Articles by Gert Rohrmann
Security solutions should be about integration not isolation. Many organisations are considering their existing processes and systems and looking at how to leverage further value. Security is part of that focus and is a central component in the move towards a more integrated approach, which results in significant benefits. Gert Rohrmann, Technical Manager for the solutions division of Siemens Building Technologies UK, examines how by drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, including building automation, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment.For larger systems that can leverage existing IT network infrastructures, integration is an important factor. It makes sense to move away from a single discipline approach to one that views security in a more holistic way. This applies not only to the integration of different security functions, but also how security and safety can be integrated into general business processes. The market has moved significantly in connectivity terms, particularly with the development of open architecture.New physical access control standardsOriginally driven by the network video sector, the focus for the security industry has switched to the adoption and development of new physical access control standards with a push to build compliant devices. Open architecture continues to develop around the BACnet protocol, particularly in the building management systems environment, with a further drive towards standard protocols in the security arena led by industry forums such as ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) and PSIA (Physical Security Interoperability Alliance). Supporting customers to move away from proprietary communication protocols, providing software through cross-domain management and command and control solutions will become an increasing focus as the trend towards integration and standard IT solutions accelerates. Operational teams require intelligent and integrated management tools as the business environment becomes more complex. The focus for the security industry has switched to the adoption and development of new physical access control standards Enterprise Resource Planning software Smart cards have the potential to enhance workplace security through the inclusion of authentication for accessing the IT network and applications, digital signature and email encryption, biometric data, printer access management and other ‘bolt on’ functionalities such as cashless vending. Increasingly, standardised and certified interfaces are being established with Enterprise Resource Planning software systems such as SAP and Human Resources, as well as facilities management. This ability to interface with data sources enables an automated process for identity management, including automatic assignment of access entitlements based on the individual’s role and responsibilities. The operational cost savings, increased data consistency and security that can be achieved is significant.Enhanced energy efficiencyAn important area of integration is to enhance energy efficiency and subsequent cost savings. Security has a vital role to play in this process as the security systems provide the information relating to the occupancy of a building. At its simplest, if the alarm detection or access control system knows that no-one is present in a given room, the heating, ventilating, lighting and air conditioning systems can be automatically adjusted to reflect the situation. It is also possible to set building conditions based on the person that has entered Furthermore, it is also possible to set the conditions based on the person that has entered a building, as the access control reader will know the identity of that individual and their role. An example would be lowering the temperature for cleaning staff, whose role is more physically active than that of an office worker carrying out more sedentary tasks for a longer period of the day.Intrusion and emergency managementAnother benefit of integrating security and building management systems is the ability to handle an emergency incident. In the event of an intrusion, the appropriate lighting and surveillance video cameras can be activated automatically, or in response to an emergency evacuation, wayfinding instructions can be set in motion to ensure safe exit.Enhancing fire protectionObtaining a return on investment is an important factor in implementing integrated management systems and capitalising on synergies between core subsystems - such as security and fire safety protection, power, communications and building energy management – makes it possible to minimise or remove system overlaps, thereby saving money and improving manpower allocation. It is common for security and fire safety systems to operate independently; however, deep integration across security and fire technologies will not only offer higher levels of performance from these areas, but also create a fully automated approach to task handling and incident management by extending cause and effect to include security within life safety systems. Deeper integration will enable identification and analysis of unusual behaviour and facilitate more proactive decisions We are familiar with security subsystems such as CCTV, alarms, access control and perimeter protection working together to protect assets and restrict entry to specific areas; however, fire safety systems such as fire detection and clean extinguishing still usually work in isolation. Deeper integration will enable identification and analysis of unusual behaviour and facilitate more proactive decisions. By combining a wide variety of systems and creating a logical sequence, it is possible to limit potential damage. For example, in the event of fire, a workflow-oriented approach driven by security and safety devices would maximise protection across the site, as video surveillance cameras would verify the situation, ventilation systems would adjust to prevent smoke from spreading, escape routes would be activated and live messaging would alert relevant personnel and facilitate safe, orderly evacuation. The integration of these multiple technologies would enable a complete incident record to be collated and communication with the access control system would create an instant roll call of people on site.Fully integrated security installationSiemens has installed a fully integrated fire, security and energy management solution at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport in Turkey. This intelligent solution has been designed to deliver first-rate protection and maximum energy efficiency for the airport’s passengers, staff and assets and the general public. The operator can view displays of alarms, messages and the status of all connected systems The safety and security system required the installation of 200 video surveillance cameras and 28 digital recorders, and 9,000 Sinteso fire detectors combined with 400 carbon monoxide gas detectors, all fully integrated to provide maximum levels of protection. The operator can view displays of alarms, messages and the status of all connected systems and the modular architecture makes it both cost-effective and scalable. In the event of evacuation, an integrated voice notification system using 4,600 loudspeakers will be activated automatically.Total Integrated Power systemTo further enhance safety, a Total Integrated Power system enables power distribution from the medium voltage supply right through to the socket outlet, providing maximum control and improved protection, helping to detect any irregularities in the energy distribution system to prevent the possibility of a fire or power failure. The solution has the flexibility to adapt to changes in usage and requirements and can be expanded at any time in the future Cost and energy efficient systemsThe Siemens Desigo building automation system measures 11,000 data points and reacts by raising blinds, turning off lights and reducing or increasing heating and air conditioning, thereby saving energy and ensuring a comfortable environment inside the terminal.The integration of security, fire safety and energy management means that all the disciplines are fully coordinated to ensure that the airport buildings are safer, more comfortable, more efficient and economical. The solution has the flexibility to adapt to changes in usage and requirements and can be expanded at any time in the future, thus maximising the value of the original investment.Integrated and automated security managementAt a corporate level, successful integration contributes to the delivery of strategic and operational objectives and on a day-to-day level, provides a safe and efficient working environment, which is essential to the performance of any organisation. Businesses are increasingly demanding technology that will assess and manage critical situations, distribute information and co-ordinate and manage resources. It is common for building systems to operate independently; however, deeper integration of building management with security technology will not only offer higher levels of performance and greater energy efficiencies, but also create a fully automated approach to task handling and incident management.
SourceSecurity.com’s most trafficked articles in 2017 reflected changing trends in the market, from facial detection to drones, from deep learning to body worn cameras. Again in 2017, the most well-trafficked articles posted at SourceSecurity.com tended to be those that addressed timely and important issues in the security marketplace. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles posted at SourceSecurity.com in 2017 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with the author’s name and a brief excerpt. MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software 1. MOBOTIX Aims High with Cybersecurity and Customer-Focused Solutions [Jeannie Corfield] With a new CEO and Konica Minolta on board, MOBOTIX is set for expansion on a global scale. But how much growth can we expect for a company like MOBOTIX in an increasingly commoditised surveillance market, where many of the larger players compete on price as a key differentiator? While MOBOTIX respects those players, the German manufacturer wants to tell a different story. Rather than competing as a camera hardware manufacturer, MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software – camera units are just one part of an intelligent system. When MOBOTIX succeeds in telling this story, partners understand that it’s not about the price. 2. ‘Anti-Surveillance Clothing’ Creates a New Wrinkle in Facial Detection [Larry Anderson] The latest challenge to facial recognition technology is “anti-surveillance clothing,” aimed at confusing facial recognition algorithms as a way of preserving “privacy.” The clothing, covered with ghostly face-like designs to specifically trigger face-detection algorithms, are a backlash against the looming possibility of facial recognition being used in retail environments and for other commercial purposes. 3. Drone Terror: How to Protect Facilities and People [Logan Harris] Already, rogue groups such as ISIS have used low cost drones to carry explosives in targeted attacks. Using this same method, targeting high profile locations to create terror and panic is very possible. Security professionals and technologists are working furiously to address the gaps in drone defence. Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) is a security technology addressing the problems with other types of detection. CSR, like traditional radar, has the benefit of being able to detect and track foreign objects in all weather conditions, but at a fraction of the size and cost. The last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning 4. Deep Learning Algorithms Broaden the Scope of Video Analytics [Zvika Anshani] Until recently there have been minimal applications of Machine Learning used in video analytics products, largely due to high complexity and high resource usage, which made such products too costly for mainstream deployment. However, the last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning. The recent increased interest in Deep Learning is largely due to the availability of graphical processing units (GPUs). GPUs can efficiently train and run Deep Learning algorithms 5. Body Worn Cameras: Overcoming the Challenges of Live Video Streaming [Mark Patrick] Most body camera manufacturers, that are trying to stream, attempt to use these consumer technologies; but they don’t work very well in the field, which is not helpful when you need to see what is happening, right now, on the ground. The video must be of usable quality, even though officers wearing the cameras may be moving and experiencing signal fluctuations – most mobile video produces significant delays and signal breakups. Video and audio must always remain in sync so there’s no confusion about who said what. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of the scene and support immediate decision-making by local and remote team members and support teams moving to the scene. 6. QinetiQ Demonstrates New Privacy-Protecting Body Scanner for Crowded Places [Ron Alalouff] QinetiQ has developed a scanner that can be used in crowded places without having to slow down or stop moving targets. The body scanner, capable of detecting hidden explosives or weapons on a person, has been demonstrated publicly in the United Kingdom for the first time. SPO-NX from QinetiQ – a company spun out of the UK’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) in 2001 – can quickly screen large groups of people for concealed weapons or explosives in a passive, non-intrusive way, without needing people to stop or slow down. 7. ISC West 2017: How Will IT and Consumer Electronics Influence the Security Industry? [Fredrik Nilsson] A good way to predict trends [at the upcoming ISC West show] is to look at what’s happening in some larger, adjacent technology industries, such as IT and consumer electronics. Major trends on these fronts are the most likely to influence what new products will be launched in the electronic security industry. Proof in point is H.264, an advanced compression technology ratified in 2003 and adopted as the new standard by the consumer industry a few years later. By 2009, it became the new compression standard for the video surveillance industry as well. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment 8. Integrating Security Management into Broader Building Systems [Gert Rohrmann] Security solutions should be about integration not isolation. Many organisations are considering their existing processes and systems and looking at how to leverage further value. Security is part of that focus and is a central component in the move towards a more integrated approach, which results in significant benefits. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, including building automation, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment. 9. How to Use Video Analytics and Metadata to Prevent Terrorist Attacks [Yury Akhmetov] How we defend and prevent terrorism must be based on intelligent processing of information, and an early awareness of potential threats – and effective preventive action – may eliminate most attacks. Video analytics, automated surveillance and AI decision-making will change the rules of the struggle between civilians and terrorists by making attempted attacks predictable, senseless and silent. To what extent can technology investigate and prevent terror crimes considering the latest technology innovations? 10. Next Generation Video Analytics: Separating Fact from Fiction [Erez Goldstein] ‘Next generation video analytics’ is a catchy marketing phrase, is how much substance is behind it? Video analytics as a technology has been with us for many years, but there has always been an air of confusion and mystery around it, in large part created by Hollywood movies, where every camera is connected, an operator can search the network and locate the villain in a matter of seconds. I am pleased to say that, in many respects, fact has caught up with fiction, with the newest video analytics solutions that are now on the market focusing on search and specifically real-time search. These solutions have been tried, tested and proven to help reduce search time from hours to minutes and even seconds.