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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.
When a child goes missing in a large, crowded mall, we have a panicking mom asking for help from the staff, at least a dozen cameras in the area, and assuming the child has gone missing for only 15 minutes, about 3 hours’ worth of video to look through to find the child. Typical security staff response would be to monitor the video wall while reviewing the footage and making a verbal announcement throughout the mall so the staff can keep an eye out for her. There is no telling how long it will take, while every second feels like hours under pressure. As more time passes, the possible areas where the child can be will widen, it becomes more time-consuming to search manually, and the likelihood of finding the child decreases. What if we can avoid all of that and directly search for that particular girl in less than 1 second? Artificial neural networks are improving every day and now enable us to search for a person across all selected camera streamsWith Artificial Intelligence, we can. Artificial neural networks are improving every day and now enable us to search for a person across all selected camera streams in a fraction of a second, using only one photo of that person. The photo does not even have to be a full frontal, passport-type mugshot; it can be a selfie image of the person at a party, as long as the face is there, the AI can find her and match her face with the hundreds or thousands of faces in the locations of interest. The search result is obtained in nearly real time as she passes by a certain camera. Distinguishing humans from animals and statues The AI system continuously analyses video streams from the surveillance cameras in its network, distinguishes human faces from non-human objects such as statues and animals, and much like a human brain, stores information about those faces in its memory, a mental image of the facial features so to speak. When we, the system user, upload an image of the person of interest to the AI system, the AI detects the face(s) in that image along with their particular features, search its memory for similar faces, and shows us where and when the person has appeared. We are in control of selecting the time period (up to days) and place (cameras) to search, and we can adjust the similarity level, i.e., how much a face matches the uploaded photo, to expand or fine-tune the search result according to our need. Furthermore, because the camera names and time stamps are available, the system can be linked with maps to track and predict the path of the person of interest. AI Face Search is not Face Recognition for two reasons: it protects people’s privacy, and it is lightweight Protecting people’s privacy with AI Face Search All features of face recognition can be enabled by the system user, such as to notify staff members when a person of interest is approaching the store AI Face Search is not Face Recognition for two reasons: it protects people’s privacy, and it is lightweight. First, with AI Face Search, no names, ID, personal information, or lists of any type are required to be saved in the system. The uploaded image can be erased from the system after use, there is no face database, and all faces in the camera live view can be blurred out post-processing to guarantee GDPR compliance. Second, the lack of a required face database, a live view with frames drawn around the detected faces and constant face matching in the background also significantly reduces the amount of computing resource to process the video stream, hence the lightweight. Face Search versus Face Recognition AI Face Search Face Recognition Quick search for a particular person in video footage Identify everyone in video footage Match detected face(s) in video stream to target face(s) in an uploaded image Match detected face(s) in video stream to a database Do not store faces and names in a database Must have a database with ID info Automatically protect privacy for GDPR compliance in public places May require additional paperwork to comply with privacy regulations Lightweight solution Complex solution for large-scale deployment Main use: locate persons of interest in a large area Main use: identify a person who passes through a checkpoint Of course, all features of face recognition can be enabled by the system user if necessary, such as to notify staff members when a person of interest is approaching the store, but the flexibility to not have such features and to use the search tool as a simple Google-like device particularly for people and images is the advantage of AI Face Search.Because Face Search is not based on face recognition, no faces and name identifications are stored Advantages of AI Face Search Artificial Intelligence has advanced so far in the past few years that its facial understanding capability is equivalent to that of a human. The AI will recognise the person of interest whether he has glasses, wears a hat, is drinking water, or is at an angle away from the camera. In summary, the advantages of Face Search: High efficiency: a target person can be located within a few seconds, which enables fast response time. High performance: high accuracy in a large database and stable performance, much like Google search for text-based queries. Easy setup and usage: AI appliance with the built-in face search engine can be customised to integrate to any existing NVR/VMS/camera system or as a standalone unit depending on the customer’s needs. The simple-to-use interface requires minimal training and no special programming skills. High-cost saving: the time saving and ease of use translate to orders of magnitude less manual effort than traditionally required, which means money saving. Scalability: AI can scale much faster and at a wider scope than human effort. AI performance simply relies on computing resource, and each Face Search appliance typically comes with the optimal hardware for any system size depending on the customer need, which can go up to thousands of cameras. Privacy: AI Face Search is not face recognition. For face recognition, there are privacy laws that limits the usage. Because Face Search is not based on face recognition, no faces and name identifications are stored, so Face Search can be used in many public environments to identify faces against past and real-time video recordings. AI Face Search match detected face(s) in video stream to target face(s) in an uploaded image Common use cases of AI Face Search In addition to the scenario of missing child in a shopping mall, other common use cases for the AI Face Search technology include: Retail management: Search, detect and locate VIP guests in hotels, shopping centres, resorts, etc. to promptly attend to their needs, track their behaviour pattern, and predict locations that they tend to visit. Crime suspect: Quickly search for and prove/disprove the presence of suspects (thief, robber, terrorist, etc.) in an incident at certain locations and time. School campus protection: With the recent increase in number of mass shootings in school campuses, there is a need to identify, locate and stop a weapon carrier on campus as soon as possible before he can start shooting. Face Search will enable the authorities to locate the suspect and trace his movements within seconds using multiple camera feeds from different areas on campus. Only one clear image of the suspect’s face is sufficient. In the race of technology development in response to business needs and security concerns, AI Face Search is a simple, lightweight solution for airports, shopping centres, schools, resorts, etc. to increase our efficiency, minimise manual effort in searching for people when incidents occur on site, and actively prevent potential incidents from occurring. By Paul Sun, CEO of IronYun, and Mai Truong, Marketing Manager of IronYun
With increased demands being placed on safety and security globally, and supported by advancements in IP cameras and 360-degree camera technology, the video surveillance industry is growing steadily. Market research indicates that this worldwide industry is expected to reach an estimated $39.3 billion in revenue by 2023, driven by a CAGR of 9.3 percent from 2018 to 2023. Video surveillance is not just about capturing footage (to review an event or incident when it occurs), but also about data analysis delivering actionable insights that can improve operational efficiencies, better understand customer buying behaviours, or simply just provide added value and intelligence. Growth of Ultra-HD surveillance To ensure that the quality of the data is good enough to extract the details required to drive these insights, surveillance cameras are technologically evolving as well, not only with expanded capabilities surrounding optical zoom and motion range,4K Ultra HD-compliant networked cameras are expected to grow from 0.4 percent shipped in 2017, to 28 percent in 2021 but also relating to improvements in signal-to-noise (S2N) ratios, light sensitivities (and the minimum illumination needed to produce usable images), wide dynamic ranges (WDR) for varying foreground and background illumination requirements, and of course, higher quality resolutions. As such, 4K Ultra HD-compliant networked cameras are expected to grow from 0.4 percent shipped in 2017, to 28 percent in 2021, representing an astonishing 170 percent growth per year, and will require three to six times the storage space of 1080p video dependent on the compression technology used. Surveillance cameras are typically connected to a networked video recorder (NVR) that acts as a gateway or local server, collecting data from the cameras and running video management software (VMS), as well as analytics. Capturing this data is dependent on the communications path between individual cameras and the NVR. If this connection is lost, whether intentional, unintentional, or a simple malfunction, surveillance video will no longer be captured and the system will cease operations. Therefore, it has become common to use microSD cards in surveillance cameras as a failsafe mechanism. Despite lost connectivity to the NVR, the camera can still record and capture raw footage locally until the network is restored, which in itself, could take a long time depending on maintenance staff or equipment availability, weather conditions, or other unplanned issues. Since microSD cards play a critical role as a failsafe mechanism to ensure service availability, it is important to choose the right card for capturing video footage. It has become common to use microSD cards in surveillance cameras as a failsafe mechanism if an NVR breaks Key characteristics of microSDs There are many different microSD cards to choose from for video capture at the network’s edge, and they range from industrial grade capabilities to commercial or retail grade, and everything in-between. To help make some of these uncertainties a little more certain, here are the key microSD card characteristics for video camera capture. Designed for surveillance As the market enjoys steady growth, storage vendors want to participate and have done so with a number of repurposed, repackaged, remarketed microSD cards targeted for video surveillance but with not much robustness, performance or capabilities specific to the application. Adding the absence of mean-time between failure (MTBF) specifications to the equation, microSD card reliability is typically a perceived measurement -- measured in hours of operation and relatively vague and hidden under metrics associated with the camera’s resolution and compression ratio. Therefore, when selecting a microSD card for surveillance cams at the edge, the choice should include a vendor that is trusted, has experience and a proven storage portfolio in video surveillance, and in microSD card technologies. Endurance, as it relates to microSD cards, represents the number of rewrites possible before the card can no longer store data correctly High endurance Endurance, as it relates to microSD cards, represents the number of rewrites (program/erase cycles) that are possible before the card can no longer store data correctly. The rewrite operation is cyclical whereby a new stream of footage replaces older content by writing over it until the card is full, and the cycle repeats. The higher the endurance, the longer the card will perform before it needs to be replaced. Endurance is also referred to in terabytes written (TBW) or by the number of hours that the card can record continuously (while overwriting data) before a failure will occur. Health monitoring Health monitoring is a desired capability that not many microSD cards currently support and enables the host system to check when the endurance levels of a card are low and needs to be replaced. Having a card that supports this capability enables system integrators and operators with the ability to perform preemptive maintenance that will help to reduce system failures, as well as associated maintenance costs. Performance To capture continuous streams of raw footage, microSD cards within surveillance cams perform write operations about seventy to ninety percent of the time, whereas reading captured footage is performed about ten to thirty percent. The difference in read/write performance is dependent on whether the card is used in an artificial intelligent (AI) capable camera, or a standard one. microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras should support temperature ranges from -25 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius Finding a card that is write-friendly, and can provide enough bandwidth to properly capture streamed data, and is cost-effective, requires one that falls between fast industrial card capabilities and slower commercial ones. Bandwidth in the range of 50 MB/sec for writes and 80 MB/sec for reads are typical and sufficient for microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras. Temperature ranges Lower capacity support of 32GB can provide room to attract the smaller or entry-level video surveillance deployments As microSD cards must be designed for continuous operation in extreme weather conditions and a variety of climates, whether located indoors or out, support for various temperature ranges are another consideration. Given the wide spectrum of temperatures required by the camera makers, microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras should support temperature ranges from -25 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius, or in extreme cases, as low as -40 degrees Celsius. Capacity Selecting the right-sized capacity is also very important as there needs to be a minimum level to ensure that there is enough room to hold footage for a number of days or weeks before it is overwritten or the connectivity to the NVR is restored. Though 64GB is considered the capacity sweet spot for microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras today, lower capacity support of 32GB can provide room to attract the smaller or entry-level video surveillance deployments. In the future, even higher capacities will be important for specific use cases and will potentially become standard capacities as the market evolves. When choosing the right storage microSD card to implement into your video surveillance system, make sure the card is designed specifically for the application – does it include the right levels of endurance and performance to capture continuous streams – can it withstand environmental challenges and wide temperature extremes – will it enable preventative and preemptive maintenance to provide years of service? It is critical for the surveillance system to be able to collect video footage whether the camera is connected to an NVR or is a standalone camera as collecting footage at the base of the surveillance system is the most crucial point of failure. As such, failsafe mechanisms are required to keep the camera recording until the network is restored.
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.
Wavestore, developer of highly secure and open platform Video Management Software (VMS) solutions, will be hosted by three of its technology partners at ISC West, which is taking place at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas on 10th -12th April 2019. Visitors to the Feenics, Mobotix and Raytec booths will have the opportunity to see how easy it is to benefit from a fully integrated security system with Wavestore at its heart. Wavestore VMS solution As a truly independent company, Wavestore focuses solely on the development of its highly secure VMS platform to deliver an ever-evolving feature set and ensures compatibility with associated devices and sub-systems from its technology partners. If the requirement is just for video, or there is a need for a fully integrated solution from one to tens of thousands of cameras and devices, Wavestore is able to demonstrate how its VMS can help deliver a scalable and completely future-proof solution for your next project. Wavestore has a well-established Technology Partner programme that allows users to benefit from seamless integrations across a host of best-in-breed brands" “Wavestore has a well-established Technology Partner programme that allows users to benefit from seamless integrations across a host of best-in-breed brands encompassing cameras, access control, video analytics and much more”, says James Smith, Managing Director of Wavestore. “In addition, Wavestore’s open platform is fully compliant with ONVIF profile-S, bringing enhanced flexibility to camera choice, enabling users to achieve maximum return on investment from their security solutions.” VMS Upgrade Bundles As well as demonstrating the latest features of Wavestore’s VMS, the team will also be highlighting how choosing Wavestore can help reduce the total cost of ownership through provision of free technical support and flexible VMS Upgrade Bundles, which enable partners to stay up-to-date with the very latest features over time, without signing up to expensive recurring support contracts. The Wavestore team will be demonstrating the latest features of its award-winning VMS on the Feenics booth (22130), Mobotix booth (16089) and Raytec booth (22075).
The resilience offered by the proprietary HyperRAID technology suite recently introduced by Wavestore, means that the risk of data loss due to hard drive failure can now be reduced to practically zero. By taking the redundancy offered by conventional RAID solutions to a higher level, HyperRAID is able to provide peace of mind for applications where the safe storage of data and video evidence is crucial, from small projects up to fully integrated large scale and mission critical solutions. Provides RAID5 or RAID6 redundancy HyperRAID, which is capable of providing RAID5 (N+1) or RAID6 (N+2) redundancy, is designed to store data across multiple drives in an arrayHyperRAID, which is capable of providing RAID5 (N+1) or RAID6 (N+2) redundancy, is designed to store data across multiple drives in an array. This means that if one or even two of the drives should fail, data will continue to be recorded and safely stored. Importantly, the data that is already stored on the array can still be read, thus ensuring that vital video evidence can be retrieved. Regardless of the number of data storage drives in an array, HyperRAID Plus writes data across the drives in such a way that up to five of them can fail and yet recording will continue and all the recorded footage remains available for playback. This delivers a storage solution where the danger of data being lost because of drive failure is for all intents and purposes, non-existent, even if possible in theory. For example, in a system with 15 drives in an array set to N+5 redundancy, the risk of losing all data in a well-maintained system is estimated at just 0.000000000005%. Saving on hardware components HyperRAID arrays utilise a Host Bus Adaptor within the recording server/NVR/HVR, which is a far more cost-effective component“Not all RAID solutions are able to offer the same level of redundancy and in this respect, HyperRAID stands out from the crowd, even though it does not require any specialist knowledge to set up and manage,” said Julian Inman, Head of Product Management for Wavestore. HyperRAID arrays do not need to be controlled by a RAID card. Instead they utilise a Host Bus Adaptor (HBA) within the recording server/NVR/HVR, which is a far more cost-effective component and enables HyperRAID to perform much faster than traditional RAID methods. “This is because Wavestore’s unique Large Allocation Storage System (LASS) file system can control exactly where data is written to and doesn’t need to rely on RAID card technology to perform this function. In addition, another key benefit of LASS is that it arranges for data to be stored sequentially on each of the individual drives in the array, which reduces the wear and tear on the drives compared to conventional file systems when they are required to write and read data.” Hot-swappable drives Users can be alerted by email if there is a problem with one of the drives, whilst to further enhance the level of redundancy, the HyperRAID technology suite also provides the ability to include hot-swappable drives in a recording server. EcoStore can automatically spin down hard drives and HyperRAID arrays which are not in a read or write state These can be installed ready to automatically take over from any drive that has failed, in order to keep the full array intact. The new drive, which is brought into the array on the fly and without disruption to the ongoing storage of data, is automatically designated as a replacement for the failed drive in the array. Supported by EcoStore technology HyperRAID is supported by Wavestore’s EcoStore hard drive spin-down technology which delivers substantial real-world savings on the total cost of ownership of a video surveillance solution. EcoStore can automatically spin down hard drives and HyperRAID arrays which are not in a read or write state. Over 80% energy can be saved using EcoStore by spinning down drives. Associated cost savings are also achievable, such as reductions in air conditioning requirements and by limiting the wear and tear on disks that are always being powered on and spinning.
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