Better, faster networking plays into the optimistic outlook for the transportation vertical Our market has plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of security systems in the transportation vertical. “Given the advances in processing power and technology, we can only imagine what the capability of an IP camera will be in five years,” comments Anthony Incorvati, business development manager, critical infrastructure and transportation, Axis Communications. “Think about the smart phone you were holding in your hand five years ago, versus now, versus five years from now. It’s the same with IP cameras – the technology is moving that fast.” Better, faster networking also plays into the optimistic outlook. In the future, 4G communication capabilities will expand (and data costs decrease). At some point, it will make economic sense to capture continuous, real-time video streaming from moving buses and trains, says Rob Schwaber, product manager, mobile/transit products, March Networks. “We can do that today in a limited fashion,” Schwaber says. “But it’s not cost-effective for a large fleet. For a large fleet to have functionality all the time, there’s a lot of bandwidth and costs, but those technologies are getting better and cheaper.” Panasonic foresees video analytics and facial recognition tools playing an increasingly important role in security solutions for transit security. The ability to identify persons of interest, known criminals, or disgruntled employees may help to alert staff to flagged individuals who might be of concern. These capabilities, in combination with high-definition cameras, can be used to capture important details like distinguishing features of a suspect that would not have been possible with previous generation technology. The market is growing, too. As ridership continues to grow, so will security incidents, making integrated, comprehensive security solutions an integral part of the purchasing decisions a transit agency must make to provide the safety and security required for passengers and transit employees. "Technology will need to accommodate growing ridership and be able to stay ahead of criminal tactics and threats to provide the best possible solution" It is important to look at the growing rate of commuters and travellers using public transportation and how this is going to impact existing and future security solutions, says Steve Cruz, strategic transit solutions manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. “Technology will need to accommodate growing ridership and be able to stay ahead of criminal tactics and threats to provide the best possible solution,” he says. According to HID Global, the next big things for access control in the transportation vertical are (a) interoperability; (b) adaptability; and (c) simplicity in how identities are created, used and managed across many different applications. These are critical benefits for transportation system operators who must stay abreast of technology advances and ahead of evolving threats, says Jeremy Hyatt, director of marketing, HID Global. In order to deliver these benefits, HID Global has adopted Seosas its credential technology standard. Silicon-independent, Seos can be easily ported across different hardware devices. HID Global’s secure identities can be loaded onto a Seos card at the time of manufacture, or provisioned to a Seos-ready phone via HID Mobile Access, which turns smart phones and other mobile devices into trusted credentials that can replace keys and smart cards. HID Global secure identities powered by Seos provide an additional trust layer while enabling any smart device to become a trusted credential. As phones become trusted credentials in the near future, the industry can leverage Bluetooth and gesture technology. This, too, is an extremely promising new opportunity for the transportation vertical, says Hyatt. Bluetooth combined with gesture technology enables users to open doors and gates from a distance by rotating their smart phone as they approach a mobile-enabled reader. This improves the user experience while adding an authentication factor to the access control rule set that goes beyond something the cardholder “has” (the card) to include a gesture-based version of something the cardholder “knows” (like a password or personal identification number, or PIN). A user presents the phone to a reader, rotates it to the right, and then returns it to the original position so that the credential inside the phone can be read, and access can be granted. The smart phone knows how the screen is oriented because its accelerometer senses movement and gravity. Gesture commands speed access, minimise the possibility of a rogue device stealing the user’s credential, and give users a great deal of control over how they interact with the access control system. “Just as mouse technology revolutionised the computer interface, gesture technology is expected to change how users interact with access control systems,” says Hyatt of HID Global. "Just as mouse technology revolutionised the computer interface, gesture technology is expected to change how users interact with access control systems" What else is on the horizon for the transportation market? Analytics, analytics, analytics, says Joshua E. Phillips, director of enterprise and critical infrastructure at Verint Systems Inc. Manufacturers have started to crack the code on some of video analytics’ most dire challenges, he says. The first wave of analytics met the harsh realities of customer environments and eroded confidence in all areas of the security advisory community, most notably among security consultants. Accuracy, processing load and application guidelines have improved greatly since analytics first burst on the scene more than 10 years ago, and it’s time for evolution to take its course. March Networks is also working to further streamline the investigation process for end users and make it more collaborative, facilitating easier sharing of audio and video when an investigation is being processed. Milestone Systems agrees and is taking its sophisticated VMS solutions to the next level – case management. Using video for other purposes, such as police investigations, is becoming more typical. There are also a number of new scenarios being enabled by emerging technologies, adds David King, business development manager, city surveillance, transportation and critical infrastructure, Americas for Milestone Systems. For example, cell phone conversations can be compared with video footage of a platform, or the inside of a train car or bus. The ability to share video in real time and also after the fact enables new capabilities as well.
The security landscape continues to evolve in new, complex ways for transportation customers Dealers looking to enter – or to expand their presence in – the transportation vertical must adapt to the unique needs of each transportation agency customer. Issues such as limited budgets/resources, aging technologies, operational challenges and safety issues must all be considered when designing a system to best meet an agency’s needs. Integrators should seek to identify solutions that improve the agency’s capabilities to reduce manpower and operational costs, while providing the necessary level of safety and security for passengers and employees alike, says Steve Cruz, strategic transit solutions manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. Tools like video analytics and easy-to-use video management software should be considered. It is also important to find technologies that are compatible with old systems and can be easily integrated with new technologies. “By understanding an agency’s everyday challenges, integrators can provide the best solution possible for each agency’s unique needs,” Cruz says. For dealer/integrators, the non-homogeneity of the transportation market is one of its benefits, says Anthony Incorvati, business development manager, critical infrastructure and transportation, Axis Communications. He advises dealers to build business by seeking opportunities across the diverse choices in transportation. “Once they look at their own strengths and weaknesses, integrators can play off that and align themselves with a sub-segment of the market,” he advises. There are many integrators who can play in various parts of the sub-segments, some of them very specialised, Incorvati notes. For example, an integrator could specialise in specific types of work in an airport project, a seaport project or a certain scope within a transit department. “There are specialised scopes of work that have specialised integrators,” says Incorvati. Sometimes it’s hard to become successful in a transportation category for integrators more experienced with general applications. “If you haven’t done it before, and if you’ve only done static deployments – only strip malls and elementary schools – it’s a very different and challenging market,” Incorvati says. “It’s not just providing product, but working in the various environments, with unions, during hours when trains aren’t in service. It’s very demanding in terms of contract deliverables and documentation – more than just providing hardware and software. It’s important to understand what these end users require and demand from their integrators.” For example, the intelligent transportation system (ITS) market tends to be specialised with a focused group of integrators, with little opportunity for new players, Incorvati says. The security integrator, not just the security systems, is paramount to the success of any type of system implementation at a transportation entity, says Joshua E. Phillips, director of enterprise and critical infrastructure at Verint Systems Inc. The security integrator’s on-site and service staff can develop a deep understanding of the facility engineering, IT operational standards and customer personnel to identify synergies, foresee hidden obstacles and bring a wealth of experience from previous similar projects, Phillips says. But does everyone realise the value of the security integrator’s perspective? The integrator would be wise to hold regularly scheduled performance reviews where they set some or most of the agenda, and ensure that new ideas and areas of opportunity are presented against the backdrop of cost mitigation or revenue improvement, says Phillips. The customer may see these ideas as credibility-building and be willing to grant integrators one of their most important assets – trust. The security landscape continues to evolve in new, complex ways for transportation customers, says Jeremy Hyatt, director of marketing, HID Global. This evolution brings change on many levels, which can and should be interpreted as an opportunity for improvement rather than an interruption or a distraction. This concept has never been more important for integrators as they face increasing pressure to deliver greater value and solve more complex problems for their transportation customers, Hyatt says. “Integrators can help these customers to expand and upgrade their systems easily and inexpensively to meet changing needs while leveraging new technologies,” he says. With access control platforms that use dynamic rather than static technologies, security become independent of hardware and media, supporting evolution beyond current abilities with the adaptability to combat continuously changing threats. “Helping transportation customers make the right technology decisions today will also help them meet new requirements with the confidence they will be able to preserve investments in their existing infrastructure,” says Hyatt. As with any market, security integrators need to take time to cultivate a relationship with the end users, so that they can design solutions that best fit the customer’s needs, says John Recesso, strategic business development manager, Sony Electronics’ Security Systems Division. Integrators should also have a deep understanding of the transportation industry and its unique challenges, so they can speak intelligently with decision makers and act as true partners, he adds. Finally, it’s critical that they have a team with the technical experience necessary to see the installation through from beginning to end, as well as provide post-installation troubleshooting, training and support, according to Recesso.
Airports, metro systems and other transportation centres must deploy multiple layers of access control for restricted areas. They need solutions that can accommodate high-volume traffic. Each transportation application has unique requirements, from systems that enable the use of multiple types of credentials on one reader, to reader options designed to match specific risk levels by incorporating PIN and biometric verification for higher security. HID Global’s IP-based networked access solutions deliver security in the transportation sector while also moving intelligence to the door, streamlining system monitoring, management and reporting via standard web browsers, and enabling access control to be integrated with video surveillance and other systems. These solutions help deliver real-time monitoring and data management while enabling role-based access control settings to manage staff access at key entry points and restricted areas. IP-based access control is becoming increasingly important for the transportation vertical, says Jeremy Hyatt, director of marketing, HID Global. It improves security by enabling a physical access control system (PACS) to be integrated with other solutions on the same network. When subsystems – including video management, access control, video analytics, intrusion devices and all associated IP-based edge devices – are managed through one user interface, situational awareness is enhanced. All information can be immediately combined and correlated. This is particularly important for metro rail and other transit operations. iCLASS access control readers and contactless smart cards include extra-secure printing features Operators must be able to prevent unauthorised entry and manage access to all stations and electrical substations, as well as the parking lots and major facilities at metro line sections. The same systems must also protect equipment and staff at locations including fixed plants, offices, equipment areas, machine rooms, and automatic fare collection (AFC) system management offices, as well as the central station, communications equipment room and other public areas. It may also be important to centrally monitor passage areas and locations housing equipment management facilities. Finally, access control systems also must frequently span an extensive network, and accommodate cardholder information from various entry points using a wide range of access control rules that must be transmitted to the central station. HID Global has a history of successful airport security implementations, most notably Latin America’s busiest airport, the International Airport of Mexico City (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México, AICM). As a tourist and commercial gateway to the country, the airport plays a vital role in the development of Mexico’s economy. The AICM turned to HID Global to address its mission-critical requirements with iCLASS access control readers and contactless smart cards that include extra-secure printing features. Another example is Beijing’s public transport system, which uses HID Global’s centralised, web-based access control system to monitor stations and site equipment in real-time. HID Global has provided the Beijing public transport system with a centralised, top-to-bottom, web-based access control system to enable monitoring of all stations and site equipment in real-time. Readers can be installed where they are needed, and connected to a network controller for central access management and report generation. All central management functions can be performed at the metro line control centre, which consists of a central server, an access authority management station, a central station, and all associated system software. The central station administrator can track and manage door access in all metro stations, improving flexibility and speeding response to network failures. Meanwhile, controllers enable every metro station office to monitor its own system’s real-time status, entry records and card access information. This approach ensures maximum flexibility and the fastest possible response to network failures, with all operations protected by multi-layer security and failover support.