The world is experiencing unprecedented times. The current crisis continues to impact people and organisations like never before. With most employees working from home, others are on leave or have been laid off. This means that multiple buildings such as offices, warehouses, malls, stores, gyms, and salons have closed their doors. Most governments have delivered guidance to professionals who provide vital services and operations during this time of crisis, and security workers are part of them.

As a security specialist, security service providers left trying to figure out how to protect buildings, structures, and campuses that have been shuttered with no clear open date in mind. Vaion knows that the people have been inundated by articles that promise to fix all their problems during this crisis. The company aims to give the people tangible and specific guidance to help them to efficiently use their existing video security infrastructure to keep their organisation protected.

Video security capabilities

One of the safest ways to continue operations is to allow for remote access to the security system

If a business is considered essential and it remains open, the employees are facing a very different challenge of enforcing social distancing rules while continuing to serve the public. If that’s the current situation, the company has specifically published an article to address the issue. A good example would be the consider that a person’s building has been closed.

If they deployed a video security solution similar to that offered by Vaion - which includes third-party cameras from a variety of vendors – the following are seven tips to help them leverage their existing video security capabilities during the current reality.

  • Tip 1: Use remote access to the security system to achieve remote monitoring

One of the safest ways to continue operations is to allow for remote access to the security system. Make sure that the user has configured their networks and firewalls, and that remote users have the necessary software and licences required to connect to the system. With the vcore video management system (VMS), all remote access is done via vcloud. This provides secure access with encryption of all data. Access to the system is via a browser, with no additional software or licensing required for any users.

Fire escape staircase

  • Tip 2: Integrate the video security system with communication tools

Security and operations teams must stay connected especially during this challenging time. It is key to ensure that information about unusual events and alarms is shared among stakeholders instantly. With remote working this may involve additional communication channels that the teams haven’t used before. The users can look at what is available in terms of integrating their VMS with the other tools that they currently use.

With vcore, it is possible to leverage webhooks to send messages to Slack or any other communication tool of their user’s choice to ensure team members are aware of everything relevant happening inside (or outside) their shuttered building. The webhooks send notifications on unusual events, like a suspicious person climbing up a fire escape staircase, to Slack. Users can see the live video of the incident and respond immediately.

Create and document schedule

  • Tip 3: Identify the presence of people and vehicles quickly and accurately

As a security professional, the user needs to be able to identify the presence of people and vehicles inside or outside their shuttered buildings fast and accurately. They might be in a situation where they still need to receive deliveries or allow staff to visit their office briefly for an urgent matter. To make sure that they have complete visibility to who is entering the facilities, they should create and document a schedule of who is allowed to come and go.

Next, they can use rules to determine when someone has crossed a line, for example, at access points. Vaion achieves it using object counting rules in vcore. Users can trigger smart notifications when a certain predetermined number of people and vehicles is detected.

Directional audio detection

  • Tip 4: Understand and respond to incidents using directional audio detection

The current global state of lockdown makes it easier for intruders to exploit isolated doors and windows to enter the vacant facilities. For example, when an intruder breaks a window, cameras with built-in audio analytics can be used to notify operators. They can watch live video or recordings, determine the cause, and take immediate action.

If they have installed smart security cameras with integrated audio detection like vcam, they can get alerted on sounds that seem out of the ordinary (loud noises and glass breaking) to react quickly before additional damage is done. They don’t need to buy other equipment or use software plug-ins to enable audio analytics if they use the Vaion security cameras and video management system.

Real-time notifications 

  • Tip 5: Stay alert with notifications in real-time to deter looting and vandalism

Businesses that have closed their doors only have minimal staff to secure their assets. That’s precisely why it’s critical to have operators focus only on those feeds where something interesting or unusual is happening. Operators who use systems with rules and alarms to determine which video streams are more interesting have their attention drawn to unexpected events.

What’s more, security systems that use machine learning can determine if unusual or anomalous behaviour is happening without operators manually creating rules. These capabilities have two distinct benefits: first, they eliminate the operator fatigue, and second, they make operators efficient when an unexpected event has occurred.

The goal is for the team to be alerted immediately to prevent an intruder bent on damaging the property

The company can’t overemphasise enough the need for an agile solution with the ability to truly configure for the user’s needs - from rules for appearance, loitering and line crossing to counts and sound detection. The goal is for the team to be alerted immediately to prevent an intruder bent on damaging the property.

Configure access password

  • Tip 6: Share clips securely to increase collaboration among various teams

Post-incident, it’s necessary to review relevant clips with anyone who can bring a swift resolution to a user’s case. It’s critical to be able to securely share links to footage with people who don’t usually have access to their security system, for example, the organisation’s Human Resources, Operational, or Logistics teams, and even the Police.

It is important to make sure any configuration is required to enable this access has been done before it is needed, and test that these external users will be able to access the system as required as well as checking that this access meets the organisation's security requirements. Vaion’s vcore software has the ability to securely share relevant video links internally and externally.

Allow the administrator to configure an access password and determine the duration the clip remains accessible. Once created, the shared links can be viewed from anywhere in the world via the cloud.

Enhanced situational awareness

  • Tip 7: Enhance the user’s situational awareness using maps and live tracking

Additionally, it can identify and track vehicles showing the operator where they are at any time

It’s essential to have a complete picture of the people and vehicles on the site at all times. Maps allow for a simple overview of an area across multiple cameras. Being able to see indications of where people and vehicles are can assist the operator in determining where to focus their attention. By creating maps of all the locations and placing cameras on those maps, it is possible to easily track people or cars as they move around the site.

A VMS like vcore can help the user leverage intelligent maps and computer vision to identify the presence and location of people accurately. Additionally, it can identify and track vehicles showing the operator where they are at any time. This allows for enhanced situational awareness across multiple cameras.

The users must get the help they need now. In addition to these tips on how to secure the shuttered building, the company is offering a no-obligation proof of concept so the public can start using vcore immediately during this challenging period.

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

Author profile

Gratiela Dumitrica Product Marketing Manager, Ava Security

In case you missed it

Wire-free, mobile first and data rich? The future of access control is within almost anyone’s reach
Wire-free, mobile first and data rich? The future of access control is within almost anyone’s reach

The 2020s will be a wireless decade in access control, says Russell Wagstaff from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. He examines the trends data, and looks beyond mobile keys to brand new security roles for the smartphone. The benefits of wire-free electronic access control are well rehearsed. They are also more relevant than ever. A wireless solution gives facility managers deeper, more flexible control over who should have access, where and when, because installing, operating and integrating them is easier and less expensive than wiring more doors. Battery powered locks Many procurement teams are now aware of these cost advantages, but perhaps not their scale. Research for an ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions (AAOS) benchmarking exercise found installation stage to be the largest contributor to cost reduction. Comparing a typical installation of battery-powered Aperio locks versus wired locks at the same scale, the research projected an 80% saving in installers’ labour costs for customers who go cable-free. Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks Operating costs are also lower for wireless: Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks, which normally work via magnets connected permanently to electricity. Wireless locks only ‘wake up’ when presented with a credential for which they must make an access decision. AAOS estimated a 70% saving in energy use over a comparable lock’s lifetime. Find out more about wireless access control at ASSA ABLOY's upcoming 29th June webinar Deploying wireless locks In short, every time a business chooses a wireless lock rather than a wired door, they benefit from both installation and operating cost savings. A recent report from IFSEC Global, AAOS and Omdia reveals the extent to which the advantages of wireless are cutting through. Responses to a large survey of security professionals — end-users, installers, integrators and consultants serving large corporations and small- to medium-sized organisations in education, healthcare, industrial, commercial, infrastructure, retail, banking and other sectors — suggest almost four locations in ten (38%) have now deployed wireless locks as a part or the whole of their access solution. The corresponding data point from AAOS’s 2014 Report was 23%. Electronic access control Electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling Without doubt, electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling: Even after a year when many investments have been deferred or curtailed, the data reveals fast-growing adoption of wireless locks, technologies and systems. Is mobile access control — based on digital credentials or ‘virtual keys’ stored on a smartphone — an ideal security technology for this wire-free future? In fact, the same report finds mobile access is growing fast right now. Among those surveyed, 26% of end-users already offer mobile compatibility; 39% plan to roll out mobile access within two years. Before the mid-2020s, around two-thirds of access systems will employ the smartphone in some way. The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights Driving rapid adoption What is driving such rapid adoption? The convenience benefits for everyday users are obvious — witness the mobile boom in banking and payments, travel or event ticketing, transport, food delivery and countless more areas of modern life. Access control is a natural fit. If you have your phone, you are already carrying your keys: What could be easier? IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022 Less often discussed are the ways mobile management makes life easier for facility and security managers, too. Among those polled for the new Wireless Access Control Report, almost half (47%) agreed that ‘Mobile was more flexible than physical credentials, and 36% believe that mobile credentials make it easier to upgrade employee access rights at any time.’ IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022. Workers in every impacted sector require solutions which can get the job done from anywhere: Access management via smartphone offers this. Site management device The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights. For example, one new reporting and analytics tool for CLIQ key-based access control systems uses an app to collect, visualise and evaluate access data. Security system data could contribute to business success. The app’s clear, visual layout helps managers to instantly spot relevant trends, anomalies or patterns. It’s simple to export, to share insights across the business. Reinvented for learning — not just as a ‘key’ or site management device — the phone will help businesses make smarter, data-informed decisions. The smartphone will also play a major role in security — and everything else — for an exciting new generation of smart buildings. These buildings will derive their intelligence from interoperability. Over 90% of the report’s survey respondents highlighted the importance of integration across building functions including access control, CCTV, alarm and visitor management systems. Genuinely seamless integration They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term Yet in practice, stumbling blocks remain on the road to deeper, genuinely seamless integration. More than a quarter of those polled felt held back by a lack of solutions developed to open standards. ‘Open standards are key for the momentum behind the shift towards system integration,’ notes the Report. As well as being more flexible, open solutions are better futureproofed. Shared standards ensure investments can be made today with confidence that hardware and firmware may be built on seamlessly in the future. They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term. Open solutions and mobile management are critical to achieving the goals which end-users in every vertical are chasing: scalability, flexibility, sustainability, cost-efficiency and convenience.

What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?
What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?

Perimeter security is the first line of defence against intruders entering a business or premises. Traditionally associated with low-tech options such as fencing, the field of perimeter security has expanded in recent years and now encompasses a range of high-tech options. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?

Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world
Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world

With the continued rolling back of COVID restrictions in the UK, there is a palpable sense of relief. A mixture of mass vaccinations, widespread testing, and track and tracing of the infection is helping to enable a healthy bounce back for businesses – with secure access control taking an important role in facilitating this. However, rather than just being a reaction to the wake of the pandemic, there is every sign that the economy, and consequently the security sector as well, are both rebuilding and reshaping for the long-term new normal. Prioritising Safety Already deemed an essential service even during the first wave of the pandemic, the security industry has of course taken a vital role in protecting people and property throughout the crisis. Now that venues in the UK are starting to reopen again, our services are key to occupancy management and ensuring that disease transmission is limited as far as possible. Access control is also key in reassuring people that their safety is a priority. Making the upgrade It’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed with a few “tweaks”  Businesses and organisations have a duty of care to their employees and the safety of visitors – so controlling access, employing lateral flow testing, and deploying suitable Track & Trace mechanisms are all key components. I think those outside our industry are surprised to learn that most of the technology being deployed and used hasn’t just magically developed since COVID appeared – it’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed albeit with a few development “tweaks” or adjustments for the situation at hand. This includes using or installing facial recognition readers rather than using fingerprint or contact tokens, it is swapping to automatic request to exit sensors instead of buttons; it is using powered secure doors rather than having people all grab the same handle. Using mobile credentials is also a key technology choice – why not use the highly secure, easy to manage, cost-effective, and of course contact-free benefits of this approach? Touchless solutions We have seen a clear shift in organisations looking to protect their staff and visitors. For instance, we have a big utility customer in Southeast Asia that has just replaced close to 200 sites using fingerprint readers with an additional facial recognition capability. We have also seen a big rise in demand for touchless request to exit sensors and Bluetooth Low Energy Readers for use with smartphone authentication. Working together Integration of security systems is of course nothing new, but in the post-pandemic or endemic age, it has perhaps never been more important. Installations need to be simple, straightforward, and rapid to help maintain safe distancing but also to ensure systems can be deployed as soon as they are needed. The world is changing and developing rapidly and there is simply no place for systems that don’t work with others or cause the end-user considerable cost and inconvenience to upgrade. This flexible delivery of security solutions perfectly matches the evolving and increasing demands of the market. It’s clear that end-users want systems that work well and can easily integrate with their existing systems – not only security but all the other business components which work in unison with each other over a shared network. Great opportunities ahead The recent work-from-home trend is also clearly changing the way organisations and businesses interact with the built environment. Lots of companies are downsizing, offices are being split up, there is lots of revitalisation and reuse of existing office space – all of which creates considerable opportunities for security providers. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value There are also, in the UK at least, clear signs that the construction industry is rapidly growing again -with a forecast of 8% rebound and growth this year. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value – all positive signs for UK-based security providers. Undoubtedly the highly successful UK vaccination rollout has helped considerably, but there are signs that the Eurozone looks set to improve considerably over the next few months as well. Using integrated access control Undoubtedly the pandemic has made security markets around the world more aware of the benefits of integrated access control in managing the needs of the new normal COVID endemic environment. For example, as a business, we have always had keen interest from the UK healthcare sector, but over the last 12 months, we have seen a big growth in previously modest international markets including Morocco, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand – all of which are very keen to adopt improved access control solutions. Learning the lessons Nobody would deny the last year or so has been unprecedentedly tough on everyone, as a society we have had to make huge changes and sacrifices. Governments, organisations, and businesses all need to be better prepared in the future, to understand the things that went wrong and those that were successful. However, there is a world beyond the immediate pandemic and its effects. Flexible working practices and the changes these will have to the way we live and work will undoubtedly present great opportunities for the security sector in helping the world evolve. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many organisations with regards to their duty of care to employees – particularly when it comes to mental health and providing a sensible work/life balance. Where we work and the safety of these facilities has received far more scrutiny than before. Flexible security systems Integrated security solutions have a vital role to play in not only protecting the safety of people during the post-lockdown return to work but also in the evolution of the built environment and move towards smart cities - which inevitably will now need to consider greater flexibility in securing home working spaces rather than just traditional places of work. Importantly, powerful access control and integrated security systems need to be flexible to the uncertainties ahead. The COVID pandemic has shown that nothing can be considered certain, except the need for greater flexibility and resilience in the way we operate our professional and personal interactions.