Physical security, security integration, video, access control, security market trends
Round table contributions
Passwords are one of the most familiar elements of information systems, but also one that can be overlooked or underutilised. New alternatives are emerging, and the role of passwords is evolving in the age of the Internet of Things. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is the role of passwords changing in physical security systems?
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.
Articles by Larry Anderson
The task of protecting shared spaces, such as offices and schools, has become increasingly complex, particularly with ever-rising political tensions and the difficulties of assessing threats for schools, workplaces and law enforcement. Given the randomness of when and where a violent person may strike, those who manage facilities need an emergency plan, as well as robust training, detection and awareness. To gain more insights into dealing with such threats, we interviewed John Torres, President of Security and Technology Consulting, Guidepost Solutions. Guidepost Solutions is a global team of investigators, security and technology consultants, and compliance and monitoring experts. They provide security design and consulting, investigations, and compliance and monitoring leadership for critical client needs. Torres has extensive investigative and security experience. Previously, he served as the Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Washington, D.C. and Virginia. His background includes more than 27 years of experience providing investigative and security management for the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, including serving as the Acting Director and the Deputy Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Q: Why is it difficult for schools, workplaces and law enforcement to assess threats of violence? How can they differentiate between a threat and a non-threat? Torres: With mobile technology and social media, threats are more than just physical. Schools are often not screening student social media accounts and are restricted in what they can and cannot monitor due to privacy laws. Proactive business and educational institutions are working closely with law enforcement, providing training and increasing awareness of potential threats or abnormal behaviour. Proactive business and educational institutions are working closely with law enforcementEmerging tools include software that allows monitoring of students’ school-issued email and file storage accounts. Communications software and apps provide real-time notification of emergency messages to students, parents, employees and the community to provide critical instructions during an emergency. The combination of training and new tools has enabled trends and threatening language to be identified and appropriate authorities notified. Q: What tools and/or insights can Guidepost Solutions add to the mix? What are the elements of a “comprehensive risk assessment?” Torres: Comprehensive risk assessments include adopting a tiered approach to assessing the school or office and the surrounding environment. A typical approach includes site perimeter review, identifying gates, fencing, vehicle barriers etc., the parking lot, building exterior, interior paths of travel and individual classroom measures. Review and observation of systems including mass notification, video surveillance, access control, intrusion and visitor management, etc. are critical to ensure that they are equipped to maintain functionality in the event of power loss etc. As an insight, always engage with people, they have the knowledge of each unique facility. Elements we can add to the mix include assessments, physical security improvements and mass notification systems, as well as emergency response training, operational policies and procedures, and behaviour analysis. Q: How can the elements of a risk assessment be translated into recommendations of specific technologies or processes (such as video surveillance and/or access control)? Torres: Risk assessments often drive and identify the need for technologies to be implemented into the security programs of schools, business or places of mass gathering, such as stadiums, convention centers and houses of worship. Risk assessments often drive the need for technologies to be implemented into places of mass gatheringRisk assessments help identify weaknesses in security procedure and then often support phased security enhancement programs as funds become available for investment. Each entity is different, and stakeholders should be included. For example, video surveillance may be a priority at one location but controlling the main point of entry may be more important at another. Technology and process recommendations must meet the operational needs and support the goals of the security team and operational managers. Q: How can the risk of an incident be mitigated and lives protected? Torres: While multiple steps are helpful, all of them in combination are key to implementing a comprehensive security plan. They include: Assessments – physical, cyber and procedural Physical Security Improvements – visitor management, fencing and barriers, locks and cameras Emergency Response Training – law enforcement coordination; muscle memory response Mass Notification Systems – current software, clear concise directives, testing Operational Policies and Procedures – termination, evacuation, communication, intervention Behavioural Analysis. Q: What are the elements of behaviour analysis? Torres: They include things like changes in appearance and behaviour, including social media behaviour, and isolation from family or friends. They also include studying or taking pictures of potential targets, and real or perceived bullying. An individual may advocate violence or hate, and/or consume violent extremist information/propaganda. He or she may talk about traveling to places that sound suspicious, and/or have an obsession with weapons. Q: What is the role of training? Torres: Training is critical regarding emergency situations in schools, be it a fire drill, earthquake, lockdown, active shooter situation, etc. Training and drills educate those present, including employees and staff, with information about actions that may save lives and reduce casualties in a real emergency. Training is critical regarding emergency situations in schoolsTraining should hold people responsible and set standards for acceptable behaviour. There should be a plan that is implemented, including practice and drills. You should also provide training and communication skill building classes. Develop intervention strategies. Work with HR and legal (and others as appropriate). Finally, document everything. Q: What challenges still remain? Torres: Cultural and behavioural change remains at the forefront of schools and businesses when addressing safety and security measures. A large percentage of violent acts may be preventable if a bystander shares his/her concerns with the proper authorities. According to the FBI, perpetrators exhibited behavioural indicators in 93% of incidents. And bystanders had prior knowledge in 81% of school attack incidents and 80% of terrorist-inspired behaviours or activities before an attack. Q: What progress are you seeing? Torres: With each tragedy that occurs, leaders are engaging with safety and security head on. There is a shift in schools and businesses to engage with professionals that can help them understand what they do not know. Simple things such as improved communication and enforcement of policies and procedures can have a tremendous positive impact on an organisation’s security posture. Assessments and technology upgrades are important and effective, but it all starts with acknowledging the need to provide and maintain safe and secure environments for students, employees and the community.
Private video systems are offering new sources of evidence for police investigations. Growing popularity of private camera registration schemes are facilitating police department access to video captured by cameras in homes and businesses for use in their investigations. Camera registration programmes are organised locally by individual police departments but have common features and operation. By registering their camera systems, citizens and business people provide information to a confidential database listing any cameras police can quickly access in the event of a crime. Knowing which cameras may be near a crime scene avoids police having to go door-to-door in search of possible video footage. Because perpetrators are more careful and aware of possible video coverage in and around a crime scene, video to solve a crime may also come from a camera several blocks away. The best evidence may not be of the crime scene itself but video of nearby pathways and streets. Today’s camera systems also provide information such as location, date and time that can help an investigation Ability to record and retain video Access to cameras can also provide additional viewing angles to provide police new leads such as type of car, clothing, etc. Another benefit is possible use of a camera’s view to help locate lost children, elderly or disabled persons. In addition to actual video, today’s camera systems also provide information such as location, date and time that can help an investigation or be used as evidence in court. Basic requirements for participating video systems are exterior-facing cameras and the ability to record and retain video. It is important to note that registering a camera system with a local police department does not provide active surveillance or a “live feed” of video. Video is only shared after a crime has been committed and when the police request specific video as possible evidence. Registration of camera systems is voluntary Registration merely enables a police department to know where accessible cameras are located. Police then arrange viewing of video footage after the fact by communicating with the camera owners; if a police visit to a residence might pose an additional risk for any reason, camera video today can often be accessed remotely. Registration of camera systems is voluntary; a state-wide proposal in New Jersey in 2015 calling for mandatory camera registration faced privacy backlash and was later amended to make registration voluntary. Collected information is typically the name of the camera owner, contact information, an address where the cameras are located; how many cameras are at the location, the area recorded by the cameras and how the footage is saved. Police arrange viewing of video footage by communicating with the camera owners Residential security camera Portland, Oregon, launched its CrimeReports camera registration programme in 2017, part of its wider effort to get residents involved in fighting crime. In Philadelphia, the police department has been registering cameras since 2011 under its SafeCam programme. The Philadelphia Department of Commerce offers a payment, up to $3,000, to reimburse business owners who install cameras and register them with the police. Camera registration is yielding results. Baltimore’s Citiwatch camera registration system has had a direct impact on criminal apprehension. The San Luis Obispo, California, Police Department reports a high success rate identifying suspects in cases where additional video evidence exists because of the camera registration programme. In Fort Worth, Texas, last May, a residential security camera played a role in capturing a kidnapping suspect. Privacy concerns and community feedback Many of the camera registration schemes have localised branding or acronyms, such as the S.C.R.A.M. (Security Camera Registration and Mapping) programme of Milton, Georgia; the C.A.P.T.U.R.E. (Community and Police Team Up to Record Evidence) programme of New Braunfels, Texas; or the RockView programme of Rockville, Maryland. The idea is based on willing participation of public citizens in helping law enforcement do their jobs Privacy concerns and community feedback prompted Vancouver, Washington, to suspend a camera registration programme for weeks until it could be re-launched earlier this year. Although cities seek to protect information about the locations of cameras, it might be subject to disclosure because of public records laws. Law enforcement and crime prevention Registration of cameras is another aspect of involving the community in law enforcement and crime prevention, not unlike the commonplace Neighbourhood Watch programmes. The idea is based on willing participation of public citizens in helping law enforcement do their jobs. Making video footage available provides important evidence in much the same way a witness to a crime would hopefully testify if asked. By multiplying the availability of cameras that could view elements of a possible crime, the idea is also akin to the modern concept of “crowdsourcing” – the practice of obtaining information or input by enlisting a large number of people. Local jurisdictions stipulate that registrants in the programme should not be construed as agents and/or employees of the police department. There is also a crime prevention element to the programmes, in addition to helping police do their jobs better and more efficiently. Some camera registration programmes provide stickers or yard signs to let the neighbourhood know that their security cameras are helping to fight local crime.
Along with the integration of security and other systems in an enterprise environment comes a need to centralise monitoring and control of the unified network. A control room is at the center of managing integrated systems, providing the focal point to collect information from a variety of sensors, analyse the data, and then respond appropriately. The technologies that drive these functions are changing and evolving, thus increasing the efficiency and efficacy of systems. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What’s new in command-and-control systems, and what is the impact?
Hikvision and Dahua have been added to a U.S. government list of entities “reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.” In effect, inclusion on the list restricts the export of equipment to the two companies because of their alleged involvement in “human rights violations and abuses” related to a Chinese government campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against minority groups. Equipment from the two companies is used to provide video surveillance capabilities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China. The minority groups targeted are Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities. Equipment from the two companies is used to provide video surveillance capabilities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China The decision to add Hikvision and Dahua, among 26 other “entities,” to the list was made by the United States End-User Review Committee (ERC), composed of representatives of the Departments of Commerce, State, Defense, Energy and (where appropriate) Treasury. A majority vote of the panel is required to add an entity to the list, and a unanimous vote is required to remove or modify an entity. The 26 other entities include the Chinese government’s bureau in XUAR, 18 subordinate municipal and county public security bureaus and one other subordinate institute. Specific licenses (government approval) are required for any transaction in which items are exported, reexported, or transferred (in country) to any of the entities on the list; or in which the entities act as purchaser, consignee or end user. Loosely speaking, inclusion on the list prevents Hikvision and/or Dahua from buying any component parts from U.S. manufacturers. Indirectly and more broadly speaking, the measure affords a new downside to the Dahua and Hikvision brands in the U.S. market. Anyone concerned about human rights abuses might hesitate to buy from the two companies, although the entity list does nothing to prohibit sales of the company’s products. Dahua and Hikvision statements In a company statement, Dahua has “express[ed] strong protest to such decision, which lacks any factual basis, and call[ed] on the U.S. government to reconsider on it.”’ Indirectly and more broadly speaking, the measure affords a new downside to the Dahua and Hikvision brands in the U.S. marketThe Dahua statement continues: “As a global business entity, Dahua adheres to the business code of conduct, and follows market rules as well as international rules. Dahua is actively working to ensure our investment and business operations around the world comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Regarding the decision of U.S. government, we have actively taken various measures, and we will continue providing outstanding products and services to our customers.” Hikvision has released the following statement: “Hikvision strongly opposes [the] decision by the U.S. Government and it will hamper efforts by global companies to improve human rights around the world. Hikvision, as the security industry’s global leader, respects human rights and takes our responsibility to protect people in the U.S. and the world seriously. Anyone concerned about human rights abuses might hesitate to buy from the two companies "Hikvision has been engaging with Administration officials over the past 12 months to clarify misunderstandings about the company and address their concerns. In January 2019, Hikvision retained human rights expert and former U.S. Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper to advise the company on human rights compliance. Punishing Hikvision, despite these engagements, will deter global companies from communicating with the U.S. Government, hurt Hikvision’s U.S. businesses partners and negatively impact the U.S. economy.” “The U.S. Government and Department of Commerce cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in making the announcement. “This action will ensure that our technologies, fostered in an environment of individual liberty and free enterprise, are not used to repress defenseless minority populations.”
The healthcare market is rife with opportunity for security systems integrators. Hospitals have a continuous need for security, to update their systems, to make repairs, says David Alessandrini, Vice President, Pasek Corp., a systems integrator. “It’s cyclical. Funding for large projects might span one to two years, and then they go into a maintenance mode. Departments are changing constantly, and they need us to maintain the equipment to make sure it’s operating to its full potential.” The experience of Pasek Corp. is typical of the opportunities available for security integrator companies in the healthcare vertical. A single large hospital system can supply a dependable ongoing source of revenue to integrator companies, says Alessandrini. Hospitals are “usually large enough to provide enough work for several people for an extended length of time.” Healthcare customers in Pasek’s service area around Boston provide the potential for plenty of work. “We have four major hospitals, each with in excess of 250 card readers and 200 cameras, in the Boston area,” Alessandrini says. One appeal of the healthcare market for North Carolina Sound, an integrator covering central North Carolina, is the breadth of possible equipment they can sell into the healthcare market, including access control and video, of course, but also other technologies, such as audio-video systems in a dining room. North Carolina Sound has also installed sound masking in some areas with waiting rooms to protect private patient information from being overheard. Locking systems on pharmaceutical doors are another opportunity. Data capture form to appear here! IP based networked video systems A facility’s IT folks must be convinced an IP solution will function seamlessly on their network Among North Carolina Sound’s customers is Wayne Memorial Hospital, Goldsboro, N.C., which uses about 340 video cameras, with 80 percent or more of them converted to IP. The hospital is replacing analogue with IP cameras as budget allows, building network infrastructure to support the system. The healthcare market tends to have a long sales cycle; in general, sales don’t happen overnight or even within a month or two. In fact, the period between an initial meeting with a healthcare facility and installation of a system could stretch to a year or longer. A lot happens during that time. Healthcare systems involve extensive planning, engineering, and meetings among various departments. Physical security systems that involve the information technology (IT) department, as do most systems today, can be especially complex. Installation of networked video systems based on Internet protocol (IP) requires deep and probing discussions with the IT team about how a system fits into the facility’s network infrastructure. A facility’s IT folks must be convinced an IP solution will function seamlessly on their network. Compatible with the network They must vet the technology to ensure the devices and solutions will be compatible with the network, and must sign off on technology choices. And even more important is determining if the security system will adhere to cyber security requirements of the facility. A complete solution that integrates nearly any system that lives on or uses a facility’s network is ultimately what the healthcare vertical is moving toward, says Jason Ouellette, General Manager – Enterprise Access Control & Video, Johnson Controls. Healthcare security professionals are early adopters of technology, implementing the best technology available” “We are hearing more and more from customers across industries that they want to be able to use their security systems and devices for more than just security: they want added value,” says Ouellette. Many want to use access control, video surveillance and other data sources to assess their business operations and/or workflows with the goal of improving efficiency. Upgrade cost-effectively Historically, three factors have prevented many organisations from moving forward with new technologies: lack of money, proprietary systems, and the need to “rip and replace” large parts of the installed systems, says Robert Laughlin, CEO and Chairman, Galaxy Control Systems. "Today, while funding is almost always a limiting factor at some level, the progression of industry standards and ‘open’ systems has made a big positive impact on the ability of organisations to upgrade cost-effectively,” he says. Despite any obstacles, healthcare customers generally welcome new innovations. “I would say healthcare security professionals in general are early adopters of technology and like to implement the best technology available,” says Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Johnson Controls/Tyco Security Products. “For most, rapid implementation is limited by budgets and available funding." Missed part one of our healthcare mini series? Click here.
Many venues are using access control, video surveillance systems, sensors, and additional hardware solutions as part of a broader security strategy. By utilising so many disparate systems, corporate security teams are left with information “silos” that create inefficiencies and hamper communication. This abundance of hardware has left teams with too much data or too many tools, to manage effectively. Armored Things offers a software solution. The company’s “spatial intelligence platform” currently collects more data than other security intelligence solutions, utilising a broader range of sources and fusing data together rather than integrating it. The platform currently focuses on taking in data from WiFi, access control, and video surveillance systems and applying machine learning to deliver customers features such as real-time predictive analytics to prevent incidents like bottlenecks or overcrowding. Spatial Intelligence is an approach to physical security that enables users to collect, manage, and interpret data in a single platform. Combine machine learning with data The term can best be used to describe how digital transformation has affected physical security. Spatial Intelligence in its infancy looked like video surveillance data combined with machine learning to produce video analytics. The spatial intelligence solutions of today can combine machine learning with data of any source, type, and size to deliver value across a large organisation, not just the security team, says the company. Armored Things’ Spatial Intelligence platform unifies data from information silos to support data-driven decisions around operations and security. By fusing data from multiple sources, we can produce more consistent and useful insights for our customers” A suite of analytics, reporting and visualisation tools helps customers gain a real-time understanding of people and flow in their space. By removing the guesswork of everyday decisions, the product enables customers to make data-driven decisions at a moment’s notice, according to the company. Armored Things is more than a data management tool. “By fusing data from multiple sources (rather than only cameras or only WiFi), we can produce more consistent, accurate, and useful insights for our customers,” says Kevin Davis, Chief Security Officer at Armored Things. "Being able to collect the data is the first step, but turning it into actionable intelligence is where Armored Things excels.” IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices The range of data sources includes IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices and even outside data sources like bus schedules and weather reports. Armored Things has built a team of public safety and technical experts with the mission to keep people safe where they live, work, and play. By leveraging emerging technology to enhance physical security, the company built the software-centric Spatial Intelligence Platform for large organisations to enhance the safety and operations of their space. Schools and education facilities are among the customers that can benefit. The leadership at Armored Things cares deeply about school safety, so the recent epidemic of campus violence has definitely been a large topic of conversation, according to the company. “By delivering our products to a greater number of customers, Armored Things hopes to continue making schools a safe place to learn and gather,” says Davis. Recently, there was a significant bottleneck lasting nearly 30 minutes at the Syracuse-Clemson football game. Unifying data into one platform Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” Using Armored Things technology and providing real-time data to security and operations personnel could have identified the bottleneck as it began to form. This would have notified relevant personnel, who could have taken steps to mitigate the problem before it turned into a security risk. Keeping the security infrastructure simple is imperative to success. Integrating a software solution into the security strategy shouldn’t complicate existing operations, says the company. “Armored Things Spatial Intelligence Platform can bring your security and operations into focus by unifying all of your data into one platform for ease of use,” says Davis. For this reason, the team chose to integrate not only with customers’ existing security infrastructure but with non-traditional data sources (e.g. WiFi, event schedules, ticketing) as well. “By combining and analysing a more diverse dataset, Armored Things can help our customers make better decisions with deeper data-driven insights,” says Davis. "Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” says Davis. “As a team, our aim is to help our customers adapt to the digital age, as they transition from hardware to software-centric security solutions. Fostering organisational change is difficult, and our team hopes to make the transition process easier for our customers.”
When violence or a life-threatening incident occurs, hospitals and other healthcare institutions are often in the crosshairs. Hospitals increasingly face a reality of workplace violence, attacks on patients, and threats to doctors and other support staff. And even if violence happens outside a hospital – such as an active shooter at a public place – the local hospital must be prepared to respond to an influx of injured victims. When conflicts arise inside a hospital, there is an urgent need to lock the facility down quickly. Security professionals and their teams need access control options that allow lockdowns to occur at the touch of a button. Lockdown capabilities are an important aspect of safety and security for hospitals, doctor’s offices and medical facilities The need for mass notification is also growing in the healthcare environment Fire alarm public address system The need for mass notification – another aspect of responding in an emergency – is also growing in the healthcare environment. Various systems can communicate through the fire alarm public address (PA) system to notify people in an emergency, or, alternately, to use email notification, text messaging, pagers, smart phones and/or personal computers (PCs). In lockdown situations, access control systems provide an emergency button with various triggers in the system – a hospital can lockdown specific units or the entire facility. Data capture form to appear here! Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Johnson Controls/Tyco Security Products, points out that the safety of hospital staff, particularly nurses, cannot be overlooked. In the emergency room, 55 percent of nurses are assaulted in some way each year, which is a high percentage. The safety of nurses and all hospital staff deserves more attention. Duress/emergency notification technology Stankevich says one solution is to use duress/emergency notification technology: staff can carry and wear a ‘panic button” or have a two-key combination on their computer as an alarm trigger. When the staff member hits the panic button, a direct message can be sent to security, alerting security staff about the event and requiring a response. There has been an increase in demand for the safety and security of patients, staff and visitors at healthcare institutions, as evidenced by the recent CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) Emergency Preparedness Rule. As of Nov. 17, 2017, healthcare institutions that participate in Medicare or Medicaid must demonstrate compliance with the rule. Emergency preparedness systems A major challenge in compliance to this rule is balancing patient safety with comfort At its core, the rule seeks to establish national emergency preparedness requirements to ensure adequate planning for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordination with federal, state, tribal, regional and local emergency preparedness systems. A major challenge in compliance to this rule is balancing patient safety with comfort. Institutions should consider two-way communication that enables leadership to disseminate targeted messages quickly and efficiently, while arming all employees with a tool that can alert the appropriate staff should an incident occur. Solutions like this enable swift communication of issues without disturbing patients and visitors unless necessary. Effective response to emergencies “Fortunately, hospitals and their security departments are generally well equipped to respond to most emergency situations”, said John M. White, president/CEO of Protection Management, a consultant who works with hospitals to address their security needs. During the Ebola scare in 2014, however, hospitals had to re-examine their plans to ensure they were prepared to meet the challenges specific to rare and deadly disease. “Hospitals are prepared for most things, but Ebola seemed to have caught the whole world off guard, so people responded in different ways,” says White, who previously was security director of two multi-campus medical facilities before becoming a consultant. Hospital security Hospitals made adjustments to their emergency programs to determine how best to handle Ebola patients" He adds, “Hospitals made adjustments to their emergency programs to determine how best to handle Ebola patients and to protect other patients and staff. It was a new threat that healthcare organisations had not specifically addressed.” A particular concern was the possibility of an infected person walking into an emergency room and infecting other people and/or requiring facility decontamination. One role the hospital security department plays in such an emergency is to control access to the facility and to control visitors’ movements once they are inside the facility, says White. If the Ebola scare had progressed to the point that a hospital would need to screen patients, security would be positioned at the front entrance to help with that screening and, if necessary, to direct patients to a specific area for quarantine. Protective equipment Security might also need to wear protective equipment to handle a patient who is resistant to treatment, for example. There are often interactions between security personnel and the general public, a scenario that becomes more complicated if Ebola or a similar infection is likely. In general, security would be tasked with maintaining order and keeping people where they need to be, freeing up the medical professionals to do their jobs more efficiently, says White. To prepare for the impact of the Ebola scare, hospitals addressed various training and equipment needs and adjusted their disaster/emergency response plans. Read part two of our heathcare mini series here.
ADT Commercial have grown organically in double digits since 2016, in addition to growing through 15 acquisitions completed since the merger of ADT and Protection One. Acquisition of integrator companies such as Red Hawk Fire and Security and Aronson Security Group have expanded ADT Commercial’s presence geographically to more areas of the country. Most of the employees of the acquired companies have stayed with ADT and “helped to create a corporate culture and a good place for employees to work,” says Dan Bresingham, Executive Vice President of ADT Commercial. Happy employees ensure good customer service. Enterprise resource planning Bresingham will lead ADT Commercial as it becomes a separate business unit in 2020 “We adapt to where our clients want us to be,” adds Joe Sanchez, Senior Vice President of Customer Operations of ADT Commercial National Accounts. “We take a strategic approach as we determine how adaptive our customers are going to be to the new technology.” I caught up with ADT Commercial at the GSX trade show in Chicago. Bresingham tells me ADT Commercial has benefitted from the calibre and breadth of leadership talent that have come along with the various acquisitions, including Mike McWilliams of Red Hawk, Bob Dale of Protection One, and Phil Aronson of Aronson Security. The transitioning of internal systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), billing and customer repair software will further steamline the ADT Commercial operation in the next several months. Bresingham will lead ADT Commercial as it becomes a separate business unit in 2020. We caught up with ADT at the GSX trade show in Chicago Providing new opportunities for regional integrators Additional acquisitions are also likely; in fact, growth is likely to accelerate. ADT Commercial offers a national footprint that can provide new opportunities for regional integrators it brings into the fold. New acquisitions will continue to fill out ADT’s skillset requirements in specific geographic areas where more expertise is needed. Security directors have a small staff and we help them know what they should be looking at in terms of data" “The industry doesn’t change a lot,” says Bresingham. “The technology just gets better, faster, and cheaper. As a service provider we take the best technology and combine it to provide the best solutions. We’re product-agnostic. Most of our jobs are down-and-dirty, doing the same things, but we’re pushing ourselves to be the best every day at the basics.” An emphasis at ADT is to provide customers ‘actionable’ data compiled from their various security systems. “We have a range of customers,” says Sanchez. Managing networks and video remotely “From small businesses to large data centers, there is no electronic system we cannot do. We are adaptable, from providing basic intrusion all the way to more sophisticated elements. Security directors have a small staff and we help them know what they should be looking at in terms of data.” “Our customers are our ‘true north’,” says Sanchez. A strong relationship with clients forms the basis for ADT Commercial’s success. Helping customers track data utilises ADT Commercial’s eSuite account management system, homegrown software that compiles and analyses various customer data inputs. It also allows the ability to manage networks and video remotely. “We built it from scratch for customers. It’s a web-based system that helps them manage their business,” says Bresingham. “We hold ourselves accountable. We don’t hide from data, we encourage it.” Monitoring refrigeration units The solution is different in every case, just as every customer is uniqueIn addition to data from customer systems, eSuite can compile local weather information, crime statistics and other information that can help provide trending information to guide a customer’s business. The system’s flexibility enables ADT to provide the data each customer needs. ADT helps customers manage their business beyond the security department, too. “We do a lot of things in environmental control, monitoring refrigeration units and making sure humidity and temperature readings are correct,” says Sanchez. Leaving a door open could cause product loss at a pharmaceutical company, for example. In the food industry, a freezer malfunction could cause huge losses. In either case, an alarm can draw attention to the problem in a timely manner. Other customers face regulatory requirements that demand an audit trail of compliance, which ADT’s systems can provide. At the end of the day, ADT asks customers ‘What’s your security need?’ The company then adapts and assembles its solutions using internal resources and outside vendors, to meet that need. The solution is different in every case, just as every customer is unique.
The next chapter of the Pelco saga began in May when Pelco Inc. was acquired by Transom Capital Group, a private equity firm, from Schneider Electric. Since the acquisition, Transom Capital has been working with Pelco’s management and employees to define and direct that next chapter. “The more time we spend with the company, the more excited we are about the opportunity,” says Brendan Hart, Vice President, Operations, Transom Capital Group. In addition to his position with Transom, Hart has taken on an interim line role at Pelco as Vice President of Product and Strategy. After helping to oversee Pelco’s rebuilding phase, he expects to step away from daily involvement over time. “We have gained an appreciation for nuance [since the acquisition closed],” he said. “The channels, the relations, how people buy in this industry are very nuanced. Who’s gone where and who’s done what? The interplay of hardware and software. We have gained appreciation for the nuance. And we need to be surrounding ourselves with people who know the industry, who know the multi-dimensional areas.” Transition from analog to IP systems We have to focus on who our customers are specifically and understand their needs” It’s a “transformative moment in the industry,” says Hart, given industry changes such as price erosion and the transition from analogue to IP systems. “We are about to go into the world of added intelligence. It’s an interesting time to buy a security company.” Hart says the Pelco brand still has value: “The market is rooting for us.” There is also a strong portfolio of people and products to build from. Pelco maintains its headquarters in Fresno, Calif., and has a presence in Fort Collins, Colo., near Denver, and a sales office in the New York area, not to mention many global employees who work remotely. A new CEO is being recruited; otherwise, “we have a great executive team” in place, including Brian McClain, COO and President, says Hart. “In defining the new company, we have to decide first and foremost what we want to be,” says Hart. “What can we provide customers? We have to focus on who our customers are specifically and understand their needs and use cases.” Part of defining the new company is to become more aligned with a specific set of verticals that fit with Pelco’s capabilities (although they are not saying which verticals those are yet). However, “we can’t ignore what we are today as we make the transition,” says Hart. Innovation in products We want customers to see innovation in products to a point when people will say ‘this is Pelco’" “We have to let the products and experience speak for themselves. We’re focused on getting our ducks in a row and going in a new direction, but actions speak louder than words,” he says. The changes will be “more organic;” don’t expect to see a big announcement. “We want customers to see innovation in products and customer support and get those things to a point when people will say ‘this is Pelco,’” says Hart. Although not exhibiting at GSX, I found Pelco occupying a meeting room near the show floor. The room gave the company a chance to respond to integrators and consultants at GSX who had questions about what was going on with the acquisition. “Everybody is rooting for us, and we wanted the ability to get out and say ‘we’re here, we’re doing things, and we’re excited about the future,’” said Stuart Rawling, Pelco’s Vice President, Market Strategy. “This is a time for people to come and see us who maybe haven’t seen us in a while.” By ISC West in the spring, Pelco expects to have a clear message of who they are and where they’re going, he says. Aligning needs of end user “We are excited about the work we are seeing internally,” which includes “aligning resources in the right way,” says Rawling. “The fruits of the labour are being seen internally now. We will be launching new products in the next eight months, although there will not be a defined moment in time when we say ‘this is it.’ It will just be happening. Next year will be an exciting time industry-wide, and product-wise, and Pelco will have a strong voice. Brendan and team have kept us extremely busy,” says Rawling, who also was part of Pelco in the “glory days” before the acquisition by Schneider Electric. We’re so optimistic, when you combine the people and the brand and what’s happening the market” “The work product has been so transformative mindset-wise for the employees. Everybody has had the opportunity to talk to the [new] owners about what type of company we are. We can set our own vision and get reenergised and get back to the core belief of what Pelco was and what it should be. We are the master of our own destiny, aligning needs of end user with the products we can deliver. We are putting the right processes in place that work for this market. It is an exciting prospect.” In the new era, Rawling expects to target marketing more toward end-users, because they have more influence on product selection than ever before, he says. End users often learn about new products online, so Pelco will be looking to target its marketing toward educating various vertical markets about available technologies and their use cases. “We’re so optimistic, when you combine the people and the brand and what’s happening the market,” says Hart. “We have to do the work. We’re excited about what we are seeing internally.”
As the deal/no deal prospects of Brexit are tossed in a whirlwind of UK and EU politics, the uncertainty of the back-and-forth has broadly impacted general economic trends, and by extension, the physical security market. The new deadline for a Brexit agreement is October 31, already postponed six months from the scheduled April 12 departure date. Numbers show that Britain’s GDP shrank in the second quarter, possibly reflecting fewer exports because of Brexit uncertainty. And beyond the current indecision lies the long-term impact of a possible change in trading status between the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Other issues include capital flow and labor mobility. Brexit uncertainty leading to security concerns Loss of shared information with the EU will make the UK less safe “Companies … are unclear about their future,” comments Martin Warren of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. “Companies are making decisions now about jobs, supply chains, headquarters and asset locations, incurring significant, and possibly unnecessary, cost and upheaval.” Warren fears the destructive effects of a ‘no deal’ outcome and hopes politicians will break the deadlock and restore business confidence. Security implications of Brexit extend beyond economics. Loss of shared information with the EU will make the UK less safe. Extradition across EU borders will be more difficult, and exchange of data such as fingerprints and vehicle registrations is at risk. The Irish border after Brexit is of particular concern to security professionals. Countering threat of international terrorism Robert Hall of London First and Alison Wakefield of Security Institute say the security impact of departing the EU will be long lasting and profound. “In security terms, the UK will still have to contend with international terrorism, transnational crime and the global movement of people, all challenges that require wide scale cooperation.” They add that leaving the EU will require “a significant investment in people, resources and databases to cope with the anticipated volumes of traffic through ports, airports and tunnels.” Analyst company IHS Markit earlier commented about the impact on the security industry of Brexit’s drag on the UK economy, “Access control, intruder and fire alarm markets typically track construction rates closely and are forecast to be affected most. However, a large cut to infrastructure spending would be just as damaging to the video surveillance market.” UK security companies prefer ‘soft exit’ from EU If a ‘soft exit’ trade deal is not negotiated, the UK would have to revert to WTO trade rules If a ‘soft exit’ trade deal is not negotiated, the UK would have to revert to World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade rules, which means tariffs on trade between the UK and the EU, says IHS Markit. There are five British-based access-control and intruder-alarm vendors supplying the European market in significant quantity – each with revenue exceeding $10 million. IHS Markit estimates these companies combined account for less than 10 percent of total European, Middle-Eastern and African (EMEA) market revenues for both industries. Uncertain future of UK security marketplace Asset protection specialist VPS Security Services has warned that the ongoing Brexit saga will likely lead to a rise in vacant commercial and residential properties as developers and investors are more reluctant to move forward with their UK real estate strategies. Seemingly endless machinations and shifting proposals are making the eventual outcome of Brexit very much a guessing game. Uncertainty translates into a volatile and changing outlook, and the eventual impact on the broader economy is an open question. As a reflection of that economy, the security marketplace will inevitably feel the economic impact, too, not to mention the new security challenges likely to ensue.
Video analytics are undergoing a fundamental change in the market as machine learning enhances their accuracy while expanding their capabilities. But what are those expanded capabilities and how are they impacting the operation of security and video systems? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new video analytics are having an impact in the market and how?
Many exhibitors at GSX 2019 saw the show as a success, despite slower booth traffic on the second and third days. According to show sponsor ASIS International, there were more than 20,000 registrants from 125 countries around the world, including those who attended the conference as well as the exhibition. Exhibitors definitely put their best feet forward, enthusiastically promoting their technology breakthroughs, but how convincing were they? The comments from at least one attendee – a large corporate end user who represents a key demographic for show organisers – bluntly suggest that healthy scepticism was on display side-by-side with the promotional energy in play.On this floor, there are some lies being given out. Ask the tough questions, make the exhibitors show you" “On this floor, there are some lies being given out,” said Rudy A. Wolter, CTO, Security and Investigative Services for Citigroup, a financial services corporation. He advised fellow attendees to “listen for them, ferret them out, ask the tough questions. Make [the exhibitors] show you.” “Don’t be afraid to ask these men and women questions,” added Wolter. “Don’t be afraid to challenge them. If you don’t challenge them, they’re not getting any better which means we aren’t getting any better. At the end of the day, they’re the leaders; they’re the ones making change; they’re the ones touching systems; they’re the ones helping integration.” Banking security with Verint At Citigroup, Wolter oversees 1,300 bank branches in North America that use Verint systems, including 23,000 cameras tied into a single command centre. Skepticism aside, Wolter also provided evidence that even tough customers can be brought around. Specifically, he is sold on Verint: “When you have a problem, this company listens,” he told attendees at a Verint gathering on the show floor. New at GSX 2019 is the Verint Video Investigator, which is software that empowers investigators to quickly find the data they need to identify security threats in near real-time. In all, Verint serves in excess of 2,300 individual financial institutions, with tens of thousands of branches. Wolter was one of several end users willing to sing their praises publicly. Other GSX exhibitors were also proud to have their own real-world success stories. Placing the emphasis on outcomes At GSX, I heard more than once that outcomes are more important than technologies. Customers don’t want to hear about technologies, but rather about what those technologies can do for them. Avigilon, now a subsidiary of Motorola Solutions, is another company that is focused on outcomes rather than technology per se. “Instead of focusing on megapixels and terabytes, the end user is focused on perimeter security, loss prevention and risk management,” says John Kedzierski, Sr. VP of Video Solutions at Motorola Solutions. “We are working to provide that outcome." The end user is focused on perimeter security, loss prevention and risk management" How operators work to ensure outcomes is another aspect that is changing, says Kedzierski. “Watching video is obsolete,” he says. Using Avigilon’s new system, the operator instead is looking at colour-coded hexagons; one color means motion, another means an analytic event. Operators click on various hexagons to view video. Also at GSX 2019, Avigilon featured its new H5A camera line, with expanded object classification analytics, detailed object detection, and tracking in crowded scenes; and focused on the Avigilon Blue cloud system. They are working to make every camera capable of detecting faces, which can be matched to a watch list. How technology addresses marketplace changes Addressing the changing marketplace was another GSX theme. As the workplace changes, ASSA ABLOY Americas is adapting its technology to address new employment practices such as "hot-desking", and remote and mobile workers, says Peter Boriskin, Chief Technology Officer. Systems have to be able both to protect assets and also to provide flexibility to accommodate the changing workforce, he said. Corporate acquisitions are directly expanding the capabilities that ASSA ABLOY brings to the market. For example, they recently acquired Luxer One, a locker company that enables secure delivery of packages without customers needing to stand in line or wait for service. Deliveries can be made in seconds. Peter Boriskin of ASSA ABLOY Americas led a booth tour, including new power capabilities gained in the acquisition of LifeSafety Power Another recent ASSA ABLOY acquisition is LifeSafety Power, which is expanding the company’s capability to provide proactive data on wired systems by tracking power usage. For example, a spike in current might mean a problem with a component. Compiling “intelligent triggers” enables creation of a dashboard to provide analytics of wired systems. ASSA ABLOY has also been devising predictive analytics of wireless locks to predict battery life, for instance, and to address other maintenance challenges. “We want to know what’s going on at a door without visiting it,” says Boriskin. New exhibitors make their mark New exhibitors were part of the GSX mix. One new exhibitor was Vaion. It’s their first trade show after launching at IFSEC in London in June. Vaion combines a small camera portfolio with on-premise servers and software managed through the cloud for an end-to-end solution. Tormod Ree, co-founder and CEO, calls it a “hybrid cloud delivery model”. Vaion is also a “more proactive security model”, said Ree. Video is analysed for anomalies, and the server “learns” what is normal and not normal. The system provides alerts and notifications, occupancy counting and traffic control, among other features. And “overlays” are employed to present information on a map. Vaion can highlight video that is more likely to be relevant and prioritise feeds that have more activity. Vaion designs the hardware, which is manufactured in Taiwan. Vaion was a first-time exhibitor at GSX 2019 with their end-to-end video system; Tomod Ree is co-founder and CEO Gunshot detection technology EAGL Technology displayed their “Firefly” gunshot detection technology at GSX 2019. Based on technology originally developed for use in the military for sniper detection, the U.S. Department of Energy adapted it to civilian uses after the Sandy Hook School shooting. Boaz Raz, CEO, said the technology is the “most advanced and affordable, wireless for use indoors or outdoors, and it can control doors and cameras”. It doesn’t “listen” for gunshots like some competitors; rather it measures energy for “6 sigma” accuracy (almost 100%). Defining, and redefining, end-to-end solutions End-to-end solutions were all the rage at GSX 2019, but Allied Universal was one exhibitor that pondered what, exactly, is an end-to-end solution? It means different things to different people. For example, a video company’s end-to-end solution would not include access control. When Allied Universal claims to offer an end-to-end solution, they mean it in the broadest definition of the term, including all security systems deployed for a customer as well as the important human element (i.e., manguarding). “The industry’s emphasis on ‘end-to-end’ doesn’t encompass a full solution,” says Mike Mullison, Allied Universal’s Chief Information Officer. “When somebody uses the term end-to-end, you have to ask: What’s at both ends?” The lines between cyber and physical threats are blurring. Clients want full-service solutions" “The lines between cyber and physical threats are blurring,” adds Mullison. “Clients want full-service solutions.” Allied Universal is adding new technology elements to its offering, and Mullison says “the next phase of growth will be fueled by technology.” Allied Universal recently introduced the Heliaus product, a smart phone app that accesses an analytics engine to predict outcomes and prescribe optimum responses. It literally puts technology in a security guard’s hand. One customer has found that use of the technology resulted in a 20% reduction in safety and security incidents. The latest in access control among exhibitors In addition to video, access control had a big profile at GSX 2019, as evidenced by ASSA ABLOY America and many other companies. Another example is SALTO Systems, featuring its new NEO cylinder for wireless access control and the SALTO Virtual Network (SVN); the SVN-Flex extends and increases the number of updating points directly to the door. The SVN-Flex extends and increases the number of updating points directly to the door The compact SALTO NEO Cylinder is designed for doors where fitting an electronic escutcheon is not possible or required and can be installed on standard doors, server racks, gates, cabinets, electric switches, or sliding doors. Low energy consumption results in 110,000 cycles with just one set of batteries. Other SALTO products are SALTO KS (Keys as a Service); SALTO BLUEnet Wireless for Bluetooth RF-driven real-time control of doors; the XS4 One Deadlatch stand-alone electronic lock; and JustIN Mobile, which replaces the need for an access card by securely sending a mobile key Over the Air (OTA) to an iOS or Android device from SALTO’s ProAccess SPACE management software. The next step in integration A new company reflecting the GSX emphasis on integration is Security and Safety Things (SAST), which is still in launch mode but expects to have its first pilot customers in the Q4. The first camera vendors embracing the SAST platform will have cameras for sale at ISC West in the spring. SAST is creating an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphones.SAST is creating an IoT platform for the next generation of security cameras “SAST is a technology platform, but it is also a business platform and a relationship platform,” said Emmanuel Ventadour, VP Sales and Marketing. For app developers, SAST also provides non-technical commercial services (i.e., easing their route to market.) Hartmut Schaper, CEO, emphasises the “openness” of the company. Even though they are a spinoff of Bosch, they are treating every camera manufacturer equally, he says. For integrators, the use of apps can expand their field of play. Apps will empower integrators to use video for more business processes – not just security – and expand their reach with customers, says Schaper. From scepticism to sales There were plenty of product claims at GSX to feed the skepticism of even the toughest of potential customers. Fortunately, product claims were only the beginning of conversations with attendees at this year’s show. No doubt manufacturers were put through their paces more than once, and a few of them even came out on the other side with potential new business to show for their efforts. That’s the true measure of success at GSX 2019, or any trade show. Click here to read our reviews from Day One and Day Two of the show.
GSX 2019 got off to a jaunty start Tuesday. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their booths. There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side), while the trend toward system sales is continuing. Here's a review of Day 1 from the show floor. Dahua continues to educate market “Traffic-wise, the show is better than last year,” observed Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, at midday on Tuesday. “We met more people from Latin America,” he added. Shen theorised that Chicago is at the center of a larger territory of customers than last year’s location (Las Vegas). Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement: We’re still here" Dahua has faced some negative publicity in the last year since they were banned from procurement by U.S. government customers by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement, says Shen. The statement is “We’re still here.” Shen said only one visitor to the Dahua booth even mentioned the NDAA on the first day of the show, and the visitor was misinformed about the provisions and implications of the law. “There is a lot of misinformation,” he says. “We need to continue to educate the market.” Facial recognition, video metadata, and people counting New at the show is the Dahua Analytics+ line of cameras that feature more in-depth analysis of data such as facial attributes, video metadata, and people counting. For example, the cameras can identify 128 points in a face, with an additional 256 attributes analysed by the back-end recorder. Analysis can provide information such as age and gender, which can help a retailer analyse the demographics of their customers, for instance. Dahua is also adopting some of its consumer line of products for sale through the commercial channel. These include a flood light camera, a 2-megapixel WiFi camera and a doorbell camera. The products might be used outside of a retail store, for example, to complement Dahua commercial cameras that are used inside the store, says Shen. Dahua previewed a new multi-sensor camera that also includes a speed dome. The multi-sensor component combines eight views, each 2 megapixels, for a total of 16 megapixels. Below the multi-sensor camera is mounted a speed dome that can zoom in on regions of interest in the larger multisensor view. The camera will be launched in the fourth quarter. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their exhibits ACRE report continued North American growth “The industry’s momentum will continue to grow,” predicted Joe Grillo, Principal of ACRE. New areas such as cloud and mobile credentialing have the fastest growth rate, but are starting from a much smaller base, he said, so momentum in those categories will take time. ACRE sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market Grillo noticed the first morning of GSX was busy, although there was a bit of a lull at midday. In terms of the business outlook, Grillo sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market, although there have been some negative elements creeping into the outlook in Europe. Cybersecurity concerns in access control I caught up with Grillo at the booth promoting RS2, a Munster, Ind., access control company that Acre acquired last May. It is the only Acre company that is exhibiting at GSX. RS2 is one of two access control companies acquired by Acre in the last year — the other was Open Options, Addison, Texas. Grillo said the two acquired companies are complementary, especially in terms of their sales channels and geographic strengths. Although both are national companies, RS2 tends to be stronger in the Midwest, while Open Options sales emphasis is centered in Texas and emanates to the rest of the country. Concerns about vulnerabilities are a growing issue in access control, said Grillo, and more large endusers are conducting penetration testing of systems. The industry should welcome the scrutiny, he added. Cybersecurity also represents an business opportunity in access control, noted Grillo. Concerns about the vulnerabilities of legacy technologies such as 125Khz proximity cards and the Wiegand protocol will likely accelerate the pace of companies upgrading their access control systems There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side) Eagle Eye Networks and cloud-based VMS Ken Francis of Eagle Eye Networks had already realised some new client opportunities during the first day of the show, although he was not optimistic at the outset. In contacting potential clients to meet at the show, he had heard that many were not attending. Among Eagle Eye Networks’ news at the show is full integration of body-cams into their cloud-based video management system. “It’s the most unique thing happening from a video management perspective,” Francis said. Previously, if someone needed a video clip from a body cam, they had to use a separate software system.Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed" Francis continues to be bullish on the subject of cloud adoption of video management and made a bold prediction: “Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed.” Eagle Eye Networks is doing its part with “rocket growth” that is reflected in an increase of company employees from 27 to 165 or so. Economies of scale have enabled Eagle Eye Networks to lower subscription prices by up to 45 percent. Genetec's release self-service PIAM system Many of the “new” products at GSX 2019 are slight variations on what was introduced at ISC West last spring. An exception is Genetec’s introduction of ClearID, a self-service physical identity and access management (PIAM) system that enforces security policies while improving the flow of people within the organisation. The new system is integrated with the Genetec's Security Center Synergis access control system. PIAM systems have historically been customisable, complex to install and costly, which is why a lot of companies have not used a system. Genetec’s differentiator is that it is an off-the-shelf, out-of-the-box solution for a broader base of customers. “We scanned the market and found a lack of off-the-shelf identity management systems,” said Derek Arcuri, Product Marketing Manager, Genetec. “Targeting the mid-market, we are providing an accessible, ready-to-go cloud-based system that is ‘baked’ for the average company but can be integrated and expanded to include other systems.” The trend toward system sales at the show is continuing ClearID will simplify operation for the security department, which was previously tasked with a lot of administrative work in response to various departments. ClearID “pushes down” the authority to use the system to stakeholders (such as IT and/or facilities directors) and provides a system they can use themselves without involving security. “It empowers stakeholders and employees to work directly through the system rather than going through security,” says Arcuri. “It gives employees access based on stakeholder policies and improves the flow of people through an organisation. The security director is relieved of administrative work and can work on ‘real’ security.” I saw some other things today, too, which I will share in a future GSX article... And more about the show tomorrow.
Fire and security systems are two elements of the same mission: To keep buildings and their occupants safe. However, the two systems often operate independently and may not be integrated. Should there be more integration and what are the pitfalls? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges and opportunities of integrating security and fire systems?
Ethics is a particularly important subject in an industry such as fire and security because the result of unethical actions might make the difference in life and death. For example, if an employee acts unethically when servicing a fire extinguisher, the result could be to burn down the building. Although ethics is not a common topic of discussion in the fire and security industry, perhaps it should be. Chubb Fire and Security is a company that provides an example of how an emphasis on ethics can benefit a company, their employees, their customers and the whole world. Fire safety and security risks “The fire and security industry is different than others because lives and people’s safety are on the line,” says Harv Dulay, Director of Ethics and Compliance at Chubb Fire and Security. “Our purpose is to protect clients from fire safety and security risks. This is a business where no one should take short cuts. It is important to do the right thing all the time, every time, and it’s about protecting lives and property.” At Chubb, we have a code of ethics, our ‘bible,’ that is issued to employees when they start" “At Chubb, we have a code of ethics, our ‘bible,’ that is issued to employees when they start,” says Dulay. “Within the bible are core fundamental rules about what’s acceptable and not acceptable. We lay it out for employees very specifically. They understand and embrace the code of ethics, which is based on trust, integrity, respect, innovation and excellence.” “If you get those right, the business moves in the right direction. A key piece of our ethics policy is based on trust. We relate to others with openness, transparency, and empathy. It makes Chubb a better place to work and enables us to provide better service to customers.” Fire audit For Chubb, ethics is not just theoretical, but ethical concepts play out every day in practical ways. An example might be an engineer who goes to a customer’s site and is asked to do a task that is outside his or her duties and/or not allowed under the ethics policy. The pressure might be even greater if the employee is struggling to meet a sales figure. The code of ethics addresses specific situations and outlines the behaviour that is expected. In another example, a customer asked a Chubb technician to forge a certificate saying the customer had previously passed a fire audit in order to validate his previous year’s insurance. Showing ethical integrity, the technician was able to cite the company’s Code of Ethics and refuse to do it. The technician also reported the situation to his Ethics and Compliance Officer. Customers benefit, too. Delivering ethics excellence It’s a message heard from the top down, from everyone in the company" One of Chubb’s sales associates immediately reporting a situation in which all the tenders and competitors’ prices were visible as they prepared a tender for upload to a customer portal. Not only did the sales associate deliver ethics excellence by reporting the issue, he also helped a grateful customer who thereby avoided anti-trust issues, says Dulay. “Ethics is not just a current issue,” says Dulay. “It’s embedded in our values and has been since the beginning. Ethics is making sure people do the right things.” Ethics is integrated into the Chubb business model, and everyone knows what is expected of them. “It’s a message heard from the top down, from everyone in the company.” On-line training modules Ethics discussions begin for employees at Chubb when they join the company; clear instructions about ethics are included as part of employee induction. There are nine modules of ethics training during employee orientation, and a discussion with an Ethics and Compliance Officer is part of the onboarding process. The training program includes information about ethics, company expectations around ethics, where to go for questions about ethical issues, and details of the anonymous ombudsman program. Additionally, field staff are trained by their supervisors via regular face-to-face ethics toolbox talks. Office staff complete a series of on-line ethics training modules regularly. A series of supervisor-led trainings encourage managers to deliver face-to-face ethics training to their team, citing real-life examples. Healthy discussions are encouraged to deal with any ‘gray areas.’ Worldwide implementation of data security Some 14,000 employees globally have multiple options when it comes to reporting an issue Dulay estimates that ethics and compliance officers spend about half their time answering questions and clarifying for employees what’s expected in the code of ethics. Some 14,000 employees globally have multiple options when it comes to reporting an issue, and there are full-time Ethics and Compliances Officers in every country where Chubb does business. A reflection of Chubb’s global approach to compliance is their worldwide implementation of data security requirements of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); the company saw the benefits of the program for any jurisdiction. Training and education are part of Chubb’s investment in ethics. For example, a recent module on ‘respect in the workplace’ covered the need to create a company culture in which everyone feels respected. “Training and continuous communication are embedded in the organisation,” says Dulay. Managing potential conflicts proactively “We invest in the process,” says Dulay. “We have had employees who left the company and then come back. They realised the importance of ethics and rejoined us. We start with the foundation that we would rather lose business than give up our ethical standards,” says Dulay. Some business is not worth getting if you don’t adhere to your values" “We won’t abandon our policies even if there is money at stake. Some business is not worth getting if you don’t adhere to your values. We manage potential conflicts proactively by creating and instituting methods in which employees have access to tools they can use to be successful and adaptable in times of change,” says Dulay. “Also, we will not tolerate retaliation against any employee who reports wrongdoing – regardless of the outcome of the investigation.” Forming good ethics behaviour And while there is no specific monetary value assigned to good ethical practices, success can be measured. “We measure it by people’s conduct, the number of cases we have, and awareness,” says Dulay. “It’s good for employee morale, and it’s good for customers and our business. It’s not measurable, but it is fundamental for business and customers.” “The work we do as a company can impact people’s lives so it is important that everyone has an understanding of the importance of their role,” says Dulay. A common misconception about ethics is: “If no one is watching, it must be ok.” However, Dulay says it is the things employees do when no one is watching or checking in on them that form good ethics behaviour. During training, Chubb emphasises that ethics is about doing the right thing, all the time even if no one is watching.
Video is a more common feature of security systems than ever before, driven by implementation of Internet Protocol (IP) networks. In addition, various computer analytics systems are now being implemented as a matter of course. The combination of the two trends is changing – and expanding – the operation of security operations centers (SOCs). Intelligent security operations "Intelligence is central to the next evolution of security", says Alan Stoddard, Vice President and General Manager, Situational Intelligence Solutions, Verint. An architecture is needed that can gather information from multiple devices and process it using intelligence and analytics engines. Cross-domain analytics create a higher level of security. Exposing data to best-in-class analytics provides information tailored to each security operator" “Exposing data to best-in-class analytics provides information tailored to each security operator,” says Stoddard. “There is so much data, and people need to react to it.” The result is the emergence of intelligent security operations centers (iSOCs). Consider, for example, any recent security event: “As people look to understand and get ahead of these incidents, how do they synthesise information? How do they move ahead from response to prevention?” asks Stoddard. Video-centric command-and-control Because of the expanding uses for video, Stoddard sees movement in the industry toward video systems being the focal point for integration of data sources into a command-and-control environment. “Everyone is visual, and video provides a mechanism to understand your environment,” says Stoddard. “Video-centric command-and-control marries the value of video with a map that is easy to navigate and understand. He adds,"Video is pulled in from each location, and various subsystems are integrated into a unified environment. The video management system (VMS) is a natural integration point.” To serve the combined emphasis on analytics and video management, Verint has introduced its VMS One system, a single product that combines video and integrated command-and-control for iSOC environments. The new product serves a need in the marketplace to manage diverse data streams, to analyse data for greater intelligence and to automate workflows. Integration with third party VMS VMSOne combines a VMS with a command-and-control system and is targeted to large facilities and campus-like environments with SOCs. Examples include transportation hubs, large manufacturing sites, critical infrastructure, safe cities and higher education. For even larger, enterprise-type customers with multiple locations and plenty of subsystems, Verint offers its Situational Awareness Platform, which can integrate with third party VMSs and other systems. The scalable system for very high-end customers can manage tens of thousands of devices and subsystems. VMSOne, which had a preliminary launch at ISC West and is featured at the 2019 GSX show in Chicago, is targeted to the next lower tier of customers. Customer shipments will begin in September 2019. Verint’s Situational Awareness Platform can integrate with third-party VMSs Physical and cyber security Increasingly, the security needs of end users are being converged, says Stoddard. They encompass information technology (IT), physical security and cyber security, combined with a corporate security officer (CSO) in charge of decision-making. More sensors and subsystems create the possibility of data overload for security operators, and more intelligence and analytics are tools to filter and manage that data and present it in useful form for better decision-making. Verint recently hired Jeffrey Lewis as Vice President, Marketing, to lead its marketing effort from an IT-centric perspective and talk to customers in a new way about the concepts of converged security. New technologies and a more converged environment create higher expectations and greater demands on the integrator/installer community, too. In response, Verint has launched a VIP Partner program to develop stronger and closer relationships with a select group of integrators. These “VIPs” are the “best of the best” – the most capable in the industry, knowledgeable about new technologies, and able to provide more value to end-customers. VIP Partner program Dealers are screened based on modest volume sales requirements and whether they have the right skillsets, technical capability and training. There are currently several dozen VIP partners, who “lead with” Verint solutions where they make sense in the marketplace. The VIP Partner initiative complements Verint’s other partner channels. Providing another tool to manage the flow of data in an organisation, Verint recently acquired Nowforce, a small Israeli company, that provides an enhanced computer-automated dispatch system. Verint offers the integrated dispatch and response capability as either a stand-alone product or as part of the larger Situational Awareness Platform. Situational Awareness Platform Getting ahead [of security threats] requires looking at social media and other data sources"“It allows SOCs to take information in and handle response in an integrated fashion,” says Stoddard. “It also extends the security workforce, enabling customers and employees to take part in the security environment.” Stoddard adds, “Getting ahead [of security threats] requires looking at social media and other data sources, information on site, and creating a holistic security view for greater understanding,” says Stoddard. Verint’s Situational Awareness Platform integrates with third-part systems that track social media, such as Liferaft Navigator, NC4 and Dataminr,” Nowforce creates 360 degrees of control, extends the control center into the virtual workforce, and enables everyone to be managed. Information such as visuals and maps are pushed to security personnel on smart phones, and security officers get to the scene faster.
For the security market, the ‘fine ranging’ capabilities of ultra-wideband (UWB) technology opens up a range of new uses based on the ability to determine the relative position and distance of two UWB-equipped devices with pinpoint accuracy – within centimetres. UWB is more accurate and secure, even in challenging environments full of interference, compared to narrow band wireless technologies. UWB technology transmits a large amount of data over short distances using a small amount of energy. It will be used in seamless access control, location-based services, and device-to-device services across industries including smart homes, cities, retail services, and healthcare. Increasing the accuracy of ranging measurements UWB technology will support any application that benefits from knowing the precise location of a connected deviceUltra-wideband is a mature radio technology that transmits information spread over a large bandwidth, as described by the IEEE 802.154 standard. A new, enhanced amendment to the standard – IEEE 802.15.4z – focusses on improvements to existing modulations to increase the integrity and accuracy of ranging measurements. Moving forward, UWB technology will support any application that benefits from knowing the precise location or presence of a connected device or object. This reflects a move from data communication to secure sensing. New capabilities of UWB are largely unfamiliar to the market, but a new Consortium – the FiRa Consortium – has a mission to educate the market, provide use cases, and promote UWB technology. Delivering interoperability across devices “With a consortium, we can better deliver interoperability across devices, software, and chipsets,” says Ramesh Songukrishnasamy, Director and Treasurer of the FiRa Consortium, and SVP & CTO of HID Global. “This creates a frictionless experience for the user, which is vitally important with a new technology. People are more likely to adopt emerging technology when it runs smoothly without interruptions or errors.” The FiRa consortium is ensuring new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive" An industry consortium can create a UWB ecosystem of interoperable technologies instead of individual companies launching products that consumers struggle to make work together, says Songukrishnasamy. “Simply, the FiRa consortium is ensuring new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive.” Founding members of the FiRa consortium ASSA ABLOY and HID Global, pioneers in secure access and identity solutions, are founding members of the consortium. Their technology manages access to physical and digital places, things, and identities. Another founding consortium member, NXP Semiconductors, is a pioneer in secure connectivity solutions for embedded applications. Other founding members are Samsung, which creates top-of-the-line TVs, smartphones, wearables, and other connected devices; and the Bosch Group, a global supplier of technology and services that is at the forefront of IoT innovations. Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc., LitePoint and the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) are the first companies to join the newly formed organisation. Immune to radio frequency interference UWB is also immune to radio frequency interference, so it functions in high traffic settingsUWB introduces higher levels of accuracy in positioning capabilities and increased security for ranging data exchange compared to existing technologies. Fine ranging with UWB technology can localise devices and objects to 10 centimetres of accuracy with or without line of sight. UWB is also immune to radio frequency interference, so it functions in high traffic settings. These capabilities will enable a variety of use cases like secure, hands-free access control in hospitals, location-based services for ride sharing, and targeted marketing for retailers. FiRa will demonstrate UWB technology at upcoming trade shows. The FiRa Consortium aims to build on IEEE’s work with an interoperable high rate physical layer (HRP) standard, including defining an application layer that discovers UWB devices and services and configures them in an interoperable manner. The consortium also plans to develop service-specific protocols for multiple verticals and define necessary parameters for applications including physical access control, location-based services and device-to-device services. Promoting the adoption of UWB solutions As a consortium, FiRa is not just setting standards but actively championing use cases for UWB technology. Creating the consortium addresses the need to develop interoperability and implementation standards; brings key players together to create a rich UWB ecosystem; allows for the sharing of intellectual property; and promotes the adoption of UWB solutions. The FiRa Consortium is committed to educating and promoting new use cases" “Since UWB is a mature technology with new potential uses, there is a general lack of awareness of potential applications that take advantage of the technology,” says Songukrishnasamy. “The FiRa Consortium is committed to educating and promoting new use cases.” The FiRa name comes from Fine Ranging to highlight UWB technology’s use cases and distinction from older UWB technologies and solutions. Enhanced security in challenging environments Fine ranging powered by UWB can outperform other technologies in terms of accuracy, power consumption, robustness in wireless connectivity, and security, especially in challenging, high density environments. UWB previously served as a technology for high data rate communication and as such was in direct competition with Wi-Fi. Since then, UWB has undergone several transformations: UWB has evolved from an OFDM-based data communication to an impulse radio technology specified in IEEE 802.15.4a (2ns pulses with Time of Flight); and A security extension being specified in IEEE 802.15.4z (at PHY/MAC level) makes it a unique secure fine ranging technology. Moving from data communication to secure ranging allows ‘spatial context capability’ to be utilised by a variety of applications: seamless access control, location-based services, and device-to-device (peer-to-peer) services. Information is available at firaconsortium.org.
According to the reports of not-for-profit organisation Gun Violence Archive, the year 2018 saw 323 mass shooting incidents as of November. This number is 346 for the year 2017 and 382 for 2016, with ‘mass shooting’ defined as cases where four or more people are shot or killed in the same time period and location. A variety of gunfire detection solutions and other technology approaches seek to address the problem. ShotSpotter SiteSecure and ShotSpotter SecureCampus provide critical outdoor infrastructure protection against active shooter attacks. SiteSecure delivers critical information such as the number of shots fired, a detailed map of the airport or transportation facility, with the shooting location clearly identified. SiteSecure also provides law enforcement and transportation facility management with real-time information that can be useful to identify and address false alarms and reduce mass panic. Gunfire detection and precise shooter location Designed for college campuses and K-12 schools, ShotSpotter SecureCampus provides gunfire detectionShotSpotter SecureCampus is a gunfire detection system designed to provide outdoor coverage at university and school campuses. Designed for college campuses and K-12 schools, SST SecureCampus provides gunfire detection, precise location, and number of shooters to first responders and school personnel, enabling faster response to an incident. Data capture form to appear here! Gunshot detection can offer tremendous benefits in mitigating active shooting incidents occurring in a public facility or commercial environment. Data shows that active shooter attacks often begin outside a building and then progress indoors. Thus, the first line of defence for security professionals lies outside a facility, in a zone of protection surrounding it or comprising the entire outdoor area of a larger facility of many buildings. Audio solutions for perimeter security Video cameras are effective surveillance tools in the event of a shooting incident, but they are not able to capture everything. Deploying audio solutions can automatically flag incidents not caught on camera, as well as alert central station guards of what surveillance zones need to be closely monitored. Audio analytics solutions for aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. They are the next generation of monitoring; equipping security teams with critical information and enhancing perimeter security. End users can identify high-risk situations in real-time and prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen Aggression detectors are capable of accurately recognising duress in a person’s voice. The software automatically and objectively detects the presence of rising human aggression, anger or fear, and subsequently warns staff by a visual alert or alarm trigger. As a result, end users can identify high-risk situations in real-time and prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen. Artificial intelligence to detect weapons A gunshot detector recognises firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software accurately classifies and triggers an immediate notification through a designated VMS. Security staff can then verify the alert, effectively reducing the reaction time of first responders. With the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in object recognition, AI weapons detection offers an efficient alternative to gunshot detection to prevent active shooting: AI can visually detect guns based on their shapes before they are fired. The AI is trained to recognise firearms in different shapes, sizes, colours, and at different angles in videos, so that the AI weapon detector can be deployed with existing camera systems, analyse the video feeds, and instantly notify security staff when a gun is spotted. Audio analytics, processed inside a video camera, are another approach that can quickly pinpoint zones that security staff should focus on, which can dramatically shorten response times to incidents. Audio-derived data also provides a secondary layer of verification that an event is taking place which can help prioritise responses from police and emergency personnel. Detecting audio levels and alerting operators Operators can be notified of abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measuresThe first job of a well-configured camera or camera/mic pair is to detect sounds of interest while rejecting ancillary sounds and noise below a preset threshold. Each camera must be custom-configured for its particular environment to detect audio levels which exceed a user-defined level. Since audio levels are typically greater in abnormal situations, any audio levels exceeding the baseline set levels are detected as being a potential security event. Operators can be notified of any abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measures. Finding a baseline of background noise and setting an appropriate threshold level is the first step. Well configured audio analytics can deliver critical information about a security event, accelerating response times and providing timely details beyond video-only surveillance. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly. Hanwha Techwin's audio source classification technology, available in its X Series cameras, features three customisable settings for category, noise cancellation and detection level for optimum performance in a variety of installation environments.
During the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in 2018, the shooter was caught on a security camera pulling his rifle out of a duffle bag in the staircase 15 seconds before discharging the first round. However, the School Resource Officer didn’t enter the building because he wasn’t confident about the situation, and the Coral Springs Police Department had no idea what the shooter even looked like until 7 minutes and 30 seconds after the first round was fired. If the video system had included technology to recognise the gun threat in real time, alerts could have been sent to the security team. An announcement could have been made right away for all students and faculty in Building 12 to barricade their doors, and law enforcement could have responded a lot faster to a real-time feed of timely and accurate information. Automatically recognising gun threats The technology is centred around a CNN that aims to replicate how a human brain would process informationAegis AI offers such a technology, which the company says enables existing security cameras to automatically recognise gun threats and notify security in real-time. The technology is centred around a convolutional neural network (CNN) that aims to replicate how a human brain would process information. This neural network is trained to recognise what hands holding a firearm look like from hundreds of thousands of images in a proprietary data set. Over time, the system is able to mathematically calculate what a gun threat in a security camera feed looks like with a high degree of accuracy (well over 99% detection accuracy within the first 5 seconds), according to Aegis AI. “Active shooter situations are often marred by chaos and confusion,” says Sonny Tai, Chief Executive Officer of Aegis AI. “People are in fight-or-flight response and prioritise immediate survival instead of reaching for their phones and calling 911. When the 911 calls are made, callers often provide delayed, conflicting, and inaccurate information, inhibiting law enforcement’s ability to respond.” Enhances law enforcement response Tai says Aegis AI helps to clear up that chaos and confusion. “It provides visual intelligence of the location of the shooter, what they look like, what direction they’re heading, and what they’re armed with,” he says. “This real-time information enhances law enforcement response and enables building occupants to make critical decisions that maximise survivability." AI methods including deep learning enable high levels of accuracy in detecting weapons in real-time camera footage Tai is a Marine Corps veteran and a social entrepreneur who co-founded Aegis AI with the mission of addressing America’s gun violence epidemic. The start of the company stems from Tai’s upbringing in South Africa, where gun violence rates are some of the highest in the world. Growing up, several of his family friends were personally impacted, resulting in a lifelong passion for the issue of gun violence. In early 2018, Tai interviewed dozens of law enforcement leaders across the country and found that their biggest challenge in gun violence response was the lack of timely and accurate information. Aegis mitigates that challenge and enables both first responders and security staff to respond more rapidly, he says. More than 99% accuracy in detecting weapons Aegis is a software-only solution that plugs into security camera hardware and software, including VMSAegis' solution is completely AI-based, says Ben Ziomek, Chief Product Officer. AI methods including deep learning enable high levels of accuracy in detecting weapons in real-time camera footage. “Legacy, non-AI based solutions generally rely on older methods like motion detection, which is not reliable in differentiating between objects such as phones and firearms,” says Ziomek. “Our AI solution lets us achieve more than 99% accuracy in detecting weapons with an exceptionally low false-positive rate.” Ziomek runs engineering, data science, and operations for Aegis. Before joining the firm, he led teams of AI engineers and data scientists at Microsoft, leveraging AI to identify high-potential startups globally. Aegis is a software-only solution that plugs into existing security camera hardware and software, including video management systems (VMS). Existing capabilities of a customer’s VMS does initial, basic analysis and then routes the remaining video to Aegis’s processing units for AI analysis. Alerts can then be sent back however a customer wants, including through a VMS. Aegis can also feed information into a PSIM or command-and-control system if requested by a customer. Equipping customers with AI tools Our current focus for the company is to get our technology into the hands of as many customers as possible"As an early-stage company, Aegis is pursuing customers through multiple routes, including directly to end-users and via security integrators, distributors, and dealers. They are currently deployed at diverse customer sites including schools, office buildings, industrial facilities, and public buildings, says Ziomek. “Our current focus for the company is to get our technology into the hands of as many customers as possible,” says Ziomek. “We are working closely with customers across segments and industries to equip them with the tools they need to make their spaces safer. We’re currently working on educating the market on our offerings, as this technology is very new to many security organisations.” There are no privacy or compliance concerns because Aegis stores no customer data until a weapon is detected, and even then the data is not cross-indexed with any sensitive information, says Ziomek.
As police use of live facial recognition (LFR) is called into question in the United Kingdom, the concerns can overshadow another use of facial recognition by police officers. Facial recognition is incorporated into day-to-day police operations to identify an individual standing in front of them. This more common usage should not be called into question, says Simon Hall, CEO of Coeus Software, which developed PoliceBox, a software that enables police officers to complete the majority of their daily tasks from an app operating on a smart phone. Time-consuming process There are two different use cases for facial recognition in the context of law enforcement" “Verifying the identity of an individual standing in front of you via facial recognition should be no more controversial than taking a fingerprint for the same purpose,” says Hall. “We are not talking about mass surveillance here, but the opportunity to use technology to make an officer’s day more efficient. Verifying a person’s ID is a time-consuming process if you have to take them to the station, so being able to do this more quickly should be welcomed as a positive step to modernise policing.” Because the use of facial recognition by police has proven to be a divisive topic, Simon is eager to highlight the distinction between the use of facial recognition for ID verification and the more controversial mass surveillance that some police forces have trialed. “There are two different use cases for facial recognition in the context of law enforcement,” says Hall. Number-plate recognition “Firstly, there is facial recognition to verify a person’s identity (typically done face-to-face with the individual concerned and using the Police National Computer [PNC] database). This is no more controversial than taking an individual’s fingerprint to verify their ID but can be conducted more quickly if the officer has the capability on their smart phone. The second common use of facial recognition is to identify suspects quickly via mass surveillance. This is more controversial.” The focus for PoliceBox is ID verification only, he adds. The focus of facial recognition for PoliceBox is ID verification only First, there is the matter of consent. In the context of facial recognition in public situations, it is very difficult to inform everyone that they are being observed, so they cannot give their informed consent, says Hall. Then there is the inability for people to ‘opt out’ of the process. Unlike with driving a car, where one can technically opt-out of the rules of the road (and avoid technologies like number-plate recognition) by choosing not to drive, there is no such option for facial recognition. National surveillance system Secondly, many-to-many matching (matching lots of images to lots of database records) is more likely to produce false matches, resulting in possible perceived harassment of individuals who happen to match a person of interest, notes Hall. The government is openly exploring plans to develop a national surveillance system using facial recognition Lastly, Hall says there are legitimate concerns that the technology could be misused for discrimination or exerting control over populations. In China, for example, where facial recognition technology is already widely used in the commercial sector, the government is openly exploring plans to develop a national surveillance system using facial recognition. “Mass surveillance can be used in two ways; real-time, whereby ‘people of interest’ are flagged up as soon as a match is detected, and historical, where the movements of individuals around the time of a reported crime are established after the event,” says Hall. Repeated false matches “These two modes probably require different types of safeguards. For example, it may be appropriate to obtain a warrant to search historical data, to prevent Cambridge-Analytica style mining of personal data. For real time data, safeguards against repeated false matches are needed to prevent harassment of falsely matched individuals.” Properly implemented, facial recognition can be consistent with the GDPR. The principles are no different from obtaining a fingerprint to confirm identity, where consent would normally be given. For PoliceBox, using fingerprint or facial identification is typically a time-saving solution, benefitting both parties, instead of going to the police station and establishing identity there. Signed consent can be obtained on the spot using a secure on-screen signature. The PoliceBox solution is based on the UK legal framework and would also be appropriate for countries whose laws are similar to the UK Facial recognition algorithms Fingerprints and facial images can be automatically deleted once used to establish identity. There are special provisions for the collection of personal data for law enforcement purposes without consent, and some test cases for mass surveillance could go through the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This is particularly significant where private operators are concerned. PoliceBox solution is also internationalised and can be used in different languages The PoliceBox solution is based on the UK legal framework and would also be appropriate for countries whose laws are similar to the UK. It is also internationalised and can be used in different languages. Facial recognition algorithms and databases are typically implemented by the relevant law enforcement body (such as the Home Office) and not directly within the product, which acts as a front-end to those systems. Public sector organisations Hall sees several remaining challenges related to police use of facial recognition: The adoption of cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions within the public sector. The existing infrastructure in the public sector has evolved over a number of years and there are significant legacy systems in place that need to be refreshed/replaced; Need for proven technology. Public sector organisations are risk-averse and often insist on being able to reference existing installations, which creates a Catch 22 problem when introducing new technology as someone has to be first; Interrupting business-as-usual. Most organisations already have some form of an existing solution. Even if this system provides poor ROI and is extremely dated, one must still overcome ‘the better the devil you know’ policy; A reluctance by some suppliers to share information with other solutions via APIs. This has stifled innovation for some time. Improving officers’ wellbeing These challenges are slowly being overcome. “I am confident we will soon see an accelerated adoption of platforms such as ours to deliver the financial and efficiency savings that are needed to bring the public sector into the 21st century,” says Hall. One of the biggest themes to come out of the recent Home Office Review into frontline policing was the need to improve officers’ wellbeing. Law enforcement has to deal with some of the most difficult and harrowing situations on an almost daily basis. The administrative burden can also be problematic, says Hall. “If we can help to reduce the administrative burden placed on officers – even by a little bit – the overall improvements in effectiveness and well-being when magnified across a whole force will be significant.”
Securing large campus environments can be particularly demanding and requires a range of technology solutions. In effect, a campus may represent a dozen or more individual facilities to be secured, in addition to protecting the overall environment. Seeking more insight into the number and variety of needs of securing a campus, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting large campus environments?
One of the common characteristics of trade shows is booths with walls and walls of new products. Sometimes exhibitors seem intent on displaying everything in their portfolio, even though the displays appear cluttered and may not be welcoming. In an age of system sales, in particular, the emphasis on products can seem off kilter. Discussions with exhibitors at this year’s GSX show reveal a new awareness of the need for less cluttered booths, but the equipment walls persist. Here’s a review of Day 2 from the show floor. Allegion embrace more open booth design At GSX 2019, Allegion is among the exhibitors embracing a new, more open booth design that encourages engagement with customers and puts less emphasis on product displays. Discussions at the Allegion booth have centred around the value proposition and lower complexity of network-connected access control systems. The approach has been gaining a higher profile at Allegion since the company acquired Isonas, whose system configuration involves a reader-controller connected to the network via power-over-Ethernet cable. “Customers are also asking about Bluetooth technology and mobile applications,” said Jonathan Mooney, Allegion sales leader. Allegion is looking to deploy the Isonas software in other products in their portfolio; it will be offered in the range of Schlage wireless locks by the middle of 2020.The benefit of the cloud and network is to remove a lot of complexity and unnecessary costs for access control" “The benefit of the cloud and network is to remove a lot of complexity and unnecessary costs for access control,” said Mooney. Bosch offer complete security solution Bosch is introducing 55 new products at GSX 2019, but when it comes down to it, the company’s overarching message is not about individual products but about how they can be combined into a larger system. “At the end of the day, the message from Bosch is ‘how do I create a complete security solution?’” said Paul Garms, Bosch Director, Regional Marketing Security. “That’s what we are trying to demonstrate: How do all these things integrate?” Most of interest to attendees are actual demonstrations, which are a unique aspect of the trade show experience. “It’s nice at a show where we can really demonstrate what we are talking about when we say ‘integrated solution,’” said Garms. “And people can say, ‘oh yeah, if I trip this video analytic, the speaker will warn me I am approaching a restricted area.’ Or, when the manager signs in on the intrusion panel, now the associate can access a door he wasn’t able to before. It’s that integration and the complete solution that resonates. People are also interested in new products. At a show, they like to see them in operation.” At the Bosch booth, there is a big wall that illustrates some integration possibilities. An array of cameras was among the 55 new products introduced by Bosch, which also emphasised systems. Machine learning and advanced video analytics One implementation featured on the wall is Bosch’s Camera Trainer machine learning system. The system can “train” a camera to recognise a car in a parking lot, for example. Among the new Bosch products is the Autodome 7000i, the next generation of a best-selling camera, now with H.265 encoding and analytics such as line crossing. There is also an outdoor panoramic camera that is adjustable to 180-degree or 360-degree views. The new, less expensive 3000i series cameras provide an affordable option with edge analytics and Bosch’s data security protection included. Integration from Honeywell as well as 'the bigger picture' At Honeywell Security Group, Senior Product Manager G. Eric Green said the show seems to be much better attended than last year, “and we have had a lot of interest in our products.” Even end-user attendees typical of the GSX show are interested in the details of technology, as well as “the bigger picture,” commented Green. “Some of our booth visitors want to get into the weeds,” he said. “They say they want this piece of hardware. But they also also interested in the big picture. How things are interacting is very important.” Honeywell announced the 30 Series IP cameras, which can be used as part of video systems that comply with National Defense Authorization Act Section 889" “Most customers have installed products from other vendors that they expect us to work with. So integration is always at the top of the list. Can you work with these guys? Do you have an API? Do you support this piece of equipment? We always hear that a lot,” said Green. “There are customers who want best-in-breed products, but they’re not necessarily concerned about that coming from one manufacturer,” he said. “Other customers want ‘one throat to choke.’ When something goes wrong, they don’t want any finger-pointing.” Web-based security console and frictionless access control Honeywell is showing a beta version of its Pro-Watch 5.0 product, which is coming out in Q1 next year. It is an integrated security console that provides a map view of access control, video management, intrusion and other third party systems. The web-based platform offers access to each element, all controlled by permissions. “We are also building in an incident workflow engine that allows an operator to see exactly what steps he should take when something occurs as defined by the supervisor or a security director,” said Green. “It can literally walk you through, and it is completely freeform. Whatever you want it to say, it will say. This works in conjunction with access control, video, and all the things we talk to.” The Honeywell booth was a busy place on day two of GSX 2019 Another new Honeywell product is the OmniAssure Touch reader, a “frictionless” device that can read a credential off a smart phone in a user’s pocket. The user merely touches the reader, and it scans the area for a nearby mobile device that is authorised, and you can walk through the door. Honeywell also announced the 30 Series IP cameras, which are encrypted and can be used as part of video systems that comply with National Defense Authorization Act Section 889. They are made in Taiwan. Arcules' cloud security solution “There are fewer people here at GSX 2019, but we have seen a lot of really big companies looking for a cloud service,” said Andreas Pettersson, CEO of cloud video company Arcules. At previous shows, questions about the cloud often seemed out of curiosity. Now, potential customers are more decisive: They say “we want to move to the cloud.” Pettersson theorised that concerns about a possible weakening economy may prompt some companies to avoid the large capital expenditure of procuring a new on-premise system and instead opt for the minimal investment needed for a cloud system. Monthly operating expenses of a cloud system are also predictable and more easily managed, said Pettersson.At previous shows, questions about the cloud often seemed out of curiosity. Now, potential customers are more decisive Arcules is proactive on the subject of cybersecurity and has a two-page handout that summarises the cybersecurity advantages of their system. They are eager to talk about cybersecurity as it relates to cloud systems, said Pettersson. He said that, in his experience, on-premise systems tend to have more cybersecurity issues, whether because ports are left open or a firewall is implemented incorrectly. Users may also seek to bypass the firewall — a dangerous practice that is not an option with cloud systems. Security patches may not have been implemented; in a cloud system, such updates are pushed out automatically. The recurring monthly revenue (RMR) aspect of cloud systems are a windfall to integrators who embrace the cloud. “One integrator said he went on vacation for the first time in years because he had the extra money coming in,” said Pettersson. Control room integration from Vistacom "We're still fairly new to GSX, as our first show was 5 years ago, but what we have noticed is that the show continues to attract valuable attendees and drive critical conversations around what companies like ours must bring to the table in order to be successful in this space," said Dan Gundry, Director of Sales and Marketing, Vistacom. "We've had so many chances to learn from and share with potential customers and partners, and as a result, we continue to forge great relationships.” Vistacom is highlighting its control room integration and the value enterprise organisations can gain from implementing one in their facility. The company works alongside end-user customers and security integrators to build a command centre space, taking into account video wall display technology, operator consoles and furniture, audio and lighting considerations, as well as temperature and more, in an effort to optimise these centres. Stay tuned for the full GSX 2019 show review.
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.