Physical security, security integration, video, access control, security market trends
Round table contributions
Body-worn cameras are becoming more common every day, driven both by needs of the marketplace and technology developments. However, questions remain about the usefulness of the devices, and their future role in promoting safety and security. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of body-worn cameras for the security industry?
The world of politics, like the world of security, is an environment of constant change. But do changes in one have an impact on the other? Governments around the world are involved in buying a wide variety of physical security systems, so how those governments operate certainly affects how they spend money on security. But in a broader sense, governments (and the associated political forces at work) also impact how their citizens and those in the private sector view threats and, as a logical extension, the security systems they need to address those threats. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does the political climate affect spending on security systems?
A busy trade show abounds with new products and expanded features, colorful signage and blinking video screens, all competing for attention from busy attendees. It’s a microcosm of how the security marketplace – or any market, for that matter – sells its products. But what happens if the reality turns out different to the sales pitch? What happens when product or system performance doesn’t quite live up to the claims? Some would call that hype, and it can lead to disillusioned and frustrated customers. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the negative impact of hype in the security marketplace?
Consolidation is a reality in the security and video surveillance market. In the last several years, we have seen a variety of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) involving scores of companies of all sizes. But what is the impact of M&A activity on the companies involved, on their customers, and on the industry as a whole? We posed this question to our Expert Panel Roundtable: Do mergers and acquisitions have a net positive or net negative impact on the security market (and why)?
IP network dependability matters in physical security and safety applications, given that a company’s assets and people are at risk. There have been strides in the areas of network dependability, fault-tolerance, reliability, and survivability. However, networks (or affordable ones, at any rate) still cannot ensure near-100 percent uptime, which is why system designers acknowledge and plan for the possibility of a network outage. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can/should an IP networked system adapt when network connectivity is lost?
Sometimes customers expect more out of a security system. A brand new security system just doesn’t perform as the customer expected it would. In fact, one might argue that the many variables in today’s complex systems make it more likely than ever that some element of a system might not measure up to a customer’s expectations. What happens then? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What happens if a customer’s expectations of system performance are greater than what a physical security system can deliver?
How mobile telephones have transformed into “smartphones” is one of the great technology stories of our time. What once was a single-function device now can do almost anything – display video, pay for groceries, monitor our health. The smartphones we carry in our pockets today have more computing power than the “super computers” of yesteryear, and that power has found many uses in a seemingly endless array of “apps.” Some of them are directly related to our physical security systems. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What security applications are best suited to smartphone apps?
One of the benefits of newer IP systems is the ability to store video inside the camera or in a nearby digital video recorder (DVR) at the edge of the network. Edge-based storage is unlikely to take the place of centralised storage, but it is complementary and provides some interesting new options related to system design. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the value of edge-based storage and in what specific applications?
Healthcare organisations are an important vertical market for many security manufacturers and integrators. Like other vertical markets, healthcare has its own unique set of requirements and challenges for physical security systems. We asked this week’s Expert Panel: What are the distinctive security problems faced by healthcare organisations? What technologies are being embraced to increase security?
Software changes constantly. There’s always a new patch or fix, and our computers persistently remind us that an update is available. As a core component of today’s IP networked video systems, video management software (VMS) is also subject to the need to be constantly updated and refined. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable to elaborate: Why is it important that networked video customers keep up to date with the latest version of video management software (VMS)?
College campuses often operate like small communities – or even like large communities depending on enrolment. Although each college and university campus is unique, there are commonalities such as a young and vulnerable population of students, many living away from their parents for the first time. Campuses can be urban or rural, geographically dispersed or densely populated, with a variety of demographics and “wild card” elements such as partying, drugs and alcohol. Campus police and security officers face a variety of challenging environments. Is it wise to add firearms to the mix? Is it necessary for campus police to be armed? Specifically, we asked this week’s Expert Panel: In what situations should college or university campus police be armed?
More and more physical security systems are being hosted in the cloud. But are cloud-based security systems “safe?” It’s a question being posed by risk-averse security professionals all over the world, and one for which a clear, concise answer may be difficult to find. We decided to pose it to our Expert Panel.
We asked this week’s Expert Panel: What are the limitations on where video cameras can be placed because of privacy? With hundreds of new cameras installed every day, the likelihood increases exponentially that a camera will be placed in a location where it violates privacy. In fact, threats to privacy are often among the largest objections when video surveillance is proposed, whether in a public area or in the workplace. Allaying fears about undermining privacy is a basic requirement to make such systems acceptable to the public. It’s a touchy subject, but one our Expert Panel is willing to address.
Rapid technology innovation in the physical security market comes with it a commensurate need to dispose of older systems as they are replaced. Some technologies can help minimise the waste, providing, for example, the ability to use existing coaxial cable with newer IP video systems. However, absent the ability to reuse equipment, how should integrators manage disposal of systems at end-of-life? Here are some responses from our Expert Panel.
Megapixel and panoramic camera manufacturers have been predicting the demise of pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ cameras) for several years now. They contend that PTZs can be replaced by the higher resolutions of newer cameras, coupled with their ability to “zoom” in digitally on a specific area of an image and show sufficient detail. New panoramic cameras also capture everything in a wider field of view, while a PTZ camera runs a risk of missing important action because it is pointed in the wrong direction. We ask our Expert Panel to weigh in on the future of PTZ cameras.
Articles by Larry Anderson
Coming off a successful ISC West show, Honeywell is sharply focussed on product development, with an emphasis on advanced software. “We have a strong new product pipeline this year – more than two times the number of products than we’ve released in the past several years,” says Luis Rodriguez, Director of Product Marketing, Honeywell Commercial Security. “At ISC West, we received a lot of interest in how AI and new security systems are changing the market.” Although uses for AI are still emerging in security, Honeywell sees an important role for AI in building a connected system to ensure the safety and security of a building, and more importantly, its occupants. AI allows end users to go beyond monitoring activity on a surface level to really understand the scene – from who exactly is in the area to what they might be doing. As more data is processed over time, AI will continue to build on its learnings to help deliver a more accurate assessment of potential threats each time. Machine learning-based analytics End users should explore the use of machine learning-based analytics as machine learning is more advanced than AI-based systems, says Rodriguez. “When speaking to dealers and integrators, end users should also inquire about the detection accuracy of systems that use AI or machine learning technology, particularly around false positives and negatives.” Honeywell seeks to develop integrated security systems that provide the earliest detection “Additionally, end users should always ask to conduct site testing so to understand how well-suited the machine learning-based system is to the particular user’s native environment,” adds Rodriguez. “The testing will help identify the exact needs of their site.” Honeywell is reinvesting in its video portfolio, both in hardware and software innovation, as well as partnering with the top experts in the IT and education industries to stay ahead of customer demand. Honeywell seeks to develop integrated security systems that provide the earliest detection, enable the fastest response, centralise decision making, and allow customers to manage it all from anywhere. Solutions for vertical markets Honeywell Commercial Security is focussed on supporting vertical markets that have specific security needs such as education, banking and finance, and pharma. Each has unique nuances that call for tailored security approaches. “As Honeywell continues to develop its suite of security solutions for the future and identify personalised systems for each vertical, AI such as analytics, deep learning and facial recognition will play an integral role during research and testing,” says Rodriguez. Honeywell is developing video and audio analytics technology capable of studying crowd behaviour as well as detecting guns, gunshots An example is the education market, where eliminating human delay in reporting potential threats to law enforcement and creating faster systems that help omit single-point failures are key to protecting schools and ensuring students’ safety. To address those challenges, Honeywell is developing video and audio analytics technology capable of studying crowd behaviour as well as detecting guns, gunshots and fights, says Bruce Montgomery, Business Development Manager, Honeywell Commercial Security. Testing technology for sports security The software is able to visualise, automate planning, design and efficiency analysis of a video surveillance system"A partnership with University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) is testing technology such as MaxPro Video, Pro-Watch Access Control and UNP Mass Notification in the National Sport Security Laboratory and in connected real-world environments. “The analytics data gathered from these environments will help inform future security innovations,” says Montgomery. Another Honeywell partnership is with JVSG, whose CCTV Design Software offers a new way to design more affordable and higher quality video surveillance systems. Integrators and distributors are now able to add a range of models from Honeywell’s portfolio of Performance Series IP Cameras into their system design from the software’s database. “The software is able to visualise, automate planning, design and efficiency analysis of a video surveillance system,” says Jeremy Kimber, Director of Enterprise Global Product Management, Honeywell Security and Fire. The program is used by more than 7,000 CCTV designers in more than 130 countries around the world and is downloaded more than 60,000 times every year.
Deploying security robots at a company is about more than providing and programming the hardware. There is also an element of “change management” involved in smoothing the way for robots to play a security role working side-by-side with human counterparts. Rising popularity of security robots As security robots increase in popularity, more companies are adapting to such cultural challenges "As security robots increase in popularity, more companies are adapting to such cultural challenges. Many Fortune 100, technology, finance and defense companies have begun using security robots, and some are asking to expand their implementation", says Travis Deyle, CEO and co-founder of Cobalt Robotics. "It is a complex solution that involves merging technology with people." “More people are looking at how they can deploy and test this technology, dipping their toes in the water,” says Deyle. “Financially the risk is low, but culturally it is pretty acute. It is a very visible piece of technology moving through your most sensitive spaces and interacting with employees.” Change management “Doing change management and addressing the cultural implications inside the company are the biggest challenges we face,” Deyle adds. “We have to make sure that people know what the robot is there for, what it does and how it helps them. There is a social contract between companies and employees about what information is being collected and how is it being used.” The technical onboarding of a robot is the easy part, says Deyle. “The robot goes in, maps out the space; it takes about an hour. The bigger part is the cultural onboarding.” The process involves working closely with the company’s communications team to manage how the use of robots is messaged throughout the company. Deyle suggests doing a Q&A event where employees can touch and feel the robot and get comfortable. “We tailor the interaction to the individual company,” he says. Importance of communication Communication with employees, tenants, clients, law enforcement, etc. is very important Communication with employees, tenants, clients, law enforcement, etc. is very important and, if done well, all goes smoothly, agrees William Santana Li, Knightscope Chairman and CEO. “Showing up with a 400-pound, 5-foot-tall autonomous robot, deploying it and not telling anyone what is happening is ill advised!” Knightscope also advises potential end users to identify clearly the areas of improvement needed in a security program to guide the deployment of robots. Beware of “Science Fiction Disease,” whose symptoms include unrealistic expectations or fears emanating from Hollywood depictions of robots over the years. Expectations should be spelled out: Keep ongoing and clear communications between the provider and the client, continuing to make improvements together. Future of robotics and AI Users should also think clearly through their source of funding, including the second and future years of an implementation. Communication is key, involving stakeholders from the CSO to facilities, purchasing to human resources, finance to the CEO. The future of robotics in corporate America is more than the development of the technology. Given advances in artificial intelligence (AI), sensors and software, the technology is the easy part. Thinking more broadly about how robotics can excel in the corporate environment – and make companies safer – is the next big obstacle on the path to effectively using the powerful technology.
Statistically speaking, incidents of terrorism are unlikely to impact most businesses and institutions. However, the mere possibility of worst-case-scenario attacks is enough to keep security professionals awake at night. Compounding the collective anxiety is the minute-by-minute media coverage when an attack does occur. The immediacy of the shared experience of global tragedy impacts us all – including security system decision-makers. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is the rise in terrorism impacting the physical security market?
The mindset behind a new law to prohibit the use of facial recognition and other security-related technologies by San Francisco police and other city agencies is obvious in the name of the new ordinance: “Stop Secret Surveillance.” Ordinance to stop secret surveillance The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance 8-1 with two abstentions on May 14, and there will be another vote next week before it becomes law. We have an outsize responsibility to regulate the excesses of technology precisely because they are headquartered here" The irony of such a law emanating from northern California, where tech giants promote the use of numerous technologies that arguably infringe on privacy, is not lost on Aaron Peskin, the city supervisor who sponsored the bill. “We have an outsize responsibility to regulate the excesses of technology precisely because they are headquartered here,” he told the New York Times. Regulating facial recognition technology Although the facial recognition aspects of the ordinance have been the most publicised, it also targets a long list of other products and systems. According to the ordinance, "Surveillance Technology" means “any software, electronic device, system utilising an electronic device, or similar device used, designed, or primarily intended to collect, retain, process, or share audio, electronic, visual, location, thermal, biometric, olfactory or similar information specifically associated with, or capable of being associated with, any individual or group.” Broadly interpreted, that’s a lot of devices. Includes biometrics, RFID scanners The ordinance lists some examples such as automatic license plate readers, gunshot detection hardware and services, video and audio monitoring and/or recording equipment, mobile DNA capture technology, radio-frequency ID (RFID) scanners, and biometric software or technology including facial, voice, iris, and gait-recognition software and databases. Among the exceptions listed in the ordinance are physical access control systems, employee identification management systems, and other physical control systems; and police interview rooms, holding cells, and internal security audio/video recording systems. The ordinance ban applies to city departments and agencies, not to the general public and exceptions include physical access control systems, employee identification management systems, and internal security audio/video recording systems Airport security not part of ordinance The ban only applies to city departments and agencies, not to private businesses or the general public. Therefore, San Franciscans can continue to use facial recognition technology every day when they unlock their smart phones. And technologies such as facial recognition currently used at the San Francisco airport and ports are not impacted because they are under federal jurisdiction. Furthermore, the San Francisco police department does not currently use facial recognition anyway, although it has been deployed in places such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston and New York City. Safeguarding privacy of citizens The ordinance appears to have a goal of avoiding government uses of technologies that can invade individual privacy, seeking to avoid worst-case scenarios such as an existing system in China that uses millions of surveillance cameras to keep close tabs on the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority population. Any new plans to use surveillance technology must be approved by the city government, and any existing uses must be reported and justified by submitting a Surveillance Technology Policy ordinance for approval by the Board of Supervisors within 180 days. Surveillance technology policy Banning use of facial recognition just when its capability is being realised is counterproductive But might such a ban on technology uses undermine their potential value as crime-fighting tools just when they are poised to become more valuable than ever? Ed Davis, a former Boston police commissioner, told the New York Times it is “premature to be banning things.” He notes: “This technology is still developing, and as it improves, this could be the answer to a lot of problems we have about securing our communities.” Technology development doesn’t happen in a vacuum and banning uses of facial recognition and other technologies just when their capabilities are being realised is counterproductive. We should be thoughtful, deliberate and transparent in how we embrace new technologies. However, discarding them out-of-hand using emotionally charged words such as “secret surveillance” does not promote the best use of technology to the benefit of everyone.
Nexkey says its mission is to disrupt the access control market and ‘change the way people experience access to physical places’. The startup is embracing the latest buzzword for access control – frictionless – while also enabling electronic access control for doors currently protected by mechanical locks. The system is simple with only three components – a controller, an electronic replacement lock core, and a smart phone app. The ‘controller’, a combined reader and access control panel, is used to connect to existing electric strikes, mag locks, electronic push bars and other hardware components at the door. It also communicates via Bluetooth with a smart phone credential. Users approach a door, choose the door they want to open in the app, and wait for the app to say ‘unlocked’. Replacing key cards and fobs with app Access rights are customised for each user, and doors can be unlocked remotely to allow a delivery guy or guest to enterThe electronic ‘core’ device can be switched out with existing mechanical lock cores to provide electronic access control in locks such as deadbolts, mortise locks, Euro-cylinders, levers and camlocks. It is compatible with 95 percent of mechanical locks, using a changeable tail piece to adapt to various configurations. The core communicates via Bluetooth with a smart phone credential that links to a cloud system. Users approaching a door open the app, tap the core, and wait for the app to say ‘unlocked’. A Nexkey goal is to ‘replace all keys, key cards and fobs with one app’. The Nexkey app recognises which ‘key’ goes to which door and reveals the right key as you approach. ‘Keys’ are created and access rights are assigned from a smart phone, using email addresses and phone numbers to verify identity. Temporary codes can be texted for one-time entrance for cleaning crews or contractors. Access rights are customised for each user, and doors can be unlocked remotely to allow a delivery guy or guest to enter the building. The Nexkey Portal provides a snapshot of system operation, who enters which door at what time, and logs that can be reviewed and downloaded for audit reports. Affordable access control systems for SMBs Nexkey is targeting the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) market, basically companies with 20 to 500 employees, which are looking for access control systems that are affordable and easier to manage. The Nexkey controller costs $999, and the core is $499. Monthly fees start at $15 to $29 per month per door, but the prices go down as additional doors are added. Nexkey is targeting the SMB market, which are looking for access control systems that are affordable and easier to manage Larger enterprises tend to want out-of-the-box integration with alarm systems and video, which Nexkey does not offer, so SMB is their “sweet spot,” says Eric Trabold, CEO. There is an API (application programming interface) that integrates with third-party applications. According to Nexkey’s customer surveys, 30 percent of customers say they bought Nexkey to have a simpler access control credential (a smart phone instead of a key, card or fob). Another 30 percent favour simplified management and quick access through the app. Some 17 percent like the ‘unified’ experience to manage shared, single and multiple workspaces using smartphone credentialing and a cloud-based system. Involving security dealers and integrators Nexkey announced a ‘dealer program’ at the recent ISC West trade show in Las Vegas, and interest was highIn the early days, Nexkey looked to work directly with businesses to foster communication and to gain understanding of how the product can best be deployed. Having gained that insight, the ‘next level’ is to engage security dealers and systems integrators to install the system, says Trabold. Nexkey announced a ‘dealer program’ at the recent ISC West trade show in Las Vegas, and interest was high. Trabold says 134 integrators/dealers sought to engage. In coming weeks, the company will be finalising that program, enhancing the dashboard to enable dealers to manage the system on behalf of their customers, for example. “We will be looking at how we can go from that amazing level of interest to being actively engaged with partners in the channel,” says Trabold. Using NPS to measure product quality Nexkey uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a benchmark for how well the product is accepted in the marketplace. NPS measures the quality of a product by analysing how likely customers are to recommend it to a friend or colleague. As an example, Apple currently has an NPS of 65%. In comparison, Nexkey has achieved a score of 60 percent, and is looking to improve it even more. “A year from now, we want to get the same positive feedback from our dealer/integrator community,” says Trabold. “That’s the challenge, engaging with partners and scaling the business forward. We still have work to do.”
The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) will be held at the Indiana Convention Center, June 3-6, in Indianapolis. The show focusses exclusively on the electronic security and life safety industry, including companies that service the connected Internet of Things (IoT) space for homes and businesses. The ESX Main Stage will highlight inspirational presentations from motivational speakers, Dr. Rick Rigsby and Kevin Brown. In addition, there will be a founder of a drone security company and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence from Kleiner Perkins for OpenXchange, and a Secret Service agent for the Closing Keynote. Sharing best practices and trends In breakout sessions, colleagues and business thought leaders will share best practices, trends and opportunities that helped their own companies and careers, so that others might replicate their successes or minimise their failures. These sessions are aimed at propelling attendees to reimagine their business models and go-to-market strategies, says George De Marco, Chairman of ESX and Managing Partner for DECO Ventures LLC. Examples of breakout sessions include: CounterPoint Forum – “False Alarm Dispatches - A Real Threat or a Nuisance to the Industry?” “Top 3 Ways to Grow Your Video RMR” “5 Faster, Smarter Ways to Improve Cash Flow” “Artificial Intelligence Real Time Video Monitoring Solutions” Promoting security professionals’ growth Our goal is to develop next-gen methods that deliver industry content and promote professional growth"“Each year, we challenge ourselves to raise the bar of the educational sessions and main stage events,” says De Marco. “One of the ways is introducing new faces and voices for the peer-developed and peer-driven educational sessions that offer best practices and identify trends, opportunities and challenges for industry professionals to consider today and in the future. Our goal is to develop next-gen methods that deliver industry content and promote professional growth as the industry pivots to the future.” New entrants and disruptors are challenging traditional go-to-market strategies, causing traditional companies to rethink how they rise above the noise in a changing competitive landscape and handle new consumer buying behaviours, says De Marco. Exhibitors at ESX Exhibitors that support ESX include Interlogix (Diamond sponsor), Napco (Platinum sponsor), Alula and DMP (Gold sponsor), and ADI, Altronix, Bold Group, Essence, ICT, Quick Response, Resideo, Secura key, Security Central and WeSuite (Silver sponsors). ESX seeks to connect exhibitors with the influencers and decision-makers from companies that represent a cross section of dealers, integrators and monitoring companies in North America. The exhibit hall will be the focal point for exhibitors to showcase their latest technology in the city’s impressive convention centre. The exhibit hall will be the focal point for exhibitors to showcase their latest technology in the city’s convention centre “We recognise individuals and companies during the Opening Celebration that help propel the industry forward and at our VIP Event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” says De Marco. “During the day, there are meals around the Main Stage sessions which gather attendees around the table for casual conversation before the presentation begins.” Indianapolis, home of the Indy 500, is a unique location that has a lot to offer the attendees of ESX. A special night at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will invite a limited number of guests to share great food and drinks, to experience a trip around the track in an official pace car, and to ‘kiss the bricks’, a speedway tradition. Centrally located in the US, Indianapolis is a convenient convention destination for travel, whether flying or driving. Connecting with peers and colleagues Another benefit of the show is the cross-section of companies represented in the industry, whether large, medium or small There are also networking opportunities throughout the week. The Pub Crawl, an attendee favourite, is a night where long-time friends gather, and new friendships are made. “This is where the real conversations happen between peers and colleagues about real problems of running and growing a company, and solutions that can make a difference,” says De Marco. Another benefit of the show is the cross-section of companies represented in the industry, whether large, medium or small players. This enables professionals to come together to connect with their peers and colleagues, allowing for deep discussions on how to grow their people, revenues and profits, including mentoring opportunities that encourage leadership development, says De Marco. The subject of finding qualified employees is top of mind for almost every industry today, especially the security industry. Sessions that address hiring and managing employees for industry professionals include “Hiring from Outside the Monitoring Industry: Surprising Resources for Great Operators” “Maximise New Employees: Why Onboarding is Critical to Their Success” “5 Tips for Effective Employee Performance Evaluations” Helping attendees to reinvent their business “Our focus is primarily on the attendee, helping them connect with suppliers, colleagues and opportunities that reimagine their businesses, so they can be stronger competitors,” says De Marco. “If we can provide the right knowledge to inspire or transform the attendees to take meaningful action or implement change that helps them remain relevant, we believe we have succeeded.” There will be an undercurrent of sadness at ESX this year because the industry recently suffered a loss. George Gunning, former CEO of USA Alarm Systems and one of the founding members of ESX, passed away in February. “We would be remiss if we didn’t recognise his contributions and influence on the industry and ESX over the years,” says De Marco. Another founding member of ESX who has passed away is John Murphy, formerly CEO of Vector Security.
Knightscope’s long-term mission is to “make America the safest country in the world,” says William Santana Li, Chairman and CEO. “The company was started six years ago as we had grown tired and horrified by the ongoing violence in our country and decided to do something about it.” But are security robots the solution to crime and violence in the United States? “There are 2+ million law enforcement and security professionals trying to secure 328+ million people across the 50 states,” Mr. Li says. “The math just doesn’t work, which is why our country pays $1+ trillion in negative economic impact annually – a hidden tax we all pay in blood, tears and treasure.” Robots provide professionals with new tools. “We make really smart eyes and ears that operate 24/7/365 for an affordable price,” says Mr. Li. “We have actually operated more than 700,000 hours in the real world, both outdoors and indoors, across 15 states and are now operating across five time zones – fully autonomous without any human intervention.” Utilising robotics and AI AI helps Knightscope robots interact better with humans and perform activities like identifying peopleKnightscope is a security technology company that utilises self-driving technology, robotics and artificial intelligence to provide security professionals additional eyes and ears to do their jobs much more effectively – as well as provide a consistent around-the-clock physical deterrence to help minimise negative behaviour. Knightscope says its K1, K3 and K5 security robots, and accompanying user interface, the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC), continue to make significant contributions to the safety of its client base. Artificial intelligence helps Knightscope robots interact better with humans and perform activities like identifying people, looking up license plates, detecting rogue wireless devices, having a machine-to-human dialogue and, in the future, detecting dangerous objects in a scene automatically. “Our long-term plan is to have the machines be able to see, feel, hear and smell, so advances in sensor capabilities, efforts in sensor fusion, and the future with 5G capabilities will make for profound advances,” says Mr. Li. Facial recognition software at ISC West 2019 was Knightscope’s fourth time exhibiting at ISC West, and they have also exhibited at GSX/ASIS, ISC East, numerous other trade shows, and have hosted some of their own. Mr. Li has seen the reaction to security robots evolve over the years. People are realising that the technology is not science fiction but science fact and looking to see how it can be an integral part of their respective security programs “At first, it was typically ‘what is that?’ or ‘what does it do?’ But the last 12 to 18 months have been very different. There has been much more meaningful, implementation-focussed dialogue, feedback, requests for new features, etc. Now folks are realising that our technology is not science fiction but science fact and looking to see how it can be an integral part of their respective security programs.” Their ISC West presence this year highlighted facial recognition software that utilises deep learning to detect, analyse and compare faces. Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, Calif., an existing Knightscope customer, is using the beta format on its K1 security robot platform. Additional benefits of using robots Knightscope has raised over $40 million to develop and deploy its technology and is backed by more than 6,000 family offices, accelerators, funds, private investors and four major corporations, says Mr. Li. As the machines get smarter and more capable over time – the number of applications will become endless" Robots also provide additional benefits beyond security, says Mr. Li, such as branding, community relations and public relations opportunities for clients. “In some cases, our clients have utilised our Concierge feature to allow for human-to-machine customer service interactions,” he says. “We have also been able to showcase and inspire STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students with practical applications of technology for the good of society. And robot selfies have certainly become a thing.” Endless number of applications In terms of vertical markets, in the near term, Knightscope has seen positive scaling and growth on corporate campuses and at logistics facilities, manufacturing plants, hospitals, casinos, commercial real estate and malls. “As the machines get smarter and more capable over time – the number of applications will become endless,” says Mr. Li. They currently drop new software code every two weeks and new hardware typically a couple of times a year. “In my opinion, it is ill advised for early stage technology companies to utilise B2G (business-to-government) sales as the initial go-to-market strategy,” says Mr. Li. “For Knightscope we have been primarily focussed on B2B (business-to-business) sales and actually until 2017 were geographically constrained to California only. What we are doing is technologically extremely difficult as these are effectively self-driving cars. Additionally, despite the never-ending international interest, we are laser focussed on the United States.”
Managed services provided through the cloud offer multiple advantages for system integrators. These include: Increased recurring monthly revenue: Managed services are a new business model that generates more stable and predictable income streams for integrators. Stickier customers: Managed services foster a more involved relationship between integrators and their customers, which can help boost customer retention. The cloud enables integrators to serve more sites without hiring additional technicians High gross profit margins: Cloud managed services create an opportunity for a service and technology to be purchased together, helping to generate a higher gross profit margin from the beginning of the customer relationship. They are easier to provide: The cloud enables integrators to serve more sites without hiring additional technicians. Problems can be fixed proactively: When a problem occurs on a site that is managed by a cloud-based system, the integrator can receive a real-time notification regarding the issue - possibly before the customer even notices a disruption in service. Increased valuation of business: According to a study by Dell, companies that utilise cloud, mobility, and security technologies are experiencing as much as 53 percent higher revenue growth rates compared to those who do not such technologies. Importance of cloud-based solutions The cloud also challenges integrators to educate customers on the value of the new approach The cloud also challenges integrators to educate customers on the value of the new approach. For example, the cloud changes the expense model of security systems. It allows customers to shift from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model, where large capital funding is required to purchase equipment, to an operational expenditure (OpEx) model, where the costs of the solution become an operating expense. Since the cameras, installation, storage, and software are packaged into the service, you don’t need a large capital outlay up front - you simply pay a predictable expense every month. Leveraging this difference opens new sales opportunities for integrators. The benefits of cloud services on how physical security equipment and software services can be monitored and maintained through a connected service is a particular benefit to integrators. Data monitoring and security “By having data describing the health of the system shared on the cloud, system integrators can observe data on demand and create proactive maintenance plans in coordination with the end user,” says Stuart Rawling, Director of Business Development, Pelco by Schneider Electric, and one of our Expert Panelists. A daily challenge for end users is balancing human resources used in the operation of a system “Such plans should result in increased system reliability and less downtime. If system performance data is aggregated and anonymised, it could also be used by manufacturers to analyse and form conclusions about maintenance schedules and system lifespan.” A benefit is happier customers. “A daily challenge for end users is balancing human resources used in the operation of a system and daily maintenance, with maintenance having shared responsibility with the system integrator,” says Rawling. The cloud software as a service The SaaS model gives companies the resources to improve the deep learning model" The cloud also can help to make cutting edge technologies more affordable. Economies of scale provided by the Cloud (Software as a Service, or SaaS) are making the sophisticated capabilities of deep learning affordable to a wider audience. Meanwhile, deep learning augments cloud systems with capabilities that may not be available (or affordable) in on-premise systems, thus accelerating the broader move to cloud systems. “Having a SaaS model gives companies the resources to improve the deep learning model,” says Shawn Guan, CEO and co-founder of Umbo Computer Vision, a provider of deep learning video analytics. "We can make more accurate systems that scale better and faster. SaaS enables vendors to do something great with deep learning. You don’t have to redo it for everybody. One customer benefit from another customer and all the knowledge is aggregated together.”
Virtualisation offers multiple benefits to video surveillance systems, but the technology has been slow to adapt to the needs of video. However, the tide is turning. At ISC West, BCDVideo introduced a hyperconverged infrastructure tailored to video surveillance (HCI-VS) that answers the demand for higher and more efficient operating performance while also lowering the total cost of ownership for the integrator and end user. Hyperconverged infrastructure solution “ISC West attendees were able to get their hands on our hyperconverged solution and immediately see how easy it is to use and the benefit of adding virtual machines,” says BCDVideo’s Chief Technology Officer Tom Larson. Security integrators were impressed that BCDVideo continues to adapt technologies" Virtualisation was just one of the innovations in BCDVideo’s demo room. Many integrators and end users found their way to the conference room, located not far from the exhibition hall, and BCDVideo was also featured at partners’ booths on the show floor. “Security integrators were impressed that BCDVideo continues to adapt technologies to the video surveillance space,” says Larson. “BCDVideo ‘gets’ them, but often IT does not. The HCI solution is purpose-built for video, and it works.” Server, storage and networking BCDVideo’s HCI-VS is a virtualised, video-optimised and highly available infrastructure. It combines the server, storage and networking into one platform. Powered by Scale Computing’s HC3 software, BCDVideo’s HCI is a scalable, node/cluster-based infrastructure that enables integrators to virtualise their physical security appliances and software, meaning fewer devices need to be deployed and maintained. Physical security integrators can create an infrastructure that provides high availability to the VMS" “More importantly, our HCI makes it easier than ever before both to quickly create and deploy virtual machines, and to manage video surveillance infrastructure,” says Larson. Some of the unique needs that HCI-VS serves are those of multi-faceted projects involving video recording, access control, building management, etc. With HCI-VS, separate appliances are not needed for each of these tasks, which enables better use of hardware, reduces overall rack space and power/cooling costs. Essentially, this solution eliminates the “pizza box” model and serves the need in the marketplace where always-on video and high availability are necessary, and especially in situations where loss of video data cannot be tolerated, says Larson. Simplified graphical user interface (GUI) makes it easy for integrators to implement systems that use hyperconverged technology Tolerant to hardware failure “By leveraging the concepts of hyperconvergence, physical security integrators can create an infrastructure that provides high availability to the video management system,” he says. “When components within a video management system are tolerant to hardware failure, it results in less loss of data and continual access to the data from the failed component. You always have access to the video data even if the hard drive fails.” Defining virtualisation Virtualisation is the act of creating virtual copies of physical resources, including, but not limited to, compute, memory, storage, and network resources. This is achieved by employing software to manage all physical resources, known as a hypervisor. As servers become more powerful, the discrepancy between software and hardware capabilities result in inefficient use of resources. “By partitioning the hardware resources into smaller virtual environments, we can create multiple virtualised servers that share a common set of resources,” says Larson. “By sharing this common set of resources, the virtualised servers utilise the resources more efficiently with less waste.” Integrators and end users flocked to BCDVideo's demo room at ISC West to try out the new hyperconverged solution Education and physical security Learning about the benefits of why to virtualise and applications will be a first step” A challenge to greater adoption of virtualisation in the physical security industry is education. “Some security integrators will need to step out of their comfort zone,” says Larson. “Virtualisation for video has been slow to adapt, and other solutions are complicated. IT technology applications traditionally have not worked in the space either. Learning about the benefits of why to virtualise and applications will be a first step.” HCI-VS in new verticals While HCI-VS is vertical-market-agnostic, the solution is suitable for school districts looking to consolidate their hardware, for hospitals and the healthcare industry in general, for the rapidly growing cannabis industry, any mass transit system, as well as for Fortune 1000 companies, to name a few. “Our virtualised solution especially appeals to these verticals because of the number of cameras, the need for 24/7/365 video recording and extensive data retention requirements, and where loss of video data cannot be afforded,” says Larson. Purpose-built solutions BCDVideo’s HCI-VS is the latest example of products BCDVideo is creating for the physical security industry. “We purpose-build and engineer our solutions specifically for video surveillance with the ability to scale-out as needed,” says Kelly Kellen, BCDVideo’s Director of Marketing. “We engineer new products to address problems in the marketplace. Our CTO is really looking at the market and studying the security integrator’s pain points. Then we engineer solutions to best serve them.”
Lack of cybersecurity of video systems made headlines in 2016. The Mirai cyberattack that year impacted Internet service on the East Coast of the United States and kept several high-profile websites offline. Cybersecurity attacks later in the day were more global in nature. The cyberattacks were carried out by a botnet, a network of bots, which are software applications (in this case, computer viruses) that communicate with each other and run tasks automatically over the Internet. IP-enabled cameras Bots can infiltrate unprotected computers and then use the computing power of their ‘hosts’ to carry out various kinds of cyber-attacks on other Internet targets. In the case of the Mirai attacks, a hidden army of bots worked together to bombard various websites with so many bogus requests that the sites became overwhelmed by the volume of traffic and could not respond to legitimate requests. It’s called a denial of service (DDS) attack. Many of the attacking bots were hosted by IP-enabled cameras and digital video recorders (DVRs). In other words, the bots used the computing power of our industry’s video products to launch the headline-grabbing cyberattack. Many of the attacking bots were hosted by IP-enabled cameras and digital video recorders Safeguarded communication Since 2016, awareness of cybersecurity for video systems has grown. Today, it is understood that video solutions should be designed to safeguard communication between trusted devices, ensure that video in transit (streamed) or in storage remains encrypted, and any commands and configurations to control cameras and other devices are transmitted via a secure channel (HTTPS). Some basic best practices can go a long way to improving the cybersecurity of video systems. A small change is to remove default passwords from products and software, and to avoid using ‘guessable’ passwords. All firmware should be encrypted to reduce the possibility of it being downloaded from the manufacturer’s website and deconstructed. Use of a secure operating system that is regularly updated can protect against video tampering, altering, spoofing and snooping. Video surveillance systems Another precaution is to avoid remote login using Telnet or FTP, which are less secure. Finally, use of digital certificate provides assurance that data from a third party is true and not falsified. All data should be encrypted with digital certificates. Video manufacturers often provide ‘hardening guides’ to enable enterprises to protect their systems from potential cybersecurity threats. Video manufacturers often provide ‘hardening guides’ to enable enterprises to protect their systems from potential cybersecurity threats Free downloadable guides and other resources provide specific recommendations on hardening video surveillance systems by applying proven cybersecurity initiatives. For example, the OnSSI Hardening Guide for Networked Video Surveillance Systems includes guidance on password strength, how to avoid poor password practices, collaboration with IT and HR departments and how to apply software and firmware security updates. Hardware-level encryption It also includes standard, advanced and enterprise cybersecurity best practices for cameras, servers and workstations and networks. Another cybersecurity requirement is data-at-rest encryption to ensure that data, such as stored video, is secure right down to the storage medium in which it is held. 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. Despite the clear benefits, data-at-rest encryption lags other areas, such as network and endpoint security, in terms of the investment it currently receives. A 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.
Despite any negativity you may hear, Hikvision is optimistic about their role in the U.S. market. “We demonstrate that we can be trusted, and that we should be trusted,” says Jeffrey He, Vice President, Hikvision, and President, Hikvision USA and Hikvision Canada. “We have sound products and technology. Our mission in the security industry is to protect, not to harm. Otherwise why would we be in this industry?” Hikvision is committed to investing in the North American market, where there was ‘positive year-over-year growth’ in 2018 and ‘strong’ sales in Q1 this year, according to Eric Chen, General Manager of Hikvision USA and Hikvision Canada. HikCentral central management software The company’s U.S. focus is shifting from products to solution sales, with emphasis on ‘mid-market’ small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The largest verticals are retail and education, and there are emerging opportunities in the cannabis market. Launch of the HikCentral central management software (CMS) is a component of the company’s solution-sales approach. Launch of the HikCentral central management software is a component of the company’s solution-sales approachMr. He acknowledges the growth of ‘anti-China sentiment’ in the United States and other parts of the world, which he says will impact Hikvision’s operations globally. Specifically, in the U.S., ‘political’ elements impacting Hikvision’s business include ongoing tariffs and a trade war, Congressional calls for export controls and sanctions, and a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that bans use of Chinese video surveillance products in government applications. Specifying cybersecurity initiatives at ISC West In spite of it all, Hikvision’s message at the recent ISC West show was overwhelmingly positive, and the company also detailed cybersecurity initiatives they say put the Chinese company ahead of many competitors in the industry. Eric Chen came in as General Manager last year; he previously spent a decade working for Hikvision in China. Chen reports solid 18.8% year-over-year growth for Hikvision globally, totalling $7.4 billion last year. He notes the company saw 40% compounded growth between 2010 and 2018. Globally, there are 34,000 employees, 16,000 of whom are research and development (R&D) engineers. Hikvision’s expanding global footprint includes 46 international branches. There are three manufacturing facilities in China, in addition to one in India. HikRewards program for HDP customers At ISC West, Hikvision’s theme was ‘Focus on Your Success’, including introduction of the HikRewards program that provides rebates to HDP (Hikvision Dealer Partner) customers, their core dealer base. A new online Hikvision Knowledge Library for HDPs provides training and reference materials dealers can share with employees. A new tech centre, introduced in December, provides data sheets, product information, and support resources. There is also a North American R&D team headquartered in Montreal. At the industry’s largest U.S. trade show, Hikvision unveiled a brand-new booth with plenty of open space and video walls A customer satisfaction survey launched in March provided good feedback from customers. “They know who to call if they have a problem,” says Chen. “We want to focus on making customers successful.” The success theme also extends to Hikvision employees, who are featured in videos describing their jobs and enthusiasm for Hikvision. There are some 400 employees in the North American operation. At the industry’s largest U.S. trade show, Hikvision unveiled a brand-new booth with plenty of open space and video walls. Half of the booth was focussed on solutions, especially retail and education, and also gaming and commercial real estate. Security products displayed at ISC West A variety of devices, including access control, intercoms and cameras, are integrated using the HikCentral CMS systemProduct highlights at the ISC West booth included the 32-megapixel PanoVu multi-sensor dome camera, whose 180-degree panoramic image was displayed on a 65-inch monitor. A variety of devices, including access control, intercoms and cameras, are integrated using the HikCentral CMS system. Some products new to the North American market, including intercoms, turnstiles, emergency call stations, and under-vehicle inspection, were displayed. Hikvision’s deep learning products are moving into their second generation, including the ability to obscure private information on videos to comply with GDPR/privacy requirements (previewed at ISC West and released later in the year). Algorithm components of Hikvision’s DeepInMind artificial intelligence are being adapted into a platform called AcuSense for value-priced products, which can recognise a human or vehicle and help filter out false alarms. Also being adapted to products with lower price points are the ColorVu system that incorporates visible light LEDs to provide colour images at night, and DarkFighter low-light capabilities. Penetration testing of cameras and NVRs As a global manufacturer, Hikvision faces a high level of scrutiny about cybersecurity, which Mr. Chen says is “a good thing for us,” enabling them to highlight the steps they are taking to improve cybersecurity. Chuck Davis, Director of Cybersecurity, outlined specific milestones Hikvision has achieved in its quest to provide world-class cybersecurity. Chuck Davis, Director of Cybersecurity, outlined specific milestones Hikvision has achieved in its quest to provide world-class cybersecurity In September 2017, Hikvision began working with third parties (including Rapid7) for penetration testing (ethical hacking) of its cameras and recorders. That same month, Hikvision set up a Cybersecurity Hotline open to anyone with questions about cybersecurity, including white-hat hackers and researchers. Even before that, Hikvision had an open-door policy on cybersecurity and a program for patching and disclosing responsibility. In February of 2018, Hikvision released a 40-page Cybersecurity White Paper describing cybersecurity testing and processes built into the software development lifecycle. That same month, Hikvision launched an Opened Source Code Transparency Center and offered an open invitation to anyone wanting to inspect Hikvision’s source code and let them know of any vulnerabilities. FIPS 140-2 certification by NIST Hikvision has also become a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Numbering Authority (CNA), which ensures their patching and incident reporting programs have been reviewed by a CNA partnering company. Hikvision's encryption module (HIKSSL) received Level 1 FIPS 140-2 certification to be used in both IP cameras and NVRsIn August, Hikvision received Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification, a U.S. government encryption standard created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Hikvision's encryption module (HIKSSL) received Level 1 FIPS 140-2 certification to be used in both IP cameras and NVR products. Davis said the FIPS 140-2 certification process began before the NDAA ban on use of Hikvision products in the U.S. government, and in any case is a standard that ensures a high level of encryption. “We wanted to make sure we had the same level of technology,” he says. “It was not to win over the government.” Making industry more cybersecure “We are really trying to have third parties test and certify our equipment,” adds Davis. “We are trying to be open and transparent. Education and awareness are key.” “We need the trust of customers in the security community,” says Mr. He. “No matter what, we have to follow the highest standards to offset the concerns and accusations.” In April 2018, Davis became a member of the Security Industry Association (SIA) Cybersecurity Advisory Board to help make the entire industry more cybersecure through education, awareness and standards. Hikvision has also joined the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST at first.org), a global cybersecurity incident response consortium that cooperatively handles computer security incidents and promotes incident prevention programs. Davis has presented Cybersecurity Road Shows in 22 cities in the United States and Canada, and also in Australia and New Zealand. The 90-minute presentations focus on education awareness around cybersecurity and seek to get attendees engaged and aware about cybersecurity in business and also in their homes.
Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS), simply stated, is a cloud-based video surveillance solution that is packaged and delivered as a service over the internet. The price varies depending on the features of the plan (i.e. number of cameras, amount of storage, software features, etc.), and customers pay a monthly subscription price to use it. Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are installed at site locations, and the video is captured and streamed to a service provider’s data centre via an internet connection. The video management software (VMS) runs on backend infrastructure provided by the service provider’s cloud. All video processing is done in the cloud, and all that is required to view the footage is an internet-connected device and a web browser. Implementation of AI and deep learning The cloud facilitates implementation of artificial intelligence and deep learning in the video surveillance marketThe cloud also facilitates implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning in the video surveillance market. One of the major challenges with developing deep learning-based applications is access to real-word data and the ability to train the applications to work in any environment. Companies need access to relevant datasets that need to iterate their solutions quickly. Cloud-based solutions are of significant advantage in this case, as they allow for continuous updates and easy collection of vast amounts of data. “We will see the continued adoption of cloud-based intelligent video solutions that aggregate business data through video and artificial intelligence,” says Andreas Pettersson, CEO of Arcules, one of our Expert Panelists. Leveraging AI and IoT technologies with video data is becoming more common as organisations strive to optimise business operations while also boosting security across their facilities. Actionable intelligence gathering “The possibilities for this level of actionable intelligence gathering is endless, as markets such as hospitality, manufacturing, retail and SMEs that have multiple locations to manage, look to make sense of video in intuitive, streamlined ways,” says Pettersson. “The ability for technology to aggregate and analyse video surveillance and connected sensor data, identify trends in that data, and apply predictive analysis in businesses will have a huge impact in the coming year.” Cloud systems can solve more problems than ever using artificial intelligence and machine learning Cloud systems can solve more problems than ever using artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the capabilities expand way beyond video analytics to include analytics in general, crunching a variety of data provided by Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. Another area of interest related to video in the cloud is the development of ‘smart codecs’ that security camera manufacturers are developing and marketing as a solution that goes beyond H.264 and H.265. Maximising video storage Customers are realising that cloud implementations are more cost-effective, easier to deploy and maintainThe ongoing need to better manage network bandwidth usage and to maximise video storage is further turning the emphasis toward smart codecs, which lend themselves to cloud applications. Extremely high-resolution video can now be moved around in a fraction of the time and solves the issue of transporting many cameras over constrained WAN connections. With the elastic computing power available in the cloud, one can now envision a time where cloud computing costs could be low enough for the masses of video security solution use cases to be solved. Customers are realising that cloud implementations are more cost-effective, easier to deploy and maintain, and in many cases, even more secure than traditional on-premise deployments. In partnership with the leading cloud providers, the security industry can carry this message to the customers and will gradually see a shift in the acceptance of cloud-based solutions in the traditional security markets.
Cybersecurity involves a variety of risks and vulnerabilities to the enterprise, from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to phishing to USB drives. Companies may also be at risk from use of interactive kiosks, or even from cyberattacks against traveling executives. Preventing phishing and cyberattacks The 'Management Hack' service is designed for C-level executives, such as CEO, CFO or event CIO Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to gain sensitive information such as user names, passwords or credit card details by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. These are among the most dominant forms of social engineering attacks. To avoid phishing attacks, NTT Security has expanded their suite of phishing attack simulation services using special social engineering techniques to check whether senior executives pose a security risk. The 'Management Hack' service is designed for C-level executives, such as CEO, CFO or event CIO. These executives are more likely to have unrestricted access to highly confidential company data, which makes them a valuable target. Simulated, personalised social engineering attacks are carried out, with the individuals involved unaware they are being targeted. NTT then analyses how executives respond, identities weaknesses, and recommends appropriate measures such as awareness training. Cybersecurity helps deter phishing and DDoS attacks ADT Cybersecurity partners with Cofense phishing defense solutions to offer phishing detection and response. Cofense Triage is a phishing-specific automated incident response platform that works as part of ADT Cybersecurity managed services. The system focuses on thwarting phishing attacks before they can cause damage by moving detection of such attacks up the kill chain. Data breaches caused by cyberattacks on networks are plaguing businesses of all sizes. The median time of compromise to discovery is 80 days, with the average cost of data breach costing organizations $3.62 million. Managing endpoint security There is a need for cybersecurity to extend beyond the firewall Another cybersecurity vulnerability for companies is the unauthorised use of USB ports. There is a need for cybersecurity to extend beyond the firewall, which requires restricting access to a system’s USB ports as a means of managing 'endpoint security.' However, blocking all USB ports can restrict productivity, and employees are not as efficient as they should be. A solution is the use of more encrypted USB drives to combine the productivity advantages of allowing USB access while protecting the information on the drives. Kingston Technology offers hardware-based encrypted USB drives that uses AES 256-bit encryption in XTS mode to ensure that if anyone finds a USB drive, they cannot access the information. Illustrating the value of encrypted drives was an incident when a USB drive from Heathrow Airport was found on a London street. It contained confidential information about accessing restricted areas at the airport and security measures used to protect the Queen. Data security and interactive kiosks Another possible cybersecurity vulnerability is use of interactive kiosks, which are computer terminals that feature specialised hardware and software that provide access to information and applications. Kiosks are typically placed in high foot-traffic environments such as retail stores, hospitals, banks, hotels, airports, courthouses, libraries and railway stations. A kiosk is particularly attractive to attackers because they know the security might not be as tight as it should be. Making kiosks more secure could be the difference between you being breached and remaining safe. A kiosk is attractive to attackers because they know the security is not very tight Executives who travel are another vulnerability to be considered. The international cybersecurity landscape has grown increasingly dynamic, with threats posed by government authorities (in some countries), terrorists, insurgents, and criminals, requiring travelers to be proactive and vigilant. U.S. citizens, particularly executives of U.S.-based technology companies, must be aware that they are considered high-value targets for nation-state intelligence services and criminally-motivated bad actors.Traveling executives should avoid using public Wi-Fi services—unless they use private VPN service for encryption WiFi and wireless connectivity There has been a shift from 'thrill hacking,' to an increase of 'hacking as a business' (through credential compromise and ransomware), to an increase in 'hacking for harm' - with the rise of 'nuke ware' and ransomware without a clear financial motivation. Traveling executives should avoid using public Wi-Fi services—unless they use private VPN service for encryption. They should also increase the privacy setting on technical devices and disable location identifiers. Other precautions include creating a new (unlinked) email for internet correspondence and use of temporary (i.e., burner) phones to protect data and contacts. Travelers should also consider purchasing international MyFi devices to decrease the risk of getting Personal Identification Information (PII) or Protected Healthcare Information (PHI) stolen.
In today’s technology-driven markets, a platform is a business model that connects producers and consumers in an interactive ecosystem. Some examples of platforms are Uber and Airbnb, which have disrupted and transformed traditional markets. Isn’t it time to deploy the platform model in the physical security industry? That’s the goal of the Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA), a non-profit organisation. Interactions and exchange The book ‘Platform Revolution’ defines a platform as ‘a business based on enabling value-creating interactions between external producers and consumers.’ The description continues: ‘The platform provides an open, participatory infrastructure for these interactions and sets governance conditions for them. The platform’s overarching purpose is to consummate matches among users and facilitate the exchange of goods, services, or social currency, thereby enabling value creation for all participants.’ Platform for security and safety solutions OSSA’s plan is to build a common standardised platform for security and safety solutions. Founding members are Bosch Building Technologies, Hanwha Techwin, Milestone Systems, Pelco and VIVOTEK. Anyone can join the alliance, which is growing rapidly and gaining traction as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands. OSSA’s plan is to build a common standardised platform for security and safety solutions OSSA members could be found throughout the recent ISC West show in Las Vegas, and a social event after hours at the show brought them together and set the tone for development to come. A Technology Stack “We want to create an ecosystem, define a common market approach and open new market opportunities,” says Johan Jubbega, OSSA President. “We want to go from a product business to a platform business. It’s better for us and better for the end-users.” OSSA seeks to develop a specification for a common Technology Stack to cater to innovation and reduce fragmentation within the security and safety market, according to OSSA. Its mission is complementary to organisations like ONVIF. Video information and low friction The video surveillance industry creates vast amounts of information in the form of video, but typically less than 1 percent of that data is used by today’s video surveillance systems – think about that one or two frames of video among thousands that might be used to solve a crime, for example. The rest of the data remains unused, and yet the potential value of the data is huge. OSSA seeks to create a platform to leverage the value of the data. “If we don’t unlock that value in our industry, someone will do it for us,” says Jubbega. OSSA is developing a vendor-agnostic operating system that simplifies low-level device integration and standardises elements such as cybersecurity and security update patches Among the important elements in developing the platform are to create a level of trust among all the stakeholders involved, and to lower the ‘friction’ involved in participating in the platform. “We want to make it easy and fun to do business with anyone who joins the platform,” says Jubbega. “By taking away the friction, we will create scalability.” System-on-chip Development of customisable system-on-chip (SoC) components in today’s video cameras provide the capacity to host a variety of ‘apps’ to expand system functionality and leverage the value of data. OSSA is developing a vendor-agnostic operating system that simplifies low-level device integration and standardises elements such as cybersecurity and security update patches. Building on top of that operating system, vendors can create new levels of differentiation. “Our purpose is to start from a common business model to spur innovation and add value for users,” according to OSSA. Cybersecurity and data protection SAST is creating the operating system and setting up the IoT infrastructure to make apps available Simply speaking, app developers can use the standard operating system to build new functionalities that can easily be ‘loaded’ on cameras and sold in an ‘app store’ scenario. Security and Safety Things (SAST), a Bosch startup and member of OSSA, is creating the operating system and setting up the IoT infrastructure to make the apps available. Development of these elements is happening concurrently with the evolution of OSSA. “We offer you an opportunity to come with us on this journey,” Jubbega told attendees at the ISC West social event. “We want to have a common approach to tackling cybersecurity and data protection – to raise the bar in the industry. You can still differentiate, but from a higher base.” OSSA members who exhibited at ISC West included Anixter Inc., Bosch Building Technologies, Hanwha Techwin, Milestone Systems, NetApp Inc., Pelco, SAST, Socionext Inc., United Technologies and VIVOTEK Inc.
As physical security systems increasingly resemble the architecture of an IT (information technology) network, the cybersecurity risks are increasing. Sometimes hacks in physical security go unrecognised because of poor detection. Here's part two of our Cybersecurity series. Going forward, the physical security industry should adopt the same principles as the information security market, embracing new elements such as risk assessment and certifications. A change in culture is needed to align and embrace cybersecurity and make necessary improvements, says Terry Gold of D6 Research. Independent testing and access control There are signs of progress. Increasingly, access control systems today are designed to be more cyber-resilient and are tested extensively to discover and address any vulnerabilities. Data capture form to appear here! For example, the latest version of Tyco’s C-Cure 9000 undergoes independent testing to discover and address any critical vulnerabilities, and new firmware and software updates are tested to ensure they do not open any ‘back doors.’ Tyco’s Cyber Protection Program is part of the company’s ‘holistic approach’ to supplying customers with quality solutions. If cybersecurity is managed properly, the new wave of access control systems are as secure as previous systems. In some cases, more secure. For example, the new generation of smart cards, such as MiFARE DesFIRE EV1 or EV2 and HID iCLASS SEOS, use protocols that are much safer than the last generation Wiegand systems. New secure protocols such as OSDP version 2 are a better alternative to Wiegand. The new wave of access control systems are more secure than previous systems and use protocols that are much safer than the last generation Protocols for wireless electronic locks Wireless electronic locks use security protocols such as encryption and authentication that prevent cybercriminals from accessing the network to get data and intercept commands. In short, the information in an IP-based access control system is at no greater risk than any other information being transmitted over the network, as long as smart decisions are made on how systems are connected and data is transmitted and stored. Standards are one approach to ensure a minimum level of cybersecurity for physical security products and systems. For example, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) seeks to work with manufacturers to up their game on cybersecurity and to certify compliance to a minimum level of cybersecurity ‘hygiene.’ Requirements for software cybersecurity The UL Cybersecurity Assurance Program (CAP) has developed the UL 2900-1 standard, which offers General Requirements for Software Cybersecurity for Network-Connectable Products. It was published in 2016 and in July 2017 was published as an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard. The standard was developed with cooperation from end users such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. National Laboratories, and other industry stakeholders. UL 2900-2-3 – the standard that focuses on electronic physical security/Life Safety & Security industry, was published in September 2017. Cybersecurity should be an element in physical security as the risk for data to be physically removed from a building is greater than ever Physical security integral to cybersecurity Not only should cybersecurity be an element in physical security, the reverse is also true: Physical security should be seen as integral to cybersecurity. Looking at the intersection of cybersecurity and physical security from this opposite angle uncovers a world of opportunity to make the enterprise safer. Physical risks to cybersecurity include insider and outsider threats, poor or non-existent screening, and the presence of a seemingly innocent personal item. Off-the-shelf devices such as SD cards, external hard drives, audio recorder and even smart phones can be used to transport audio, video and/or computer data into and out of a building. For the private and public sectors, the risk for data to be physically removed from a building is greater than ever, and physical security systems can protect against this vulnerability. Missed part one of our Cybersecurity series? Click here. Part three, coming soon.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, present a range of threats, from the careless and clueless to the criminal. While many incidents may seem harmless, the threat to any location at any time depends on a range of factors. Drones are inexpensive for criminals to buy or make, and there are continuously improving battery, airspeed, and payload capabilities. UAVs can also fly without an RF signal to jam or hack. Fortunately, sensor technologies including radar are available for security agencies and personnel to protect assets and the public. Radio-wave signals Radar works as a deterrent by sending out a radio-wave signal using a transmitter antenna, and a small portion of that signal reflects off objects in its path and returns to a receiver antenna. The highest performing radars use an antenna technology called Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA), which enables all-electronic reconfiguration of the antennas. When an AESA radar detects an object, it can ‘focus’ its antennas to track the object, in much the same way as the zoom on a camera does. Multiple objects can be tracked while continuing to scan. Kirkland, Washington-based Echodyne offers a radar product that brings these ESA capabilities to non-military security applications at commercial price points. Combining proprietary hardware with intelligent software, Echodyne produces a compact, solid-state, electronically scanning array Echodyne’s ESA radar Echodyne says they are reinventing radar price-performance for security applications in the ground (people, vehicles) or air (counter-UAS) domains. Combining proprietary hardware with intelligent software, Echodyne produces a compact, solid-state, electronically scanning array (ESA) radar that is affordable for commercial, law enforcement, and governmental customers. The company is backed by high profile investors, including Bill Gates, Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, NEA, and Lux Capital. “Radar is a sensor,” says Leo McCloskey, Echodyne VP Marketing. “It is most applicable when security professionals can both understand its capabilities and define risk assessment and deployment requirements that call for those capabilities. Our customers are primarily security system integrators and consultancies, which integrate the performance of radar into a sensor array that meets mission requirements.” Radar technology for border surveillance Echodyne was selected by the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) to demonstrate the performance of its radar technology for border surveillance applications. The radar was deployed both in fixed remote surveillance towers and as a lightweight rapid deployment kit for field agents. Able to surveil ground and air domains, the radar combines versatility and commercial price with surveillance capabilities. “We set out to build the world’s best compact, solid-state ESA radar sensor, and we are demonstrating that we’ve reached that objective,” says McCloskey. “We’re excited to introduce these capabilities for other security applications.” Able to surveil ground and air domains, the radar combines versatility and commercial price with surveillance capabilities MESA technology Echodyne’s proprietary technology provides a small true electronically scanning array (ESA) radar. Unlike expensive Active ESA (AESA) phased array radars, MESA requires no physical phase shifters, thus reducing the cost, size, weight, and power by several orders of magnitude while maintaining all the benefits of fast ESA radar. Echodyne combines its MESA technology with an intelligent software suite, Acuity, to produce a configurable, software-defined radar for commercial, law enforcement, and governmental security applications. The capability is also useful for temporary events such as rallies and marathons, and many other market applications “Technology seems to make everything more available to more people over time,” says McCloskey. “What is a retail product today will be a purchased self-assembly kit tomorrow and an improvised self-made drone the following day. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is diligently at work on creating rules for safe UAV operation, though any final rules remain some distance off. As drone volumes increase, delineating friend from foe in the airspace requires clear legal and regulatory frameworks, which are nascent but would help distinguish the threat of nuisance flyers from illegal overflight.” Radar sensor for security applications “Detecting and tracking airspace objects of interest is imperative for airports, chemical plants, oil and gas installations, refineries, water and energy utilities, stadiums and other public spaces”, says McCloskey. The capability is also useful for temporary events such as rallies and marathons, and many other market applications. “As with any product, our applicability will depend on variables like location, terrain, risk assessment, and existing security technologies,” says McCloskey. “Our mission is to deliver the very best radar sensor for security applications.”
Simultaneous suicide bombings at several churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21 were of a scale, sophistication and level of coordination that hasn’t been seen since 9/11. Nine suicide bombers targeted three churches and three hotels on Easter morning, and the resulting casualties numbered 359 dead, including 45 children, and about 500 injured. The complexity of the attacks suggests the bombers received help from an outside organisation, likely the Islamic State (IS). Sadly, security warnings from Indian intelligence officials, which might have helped to prevent or minimise the attacks, were ignored by Sri Lanka security weeks earlier. In the wake of the massacre, two of Sri Lanka’s top security officials were asked to resign, and Sri Lanka’s president promised to completely restructure state security. Contradiction to the terrorism report The twin calamities provide a dramatic counterpoint to an observed global decrease in terrorist attacksA motivation for the Sri Lanka tragedy is thought to be the March 15 shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, where 50 people were killed and 50 more were injured. A 28-year-old Australian white supremacist was arrested and charged with murder. Taken together, the twin calamities provide a dramatic counterpoint to an observed global decrease in terrorist attacks, as documented in a recent report. The suicide bombers in Sri Lanka were eight men and one woman, most of them well-educated and coming from the middle or upper class. One was the leader of National Thowheeth Jamaath, the homegrown militant Islamist group the government has blamed with carrying out the attacks. There is also evidence to corroborate a claim of responsibility by IS. Some 60 people have been arrested in the investigation. Even days later, police continued to find explosives and said there was still danger. Multiple attacks One explosion on Easter morning occurred at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, 20 miles north of Colombo, where more than 100 were killed. Another bomb killed 28 people at the Zion Church in Batticaloa, and an unknown number died at St. Anthony’s Shrine, a Roman Catholic church in Colombo. The three hotels that were attacked were all in Colombo – the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury The three hotels that were attacked were all in Colombo – the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. Two more explosions happened Sunday afternoon, one at a small guest house and another at the suspects’ safe house, where three officers were killed. Security at houses of worship has been a high-profile concern in the United States in recent years following incidents such as an attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in downtown Charleston in 2015 that killed nine people. Just last October, 11 people were killed and six others injured in a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Hardening security at churches “It’s no longer enough to pray for a safe and secure environment,” commented Patrick Fiel of PVF Security Consulting in an Expert Panel Roundtable discussion. “Churches are soft targets. Clergy and parishioners will need to work closely with security consultants and local law enforcement to harden their facilities.” Access control, CCTV solutions and mass notification systems are all helpful and can be placed unobtrusively so as not to interfere with aesthetics of the church, Fiel adds. The scale and scope of the bombings in Sri Lanka provide a wakeup call to the global likelihood of terrorist attacksIt doesn’t appear technology would have made much difference in the case of the Sri Lanka attacks, although awareness and vigilance can have an impact. At Zion Church in Batticaloa, for example, a bomber was stopped by pastors from entering the congregation area where some 500 people gathered. Because of their suspicions, the bomb was instead detonated in a courtyard where children were eating breakfast; 28 people died. The scale and scope of the bombings in Sri Lanka provide a dramatic wakeup call to the continuing global likelihood of terrorist attacks. The last territory of the Islamic State in Syria fell in March, but IS and its ideology live on, and continue to be a global terrorism threat. And that’s just one among many possible sources of terrorism worldwide. Hopefully, the recent incidents do not foreshadow more attacks that are even more deadly.
Cloud platforms and applications are becoming prevalent across security solutions. In the simplest terms, cloud systems store and access data and programs over the Internet instead of using an on-premises computer server. The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet. This technology helps security integrators provide managed services and the advantages of off-site systems and services to customers, which is why cloud computing is often mentioned among the 'megatrends' in the physical security industry. Here is part one of our Cloud Security series. Cloud computing The way users purchase services and products is changing in all walks of life, including the physical security market. The traditional concept of buying and owning a product is giving way to the idea that it is possible to purchase the services it offers instead. Data capture form to appear here! This approach has come from the consumer realisation that the outcome is more important than the tools to achieve it. For example, this approach is evident with the rise of music streaming services as opposed to downloads or physical products. And it coincides with a rise in cloud computing. The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet and the way users purchase services and products is changing in all walks of life, including the physical security market With the physical security industry becoming ever more integrated – and truly open systems now a reality – there is every reason to assume this service-led trend will come to dominate the way our industry interacts with its clients as well. Customer choice equates to a change of focus and interest, with physical products being eclipsed by the benefits of the overall solution. Cloud-based services put the onus on the result rather than which device the user chooses. There are benefits for security providers too. Rather than simply 'shifting boxes' and enduring the inevitable sales peaks and troughs this creates; Security as a Service (SaaS) sales allow manufacturers and installers to enjoy a more stable business model. Cloud-based solutions will have large impact “Cloud-based solutions will continue to have a large impact across the security industry in 2019,” says Fawzia Atcha, Vice President, Imron Corp., one of our Expert Panelists. “We saw this trend dominate product offerings in the home security market throughout 2018. We expect the commercial and industrial markets to move in this direction as well, thanks to customer demand." More and more businesses are realising that leveraging the cloud is the most efficient way to solve emerging challenges" "End users are looking for more streamlined experiences, opting for applications that can be accessed remotely from mobile devices as opposed to desktop software or through a server. Dealers and integrators are seeking to increase recurring monthly revenue through managed services to drive their bottom line. These are just some of the factors driving strong adoption of hosted and web-based cloud solutions.” “More and more businesses are realising that leveraging the cloud is the most efficient way to solve emerging challenges,” says Ron Virden, Chief Operating Officer, ACRE, LLC, another Expert Panelist. “Cloud-based applications offer significant financial savings by enabling more cost-effective scaling, as well as a reduction in hardware maintenance and management costs, more resilience, ease of mobile support, flexibility, and greater user experience.” Integrators are adjusting business models to leverage cloud-based solutions and there has been a rise of cloud-based products and offerings Accessibility, infrastructure and management Wayne Jared, VP Engineering of 3XLOGIC, Inc., another Expert Panelist, lists three features of cloud-based SaaS that are the most valuable: Eliminating the need for internal infrastructure, and thus upfront costs and long-term maintenance issues; Allowing “experts” to manage the environment and take the burden off stretched or non-existent IT staff; Accessibility from anywhere for ease of use with higher-level security. There has been a rise of cloud-based products and service offerings that security integrators have access to. While a few key players have offered cloud-based solutions for a couple of years, on the video side in particular, now the cloud is really picking up steam across all other security and life safety solutions. As a result, integrators are adjusting their business models to leverage these cloud-based solutions into recurring revenue models as managed security service providers (MSSP). Part two, coming soon.
Terrorism is amongst the more unyielding security threats worldwide, but a report on global terrorism from the Institute for Economics & Peace, Sydney, Australia, provides reason for optimism, especially outside the world’s terrorism hot spots such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Europe is the region with the biggest improvement from the impact of terrorism and has recorded a marked fall in terrorist activity. The number of deaths in Western Europe fell from 168 in 2016 to 81 in 2017. Turkey, France, Belgium, and Germany recorded the most significant falls, with only the United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, Finland, and Austria registering increases. As a whole, deaths from terrorism fell for a third consecutive year, after peaking in 2014. Bombings and armed assaults have been the most common form of terrorist attack every year for the past 20 years. Ranking countries based on impact of terrorism The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) was developed in consultation with the Global Peace Index Expert PanelThis article excerpts some of the insights from the Institute for Economics & Peace’s report Global Terrorism Index 2018: Measuring the Impact of Terrorism. The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to shifting the world's focus to peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and progress. The report ranks individual countries based on their impact from terrorism. The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) was developed in consultation with the Global Peace Index Expert Panel. The GTI scores each country on a scale from 0 to 10; where 0 represents no impact from terrorism and 10 represents the highest measurable impact of terrorism. Countries are ranked in descending order with the worst scores listed higher in the index. The United Kingdom scored 5.610 on the GTI scale, up seven spots in the ranking to No. 28. By comparison, the United States scored 6.066 (up 12 spots to rank No. 20), France scored 5.475 (ranked at No. 30) and China scored 5.108 (ranked at No. 36). Fall in deaths but rise in terrorist incidents Twenty-one countries in Europe recorded improvements on their GTI score in 2017, with 11 registering deteriorations in their scores. The impact of terrorism fell for the region on average. Europe recorded the largest percentage decrease in deaths from terrorism of any region in the world in 2017, with total deaths falling by 75 per cent. In Western Europe, deaths from terrorism fell by 52 percent, from 168 in 2016 to 81 in 2017 In Western Europe, deaths from terrorism fell by 52 per cent, from 168 in 2016 to 81 in 2017. From January until October 2018, fewer than 10 deaths were recorded in the region. Despite the fall in deaths, the number of terrorist incidents increased to 282 in Europe in 2017, up from 253 in the prior year. Furthermore, eight countries in Western Europe recorded at least one death from terrorism in 2017, the highest number in the past 20 years. 27% decrease in total number of deaths At the top of the global ranking, No. 1 is Iraq (which scored 9.746 and accounted for 25 percent of the deaths from terrorism) and Afghanistan is No. 2 (with score of 9.391 and representing 23 percent of deaths). The rest of the Top 5 countries are Nigeria, Syria and Pakistan. Iraq recorded over 5,000 fewer deaths from terrorism in 2017, while Syria recorded over 1,000 fewer deaths The total number of deaths from terrorism fell by 27 per cent between 2016 and 2017, with the largest decreases occurring in Iraq and Syria. Iraq recorded over 5,000 fewer deaths from terrorism in 2017, while Syria recorded over 1,000 fewer deaths. The fall in deaths was reflected in scores on the GTI, with 94 countries improving, compared to 46 that deteriorated. Extremism linked to ex-criminals There is a growing body of evidence that indicates people in Western Europe with a criminal background may be especially susceptible to alignment with extremist beliefs, radicalisation, and possible recruitment by terrorist groups, according to the report. Extremists groups provide a ‘redemption narrative’ for alienated young people with a criminal background, while also allowing them to use their illicit skills and networks. Most of the studies conducted in Western Europe find that more than 40 per cent of foreign fighters and those arrested for terrorist activity have some form of criminal background. This pattern of recruitment is of particular concern for countries in Western Europe, with the number of returning foreign fighters expected to grow in the years ahead as ISIL continues to crumble in Iraq and Syria, say the researchers. Increase in far-right political terrorism Elsewhere, the threat of far-right political terrorism is on the rise. There were 66 deaths from terrorism caused by far-right groups and individuals from 113 attacks for the years from 2013 to 2017. Of those, 17 deaths and 47 attacks occurred in 2017 alone. The majority of attacks were carried out by lone actors with far-right, white nationalist, or anti-Muslim beliefs In Western Europe, there were 12 attacks in the United Kingdom, six in Sweden, and two each in Greece and France. In the United States, there were 30 attacks in 2017 which resulted in 16 deaths. The majority of attacks were carried out by lone actors with far-right, white nationalist, or anti-Muslim beliefs. The GTI is based on the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) Global Terrorism Database (GTD), the most authoritative data source on terrorism today. The GTI produces a composite score so as to provide a ranking of countries on the impact of terrorism. The GTD consists of systematically and comprehensively coded data for 170,000 terrorist incidents.
Cybersecurity has become a major element – and a major source of discussion – in the physical security marketplace as a result of the rise in networked systems. And we may still not be talking enough about cybersecurity. Here is part one of our Cybersecurity series. “Cybersecurity requires everyone in the security industry to be playing offense and defense at the same time, every single day,” says Bill Bozeman, President and CEO of PSA Security Network. “It needs to just become part of the standard conversation when we are talking about physical security because they are so intertwined.” Creating new industry leaders Cybersecurity and physical security can be seen as two parts of a single entity, and increasingly the two will be combined at the enterprise level over the next several years. “This convergence of physical security and cybersecurity will create new industry leaders that will emerge to lead a new segment of the combined market through strong investment and leadership,” says Rob Lydic of ISONAS, now part of Allegion. Data capture form to appear here! Cybersecurity issues dominate almost every discussion in today’s physical security industry, and the clear message is that “manufacturers and integrators must continue to create robust and scalable cybersecurity offerings to protect customer data and facilities,” says Lydic. He contends that cloud services providers (such as ISONAS) are more cybersecure and reliable ‘by orders of magnitude’ than non-cloud solutions. Cybersecurity is linked to cloud-based systems and managed security service provider models Cloud-based services The Security Industry Association (SIA) has listed cybersecurity as one of 2019’s ‘Top Megatrends’ in the physical security market. SIA says it is important to prioritise cybersecurity among security businesses, for customers’ businesses, and for vendors. The trend calls for continual process improvement and investment. Bill Bozeman of PSA Security Network agrees: “Cybersecurity has definitely taken a strong foothold in the industry.” With the continued expansion of cloud-based services, cybersecurity will be more important than ever to integrators, manufacturers and end users alike, he says. Notably, cybersecurity is directly linked to two other important industry trends listed by Bozeman: cloud-based systems and the rise in recurring monthly revenue (RMR) and managed security service provider (MSSP) models, whose focus will include cybersecurity. Loss prevention executives The days when cybersecurity was exclusively the domain of the information technology (IT) department are gone. “Cybercrime is one of the biggest threats organisations of all sizes and types face today,” says Michael Malone, CEO of ADT Cybersecurity (formerly known as Datashield). “Considering the magnitude of these crimes, it now falls on the entire organisation, including the traditional security or loss prevention executives, to band together to combat these threats.” Cybercrime is one of the biggest threats organisations of all sizes and types face today Malone favours (and his company offers) a managed detection and response (MDR) service, which combines advanced technology and human analysis. Using packet capture on the network, an MDR analyst can ‘replay’ a cyber security event and dig deeper into the incident and determine remediation steps. It’s an approach that significantly cuts through false positive ‘noise’ so security teams can focus on what matters. Helping security officers Interestingly, cybersecurity is poised to benefit from another major trend in the physical security market – the rise of artificial intelligence. Specifically, machine learning applications for cybersecurity include: detecting malicious activity, helping security officers determine what tasks they need to complete in an investigation process, analysing mobile endpoints, decreasing the number of false positive threats, automating repetitive tasks like interrupting ransomware, and potentially closing some zero-day vulnerabilities. But AI in this case is not a panacea. Christopher McDaniels of Mosaic451 recommends pairing human intellect with machine technology to sort through data faster and catch hackers before they do much damage. See part two of our Cybersecurity series here.
As editor of SourceSecurity.com, Larry attends industry and corporate events, interviews security leaders and contributes original editorial content to the sites. He also guides the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals. From 1996 to 2008, Larry was editor of "Access Control & Security Systems" magazine and its affiliated websites. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Georgia State University with a minor in marketing. [Pictured: Larry and wife Linda relax with SourceSecurity.com's loyal office dog, Frankie] How did you come to work in the security industry? I started in the newspaper business and then migrated to trade publishing. I realised that every profession has its own journalism microcosm, so I learned a lot about robotics and paint and adhesives before I landed in the security field. That was around 1996, and security has been the centre of my professional life, and a subject of continuing fascination ever since. What is the best professional advice you have ever received? I never met the man, but a famous quote from Woody Allen is something like "80 percent of life is showing up." I find that comforting. Showing up is something I can do. And knowing that I am already 80 percent successful at the get-go has provided extra confidence in a lot of situations over the years. Quick Facts Favourite TV show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee First job McDonald's crew member Tea or coffee Neither: Diet Coke Best gift you received Dance lessons from my wife Last thing you cooked Grilled cheese What's something few people know about you? Several years ago, after ISC West, I was killing time at the Wynn casino before going to the airport. I had put my last few dollars in a “Red White and Blue” slot machine, and I won the “mini-progressive” – more than $6,000! Having the lady count those $100 bills into my hand is a great memory of ISC West. What's the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? I get to hear people talk every day about something they are passionate about. I get to learn from really smart people about interesting subjects that actually matter in the world. Jekyll Island on the Georgia coast is Larry Anderson's go-to destination for a relaxing week every summer What are your interests, hobbies and passions outside security? Books, including “literary” fiction, whodunits and lawyer novels. I tend to binge-watch television on demand while on the treadmill at the gym – which takes away the guilt. My wife Linda and I go to the movies a couple of times a month. Where was your last vacation? Jekyll Island on the Georgia coast is our go-to destination for a relaxing week every summer for the last 20 years. They have houses you can rent for the week, beautiful nature walks and bike trails, huge trees draped with Spanish moss, and a smattering of history – it was where millionaires like J.P. Morgan and William Rockefeller retreated to their 25-room “cottages” in the early 1900s. There’s plenty to see and do – or not to do if so inclined!
If you’ve been paying attention over the last twelve months, you will have noticed that deep learning techniques and artificial intelligence (AI) are making waves in the physical security market, with manufacturers eagerly adopting these buzzwords at the industry's biggest trade shows. With all the hype, security professionals are curious to know what these terms really mean, and how these technologies can boost real-world security system performance. The growing number of applications of deep learning technology and AI in physical security is a clear indication that these are more than a passing fad. This review of some of our most comprehensive articles on these topics shows that AI is an all-pervasive trend that the physical security industry will do well to embrace quickly. Here, we examine the opportunities that artificial intelligence presents for smart security applications, and look back at how some of the leading security companies are adapting to respond to rapidly-changing expectations: What is deep learning technology? Machine Learning involves collecting large amounts of data related to a problem, training a model using this data and employing this model to process new data. Recently, there have been huge advances in a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning. This describes a family of algorithms based on neural networks. These algorithms are able to learn efficiently from example, and subsequently apply this learning to new data. Here, Zvika Ashani explains how deep learning technology can boost video surveillance systems. Relationship between deep learning and artificial intelligence With deep learning, you can show a computer many different images and it will "learn" to distinguish the differences. This is the "training" phase. After the neural network learns about the data, it can then use "inference" to interpret new data based on what it has learned. For example, if it has seen enough cats before, the system will know when a new image is a cat. In effect, the system “learns” by looking at lots of data to achieve artificial intelligence (AI). Larry Anderson explores how new computer hardware - the Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) – is making artificial intelligence accessible to the security industry. Improving surveillance efficiency and accuracy with AI Larry Anderson explains how the latest technologies from Neurala and Motorola will enable the addition of AI to existing products, changing an existing solution from a passive sensor to a device that is “active in its thinking.” The technology is already being added to existing Motorola body-worn-cameras to enable police officers to more efficiently search for objects or persons of interest. In surveillance applications, AI could eliminate the need for humans to do repetitive or boring work, such as look at hours of video footage. Intelligent security systems overcome smart city surveillance challenges AI technology is expected to answer the pressing industry questions of how to use Big Data effectively and make a return on the investment in expensive storage, while maintaining (or even lowering) human capital costs. However, until recently, these expectations have been limited by factors such as a limited ability to learn, and high ongoing costs. Zvika Ashani examines how these challenges are being met and overcome, making artificial intelligence the standard in Smart City surveillance deployments. Combining AI and robotics to enhance security operations With the abilities afforded by AI, robots can navigate any designated area autonomously to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour or alert first responders to those who may need aid. This also means that fewer law enforcement and/or security personnel will have be pulled from surrounding areas. While drones still require a human operator to chart their flight paths, the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) is increasing the capabilities of these machines to work autonomously, says Steve Reinharz. Future of artificial intelligence in the security industry Contributors to SourceSecurity.com have been eager to embrace artificial intelligence and its ability to make video analytics more accurate and effective. Manufacturers predicted that deep learning technology could provide unprecedented insight into human behaviour, allowing video systems to more accurately monitor and predict crime. They also noted how cloud-based systems hold an advantage for deep learning video analytics. All in all, manufacturers are hoping that AI will provide scalable solutions across a range of vertical markets.
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.
In 2017, SourceSecurity.com covered topics from all corners of the physical security industry - from video surveillance to access control to intrusion detection and beyond. But just how much have you been paying attention to the industry this past year? Does your knowledge of the cloud soar high above your colleagues and security friends? Can you recall your facts faster than 60-fps? Are you hooked into the mainframe with your expertise in cybersecurity? Now you can find out. We have launched our SourceSecurity.com Best of the Year Quiz 2017, and this is your opportunity to prove just how much you remembered in this eventful year of security. Compiled by Editor Larry Anderson, our questions span topics as diverse as millennials, body-worn-cameras and security trade shows. So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to prove your knowledge? Are you the champion of the security trade? Take our SourceSecurity.com Best of the Year Quiz 2017 now, and be the envy of the industry!
SourceSecurity.com’s Expert Panel had a lot to say in 2015 on a variety of topics in our Roundtable discussions. Not surprisingly, the discussion topics that have generated the most interest (in terms of how much visitor traffic they generated) are the same hot topics we hear about every day in the industry. Our very most-clicked-on Roundtable discussion in 2015 was about the impact of video on privacy rights. Other hot topics that made the Top-10 list of Roundtable discussions included the Cloud (twice!), the impact of IT on physical security, and the outlook for 4K cameras. Additional well-read discussions centred on expanding the benefits of security to other departments and how to improve training. Readers also gravitated to Expert Panel Roundtable discussions of more technical topics such as the value of full-frame-rate video and the effectiveness of panoramic view cameras (compared to pan-tilt-zoom functionality). Rounding out the Top 10 is a discussion of the desirability (and legal implications) of using dummy cameras. Here is a listing of the Top 10 Expert Panel Roundtable discussions posted in 2015 at SourceSecurity.com, along with a “sound bite” from each discussion, and links back to the full articles. Thanks to everyone who contributed to Expert Panel Roundtable in 2015 (including the quotable panellists named below). 1. What are the limitations on where video cameras can be placed because of privacy? "Use of cameras in retail applications can easily be justified in general surveillance of sales floors and shopping aisles, but cameras should only be used in changing areas to address a particularly serious problem that cannot be addressed by less intrusive means.” [Mark Pritchard] 2. Are cloud-based security systems “safe?” "If the authentication principles are insufficient and weak passwords are allowed, it doesn’t matter how strong the encryption is. Because cloud-based systems are exposed to the Internet, they demand strong authentication and increased operational procedures." [Per Björkdahl] 3. How does IT affect the physical security buying decision? "Of course, we all want good value, but we must invest as necessary. If you strip everything back, the integrator's job is to deliver data. If IT and security departments can keep this objective in mind, then 'value' redefines itself." [Larry Lummis] 4. Which non-security uses of video are catching on? "While video can help with quality control across the supply chain, it will be especially useful in ensuring compliance with the international adulteration rule [for food manufacturers], the rule with the last court-ordered deadline on May 31, 2016." [Don Hsieh] 5. What is the value of "full-frame-rate" video? "I once took a client’s footage of a genuine street fight to check how many images per second were needed to prove who punched who – 25fps was fine but 12fps made the video evidence doubtful. Don’t forget, however many fps you choose, your shutter speed must be fast enough to prevent motion blur spoiling the details." [Simon Lambert] 6. When is it desirable to use 'dummy' cameras as a deterrent? "If cameras are present, there is a reasonable expectation of a secure environment in both public and private areas. If the public sees cameras and assumes they are real, they could argue that they were reliant on the protection provided by the cameras." [Dave Poulin] 7. Are megapixel or panoramic-view cameras an effective substitute for PTZs? "Panoramic cameras are usually static, so zooming into a scene’s details is done in software and limited by pixels in the sensor, lens quality and software such as de-warping, so clarity at the boundaries might disappoint. PTZ cameras zoom optically, magnifying long-range details significantly better." [Simon Lambert] 8. Is HD still the standard of resolution in the market? For how much longer? "The 720p and 1080p HDTV remains dominant today and is expected to be for the foreseeable future. The next standards-based resolution will be 4K, which represents 8.3 megapixel, but first the industry will need to improve on bandwidth with better compression and better light sensitivity." [Fredrik Nilsson] 9. What are the current limitations of cloud-based systems? "The only remaining limitations of cloud-based systems are bandwidth and connectivity to the cloud. There is more than enough bandwidth for applications like Access Control and Visitor Management, but it will take a couple more years before all high-resolution video is cloud-based.” [Paul Bodell] 10. How can security training be improved among integrators and end users? "Training should be sticky and persistent. Follow-up training such as on-line review and updated course material should be available to keep the knowledge fresh. Technology is constantly changing, as soon as training is complete the knowledge begins to go stale." [Charlie Erickson] See the full coverage of 2015/2016 Review and Forecast articles here
There's nothing like a visit to the China Public Security Expo (CPSE) in Shenzhen to open your eyes to a new world of security market manufacturers and customers in the Asia-Pacific market. The show is huge by Western standards – someone told me it's five times the size of ISC West in Las Vegas. But even more than the size of the show, it was the crowd that made an impression on this first-time visitor. Huge numbers of attendees and exhibitors Think of the mass of humanity you might expect at a rock concert, or at Walmart on Black Friday. There was no space to move as you enter the show; you're swept along as part of a sweaty crowd. Fortunately, it was a little easier to manoeuvre once I got past the initial rush. There were some familiar Western brands – I saw Tyco and Honeywell among others – but the vast majority of the exhibitors are names unfamiliar in the West. And there are a lot of them, aisles and aisles of large, elaborate exhibits. Not waiting for attendees to approach a booth, there were people in the aisles aggressively urging you to enter a nearby exhibit, or at least to take a piece of literature. The experience was a stark contrast to the slow activity at ASIS, where exhibitors complained about lack of booth traffic. No need here to rationalise about the quality of the leads – here, it was clearly about quantity. Companies operating on a larger scale The massive scale of CPSE confirmed my initial observations from the previous couple of days as I had visited Hangzhou as well as Shenzhen. Everything seems bigger here. Large, high-rise buildings are everywhere you look, many of them recently built, across miles and miles, with more to come. Cranes dot the horizon as even more construction is under way. What these Chinese companies are achieving exceeds our tired perceptions in the West of "commoditised products" or "cheap Chinese" My host for the trip, Hikvision, inhabits two large skyscrapers in Hangzhou, and there's an adjacent third building (much bigger than the others) already under construction. When I visited their factory, I learned that they are also building a brand new (and larger) manufacturing facility that will use more automation and further expand their already huge daily output of video surveillance products. It's growth on a scale far beyond anything we're seeing anywhere else in the security marketplace. I visited some other manufacturers at the show, including Dahua, which is gearing up for a larger presence in the U.S. market; and Uniview, which is changing its global brand to UNV and is on the verge of going public. Eyeing Western markets What these Chinese companies are achieving exceeds our tired perceptions in the West of "commoditised products" or "cheap Chinese". Hikvision alone has a broad and rich range of technologies that includes intelligent systems, analytics and product capabilities that other companies often claim will be their advantage as the market becomes more commoditised. Undermining lingering perceptions of questionable Chinese quality were impressive quality control processes Hikvision displayed on the factory tours. Western markets, especially the United States, loom large in the sights of these big companies. Often the missing piece is a U.S. sales and service infrastructure. Hikvision (and other Chinese players) are growing in the U.S. market. Reflecting Hikvision's growth here is (what else?) a new building planned in California. I learned a lot on my Far East adventure; among other things, that the future of the security marketplace will be more global than ever. (And a new word, a verb: to libate.)
Strategic management of costs is important when considering video storage systems Costs are at issue when considering any component of a video system. Strategic management of costs is especially important when considering video storage systems because storage accounts for such a large cost component of networked systems. Gartner’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) As enterprise products begin to dominate the video storage market, more attention needs to be addressed to Gartner’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), says Jeff Burgess, president and CEO of BCDVideo. This concept takes it beyond the initial purchase costs, and also factors in management and support, the opportunity cost of downtime, and other productivity losses. “It’s especially true these days as more and more, video data is being analysed for business purposes,” says Burgess. “After all, they are counting on it to run their project. The video doesn’t get recorded if the recorder is not working or continually freezing up.” ‘Cost of power, pipe, and people’ Burgess urges integrators and end users to ask themselves: What is the video recorder really costing me over the course of the five-year project? It’s likely a racked solution, so in IT terminology that “costs power, pipe, and people.” “Take the people out of the mix,” Burgess says. “You should not need to roll a truck to the site every time there is an issue. Especially after a warranty service call. The system should automatically accept the replacement drive and bring the data over to it within the existing RAID settings, without the integrator’s on-site presence needed. The integrator really needs to look under the hood to see what else the system can provide other than simply being a storage box or a box of parts from multiple brands, not meant to work together.” Finding the right balance of control, performance, scalability and availability to keep up with and effectively exploit the surveillance data deluge allows organisations to avoid painful and costly upgrades Today’s intelligently-built video solutions provide the integrator with an easy-to-track cost savings over the lifespan of the project versus buying boxes on the cheap, says Burgess. “Today’s savvy integrator realises it doesn’t take many truck rolls to lose all those front-end savings, which are now eating away at their profits.” Camera with SD cards Another cost factor is to focus more on the utilisation of the SD cards in the camera. Utilising cards within the cameras creates a very inexpensive way of adding redundancy to a solution, says Burgess, who notes that most VMS companies can pull the video from the SD cards should there be an interruption in the network or at the head end. Educate yourself Veracity recommends asking a lot of questions to guide system design and minimise costs. What retention time do you need? What would you wish? Do you want to relay on video motion detection, or would you prefer to find a system that allows you to record low frame rate 24/7 and then increase frame rate on motion? Does your storage choice allow you to use low cost drives? Does it use a huge amount of power? Is it overly complex? “Educate yourself about the choices,” says Scott Sereboff, CEO of Veracity USA. “Look around. Consider the alternatives. You have a choice that does not include a RAID storage system with an $800-plus per terabyte price tag.” "Starting with a solution that takes minimal install and tuning, and is proven to scale well beyond current needs, future proofs the system for the short- and long-term for the customer and the integrator", says Jeff Adams, director of sales, surveillance solutions, DDN Storage solutions Balancing performance, capacity and availability Finding the right balance of control, performance, scalability and availability to keep up with and effectively exploit the surveillance data deluge allows organisations to avoid painful and costly upgrades, says Jeff Adams, director of sales, surveillance solutions, DataDirects Network (DDN) Storage solutions. “Performance needs to scale to allow for increasingly demanding playback and/or analytics features. Capacity needs to scale non-disruptively as cameras are added, while resolutions and retention periods may increase over time. Availability at scale is tricky; something as simple as slow rebuild times becomes critical in larger systems – endangering availability and system data integrity.” In addition to new installations, DDN does a healthy business in replacing underpowered infrastructures that deliver on the initial requirements but fail on scaling, says Adams. The most frequent culprits when a video surveillance site fails and needs a significant replacement/upgrade include: single controller architectures, silent data corruption, data loss from secondary failures during drive rebuilds, performance impact of rebuilds, alternates to RAID6 data protection, and lack of experience scaling into the petabyte or multi-petabyte range. Many mid-range video surveillance storage “solutions” take more than a week to install and tune, and cannot handle significant scale, adds Adams. For end users, this limits the ability to add cameras, capacity and demand (playback, analytics and system consolidation). For integrators, this means a lot of “care and feeding,” and frequent completion delays up front, as well as increased support considerations throughout the life of the project. “Starting with a solution that takes minimal install and tuning, and is proven to scale well beyond current needs, future proofs the system for the short- and long-term for the customer and the integrator,” says Adams. It also keeps costs low.
Physical access control system architecture should be built to use the changing IT infrastructures of today’s organizations to their fullest It’s time to completely rethink physical access control systems with an eye toward the changing world of information technology. Today’s physical access control system architecture only leverages existing network hardware technology – it doesn’t utilise the organisation’s full IT infrastructure, which includes systems providing advanced security services and sources of security-related real-time information. A close look at most organisation’s IT roadmaps will show that traditional-architecture access control systems are off on a side road. Physical access control system architecture should be built to use the changing IT infrastructures of today’s organisations to their fullest. Such an approach is key to future-proofing and minimising costs. The architecture needs to be able to keep pace with technological advancements in computing, communications and integration at the system level and the device level, providing strong security capabilities in a cost-efficient manner. Because hardware-centric, distributed intelligence can’t keep up with IT advances, an ever-widening gap exists between the capabilities, effectiveness and ease of management that a physical access control system can provide – and what today’s physical access control products can provide. Unless the concept of “putting intelligence at the door” includes all the intelligence that should be utilised to make an access decision, such an approach actually provides less security than today’s networked technologies are capable of providing. A key issue is a system’s native support for technological advances versus requiring third-party devices and middleware in a piecemeal approach to system design. With traditional hardware-centric physical access control systems, advanced features and real-time authentication and authorisation capabilities could only be achieved by implementing costly third-party solutions or custom-designed applications. Cost and reliability factors have kept such capabilities out of reach for most physical access control customers, even though IT security systems have had such features for more than a decade. Until a full transition is made to next-generation architecture, existing physical access control system deployments will continue to fall further and further behind as technology advances, and will continue to have shortcomings and weaknesses At the infrastructure level, next-generation physical access control system architecture must be IT-centric, taking advantage of an organisation’s existing IT infrastructure. It must be deployable throughout the enterprise like any other business application that uses networked end-point devices. At the application level, next-generation physical access control system architecture must be IT-aligned in support of the customer’s preferred approaches to identity, credential and access management (ICAM), and must be easily integrated with relevant business systems. These changes create significant opportunities for integrators and end users, offering software- and net-centricity, server-based real-time access decisions, advanced security protection, scalability, IT- and ICAM-friendly deployment, and mobile device- and smart card-friendly deployment. There are two questions to consider about making the transition to next-generation physical access control architecture: First, will your organisation’s current system be satisfactory five to 10 years from now given the pace of technological advances? Second, from a cost- and security-effectiveness standpoint, is continued investment in legacy physical access control technology the smartest approach to your organization’s critical asset protection and incident response needs? Until a full transition is made to next-generation architecture, existing physical access control system deployments will continue to fall further and further behind as technology advances, and will continue to have shortcomings and weaknesses – as well as needless costs – that constitute a liability to an organisation’s asset protection program. Editor’s Note: This article is based on Mr. Raefield’s answers to several questions about the access control market posed by SourceSecurity.com.
The merger of Vicon and IQinVision has been one of the more interesting business developments in the security and video surveillance markets in 2014. Wondering how the merger is working out, I spoke with Eric Fullerton, CEO, Vicon Industries Inc., at the ASIS 2014 show in Atlanta. Here are some of his comments: SS.com: What drew you to Vicon; what opportunity do you see here? Fullerton: The merger of Vicon and IQinVision was announced at the end of Q1, and I thought: What is that? My first reaction was that it’s a losing proposition - putting a struggling camera company and a struggling solutions company together. Then I started looking at it more closely. I think by putting these two companies together, we will be able to create a very strong video company that can lift video to the next level. I wanted a good challenge, and to be part of the next change in the industry by combining hardware and software and to start innovating at the edge. SS.com: What do you see as the next level of video, once it’s realised? Fullerton: Video will become the most important digital information source to an operation. Video isn’t just your security application, but it’s a digital business application that adds value to the bottom line. That’s where we want to be delivering products and solutions. We are starting to extract metadata from the cameras. You can analyse the content of video, which provides a totally different value to the video. Less than half of one percent of recorded video is actually looked at -- it’s just used to document what happened after the fact. With some of the modern cameras, like some we are already launching, there is metadata storage of each frame, all the vectors and everything that you can know. Without looking at the video you can analyse changes from frame to frame in terms of colour and movement. That will add value to the use of the video. You won’t have to sit and watch it to know what it’s capturing, but you will know what’s going on by using analytic algorithms, and combining that with other digital security systems, including access control and video management. With some of the self-learning video analytics, facial recognition and other things, we are starting to analyse video with data algorithms, channelising it, and using it as valuable input into HR and management solutions, even in manufacturing. You can get more efficiency. Video will become a valuable addition to daily operations and add value to the bottom line. SS.com: What is Vicon’s part of that – an end-to-end solution, or what? Fullerton: That’s the million dollar question. We are going to build cameras under the IQinVision brand, and have a full line of cameras. We will focus on where our core capabilities are – design and functionality. We will be outsourcing all manufacturing to China and other places that give us the right cost basis, and we will be adding our value at the high end of the camera. The camera line will be open and able to interoperate with other video management systems that we know today. "We’ll have a plug-and-playsolution at the bottom todeliver what the peoplewant at the low end – oneto 60 cameras with limitedfunctionality. At the mid-market we will have muchmore robust and functionalNVRs with more storagefor your larger installations.And then at the high end wewill a VMS-type solutionthat is cloud-enabled" On the Vicon side, today we have a proprietary VMS, which is not what the market is asking for. The emergence of Milestone as an open platform company was because end users were looking for freedom of choice and to get out of proprietary jail. We will migrate our video management platform to an open platform. We’ll have a plug-and-play solution at the bottom to deliver what the people want at the low end – one to 60 cameras with limited functionality. At the mid-market we will have much more robust and functional NVRs with more storage for your larger installations. And then at the high end we will a VMS-type solution that is cloud-enabled. We will also have a cloud solution at the low-end, residential, mom-and-pop market, with video only, no integrations. Later we’ll develop a multi-tenant cloud system for video service providers (VSPs). Going to the cloud doesn’t mean you put the video in the cloud. It means you can get the video when you need to, but also get the information you need. There will be a lot of on-camera storage. Because you have the knowledge of what’s happening in the frames (using metadata), you can pull out the data from the cloud and then decide what part of the video you need to look at. SS.com: How fast are you getting out of the analogue business? Fullerton: We’re not. The analogue business will have a very long tail – the last 10 to 15 years has proven that. Yes, there is some erosion of margin because of commoditisation. There are benefits of analogue cameras – they’re robust, they work, you can pull the cable longer than an Ethernet cable. Because of the robustness and the pricing, and some of the features, we’ll see a long tail of analogue for years to come. SS.com: What impact do you see of these changes on dealer partners? Fullerton: Being successful in the security industry is to understand how business is done and what end users want. One reason IT didn’t take over is that there is much better value than anybody realised in the guidance security dealers provide end users. I strongly believe business in the security industry is done by local people, and we will migrate as a combined company to a full two-tiered distribution model. We go through distribution and security integrators, and they will be the ones doing the business with the end user. SS.com: How do you deal with preconceptions about your history as a company, and how do you re-educate the market about that? Fullerton: In the security industry, if you look at the history of how it was built, and the old boy’s network, the shadow of what you do is very long. The interesting thing is that Vicon has had IP solutions for 14 years. Everybody thinks that Vicon is an analogue company. Yes, we still sell analogue cameras because there’s a need in the market. Vicon has been a proprietary company. I would say the biggest fault of the company has been to try to be proprietary when the market is going the other way. That’s the big change we will make. We will be announcing that, and driving PR to let everyone know the new Vicon is an open company that gives the end user the freedom of choice and also delivers on higher value. SS.com: What is your message to the market? Fullerton: We have a 4K camera, which has been our message at the ASIS 2014 show. The management team sat down last week and said “how are we going to drive this?” “What are our values going to be?” We looked at our vision and our mission. The vision is that we believe video will become the most important digital [resource] in a company, so it will add to the bottom line, not just surveillance. Our values are built around the acronym CIPIT – Customer orientation, Integrity, Passion, Innovation and Team effort.
Commoditisation is the biggest problem facing today’s security integrators, says Bill Bozeman, president and CEO of PSA Security Network, an electronic security cooperative encompassing some 250 electronic security systems integrators, and aligning them with over 150 vendor partners. Multi-million-dollar manufacturers are taking advantage of economies of scale to drive down pricing of many of the components our industry uses, and lower prices are poised to have a long-term detrimental impact on integrators’ business, Bozeman says. “You have to sell that many more cameras and card readers to create the same amount of revenue,” he says. “There’s a lot of danger there.” To survive the impact of commoditisation, integrators are looking to develop new business models that are not totally dependent on the installation of systems. Possibilities include recurring revenue models and sales of security services, which can provide a predictable cash flow. Recurring revenue for a systems integrator might come from longer-term maintenance contracts, or from monthly fees for alarm monitoring, access to cloud services, etc. Security services, in effect, involve an integrator providing a wider range of services to an end user customer for a monthly fee, basically allowing the end user to “outsource” its complete security operation to an integrator. Commoditisation over time will require that integrators re-think their business models, says Bozeman, but integrators will require a lot of education on how to embrace the needed transition. “Contractors don’t have that model,” he says. “They are embracing it slowly; it’s a slow migration, and we have tried to lead them in that direction. They’re picking up on it, but it’s been a herd of turtles.” On the plus side, Bozeman says proliferation of handheld devices with the ability to receive video and alarm signals is opening up a new wave of customers for integrators. He says the capabilities of hand-held devices drive visibility of the video surveillance world. The growth of lower-tech options, such as ‘baby-cams,’ is also helping “to drive interest toward professionally designed systems,” says Bozeman.
In its role to achieve “plug-and-play” interoperability for security system and device integration, the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) is looking ahead to some new possibilities in its long-term roadmap. David Bunzel, PSIA executive director, shared with me some of the active discussions among alliance members about where the next wave of interoperability initiatives may lead. Integration of wireless locks is at the top of the list, a response to the growing and evolving product category. Looking further into the future, integration of smart elevators, energy management systems and hotel management systems are part of the alliance’s roadmap. There are specific access control and integration issues related to each category. In the case of energy management systems, for example, there is demand for access control systems to be able to adjust a building’s climate system in response to whether anyone has entered the building (for example, on the weekend). Access control can also monitor overall building occupancy and optimise climate settings based on that information (especially valuable as a strategy to save energy costs and promote “green” compliance). The more our lives and technologies are interconnected, the greater the expectations for physical access control to be a part of a larger ecosystem Smart elevators are another opportunity to interface with access control, and increasingly their management is a requirement for enterprise building systems. Even more futuristic is the possibility of having an employee’s computer work station interface with an access control system. In this scenario, an employee’s desktop computer could automatically power up, open appropriate files and applications, and/or access networks to which the employee is authorised – all based on a card or biometric scan when the employee enters the building. With the increase of remote workers and companies needing fewer work stations (and seeking to reduce costs), the “hot desking” concept could continue to gain favour – and provide new benefits of interfacing with physical access control. In this case, rather than a work station assigned to each employee (even those who do not come to the office very often), the concept of a “hot desk” would allow an employer to use a smaller number of generic workstations, each available as needed when a remote worker comes into the office. When an employee comes to work (and scans his access control credential), he or she would be assigned to a specific workstation, and that desktop computer would then automatically configure itself to the employee’s specific needs and access privileges. It’s a new level of physical-logical integration, and an opportunity for the physical access control market, but interoperability challenges have to be addressed. The more our lives and technologies are interconnected, the greater the expectations for physical access control to be a part of a larger ecosystem. It appears PSIA and its members have challenges to keep them busy for years to come.
For the 20,000 or so security professionals who attend each year, ASIS International’s Annual Seminar and Exhibits is all about education. Attendees can polish their skills and update their security know-how in any of more than 200 education sessions during the yearly event. They can also learn all about the latest available security technologies and services at the massive 225,000-square-foot exhibition. Celebrities are on hand too, or at least some well-known and notable dignitaries are keynote speakers, including General Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State; and John Huntsman, former Utah Governor and U.S Presidential candidate. Sharing dramatic stories of heroic rescues from recent geopolitical history, U.S. Navy SEAL Rear Admiral Scott Moore discusses team building in the context of the military’s most elite forces. These are just a few of the attractions when ASIS International presents the 60th Annual Seminar and Exhibits Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. For the fourth consecutive year, the (ISC)2 Security Congress, which focuses on issues of information and software security, co-locates with the ASIS event, thus combining physical and logical security professionals in one place (and allowing them to attend various facets of both events). ASIS International is the largest organization of security management professionals worldwide, and (ISC)2 is the largest not-for-profit membership body of certified information and software security professionals worldwide. The focus of ASIS for the manufacturer and supplier community is the vast exhibit hall, where more than 700 companies demonstrate cutting-edge technology, products and services to security professionals worldwide The focus of ASIS for the manufacturer and supplier community is the vast exhibit hall, where more than 700 companies demonstrate cutting-edge technology, products and services to security professionals worldwide. The ASIS exhibition is one of two large security trade show events each year in the U.S. market and provides a focus for many product introductions and other commercial announcements among the manufacturing community. Although the attendee focus is on end users, there are also integrators, consultants, distributors and others who flock to the ASIS exhibit hall to see what’s new in the security market for the second half of 2014. Other highlights of the ASIS conference sessions include focus on top security concerns and need-to-know industry trends, including cyber-fraud, drones, security metrics, aviation security and many more. Education sessions reflect a range of topics, including urgent issues on everyone’s minds and in the headlines, such as mass shooting incidents, cyber-fraud, workplace violence, the safety of our food supply, and dealing with legalized marijuana, among many more. On the business side, sessions explore management issues such as internal theft and sabotage, best practices in hiring top security personnel, monitoring Internet communications, and complying with employer mandates of the U.S. Affordable Care Act. One session focuses on a new breed of security integrator emerging to address both small- and large-scale projects. “The Integrator of the Future” session identifies the largest growth markets for tomorrow’s integration professional. SourceSecurity.com Editor Larry Anderson is attending ASIS 2014 to report the latest company and product news from the 60th annual event.
The SourceSecurity.com team attended this year's IFSEC International 2014 with great anticipation to view the new innovations first-hand on show and see how the move to London would impact visitor experience. To capture the show, we have provided a summary of IFSEC in pictures above. Highlights from IFSEC 2014 We saw an overwhelming number of people and products; here is a snapshot of our IFSEC experience for 2014: FLIR SourceSecurity.com attended FLIR’s press briefing which took place on the first day of the show. FLIR emphasised that it was more than just a professional thermal camera company – the company has recently released $499 thermal cameras to the consumer industry. For FLIR, the security market is growing industry. With the acquisition of Lorex in 2012, FLIR will be introducing Lorex products under the FLIR brand (consumer side, not professional) in EMEA. At IFSEC 2014, FLIR also introduced FLIR One- its first consumer camera for the iPhone. HID Global HID Global’s Director of Technical Services, Nick Hislop, talked SourceSecurity.com through its emerging technologies in the form of leveraging Bluetooth LE and NFC. The concept is simple: to make mobile access more convenient. Nick also demonstrated how HID’s products and solutions are relevant for a number of vertical markets including Enterprise, Healthcare, Education and Finance Services. Nedap ID Ido Wentink of Nedap Identification Systems introduced SourceSecurity.com to the Nedap IDS advanced licence plate recognition product, ANPR Access HD. The company also introduced uPASS Access, a backward compatibility convertor and UHF ISO Card for improved user experience for uPASS platform. The ANPR Access HD for advanced license plate recognition is a higher resolution lens than its previous release, the ANPR Access camera. Other features of the ANPR Access HD include a more powerful CCV, increased IR illumination and expanded OCR library. SourceSecurity.com’s visit to STI’s booth saw the company emphasise its importance not just within the fire industry, but within the security industry as well Security Technology International (STI) SourceSecurity.com’s visit to STI’s booth saw the company emphasise its importance not just within the fire industry, but within the security industry as well. STI is looking to get the message out there that they’re not just a fire company. Paul Machacek, Sales Team Business Developer, talked SourceSecurity.com through a number of STI’s products including STI’s Polycarbonate Protective Covers, Steel cages, Call Points & Switches and Stand-alone Alarm Systems. Samsung - Changing the face of IP On day two of the show, Samsung hosted a press conference for the global launch of its Open Platform. This new initiative gives users the opportunity to utilise third party APPs with Samsung's WiseNetIII cameras and domes. Tim Biddulph, Product Manager at Samsung, hosted the conference and offered an insight into Samsung's tag line for the show, "Changing the face of IP". Taking a lead in IP technology, Samsung is seeking to give end-users a solution that is effectively future-proof in terms of expandability and its ability to integrate with new technology in the future. Ease of use was also at the top of Samsung's agenda with its "Zero configuration" NVR solution and there was a large focus on the power of integration within different vertical markets. ASSA ABLOY ASSA ABLOY showcased a number of its access security solutions on its impressive stand. SourceSecurity.com met with Thomas Schulz who gave a comprehensive tour of the stand. From ASSA ABLOY Aperio, there was a focus on the benefits of energy saving for its customers with the Aperio range now featuring battery-powered online and offline locks, cylinders, and escutcheons. There was also ABLOY CliQ technology on show which integrates electronics and mechanics, combining mechanical ABLOY PROTEC locking solutions with low-power electronics. A number of access control solution from effeff, Mul-T-Lock, Traka and Yale were also showcased on the stand. VIVOTEK At the VIVOTEK stand, the SourceSecurity.com team were given a tour of the stand which featured their low-light solution and their latest retail solution On day one of the show, VIVOTEK hosted a luncheon in the Crown Plaza hotel, just a stone's throw from the ExCeL centre. As well as enjoying a great meal, attendees were privy to the company's main focus for the coming year and its milestones and product roadmap for 2014 and beyond. The warm hosts included: Steve Ma, Executive Vice President at VIVOTEK, Brandy Lin, Team leader at VIVOTEK and Owen Chen, the Chairman of VIVOTEK. During the luncheon, VIVOTEK shared its vision of being seen as more than just a camera manufacturer, rather, as a total solution provider. The message of the importance of integration, an increased awareness of the need for reliability of products and ease of use was key on their agenda. At the VIVOTEK stand, the SourceSecurity.com team were given a tour of the stand wich featured their low-light solution and their latest retail solution, which was made up of a series of mini high definition cameras for discreetness. SALTO Salto showcased its latest wireless access control door solution, the XS4 mini. XS4 Mini includes SALTO Virtual Network SVN and wireless capability with mini installation needs. Embedded in the heart of the product is the latest microprocessor technology, ready for the connected world, open and future-proof for online connection, wireless technology and NFC. Seagate During an editorial briefing with the SourceSecurity.com team, Seagate shared their valuable knowledge of the history of storage manufacturing and stressed the importance of choosing the right storage solution for installations. With the rise of "Big Data" and increased storage needs in the surveillance market this is something which has become much more of a consideration. As one of only three storage manufacturers, Seagate's experience and know-how within the surveillance industry is vast and it hopes to push out its knowledge to the industry to ensure that people know the benefits of choosing a fit-for-purpose storage solution. Western Digital SourceSecurity.com spoke to Martin Jefferson at Western Digital, who gave a very detailed explanation of how the new WD purple surveillance hard drive had been created and why it was fit-for purpose. It was a very insightful presentation of the product and demonstrated the inherent need for the market to understand why choosing the right storage solution is vital to any installation.OptexAt the Optex stand SourceSecurity.com spoke to Aude Desbieres, who gave a breakdown of the latest offering from Optex at the show. Amongst the array of new products on the stand, Optex showcased the new analytics features of its laser Sensor, REDSCAN, and a new people counting solution developed by Giken Trastem. There was also a focus on full integration of its IP sensors with Milestone XProtectand Hawkeye mapping software and new grade 2 and grade 3 detectors. Our very own Larry Anderson also sat down with their MD Mike Shibata to discuss the company's future and development roadmap. During an editorial briefing with the SourceSecurity.com team, Seagate shared their valuable knowledge of the history of storage manufacturing and stressed the importance of choosing the right storage solution for installations Tyco Stephen Carney, Director of Product Management for Video Solutions at Tyco Security Products, set down with SourceSecurity.com to give an insight into their product roadmaps and their main focus for the coming year. He spoke on their concept of Unification which looks at integration at code level rather than simply API level. With the launch of their victor 4.5 Unified Client, they hope to give the end user a solution that is more secure and efficient for businesses and organisations that require an active surveillance environment. He also mentioned Tyco's increased focus on the end user and customer experience being at the heart of how they develop their product offering for the market. Senstar At the Senstar booth, SourceSecurity.com were given an insight by Miriam Rautiainen into Senstar's new FlexZone, a fence-mounted sensor that detects and locates intruders. The FlexZone can also locate multiple intrusions simultaneously and is scalable, thus making it an easy and flexible option no matter how big or small the installation needs to be. With FlexZone, less equipment and infrastructure is required, adding to the flexibility of the product. Furthermore, rejecting false alarms is even easier with FlexZone than with Senstar's previous offerings. Miriam also mentioned the acquisition of Optellios earlier this year, which has allowed Senstar to expand on their fibre technology portfolio. Nedap SourceSecurity.com also attended a seminar at the Nedap stand about their collaboration with EE. EE has selected Nedap's AEOS security management platform as part of their plan to expand their business throughout the UK. Since the AEOS system is completely web-based, EE employees can access it from anywhere. Traka At the Traka stand, Tanveer Choudhry, Global Marketing Manager at Traka, gave us a demonstration of their new Traka 21 - a plug and play key management system designed for small to medium size businesses. The system is very user-friendly and easy to use, as Tanveer showed us. Furthermore, a PC connection isn't necessary as the Traka 21 can operate as a stand-alone. However, the system features a USB port, which allows employees to extract user data. The Traka 21 will be available later this year.
Ever wish your smart phone could see in the dark? Sure you have, and FLIR Systems has just the gadget to make it possible. It’s the FLIR One, the “first personal thermal imaging device for consumers,” introduced earlier this year. Now available for the iPhone, with a version for select Android models coming soon, the product sells for less than $350. It allows its users to “see what the naked eye can’t.” According to the manufacturer, FLIR One “provides a visual image of minute temperature differences, giving users the power to see in the dark, observe invisible heat sources, compare relative temperatures, [and] see through smoke.” FLIR One made a big splash at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January and has been widely featured in the technology media since then. FLIR One is part of the company’s strategy of promoting greater use of thermal imaging in a variety of markets, including security, by increasing overall consumer awareness of the power of the technology. The new camera for the consumer market uses technology that will also be coming soon to a security camera near you, expanding the capabilities of video surveillance and combining the benefits of thermal and visible imaging into a single video stream. FLIR’s Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging (MSX) capability – used in the FLIR One and soon to be incorporated into security cameras – involves extracting the details of a visible image and “embossing” them onto a thermal image, says Andy Teich, FLIR CEO. The FLIR One uses both a thermal image sensor and the smart phone’s visible camera; there are two apertures. The compact device combines both of the images using MSX algorithms running in the background to calibrate and perfectly align the two images into one. The smart phone then displays a single video image that is richer in content than either one individually. The resulting thermal image includes some of the visible details – the most important ones at any rate. “[The technology] blends high-fidelity detail from a visible image with thermal for an image this is quite rich in detail,” Teich says. In the security market, for example, the image can combine a thermal image of a car in a parking lot with the ability to read the license plate number, which would be captured by a visible sensor. The “edges” created by colour changes in a visible image provide detail that is combined with a thermal image. (FLIR has provided both visible and thermal cameras since its acquisition of Lorex Technology in 2012.) Teich says the MSX technology was developed for the company’s thermography business, which involves the use of hand-held cameras for temperature detection. The FLIR One is the first camera introduced outside the thermography segment. “Ultimately it will find its way into the security business,” says Teich, probably “within the next year.”
Frank De Fina put Samsung on the map related to video surveillance in the United States market. Five years ago, before the longtime Panasonic executive signed on, the Samsung brand had little traction in the U.S. surveillance market, although the Korean giant was already well known in the broader electronics market. Back then Samsung surveillance cameras were thought of as inferior to Panasonic, Sony or the other brands – if they were thought of at all. Five years later, Samsung is climbing up the market share rankings. A lot of the success can be attributed to Samsung’s technological advances and the innovation of new products they are bringing to market. The products have gotten better, true, but De Fina gets the credit for building a solid management infrastructure and expanding the distribution channels over the last five years. Now, those elements will be continuing without him. “I’m leaving the company in better shape than I found it,” said De Fina, Samsung’s executive vice-president, North America. He emphasises that his parting with Samsung at the end of May is “amicable” and “based on personal reasons,” among them a grueling 106-mile-a-day commute. “I want the industry to know I’m taking a breather,” he said. “I want to adjust my life to better suit some of the issues I have.” “Building the Samsung brand and credibility were the main focus early on,” De Fina said. “You have to have great products, great people and success stories by customers who were willing to take a chance.” His only regret is that it took five years to accomplish the turnaround. “I wish I could have done it in two years instead of five,” he said. “Five years ago, it was literally a shell,” De Fina remembers. “There were no processes and no team. I am pleased to say I organised and built a great team. The credit for building the business goes to that team.” The success has been notable as Samsung has increased its market share in the United States and is on track to increase U.S. video surveillance sales by more than 75 percent this year over last. ”The team at Samsung is great, and I don’t want them to suffer from this (departure) being misunderstood,” said De Fina in a telephone conference call with a dozen or so security industry journalists. In the call, he deferred any mention of his possible successor to “the management at Samsung.” What’s next for Frank De Fina? One possibility is to work as a consultant, he said. “I’d like to be a business professor at Princeton (near my home), but I don’t have a degree in physics, and they would probably check,” he joked.