SANTEC has extended its portfolio by a new speed dome. Model VDC-727-IR-WM is a fast, compact pan/tilt colour speed dome with a built-in motor zoom lens. The innovative characteristic of this speed dome is its integrated IR LED illuminator with a range of up to 100m. The IR illuminator has a specific optics which automatically adjusts to the selected zoom area of the camera. Hence the scene is perfectly illuminated. The built-in lens has a focal length of 3.5 to 94.5 mm. Image resolution is at 560 TVL (colour) and 680 TVL (b/w). Dome control and programming are easily done thanks to RS-485 interface and Pelco P/D protocols. The dome features privacy zones, flip function and digital zoom. The dome comes with a metal wall bracket with integrated cable management to protect against external manipulation. Moreover, SANTEC offers a suitable alarm box in an outdoor housing and other accessories.
SANTEC launches VDC-727-IR-WM speed dome colour camera
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The modern working world has evolved dramatically over the last few decades - from how and when we work, to the places we work from. Widespread internet connection advances, alongside the growth of cloud-based shared working platforms, have not only created the possibility for increasingly flexible working arrangements, but also fuelled a desire to do so – particularly among millennials. The preference for flexible working has now created a widespread need for more agile workforces, saddling IT departments around the world with the task to maintain ‘business as usual’ without compromising corporate privacy. With flexible working forecasted to stay for the long haul and passwords increasingly under scrutiny, evaluating alternative secure authentication methods to keep companies’ data and networks safe is important to protect these ‘new normal’ ways of working. The end of the humble password? A recent report by Raconteur found that the most common method of authentication for securing the digital aspects of workplaces is passwords. Unfortunately, however, between phishing, hacking and simple guesswork, passwords are easily compromised – a problem that is only getting worse, with IT professionals reporting an increase in phishing attacks in the last few years. Once compromised, passwords can be used to enter untrusted apps or websites and, worst and most commonly of all, give rise to even greater data breaches. Between phishing, hacking and simple guesswork, passwords are easily compromised Alongside security concerns, 6 in 10 people worry about forgetting their passwords and, according to a recent Balbix study, 99% of people reuse the same password across different work accounts. This, undoubtedly, is a side effect of the increasingly complex character requirements implemented by many enterprises. This stress and effort leads to frustrated employees, but, more worryingly, forgotten passwords can also cost IT departments millions of dollars a year. In our flexible, hyper-connected world, it is clear then that the humble password is no longer effective. Additional or alternative layers of authentication are needed to help enterprises maintain their workplace security in a more convenient and cost-effective way. Smarter workplace authentication with biometrics Often, hacking incidents involve the use of stolen credentials. One authentication solution that could bring an end to these large-scale hacking attacks is biometrics, as unique biological traits are extremely hard to steal and spoof. In addition to being a more secure method to authenticate users and prevent fraud in companies’ networks, it is also possible to layer biometric modalities to create a highly convenient and secure multi-modal authentication solution for sensitive areas or information. Spoofing two biometric modalities, such as fingerprint and iris, in the same attack is virtually impossible, but that doesn’t mean this level of security needs to impair the UX. After all, you can put your finger on a touch sensor, while at the same time glancing at a sensor. For businesses, biometrics can be used in a wide variety of use cases, from securing laptops and applications to authenticating employees at secured access and entry points. It can also be used to add frictionless layers of additional security to any aspect of current security systems, such as key fobs or USB sticks, or to access personalized settings or employee accounts when using shared devices, such as a printer system. This way, beyond playing a role in securing the modern workplace, biometrics can also give employees greater flexibility and convenience over how, when and where they work. Privacy and biometrics - explained Many employers and employees worry about safeguarding privacy in the workplace. Considering biometric data is highly personal, it is no wonder, then, that many are concerned about collecting this data for the purpose of workplace security and what liabilities this may expose them to. For businesses, biometrics can be used in a wide variety of use cases, from securing laptops and applications to authenticating employees Employers must adhere to the relevant workplace privacy laws, such Europe’s GDPR, and this duty extends to biometrics, of course. But, providing biometrics is implemented in line with best practice, it can actually protect employees’ privacy far more effectively than its predecessor, passwords. When employers use an on-device approach, their employees can rest assured no one will be able to access or steal their biometric data, as all biometric data is stored and processed on the device - whether that is a laptop, smartphone, USB stick or key fob. Removing the need for data to ever enter the cloud, this also removes the technical and legal complexities of managing a biometric database and, if a key fob is lost for example, all parties can rest assured there is no chance of anyone else being able to use it. A win-win. Precisely because biometric data is so difficult to steal and spoof, adding biometric authentication to end-point devices can considerably reduce data breaches to keep both sensitive employee and corporate data safe and secure. Reimagining workplace security As people work more flexibly, systems are shared more frequently, and attacks get smarter, it is clear to see that passwords alone are no longer enough to secure the modern-day workplace. Adding biometric authentication to end-point devices can considerably reduce data breaches Now is the time to reassess the physical and logical access control infrastructure. To keep personal and corporate data safe, it is crucial to add new and additional authentication methods to the security infrastructure. Luckily, the benefits of biometrics are often far simpler to realize than many enterprises imagine. The beauty of biometrics is its combination of both security and convenience. Compared to other forms of authentication, biometrics offers considerably stronger protection and an enhanced UX that can easily be integrated into existing enterprise security infrastructure – without the need for huge biometric databases to manage or fear. So, whether to replace outdated passwords or as part of a multi-modal authentication system, biometrics can play an important role in pushing workplace security into a new era for both physical and logical access control.
The only constant theme for video technology is its constant evolution. Over the last 40 years, cameras have gone from limited view, constantly monitored rarities to being one of the most populous Internet of Things (IoT) devices with a global reach. Fixed cameras with limited fields of view have been augmented with panoramic cameras with 180- and 360-degree viewing capabilities at ultra-high resolutions in the 4K and 8K ranges, a far cry from the grainy, monochrome viewing of the past. Threats have also evolved in that time, leading to a necessary evolution in security posture, moving from a series of individual programmes and practices, to a comprehensive strategy designed around complex risk assessments. To ensure the successful implementation of your security stance in today’s world, you need technology to integrate seamlessly and vendors to work together to deliver coherent solutions rather than individual components. Since successful partnerships are always a two-way street, it’s important to take a look at some of the factors that vendors should offer and expect to receive when entering a beneficial partnership where technology seamlessly folds into the ecosystem of the partner’s technology offerings. Open technology standards If you ask any customer what the biggest negative is when it comes to new and emerging technologies, you’ll get a pretty rapid answer of “vendor lock-in.” You can have the best technology in the world, but if you don’t give a customer the opportunity to build multiple, “best-of-breed” products into a comprehensive strategy, you’re going to fall by the wayside pretty quickly. You need technology to integrate seamlessly and vendors to work together That’s not to say that you can’t have unique, proprietary or visionary technology; you absolutely can, and it is what innovation and progress thrives on. Building those technologies around open technology standards is vital if you are looking for wide-scale adoption. Using open technology standards also allows you to integrate with established industry players faster, more smoothly and with increased benefits to the customer. All of this leads to a faster time to revenue and a more rapid scaling of your presence in the market. Direct technology integrations Continuing the theme of open technology standards improving the ability to drive relationships with existing, complimentary technology partners, the directness and depth of integration also bears consideration. Using open technology standards also allows you to integrate with established industry players faster, more smoothly and with increased benefits to the customer One of the blights of building a security practice is getting all of your technologies to integrate together and feed information to each other. When you add the fact that each technology has its own user interface (UI) and management console, it can very quickly become overwhelming for the end user to keep tabs on each console, learn every interface and complicates building a workflow in the case of incidents or investigations. The administrators who manage the system also have to update each component individually, ensure that the integrations don’t break when an update is delivered and ensure that any new technologies don’t cause an existing piece of your solution to fail. As a technology vendor, if you have used open technology standards, and written your software with integrations in mind, you will find yourself becoming an easy solution to turn to. Camera manufacturers in particular can take advantage of this when integrating with a video management system (VMS). The deeper you integrate, and the easier you make it to manage, update, monitor and interact with your cameras for the VMS and subsequently the operator using the VMS, the more likely your technology will be designed into solutions. Open communication and equal joint development Successful partnerships are all about communication, and in my experience, having organisational alignment throughout both companies does wonders to improve the development processes. Executive support in particular is key, and a mutual understanding between leaders makes for a more successful go to market strategy. Equally as important is joint development, especially for engineering teams. Often, software engineers are just thrown the software from the larger of the two partners and told “make sure we integrate with this.” It is then down to the engineering teams to figure out how the partner software works and figure out their integrations. This is less difficult if the partner is using open standards, but there is still a high degree of difficulty involved. It also takes longer to create, test, adjust and release software integrations in this way. Then you have to repeat the process whenever there is a software update on either side. Successful partnerships are all about communication If you work collaboratively as engineering teams with defined co-development plans and processes, this process is simplified, and a better solution is realised for the customer. Working as equals also allows you to drive technology advancement faster, especially for the longer established vendor. New technology companies are forced to innovate faster to stay alive and that is well worth remembering. Your mutual sales teams also have a large part to play here, since working together in front of customers with a connected message will deliver better feedback into the engineering teams for future developments and projects. If you build your technology partnerships on these foundations, then you are well positioned to deliver great solutions to your customers, real value when it comes to forming a major part of the wider security ecosystem and will be well on your way to becoming a mainstay in the physical security world.
A total of £1.6 billion worth of goods are reported as ‘lost’ to in-store theft in supermarkets each year, with figures increasing steadily. The presence of self-checkout systems have increased in supermarkets, as well as other industry retailers. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016. While this increase comes with such benefits as reduced wait times for customers and staff costs, it also comes with a risk of retail theft at self-checkouts. With the circumstances the world now finds itself in i.e. mass unemployment, financial uncertainty, the retail industry has seen an influx in these types of petty crimes, hitting retailers during an already turbulent period. While retailers are taking precautions to protect themselves and their patrons in this new era of in-person shopping, it’s important to ensure the business itself is protected. A popular method to combat these fears is to employ on-site security personnel, however, as we continue to adapt to new operating guidelines, retailers must begin thinking past the immediate future, and begin implementing long-term security solutions to prepare for life after lockdown such as strong CCTV systems with remote access. How has the security industry adapted its services to a post-lockdown world? Technological innovations like thermal recognition are key to adapting security systems for a post-lockdown world. Businesses which previously relied on facial recognition now must update their methods to account for shoppers wearing masks on-site and in-store. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016 Biometric systems are now able to identify people with face masks, and thermal recognition such ADT’s Thermi-Scan system which can track human body temperature without the need for contact. Implementing these safe protocol procedures protect both employees and customers against virus outbreaks such as COVID-19. The need for these advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027. Artificial intelligence has been hailed recently as the way forward for remote security needs, and whilst business-owners continue to navigate procedures of returning to work post-lockdown, having remote access to real-time security monitoring is essential now more than ever. What are the main measures stores can take to prevent or reduce theft? Strategically placing a multi-camera surveillance system to ensure clarity, eliminate blind spots, and deter thieves should be top priority. It’s equally essential to invest in a system which has an efficient playback programme, particularly in situations where reviewing important footage efficiently can offer vital information to the police force. Advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027 As business-owners continue operating at reduced hours and with limited on-site staff, being able to access camera footage quickly and remotely is a key factor to consider. Whether owners opt to receive an alert on a mobile device allowing them to review notifications, or if their system is monitored by a remote security centre, it’s important to be able to access footage quickly for added efficiency and ease. Facial recognition and AI have been popular points of discussion in relation to security cameras and CCTV. While careful considerations must be taken prior to utilising any sort of facial recognition technology, including conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment, the benefits include being provided with real-time tracking of repeat offenders which immensely helps the prevention of in-store theft. Here are some key points to consider when choosing in-store surveillance: Assess your needs – To get the best out of your security system, it is essential to analyse what your requirements are for your business as they might have changed to adapt to a post-lockdown world Camera setup – With store layouts shifting to accommodate social distancing guidelines, it’s important to re-evaluate the current set-up of any security cameras. Depending on any layout updates, it might be important to consider operating multiple cameras in one area to ensure a peripheral view and eliminate any blind spots Camera positioning – For optimal performance, check that light sources are not obstructing your view such as glare from the sun. It is also worth considering the height at which cameras are installed to maximise surveillance Check the focus – It is worth testing camera lenses bi-monthly to ensure that lighting or weather hasn’t affected the focus of the lens, resulting in a blurry visual Remote access – As guidelines continue to evolve, ensure you’re able to access any necessary camera footage quickly and safely in case of emergency Will we begin to see a reduction of theft as new technology is implemented? We’re beginning to see incidents of shoplifting and theft being taken more seriously by law enforcement. In the coming months, for the first time in Britain nearly twenty shoplifters who were either caught red-handed or identified on CCTV will be appearing before magistrates. While currently these court cases are being pursued by a private police force, these actions come after a Government plea to high-level police to prosecute shoplifters stealing under £200. Retailers have long voiced concerns that forces have abandoned low-level thefts and these steps are small but show that businesses are being heard. As innovations in surveillance security continue, we’ll be seeing a move away from human involvement which will create a more reliable and efficient system able to rely on machine learning and analytics. While there have been wider strides made in utilising AI for surveillance, these are largely being used currently by local governments to alert police forces to threats of criminal activity. It’s not unreasonable to think that in the near future, these types of smart technology will be employed by private businesses to analyse suspicious behaviour or possible theft. However, as we see an increase in the advancement of security technology, we anticipate that those inclined to commit in-store theft will adapt their methods, therefore retailers should look to regularly evaluate their security needs to keep risks at bay.
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