workflows. This distinctive offering enables customers to store data on-premises, as well as in private and/or public clouds. Customers can endlessly customise their storage system, prioritising cameras that require hot cloud storage and immediate insights, while also protecting devices that send footage directly to cold storage for long-term storage and analysis. Remote data storage The popularity of local and remote data storage has been on the rise, in both private and public clouds, because of the easy access and clean workflow collaboration it allows between remote facilities with a shared dataset. These hybrid systems allow customers to integrate specialised services, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), video rendering, data archival and long-term retention, without the need for on-premises builds. Hybrid security systems This makes hybrid models the premium option for deployments that intend to expand their systems’ size, which would require large capital expenditures otherwise. Broadly, hybrid cloud infrastructures reduce costs, maximise return on investment (ROI) and offer operational flexibility to any security customer, all while keeping data accessible and secure. Jason Glover, Vice President of Sales at BCDVideo said, “As security software companies continue to expand their product portfolio, the cloud is always a topic of conversation. BCD’s cloud initiative offers a bridge through their Harmonize suite of software products, powered by Tiger Technology’s cloud bridge, to allow VMS companies to bridge archived and recorded data to the cloud offering of their choice, without having to write special integrations.” Cloud storage and infrastructure BCDVideo now offers this technology within its full portfolio of BCDVideo and VSS video appliances BCDVideo now offers this technology within its full portfolio of BCDVideo and VSS video appliances, as a no-charge download on all legacy BCD systems. This means that integrators can continue to provide on-site hardware with the new, added capacity of cloud storage products, in order to give end-users more immediacy and flexibility than ever before. Tiger Technology’s Executive Vice President, Lance Kelson spoke about the strength of the partnership between the two companies, emphasizing the significance of their ability to bring hybrid cloud to any surveillance deployment throughout the world. Cloud-enabled BCD hardware Lance Kelson stated, “We’ve been impressed with the forward-looking cloud strategy from the BCD team. For the first time, the questions and cost concerns of long retention periods, data durability and ease of use can be easily addressed. With cloud-enabled BCD hardware, give us two minutes, and we can connect you to any cloud.” Outfitted with Tiger Technology’s competitive software and BCDVideo’s legacy of robust and reliable hardware, BCD’s Hybrid Cloud Connectivity is built to deliver continuous data protection and dependable storage management. All in all, this partnership guarantees security integrators and end-users a competitive advantage, as well as peace of mind.

Video Storage Solutions, a division of BCD International, announces revamping its product portfolio
Video Storage Solutions, a division of BCD International, announces revamping its product portfolio

Video Storage Solutions (VSS), a division of BCD International, has revamped its product portfolio to offer a wider range of solutions, along with simplifying its offerings for all VSS channel partners. Networking switches, harsh environment servers, and video analytics solutions are among the new solutions that have been added to the VSS product line. “VSS strives to be the ‘easy button’ for our partners,” said Max Burgess, General Manager of Video Storage Solutions, adding “By providing more flexibility to our solutions, we are now able to enhance our customers’ experience, as well as broaden the portfolio that they can deliver to their customers.” Global partnerships VSS has partnered with more than a dozen distributors across the globe over the past year. In this short period of time, VSS has deployed hundreds of solutions that are pre-engineered and validated to withstand the taxing video data write load, while handling the throughput demands of video storage. The VSS product engineering team has certified the bandwidth capabilities on each system. And while these solutions are still relatively new to the market, they are the result of over a decade of creating state-of-the-art video appliances for the security industry.

Video Storage Solutions to showcase IP video recording and storage at Intersec 2020
Video Storage Solutions to showcase IP video recording and storage at Intersec 2020

VSS, a division of the BCD International brand of companies, specialises in offering video recording appliances via authorised security distributors. These are pre-engineered with Milestone XProtect video management software, built on the latest generation of Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Seagate Skyhawk surveillance-grade drives. VSS appliances also feature innovative and disruptive technology such as its Storage Accelerator, which significantly increases storage scalability, performance and reliability. Video management software “We are excited to invite everyone to stand SA-A34 to witness the power and functionality that the VSS appliance portfolio is bringing to the market. In particular, we want visitors to see the power of our ground breaking Storage Accelerator, the industry’s first disruptive technology which allows users to better utilise Milestone Systems video management software, by eliminating the need for expensive 10K/15K RPM SAS drives normally required to run a live database”, says Rohit Khubchandani, Regional Sales Director - METAI, Video Storage Solutions (VSS) According to the company, this technology also enables customers to better utilise the real estate on the recording server, in order to be able to run more storage drives per server, thereby reducing the overall footprint of the project. This can deliver huge financial savings by reducing operational costs normally incurred, such as rack space, cooling and power.

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