Total Ghana, a leading oil and gas company with over 200 service stations in Ghana, is one such business that needs around-the-clock security not only for its premises based in Accra but also for its many service stations.

Total is dedicated to delivering quality petroleum products and serving its customers in innovative ways. This means Total’s consumer operations involve a concentration of vehicle and pedestrian activity with people fueling vehicles and moving between the retail outlets. This leads to complex security and safety challenges and keeping track of it all is not possible without an effective security system.

Facilities and workers’ security

With the continuing growth of its business, Total needed a solution that would strengthen security of its premises and new service stations being opened across the country. The safety of Total’s workers is paramount and, in addition to securing its premises and stations, the company wanted to automate the monitoring of its operations to ensure compliance with safety procedures.

Total turned to Steehold, a security solutions provider in Ghana renowned for protecting companies across industries including financial services, mining, petrochemicals, and telecommunications. Steehold was tasked with not only installing a new security system but also ongoing security monitoring and management across Total’s operations in Ghana.

Steehold’s video security system From the moment we engaged with Steehold, we knew they understood the security challenges facing our business"

From the moment we engaged with Steehold, we knew they understood the security challenges facing our business. For example, petrol stations operate day and night so video cameras need to provide excellent imagery in variable lighting conditions and we need to monitor areas both inside and outside. If cameras lack certain features, then the images they record may be insufficient for analysis, or for use as evidence, should it be required. Steehold knew how to combat these issues while also providing an effective monitoring tool for operational efficiency and worker safety,” explained Total executive.

Steehold needed a video surveillance system that would cover Total’s premises and service stations from all directions and it knew exactly which solution would meet Total’s needs.

IP video surveillance solution

We choose Hikvision as we knew its video cameras were grounded in innovation and quality, providing the best video footage in the widest range of conditions to help Total’s business,” said Samuel Tawiah, executive director, Steehold.

Following extensive consultation with Total staff, the final design of the surveillance solution at the facility and new services stations consisted of 120 Hikvision IP cameras to enable high quality 24/7 surveillance across the Total’s premises and its new service stations in Ghana.

Hikvision Easy IP 3.0 cameras and NVRs Hikvision Easy IP 3.0 cameras feature a wealth of innovative technologies to combat low-light, bright-light, and extreme weather conditions

The Hikvision Easy IP 3.0 cameras feature a wealth of innovative technologies to combat low-light, bright-light, and extreme weather conditions, while still providing superlative image quality. The cameras also include capabilities such as object tracking, line crossing, intrusion detection, and motion detection, with the ability to trigger alerts and make security staff immediately aware of any suspicious behaviour.

At the heart of the solution lies Hikvision’s NVRs, which store up to 12 terabytes of recorded footage from all cameras.

IP cameras, PoE and video encoders

While Total wanted to upgrade to an IP system, it had already invested heavily in CCTV cameras and wanted to retain the cameras that were functioning well. Steehold installed Hikvision’s video encoders which convert the existing cameras’ analog signals into digital. These encoders are connected to the NVR, and the system treats them like the other IP cameras.

Steehold installed the IP cameras itself as the cameras are PoE (Power over Ethernet) which means that power and data is supplied over a single Ethernet cable, making installation much easier because they don't have to be located next to a plug socket.

Hikvision remote video surveillance system Total is already reaping the benefits from the newly installed Hikvision video surveillance system

Total is already reaping the benefits from the newly installed Hikvision video surveillance system. It provides the ability for Steehold to monitor Total’s entire facility and new services stations in real-time remotely from its control center located in Accra.

“The deployment of Hikvision’s innovative technology into our surveillance solution for Total has proven essential for our security operators to detect intrusion, theft, and damage across Total’s operations. With crystal clear images day and night as well as advanced features that alert security operators of any suspicious behaviour, we are confident we can help Total respond quickly to any breaches,” said Mr. Tawiah.

Watchful IP eyes for operational safety

Hikvision’s video surveillance system also helps Steehold operators to remotely monitor processes across Total’s premises, enabling supervisors to enhance processes to improve workflow and ensure the safety of workers.

At Total, the safety of employees is of utmost importance. Data from Steehold generated by Hikvision’s video surveillance system plays an integral role in helping us keep our employees safe and our operations compliant with safety policies. It provides a definitive way to ensure safety policies are being followed and that there are no hazards presenting a harmful threat to our employees,” said Total executive.

Intrusion detection Hikvision’s security cameras deliver a live and recorded view of the facility which is accessible 24/7 and has helped ensure safety protocols are followed

By deploying Steehold’s security solution based on Hikvision’s video surveillance system, Total’s heightened security has kept its facilities and service stations protected against trespassers, theft, and vandalism, and in particular has minimised losses caused by theft in its service stations.

In addition, Hikvision’s security cameras deliver a live and recorded view of the facility which is accessible 24/7 and has helped ensure safety protocols are followed. For example, it has significantly increased employee compliance with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) rules at Total’s sites resulting in a direct and immediate improvement in safety.

Easy, seamless integration

Easy installation and integration with Total’s existing CCTV-enabled Steehold to deliver a cost effective, efficient, high-end video surveillance solution.

Steehold is now planning to use Hikvision’s cutting-edge video monitoring systems as part of its security and emergency response solutions for its other customers, helping them minimise security threats and maximise operational safety and efficiency.

Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Enhance traditional security systems within your smart home
Enhance traditional security systems within your smart home

Market dynamics are changing the U.S. residential security market, creating new business models that better appeal to the approximately 70% of households without a security system. Smart home adjacencies have helped revitalise the traditional security industry, and alternative approaches to systems and monitoring for the security industry are emerging, including a new batch of DIY systems. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras, and other products suffice for their security. Increasingly competitive landscape Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry For instance, IP cameras are a highly popular smart home device rooted in security, and Parks Associates estimates 7.7 million standalone and all-in-one networked/IP cameras will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, with $889M in revenues. Product owners may feel their security needs are fulfilled with this single purchase, as such dealers and service providers are under increasing pressure to communicate their value proposition to consumers. Categorically, each type of player is facing competition uniquely—national, regional, and local dealers all have a different strategy for overcoming the increasingly competitive landscape. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. While white-label devices are acceptable in some instances, dealers need to integrate with hero products whenever possible when those exist for a category. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services are all potential benefits and good for business Improved customer engagement That 2017 survey also revealed 36% of security dealers that offer interactive services report security system sales with a networked camera and 16% report sales with a smart thermostat. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services, enhanced system utility, increased daily value, and improved customer engagement with the system are all potential benefits and good for business. Security has served as the most productive channel for smart home solutions, mainly because the products create natural extensions of a security system’s functions and benefits, but as smart home devices, subsystems, and controllers expand their functionality, availability, and DIY capabilities, many standalone devices constitute competition to classical security. Particularly viable substitute devices include IP cameras, smart door locks, smart garage doors, or a combination of these devices. Products that are self-installed offer both convenience and cost savings, and these drivers are significant among DIY consumers—among the 6% of broadband households that installed a security system themselves, 39% did it to save money. Enhance traditional security Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security While many security dealers believe substitute offerings are a threat, some dealers do not find such devices an existential threat but instead view them as another path to consumer awareness. They argue that the difference between smart product substitutes and traditional security is that of a solution that provides knowledge versus a system that gives one the ability to act on that knowledge. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household. For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth Increased market growth A key counterstrategy for security dealers and companies is to leverage their current, powerful role as the prime channel for smart home devices. Many security dealers now include smart home devices with their security systems to complement their offerings and increase system engagement. For example, as of Q4 2017, nearly 70% of U.S. broadband households that were very likely to purchase a security system in the next 12 months reported that they want a camera to be included as part of their security system purchase. In response, many security system providers now offer IP cameras as optional enhancements for their systems. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth. Security dealers have an opportunity to become more than a security provider but a smart home solutions provider rooted in safety. Provide status updates Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services The alternative is to position as a provider of basic security with low price as the key differentiator. Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services independent of security. It has discovered that monetising smart home value propositions through recurring revenue becomes increasingly challenging as the value extends further away from life safety. Since the security industry remains the main channel for smart home services, security dealers are in a unique position to leverage that strength. Value propositions must shift from the traditional arming and disarming of a system to peace-of-mind experiences that builds off the benefits of smart devices in the home to provide status updates (e.g., if the kids arrived home safely) and monitoring at will (e.g., checking home status at any time to see a pet or monitor a package delivery). These types of clear value propositions and compelling use cases, which resonate with consumer and motivate them to expand beyond standalone products, will help expand the home security market.

What is the value of "free" video management systems?
What is the value of "free" video management systems?

They say that every choice has a cost. It's a basic principle that, economically speaking, nothing is free. If it doesn't cost actual money, it may be expensive in terms of time, attention and/or effort. These are interesting observations to keep in mind as one peruses the various "free" video management system (VMS) offerings available on the market. Some are provided by camera companies to unify their products into a "system", even if it's a small one. Other free VMS offerings are entry-level versions offered by software companies with the intent of the customer upgrading later to a paid version. For more insights, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the value of “free” video management systems (VMSs) and how can a customer decide whether “free” is the right price for them?

The ongoing challenge of IT and data risk management
The ongoing challenge of IT and data risk management

Managing IT and data risk is a challenging job. When we outsource our IT, applications and data processing to third-parties more and more every day, managing that risk becomes almost impossible. No longer are our data and systems contained within an infrastructure that we have full control over. We now give vendors our data, and allow them to conduct operations on our behalf.  The problem is, we don’t control their infrastructure, and we can never fully look under the hood to understand and vet their ability to protect our data and operations. We have to fully understand how important this issue is, and ensure we have the right governance, processes and teams to identify and mitigate any risks found in our vendors. No longer are our data and systems contained within an infrastructure that we have full control over Today, everything is connected. Our own networks have Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  We have VPN connections coming in, and we aren’t always sure who is on the other end of that connection. It is a full-time job just to get a handle on our own risk. How much harder, and how much larger should our teams and budgets be, to truly know and trust that our vendors can secure those devices and external connections?  For every device and application we have internally, it is very difficult to even keep an accurate inventory. Do all of our vendors have some special sauce that allows them to overcome the traditional challenges of securing internal and vendor-connected networks? They are doing the same thing we are – doing our best with the limited human and financial resources allocated by our organisation. Risk stratification and control objectives  The benefits of outsourcing operations or using a vendor web application are clear. So how can we properly vet those vendors from an IT risk perspective?  The very first thing we need to put in place is Risk Stratification. Risk Stratification presents a few targeted questions in the purchasing process. These questions include – what type of data will be shared? How much of this data? Will the data be hosted by a vendor? Will this hosting be in the US or offshored? Has the vendor ever had a data breach? These questions allow you to quickly discern if a risk assessment is needed and if so, what depth and breadth.  Risk stratification allows you to make decisions that not only improve your team’s efficiency, but also ensure that you are not being a roadblock to the business Risk stratification allows you to make decisions that not only improve your team’s efficiency, but also ensure that you are not being a roadblock to the business. With risk stratification, you can justify the extra time needed to properly assess a vendor’s security.  And in the assessment of a vendor’s security, we have to consider what control objectives we will use. Control objectives are access controls, policies, encryption, etc. In healthcare, we often use the HITRUST set of control objectives. In assessing against those control objectives, we usually use a spreadsheet.  Today, there are many vendors who will sell us more automated ways to get that risk assessment completed, without passing spreadsheets back and forth. These solutions are great if you can get the additional budget approved.  Multi-factor authentication  Even if we are using old-fashioned spreadsheets, we can ensure that the questions asked of the vendor include a data flow and network/security architecture document.  We want to see the SOC2 report if they are hosting their solution in Amazon, etc. If they are hosting it within their own datacentre, we absolutely want to see a SOC2 Type II report. If they haven’t done that due diligence, should that be a risk for you?  Today, we really need to be requiring our vendors to have multi-factor authentication on both their Internet-facing access, as well as their privileged internal access to our sensitive data. I rate those vendors who do not have this control in place as a high risk. We’ve recently seen breaches that were able to happen because the company did not require administrators or DBAs to use a 2-factor authentication into sensitive customer data sources.  In the assessment of a vendor’s security, one has to consider what control objectives to use This situation brings up the issue of risk acceptance. Who in your organisation can accept a high risk? Are you simply doing qualitative risk assessment – high, medium and low risks? Or are you doing true quantitative risk analysis? The latter involves actually quantifying those risks in terms of likelihood and impact of a risk manifesting, and the dollar amount that could impact your organisation.   So is it a million dollars of risk? Who can accept that level of risk? Just the CEO? These are questions we need to entertain in our risk management programs, and socialised within your organisation.  This issue is so important – once we institute risk acceptance, our organisation suddenly starts caring about the vendors and applications we’re looking to engage.  If they are asked to accept a risk without some sort of mitigation, they suddenly care and think about that when they are vetting future outsourced solutions. Quantitative risk analysis involves quantifying risks in terms of likelihood and impact of a risk manifesting Risk management process  In this discussion, it is important to understand how we think of, and present, the gaps we identify in our risk management processes. A gap is not a risk. If I leave my front door unlocked, is that a control gap or a risk? It is a gap – an unlocked door. What is the risk?  The risk is the loss of property due to a burglary or the loss of life due to a violent criminal who got in because the door was unlocked. When we present risks, we can’t say the vendor doesn’t encrypt data. The risk of the lack of encryption is fines, loss of reputation, etc. due to the breach of data. A gap is not a risk.  Once we’ve conducted our risk analysis, we must then ensure that our contracts protect our organisation? If we’re in healthcare, we must determine if the vendor is, in fact, a true HIPAA Business Associate, and if so we get a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) in place. I also require my organisation to attach an IT Security Amendment to these contracts. The IT Security Amendment spells out those control objectives, and requires each vendor to sign off on those critical controls. We are responsible for protecting our organisation’s IT and data infrastructure – today that often means assessing a 3rd-party’s security controls One final note on risk assessments – we need to tier our vendors. We tier them in different ways – in healthcare a Tier 1 vendor is a vendor who will have our patient information on the Internet. Tiering allows us to subject our vendors to re-assessment. A tier 1 vendor should be re-assessed annually, and may require an actual onsite assessment vs. a desk audit. A tier 2 vendor is re-assessed every 2 years, etc. We are responsible for protecting our organisation’s IT and data infrastructure – today that often means assessing a 3rd-party’s security controls. We must be able to fully assess our vendors while not getting in the way of the business, which needs to ensure proper operations, financial productivity and customer satisfaction. If we truly understand our challenge of vendor risk management, we can tailor our operations to assess at the level needed, identify and report on risks, and follow-up on any risks that needed mitigated.