Since 2008, Transportation Impact, a privately held 5-time Inc. 5000 company, has been providing maximum supply chain cost reduction for clients in multiple vertical markets. The company, which is based in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, has made a huge impact on the bottom line for clients by reducing shipping costs through small package and freight negotiation along with their state-of-the-art transportation management system.

Today, the company employs a team of 70 to employees and contractors, with more than 300 years of combined carrier experience, leveraging its industry savvy to drive down clients’ net annual freight spend by an average of more than 20 percent. By staying true to its core values of work ethic, professionalism, perfection, integrity and passion, Transportation Impact has developed a strong presence in its community, is among the fastest-growing businesses in the country and has been named among the Best Workplaces 2017.

With two ultra-modern office buildings based in North Carolina, the safety and security of the company’s dedicated employees and infrastructure became a major priority for Transportation Impact. It was time for the company to invest in an industry leading access control system to protect their valued employees now and down the road.

Securing conference room and executive areas

Transportation Impact is dedicated to making a significant impact on its clients’ bottom line and this dedication proliferates into their internal operations. With 70 employees working out of two office buildings in Emerald Isle, NC; they needed an access control solution to safeguard employees and their infrastructure.

The company’s corporate headquarters reside in a building that consists of 4 floors with two floors containing executive offices and conference rooms and the top two floors housing a restaurant and bar which is open to the public. The biggest challenge Transportation Impact found with a shared building is the common occurrence for the public to walk in on private meetings taking place in the conference rooms and inquire about the location of the restaurant. Having the public enter Transportation Impact’s office at will was not only a disruption, but a security risk for employees and private company information and systems. It was imperative that the conference room and executive areas were safeguarded from unauthorised access.

Having the public enter
Transportation Impact’s
office at will was not only
a disruption, but a security
risk for employees

ISONAS Pure IP™ access control solution

With its rampant growth, it was time for the company to increase the level of security at their facility and invest in an access control solution that was simple to administer across multiple buildings, could handle the addition of geographically dispersed locations and provide their users with a convenient method to access the buildings. Transportation Impact needed a special delivery, the right access control solution from their trusted security integrator, Electronic Solutions. Electronic Solutions has been working with Transportation Impact over the last few years and understood their need for a simple and convenient access control solution. Ron Snyder, President at Electronic Solutions and an ISONAS certified partner, delivered the ISONAS Pure IP™ access control solution in the fall of 2016 starting with a pilot program for ISONAS’s new RC-04 reader-controller all managed from the ISONAS software, Pure Access cloud.

Transportation Impact was one of the first companies to use the new hardware product and provide feedback on the functionality and usability of the system. In addition, they were one of the first to take advantage of the Pure Mobile credentials from ISONAS.

“ISONAS is a great team to work with as they are all about supporting their certified dealers and offering top notch customer service to help make the implementation process seamless,” states Ron Snyder, President at Electronic Solutions. “The ISONAS solution is a great product and so much easier than the past access control systems that required running several cables to install it. ISONAS offers a simple solution, which only requires an ISONAS reader-controller and a CAT 5 cable for power and data; making it an easy deployment for customers.”

Together, ISONAS and Electronic Solutions made a huge impact and created a safer workplace environment for Transportation Impact with convenient security at a minimal cost.

Convenient mobile access control

One key challenge that drove Transportation Impact and Electronic Solutions of Greenville to choose ISONAS was the need for convenient access for their users. Upon the initial installation, Transportation Impact utilised key fobs to provide access to their users. Unfortunately, a number of the key fobs were lost which resulted in employees propping open doors; circumventing the security and effectiveness of the access control solution. With the number of lost key fobs, Transportation Impact needed to find a way to incorporate access control into their employees’ normal, everyday practices. The ISONAS Pure Mobile credential allowed them to take the convenience of their mobile phone to the next level. The Bluetooth® Low Energy feature of the Pure IP™ hardware family (RC-04) eliminated the need for a physical card or key fob and allowed a mobile device to act as an access card.

With the simplicity of Pure Mobile in combination with Pure Access, there was no need to install additional software, purchase additional licenses to enroll mobile credentials, or acquire a massive bank of credentials. The RC-04 hardware and Pure Access software are ready to use with the ISONAS Pure Mobile credentials right out of the box. An employee at Transportation Impact can simply download the Pure Mobile application to their phone, present it to a reader-controller, and the facility administrator associates that mobile phone to the user’s profile.

In addition to having mobile
access, we really liked having
the ability to automate on a
schedule and set the doors
to lock and unlock during
certain times of the day
"

We were looking for an easy-to-use access control solution that allowed access with the touch of a button and we found it,” says Norm Pollock, VP of Information Technology at Transportation Impact. “In addition to having mobile access, we really liked having the ability to automate on a schedule and set the doors to lock and unlock during certain times of the day all from the Pure Access Cloud software.”

With this new technological advancement delivered to their door, Transportation Impact had the right solution in place to avoid the days of lost key fobs. By having employees use their smart phones as a credential to enter the building, the company could rest easy knowing that they were protected and in a secure operation.

Pure Access Cloud Software

With a successful pilot program under their belt, Transportation Impact currently has 11 ISONAS RC-04 reader controllers installed across two office buildings all administered from the Pure Access Cloud software, giving them access from anywhere at any time. Pure Access cloud eliminated the need for any additional onsite network infrastructure and provided full administrative and management power of their access control system from any device. Now they can assign users to the system, establish access schedules, events and holidays preventing doors from being propped open and surprise visits from the public. With 9 doors secured in their corporate headquarters and two installed in their second building on the front and back doors; Transportation Impact is ready for business.

ISONAS, Electronic Solutions of Greenville, and Transportation Impact all took the high road and worked together to implement a new access control system that helped to improve safety while being convenient at the corporate headquarters. With plans of a third office building in the works, it will be an easy road for Transportation Impact to add additional doors to their powerful access control system; now and in the future.

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2018 FIFA World Cup Russia integrates safety, security and service
2018 FIFA World Cup Russia integrates safety, security and service

The 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament is bringing 32 national teams and more than 400,000 foreign football fans from all over the world to 12 venues in 11 cities in Russia. Fans are crowding into cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan. Given continuing global concerns about terrorism, security is top-of-mind. Protection of the World Cup games in Russia is focusing on an “integrated safety, security and service approach,” according to officials. Combining the term “security” with the terms “safety” and “service” is not an accident. An aggressive security stance is necessary, but at the end of the day, fan safety is paramount, and a service-oriented approach ensures a positive fan experience. Medical responders will be working side-by-side with police and antiterrorism personnel. Risk management best practices We asked Sean T. Horner and Ben Joelson, directors of the Chertoff Group, a global advisory firm focused on best practices in security and risk management, to comment on security at FIFA World Cup 2018. Although not involved in securing the 2018 World Cup, the Chertoff Group is experienced at securing large events and enterprises using risk management, business practices and security. Integration is another important aspect of protecting the games, says Horner. The use of multiple resources, including Russian military, intelligence and law enforcement, will be closely integrated to provide the best security for the large-scale event in each of the host cities, he says. The approach will be centralised and flexible, with resource deployment guided by effective situational awareness. Primary security and emergency operations centres will be dispersed throughout each host city “There is a unified command structure at the Russian Federation level, and they will keep resources in reserve and shift them as needed to various events and venues based on any specific intelligence, in effect deploying resources where threats are greatest,” says Joelson. “There will also be some regional commands, and resources will incorporate a spectrum of police and military personnel ranging from the ‘cop on the beat’ to the Spetsnaz, the Russian ‘special forces'.” Primary security and emergency operations centres will be dispersed throughout each host city, and additional forces can be shifted as necessary, he notes. Role of law enforcement In Russia, the lines of separation between law enforcement and the military are not as stark as in the United States, for example, where military forces are restricted from deployment for domestic law enforcement by the Posse Comitatus Act. In Russia, there is no such restriction.  A broad range of technology will play a role at the World Cup, Horner and Joelson agree. Technology will be used primarily as a force multiplier and a decision-support tool for security personnel. There are robust CCTV systems in many Russian cities, and mobile CCTV systems, such as camera towers or mobile security centres on wheels, will also be deployed. Technologies will include infrared cameras, flood lights, and ferromagnetic screening systems to scan hundreds of individuals as they walk by. In some locations, facial recognition systems will be used, tied into various intelligence, military and law enforcement databases of known bad actors. Behaviour analytics will be used as a decision-support tool. In addition to security in public areas, private CCTV systems in hotels, at transportation hubs, and inside the venues themselves will be leveraged. Video analytics and detection will help personnel review live view of people who may be acting suspiciously or who leave a bag unattended. In some locations, facial recognition systems will be used, tied into various intelligence, military and law enforcement databases of known bad actors Rigorous anti-terrorism measures A Fan ID card is required to enter the 2018 World Cup Tournament, even for Russian residents. The Russians have an aggressive stance against domestic terrorism, which will also help ensure the safety of the World Cup games, say Horner and Joelson. Terrorist group ISIS has promised “unprecedented violence” at the games, but they make similar threats at every major global event. Russia has been an active force disrupting ISIS in Syria, and experts suggest that losing ground geographically could lead to addition “asymmetric” terrorist attacks. However, Russia is leveraging all their intelligence resources to identify any plots and deploying their security apparatus to disrupt any planned attacks, experts say. Russia’s rigorous anti-terrorism measures include a total ban on planes and other flying devices (such as drones) around the stadiums hosting the World Cup. Private security In addition to military, intelligence and law enforcement personnel, private security will play a have a high profile during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Private security personnel will be on the front lines in hotels and in “fan zones.” They will operate magnetometers at entrances, perform bag checks, enforce restrictions on hand-carried items, etc. Private security will be especially important to the “guest experience” aspects of protecting the games. Private security will be especially important to the “guest experience” aspects of protecting the games Another private security function at the World Cup is executive protection of dignitaries and high-net-worth individuals who will be attending. Executive protection professionals will arrive early, conduct advanced security assessments before VIPs arrive, and secure trusted and vetted transportation (including armoured cars in some cases.) VIPs will include both Russian citizens and foreign (including U.S.) dignitaries attending the games. Private security details will be out in force. Aggressive security approach Overeager and outspoken fans are a part of the football culture, but Russia will deploy a near-zero tolerance policy against hooliganism and riots. An overwhelming force presence will take an aggressive approach to curbing any civil disturbances, and offenders will be removed quickly by Russian security forces. Strict restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol will be enforced in the venue cities before and after the matches. Officials will also be cognisant of the possibility of a riot or other event being used as a distraction to draw attention from another area where a terrorist event is planned. It will be a delicate balance between deploying an aggressive security approach and preserving the fan experience. Joelson notes that freedom of speech is not as valued in Russia as in other parts of the world, so the scales will be even more tipped toward security. “The last thing they want is for things to get out of control,” says Horner. “The event is putting Russia on the world stage, and they want visitors to walk away safely after having a great time and wanting to go back in the future.” Attendees should also have good situational awareness, and keep their heads up, scanning crowds and identifying unsafe situations" Precautions for World Cup attendees Attendees to the World Cup in Russia should take some basic precautions, Horner and Joelson agree. For example, Russia requires a translated, notarised letter explaining any prescription drugs. The country has a more aggressive foreign intelligence environment, so visitors cannot depend on their data being private. Joelson recommends the usual “social media hygiene” and privacy settings. Visitors should not post information about their travel plans or locations, and it’s best to travel with a disposable mobile phone that does not contain personal information. Location tracking should be deactivated. Travellers should also beware of talking and sharing information with others, or of saying anything derogatory. “They should also have good situational awareness, and keep their heads up, scanning crowds and identifying unsafe situations,” says Joelson. “If you bring a personal electronic device, you should expect that it has been compromised,” says Horner. Text messages and email will not be private, and he suggests creating an email address used only for travel. Don’t leave drinks unattended. Travellers from the U.S. should register at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) operated by the U.S. State Department. “Plan before you travel and before you get to the airport,” says Horner.

The benefits and challenges of in-camera audio analytics for surveillance solutions
The benefits and challenges of in-camera audio analytics for surveillance solutions

Audio is often overlooked in the security and video surveillance industry. There are some intercom installations where audio plays a key role, but it’s not typically thought about when it comes to security and event management. Audio takes a back seat in many security systems because audio captured from a surveillance camera can have a different impact on the privacy of those being monitored. Audio surveillance is therefore subject to strict laws that vary from state to state. Many states require a clearly posted sign indicating audio recording is taking place in an area before a person enters. Analytic information derived from audio can be a useful tool and when implemented correctly, removes any concerns over privacy or legal compliance. Audio analytics on the edge overcomes legal challenges as it never passes audio outside of the camera Focused responses to events Audio analytics processed in the camera, has been a niche and specialised area for many installers and end users. This could be due to state laws governing audio recording, however, audio analytics on the edge overcomes legal challenges as it never passes audio outside of the camera Processing audio analytics in-camera provides excellent privacy since audio data is analysed internally with a set of algorithms that only compare and assess the audio content. Processing audio analytics on the edge also reduces latency compared with any system that needs to send the raw audio to an on-premises or cloud server for analysis. Audio analytics can quickly pinpoint zones that security staff should focus on, which can dramatically shorten response times to incidents. Audio-derived data also provides a secondary layer of verification that an event is taking place which can help prioritise responses from police and emergency personnel. Having a SoC allows a manufacturer to reserve space for specialised features, and for audio analytics, a database of reference sounds is needed for comparison Microphones and algorithms Many IP-based cameras have small microphones embedded in the housing while some have a jack for connecting external microphones to the camera. Microphones on indoor cameras work well since the housing allows for a small hole to permit sound waves to reach the microphone. Outdoor cameras that are IP66 certified against water and dust ingress will typically have less sensitivity since the microphone is not exposed. In cases like these, an outdoor microphone, strategically placed, can significantly improve outdoor analytic accuracy. There are several companies that make excellent directional microphones for outdoor use, some of which can also combat wind noise. Any high-quality external microphone should easily outperform a camera’s internal microphone in terms of analytic accuracy, so it is worth considering in areas where audio information gathering is deemed most important. In-built audio-video analytics Surveillance cameras with a dedicated SoC (System on Chip) have become available in recent years with in-built video and audio analytics that can detect and classify audio events and send alerts to staff and emergency for sounds such as gunshots, screams, glass breaks and explosions. Having a SoC allows a manufacturer to reserve space for specialised features. For audio analytics, a database of reference sounds is needed for comparison. The camera extracts the characteristics of the audio source collected using the camera's internal or externally connected microphone and calculates its likelihood based on the pre-defined database. If a match is found for a known sound, e.g., gunshot, explosion, glass break, or scream, an event is triggered, and the message is passed to the VMS. If a match is found for a known sound, e.g., gunshot, explosion, glass break, or scream, an event is triggered, and the message is passed to the VMS Configuring a camera for audio analytics Audio detectionThe first job of a well-configured camera or camera/mic pair is to detect sounds of interest while rejecting ancillary sounds and noise below a preset threshold. Each camera must be custom configured for its particular environment to detect audio levels which exceed a user-defined level. Since audio levels are typically greater in abnormal situations, any audio levels exceeding the baseline set levels are detected as being a potential security event. Operators can be notified of any abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measures. Finding a baseline of background noise and setting an appropriate threshold level is the first step. Installers should be able to enable or disable the noise reduction function and view the results to validate the optimum configuration during setup Noise reductionA simple threshold level may not be adequate enough to reduce false alarms depending on the environment where a camera or microphone is installed. Noise reduction is a feature on cameras that can reduce background noise greater than 55dB-65dB for increased detection accuracy. Installers should be able to enable or disable the noise reduction function and view the results to validate the optimum configuration during setup. With noise reduction enabled, the system analyses the attenuated audio source. As such, the audio source classification performance may be hindered or generate errors, so it is important to use noise reduction technology sparingly. Audio source classificationIt’s important to supply the analytic algorithm with a good audio level and a high signal-to-noise ratio to reduce the chance of generating false alarms under normal circumstances. Installers should experiment with ideal placement for both video as well as audio. While a ceiling corner might seem an ideal location for a camera, it might also cause background audio noise to be artificially amplified. Many cameras provide a graph which visualises audio source levels to allow for the intuitive checking of noise cancellation and detection levels. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly Messages and eventsIt’s important to choose a VMS that has correctly integrated the camera’s API (application programming interface) in order to receive comprehensive audio analytic events that include the classification ID (explosion, glass break, gunshot, scream). A standard VMS that only supports generic alarms, may not be able to resolve all of the information. More advanced VMS solutions can identify different messages from the camera. Well configured audio analytics can deliver critical information about a security event, accelerating response times and providing timely details beyond video-only surveillance. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly. Hanwha Techwin's audio source classification technology, available in its X Series cameras, features three customisable settings for category, noise cancellation and detection level for optimum performance in a variety of installation environments.

How important is packaging in the commercial security market?
How important is packaging in the commercial security market?

High-quality products are the building blocks of successful physical security systems. How they are packaged may sometimes be seen as an unimportant detail or an afterthought. But should it be? Effective packaging can serve many functions, from creating a favorable customer impression to ensuring the product isn’t damaged in transit. Packaging can also contribute to ease of installation. On the negative side, excess packaging can be an environmental concern, especially for customers who are sensitive to green factors or to minimising waste. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is packaging of products important in the commercial security market? Why or why not?