Idesco partners with Viakoo to help customers eliminate missing video & keep an eye on their facility at all times Idesco Corp., a leading New York-based security systems integrator, recently announced it has partnered with Viakoo, an award-winning video surveillance network management company, to offer its customers reliable video monitoring that eliminates missing video and reduces video downtime. The Viakoo video management system provides the unique ability to automatically detect and diagnose any irregularities within the entire framework of a video surveillance system. The system will send alerts instantly when abnormalities in performance are detected, so immediate action can be taken to eliminate any downtime. In addition, Idesco customers will receive detailed reports with powerful performance indications to help stay informed on all video activity at their facility. “At Idesco, we strive to bring the latest security solutions to our customers to help them keep what mattes to them safe at all times.” says Michael Troiani, Service Manager at Idesco Corp. “We are thrilled to offer extra protection to our valued customers with up-to-the-minute information on any problems that may affect their video surveillance system. With this new partnership, Idesco will be able to provide added value to customers by monitoring their system and anticipating any potential issues.” Monitor video system from anywhere at anytime Viakoo continuously examines an entire video network, from cameras at the edges through complex computing software and networking infrastructure, to the recording of hard disks at the core every 20 minutes. Viakoo then correlates all that diagnostic data and performs predictive analytics to identify problems before they start. While ensuring continuous video surveillance system operation, Viakoo effectively eliminates 100% of informational truck rolls and reduces troubleshooting time by 80%, providing significant cost reductions. Customers now have the option to have Idesco monitor their video system from anywhere at anytime. This add-on solution is not only easy-to-use and effective, but extremely affordable to implement and can be accessed in real-time on a mobile device, tablet, or desktop.
Readily available security technology can help officials take control of their campuses Two top priorities for school security are the ability to communicate within a facility, and the ability to control access of who comes and goes. Paul Timm, president of RETA Security, an independent school security consulting firm, acknowledges the value (and popularity) of video cameras for school security, but that value is almost completely realised in terms of forensics – reacting after an incident rather than during or before. “Electronic access control and communication systems are more proactive and preventive,” he says. Need for effective communication tools Communications, specifically mass notification systems, are an important tool for school security, says Timm. “We have to make sure we have comprehensive coverage, meaning, can a staff member always have access to some kind of system that can get help, and provide information in an emergency?” Mass notification must be able to provide emergency information to people in the gymnasium, or on a field trip. “How do I get in touch with everyone in an emergency?” asks Timm. “Integrators are unveiling new things all the time.” Timm cautions against depending on a common communication tool, especially among student populations – the cell phone. “Almost never will I allow a personal cellular phone as a primary means of communication. It may not be charged; they may not be getting a signal. They’re notoriously unreliable.” Providing emergency pendants to faculty is one option, Timm says. Alerting via audio intercoms See bigger image The use of audio intercoms provides immediate communications between campus administrators and classrooms, says John Mosebar, vice president, marketing, Aiphone Corp. The school office can simultaneously alert all teachers to provide specific commands such as lockdown or evacuate to a safer location. Teachers can also use the intercom system to contact the office for emergencies that originate in the classroom. Role of visitor management systems A second priority for school security is controlling access to the building. “How do we approve someone before they gain entrance into the entire building?” asks Timm. “What are the visitor management systems, and how do we make sure we are securing and restricting access to the building and also to the specific parts of the building?” In terms of “one button” lockdown systems, there are huge opportunities, he says: “The sky is the limit if you have funding.” However, a downside to one-button lockdown is the possibility that a teacher or group of students would be in the hallway at the time of the lockdown and unable to get safely back into the classroom. Intercoms – video and audio – provide valuable layers of security for primary/secondary education campuses, says Mosebar. Think of video intercoms as a campus video doorbell. All visitors – parents, vendors, and even late-arriving students – have to request entry. School personnel then get to see and speak with the person before remotely unlocking the door. If there is any doubt, the door remains locked. By placing a video intercom at each campus entry – from the front door to the delivery dock – doors remain locked throughout the day, providing an effective barrier and greater security for students and staff. Security begins at the entrance Many school administrators now realise that campus security begins at the main entrance, says Mosebar. Without control of the entry, visitors may have unchecked access to classrooms and students. However, there is no one technology, product or service by itself that offers total entrance protection. A successful security plan makes use of layers of various technologies. Layered security Schools seem to be getting that message. When it comes to protecting the entry, a video intercom, mounted just outside the main door, is a key component allowing two-way voice-and-video identification with visitors. But a video intercom works best in conjunction with other complementary products including remote-controlled locks that allow staff to admit visitors while safely sitting behind locked doors. Security screens made of stainless steel mesh deter criminals willing to break door glass or adjacent windows to enter. Just inside the main door, an entry vestibule allows visitors immediate access only to the office and not classrooms. Also, a visitor management system helps keep track of visitors and identifies registered sex offenders and others with outstanding felony warrants. Together, these components comprise an affordable solution that can be repeated easily across campuses of different age, design, size and use, says Mosebar. By placing a video intercom at each campus entry – from the front door to the delivery dock – doors remain locked throughout the day, providing an effective barrier and greater security for students and staff. Readily available security technology can help officials take control of their campuses. The number of schools with open doors and without video intercoms or other surveillance cameras is becoming fewer in number. “It’s not as much a matter of security technology being underutilised, but rather if it is being used properly and cost-effectively,” Mosebar says. Do more with less The object of any solution is to eliminate or delay entry of an assailant long enough for police to respond and for school administrators to communicate with teachers and campus staff so they can lock down their classrooms or evacuate, depending on the situation. “Making sure the system is functioning and tested is the best practice to be prepare in case a situation arises,” says Mike Troiani, service manager for Idesco, a security integrator in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut). “Schools have lots of moving parts; they are always asked to do more with less.” Isonas PowerNet reader/controller IP access control systems are now finding their way into the education market, including the Isonas pure IP access control system. The Isonas solution eliminates all dedicated wiring and control panels by moving the technology into a single 1x6-inch reader/control at the door. Power is delivered to the reader/controller and to the electric strike or mag lock via power over Ethernet (PoE). Costs are dramatically reduced because no other electricity is needed at the door; the only wiring is Cat-5 Ethernet cable. The Isonas PowerNet reader/controller has the ability to hold 64,000 credentials, 5,000 events and 32 different time schedules. A school, or an entire district, can program permissions centrally and push the data to the reader/controllers at the edge. If the network goes down, the access control system does not fail because all decision-making can be made by the reader/controller. The result is an access control system that is 30 percent less expensive, deployed more quickly, with more flexibility than traditional panel systems.
Installers and integrators still have questions about cloud-based services, so we asked Service Manager Michael Troiani of Idesco Corp. in New York City for his input. SourceSecurity.com: What is your opinion of the security of cloud-based services? Troiani: Cloud-based computing is here and is heavily marketed as a revolution in the security industry. Like any other service, cyber-security can always be improved in the cloud. The continued trend to SaaS (Software as a Service) means there must be more complex encryption for cloud-based applications. Over the next few years you will see more and more investments being made in the security area of cloud-based services, as they clearly offer the best opportunity for growth. SourceSecurity.com: How is the physical security industry adapting to newer cloud-based technologies/products? Troiani: The security market in general is slower to adapt to any newer technology. There are consultants and customers who have stayed with solutions that have proven solid if not spectacular in terms of results and reliability. However, hosted access control and video eliminate the costs of local servers, software and maintenance. Customers also get additional built-in features with automatic software updates, along with the ability to use application programming interfaces (APIs) as opposed to purchasing expensive system add-ons. Cloud-based access control solutions are growing very fast for one to eight doors, as they are affordable and can be deployed faster than traditional access control. SourceSecurity.com: Has Idesco adopted any cloud services recently? Troiani: Idesco invested in a cloud-based service module in December 2007. It’s amazing that it has been seven years already. My previous job with a publishing company provided me with a solid base of technical knowledge and experience, and when the opportunity presented itself for me to run the service department at Idesco, I thought: “If we had success at my previous location with these technologies, why can’t it work here?” We started slowly, only offering this new service to our contract customers. However as we grew with the product, it has become one of our main talking points in promoting what we do. Service Manager Michael Troiani of Idesco Corp. I firmly believe it brings tremendous value to our customer base. Customers hated leaving voicemails when they had a service issue or needed assistance. With our cloud-based service module, service calls can be scheduled and acknowledged, and a technician dispatched within seconds. We have a convenient product, are maximising our time in the field, and our technicians have the ability to get customers to sign off on work on their tablets and smartphones which leads to faster billing. Recently our Project Management team has started working with Smartsheet to better track our projects and procedures. SourceSecurity.com: Is the customer information safe with these cloud-based systems? Troiani: Idesco’s success as a company depends upon not only keeping our customers’ facilities safe and secure, but also protecting their data at all times. We value our customers’ business and are committed to protecting their security and privacy. The servers are hosted in Rackspace, a leading managed-hosting provider that is trusted by some of the biggest companies. Rackspace offers a 100 percent Network Uptime Guarantee and is respected as one of the leaders in managed hosting, with data backed up multiple times daily. In addition to built-in secure login capabilities, our service module also includes the ability to secure information with the same SSL encryption technologies used by online banking and ecommerce sites. SourceSecurity.com: What can we expect in the future as far as technologies to boost cloud security even more? Troiani: At Idesco, we want to constantly offer customers best-in-breed products. Generally with cloud-based technology (outside and inside the security space), it seems to have endless possibilities in terms of growth potential. In 2015, the cloud-based security market is estimated to be worth about $3 billion. The top most sought-after cloud security services moving forward will be email security, web security services and identity and access management. With more organisations gaining more experience with SaaS, interest in cloud-based security will only continue to trend upward.