Axis Communications is returning for the 21st edition of Intersec from 20 – 22 January 2019. Axis will showcase the many dimensions of products, solutions and services across Retail, Critical Infrastructure and Smart Cities.

Future of security

Philippe Kubbinga, Regional Director - Middle East & Africa, Axis Communications, “At Axis, we have stayed at the forefront by constantly challenging the status quo and investing in our people and our partners. As we move into another year, we have an ever-increasing demand for smart products, solutions and services. In the last year, network audio, edge analytics, multi-sensors and privacy of data dominated in demand, conversations and actual applications – trends we deem very positive for our industry.”

We have continued to add new dimensions in our offerings across Retail, Critical Infrastructure and are also seeing a positive trend in Smart Cities"

We have continued to add new dimensions in our offerings across Retail, Critical Infrastructure and are also seeing a positive trend in Smart Cities. At Intersec 2019, we look forward to an in-depth conversation with our ecosystem on the future of security and surveillance, and its constantly adapting landscape and application.”

Security end points

Martin Gren, Co-Founder of Axis Communications, will be a key speaker at the Intersec Future Security Summit on 20th January 2019 where he will discuss “Future of global security industry: security end points viewed as a mode of connection, not an intrusion.”

At the stand, visitors can experience the Q8742 Bi-Spectral Camera, Q1645-LE Fixed Box Outdoor Camera, Q6125-LE PTZ with IR, Access Control, Analytics, Audio Products and Management Software, Technologies and the award-winning AXIS P3717-PLE. Axis Communications will be located at stand S1-J12, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. In the lead up to Intersec, Axis also shared the Key Technology Trends for 2019.

Key technology trends

Johan Paulsson, Chief Technology Officer, Axis Communications, “It’s become a tradition to write about the key technology trends that we think will have a significant impact on our business over the coming year and the security sector as a whole.”

In thinking about 2019 we see a number of the key trends being an extension of those we identified at the start of 2018"

Future-gazing is never an easy task, and while many new technologies and broader issues will no doubt be significant in the long-term, what particularly interests us are those areas where we can see a compelling use case in the shorter-term. As such, in thinking about 2019 we see a number of the key trends being an extension of those we identified at the start of 2018.”

Incremental improvements

In our industry today, machine or deep-learning is mostly used for video analytics, but we expect the technology will be an important component in many different applications and products in the future. Over time it will become a common tool for software engineers and will be included in many different environments and devices.

But, again, its application will be driven by the most compelling use cases, not by the technology itself. There is a temptation in the surveillance and security sector to over-promise in relation to new technologies. This has been true of AI in video analytics and, particularly, in some of the claims made around the current application of deep learning. With AI and deep learning, as with any new technology, we’re committed to making sure its implementation is robust, reliable and addresses real customer challenges. Research and progress will continue, steadily, and bring incremental improvements and benefits over the next year rather than radical change.

Ever-increased capacity

Cloud computing is based on the centralised computing in one or many data center, and as the proliferation of connected

Cloud computing is based on the centralised computing in one or many data center, and as the proliferation of connected, Internet of Things (IoT) devices grows exponentially, so does the amount of data produced. Even as more data centers with ever-increased capacity are created, this tsunami of data could become overwhelming. This can be particularly critical in areas such as video surveillance, where despite the development of technologies designed to reduce storage and bandwidth needs, data demands are still significant.

This is where the benefits of edge computing come to the fore. In simple terms, as its name suggest, edge computing puts more data processing at the ‘edge’ of the network, close to where the data is collected by the sensor and before transfer to the data center.

Addressing security

In our business, edge computing means processing data within the camera itself. Firstly, initial processing of data within the camera can significantly reduce the bandwidth demands of both data transfer and storage. Additionally, data can be anonymised and encrypted before it is transferred, addressing security and privacy concerns. Ultimately, cloud and edge computing will not be an ‘either…or’ decision; the two will work in balance to the greatest benefit.

In years to come, 2018 might be considered as the year when broad awareness of data privacy reached its highest point, particularly that associated with personal information. To those in the public and private sectors, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) bought a higher level of scrutiny than ever before to how organisations collect, store, share and use personal information (including that captured by video surveillance).

Heightened awareness

This data is used by the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Google and others to increase the value of these services through a high degree of personalisation

To the broader consumer, however, it is more likely to be issues relating to Facebook’s use of data which has heightened awareness and concern regarding what happens to the personal data given away online.

Ultimately, we live in a world where we have been given valuable online services in exchange for knowingly or unconsciously handing over a significant amount of personal data. Indeed, this data is used by the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Google and others to increase the value of these services through a high degree of personalisation. To many, however, it feels like a line has been crossed between useful personalisation and invasion of privacy, and the rumours that home voice assistants listen in to domestic conversations will only cause this unease to increase.

Most impactful aspects

Ultimately, the trust between an organisation and its customers is becoming an increasingly important and tangible asset. Concerns about a company’s approach to privacy and the use of personal data will be one of the most impactful aspects of trust in business moving forwards.

Can something continue to be a ‘trend’ when it appears every year, and is a constant concern? Whatever your answer to that question, it’s impossible to think about issues that will affect every sector this year without a mention of cybersecurity. Indeed, in relation to the previous point, the fastest way to damage trust between a company and its customers (and shareholders) is through a cybersecurity breach.

Good cybersecurity practice

Cybersecurity will never be solved, because the cybercriminals will never stop trying to find and exploit vulnerabilities

Cybersecurity will never be solved, because the cybercriminals (and increasingly nation states) will never stop trying to find and exploit vulnerabilities. These organisations are incredibly well-funded and organised and can innovate much more quickly than companies that need to adhere to industry regulations. Attacks are becoming more sophisticated, at a time when the number of connected devices mean that potential vulnerabilities and insecure network end-points are growing exponentially.

One particular area of vulnerability that has been highlighted recently is in the supply chain, where either a lack of good cybersecurity practice or even deliberately malicious actions can result in cybersecurity breaches being achieved through both software and hardware. The provenance of products is ever more critical than ever, with manufacturers needing to be confident that every link in their supply chain is a secure as it should be.

Environmental impact

We’ve already seen how video analytics can be used as an operational planning tool by organisations looking to improve energy efficiency within offices, with the subsequent positive benefits for the environment. But new types of sensors can more accurately measure environmental impact across an organisation’s sites, effectively acting as highly sensitive artificial ‘noses’ calibrated to different forms of output, and thermal imaging can be used to pinpoint areas of energy wastage.

For instance, one critical area where such sensors can heighten awareness, understanding and, increasingly allow for remedial action is in air quality. Whether inside buildings or in the external urban environment, the negative impacts on health and associated costs are becoming an ever-greater issue.

Effective response

Smart sensors will have a central role to play in addressing the problem globally. Such applications add value to organisations through efficiencies and cost savings (and, hopefully, health benefits), but also help them reach their own environmental and sustainability goals.

But a final trend that we’re confident will be increasingly prevalent in 2019 will be combining and integrating sensors to prompt ‘smart’ actions

In themselves, individual sensors such as those described above can deliver significant benefits. But a final trend that we’re confident will be increasingly prevalent in 2019 will be combining and integrating sensors to prompt ‘smart’ actions. For instance, in a smart city, a motion sensor connected to a barrier could trigger a camera which, in turn, would trigger an alert in the operations center, allowing for rapid and appropriate response. Or an environmental sensor could again trigger a video or thermal camera to quickly identify fires or spillages, again prompting alerts which will create a more rapid and effective response.

Bringing new technologies

When the range of sensors are considered – from thermal to motion, from atmospheric to video – the ways in which they could be combined are endless, as are the potential benefits of doing so.

Technology continues to develop at a rapid and accelerating pace. While it can be easy to become distracted by the potential of every new trend or innovation, each must be considered in relation to the use cases that are going to deliver maximum positive impact and value to organisations and citizens. This remains the lens through which we view technology trends and their application, and 2019 promises to be another exciting year in bringing new technologies to market in increasingly useful ways.

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In case you missed it

Managing security during unprecedented times of home working
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CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling. Hackers lie in wait Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back.  But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights. As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline. CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise. Social engineering Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behaviour, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines.  As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings. Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network. Notorious hacking attempts And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information. In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). 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