Transportes Aguila de Oro
 
Aguila de Oro Transport (TAO) is a holding company dedicated to transportation, logistics, and distribution of merchandise in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The company was founded 54 years ago as a family business, and at that time TAO had only one truck, one plant, and 12 employees. Today, the company employs 500 people and has a fleet of over 300 trucks to provide dry and refrigerated transport services, as well as door-to-door service.
 
The challenge
 
The majority of transport companies suffer from common theft on an almost daily basis. According to Juan A. Gonzalez, director of Assekuransa (a company specialising in international merchandise transportation), the most vulnerable countries in the Americas region are Argentina, Brazil and, Mexico. TAO ships cargo throughout North America and as such must meet strict trade and terrorism compliance standards in order to carry on business smoothly. The company sought to obtain necessary C-TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership against Terrorism) certification, which demands close, effective control of cargo and cargo loading at all times. Another end user objective was to unify and control staff time and attendance, even at locations where there are no supervisors.
 
The solution
 
After an overall assessment of TAO’s needs, systems integrator Global Business Solutions (GBS) recommended the  Intelligent Security Operations Center (iSOC), created by DVTEL. This would provide a unified system of video and access control for the offices and maritime terminals located in Monterrey, Santa Rosa (Nueva Leon state) and Laredo (Tamaulipas).
 
The solution installed by GBS consists of 100 cameras and about 75 points of access, spread throughout the many different buildings in the three cities. HID Global supplied key components for the IP-based access control system, including 45 iCLASS™ readers, 25 VertX™ V2000 controllers, four bioCLASS™ readers for the office and one EdgePlus™ reader.
 
GBS’ solution is notable for being 100% IP and 100% open platform. It has DVTel and AXIS cameras, as well as DVTel encoders. Access control is handled through HID as well as biometric readers by Bioscrypt. The video recording server is from Sun Microsystems and has four 500GB drives that store 10 days worth of video. The video has MPEG-4 and MJPEG format, depending on the cameras and their location in the network. The unified video and access control security systems are distributed across several distant locations, but thanks to the fact that they communicate through IP networks, a centralised administration of all events is possible.
 
The video surveillance system covers all entrances and loading zones, as well as the perimeters, in order to minimise merchandise theft. The access control system achieved the unification of time control and personnel attendance for all locations, including those locations that do not have supervisors. Access control also limits entry for specific areas and times during the day, allowing entry only to authorised personnel.
 
Jorge Vasquez, from GBS, commented, “The choice of this technology was based on the unique features of flexibility, openness, IP network, and the newness of this technology, which couples well with TAO’s innovative spirit, as well as their staff’s knowledge of network and information technologies."
 
The highlights
 
After only six months of operation, management concluded that the DVTel solution enabled TAO to offer services with the highest level of certification and security for their clients.
 
The DVTel iSOC brought TAO the functionality and performance needed for C-TPAT (Customs & Commerce

It is important to note that the integrated systems on the DVTel platform have more than 99.9% uptime or uninterrupted performance

 
Association against Terrorism) certification, which demands effective control and tracking of the merchandise load at all times.
 
The video surveillance solution comprises about 100 cameras covering buildings in Monterrey, Santa Rosa and Laredo. TAO’s central monitoring center is in Monterrey and through the DVTel Latitude network video management system, the data network is integrated with the satellite monitoring of the units. Recording servers are located in both Monterrey and Laredo.
 
Access control is based on HID’s IP technology, with a central controlling LNA integrated with DVTel’s Longitude platform, which is also monitored in real time in Aguila de Oro Transports’ monitoring center. This project was the first for HID IP technology in Mexico, and one of the first in all of Latin America.
 
The DVTel iSOC is customised with highly advanced features that include a GPS map, a network map, and the full gamut of camera image visualisation options.
 
It is important to note that the integrated systems on the DVTel platform have more than 99.9% uptime or uninterrupted performance.
 
The overall upgrade project has also raised the level of security for TAO’s operations in regards to many other initiatives, which enabled them to obtain the BASC certification (a voluntary agreement with U.S. Customs to comply with security standards, staff screening, and logistics procedures for international merchandise shipments) which serves as a further guarantee for TAO’s customers.
 
Angel Rodriguez, information technologies director for TAO, said,“Because it is an IP-based technology, we were able to continue to make use of much of the existing network technology, which facilitated the implementation of this solution." Vasquez added, “It’s scalable, we have been able to grow this solution, taking advantage of the infrastructure installed during phase one, which we simply expanded in capacity.”
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

The physical side of data protection
The physical side of data protection

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated our digital dependency, on a global scale. Data centres have become even more critical to modern society. The processing and storage of information underpin the economy, characterised by a consistent increase in the volume of data and applications, and reliance upon the internet and IT services. Data centres classed as CNI As such, they are now classed as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and sit under the protection of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). As land continues to surge in value, data centre operators are often limited for choice, on where they place their sites and are increasingly forced to consider developed areas, close to other infrastructures, such as housing or industrial sites. Complex security needs One misconception when it comes to data centres is that physical security is straightforward One misconception when it comes to data centres is that physical security is straightforward. However, in practice, things are far more complex. On top of protecting the external perimeter, thought must also be given to factors, such as access control, hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM), protecting power infrastructure, as well as standby generators and localising security devices to operate independently of the main data centre. Face value How a site looks is more important than you may think. Specify security that appears too hostile risks blatantly advertising that you’re protecting a valuable target, ironically making it more interesting to opportunistic intruders. The heightened security that we recommend to clients for these types of sites, include 4 m high-security fences, coils of razor wire, CCTV, and floodlighting. When used together in an integrated approach, it’s easy to see how they make the site appear hostile against its surroundings. However, it must appear secure enough to give the client peace of mind that the site is adequately protected. Getting the balance right is crucial. So, how do you balance security, acoustics and aesthetics harmoniously? Security comes first These are essential facilities and as a result, they require appropriate security investment. Cutting corners leads to a greater long-term expense and increases the likelihood of highly disruptive attacks. Checkpoints Fortunately, guidance is available through independent accreditations and certifications, such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) LPS 1175 ratings, the PAS 68 HVM rating, CPNI approval, and the police initiative - Secured by Design (SBD). Thorough technical evaluation and quality audit These bodies employ thorough technical evaluation work and rigorous quality audit processes to ensure products deliver proven levels of protection. With untested security measures, you will not know whether a product works until an attack occurs. Specifying products accredited by established bodies removes this concern. High maintenance Simply installing security measures and hoping for the best will not guarantee 24/7 protection. Just as you would keep computer software and hardware updated, to provide the best level of protection for the data, physical security also needs to be well-maintained, in order to ensure it is providing optimum performance. Importance of testing physical security parameters Inspecting the fence line may seem obvious and straightforward, but it needs to be done regularly. From our experience, this is something that is frequently overlooked. The research we conducted revealed that 63% of companies never test their physical security. They should check the perimeter on both sides and look for any attempted breaches. Foliage, weather conditions or topography changes can also affect security integrity. Companies should also check all fixtures and fittings, looking for damage and corrosion, and clear any litter and debris away. Accessibility When considering access control, speed gates offer an excellent solution for data centres. How quickly a gate can open and close is essential, especially when access to the site is restricted. The consequences of access control equipment failing can be extremely serious, far over a minor irritation or inconvenience. Vehicle and pedestrian barriers, especially if automated, require special attention to maintain effective security and efficiency. Volume control Data centres don’t generally make the best neighbours. The noise created from their 24-hour operation can be considerable. HVAC systems, event-triggered security and fire alarms, HV substations, and vehicle traffic can quickly become unbearable for residents. Secure and soundproof perimeter As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing So, how do you create a secure and soundproof perimeter? Fortunately, through LPS 1175 certification and CPNI approval, it is possible to combine high-security performance and up to 28dB of noise reduction capabilities. As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing. Seamlessly locking thick timber boards create a flat face, making climbing difficult and the solid boards prevent lines of sight into the facility. For extra protection, steel mesh can either be added to one side of the fence or sandwiched between the timber boards, making it extremely difficult to break through. A fair façade A high-security timber fence can be both, aesthetically pleasing and disguise its security credentials. Its pleasant natural façade provides a foil to the stern steel bars and mesh, often seen with other high-security solutions. Of course, it’s still important that fencing serves its primary purposes, so make sure you refer to certifications, to establish a product’s security and acoustic performance. Better protected The value of data cannot be overstated. A breach can have severe consequences for public safety and the economy, leading to serious national security implications. Countering varied security threats Data centres are faced with an incredibly diverse range of threats, including activism, sabotage, trespass, and terrorism on a daily basis. It’s no wonder the government has taken an active role in assisting with their protection through the medium of the CPNI and NCSC. By working with government bodies such as the CPNI and certification boards like the LPCB, specifiers can access a vault of useful knowledge and advice. This will guide them to effective and quality products that are appropriate for their specific site in question, ensuring it’s kept safe and secure.

Data explosion: Futureproofing your video surveillance infrastructure
Data explosion: Futureproofing your video surveillance infrastructure

Video surveillance systems are producing more unstructured data than ever before. A dramatic decrease in camera costs in recent years has led many businesses to invest in comprehensive surveillance coverage, with more cameras generating more data. Plus, advances in technology mean that the newest (8K) cameras are generating approximately 800% more data than their predecessors (standard definition). Traditional entry-level solutions like network video recorders (NVRs) simply aren’t built to handle massive amounts of data in an efficient, resilient and cost-effective manner. This has left many security pioneers grappling with a data storage conundrum. Should they continue adding more NVR boxes? Or is there another, better, route? Retaining video data In short, yes. To future proof their video surveillance infrastructure, an increasing number of businesses are adopting an end-to-end surveillance architecture with well-integrated, purpose-built platforms for handling video data through its lifecycle. This presents significant advantages in terms of security, compliance and scalability, as well as unlocking new possibilities for data enrichment. All of this with a lower total cost of ownership than traditional solutions. Security teams would typically delete recorded surveillance footage after a few days or weeks Previously, security teams would typically delete recorded surveillance footage after a few days or weeks. However, thanks to increasingly stringent legal and compliance demands, many are now required to retain video data for months or even years. There’s no doubt that this can potentially benefit investigations and increase prosecutions, but it also puts significant pressure on businesses’ storage infrastructure. Data lifecycle management This necessitates a more intelligent approach to data lifecycle management. Rather than simply storing video data in a single location until it’s wiped, an end-to-end video surveillance solution can intelligently migrate data to different storage platforms and media as it ages. So, how does this work? Video is recorded and analysed on a combination of NVR, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and application servers. Then, it’s moved to resilient file storage for a pre-determined period, where it can be immediately retrieved and accessed for review. Finally, based on policies set by heads of security, data is moved from file storage to highly secure, low-cost archive storage such as an object, tape or cloud. Data is moved from file storage to highly secure, low-cost archive storage Long-term storage This process is known as tiering. It allows businesses to use reliable, inexpensive long-term storage for most of their data, whilst still enabling security pioneers to retrieve video data when the need arises, such as during a compliance audit, or to review footage following a security breach. In a nutshell, it offers them the best of both worlds. Scaling your video surveillance infrastructure can be a headache. Businesses that rely on NVRs – even high-end units with 64 or even 96 hard drives – are finding themselves running out of capacity increasingly quickly. In order to scale, security pioneers then have to procure new boxes. With NVRs, this inevitably involves a degree of guesswork. Should they go for the largest possible option, and risk over provisioning? Or perhaps a smaller option, and risk running out of capacity again? Common management console Security pioneers can easily add or remove storage capacity or compute resources – separately or together As businesses add new cameras or replace existing ones, many end up with inadequate surveillance infrastructure made up of multiple NVR boxes along with several application servers for running other surveillance functions such as access control, security photo databases, analytics, etc. This patchwork approach leaves security pioneers scrambling for capacity, maintaining various hardware footprints, repeating updates and checks across multiple systems, and taking up valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere. By contrast, flexible HCI surveillance platforms aggregate the storage and ecosystem applications to run on the same infrastructure and combine viewing under a common management console, avoiding ‘swivel chair’ management workflows. Plus, they offer seamless scalability. Security pioneers can easily add or remove storage capacity or compute resources – separately or together. Data storage solutions Over time, this ensures a lower total cost of ownership. First and foremost, it removes the risk of over provisioning and helps to control hardware sprawl. This in turn leads to hardware maintenance savings and lower power use. Many security pioneers are now looking beyond simple data storage solutions for their video surveillance footage. Meta tags can provide context around data, making it easier to find and access when needed Instead, they’re asking themselves how analysing this data can enable their teams to work faster, more efficiently and productively. Implementing an end-to-end video surveillance architecture enables users to take advantage of AI and machine learning applications which can tag and enrich video surveillance data. These have several key benefits. Firstly, meta tags can provide context around data, making it easier to find and access when needed. Object storage platform For instance, if security teams are notified of a suspicious red truck, they can quickly find data with this tag, rather than manually searching through hours of data, which can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Plus, meta tags can be used to mark data for future analysis. This means that as algorithms are run over time, policies can be set to automatically store data in the right location. For example, if a video is determined to contain cars driving in and out of your premises, it would be moved to long-term archiving such as an object storage platform for compliance purposes. If, on the other hand, it contained 24 hours of an empty parking lot, it could be wiped. These same meta tags may be used to eventually expire the compliance data in the archive after it is no longer needed based on policy. Video surveillance architecture Continuing to rely on traditional systems like NVRs will fast become unsustainable for businesses Even if your organisation isn’t using machine learning or artificial intelligence-powered applications to enhance your data today, it probably will be one, three, or even five years down the line. Implementing a flexible end-to-end video surveillance solution prepares you for this possibility. With new advances in technology, the quantity of data captured by video surveillance systems will continue rising throughout the coming decade. As such, continuing to rely on traditional systems like NVRs will fast become unsustainable for businesses. Looking forward, when moving to an end-to-end video surveillance architecture, security pioneers should make sure to evaluate options from different vendors. For true futureproofing, it’s a good idea to opt for a flexible, modular solution, which allow different elements to be upgraded to more advanced technologies when they become available.

How can the security industry provide affordable and cost-effective solutions?
How can the security industry provide affordable and cost-effective solutions?

Cost is a reality to be managed. No matter how powerful or desirable a technology may be to a customer, the sale often comes down to the basic question: Can I afford it? And affordability extends not just to the purchase price, but to the cost of technology over its lifespan. In addition to advances in technology capabilities, the security industry has also achieved inroads to make its offerings more worth the cost. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the physical security industry doing to make more affordable and cost-effective technology solutions for end users?