Round table contributions
We are living in the age of Big Data, and businesses are inundated with large volumes of data every day. Success depends on capturing, analysing and ultimately transforming that data into information and intelligence that can be used to improve the business. So, it is with today's physical access control and video systems, too, which also generate unprecedented levels of data. But how can we make the data useful to end users and how can they realise its full value? We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: Relating to physical security systems, what is the value of data and how can that value be measured?
In the analogue era, videotape was the storage media of choice for CCTV systems. Since the advent of digital video, and of IP-based systems, a variety of other storage formats have come to the fore, including hard drives, flash drives, SD cards and others. Now we are in the age of the cloud, which offers new opportunities to store vast amounts of video and presents challenges such as bandwidth and cybersecurity. For a current perspective on storage, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: How are new developments in video storage impacting the video surveillance market?
Finding the exact right technology to solve an end user’s problem is challenging, but the rewards are great when an integrator gets it right. A wide range of available product types, price levels and added features increases the likelihood of identifying a technology to solve any problem. But with so many technology and product choices in the marketplace, identifying that one solution can be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. We wondered whether a vast range of product choices is always a good thing. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Are security integrators and end users overwhelmed by “too many choices” related to security equipment and systems? How can they make sense of it all?
Among its many uses and benefits, technology is a handy tool in the fantasy world of movie and television thrillers. We all know the scene: a vital plot point depends on having just the right super-duper gadget to locate a suspect or to get past a locked door. In movies and TV, face recognition is more a super power than a technical function. Video footage can be magically enhanced to provide a perfect image of a license plate number. We have all shaken our heads in disbelief, and yet, our industry’s technical capabilities are improving every day. Are we approaching a day when the “enhanced” view of technology in movies and TV is closer to the truth? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How much has the gap closed between the reality of security system capabilities and what you see on TV (or at the movies)?
Articles by Andrew Palmer
The past decade has seen unprecedented growth in data creation and management. The products and services that consumers use every day – and the systems businesses, large and small, rely on – all revolve around data. The increasing frequency of high-profile data breaches and hacks should be alarming to anyone, and there’s a danger data security could worsen in the coming years. According to DataAge 2025, a report by IDC and Seagate, by 2025, almost 90% of all data created in the global datasphere will require some level of security, but less than half of it will actually be secured. Nuanced approach to data security Security is a circle, not a line. Every actor involved in the handling and processing of data has responsibility for ensuring its securityThe rapid proliferation of embedded systems, IoT, real-time data and AI-powered cognitive systems – as well as new legislation like the European Union’s GDPR – means that data security has to be a priority for businesses like never before. With data used, stored and analysed at both the hardware and software level, we need a new and more nuanced approach to data security. Security is a circle, not a line. Every actor involved in the handling and processing of data has responsibility for ensuring its security. What this means in practice is renewed focus on areas of hardware and software protection that have previously not been top of mind or received large amounts of investment from businesses, with security at the drive level being a prime example. The importance of data-at-rest encryption In a world where data is everywhere, businesses need always-on protection. Data-at-rest encryption helps to ensure that data is secure right down to the storage medium in which it is held in a number of ways. Hardware-level encryption, firmware protection for the hard drive, and instant, secure erasing technology allow devices to be retired with minimal risk of data misuse. Data-at-rest encryption helps to ensure that data is secure right down to the storage medium in which it is held in a number of ways A recent report from Thales Data Threat found that data-at-rest security tools can be a great way to help protect your data. However, it’s important to note that this must be used in conjunction with other security measures to ensure that those that fraudulently gain access to your key management system can’t access your data. Ensuring drives to be Common Criteria compliant One straightforward test any business can do to ensure its storage is as secure as possible is to check whether the drives are Common Criteria compliantDespite the clear benefits, this kind of encryption lags behind other areas, such as network and endpoint security, in terms of the investment it currently receives. The same Thales Data Threat report found that data-at-rest security was receiving some of the lowest levels of spending increases in 2016 (44%), versus a 62% increase for network and a 56% increase for endpoint security. One straightforward test any business can do to ensure its storage is as secure as possible is to check whether the drives are Common Criteria compliant. Common Criteria is an international standard for computer security certification, and drives that meet this standard have a foundational level of protection which users can build on. Providing an additional layer of security The retail industry has seen a spate of security breaches recently, with several major US brands suffering attacks over the busy Easter weekend this year. As frequent handlers of consumer card information, retailers are particularly vulnerable to attack. Data-at-rest encryption could enhance security in these instances, providing an additional layer of security between customer records and the attacker The advanced threats retailers face can often evade security defences without detection. Such a breach could grant attackers unrestricted access to sensitive information for possibly months – some breaches are known to have been detected only after consumer payment details appeared on the dark web. These types of undetected attacks are highly dangerous for retailers, which are relatively helpless to protect consumer information once their defences have been compromised. Data-at-rest encryption could significantly enhance security in these instances, providing an additional layer of security between customer records and the attacker which has the potential to make the stolen data valueless to cyber criminals. Industries in need of data-at-rest encryption Healthcare organisations, which hold highly sensitive customer and patient information, have a strong use case for data-at-rest encryption. With the widespread adoption of electronic patient health records, that data is increasingly more vulnerable to attack. Recent research from the American Medical Association and Accenture revealed that 74% of physicians are concerned over future attacks that may compromise patient records. With the widespread adoption of electronic patient health records, that data is increasingly more vulnerable to attack The financial sector would also benefit from further investment in data-at-rest encryption, given 78% of financial services firms globally are planning on increasing their spending on critical data, according to Thales’ Data Threat Report. It’s helpful to view security as a circle in which every piece of hardware and software handling the data plays its part SMEs and enterprises are not immune to security threats either – with growing numbers of people traveling for work or working remotely, the risk of sensitive business data becoming exposed via device theft is heightened. Usernames and passwords have little use if thieves can simply remove unencrypted hard drives and copy data across. Securing every hardware and software Technology vendors often focus on aspects of hardware and application security that are within their control. This is understandable, but it risks proliferating a siloed approach to data security. There is no single line for data security -- rather, it’s helpful to view it as a circle in which every piece of hardware and software handling the data plays its part. There’s a clear need for more industry dialogue and collaboration to ensure data security is effectively deployed and connected throughout the security circle and across the value chain.
The rise to prominence of smart cities should not go unnoticed. To the untrained eye, you might not realise just how connected your city is and how it’s helping your everyday life. From crossing the road to monitoring water levels, technology is allowing cities to think quicker and act smarter. Data-driven decisions A recent whitepaper by ABI Research has revealed that the total global cost-saving potential offered by smart cities stands at more than $5 trillion. This shows how technological improvements to the places we live offer a significant opportunity to not only improve our personal lives and wellbeing, but to also ensure our cities are able to continue contributing to the wider economy. One of the major areas of technology that is going to shift how we interact with our cities is the Internet of Things (IoT). One benefit will be the ability to use video surveillance to analyse data on large crowds at sporting events The IoT already accounts for swathes of technology and devices operating in the background. However, we’re increasingly seeing these come to the forefront of everyday life, as data becomes increasingly critical. In an IDC study sponsored by Seagate, Data Age 2025 estimates that by 2025, nearly 20% of data will be critical to our daily lives and nearly 10% of that will be hypercritical. Data is no longer just going to provide simple insights and recommendations, it is going to be making decisions that impact the fabric and quality of everyday life. Analysis and application The decisions that this critical data is attached to must be made quickly. A living, breathing city must constantly be monitoring, assessing and utilising data in order to ensure it keeps people safe and mobile. A prime example of this is in the Dutch city of Almere, where the local police force and parking management teams are using surveillance technology to improve congestion and manage traffic flow. This is hugely important when 20% of city traffic is caused by drivers circling around trying to find a parking space, according to Stuart Higgins, Strategic Lead - Cisco Impact. While older cities such as London may not be as equipped with new technology like modern cities, such as Dubai, an appreciation of the different ways individual cities can adopt technology is vital. For those that have the right infrastructure, one key benefit will be the ability to use video surveillance to analyse data on road congestion, or even large crowds at sporting events or national ceremonies. Using this data to spot patterns of behaviour will enable city planners to develop long term solutions to ensure city life runs smoothly. Instant access to connected devices By 2025, an average connected person anywhere in the world will interact with connected devices nearly 4,800 times per day — that’s one interaction approximately every 18 seconds. As access to data becomes the central component to a functioning smart city, the way data is stored has become more important than ever It isn’t just new-paradigm services such as Uber that are causing this. Increasingly, the ability to instantly access data relevant to many aspects of our lives will drive our interactions with these devices, and industries around the world are undergoing a digital transformation motivated by these evolving requirements. The benefits of data access is best shown through Project Green Light in the US city of Detroit, where the police department has partnered with gas stations across the city and the community to improve the quality of life within the neighborhood. The result is a strengthened relationship between public services and private businesses operating in the area. As access to data becomes the central component to a functioning smart city, the way data is stored has become more important than ever. When it comes to surveillance in our cities, the need for not only the technology but the hardware to analyse this data is of imperative importance. Real time data storage availability The growth of real-time data will cause a shift in the type of storage needed in the future – with fast, uncompromised access to data being non-negotiable. Data Age 2025 predicts that by 2025 the global datasphere will grow to 163 zettabytes. The security of our data and how it is stored will be the foundation to any future smart city strategy That’s ten times the 16.1ZB of data generated in 2016. This increase in data will propel the need for data to be available in real-time to heighten the focus on low-latency responsiveness from enterprise edge storage, as well as from the endpoints themselves. The rise in edge computing exemplifies how this demand is already present. The stakes are rising and with them, the critical importance of our data’s veracity and timeliness. It is important to identify city-wide data partnerships, architecture, and standards for effective and safe data sharing when developing a data strategy. Securing stored data It’s important to note that the security of our data and how it is stored will be the foundation to any future smart city strategy, ensuring that safety, regulatory, speed and access requirements are all met. Securing the data that underpins life as we know it is circular, not linear. Every company that creates, uses or touches data has to have a role in keeping it secure and should be the backbone of any smart city. What’s evident however is that digital transformation is shaping the surveillance industry and in turn how our cities operate. As a result, data is the fuel that will ensure the impact is a positive one. People, government and businesses all contribute to the cities of today, so no one can afford to ignore the shift we are seeing. The cities that utilise surveillance data when considering any changes to their infrastructure will ultimately become the cities of tomorrow, not only future-proofing, but prospering in the data-driven age.
Timely and important issues in the security marketplace dominated our list of most-clicked-upon articles in 2018. Looking back at the top articles of the year provides a decent summary of how our industry evolved this year, and even offers clues to where we’re headed in 2019. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the security market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles we posted in 2018 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with a brief excerpt. 1. U.S. President Signs Government Ban on Hikvision and Dahua Video Surveillance The ban on government uses, which takes effect ‘not later than one year after … enactment,’ applies not only to future uses of Dahua and Hikvision equipment but also to legacy installations. The bill calls for an assessment of the current presence of the banned technologies and development of a ‘phase-out plan’ to eliminate the equipment from government uses. 2. Motorola Makes a Splash with Avigilon Video Surveillance Acquisition Early clues point to Motorola positioning Avigilon as part of a broader solution, especially in the municipal/safe cities market. The company says the acquisition will enable more safe cities projects and more public-private partnerships between local communities and law enforcement. Motorola sees Avigilon as ‘a natural extension to global public safety and U.S. federal and military’ applications, according to the company. 3. Impact of Data-Driven Smart Cities on Video Surveillance One of the major areas of technology that is going to shift how we interact with our cities is the Internet of Things (IoT). One benefit will be the ability to use video surveillance to analyse data on large crowds at sporting events The IoT already accounts for swaths of technology and devices operating in the background. However, we’re increasingly seeing these come to the forefront of everyday life, as data becomes increasingly critical. Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency 4. CES 2018: Security Technologies Influencing the Consumer Electronics Market Familiar players at security shows also have a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For example, Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency. Many consumer technologies on display offer a glimpse of what’s ahead for security. Are Panasonic’s 4K OLEDs with HDR10+ format or Sony’s A8F OLED televisions a preview of the future of security control room monitors? 5. SIA Predicts Top Physical Security Trends for 2018 Traditional security providers will focus more on deepening the customer experience and enhancing convenience and service. The rise of IoT also places an emphasis on cybersecurity, and security dealers will react by seeking manufacturers and technology partners with cyber-hardened network-connected devices. 6. High-Speed Visitor Screening Systems Will Improve Soft Target Security The system is more expensive than a metal detector, but about a third the cost of familiar airport body scanners. Labor reduction (because of faster throughput) can help offset the system costs, but “it’s difficult to quantify the improvement in the visitor experience,” says Mike Ellenbogen, CEO of Evolv Technology. 7. How to Prevent ATM Jackpotting with Physical and Cyber Security A new crime wave is hitting automated teller machines (ATMs); the common banking appliances are being rigged to spit out their entire cash supplies into a criminal’s waiting hands. The crime is called “ATM jackpotting” and has targeted banking machines located in grocery shops, pharmacies and other locations in Taiwan, Europe, Latin America and, in the last several months, the United States. Rough estimates place the total amount of global losses at up to $60 million. The safety and security world bring a complex problem to solve- how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest 8. Why We Need to Look Beyond Technology for Smart City Security Solutions Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, technology alone isn’t sufficient. Truly smart cities are savvy cities and that includes how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs. 9. How New Video Surveillance Technology Boosts Airport Security and Operations Employing airport security solutions is a complex situation with myriad government, state and local rules and regulations that need to be addressed while ensuring the comfort needs of passengers. Airport security is further challenged with improving and increasing operational efficiencies, as budgets are always an issue. As an example, security and operational data must be easily shared with other airport departments and local agencies such as police, customs, emergency response and airport operations to drive a more proactive approach across the organisation. 10. The Evolution of Facial Recognition from Body-Cams to Video Surveillance The safety and security world bring a complex problem to solve how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve.
Many of the new products being promoted at IFSEC International this year at ExCeL London were previously unveiled at the big ISC West show in the United States in April. Now the IFSEC audience of Europeans and other international visitors are seeing them for the first time. Traffic seemed a little slow the first day, and you heard some exhibitors grumbling about it, but IFSEC exhibitors are finding a lot of new things to talk about with attendees. The cool London weather is perfect for a trade show. Panasonic 4K cameras 4K cameras have been a common new product category lately. At IFSEC, Panasonic is taking the idea of 4K one step further by unveiling an end-to-end 4K solution. The system is a reflection of Panasonic’s new strategy of selling specialised solutions for vertical markets, rather than their historic emphasis on products. Panasonic has invested in its engineering team to help develop market-specific solutions, some in partnership with other companies including access control and even logistics system providers (one system ties tracking of parcels being shipped with video along the route.) Panasonic’s system offerings in Europe are different than the Japanese giant’s U.S. emphasis. For example, Panasonic sells a line of fire products in Europe, but not in the U.S., and a thermal camera line has been designed and built in Europe. It’s an example of how the global market still has to cater to local market preferences -- a recurring theme at IFSEC. Related to 4K, Sean Taylor of Panasonic expects the new technology to be adopted more quickly than was HD, for example, although it’s hard to predict when the new level of resolution will become “mainstream.” Meanwhile, Panasonic sees immediate opportunity for 4K in markets such as banking, transportation, government and enterprise, and other high-end applications. Focusing on those markets will keep the company busy until wider implementation kicks in. Panasonic is holding off on embracing H.265 compression, having instead developed a powerful “H.264-plus” compression that uses Panasonic’s UniPhier chip (and is compliant with H.264). "We have always been an end-to-end supplier, but we want to be sure we are the best in key areas, such as the PTZ, panoramic cameras and the VMS platform," says Herves Fages, Senior Vice President, Pelco by Schneider Electric Pelco Optera IMM Pelco is another big video company focusing on end-to-end solutions while also emphasising the advantages of “best in breed.” Specifically, Pelco has brought its VideoXpert video management system (VMS) and Optera IMM 12-megapixel, multi-sensor camera to the European show (both were shown at ISC West). Patents cover the “seamless” image provided by the multi-image camera (working with the VMS). The multiple images are perfectly aligned and colour-balanced to provide an “immersive” video experience when coupled with the new VideoXpert VMS. Pelco also has a nifty new dome -- a Spectra Enhanced Series High-Speed PTZ dome -- introduced just within the last couple of weeks. “We have always been an end-to-end supplier, but we want to be sure we are the best in key areas, such as the PTZ, panoramic cameras and the VMS platform,” says Herve Fages, senior vice president, who manages Pelco for Schneider Electric. “The other products in a system -- housing, accessories, etc. -- are a convenience sale.” Pelco has seen some softness (and price sensitivity) in the European market in the beginning of 2015, especially in southern Europe and Spain. However, the Middle East has been strong, especially in mid- and large-size projects that are Pelco’s strong suit. “Because we offer end-to-end solutions, we have been less impacted by aggressive pricing,” says Fages. A focus on services As 4K becomes more common and camera counts increase, there is more expected of video storage solutions. The role of video storage has increased as more systems emphasise the criticality of data. “At one time, the hard drive was seen as a component, but now it’s an asset because the data has more value,” says Andrew Palmer, Seagate’s U.K., Ireland and Israel sales manager. To ensure data isn’t lost, Seagate offers a recovery service that is included in the price of some of its products. The service ensures the ability to recover data from a damaged hard drive -- with success an estimated 95 percent of the time. “Making data available gives you intelligence for business,” says Palmer. Another storage company, WD, is featuring the WD Purple NV, designed for larger-scale network video recorder (NVR) surveillance systems utilising higher hard drive bay counts and greater numbers of attached cameras, which demand increased storage capacity and durability. Emphasising a focus on providing service as well as products, Milestone unveiled the “Milestone Care” initiative, a multi-tiered maintenance and support program. Four service tiers -- Basic, Plus, Premium and Elite -- are designed to provide protection of Milestone products both directly to end users and working through dealer/integrators. The higher-end options, which come at a price, include benefits such as committed resolution times and assignment of a technical “account manager.” More to come as IFSEC continues ….
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