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
A video analytics system that provides ‘behavioural understanding’ can yield more meaningful and actionable data for a range of applications. In public safety and security, such a system can alert on violent or suspicious behaviours, such as people fighting, vandalism, people with weapons, etc. In advanced traffic surveillance and monitoring, it can provide alerts to vehicle collisions (accidents), traffic hazards or vehicle that aren’t using the road properly, such as a car that stops in the middle of the junction. For enterprise and campus security, it can provide advanced anti-tailgating and detect unauthorised activity. Video surveillance infrastructure viisights was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with track records in developing technology businesses These uses are among the benefits of viisights’ video analytics technology based on behavioural understanding of video content. “It means we can extract more meaningful data from the huge amount of video content that is captured, and we can transform that data to actionable insights that eventually justify the massive investment in video surveillance infrastructure,” says Asaf Birenzvieg, CEO of viisights. Their behavioural understanding systems for real-time video intelligence leverage artificial intelligence technology. viisights was founded by a group of serial entrepreneurs with track records in developing technology businesses. The Israeli company’s founders recognised a growing global need for intelligence to make physical and virtual public areas safer – and realised the role that smart video understanding technology can play. Developing artificial intelligence technologies viisights is committed to developing artificial intelligence technologies that facilitate human-like video understanding, which in turn serves as the basis for fully autonomous video intelligence systems powered by pattern prediction technology. “Behavioural recognition is the future of video analytics and the next generation of the object classification analytics systems that hold the majority of the market today,” says Birenzvieg. viisights has developed a video understanding technology for real-time video processing “To date most video analytics systems still base their product features on static analysis of objects from images using image recognition, even the ones that use ‘AI analytics.’ Products built using such object classification technology are extremely limited.” For example, object classification analytics cannot recognise behavioural events in a video such as people fighting or a car collision because such behaviours can’t accurately be concluded in large scale from analysing a single static image/frame. Video understanding technology viisights has developed a video understanding technology for real-time video processing. The technology can process live video feeds. In addition to recognising a particular object (e.g., person) and its attributes (e.g., red shirt), the system can understand an object’s actions, interactions with other objects (events), the scene being viewed (i.e., crowd is gathering, riots) and the context (a car is driving on the road or on the sidewalk). The main verticals are smart cities, enterprises and campuses, banks and ATM security “Basically, we are able to extract more meaningful data from a live video feed and therefore create actionable insights and greater ROI,” says Birenzvieg. The company focuses mostly on security and safety use-cases. The main verticals are smart cities, enterprises and campuses, banks and ATM security, security guard companies and transportation hubs. The company is working on a new product for in-vehicle monitoring mostly for security, safety, vehicle protection and proper vehicle use; it monitors passengers’ behaviour inside a bus, train, or taxi. The product will come to market next year. Video management system viisights’ video analytics offering is currently optimised for server-side deployment, and the integration architecture is similar to most video analytics systems. From one side it is integrated with the video management system (VMS). They are a Milestone verified partner and soon will be part of Milestone's marketplace. From the other end, it is connected to a command-and-control system for processing the data and presenting the alerts to the end-user. The analytics company makes most sales through system integrators. They have partnerships with big system integrators like Motorola Solutions and NEC and are also working with smaller ones. They are looking to expand their system integrator network, mostly in the USA and Europe. Behaviours can have many variations and they can be very diverse Cloud video surveillance “We will continue to invest in performance and accuracy, meaning higher recall and lower false positive rate,” says Birenzvieg. “Since our major value proposition is in behaviour recognition, behaviour events many times are not clearly defined, which is very different from object classification. Behaviours can have many variations and they can be very diverse.” An example is a simple behaviour like a person falling on the floor. A person can fall on the floor in many ways, but the challenge is to ignore similar behaviours that are not a person falling and that confuse the system, such as a person bending over to tie his shoelaces. With cloud video surveillance becoming a trend, viisights is also looking into offering some of their advanced functionalities in a video-analytics-as-a-service-model.
An interim Federal Acquisition Rule (FAR) detailing how the U.S. Federal government will implement a ban on government use of video surveillance products from Chinese manufacturers has been released just days before the August 13, 2019, deadline for the ban to take effect. The interim rule will take effect immediately; it notes there are "urgent and compelling reasons… to promulgate this interim rule without prior opportunity for public comment". After the interim rule is published in the Federal Register, 60 days will be allowed for public comments to be submitted (tag comments and correspondence ‘FAR Case 2018-017’). The final rule will follow. The agencies issuing the interim rule are the Department of Defense (DoD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Banning Chinese video surveillance equipment The interim rule provides details about implementation of Section 889(a)(1)(A) of the NDAA for fiscal year 2019The interim rule provides details about implementation of Section 889(a)(1)(A) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019, which the President signed into law on August 13, 2018, to take effect a year later. It bans government uses of telecommunications and video surveillance equipment produced by Hikvision and Dahua, among other companies. The interim rule also applies to telecommunications equipment produced by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corp. (or any subsidiary or affiliate). Huawei manufactures HiSilicon chips widely used in video cameras. The interim rule requires inclusion of a clause prohibiting the listed telecommunications and video surveillance services on solicitations and/or resulting contracts that occur on or after August 13, 2019. Contractors who identify covered equipment during the performance of a contract are required to report it within one business day; and to report mitigation actions within 10 business days. The requirement is included in contracts with subcontractors. Identifying telecommunications equipment The rule requires submission of a ‘representation’ with each offer (government bid) to identify any covered telecommunications equipment or services that will be provided to the Government. The interim rule states: “DoD, GSA, and NASA recognise that some agencies may need to tailor the approach to the information collected based on the unique mission and supply chain risks for their agency.” The head of an executive agency can grant a one-time waiver on a case-by-case basis for up to a two-year period There is an option for contractors to "represent annually whether they sell equipment, systems, or services that include covered telecommunications equipment or services". A ‘no’ answer then applies to any contracts during the year. If a contractor answers ‘yes’, they are required to specify that each individual bid does not include the covered equipment. The head of an executive agency can grant a one-time waiver on a case-by-case basis for up to a two-year period. Waivers require a compelling justification, that the equipment be listed/reported, and that a phase-out plan is implemented. The Director of National Intelligence can also provide a waiver. Prohibits purchase of COTS items The interim rule also applies to purchase of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) items: "Th[e] level of risk is not alleviated by the fact that the equipment or service being acquired has been sold or offered for sale to the general public... nor by the small size of the purchase." It prohibits ‘micro-purchases’ of covered products and services delegated by agency heads. The interim rule covers the NDAA Section 889(a)(1)(A), which is the ‘Chinese ban’ provision. It does not cover the ‘blacklist’ provision [Section 889(a)(1)(B)], which was the subject of a public hearing in July. According to the interim rule: "The prohibition in section 889(a)(1)(B) is not effective until August 13, 2020, and will be implemented through separate rulemaking." The ban also applies to current government installations, and there are questions about whether agencies and departments will comply in time.
Gunshot detectors use digital microphones installed on (or in) buildings or along streets that listen for evidence of gunshots, provide near instantaneous notification, triangulate the location of shooters and direction of a shot, detect the type of gun and ultimately aid in catching fleeing suspects and solving crimes. Gunshot detection is just one technology playing a role in the larger trend by city agencies to improve core city services. Cities are turning to what are referred to as ‘smart city’ solutions – new, innovative technologies that improve and maintain a high quality of life and ‘liveability’ for citizens. Several cities in the United States have implemented gunshot detection systems. Identifying and deterring gun violence Gunshot detection systems can shorten the response time in an active shooter situationShotSpotter, a provider of gunshot detection solutions that help law enforcement officials and security personnel identify, locate and deter gun violence, announced that seven new cities have deployed ShotSpotter technology in their communities. The new cities include Cincinnati, OH; Jacksonville, FL; Louisville, KY; Newburgh, NY; Pittsfield, MA; Syracuse, NY and St. Louis County, MO – joining the more than 90 jurisdictions that rely on ShotSpotter to ensure a fast, accurate response to gunfire incidents. Three existing ShotSpotter cities, New York City, Chicago and Birmingham have also recently expanded their coverage areas. Data capture form to appear here! Gunshot detection systems can shorten the response time in an active shooter situation. Early detection should be a primary aim, second only to prevention. Security professionals must be part of both of these areas, working in partnership with relevant administrators, local government, law enforcement, first responders and the community to help prevent and better respond to gun violence. Gunshot localisation solution In addition, active shooter events – large or small – are almost always sudden and unexpected, which places a burden on security personnel to manage these risks without creating a prison-like environment. A gunshot localisation solution can turn a video camera system into a real-time safety system in the event of an active shooter A gunshot localisation solution can turn a video camera system into a real-time safety system in the event of an active shooter. Called ShotPoint, the system is completely automated. Working with a video management system (VMS), it can enable a video image of an active shooter to be provided in seconds based on the location of a gunshot. ShotPoint is a network of sensors which can be mounted on walls, ceilings, streetlight poles or other indoor or outdoor locations. Using a ‘sensor mesh approach’, ShotPoint reliably detects and localises the source of gunfire; ranging from small handguns to high caliber rifles. The system can cover large indoor or outdoor areas such as schools, office buildings, retail centres, campuses, and parks. Accurately provides gunshot location Each sensor has an array of four acoustic channels (microphones) that can locate the source of a gunshot sound, the time of arrival and the time distance of arrival. ‘Hearing’ shots from several vantage points (using multiple sensors) enables the system to take into account the angle and time of the sound, which vary in different environments, thus accurately providing the location of the gunshot. A ‘fusion processor’ box (at the edge) listens to the various sensor nodes and computes the location of the gunshot, relative to a floorplan and/or based on global positioning system (GPS) location. In an outdoor location, additional information may also be inferred, such as the trajectory of the gunshot and/or the caliber of the firearm.
The mission of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is to ensure the reliability of the North American bulk power system (BPS). While electric utility companies are responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the electric grid, regulators such as NERC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are charged with the overall responsibility of ensuring reliability and security. NERC develops and enforces Reliability Standards, annually assesses seasonal and long-term reliability, monitors the bulk power system through system awareness, operates the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) and educates, trains and certifies industry personnel. Normal everyday operations of the system are the responsibility of utility owners and operators. Protecting critical infrastructure An attack by a disgruntled former employee, ideologically motivated activist, or a criminal could inflict significant damage Currently, a significant reliability threat to the U.S. grid is associated with squirrels and balloons, and not religiously inspired terrorists. However – and more applicable to grid operators – we have recently seen noteworthy interest in disabling or destroying critical infrastructure. Coordinated attacks can target the grid, and an attack by a disgruntled former employee, ideologically motivated activist, or a criminal stumbling across a “soft target,” could inflict significant damage. With an interconnected grid of over 450,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines (100 kV and higher) and over 55,000 substations (100 kV and larger), the targets of opportunity are endless. Data capture form to appear here! According to the Department of Energy, the number-one cause of most power outages in the U.S. is bad weather, which costs the economy between $18 billion and $33 billion every year in lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production and damage to grid infrastructure. The number-one cause of most power outages in the U.S. is bad weather, which costs the economy between $18 billion and $33 billion every year Large power transformers A large power transformer (LPT) is an enormous, custom-built piece of equipment tailored to customers’ specifications. They usually are not interchangeable with each other, and they are not produced for spare-part inventories; so if one blows, a lot of companies and homes could be without power for more than six months. They are not cheap, either. According to EEP (Electrical Engineering Portal), $10 million is a fairly average cost, but that doesn’t include transporting the gargantuan piece of equipment or installing it, which usually adds an additional 35 percent to the bill. Protecting power grids is essential to deliver electricity that serves millions of consumers. Transmission substations are a component of the power infrastructure that presents unique security challenges. These important facilities often sit out in the open, in remote locations, and were historically protected by little more than cameras or chain-link fences. According to EEP, $10 million is a fairly average cost for a large power transformer NERC/CIP guidelines The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC/CIP) guidelines address security needs of electrical substations. Every facility has a baseline requirement for perimeter security protection around the site, although medium- and high-impact sites will have more stringent requirements. The geography surrounding sites – Is it an urban area or rural? Does the surrounding elevation provide additional lines of sight? – also impacts the types of systems they require. Electricity coming from coal, nuclear or hydroelectric plants goes to local utilities The U.S. power grid is divided into three sections: The Eastern Interconnection for states east of the Rocky Mountains, The Western Interconnection for states from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, and the smallest—the Texas Interconnected system—covering most of Texas. Electricity coming from coal, nuclear or hydroelectric plants goes to local utilities and they distribute power to homes and businesses, to millions of personal devices, lights, refrigeration, computers, and to other “loads,” that tap it. Inherited challenges According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the nation’s electric infrastructure is “nothing but a patchwork system” that has evolved wildly since the first substation was erected by Thomas Edison in 1882, on New York City’s Pearl Street. Contributing to the challenges of securing the grid are the crazily disparate ages and capacities of the grid’s equipment. There are many possible targets, too. Approximately 300 control centres around the country monitor voltage and watch the data from SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems, which are placed at transformers, generators and other critical areas. Ideally, this allows engineers to monitor the data for signs of trouble and then communicate with each other to deal with whatever is happening to the grid, but SCADA has cybersecurity issues.
The ban on U.S. government usage of Chinese-made video surveillance products was signed into law last year and was scheduled to take effect a year later – on August 13, 2019. With that deadline looming, there are questions about whether government agencies and departments will comply in time. A year ago, the U.S. Congress passed, and the President signed, a ban on government uses of video surveillance equipment produced by two of the world’s top manufacturers – Hikvision and Dahua. The provision was buried in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019, which the President signed into law on August 13, 2018. The ban, which takes effect ‘not later than one year after … enactment’, applies not only to future uses of Dahua and Hikvision equipment but also to legacy installations. Tracking software to detect banned products Forescout Technologies, San Diego, California, provides software to track various banned devicesThe bill calls for an assessment of the current presence of the banned technologies and development of a ‘phase-out plan’ to eliminate the equipment from government uses. One problem is identifying where the surveillance equipment is being used, which involves either a tedious manual process to search out the equipment or the installation of tracking software to identify it on the network. A federal Department of Homeland Security program called ‘Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation’ requires use of a detection tool to find any banned products on a network. Forescout Technologies, San Diego, California, provides software to track various banned devices, but not all required agencies have complied with a mandate to secure their networks by tracking every connected device (only 35% had complied as of 2018.) “Without an automated, real-time tool that can detect all of the IT devices – computer or ‘other’ – on your network, there is simply no way to be 100 percent certain that you are compliant with these product bans,” says Katherine Gronberg, Forescout’s Vice President, Government Affairs. Difficult to determine device’s manufacturer Not all equipment is marked to identify its manufacturer; some has been rebrandedAnother problem is the existence of OEM agreements and other supply chain complications that can make it difficult to determine the manufacturer of any given device. A report by Bloomberg says: “A complex web of supply chain logistics and licensing agreements makes it almost impossible to know whether a security camera is actually made in China or contains components that would violate U.S. rules.” Not all equipment is marked to identify its manufacturer; some has been rebranded. “There are all kinds of shadowy licensing agreements that prevent us from knowing the true scope of China’s foothold in this market,” said Peter Kusnic, a technology writer at business research firm The Freedonia Group. “I’m not sure it will even be possible to ever fully identify all of these cameras, let alone remove them. The sheer number is insurmountable.” Companies banned under NDAA The NDAA ban covers “public safety, security of government facilities, physical security surveillance of critical infrastructure, and other national security purposes.” It bans “video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, [and] Dahua Technology Company (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities).” Hytera Communications is a Chinese digital mobile radio manufacturer. Huawei Technologies Co. equipment has also been banned, including the HiSilicon chips widely used in video cameras. In addition to banning the Chinese equipment in government installations, the NDAA also includes a ‘blacklist’ provision [paragraph (a)(1)(B)], which could be interpreted to extend the ban to companies that use Chinese-made products in other, non-government applications. Rulemaking on that aspect is still under way, including a public hearing in July.
Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2019 will blow into the Windy City this fall, combining a tradeshow, a full schedule of professional education sessions, plenty of industry networking opportunities, and an annual reunion of the top professionals from around the world tasked with protecting people, property and assets. GSX – the trade show and industry event 'formerly known as' the ASIS Annual Seminar and Exhibits – will be Sept. 8-12 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The show promises to 'elevate the event experience with modern education learning experiences, revitalised networking opportunities, and a reimagined trade show floor.' More than 550 exhibitors will be featured in the expo hall (open Sept. 10-12), according to ASIS International. Chicago is a great location for GSX, as evidenced by the successful 2013 ASIS show. Cutting-edge solutions X1 Stage sessions are designed to highlight cutting-edge solutions and increase contextual understanding GSX seeks to attract more attendees to the exhibition hall with education events positioned alongside the industry’s latest-and-greatest equipment and technology exhibits. On the expo floor, the GSX: Disruption District will include new and enhanced programs such as the X Learning stages, the D3 (drones, droids, defence) Learning Theater, the Pitch Competition and the Innovative Product Awards. X Learning is a series of experiential sessions. X1 Stage sessions are designed to highlight cutting-edge solutions and increase contextual understanding of new technology. GSX: Startup Sector highlights new companies with emerging technologies; and GSX: Pitch Competition brings together entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders to feature early-stage startup pitches. Career HQ will provide free resume reviews, career coaching, professional development and networking opportunities. A Sharpshooter Contest sponsored by Smart Simulators and SB Tactical will allow contestants donating $20 to compete for $500 in prizes each day. Pre-conference certification courses More than 300 security courses, plus pre-conference certification courses, will provide security professionals expertise to enhance their career development. Programming will be led by ASIS and InfraGard subject matter experts. (InfraGard is a non-profit organisation serving as a public-private partnership between U.S. businesses and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.) Seventeen education tracks will serve the needs of security professionals interested in topics from business continuity to crime/loss prevention, law and ethics to national security, information security to physical and operational security. The show also provides opportunities for dealers, installers, integrators, consultants, specifiers, architects and engineers 'Game Changer' sessions will address hot and controversial topics, including 'The Ever-Changing Drone Landscape: What You Need to Know' and 'Accelerating Digital Transformation: Insights and Applications.' Ian Bremmer of Eurasia Group will speak on navigating the geopolitical landscape; Steve Demetriou and Joe Olivarez of Jacobs, a global professional services company, will speak about harnessing technology and big data to make strategic decisions. Providing new opportunities Wednesday morning, General John F. Kelly of the U.S. Marine Corps (Ret), will provide insight into the evolving geopolitical landscape around the world. His keynote presentation on Sept. 11 will kick off Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Tarah Wheeler, cyber security researcher, will speak on protecting assets in the age of cybersecurity leaks and scandals. More than 20,000 registered attendees are expected from 110-plus countries across the entire industry Although the attendee emphasis is on security end-users, the show also provides opportunities for dealers, installers, integrators, consultants, specifiers, architects and engineers. More than 20,000 registered attendees are expected from 110-plus countries across the entire industry, according to ASIS International. Networking events will include an ASIS Town Hall Meeting on the afternoon of Sept. 8, aimed at opening communication between ASIS staff and membership. There will be an Opening Night Celebration Sept. 8 centred on the theme 'Chicago on the Silver Screen' at Revel Motor Row, a popular Chicago landmark originally home to the Illinois Auto Club. Emphasis on education On Monday (Sept. 9) a networking luncheon will be followed by the Awards Reception later in the day. A reception in the evening will present the Karen Marquez Honors Award, recognising a female security professional. Tuesday (Sept. 10) will have a Happy Hour at the exhibit hall, followed later by a Women in Security and Young Professionals Happy Hour. Wednesday evening will be the President’s Reception at Wintrust Arena, with a 1980s theme. The annual trade show has declined in recent years, and ASIS International has implemented changes that seek to reinvigorate the show, culminating in the rebranding last year. One challenge is that the show’s emphasis on education keeps attendees engaged for hours of the day, making it harder to meet the expectations of exhibiting companies who want more booth traffic. More attractions on the show floor, including the Tuesday happy hour, are aimed at increasing overall foot traffic in the hall.
One impact of Chinese companies entering the physical security market has been an erosion in product pricing, creating what has been called the "race to the bottom". However, political forces and cybersecurity concerns have presented new challenges for Chinese companies. Adding cybersecurity increases costs, and the addition of more functionality to edge devices is another trend that has impacted product pricing. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: Has price erosion ended (or slowed down) in the security market?
Police in the United Kingdom have been testing the effectiveness of live facial recognition (LFR) for several years now, but future uses of the technology have been called into question. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent authority that seeks to uphold information rights in the public interest, has weighed in on issues of data privacy related to LFR, and Members of Parliament (MPs) have called for a moratorium on uses of the technology. The big question is whether the benefits of LFR outweigh its impact on privacy rights. Live facial recognition I believe that there needs to be demonstrable evidence that the technology is necessary" The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has expressed concerns about bias, privacy and accuracy of facial recognition systems and urged the U.K. government to issue a moratorium on further live facial recognition trails until regulations are in place to address bias and data retention. According to Elizabeth Denham, U.K. Information Commissioner: “[Police trials of LFR] represent the widespread processing of biometric data of thousands of people as they go about their daily lives. And that is a potential threat to privacy that should concern us all.” Denham says live facial recognition (LFR) is a high priority area for ICO. “I believe that there needs to be demonstrable evidence that the technology is necessary, proportionate and effective considering [its] invasiveness,” she says. Potential public distrust “Any organisation using software that can recognise a face amongst a crowd and then scan large databases of people to check for a match in a matter of seconds, is processing personal data,” says Denham. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) wording specifies biometric data as a ‘sensitive’ category of personal information. London’s Metropolitan Police Service performed 10 trials of live facial recognition at various venues in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The London Police Ethics Panel reviewed the trials and concluded that additional use of the technology would be supported if certain conditions were met. One condition is if the “overall benefits to public safety [are] great enough to outweigh any potential public distrust in the technology.” Each deployment should be assessed and authorised as necessary and proportionate. Operators should be trained to understand associated risks and to be accountable, and there should be evidence that the technology does not promote gender or racial bias. Develop strict guidelines Met Police used NEC’s NeoFace technology to analyse images of the faces of people on a watch list The Ethics Panel also specified that both the Metro Police and Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime should develop strict guidelines to ensure that deployments balance the benefits of the technology with the potential intrusion on the public. “We want the public to have trust and confidence in the way we operate as a police service, and we take the report’s findings seriously,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Ivan Balhatchet, who led the trials. In its 10 trials of live facial recognition, Met Police used NEC’s NeoFace technology to analyse images of the faces of people on a watch list. The system measured the structure of each face, including distance between eyes, nose, mouth and jaw to create facial data, which was used to match against the watch list. The system only kept faces matching the watch list, and only for 30 days. Non-matches are deleted immediately. More accurate identification An independent review of the trials, commissioned by the Metropolitan Police, concluded it is ‘highly possible’ that the Met’s ‘trial’ deployments would not satisfy the key legal test of being considered ‘necessary in a democratic society’ if challenged in the courts, according to U.K. human rights advocacy group Liberty. South Wales Police have partnered with NEC to formally pilot facial recognition technology. NEC’s real-time solution enables trained officers to monitor movement of people at strategic locations. “Facial recognition technology enables us to search, scan and monitor images and video of suspects against offender databases, leading to faster and more accurate identification of persons of interest,” says Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis. “The technology can also enhance our existing CCTV network in the future by extracting faces in real time and instantaneously matching them against a watch list of individuals, including missing people.” U.K. human rights advocacy group Liberty has taken legal action on behalf of one Cardiff resident against South Wales Police Intrusive technology “We are very cognisant of concerns about privacy, and we are building in checks and balances into our methodology to reassure the public that the approach we take is justified and proportionate,” says Lewis. U.K. human rights advocacy group Liberty has taken legal action on behalf of one Cardiff resident against South Wales Police over its use of facial recognition. “Facial recognition is an inherently intrusive technology that breaches our privacy rights,” says lawyer Megan Goulding at Liberty. “It risks fundamentally altering our public spaces, forcing us to monitor where we go and who with, seriously undermining our freedom of expression.” ICO’s Denham says any judgment resulting from the legal action will form an important part of ICO’s investigation and will be considered before ICO’s final findings are published. Information management South Wales Police offers the following assurance: “Data will only be retained as long as is necessary for a policing purpose, as per guidance within the Authorised Policing Practice on information management.” Facial recognition systems are yet to fully resolve their potential for inherent technological bias" One concern is that live facial recognition ‘discriminates’ against women and people of colour because it disproportionately misidentifies them, thus making them more likely to be subject to a police attention. ICO’s Elizabeth Denham comments: “Facial recognition systems are yet to fully resolve their potential for inherent technological bias; a bias which can see more false positive matches from certain ethnic groups.” Taking regulatory action ICO has also considered data protection ramifications of commercial companies using LFR. Denham says: “The technology is the same and the intrusion that can arise could still have a detrimental effect. In recent months, we have widened our focus to consider use of LFR in public spaces by private sector organisations, including where they are partnering with police forces. We will consider taking regulatory action where we find non-compliance with the law.” A 27-page U.K. Home Office Biometrics Strategy sets out an overarching framework within which organisations in the Home Office sector will consider and make decisions on the use and development of biometric technology. However, Biometrics Commissioner Paul Wiles says the document “doesn’t propose legislation to provide rules for the use and oversight of new biometrics, including facial images. Given that new biometrics are being rapidly deployed or trialed, this failure to set out more definitively what the future landscape will look like in terms of the use and governance of biometrics appears to be short-sighted.”
Intelligent solutions, such as those derived from artificial intelligence, help critical infrastructure organisations make sense of vast amounts of data. These integrated applications, such as advanced video analytics and facial recognition, can automatically pinpoint potential breaches and significant events, and send alerts to the appropriate personnel, departments, and agencies. These solutions can be powerful in unifying disparate command centre technologies, fusing critical data input from emergency calls and responder activity to enhance situational awareness. Electrical substations are particularly vulnerable (and in need of extra security) due to their role in power distribution and the nature of their equipment. The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution, which can help detect, deter and facilitate an informed response to a substation security event. Data capture form to appear here! U.S. regulations In the United States, this need is furthered by the physical security mandate CIP-014 issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), calling for identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address. CIP-014 identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address CIP-104 specifically calls for implemented security plans that include measures to deter, detect, delay, assess, communicate, coordinate and respond to potential physical threats and vulnerabilities. Manufacturers of video and other systems are designing products to serve the critical infrastructure market. For example, Dahua Technology offers explosion-proof cameras with a combination of rugged reliability and superior optics that is a fit for surveillance of explosive and corrosive environments, including chemical plants, refineries, and other facilities in the oil and gas industry. This explosion-proof series of cameras are housed in enclosures that are certified to the ATEX and IECEx standards for equipment in explosive atmospheres. Each explosion-proof camera features Dahua’s Starlight technology for ultra low-light sensitivity and high-definition sensors that deliver clear images in real-time. They are IP68-rated to prevent water and dust ingress. Each explosion-proof camera features Dahua’s Starlight technology for ultra low-light sensitivity and high-definition sensors that deliver clear images in real-time Video footage in extreme temperatures Another manufacturer, Videotec, offers a range of cameras and housings that provide video footage regardless of aggressive external factors, such as ice cold, scorching heat, desert sand, the force of sea or wind, total darkness, pollution, corrosion and even explosive agents. SightSensor thermal systems enable a utility to detect and respond to substation security incidents across multiple sitesSightLogix smart thermal camera systems have been deployed to protect substations for electric utilities and other critical infrastructure facilities. SightSensor thermal systems enable a utility to detect and respond to substation security incidents across multiple sites, ranging from copper theft to vandalism while also meeting regulatory compliance. At each substation facility, Thermal SightSensors are positioned along the perimeter, and are paired with a high-resolution pan-tilt-zoom camera for alarm assessment. When a Thermal SightSensor detects an intruder, the target’s location information is sent over the network to a SightTracker PTZ controller, which automatically zooms and steers PTZ cameras to follow the intruder. The target’s location is also displayed on a topology site map to provide real-time situational awareness. Alarms are sent to the utility’s 24-hour security operations centre, which will contact law enforcement in real time when unauthorised intrusions are detected. Integrated intrusion detection and lighting systems The Senstar LM100 hybrid perimeter intrusion detection and intelligent lighting system is simplifying security at one U.S. electrical utility company. For years, the utility company had integrated its perimeter intrusion detection and lighting systems. The company has now installed the Senstar LM100 which provides detection and lighting in one product and saves them over $80,000 per site. The savings are a result of the reduction of electrical requirements, conduit, grounding, and associated labor, as well as the removal of certain equipment from project scope that are required for the two-system integration. The Senstar LM100’s perimeter LED-based lighting acts as an initial deterrent. If an intruder persists and an attempt to cut, climb or otherwise break through the fence is detected, the closest luminaire begins to strobe, and an alert is sent via a security management system. The intruder knows immediately they have been detected and that their exact location is known by security and others in the vicinity.
The devil is in the details. The broader implications of the U.S. Government ban on Chinese video surveillance manufacturers are being clarified in the federal rule-making process, and a public hearing in July gave the industry a chance to speak up about the impact of the law. Ban on equipment The hearing centered on Section 889 of Title VII of the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) for FY 2019, specifically paragraph (a)(1)(B). The paragraph "prohibits agencies from entering into a contract (or extending or renewing a contract) with an entity that uses any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system." “Covered equipment” refers to products and services from Huawei, ZTE Corp., Hytera, Hikvision and Dahua “Covered equipment” refers to products and services from Huawei Technologies Co., ZTE Corp., Hytera Communications Corp., Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. and Dahua Technology Co. Hikvision and Dahua are two of the largest manufacturers of video surveillance equipment, and Huawei manufactures HiSilicon chips widely used in video cameras. ‘Chinese ban’ provision The public hearing was part of the rule-making process for paragraph (a)(1)(B), which the industry has informally referred to as the “blacklist” provision of the NDAA. However, the “Chinese ban” provision [Paragraph (a)(1)(a)] is not at issue, was not covered by the public hearing, and is already scheduled to go into effect a year after the law was signed by President Trump (August 13, 2018). There were seven presentations at the public hearing. Presenters included the Security Industry Association (SIA), two Hikvision integrators, a representative of communications manufacturer Hytera, an economist and an attorney on behalf of telecommunications company Huawei, and Honeycomb Secure Systems, a federal contractor. There was no livestream or transcription of the meeting, although PowerPoint summaries of the 10-minute presentations were published. SIA emphasises on clarity In its presentation, the Security Industry Association (SIA) emphasised that contractors need clarity, i.e., that paragraph (a)(1)(B) applies to an entity's use of covered equipment or services in the performance of federal contracts, but NOT to non-federal sales or use of covered equipment by a contractor that is unrelated to federal work. SIA also focused on the distinction (and contrasting risk profiles) between video surveillance equipment, which are endpoint devices that may or may not be on the Internet, and telecommunications equipment. In contrast, telecommunications equipment is essential to Internet infrastructure and manages all data on a network, encrypted or not. Fully-compliant video surveillance products Security equipment suppliers and integrators doing federal work can offer fully compliant video surveillance products" SIA's presentation included the following "outcome" statement: "Security equipment suppliers and integrators doing federal work can offer fully compliant video surveillance products in the federal market, while offering other products tailored to technical requirements, price points and specific customer needs that vary widely for non-government commercial sectors – e.g. malls, banks, convenience stores, etc.” In other words, involvement in government contracts should not restrict an integrator’s flexibility to offer any and all products and services (included those from the listed Chinese companies) to non-government customers. The two integrators made similar points, specifically about their business with Hikvision. One presenter was Rick Williams, General Manager of Selcom, a systems integrator in Selma, Ala., with 10 employees. They have been a Hikvision partner since 2012 with a year-to-date revenue from Hikvision products of approximately $400,000. Hikvision integrators speak out A second integrator at the hearing was Mark Zuckerman of Clear Connection Inc., a security company in Beltsville, Md., with 32 local employees, that focuses on electronic security, telecommunications and IT. Clear Connection designs, installs and services systems throughout Metro DC and Baltimore, including commercial entities, schools and non-profit organisations. They do about $120,000 a year in business as a Hikvision partner and have over $500,000 in business awaiting federal NSGP [Nonprofit Security Grant Program] approval. In two almost identical presentations, the integrators sought clear guidance on how to comply with the language of the law as written, specifically confirmation that Section 889 of the NDAA does not apply to non-federal sales or use of covered equipment. "This is critical to my company as I provide integrated security solutions across multiple government and commercial markets, using a mix of products from different manufacturers tailored to the technical requirements, price points and customer needs that vary widely for each sector," said Williams. Hytera speaks at hearing It is not clear what Section 889 means, who it applies to, or how far its prohibitions extend" "It is not clear what Section 889 means, who it applies to, or how far its prohibitions extend," commented Zuckerman. "If interpreted broadly, some of my customers would be barred from entering into a federal contract because they have covered products installed in their facility to protect their property and staff.” Also presenting at the hearing was Hytera, a manufacturer of open standard digital mobile radio technology. The presentation emphasised that Hytera does not sell to U.S. telecommunications carriers, and does not supply 5G components or video surveillance equipment. Hytera equipment is used by federal customers such as the National Gallery of Art, National Archives, National Zoo and the Holocaust Museum. Impact on clients and commerce "These federal entities do not play a role in national security, and the Hytera systems do not connect to any critical systems," says the company. "However, the lack of clarity in the implementation of the NDAA has a significant impact on Federal, state and commercial clients, impacting competition and choice." Hytera's presentation continues: "Hytera has never been informed by any U.S. government entity that its equipment posed a national security risk and as such has not been given the opportunity to respond to any concerns. The result of Section 889 is the creation and circulation of misinformation in the marketplace." Hytera also said that the federal proposed rules and regulations should exempt federal agencies that do not include a national security component, and equipment not interconnected with the public network. Impact on cybersecurity Consolidating the number of equipment suppliers hinders rather than helps cybersecurity" James E. Gauch, an attorney with James Day speaking on behalf of Huawei, offered a global argument that could be applied to any of the banned companies: “Virtually all equipment manufacturers rely on a global supply chain and face security risks from a wide range of sources, excluding may be one or two vendors based on their national origin will not address these risks.” He adds, “However, consolidating the number of equipment suppliers hinders rather than helps cybersecurity. Creating a small number of dominant suppliers, regardless of national origin, reduces the incentives of those suppliers to embrace industry-leading standards and creates greater exposure to vulnerabilities of a single supplier.”
Artificial intelligence is on the verge of changing the face of multiple industries – from healthcare to entertainment to finance, from data security to manufacturing to the cars we drive (or that will drive themselves!) In the physical security market, AI has garnered a lot of attention as a buzzword and as a harbinger of things to come. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What security markets are most likely to embrace artificial intelligence (AI)?
Critical infrastructure facilities are vulnerable to many security challenges, from terrorism to natural disasters. Challenges also include vandalism, theft, employee identification and verification, access control, regulations, and the increasing infiltration of connectivity and the Internet of Things. In addition, many critical infrastructure facilities are housed in harsh and hazardous environments, which adds to the challenges to keep employees and facilities secure. The security risks facing a utility, telecom provider or other critical infrastructure facilities can have far-reaching consequences, including major disruption of core services. It’s essential to minimise the risk of any incidents that could disturb operations and lead to a loss of income or fines. Providing security to critical infrastructure often requires incorporating legacy systems, integrating siloed solutions and automating error-prone manual operations. Data capture form to appear here! Locks remain essential CLIQ locking system from ASSA ABLOY can simplify security and workflow for critical infrastructure entitiesAs a tool to address the complex security scenarios facing critical infrastructure, locks are indispensable. In critical infrastructure environments, locks are often required to be resistant to extreme temperatures, dust and toxic substances, fire and explosions. Locks must also perform in environments that are even more challenging, including rain and manipulation. Critical infrastructure facilities can benefit from a high-security locking system that combines electronic and mechanical security; in effect, providing an intelligent combination of both. CLIQ locking system from ASSA ABLOY can simplify security and workflow for critical infrastructure entities. With terrorism posing a serious threat, perimeter fencing, doors and their locks are the first line of defense against potential intruders at installations such as chemical and power plants, gas terminals, oil refineries, utilities, transport, hospitals, research facilities and other major areas which need controlled access. With terrorism posing a serious threat, perimeter fencing, doors and their locks are the first line of defense against potential intruders CyberLock smart keys CyberLock electromechanical lock cylinders and smart keys record access details of who opened, or attempted to open, every lock, providing critical information when investigating a security breach. In addition, CyberLock enables users to instantly add or delete electronic keys. This eliminates exposure due to lost or stolen keys, and also allows users to assign customised access privileges based on time, date, and authority level. CyberLock cylinders are designed to operate in a variety of applications where high security is required, such as entry gates, chemical feed areas, watersheds, and other water sources. The system’s electronic keys cannot be duplicated or copied, and can be deactivated if lost or stolen, thus reducing the risk of unauthorised entry. Key management solutions Traka has been a source of key management solutions, providing asset protection and process controlThe flexibility and protection of key management is another area of improvement that critical infrastructure companies are benefitting from. With multiple facilities sited at different locations, staff can quickly be granted authorisation to access keys with the press of a button, allowing supervisors to adjust their security based on the needs of the business. Because of the customisation ability, the use of key management systems is continuing to grow throughout the utility sectors as assets increase and varying levels of access management can be set through the system. Traka has been a source of key management solutions, providing asset protection and process control for the industry with smart cabinets and lockers integrated alongside efficient software.
School shootings, especially in the United States, present an ongoing tragedy and a challenge to the security industry. We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective are they at the end of the day? The sad answer – even after dozens of school shootings and even in the wrenching aftermath of the latest one – is that we don’t know. There is a gaping lack of knowledge and research when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of preventative measures as they relate to school shootings. A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. points to the problem: Lack of data and research on what works and what doesn’t. “Despite growth in the school safety-technology sector, rigorous research about the effectiveness of these technologies is virtually non-existent,” according to Rand (as reported in Education Week). “The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them in vetted, digestible ways to help them with procurement.” Role of early detection Early detection of weapons in the school environment can minimise the impact of school violence Early detection of weapons – and their users – in the school environment can minimise the impact of school violence. For example, ZeroEyes is an intelligent video analytics platform, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to detect weapons and recognise faces in real time. The company’s goal is to provide school administrators and decision-makers with a simple, intuitive situational awareness platform that gives first responders a tactical advantage. Data capture form to appear here! An emerging tool in campus security is audio analytics: Aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the campus security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. 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. 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. Emergency response technology CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role. For example, physical security company Sielox has adapted the idea of using a colour scheme to characterise an emergency situation into its electronic security system. CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution that uses a variety of colours to designate the emergency conditions in various parts of a school building – red to alert to a crisis condition and green to designate "safe/secure". Colours are displayed on a schematic of the building, and new colours have been added, too, such as yellow for “unaccounted individual", orange for “disturbance” and blue to designate a medical emergency. CLASS offers five different alert levels and eight different colours that are configurable to denote a wide variety of emergency or non-emergency situations (such as maintenance or homeroom check-in status). Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role Non-lethal methods to suppress active shooters in schools are also emerging. For example, one remotely deployed threat suppression system drenches a perpetrator with a repulsive water-based solution, thus impairing their ability to enact violence. The solution irritates eyes, throat, lungs and skin, but does not cause permanent injury. Cleanup is easy using water and detergent. The solution is manually deployed in predetermined zones, which limits the affected areas in a building. Touch-screen control enables rapid deployment, which can also be integrated with Threat Alert buttons and/or gunshot detection. ShotSpotter gunfire tracking Gun violence is also an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located Beyond the schools themselves, gun violence is an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located. ShotSpotter, Inc. released data tracking gunfire in and around public K-12 school communities within ShotSpotter coverage areas during 2017. The data revealed more than 4,800 gunfire incidents occurred during school hours within a one-half mile radius of public K-12 schools and within the coverage area. There are 2,320 public K-12 schools and over 1,079,700 students within ShotSpotter coverage areas in 77 cities in the United States. The ShotSpotter study tracked and analysed data on the number of gunfire incidents that occurred at or near those schools across the time period from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. local time, Monday – Friday, including summer and holidays. On a positive note, awareness of high-profile school violence has prompted action. Schools and universities are most certainly safer than ever before. High-profile incidents, especially active shooters tragedies, have increased collective security awareness. Heightened awareness leads to safer practices, improved emergency preparedness and security technology innovations. Collaborative efforts that involve stakeholder groups, such as administrators, responders and students, are the key to a safer learning environment. Investing in technology advances in 1) access control (e.g. electronic access, visitor management) and 2) communications (e.g. duress capabilities, mass notification) is the most effective way to protect people.
Verkada was founded by three computer scientists and security experts who studied together at Stanford University. They connected with a former founder of Meraki and created Verkada with a mission to “modernise the world of physical security”. The fast-growing company currently focuses on delivering an all-in-one hybrid cloud video security solution powered by edge processing inside the camera. On the surface, the product is simple: cameras record video, connect to the internet, and push data to the cloud. “What sets us apart is the system architecture that drives our solution,” says Brandon Davito, Verkada’s VP of Product and Operations. “Starting with edge processing, all data is instantly analysed and processed at the camera. This enables enterprise users to scale coverage without traditional limitations like bandwidth consumption or the costs of supporting additional equipment for processing footage. Simultaneously, all footage is stored directly on each camera and can be streamed securely via Verkada’s centralised management platform to any device.” The product is simple: cameras record video, connect to the internet, and push data to the cloud Hybrid cloud architecture Verkada’s goal is to make it easy to buy, deploy and manage large-scale enterprise video security systems across hundreds of cameras and dozens of sites. The hybrid cloud architecture makes it easy to access video footage from hundreds of cameras across any platform (web, mobile apps, tablets, and AppleTV). Verkada is appropriate for any business, school or enterprise that needs a scalable, secure and reliable video security solution, says Davito. “Our system streamlines surveillance management, removes the need of supporting equipment, and is ready to use, out-of-the-box, without the need for technical configurations,” says Davito. The simplicity and scalability of the end-to-end solution is attractive to security professionals, simplifying the day-to-day of surveillance management and providing insights that drive a business forward in other areas of the organisation. “This approach also allows us to provide customers with a complete experience, as we build our hardware and software to work seamlessly together,” Davito adds. Verkada does not integrate with other equipment or systems. “Taking an end-to-end approach ensures that we are able to develop and roll out features more quickly and take advantage of the edge-processing capabilities of our cameras,” Davito says. The simplicity and scalability of the end-to-end solution is attractive to security professionals Defending against IoT threats An end-to-end solution also increases defenses against threats in today’s Internet of Things (IoT) space. IP cameras have historically been some of the most vulnerable devices. Verkada cameras save time by updating automatically, and they are unable to accept 3rd party software (and the risks that come with it). Verkada partners with many of the leading channel distributors and is always recruiting new integrator/reseller partners. “The solution is easy to sell. It's a bolt-on value-add that doesn't require altering or configurations to existing infrastructure,” says Davito. “Sales cycles are also much shorter because implementation is simple and streamlined; it’s creating a lot of business efficiency.” The world of physical security is always evolving, so Verkada’s ongoing challenge is to continue delivering on the potential of hybrid cloud management of physical spaces. “We are always launching new features and enhancements, as well as ensuring the security and integrity of our customers’ environments,” says Davito. “We will look to continue to push the boundaries of physical security and deepen our use of technologies like machine learning and future advancements in video analytics and AI technologies.”
In the digital age, software is a component of almost all systems, including those that drive the physical security market. A trend toward hardware commoditisation is making the role of software even more central to providing value to security solutions. Software developments make more things possible and drive innovation in the market. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: How do software improvements drive physical security?
Physical security has been stuck in a forensic and siloed mindset for decades, while the rest of the enterprise has evolved and transformed into proactive, connected operations. A new security management platform based on artificial intelligence (AI) seeks to change that status quo by using modern tools for unification, analytics and controls. AI-based security management “Security teams are managing more moving parts than ever,” says Clayton Brown, Co-Founder of ReconaSense. “As it stands today, the industry can’t keep pace with the digital transformation and the ‘smart’ movement. Physical security must transition from forensic security to proactive, risk-adaptive security.” ReconaSense says the company is changing the physical security industry with AI-based technology and a risk-adaptive approach ReconaSense says the company is changing the physical security industry with AI-based technology and a risk-adaptive approach. “We’re focused on making security integrated, adaptive and proactive,” says Brown. The flagship product, ReconAccess, is a risk-adaptive physical access control system. It controls who can go where, when, in a building. Taken a step further, ReconAccess analyses risk to prevent an authorised person from entering a room if there is a danger or threat present. It also can spot abnormal activity that may warrant further investigation, i.e., insider threats. ReconAccess unification security solution ReconAccess is part of a unification platform that includes geospatial AI, mobile apps and analytics. ReconaSense helps organisations to mitigate risk effectively in two ways. First, the system pulls in data from disparate systems into a unified language. And then, it enables users to proactively identify risk and threats before they become issues. “We provide actionable guidance and unprecedented visibility so that they can implement appropriate controls for quick remediation and risk mitigation,” says Brown. In general, ReconaSense will improve life safety, future-proof physical security, and provide enhanced situational awareness, he says. Application programming interfaces (APIs) By creating a database translation layer through application programming interfaces (APIs), ReconaSense normalises diverse data into a common language, or database. Previous unification platforms have presented data from different systems into a common presentation layer. ReconaSense goes deeper by extracting, transforming and loading these diverse languages into a common format for humans and machines alike to understand what is going on across their operation in real-time. ReconaSense was honoured with the Security Industry Association (SIA) New Product Showcase Award for Access Control Software at ISC West 2019 Security and risk unification The ReconaSense security and risk unification platform integrates and translates siloed data across systems, devices and applications into a common language, which makes it easier to focus on what matters most and keep risk at bay. “We can change permissions in real time based on any individual behavior or environment,” says Brown. “Being able to assess risk on both sides of the door enables organisations to not only improve security but also improve life safety. We are also positioned to detect insider threats and to streamline operations overall.” Security and data integration ReconaSense provides a common operating picture integrating all the incoming security and relevant data across an organisation ReconaSense provides a common operating picture integrating all the incoming security and relevant data across an organisation. The security intelligence platform can detect early warning signs and abnormal events and implement remediation actions swiftly. The platform can more deeply integrate 3rd-party data systems, analyse and score the data for risk trends, and then activate changes with a native access control system based on this intelligence. ReconaSense works with traditional security integrators as its exclusive channel. They are actively adding more dealers to the network. At this point, distribution is not on the roadmap, but could be beyond the current horizon as the industry matures. Intelligent approach to physical security "The market is ready for the new technology", says Brown. “We must continue to educate integrators and end users on the need to move to a more proactive, intelligent and integrated approach for physical security,” he says. “We have to help demonstrate that AI is not as scary or far away as you think. It’s here today.” In one year, ReconaSense expects to grow its team and partner network significantly and to be deployed in a variety of sites across North America. The current team consists of technologists, engineers, IT and physical security experts and data scientists. ReconaSense is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has a technology center in New York.
Workforce management systems gather and analyse information and anomalies from security officers in the field. The information ranges from direct observations entered via mobile or desktop apps by officers on duty to reports from cleaning staff, the maintenance department, and CCTV operators. Taken together, the information yields business intelligence and data analytics at no additional cost. Trackforce is a provider of workforce management solutions specific to the security industry and its unique operational requirements. From tracking guard tours to managing incidents and officers remotely, the platform improves officer accountability, optimises operations, and delivers actionable insights via a live dashboard to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance efficiencies. The platform is customisable and scales to each client’s business. Platform to control and identify risks “Corporate security teams deal with issues related to operational risk, facility security levels and design basis threats, and must contend with manmade, naturally occurring, and technological events,” says Guirchaume Abitbol, CEO and founder of Trackforce. “We provide them a platform that enables them to control and identify risks, deliver their service, and maintain security best practices.” Trackforce uses live monitoring to ensure quality control and to upgrade situational awareness, delivers real-time incident notifications Trackforce serves large security guard companies and global organisations in diverse vertical market sectors and is expanding in facilities management. More than 200,000 professionals at over 20,000 customer sites in 45 countries use the platform. Trackforce uses live monitoring to ensure quality control and to upgrade situational awareness, delivers real-time incident notifications, and generates data-rich analysis and key performance indicators (KPIs) that enhance monitoring and reporting. Reduces corporate risk Better management of corporate risk is a benefit of security workforce management. The Trackforce platform reduces corporate risk in four areas by: Managing multiple sites, located anywhere, with various threat levels, cultural differences, operating procedures, and regulations. Supporting a security budget and investment in new solutions by providing data necessary for budget approval. Keeping management informed about outsourced security services partners with relevant data, analytics, and transparency. Providing real-time data on risks and incidents so operations can be quickly optimised to ensure top-level security services. Identifying potential threats and risks The platform rapidly and accurately collates data (implied data or trends) based on user-selected parameters. Data- and intelligence-rich reports become available to managers from any location via a dashboard. All necessary information is displayed on a single screen in an uncluttered format.The ability to analyse current and historical data in real time empowers security managers to track patterns Reports can be downloaded and shared with stakeholders. The ability to analyse current and historical data in real time empowers security managers to track patterns, identify potential threats and risks, and implement preventative actions and strategies. Using data intelligence as benchmark Security teams will use data intelligence as a performance benchmark for resources required to accomplish site goals. They will also use this information to pilot and rationalise resource needs for impending contracts based on historical, descriptive (what happened), diagnostic (why did it happen), predictive (what will happen) and/or prescriptive data (how can we can make it happen). “For example, when a large company incurs incremental computer equipment theft, a supervisor can use the platform to review historical reports and identify patterns and anomalies,” says Abitbol. “The supervisor could then identify and proactively implement targeted strategies to mitigate the theft, such as modifying security routes, increasing patrols, or adjusting asset management protocols.” Enhanced control of security resources The Trackforce platform has been designed to serve clients at multiple regional and national locations and is available in many languages. The Command Center allows a security supervisor based at a central location to easily manage officers on multiple sites. The Command Center provides greater oversight and enhanced control of security resources The Command Center provides greater oversight and enhanced control of security resources. Management can compare locations and evaluate security with a customisable reporting dashboard for each site. The uniform platform uses the same reporting templates and processes for each secured and managed location, thus ensuring consistency and accurate benchmarking. Trackforce’s workforce management solution has low cost and presents a low barrier to entry, with systems that can be implemented in a short time.
Video surveillance cannot address all the security challenges in education, but it is a valuable tool and among the least obtrusive options available. And the list of security challenges that video can address grows every day. Video systems can provide real-time monitoring of school premises and facilitate rapid response to incidents. New advances such as video analytics are currently underutilised in the education arena. Historically, video has been used as a forensic tool in the education market, providing critical information about an incident after the fact. But that generalisation is changing. Today, networking enables video images to be shared throughout a school system, travelling over existing networks, empowering a more centralised security management structure, and making video more valuable. In particular, higher education institutions are more likely to view live video, given the larger campuses, greater number of buildings, and more public areas where staff and students congregate. Challenges for securing a school environment Panoramic cameras are one tool to address challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between 4 and 5 PTZ camerasMultiple challenges in the education market for security goods and services (from a video perspective) include wide open spaces that make securing schools with video surveillance cameras difficult since the vast amount of coverage required can be cost-prohibitive. Second, state and federal regulations must be taken into account and balanced with the need to protect student privacy. Finally, schools and colleges face dwindling budgets, which means security solutions must deliver more coverage and functionality, while also being cost-effective to deploy. Panoramic cameras are one tool to address these challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between four and five traditional pan-tilt-zoom cameras, resulting in fewer cameras and more coverage – all at a lower cost for hardware and licensing. Data capture form to appear here! Intelligent cameras with video analytics Video surveillance with video analytics can be deployed to monitor areas at certain times of day. For example, once school starts, there shouldn’t be a lot of activity in the parking lot or in particular areas around the school. For these situations, intelligent cameras with video analytics can be used to detect activity in those areas of interest to alert school security that something may need their attention. Radar detection is ideal for perimeters, where a device can be set up unobtrusively to alert when someone enters a particular area. ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search The goal in a potentially dangerous situation is to speed up response times. The faster you’re able to detect something using technology, the faster you’re able to respond. Therefore, being able to identify something happening in a parking lot and alert school resource officers could provide 30 seconds or a minute head start for response, which can get the school into a lockdown situation and get first responders on site more quickly. Video cameras with low-light capability There are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability to see in near-dark or complete darknessIt’s been shown that using lighting at night can deter crime. However, it can be expensive to keep a building and grounds illuminated all night, every night. To mitigate these concerns and potential costs, there are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability that allows them to see in near-dark or in some cases complete darkness. This allows a school to save money by turning lights off while achieving a level of surveillance performance similar to daytime deployments. Facing above-average student incident rates and student disciplinary concerns at some schools, a school system in the United States sought to upgrade its video surveillance system to allow better local and remote monitoring in important areas. Avigilon high-definition cameras with self-learning video analytics and access control solutions were installed in 101 schools, and ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search. A deep learning artificial intelligence search engine can sort through hours of footage and allow operators to click on a button and search for all instances of a person or vehicle across all cameras on a site, quickly and efficiently.
When it comes to security and to ensuring the integrity of gaming operations, today’s casino market is risk-averse. Regulations direct the required surveillance of table games and slot machines, while modern casinos are often sprawling complexes that have a variety of other risks to be addressed, too. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of the casino market relating to security and surveillance technology?
After a period of rapid international expansion, the next step for Ajax Systems is to set deeper roots in each market and become more sustainable. The manufacturer of wireless security equipment will continue to extend the range of Ajax products and capabilities by responding to local requests. Smart home management options and automation scenarios will be a significant focus for the next year. Wireless security equipment The systems are resistant to false alarms, regularly update over the air Established in 2011 in Kyiv, Ukraine, Ajax Systems produces wireless security equipment for end users and small-medium-sized businesses. Ajax is a complete eco-system. The devices are ready to work out of the box. There are 24 devices for protecting residential and commercial properties from intrusion, fire, and floods as well as a set of automation modules. Users treat them as gadgets that make their homes smarter. Ajax wireless systems are easier to maintain, configure, and monitor for installers as well as for security companies, according to Ajax. The systems are resistant to false alarms, regularly update over the air, and can be easily expanded to cover premises of any size. IoT-based security systems “Our IoT-product approach to security systems, gadget-like industrial design, and user-friendly interfaces disrupted the market in 2016,” says Valentine Hrytsenko, Chief Marketing Officer at Ajax Systems. “After receiving global recognition in the security market, the company grew 80-fold.” Today, Ajax IoT-based security systems protect more than 200,000 people in 80 countries around the world from break-ins, fires, leaks and other threats. “Our mission is to reshape security and make it a common attribute of every household,” says Hrytsenko. Ajax wireless systems are easier to maintain, configure, and monitor for installers Ajax smart technology Ajax smart technology features a combination of reliable hardware and intelligent software. A proprietary Jeweller two-way radio protocol allows placing devices at a distance of up to 2000 meters from the hub in an open space. The system is encrypted, resistant to jamming and code grabbing. Ajax detectors feature false alarm-preventing algorithms: Haze Flow, ZOE, LISA, SmartDetect. The hubs run on a real-time operating system, Malevich OS that processes the commands and sends the alarms. Ajax Cloud service helps to control the system from anywhere in the world using native apps. Easy and seamless installation Ajax features system scalability, flexible management of administrative rights"Easy installation facilitates Ajax on-boarding. The company says 67% of Ajax users purchase additional security devices within the first six months. And an average system configuration consists of nine items. “We focus primarily on the residential, small and medium-sized businesses,” says Hrytsenko. “In the residential segment, Ajax covers the needs to detect break-ins, prevent fires and floods. Ajax devices are visually appealing to fit any home and business interior seamlessly. For the small and medium-sized business, Ajax features system scalability, flexible management of administrative rights, informative notifications, professional maintenance software, as well as integration of the security camera streams for centralised monitoring.” Route-to-market approach Ajax Systems’ route-to-market approach is two-fold. First, they develop strategic partnerships with the local professional security equipment distributors in each country. From the distributors, Ajax equipment goes to the installers, system integrators, security companies, etc. In addition, Ajax seeks to build brand recognition and actualise the concept of security by weaving it into the daily routine of a general audience. “We form a good understanding of their security needs,” says Hrytsenko. As with any new technology, there is an adoption curve for both B2B and B2C clients. Thus, the educational challenge is persistent for Ajax from country to country. Ajax Systems’ route-to-market approach is two-fold Wireless security systems “On a professional market, new products are often met with understandable suspicion,” says Hrytsenko. However, a huge misconception is that user-friendly equipment is either hard to customise or unreliable. Not true, he says. After testing in five accredited laboratories, Ajax devices successfully earned Grade 2 certification for compliance with the requirements of the international standard EN50131-1:2006. Grade 2 is the highest reliability grade a wireless security system can get.
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.