MOBOTIX cameras provide a high level of video quality through its use of megapixel sensors
Surveillance Secure in collaboration with Global Surveillance System installed the systems throughout the facility

Customer

For 121 years, National Lutheran Communities and Services (NLCS) has provided lifestyle, residential and health care choices to seniors through a variety of retirement community options including The Village at Rockville, a National Lutheran Community in Maryland; The Legacy at North Augusta, a National Lutheran Community in Staunton, Virginia; and The Village at Orchard Ridge, a National Lutheran Community in Winchester, Virginia, which is currently undergoing Phase 1 of construction and will open in Spring 2013. NLCS prides itself on maximising independence to let residents live fulfilling, exciting lives with the assurance of health care at their fingertips. While their mission is rooted in the Lutheran heritage, they are proud to serve seniors of any faith and about 55 percent of their residents are non-Lutheran.

NLCS is undergoing rapid expansion, with current renovations to The Village at Rockville and the construction of The Village at Orchard Ridge. With significant growth, comes security challenges and the community faces these head on by deploying technology to help combat potential issues.

Challenge

The security risks at any National Lutheran community, and any senior-living facility, for that matter, go beyond deterring and solving crime. An environment that supports the health and well being of all residents, while maintaining an atmosphere of independence and safety is essential to the day-to-day operations for any community. One of the challenges The Village at Rockville experienced is that many independent living residents requested use of an exercise facility, but without full-time personnel managing the exercise room, the associated risks seemed far too great. How could they make it safe without sacrificing independence of residents who wished to workout at their convenience?

"Safety and security are selling points for our community," said Courtney Malengo, Director of Public Relations, National Lutheran Communities and Services, Rockville, Maryland. "One of the first questions adult children will ask is ‘how are my mom and dad going to be taken care of and how are you going to ensure their safety?’ They are essentially trusting strangers with their loved ones. Whether it’s 2 a.m. or 2 p.m., we need to make sure everyone is safe and secure while keeping privacy and respect paramount."

A couple of years ago NLCS installed a single IP camera to monitor a small space in The Village at Rockville, a 300-bed healthcare facility with 144 independent living cottages, hospice, respite and short-term rehabilitation facilities. Its current four-year renovations include enhanced rehabilitation services and assisted-living suites. This single test served as a pilot to see how the analog surveillance system could be enhanced with new technology.

"Our old analog system ran off copper but the interface wasn’t very friendly or reliable," said Drew Tannahill, Technical Services Manager, National Lutheran Communities and Services, Rockville, Maryland. "We were looking for a more friendly and robust interface so we could do more with the cameras. Plus, we needed a system that could be easily expanded upon if needed because of our rapid growth and renovation."

One single MOBOTIX camera with 3.1 megapixels records 30 times more detail than traditional CCTV cameras
The cameras installed by Surveillance Secure at The Village of Rockville cover all of the main entrances and exits

Solution

Kim Hartman of MOBOTIX partner and leading systems integrator Surveillance Secure, in collaboration with Global Surveillance System, Inc., the largest distributor of IP video surveillance and low-voltage security equipment in the Washington, DC Metro area, installed 37 MOBOTIX cameras throughout the Village of Rockville, 27 of which were installed externally and 10 internally. Surveillance Secure is a full service provider of IP, digital, wireless surveillance cameras and services in the Washington, D.C. Metro area and throughout the United States. Surveillance Secure works diligently with Global Surveillance System, Inc. to provide strong value, the latest surveillance and access control technology and competitive pricing for all installation projects and cameras that meet client budgets and timelines.

The cameras installed by Surveillance Secure at The Village of Rockville cover all of the main entrances and exits, the parking lot and other high-traffic areas. Six cameras are monitored 24 hours per day; three are configured for facial recognition so the staff can ‘buzz in’ residents and visitors, and keep unwanted guests out; all are set to activate and record when motion is detected; and several MOBOTIX D12 cameras with night and day features that allow the staff to easily see outdoor activity at night, and have pan, tilt and zoom capability to see specific areas when needed. They also have six cameras at The Legacy at North Augusta and plan to install the same surveillance at The Village at Orchard Ridge community when it is complete.

"One single MOBOTIX camera with 3.1 megapixels records 30 times more detail than traditional CCTV cameras"

One of the key reasons NLCS chose to deploy a MOBOTIX surveillance system was due to the cost efficiencies delivered by its decentralised approach to surveillance technology. With this unique concept, each camera incorporates a high-speed computer and internal flash memory card (SD/MicroSD card) to enable all recording and storage to occur within the camera, reducing the need for a separate PC or DVR. The addition of MxControlCenter, a professional video management software package that connects any number of cameras at any location with centralised or local, user-based operation and evaluation, with the cameras at no additional charge was also deemed to be an ROI enhancer. The usability of the VMS platform enabled NLCS to get its staff up-and-running in no time.

"Working with Kim we were shown how easy it is to operate and everyone got up to speed really quickly," Tannahill said. "The motion detection, PTZ and IP features have met our needs without bogging down our network, and it can easily be added to or changed based on where our renovation takes us."

Furthermore, the MOBOTIX cameras provide a high level of video quality through its use of megapixel sensors. One single MOBOTIX camera with 3.1 megapixels records 30 times more detail than traditional CCTV cameras. As a result, larger image areas of up to 360-degree views are possible. This reduces the number of cameras needed in any environment and therefore, upfront and long-term costs are minimised.

Results

It may seem like a small addition, but not to the residents that have been demanding it for years: The Village at Rockville now has a gym. Thanks to the surveillance system, the staff can keep an eye on the workout room and quickly react to an emergency without making the residents feel as though they are losing their independence.

"The residents always wanted a place to workout," Malengo said. "But we were faced with the challenge of, ‘how do we provide this to allow them to maintain their independence and health, but also ensure their safety?’ What if someone slipped and fell on the treadmill, how would we handle that? With the camera system in place they can workout at their leisure and we can make sure they’re safe without interfering."

The benefits of the surveillance solution from MOBOTIX have also helped prevent problems that are fairly unique to the senior communities. Residents suffering from dementia are often prone to wandering, or attempting to leave the premises unknowingly. The situation might cause a severe panic at similar places, but the team at NLCS can easily use the cameras to see where the resident was last seen in the building, in addition to several other security measures that are in place.

Finally, NLCS’ proactive approach to safety provides its obvious purpose: peace of mind. They are simultaneously protecting their residents from any day-to-day risks and employees from any situation that could harm them.

"It’s also been great for the staff. It gives them the peace of mind and they don’t feel like they’re completely alone," Tannahill said. "It’s nice to know the cameras are around. We aren’t faced with much crime but it’s nice to know the cameras are there."

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Managing security during unprecedented times of home working
Managing security during unprecedented times of home working

Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk. Access is king In a typical office with an on-premise data centre, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. 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). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organisations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months.   More speed less haste In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behaviour of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results. There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education programme. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices of employees.

How does audio enhance security system performance?
How does audio enhance security system performance?

Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems? 

How have standards changed the security market?
How have standards changed the security market?

A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?