Articles by Mike Prysock
The air travel industry has evolved from one commercial passenger on the first commercial flight in 1914 to an estimated 100,000 flights per day. According to The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the total number of passengers who flew in 2017 is expected to reach 3.7 billion. But it’s not just people who fly. Each day, more than $18.6 billion of goods travel by air, which represents one-third of all world trade, by value. Meanwhile, the aviation industry supports more than 63 million jobs and generates $2.2 trillion in economic activity. According to the IATA, 3.5% of the global economy relies on aviation. Evolving airport security for today’s demands Airport security continues to evolve as well, as security personnel strive to keep ahead of increasing threats and the compliance issues enacted to help address them. It’s taken nearly 40 years to progress from the first widespread use of X-ray scans and metal detectors to today’s full-body imaging and video surveillance solutions to mitigate security breaches and other critical security challenges. Employing airport security solutions is a complex situation with myriad government, state and local rules and regulations that need to be addressed while ensuring the comfort needs of passengers. Airport security is further challenged with improving and increasing operational efficiencies, as budgets are always an issue. As an example, security and operational data must be easily shared with other airport departments and local agencies such as police, customs, emergency response and airport operations to drive a more proactive approach across the organisation. New surveillance technologies To manage these and other issues facing the aviation industry, airport security management is increasingly looking to leverage new surveillance technologies to help streamline operations and to build stronger security programs. New and enhanced surveillance technologies such as powerful open platform Video Management Systems (VMS), HD panoramic cameras, and highly specialised video analytics are at the heart of today’s advanced networked surveillance solutions for airports and aviation facilities. Airport perimeters are quite extensive in size, irregular in shape, and subject to compromised visibility due to poor lighting Protecting the perimeter As an example, many airport perimeters are quite extensive in size, irregular in shape, and subject to compromised visibility due to poor lighting. Compounding the security challenge, these perimeters are often protected only by simple fences that can be easily scaled or broken through, and areas outside the fences may include wild forests in rural areas or residential and commercial buildings in more populous regions. All of these factors make it all the more difficult – and all the more important – to keep watch on perimeter areas. Analytics boosts effectiveness Camera coverage is the first step for monitoring the perimeter, but to improve the monitoring of these areas, airports can automate much of the monitoring, threat identification and notification needed to keep the entire premises safe by implementing video analytics. Market-leading offerings now include cameras with built-in analytic functions to make it easier and more effective to implement improved detection. For example, some of the more commonly available functions now include perimeter crossing, intrusion detection, object left behind, object missing, and wrong direction.Surveillance technologies allow the creation of virtual fences which can send a security team proactive notices of suspicious activity With these functions already built in, today’s high-performance security cameras not only capture clear video but can also employ analytics to monitor the field of view. In the case of an airport perimeter, analytics can be set up to automatically monitor a fence line to detect breaches or potential breaches while filtering out false alarms from small animals or blowing debris and alert authorities quickly when action is needed. Surveillance cameras can also be easily deployed over a perimeter to quickly detect and identify causes of perimeter breaches, and provide instant alerts to notify personnel where the breach is occurring, reducing the need for security personnel to physically monitor miles of perimeter fencing. In fact, surveillance technologies allow the creation of virtual fences which can send a security team proactive notices of suspicious activity. VMS Systems control with confidence All perimeter surveillance solutions can be integrated with an airport’s VMS, providing users with an easy-to-manage centralised hub to monitor and manage airport security. Overall, a perimeter security solution can help keep unauthorised individuals away from runways, taxiways, aircraft and other airport infrastructure in all types of weather conditions and environments. Within other restricted areas of an airport, such as parking lots, garages and secured areas, surveillance solutions are available to reduce risk and improve security. In a parking garage, IP cameras and a VMS can integrate third-party analytics to quickly identify and alert personnel when unauthorised vehicles have entered a restricted area, including vehicles with license plates on watch lists. When an alert is detected, data from third-party vehicle tracking software can be accessed via the VMS to monitor and track the vehicles activity while security personnel get into position to investigate further. Preventing theft in airports On the tarmac and inside baggage handling areas, loss or theft of luggage and other high-ticket items not only cause brand damage to an airport or airline, but complaints from travellers. A CNN analysis of passenger property loss claims filed with the TSA from 2010 to 2014 shows 30,621 claims of missing valuables, mostly packed in checked luggage. The rest occurred at security checkpoints. Total property loss claimed is estimated at $2.5 million. Loss or theft of luggage and other high-ticket items not only cause brand damage to an airport or airline, but complaints from travellers Security technology can mitigate the issue with IP cameras and VMS integrated with a Baggage Handling Systems (BHS) to automatically validate system operation and abnormal behaviours. This allows security and operations management to see where and why alarms are triggered so they can quickly respond and mitigate the problem. Monitoring crowds and foot traffic Inside an airport, VMS solutions with analytics capabilities can monitor crowd movements and anticipate and proactively respond to choke points, crowd patterns and foot traffic flow to reduce risk and improve security. The solutions can quickly and efficiently locate a person of interest, such as a lost child, for example, and search for shirt colour, estimated height to facial features, and more. With the ability to track via recorded and live video, security personnel can start their search from the moment the child was last seen and track their movement throughout the entire airport. Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Nigeria’s preeminent air terminal, is one example of an airport that is benefitting from a security technology upgrade to mitigate security threats. The airport is using an open platform VideoXpert™ Video Management System (VMS) in addition to a combination of low-light cameras and high-resolution dome cameras to secure its parking structure, perimeter, baggage claim points, cargo area and other parts of the airport.With the ability to track via recorded and live video, security personnel can track a person’s movement throughout the entire airport The security cameras are providing airport security with high-quality images, motion detection, advanced tracking capabilities, and on-board analytics, while the VMS is unifying operational and security data via a single user interface and allowing airport security to be more proactive in its incident response. People counting and ANPR In the U.S., a large cargo airport has employed 1,100 IP video cameras with a new Video Management System (VMS) solution to address the entire airport’s needs, including security and surveillance. The solution not only features crystal clear images, but also can archive video for 30 days at 30 images per second. A VMS manages the system and provides valuable analytics, including people-counting and number plate capture. It will soon add an enterprise security solution to improve access control system management and integration with the VMS. Airports around the world are increasingly realising the benefits of advanced surveillance solutions to drive operational intelligence and provide comprehensive situational awareness. As the transportation industry continues to expand, so will their use of more advanced surveillance systems on the enterprise level that incorporate even higher levels of system control and management, wide area coverage imaging solutions, and intelligence to keep passengers safe and operations running smoothly.
Timely and important issues in the security marketplace dominated our list of most-clicked-upon articles in 2018. Looking back at the top articles of the year provides a decent summary of how our industry evolved this year, and even offers clues to where we’re headed in 2019. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the security market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles we posted in 2018 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with a brief excerpt. 1. U.S. President Signs Government Ban on Hikvision and Dahua Video Surveillance The ban on government uses, 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. The 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. 2. Motorola Makes a Splash with Avigilon Video Surveillance Acquisition Early clues point to Motorola positioning Avigilon as part of a broader solution, especially in the municipal/safe cities market. The company says the acquisition will enable more safe cities projects and more public-private partnerships between local communities and law enforcement. Motorola sees Avigilon as ‘a natural extension to global public safety and U.S. federal and military’ applications, according to the company. 3. Impact of Data-Driven Smart Cities on Video Surveillance One of the major areas of technology that is going to shift how we interact with our cities is the Internet of Things (IoT). One benefit will be the ability to use video surveillance to analyse data on large crowds at sporting events The IoT already accounts for swaths of technology and devices operating in the background. However, we’re increasingly seeing these come to the forefront of everyday life, as data becomes increasingly critical. Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency 4. CES 2018: Security Technologies Influencing the Consumer Electronics Market Familiar players at security shows also have a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For example, Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency. Many consumer technologies on display offer a glimpse of what’s ahead for security. Are Panasonic’s 4K OLEDs with HDR10+ format or Sony’s A8F OLED televisions a preview of the future of security control room monitors? 5. SIA Predicts Top Physical Security Trends for 2018 Traditional security providers will focus more on deepening the customer experience and enhancing convenience and service. The rise of IoT also places an emphasis on cybersecurity, and security dealers will react by seeking manufacturers and technology partners with cyber-hardened network-connected devices. 6. High-Speed Visitor Screening Systems Will Improve Soft Target Security The system is more expensive than a metal detector, but about a third the cost of familiar airport body scanners. Labor reduction (because of faster throughput) can help offset the system costs, but “it’s difficult to quantify the improvement in the visitor experience,” says Mike Ellenbogen, CEO of Evolv Technology. 7. How to Prevent ATM Jackpotting with Physical and Cyber Security A new crime wave is hitting automated teller machines (ATMs); the common banking appliances are being rigged to spit out their entire cash supplies into a criminal’s waiting hands. The crime is called “ATM jackpotting” and has targeted banking machines located in grocery shops, pharmacies and other locations in Taiwan, Europe, Latin America and, in the last several months, the United States. Rough estimates place the total amount of global losses at up to $60 million. The safety and security world bring a complex problem to solve- how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest 8. Why We Need to Look Beyond Technology for Smart City Security Solutions Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, technology alone isn’t sufficient. Truly smart cities are savvy cities and that includes how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs. 9. How New Video Surveillance Technology Boosts Airport Security and Operations Employing airport security solutions is a complex situation with myriad government, state and local rules and regulations that need to be addressed while ensuring the comfort needs of passengers. Airport security is further challenged with improving and increasing operational efficiencies, as budgets are always an issue. As an example, security and operational data must be easily shared with other airport departments and local agencies such as police, customs, emergency response and airport operations to drive a more proactive approach across the organisation. 10. The Evolution of Facial Recognition from Body-Cams to Video Surveillance The safety and security world bring a complex problem to solve how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve.