As a consequence of COVID-19, many hospitals have needed to quickly erect new portable buildings to expand the capacity of certain sensitive areas. This in turn has created a requirement to immediately expand the scope of existing CCTV systems to ensure control room operators are able to monitor and react appropriately to any suspicious activity in the vicinity of the new buildings.

New Cross Hospital, which is run by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, is just one of many hospitals throughout the UK who are faced with the challenge of ensuring all areas of its campus can be monitored 24/7. Providing 700 beds and employing almost 9,500 staff, it is the largest teaching hospital in the Black Country, having been originally built circa 1900 as a workhouse.

Cost-effective solution

We clearly needed to find a much simpler and cost-effective solution which would enable our clients to take full advantage"

The need to install a new 4K camera in a location over 300 metres from the hospital’s control room initially seemed daunting in terms of the cost of laying the network cabling normally needed to transmit ultra-high definition captured by IP cameras.

“Apart from the cost of the engineering work and the disruption caused by installing the new cabling, it would also have taken several days to achieve,” said Dan Mather, Director of Derby based JKE Security, who have had a long term working relationship with the Trust. “We clearly needed to find a much simpler and cost-effective solution which would enable our clients to take full advantage of the superb quality images captured by 4K cameras and, if necessary, pass evidence of any wrongdoing to police.”

Electronic security products

Dan Mather sought advice from Smart R Distribution, the Haverhill based specialist electronic security products distributor. They were able to offer him an assurance that their own brand 602POE-2P single port PoE Ethernet Extender would be able to reliably support a new 4K Wisenet PNP-9200RH dome camera, by facilitating the transmission of the IP images over the hospital’s existing coaxial cabling.

The Smart R 602POE-2P single port PoE Ethernet Extender has been proven to be able to robustly transmit data over any 2 wire cable, and with the ability to handle bandwidth of up to 200Mbps, is more than capable of coping with the transmission demands of the Wisenet 4K camera.

Safe working environment

It was truly a case of plug & play, with both devices installed, configured and working within half a day"

“Although we did not source the camera from Smart R, it could not have been easier to connect it to the Ethernet Extender,” said Dan. “It was truly a case of plug & play, with both devices installed, configured and working within half a day!”

Commenting on the successful installation of the new camera, Paul Smith, Head of Security and Car Parking for the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust said: “It is essential during this challenging time that we are able to continue to provide a secure and safe working environment for all our heroic colleagues who are so compassionately caring for people who have contracted COVID-19."

Electronic security supply chain

"I have been impressed with how quickly various companies within the electronic security supply chain have been able to come together and use their combined expertise to provide us with an effective and cost-effective solution.”

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COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems
COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems

Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favour are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. Touchless biometric systems in demand The trend has translated into a sharp decline in purchase of touch modality and a sharp increase in the demand for touchless systems, says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Biometrics solutions are being affected unequally, depending on whether they involve touch sensing, he says. Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads “Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Zarrabi. “From our company’s experience, we see it as a huge catalyst for touchless suppliers. We have projects being accelerated for touchless demand and have closed a number of large contracts very fast. I’m sure it’s true for anyone who is supplying touchless solutions.” Biometric systems are also seeing the addition of thermal sensors to measure body temperature in addition to the other sensors driving the system. Fingerscans and hybrid face systems TBS offers 2D and 3D systems, including both fingerscans and hybrid face/iris systems to provide touchless identification at access control points. Contactless and hygienic, the 2D Eye system is a hybrid system that combines the convenience of facial technology with the higher security of iris recognition. The system recognises the face and then detects the iris from the face image and zeros in to scan the iris. The user experiences the system as any other face recognition system. The facial aspect quickens the process, and the iris scan heightens accuracy. TBS also offers the 2D Eye Thermo system that combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module. TBS's 2D Eye Thermo system combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module Another TBS system is a 3D Touchless Fingerscan system that provides accuracy and tolerance, anti-spoofing, and is resilient to water, oil, dust and dirt. The 2D+ Multispectral for fingerprints combines 2D sensing with “multispectral” subsurface identification, which is resilient to contaminants and can read fingerprints that are oily, wet, dry or damaged – or even through a latex glove. In addition, the 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue. The system fills the market gap for consent-based true on-the-fly systems, says Zarrabi. The system captures properties of the hand and has applications in the COVID environment, he says. The higher accuracy and security ratings are suitable for critical infrastructure applications, and there is no contact; the system is fully hygienic. Integration with access control systems Integration of TBS biometrics with a variety of third-party access control systems is easy. A “middleware” subsystem is connected to the network. Readers are connected to the subsystem and also to the corporate access control system. An interface with the TBS subsystem coordinates with the access control system. For example, a thermal camera used as part of the biometric reader can override the green light of the access control system if a high temperature (suggesting COVID-19 infection, for example) is detected. The enrollment process is convenient and flexible and can occur at an enrollment station or at an administration desk. Remote enrollment can also be accomplished using images from a CCTV camera. All templates are encrypted. Remotely enrolled employees can have access to any location they need within minutes. The 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue Although there are other touchless technologies available, they cannot effectively replace biometrics, says Zarrabi. For example, a centrally managed system that uses a Bluetooth signal from a smart phone could provide convenience, is “touchless,” and could suffice for some sites. However, the system only confirms the presence and “identity” of a smart phone – not the person who should be carrying it. “There has been a lot of curiosity about touchless, but this change is strong, and there is fear of a possible second wave of COVID-19 or a return in two or three years,” says Zarrabi. “We really are seeing customers seriously shifting to touchless.”

How to maximise your body temperature detection systems
How to maximise your body temperature detection systems

There are many companies jumping into selling temperature detection systems to the state, local governments, hospitals, airports and local businesses, but do they know how to drive one? Anyone can get behind a car and drive it into a wall by accident. The same can happen with a temperature detection system.  The first thing you should ask is “does my firm have a certified thermographer?”. If not, the firm are at risk of getting a low quality system that is being resold to make quick cash. Businesses that are doing this do not know how to operate it properly. Asking the right questions Secondly, you should ask whether the system is NDAA compliant. NDAA compliance means that your temperature detection equipment is protected by U.S. law. Does your system have a HSRP device (blackbody)? HSRP (Heat Source Reference Point) is a device that will allow the camera to detect the correct temperature a distance. Even if the room temperature does change throughout the day, treat it as a reference point for the camera to know the temperature at that distance. Can your system scan mutliple people at once? Can your system scan mutliple people at once? This is a bad question but often asked since most systems will say yes. For ease, everyone wants to scan many people at once, but the best practice according to FDA and CDC guidelines is to run one person at a time for best accuracy. Why? The HSRP (blackbody) device tells the camera what the correct temperature is at a given distance away from the camera. Every foot you are away from the HSRP device will be off by 0.1 degrees roughly. If you are in a room full of people, let's say 6, in view of the camera, every person that is not next to the HSRP device (5) will be given an inaccurate reading. Hence why it is so important to run the system correctly with just one person at a time. You will also need to follow the 6 feet rule. If you take that into consideration, one at a time at 6 feet apart, the device should tell you how you need to run the system. Sensitivity of thermal imaging Is your system’s sensor accurate enough? The FDA recommends an error of ±0.5°C or better. When looking for a system, make sure it is better than what they recommend. I would recommend ±0.3°C or better. Do not purchase a system over ±-.5°C degrees as you are doing yourself and your customers or employees an injustice.  Another thing to look at is how many pixels it can determine the temperature from. Some cameras can only tell the temperature of 6 points on the screen, whilst others can take a temperature reading from each pixel. Take a 384x288 camera, for example, which would be over 110,000 points of temperature taking on a single image.      Thermal cameras are very sensitive, so there are a lot of do’s and don’ts. For example, the system cannot see through glasses or hats. On the below image you can see a person with the visual camera on the right, whilst on the left side is through a thermal camera.  Both are pointing at the same area. It is clear the person on the left side is “invisible” to the thermal imaging camera. Demonstrating the sensitivity of thermal imaging If you are a company who wants to detect the temperature of customers or employees though the front door, window or a car window, the answer would be no. You need a clear line of sight without any interference to scan for temperatures. Other things you need to look out for is wind and distance away from the HSRP (blackbody) device. Air and distance away from the HSRP device will make the system less and less accurate the more space between the device. Air and distance away from the HSRP device will make the system less and less accurate Thermal imaging and COVID-19 If you have a clear line of sight, is there anything I need to know? The answer is yes. Reflective materials such as metal can interfere with your temperature readings. Reflective materials are easily picked up from the thermal side so pointing at a medal, glass or anything reflective can cause inaccuracies within the system. In the age of COVID-19, temperature detection systems are more important than ever. Organisations must get a system in place to help scan for high temperatures in order to reduce the spread of the virus.

What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?
What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?

Protecting the oil and gas market is key to a thriving economy. The list of security challenges for oil and gas requires the best technology solutions our industry has to offer, from physical barriers to video systems to cybersecurity. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?