Round table contributions
Enterprise customers provide a large, and very lucrative, business opportunity for the physical security market. These customers include big global companies with plenty of revenue to spend and employees and facilities to protect. As a group, enterprise customers also tend to be a demanding lot, requiring systems that are large, scalable, that can operate across a wide geographic area, and that provide top-notch system performance. Enterprise customers set the standards of performance for the entire market, and they challenge manufacturers to up their game. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to reflect on the industry’s biggest customers: What are the security challenges of the enterprise market?
We have been hearing about smart buildings for more than a decade, but the increasing profile of the Internet of Things (IoT) expands the possibilities for intelligent building systems and makes them even more attainable. Security is often among the “smart” functions of a building, and the capabilities of many physical security systems can contribute in new ways to building intelligence. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of “smart buildings” on the physical security marketplace?
There’s a huge cloud hanging over the physical security market, but in a good way. Cloud-based systems, whether for video, access control or another category, are on the verge of taking the industry by storm. The benefits of that mythical “cloud” are well-known, or certainly well-touted, in the market. It’s almost as if the word “cloud” has become a buzzword that can mean different things, or at least whatever the customer wants it to mean (as long as they buy!). We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to define the term more specifically, and to comment on the industry’s understanding of the terminology. Specifically, we asked: Define what we mean by “the cloud.” Is the definition universally understood in the market?
Big data is a buzzword, and data – presumably of all sizes – is a driving force in the physical security market. As systems become more sophisticated and expand their capabilities, the result is more data; in some cases, a lot more data. But a key question is: What do we do with the data? How do we use it to provide value? How do we interpret it, and transform it into useful information and/or intelligence? We presented the topic of data to our Expert Panel Roundtable and came away with a range of thoughts on its changing – and expanding – role in the physical security market (and beyond). We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is a greater emphasis on data changing the physical security market?
For many years, cybersecurity was the unmentioned elephant in the room. Possible vulnerability of IP-connected devices to a cyber-attack was seldom, if ever, mentioned, and even the most basic measures to prevent such an attack were not implemented. For the last couple of years, however, the physical security industry has begun talking more about cybersecurity, in some cases with an abounding enthusiasm typical of the newly-converted. Have our discussions sufficiently addressed the long-standing lack of awareness? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Are we talking enough about cybersecurity? Or too much? (And why?)
Hospitals and healthcare facilities are an important vertical sector in the physical security market. Protecting healthcare facilities is a rich opportunity to leverage the value of physical security systems that range from video to access control to newer location and asset protection systems. But understanding how technology can excel in the healthcare vertical requires that we first identify and understand what these institutions need. Therefore, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the physical security challenges of hospitals and healthcare?
Technology is changing at a break-neck pace, and the security marketplace is currently being bombarded by a wealth of new capabilities and innovations. But what will be the impact? Which of the currently-hyped new innovations will have a major impact, and which will fade over time? And even acknowledging the long-term significance of various technologies, what can we expect to be the more immediate effect? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new security technology is poised to have the greatest impact in the second half of 2017?
As security industry buzzwords go, “convergence” is perhaps the best known and most pervasive. We have been hearing about convergence in our market for almost 20 years. We have heard it’s happening soon. We have heard it’s inevitable. And yet, for all the talk of convergence, it has sometimes seemed there has been more talk than action. We wanted to check in with our Expert Panel Roundtable and get their latest takes on this most enduring of industry buzzwords. We asked this week’s panel: Has convergence happened yet in the physical security market? And what exactly does it mean?
Lower equipment prices (with less margin) are one industry trend leading more integrators to seek out new sources of revenue. With margins shrinking on lucrative, but unpredictable, “project-based” business, integrators are looking for more revenue stability. One solution is recurring monthly revenue (RMR), which is already common in the related field of alarm monitoring. But where does RMR come from? Creating more RMR also requires that integrators change how they do business, from sales commissions to the technologies they deploy. On the other hand, increasing RMR is a great way to build additional value in a business. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new opportunities for installers/integrators to create recurring monthly revenue (RMR) in their businesses?
The minutes are counting down to one of the biggest security industry trade shows of the 2017 calendar. Expectations are high going into ISC West 2017 in Las Vegas: Last year’s show was very well attended and highlighted lots of new technologies. Looking ahead to this year’s show, we wanted to get the Expert Panel Roundtable’s take on what news will dominate the show. So we asked our panel: What do you expect to be the big news at ISC West 2017?
Open systems are great at providing freedom for end user customers. But does the term “open system” mean the same thing throughout the industry? In the bad old days before the introduction and broad acceptance of open systems, security vendors produced proprietary systems that used only their own hardware and software. This locked in a customer to a specific vendor’s product line, and if another vendor offered a better product, the only way to get it was to switch to that vendor’s total solution. Open systems changed all that, in theory allowing the selection of best-in-class hardware, software and other components to meet customer requirements. But is the term “open” understood consistently in the market? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is an open system? Is there a consensus in the marketplace of the definition of “open?” Although there is mostly a consensus in the panel’s answers, we did notice some variables.
There are many benefits of security systems, and some may be more obvious than others. Certainly, when choosing security systems to be installed, end users have goals and expectations for the systems in mind. But are there other benefits or opportunities that customers may not have thought of? It’s an interesting question, so we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: Considering security systems integration, what is the biggest (or most common) missed opportunity?
The end of the year is a great time to reflect on what the security industry has accomplished and to look ahead. We invited our Expert Panel Roundtable to weigh in on what they expect looking forward to the new year. Most industry-watchers are familiar with the major trends, but how will those trends play out in 2017? Specifically, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest headlines for the security marketplace in 2017?
In a fast-moving market like physical security, sharing information is an essential component of growth. However, there often seems to be more information available than an integrator or end user could ever digest and put to use. How does one go about finding the information he or she needs in an environment that can seem to be drowning in information (sometimes the wrong information). We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to share their strategies and suggestions. Specifically, we asked: What can integrators and/or end users do to stay informed about the fast-changing technology landscape?
It’s a challenging time for security integrators and installers. Equipment prices are going down (along with margins), and commoditisation is wiping away what used to be the advantage of exclusively offering a top product brand. Integrators can continue to succeed by finding a way to move ahead of the pack – but how? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How should integrators/installers differentiate themselves or make themselves stand out in today’s market?
Articles by Mitchell Kane
Overall, it’s been quite a year for the industry and Vanderbilt. Last year, we predicted that the security industry would see a rise in cloud-based systems in 2017, and based on the developments and trends we've seen over the last 12 months, that forecast has come true. ACT365 access control and VMS Vanderbilt introduced the ACT365 cloud-based access control and video management solution to its portfolio, and it has plans to educate the marketplace on the technological and economic advances with this platform in 2018. Cloud-based applications and mobile credentials continue to drive discussions and debates, and will ultimately gain acceptance as their numerous advantages are realised. New projects in 2017 From an industry perspective, 2017 was successful and productive for not only Vanderbilt, but also many of our peers, as we saw a number of advancements in business development and product refinement. The overall economy did not negatively impact the vertical markets Vanderbilt serves; many new large projects were rolled out as well as the continuation of technology upgrades performed on the installed base. Heightened cybersecurity risk An unexpected yet relevant occurrence this year was the acknowledgment of cyber threats to many existing security systems. The growing use of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought many opportunities to the security world, but also presents a heightened cybersecurity risk. This threat should propel the understanding to craft new requirements and policies needed to properly and responsibly design and install new security systems. Additionally, this threat should drive mandatory audits and hardening of the installed base. As we look ahead to next year, the influx of IoT solutions will place an even greater emphasis on cybersecurity. With the acceptance of hosted solutions, intelligent locking systems and mobile applications and credentials, the typical security systems architecture is evolving rapidly to more streamlined, technologically advanced hardware and software applications. The winners of 2018 will be the manufacturers, system integrators and end users that embrace the advanced technologies made available.
The year of 2016 ended with Vanderbilt finalising the acquisition of Access Control Technology Ltd., which strengthened the company’s product portfolio and introduced an entirely new market segment to partners and customers in Ireland and the United Kingdom. ACT brings an existing cloud-based access control solution to Vanderbilt, thereby complementing the existing product mix. This new technology adds significant value to our customers in Europe, and we plan to deliver it to our customers in North America very soon. Integrated security approach Along those lines, the access control market is seeing a sizable shift from a siloed approach to that of an integrated solution that combines video surveillance, access, analytics and cloud-based functionality that can better serve organisations of all sizes, from small- and mid-size establishments, to enterprise facilities with global footprints. Today's modern organisations require manufacturers and integrators to add more value to installations by combining critical systems, such as access control with human resources programmes, to eliminate standalone systems and data points, and increase the efficiency of operations. Rise in cloud-based systems In the coming year, we will see a rise in cloud-based systems, as these types of solutions are growing at an incredible pace globally. The cloud forms a massive part of the overall IT landscape and spending in this type of infrastructure is set to grow exponentially over the next few years. Cloud-based access control in particular offers users the benefit of remote control over systems, flexible monitoring and an integrated approach to security. Network latency and cybersecurity are other key concerns going into 2017, as we’ve seen a number of critical data breaches wreak havoc on both private entities and government agencies. Stakeholders have already been asking the question, “Is my data secure?” and today’s integrators and manufacturers will have the burden of proof in assuring them that safety is at the core of the products they sell. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here
IT access control offers significant cost savings per unit or door as less hardware is required to cover a large area Over the last several years, there has been a revolution in access control methodologies including increased integration with video management software and video surveillance capabilities that better protect businesses and enterprise applications. But nowhere is the integration space more progressive in scope than the collaboration between the IT department and security teams, namely in regards to access control. The transition of security operations into the IT sphere is changing the way businesses go about choosing and constructing their security networks by allowing access control solutions to rely increasingly on software and Web-based solutions that offer a number of functional, personnel and financial benefits. For access control, this means that a complete operational overhaul is no longer necessary for a corporate enterprise or business, since these solutions can be introduced and scaled on an entirely individual basis. The integration capabilities of IT for CCTV networks, as well as state-of-the-art IP video surveillance and alarm management systems, gives access control a renewed technological edge. Advantages of web-based access control solutions By shifting access control from a siloed system within the security department, to the technologically advanced team in the IT department, trained IT specialists and CIOs can finally be brought into the fold on security decisions. These professionals can offer a different perspective, leveraging their expertise to advise on strategic technological investments as well as provide an extra layer of security coverage beyond traditional access control. Training security personnel becomes easier as IT-based systems run on easy-to-use platforms that require minimal training, reducing the amount of time spent on learning complex software systems. Additionally, IT departments can leverage existing product families in a network environment with which they are already familiar, ensuring timely responses when it comes to incident management. Training security personnel becomes easier as IT-based systems run on easy-to-use platforms One of the most attractive advantages of phasing out traditional, hardware-based access control in favour of Web-based solutions is the lower cost of installation and ownership. Since there is less hardware required to provide coverage to a large area, IT access control can offer significant cost savings per unit or door, as well as lower the cost of potentially overhauling an existing analogue or hardware-based system. The result is a larger return on investment for security operations centers, end users and integrators alike. Leveraging IT across campuses & buildings Numerous organisations are already taking this approach to bring the two departments together. At Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin, both the security department and the IT department worked together seamlessly to integrate the student information system (SIS), dining and human resource systems together with the Security Management System (SMS). By implementing a software solution that connects the access control system with these various software platforms, Ripon College went from changes made in one to two days, to having changes made almost instantaneously. What this means is that in the event that a student no longer is classified as a student, as soon as their status is changed in the SIS, their access credentials are changed from having access to buildings on campus to having none. "The integration capabilities of IT for CCTV networks, as well as IP video surveillance and alarm management systems, gives access control a renewed technological edge" Offering campuses a single point of data entry on a software interface, such as an SIS, streamlines the process across departments, saving significant resources and time from inputting information on several different platforms. This also reduces human error, streamlining and maintaining updates to the system in a centralised location. None of this could be accomplished without building a relationship between the security team and the IT department, both of which should work together to form a collaborative approach to this streamlined solution. Looking to the future Integration between departments is only the beginning. As access control becomes more collaborative in nature, critical partnerships can be formed with local police and firefighters so that they may access different parts of a building or campus, as well as issue and override lockdowns, adding additional security and transparency in the event of an emergency situation. As innovation within the IT sphere continues to grow, end users, integrators and access control manufacturers will continue to seek out opportunities to innovate and simplify access control systems to provide the safest, most cost-effective solution for corporations and enterprises around the globe.
While the access control market typically moves at a near glacial pace, 2015 brought quite a bit of news to the marketplace, including the rise in advanced biometrics, the development of more and more mobile applications for access control and important acquisitions that put smaller manufacturers on the map. For Vanderbilt, 2015 was a big year as we brought the Siemens Security Products business into the fold, building our global brand and awareness of our award-winning solutions that have been more than 25 years in the making. Additionally, Vanderbilt continued its focus on providing more than simply access control solutions to the marketplace; instead placing emphasis on how to maximise the relationships we’ve built with our channel partners and security professionals by providing excellent customer service and training to these individuals. In 2016, we hope to expand these offerings, as well as introduce a number of new products that will give our partners an expanded access control portfolio to offer to their customers. Shifting access control priorities In 2016, the security marketplace will see a number of new developments and shifting access control priorities, including an expanding focus on increasing lockdown capabilities in the wake of continued tragedies on our nation’s school campuses – both in K-12 and higher education. We will see an increased focus on hardening perimeters within schools and the reprioritisation of classroom and school-wide security measures to meet the demands. We also will see an uptick in integration capabilities for data between access control devices and human resources departments and event management systems to help streamline installations and ease new system transitions. While mobile credentials are slow moving, we will continue to see mobile applications for security officials, along with the increased ability to grant access through mobile devices such as iPads, tablets or smartphones on a variety of platforms. Access control is changing to meet the demands of today’s consumers, and manufacturers will be tasked with ensuring they have the technology to match. See the full coverage of 2015/2016 Review and Forecast articles here
Integrators and end users should be aware that their definition of open might differ from those of security manufacturers Much of the buzz in the industry today about open architecture is driven by the IT world, with many security-related decisions now falling on an organisation’s IT department, where true open architecture has been around for a long time. Closed systems like we’ve experienced in the security world are not just viewed as foreign to the IT world; they’re considered a step backward. In today's security industry, open standards between manufacturers are a must-have. End users and integrators require the flexibility and improved reliability that come from working with best-in-class technology — rather than being locked into a certain brand. In addition, a growing number of end users want to be able to integrate their access control technology with other security systems, including VMS. Despite these factors, the degree of “openness” of open architecture found in today’s security industry varies. Integrators and end users should be aware that their definition of open, and their expectations of interoperability, might differ from those of security manufacturers. In the video surveillance industry, there exists the type of openness that allows almost every camera manufacturer to connect to an NVR. No tinkering is required for the NVR to connect to and operate the cameras. But with access control solutions, that type of plug-and-play interaction doesn’t exist. Open Standards vs. proprietary systems What does exist today is an effort to transition to open standards. The most significant progress can be found with Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), intended to create interoperability between peripheral devices, such as card readers and control panels, as well as other security systems. Despite support and promotion from the Security Industry Association (SIA), OSDP hasn’t seen heavy adoption in the United States.To date, the majority of readers still use Wiegand interfaces even though there are limitations to the old technology. The fact is, change needs to be driven by very specific client needs or some form of legislation. If you don’t have one or the other, very few manufacturers will make the investment to change. Many security manufacturers have a long history of using proprietary protocols and hardware. Moving to open architecture means they will need to reengineer their products. Doing so will not necessarily bring about new functionality or guarantee the end user a better product. It could, however, make it easier for an end user to explore other options. PSIA’s goal is to create a standard IP specification that brings together video surveillance, access control, analytics and other security systems OSDP and PSIA security standards Because of this dilemma, many haven’t pursued OSDP solutions. Even security integrators have a fear of being displaced if they install open systems, which creates additional resistance to an open movement. Frankly, locking a customer in with a proprietary product isn’t how to create long-term customers. Clients are kept by delivering exceptional service and support. OSDP adoption is only a part of the open architecture conversation, After all we’re really only talking about readers and other peripherals. Typically, when end users talk about open architecture, they’re referring to the entire system. This is where the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) comes in. PSIA’s goal is to create a standard IP specification that brings together video surveillance, access control, analytics and other security systems. It’s a great concept, but not without its challenges and limitations. A standard, by its very definition, can’t support every feature and function from every manufacturer. A standard creates a common denominator that all products must meet. This means that functionality and differentiation between vendors might get lost to meet the specifications issued by PSIA. The same situation can be found with ONVIF on the video surveillance side of the security world. A camera can be ONVIF-compliant and plug-and-play with a VMS. However, if you use the camera’s specific drivers with the VMS, it may be possible to access enhanced functionality. Despite support and promotion from the Security Industry Association, OSDP hasn’t seen heavy adoption in the United States Even though the OSDP and PSIA specifications aren’t heavily adopted today, solutions that meet the standards should be easier to integrate and, therefore, more appealing to end users. Additionally, if and when there is an influence strong enough to truly drive standards adoption upon the industry, OSDP and PSIA – by nature of their history and inroads already made – will most likely be the standards adopted. Therefore, selecting products that use these standards is a safe bet as far as future interoperability is concerned. Another version of open While standards like OSDP and PSIA exist, the majority of manufacturers today claim to be open because they give OEMs the ability to modify their solutions to work with their proprietary protocol. Put more simply, the way they go to market is to have you modify your product to work with theirs. The end result could be a great integration, but it comes at the cost of time and extended effort. Integrators and end users should be aware when selecting “open” solutions that there could be considerable obstacles to overcome to gain interoperability between various security systems. In the end, based on today’s definition of open in the security industry, security dealers and end users should align with vendors that have gone through the effort of integrating and supporting reputable industry-leading products, whether they utilise OSDP and PSIA standards or not. Doing so will give the dealer and end user more options concerning system upgrades or changes. While the security industry certainly isn’t perfect when it comes to open architecture, the combination of OSDP and PSIA specifications along with each manufacturer’s version of openness has created a level of interoperability that breaks down the challenges of proprietary closed systems.
Online wireless locks enable real-time online access control functionality Organisations require more than a “one-size-fits-all” approach from their access control technology. Today, integrators leverage a mix of both online wireless and offline locks to provide a more customised system for each end user. By combining online and offline locks, integrators have the ability to expand the limits of an access control system, with more doors and greater capabilities than ever before. In the end, customers benefit from greater flexibility, enhanced security and improved affordability. In this article Mitchell Kane - President, GM at Vanderbilt Industries explains some of the ways online wireless and offline locks are being used in concert to create right-sized access control solutions. But first we need to understand the limitations and benefits of each lock type. Online wireless locks Online wireless locks enable real-time online access control functionality on doors and in areas that, in the past, might have been inaccessible or impossible to get wire to. For example, consider an office lobby built on a slab, with a decorated marble floor, and an entrance that is all glass with highly decorated treatments. For cabling purposes, such a site is either extremely difficult or impossible to reach. However, with a battery-powered wireless lock, it’s now possible to bring online functionality to that portal. There are a few potential limitations to online wireless locks. For example, some manufacturers have yet to solve the problem of form factor. Because wireless locks require batteries and an antenna, in many cases the locking units are larger, less discreet and less aesthetically pleasing than the wired locks available today. Also, the functionality of online wireless locks differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. Rest assured, you’ll get the basic online lock requirements, but critical features like lockdown and the ability to toggle might be missing, depending on the make and model. Customers benefit from greater flexibility, enhanced security and improved affordability Another consideration of wireless locks is the way they behave to conserve power. An “always on” lock will consume batteries very quickly, which could become a maintenance nightmare. To address this issue, many locks enter a sleep mode. The lock will wake into transmit-receive mode if a user uses their card or if someone uses a key and bypasses the lock. If someone touches the handle to exit, a request to exit will wake the lock. Since locks spend the majority of their time sleeping, sending manual override commands can be challenging. For example, if a user wants to manually and remotely unlock a door because there’s a visitor waiting to get in, some online wireless locks won’t receive the command until the lock wakes up. To combat this limitation, you could touch the handle on the exit side of the door to wake it up so it can receive the command — which is obviously a clunky solution — or adjust the locks to wake on a more frequent schedule or even pulse their status. However, doing this means you’ll be changing batteries frequently and, even if you set the lock to wake every two minutes, that’s still too long for someone to have to wait for the door to open. Some manufacturers have solved this problem by including a low-energy wireless radio that can be pinged to awaken the lock. These do use battery power, but to a much lesser degree. Unless you’re using a lock with one of these radios, you should avoid using online wireless locks on doors that would frequently require administrator override intervention and battery changes. There’s one final consideration for wireless online locks. Because the locks are wireless, they can’t be hooked into the building Class E fire alarm system for evacuations. Therefore, you can’t use the locks on doors deemed as fire exits that also need to provide for free ingress during the alarm state. Offline locks You must understand the pros and cons of each type of lock and also the environment you need to secure There are two basic types of offline locks. The first requires someone to manually pull the data from the lock to update the access control system. The second is a tourless offline lock that is able to establish a data connection or network-on-card connection to the access control system. Offline locks should typically be used in applications and areas where you don’t need real-time reporting of alarm events, like door contacts and break-ins. The overwhelming majority of offline locks being used today are in higher education residence halls. Another common application is in industrial/commercial applications where real-time reporting is not required, such as with low-value storage closets, bathrooms or offices. Offline locks have an important limitation: Because the database is stored in the locks themselves, they can’t hold the same amount of card holder data as an online lock connected to an access control system. With most enterprise online systems, the number of card holders who can use a door is essentially unlimited. With offline locks, the number of users is finite and based on the make and model of the lock. Difficulties occur when these user limits aren’t identified or understood and the offline lock is used. Finally, if you want to take a user out of the system, you can’t do so without going to each lock. Updating the database is done either on a schedule (often when batteries are changed) or after an event (e.g., termination of an employee or following a break-in). In either case, traditional offline locks require someone to visit each lock with a handheld device to pull the data. Depending on the number of doors, this “sneakernet” method can be far from efficient. The best of online and offline locks With most enterprise online systems, the number of card holders who can use a door is essentially unlimited. With offline locks, the number of users is finite and based on the make and model of the lock. When it comes to electronic locks, it’s never one-size-fits-all. However, here are a couple general rules of thumb beyond the advice given above: If you have a room that contains anything of value that you want to protect and you require a real-time reporting and audit trail, you should use an online lock. In perimeter applications where you need instant control, it’s necessary to use an online device. Doors that do not require real-time communication with the access control system are ideal for offline locks. In these applications, consider offline locks as a way to eliminate traditional keys and to better and more affordably manage credential and access privileges. One size does not fits all A common mistake is to start with one lock type to solve one problem and then use that same lock in other areas despite completely different circumstances. You must understand the pros and cons of each type of lock and have a proper understanding of the environment you need to secure. You need an access control system that is capable of concurrently supporting multiple electronic lock technologies. Only then can you craft a solution that takes the best of offline and the best of online wireless to create a secure environment that meets the needs of all cardholders, administrators and facility management.
SourceSecurity.com’s Expert Panel covered a lot of ground in 2017 about a variety of topics resonating in the security market. The most-read Roundtable discussion in 2017 was about a familiar and ongoing debate: What is an open system? Other hot topics that made the Top-10 list of Roundtable discussions included smartphones, buzzwords, standards and product life cycles. Here is a listing of our Top 10 Expert Panel Roundtable discussions posted in 2017, 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 2017 (including the quotable panelists named below). 1. What is an open system? Is there a consensus in the marketplace on the definition of “open?” "Being truly ‘open’ means going above and beyond when designing your product line, keeping in mind the ability for end-users to easily interface your product with other open-platform solutions. That's why offering an open-platform design must be coupled with the ability to provide exceptional support through training, follow-up and innovation as they are brought to market.” [Mitchell Kane] 2. How are smartphones impacting the physical security market? "The security protocols on phones (such as fingerprint readers and encryption) have become some of the strongest available to consumers and are regularly used to access essential services such as banking. With this level of trust and user convenience from mobile device security, it makes sense to produce physical security systems that also take advantage of it." [John Davies] TDSi's John Davies says it makes sense to produce physical security systems that take advantage of trust and user convenience on mobile devices 3. What is the biggest missed opportunity of security systems integration? "Integrators need to be more savvy on how they can meet their customers’ IT and surveillance goals, from both a technology and services perspective. Being knowledgeable about new innovations can help integrators sell infrastructure, keeping that piece of business rather than losing server sales to a customer’s internal IT department. Integrators are tasked with ensuring surveillance customers can benefit from best practices, and solutions proven in the world of IT offer significant benefit." [Brandon Reich] 4. What are the security industry’s newest buzzwords? "End-to-End Security is a buzzword reflecting how cyber threats are increasing and the importance of ‘the security of security systems,’ especially for companies operating in the critical national infrastructure. Convergence has been a ‘hot topic’ for years, but has it really happened? In order to create true end-to-end security solutions, IT and physical security best practices need to be combined." [Arjan Bouter] End-to-End Security is a buzzword reflecting how cyber threats are increasing, says Arjan Bouter 5. What technology will have the greatest impact in the second half of 2017? "Cloud-hosted access control is poised to have the biggest impact in the second half of 2017. Organisations are looking to decentralise IT management and eliminate the need for overhead costs in hardware infrastructure and ongoing maintenance costs. This decentralisation is driving them to migrate their day-to-day systems to the cloud, and access control is no exception." [Melissa Stenger] 6. Are mergers and acquisitions good or bad for the security industry? “On the ‘pro’ side, consolidation is good for pulling together a fractured market, as vendors try to gain market share by acquiring solutions they may not otherwise have in their portfolio. On the ‘con’ side, however, consolidation restricts or limits innovation as the merged vendors strive to develop end-to-end solutions that reduce customer choices" [Reinier Tuinzing] 7. What new standards are needed in the security marketplace? "Do we need that many new standards, or do we need the industry to embrace the standards that are already in place? I believe that current standards like ONVIF and OSDP are sufficient in what they offer the industry. Members of the security industry just need to start thinking outside the box and realise that it is with standards in place that real industry growth can occur." [Per Björkdahl] 8. What will be the big news at ISC West 2017? "Security solutions that capture greater data and utilise analytics to transform the data into useful information, or business intelligence, will be the talk of the industry at ISC West this year. It’s not just about surveillance or access control anymore, but about who can best assess the end user’s interests and deliver an end-to-end solution that provides a value beyond the technology and a service beyond security.” [Richard Brent] When buying cameras, customers are often lured by lower upfront costs, but may end up paying more in the medium- to long-term because of lower quality, says Oncam's Jumbi Edulbehram 9. Why should a customer continue to buy “premium” surveillance cameras? "When buying cameras, customers are often lured by lower upfront costs, but may end up paying more in the medium- to long-term because of lower quality (requiring costly site visits and replacements), susceptibility to cyber-attacks, or lower quality of integrations with video management systems. Customers should certainly be prudent buyers and make sure that they’re paying for actual reliability/features/functionality rather than simply paying a premium for a brand-name product. When functionality and reliability are important, it always makes sense to ‘buy nice, not twice.’ [Jumbi Edulbehram] 10. What is an acceptable life cycle for a physical security system? "The answer to this question clearly depends on the seat you sit in. Manufacturers, integrators, distributors, consultants and engineers all have extremely different perspectives on this question. As a manufacturer, we design systems to have a lifecycle between 5 and 7 years." [Robert Lydic]
Vanderbilt, a global provider of state-of-the-art security systems, has announced it will preview its new Vanderbilt ACT365 cloud-based access control and video management platform during the 2017 ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits, September 25-28, in Dallas, Texas. The solution meets a need for small- to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt more comprehensive security solutions into their operations without extensive capital investment. Vanderbilt access control-as-a-service The Vanderbilt ACT365 managed solution, or access control-as-a-service (ACaaS), allows end users to remotely control and manage access to their facilities without a dedicated IT department, giving them the ability to deploy a robust access control solution while saving money on significant infrastructure purchases. Users are able to easily scale the solution to accommodate additional doors or cameras, as well as view live and recorded video, manage users, conduct muster reporting in the event of an emergency and review alarms - all from a unified interface on a tablet or smartphone. Access Control Technologies acquisition The acquisition of Access Control Technologies (ACT) in late 2016 brought the cloud-based offering to the Vanderbilt portfolio, capitalising on a prediction by IHS Markit in 2014 that the ACaaS market would top $530 million by 2018 and $1.8 billion by 2025. “Cloud-based products are now more widely accepted across the security industry, making this an ideal time for Vanderbilt ACT365 to make its debut in the North American market,” said Mitchell Kane, President, Vanderbilt. “Users of the solution can see real benefit from not having to worry about servers, IT connectivity and compatibility, shifting access control from large capital investments in IT infrastructure and hardware to a more operational expenditure.”
For all its value in the security market, one has to wonder: How much captured video is actually used for security? Among hours and hours of video, only brief segments here or there are ever actually viewed or used for security applications, such as to review an incident or to provide evidence in court. But what about all that other video, much of it stored for 30 or 90 or 120 days or longer? Does it have to be merely a costly consequence of providing the security benefits of video? Not necessarily, based on what I heard from several exhibitors on the second day of ISC West 2017. Video surveillance beyond security Turns out all that video has many potential uses, and in fact represents a huge opportunity for the video surveillance market to expand its value to business operations beyond security. Information from video can provide valuable insights into business operations. Analysing it (using new tools highlighted at ISC) can provide metrics to guide business strategy, reveal customer trends, fine-tune business processes, etc. “Video surveillance as a comprehensive ‘value add’ is coming into its own before our eyes,” said Keith Drummond, Senior Director, IDIS America. “More and more people are seeing and experiencing the benefits of video beyond initial security applications. Modern analytics enable business intelligence with real-world impact on the bottom line in the retail vertical and beyond. The potential of video beyond security has never been more apparent.” IDIS and March Networks’ new surveillance additions Celebrating 20 years in business, IDIS introduced new additions and enhancements to its total solution at this year’s ISC West. They include a complete lineup of H.265 IP cameras and NVRs, a new 12 megapixel super fisheye camera, new low-light and long-distance solutions, enhancements to PTZ controls, and a new retail analytics/business intelligence suite. A 64-channel NVR delivers enterprise-level performance at an NVR price. More and more people are seeing and experiencing the benefits of video beyond initial security applications Developments in the market may be opening new opportunities, but reaping the benefits of those opportunities must begin with identifying a customer’s need. “On the product development side, we should work backwards,” suggests Dan Cremins, Global Leader of Product Management, March Networks. “As a customer, identify what problems you are trying to solve and work backwards from there.” March Networks announced a strategic relationship to use Oncam’s 360-degree camera technology for applications in the banking and retail verticals. For automated teller machines (ATMs), March Networks is announcing a new camera that is a lens/sensor connected by a cable to an encoder; the small size enables it to be installed even in new smaller ATMs; features include high dynamic range (HDR) and 3 megapixel resolution. Finally, March Network’s new 9000 series NVR uses a Linux operating system, provides double the video throughput (6 Mbps) and offers a choice of 32, 48 or 64 channels. Cloud-based access control The impact of new developments on integrators was another theme I heard today at the show. A shift is afoot in the market to cloud-based access control, and integrators and dealers need to be educated to overcome resistance to the changing business models; so says Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries. The fundamental shift is from high-margin “project-based” business to lower-cost installation (with less immediate profit) of hosted solutions, combined with recurring monthly revenue that customers pay for cloud services. Less immediate gratification (i.e., lower commissions) might discourage salesmen from embracing the change, but it is a necessary transition to adapt to the new business climate and to the increasing popularity of cloud systems. There is also some integrator resistance to another big trend – mobile credentials, says Kane. In this case, the concern is that mobile credentials are provided directly from the manufacturer. Integrators are concerned that end-users “being exposed” to manufacturers could result in their being eliminated from the equation, he notes. The scope of integrators’ work is also narrowing in some instances, says Kane. For example, today’s network-based and easy-to-install systems may lead end users to buy the systems direct from a manufacturer and then install the systems themselves (such as by their in-house information technology [IT] department). It is another argument for the value of RMR to help integrators offset revenue losses. The integrator should, in any case, avoid being a barrier to implementation of new technology approaches, says Kane. Vanderbilt ACT365 and Arecont Omni G3 Vanderbilt has a new cloud-based access control system – ACT365 – which has two hardware components, a single device for each door, and a video management system with a Terabyte of storage that supports four IP cameras. The system is hosted in the Azure cloud. There is a strong diagnostics package on the installation page, which ensures simplified installation. Arecont Vision’s SNAPstream Technology can be used to greatly reduce bandwidth and lower storage requirements Making life easier for integrators has been a focus for Arecont Vision. For example, remote focus on its cameras simplifies installation; a technician doesn’t have to stand precariously on a ladder with a laptop to adjust the focus. Now Arecont Vision’s SurroundVideo Omni G3 offers remote motorised positioning of the four individual sensors inside the camera. There are built-in presets providing 180-degree, 360-degree or 270-degree views, and two additional programmable presets. The 12- or 20-megapixel all-in-one omni-directional camera provides easier initial installation and more flexibility for the end user to change camera configurations. For example, a stadium owner could create one preset combination of sensor positions for a sporting event and a second combination for a concert, and then switch back and forth as needed. Arecont SNAPstream Technology Arecont Vision’s SNAPstream Technology can be used to greatly reduce bandwidth and lower storage requirements. Because Arecont Vision cameras have Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology, the new SNAPstream can also be deployed to every existing Arecont Vision camera in the field, simply using a firmware upgrade. The company has also cracked the code on cybersecurity; the megapixel cameras do not have operating systems that can be repurposed for use in cyberattacks. Arecont has also repositioned its product line into “good, better and best” categories. Booth traffic held up well on the second day of the show, with one more day to go and plenty left to see.
Vanderbilt is now an Authentic Mercury partner Vanderbilt, a provider of state-of-the-art security systems, continues to demonstrate its commitment to delivering open systems solutions through its compliance with open standards and close collaboration with aligned technology providers. In its effort to further extend system flexibility and customer options, the company recently completed its integration with Mercury Security and is now an Authentic Mercury partner. Best-in-class security solutions The integration ensures Vanderbilt devices support Mercury Security’s hardware controllers and peripheral panels, enabling end users to build best-in-class security solutions, maximise existing investments, reduce costs and extend product lifecycle. For Vanderbilt’s systems integrator partners, an open-architecture approach supports the long-term success of technology deployments, providing freedom to choose solutions that work best for a specific deployment, an end user’s needs and crucial infrastructure requirements. As an Authentic Mercury partner, Vanderbilt will provide customers with a streamlined path to move beyond proprietary hardware to more feature-rich access control solutions. Through its close technology partnerships and support of open standards efforts such as those promoted by ONVIF, Vanderbilt affords the interconnection of its solutions and devices with other IP-enabled systems to aggregate security data. This approach allows users to improve security staff productivity, increase situational awareness and gather more security and business intelligence. Enhanced flexibility “Open solutions enable greater choice in technologies for end users, streamlines installation and maximises product integration,” said Matt Barnette, President, Mercury Security. “Vanderbilt’s support of Mercury solutions allows more flexibility for today’s modern security leaders and systems integrators, and supports the future of the industry.” “There is increasing demand for open and interoperable access control solutions and Vanderbilt is expanding its capabilities with solutions that are open and scalable to allow users the freedom to use existing investments and third-party devices as part of a best-in-class security solution,” said Mitchell Kane, President, Vanderbilt. “Open systems benefit the entire security marketplace and Vanderbilt is dedicated to promoting open solutions that allow stakeholders to expand systems as security needs evolve over time. Our partnership with Mercury is a significant step forward in meeting this goal.”
SourceSecurity.com’s Expert Panel covered a lot of ground in 2016 about a variety of topics in our Roundtable discussions. The very most-clicked-on Roundtable discussion in 2016 was about how to choose between a cloud-based system and a server-based system. Other hot topics that made the Top-10 list of Roundtable discussions included edge-based video storage, the challenges of commoditisation, and mistakes customers make when buying and installing security systems. Here is a listing of the Top 10 Expert Panel Roundtable discussions posted in 2016 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 2016, including the quotable panelists named below! 1. What factors should a customer consider when choosing between a cloud-based system and a server-based security system? "Invariably the choices will be driven by security processes in place within the corporate environment and by ensuring the remote system is as impenetrable as the corporate network. Both options potentially leave the corporate network vulnerable to a determined cyber attacker, so the systems and access points to the network need to be sufficiently hardened to deter or prevent attacks.” [John Davies] 2. What is the most unusual application of surveillance cameras you have seen recently? "The most unusual application I’ve seen is the use of 360-degree fisheye cameras mounted on mobile poles for security along a marathon route. The poles were mounted on mobile units that contained power and communications infrastructure. Multiple mobile units were driven and placed along the route so that the entire route was constantly under surveillance. " [Jumbi Edulbehram] 3. What is the biggest mistake you see your customers make when it comes to buying or installing security or surveillance systems? "Too many businesses fail to take full advantage of the breadth of services available for maximising tools like remote diagnostic services, for example, which allow customer service teams to regularly and proactively check equipment quality and make repairs remotely." [Joe Oliveri] A number of major security companies are offering cloud video surveillance solutions apart from the traditional server-based systems, but which is best for the customer? 4. How many megapixels are enough? At what point does additional resolution not matter, or not make economic sense? "The industry commonly holds that 20 pixels/foot is enough for general surveillance, 40 pixels/foot is the minimum for facial recognition and licence plate identification, and 80 pixels/foot is used for higher detail like reading logos, names embroidered on a shirt, etc. " [Jason Spielfogel] 5. What is the value of edge-based storage and in what specific applications? "Recording at the edge frees up network bandwidth and PC processing power, allowing users to view and manage video feeds and store applicable images for later use or transfer to the network when necessary. " [Dave Poulin] 6. How can security integrators replace revenue in the age of commoditisation? "The integrator community needs to learn to embrace what hundreds of other contractor businesses have. They need to improve their predictable cash flow and margin by offering contracted services. Call it what you like – RMR, managed services, monitoring – the description makes no difference. The integrator community simply needs to get off their butt and make it happen. " [Bill Bozeman] 7. How successful was ISC West 2016? Did it meet your expectations? "It was unanimous that 2016 ISC West was the best show we have participated in Arecont Vision history! Activity on the first two days was especially strong with Systems Integrators, Dealers, Distributors, End Users, and A&E/Consultants. These people all came to see our new product line and were especially interested to see the product performance improvements and ease of installation and setup." [Scott Schafer] More of us are depending on social media smart phone apps as a source of information, providing new levels of immediacy that dovetail well into security, specifically in areas of emergency notification 8. What are the physical security challenges of "safe cities" applications, and how is the market meeting those challenges? "One of the challenges is, of course, to make systems from different manufacturers work together. Interoperability is important not only from an operator’s point of view, but also in how cities and their internal divisions should respond to incidents reported by the security systems. " [Per Björkdahl] 9. How should integrators/installers differentiate themselves or make themselves stand out in today’s market? "In today's market, it's all about customer service. Almost every integrator has good product – and most of these products do a lot of the same things – but what sets integrators/installers apart is the level of value-added support they are providing to their accounts. Increased support through training, follow-up, open communication and keeping them informed on emerging technologies can really speak to the needs that end users have and why they will remain loyal.” [Mitchell Kane] 10. What role can social media play in the security marketplace and/or as a tool to promote better security in general? "Social media has weaved its way into our daily lives and is an integral part of our interaction with customers in the marketplace. Social media outlets bring the human element to interfacing with our communities and customers. This humanization allows us to address sensitive topics like the recent events in Orlando and how to take preventative measures in the future." [Melissa Stenger] See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles hereSave Save
Part 8 of our healthcare series Hospitals are challenging environments. A hospital requires oversight 24 hours a day, seven days a week Access control in particular has advanced significantly to offer healthcare facilities the ability to control access remotely, through mobile applications, confirm identity quickly and easily and program varying levels of access for visitors, patients, doctors and staff. Hospitals are challenging environments. A hospital requires oversight 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In particular, integrated systems can allow officials to program various doors and locks to activate at various times and apply rules based on time of day, shift changes, etc. Sensitive materials, such as pharmaceuticals or surgical equipment, demand an entirely different set of access control standards, which means any solution implemented must be easy to use and scalable to fit growing needs. A Security Management System (SMS) can be used to integrate a facility’s access control technologies, digital video and alarm monitoring systems into a single, streamlined solution, says Mitchell Kane, President, Vanderbilt. “One advantage to this type of solution is scalability and flexibility, and its ability to serve multiple sites, which is common in this vertical market,” he says. Meeting each hospital’s unique challenges Every hospital setting has unique challenges. Consider Highlands-Clarksburg Hospital, a 150-bed behavioural psychiatric centre in Clarksburg, West Virginia. It houses patients in a wide range of circumstances, including forensic patients (deemed unfit to stand trial and/or non-restorable), dual-diagnosis substance abuse patients, children and adolescents, and intellectually challenged individuals. Both a card swipe and PIN are required to pass through any controlled doors, to call an elevator, or to cause the elevator to move between floors Because of the nature of the facility, it was determined that a two-step control process was needed to help ensure security and employee safety. Extra security measures were also needed to manage elevator usage, to ensure that high-risk patients are always escorted. To meet the requirement for a two-step security procedure on interior doors, a Galaxy access control system added an additional layer of protection requiring users to input a five-digit PIN code. The same approach was also applied to the elevators controls, taking advantage of the integration between the access control and patient tracking systems. Thus, both a card swipe and PIN are required to pass through any controlled doors, to call an elevator, or to cause the elevator to move between floors. Escorting a patient requires a card swipe, PIN, and the patient tracking reader, or an alarm sounds.In all, the integrator installed 208 readers, 24 power supplies and 20 Galaxy controllers to implement the facility access security system. Sensitive materials, such as pharmaceuticals or surgical equipment, demand an entirely different set of access control standards Securing access to narcotics One area that is recently experiencing rapid growth – and drastic change –is the securing of narcotics within healthcare facilities, says Robert Laughlin, President, Galaxy Control Systems. In the past, all medicine was controlled in a central pharmacy located somewhere in the hospital or health facility. These pharmacies were highly secured areas, with strict access limitations; only authorised staff could get near the medicine stocks. To improve the speed of delivery, and to have the necessary medicines ready at hand for in-patients without retaining a large delivery staff, the current trend is to have distributed pharmaceutical closets or carts that hold medicines much closer to the intended patients. “One consequence of this approach is an increased security challenge to protect these distributed locations and the people that have access to them,” he says. “One solution is to combine the use of new wireless cabinet locks for the storage cabinets and carts with RFID panic devices for the staff. Both of these devices can be integrated into the facility access control systems so that the healthcare facility can monitor the operation and respond quickly to any incidents. “ Managing visitors in multiple scenarios A hospital chain in Orlando, Florida, uses STOPware’s PassagePoint visitor management system at 13 of their hospitals. While all of the hospitals use PassagePoint at the main reception desk to process visitors, each facilities uses PassagePoint a little differently. The large city hospitals use PassagePoint 24 hours a day at their reception desks to process visitors and control the number of visitors in patient rooms. The smaller hospitals use PassagePoint after hours to keep track of visitors in the hospital after regular visiting hours and also deploy Patrol Officers to check the patient units to confirm that visitors are still with the patients. A new system enhancement is placing self-service kiosks in the Emergency Department waiting areas. Loved ones are given instructions to self-register at the kiosk A current new system enhancement project for this hospital chain is placing self-service kiosks in the Emergency Department waiting areas. Loved ones who are authorised to visit Emergency Department patients are given instructions to self-register at the kiosk. A key component of the self-registration is the Emergency Department stretcher where the patient is being treated. Only one key family member is allowed to self-register to visitor and/or stay with the patient. The hospital chain is looking forward to adding Health Level-7 (HL-7) patient integration in order to maintain highly accurate patient room locations. Integrated access and identity management Another hospital used HID Global’s iCLASS SE platform, powered by Seos, to implement a major upgrade to a single, integrated access control and identity management system. The hospital is using the system to rebadge thousands of staff, contractors and volunteers, replacing magnetic stripe cards with more secure and versatile ID badges that can support numerous future access control applications. The upgrade was launched during a major corporate re-branding and expansion initiative, and was implemented in stages over a several-year period. To support this multi-phase project, HID Global provided the institutions with multiCLASS SE readers that simultaneously support magnetic stripe, Indala proximity and higher-security 13.56 MHz smart card technology. In the emergency room, 55 percent of nurses are assaulted in some way each year Another HID Global example highlights a non-physical security example. The hospital selected an integrated, government-certified solution from HID Global that empowers them to attach a digital certificate of identity authentication to a FIPS 140.2 certified credential, using IdenTrust as the Certificate Authority for each authorised prescriber. FIPS 140.2 is a U.S. government computer security standard used to accredit cryptographic modules. The HID Global credentials also include one-time password (OTP) functionality that allows EPCS (Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances) authentication using an OTP, without the need of a desktop reader. With HID integration to Epic EHR (Electronic Health Records software), either the digital certificate or the OTP (with PIN) can be accepted within the EPCS module for two-factor authentication. This provides the convenience for the prescribing physician to choose the authentication mode that best fits his or her workflow in a given scenario. The integrated solution includes: ActivID Credential Management System (CMS), ActivID Authentication Server OMNIKEY reader/encoders and FIPS 140.2 contact credentials with an OTP generator and display window FARGO printers and Asure ID software to print customised credentials HID Professional Services for project management, installation, workflow analysis, training and support. Focus beyond patients to include staff too Healthcare security is often centred on the patient and keeping him or her safe, which is absolutely crucial. However, Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Tyco Security Products, points out that the safety of hospital staff, particularly nurses, can be overlooked. In the emergency room, 55 percent of nurses are assaulted in some way each year, which is a high percentage. The safety of nurses and all hospital staff deserves more attention. Stankevich says one possible solution would be to use duress/emergency notification technology: staff could carry and wear a “panic button” or have a two-key combination on their computer as an alarm trigger. When the staff member hits the panic button, a direct message can be sent to security, alerting security staff about the event and requiring a response. “With Tyco Security Products’ Elpas infant abduction technology and the Lynx duress and notification system, we can pinpoint the alarm down to a six-foot radius, to a specific bed, nurse or location in the facility,” says Stankevich. Read Part 9 of our Security in Healthcare series here
Part 6 of our Security in Healthcare series Lockdown capabilities are an important aspect of safety and security for hospitals, doctor’s offices and medical facilities Hospitals and healthcare institutions increasingly face a reality of workplace violence, attacks on patients, and threats to doctors and other support staff. When these types of conflicts arise, there is an urgent need to lock the facility down quickly. Security professionals and their teams need access control options that allow lockdowns to occur at the touch of a button. Lockdown capabilities are an important aspect of safety and security for hospitals, doctor’s offices and medical facilities, says Mitchell Kane, President, Vanderbilt, a provider of security products and systems encompassing access control, intruder detection, CCTV and integrated security management. Security Management Systems Implementing an enterprise-wide Security Management System takes the necessary steps to ensure certain locations within these facilities remain protected from intruders and unwanted visitors, says Kane. The features that define an SMS include the ability to lock down portions of a hospital or doctor’s office during non-office hours, or to lock rooms that might store valuable patient data and medical files. The features that define an SMS include the ability to lock down portions of a hospital or doctor’s office during non-office hours Having a system in place that allows security officials to communicate these rules quickly and efficiently, through an easy-to-use interface, is a key to adhering to the rules and regulations that govern healthcare facilities. Going further, it helps to have these programmes on a Web-based platform, which streamlines the process and allows changes to be made by security directors wherever there is internet access, says Kane. Mobility is crucial Mobility is also a critical factor in the event of an emergency. Having a mobile application to help grant access, freeze access or change permissions instantaneously is important to this vertical market, along with the ability of security teams and professionals to be able to stay on the move throughout a facility, says Kane. Mobile applications allow security officers to control systems remotely without client software in place, a capability that can give healthcare facilities and hospitals the flexibility to provide access as needs change – and to respond at a moment’s notice. Vanderbilt’s products range from single-user systems to highly customisable applications that fit the needs of leading multi-national corporations. Vanderbilt serves enterprise-level businesses and organisations, such as hospitals and healthcare facilities, with the access control and integrated systems they need to protect assets. It is important that security teams and professionals are able to stay on the move throughout a facility Mass notification possibilities The need for mass notification – another aspect of responding in an emergency – is also growing in the healthcare environment, says Sam Auciello, Business Development, Pasek Corp., an integrator company that serves the healthcare vertical. Various systems can communicate through the fire alarm public address (PA) system to notify people in an emergency, or, alternately, to use email notification, text messaging, pagers, smart phones and/or personal computers (PCs). In lockdown situations, access control systems provide an emergency button with various triggers in the system – a hospital can lockdown specific units or the entire facility. Flexible lockdown capabilities Access control systems offering lockdown capabilities have demonstrated their usefulness in the hospital environment. For example, Henry County Health Center in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, installed Threat Level Manager, a feature of AMAG’s Symmetry access control system, to provide a lockdown capability in the event of an emergency. The health centre can increase its security based on the threat level defined by them. For example, the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department can lock down the entire hospital in the event of a security breach. Active shooter incidents would receive the same response. After a three-phase building upgrade, the Henry County Health Center upgraded to AMAG’s Symmetry Professional access control system to provide the flexibility to add people to groups and grant access. Exterior doors are locked automatically at 10 p.m., and Emergency Room doors are secure throughout the night with ER staff manually granting access to individuals needing medical care. Readers placed outside of elevator doors opening to the surgery centre provide increased access control pharmacies and biohazard areas are more secure because the health centre limits who enters these areas. Henry County Health Center in Iowa installed AMAG's Threat Level Manager to provide emergency lockdown capability Responding to specific threats AMAG sees a trend toward hospitals taking more specific lockdown preventative measures as a result of active shooter and other disruptive threats. AMAG’s Symmetry Threat Level Manager system allows a preconfigured response to be activated immediately that can assist greatly with the operations side of HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] privacy regulations. Henry County Health Center also installed many AMAG Symmetry EN-1DBC Power-over-Ethernet Controllers, which provide a fast, affordable option. Network-based door controllers installed as edge devices close to the doors have proven to be popular for healthcare security system upgrades, according to AMAG. They come online automatically. Integrated solution AMAG Technology manufactures access control, video management and identity management solutions. Hospitals and healthcare facilities install the Symmetry access control system and Symmetry CompleteView Video Management to manage and control and access and provide HIPAA compliance throughout their buildings and campuses. Symmetry’s role as a complete physical security management system is to bring together all the different technologies into one integrated solution for the hospital. Symmetry has a lot of different mechanisms, including XML software development kits (SDKs), which allow all the different components from nearly 100 manufacturers to come together. One of the fastest growing trends is the addition of low-cost and easy-to-install electronic locks to pharmaceutical closets, labs, server racks and rooms of all types. Read Part 7 of our Security in Healthcare series here Save
Access control now includes a strong focus on the data integration side ofthe business, as showcased at this year’s ISC West When the category of physical security emerged many decades ago, it was literally all about locks, hardware and creating barriers such as fences to keep people out. Fast forward to ISC West 2016 in Las Vegas this week, where the focus is on intelligent solutions, smart data, cloud-based access control and incorporating audio, video and a wide range of safeguards in a total, integrated approach. LE-802 Intelligent Audio Analytic System Louroe Electronics, Van Nuys, California, is one of the original pioneers of audio technologies, and as systems continue to merge and converge, the element of sound provides a much-needed added dimension to fortifying physical security applications. Louroe Electronics is unveiling the LE-802 Intelligent Audio Analytic System, offering a robust and easy-to-install application for unattended audio monitoring on specific events analysing the presence of gunshots, aggressive speech, glass breaking and car alarms. The system is a complete hardware and software solution housed in a weather- and vandal-resistant enclosure for outdoor applications. It also integrates with most video management and monitoring systems and works as a standalone edge solution analysing sounds in real time, according to Chris Gaunt, Manager of North American Sales. Connecting audio to video surveillance “Audio security gives you another piece of the puzzle and makes what was a silent movie come to life,” he says, adding that the bread and butter for the company is tying audio to video surveillance, as an attachment to cameras or nearby as an enhancement to surveillance. “For example, in schools, some 80 percent of verbal encounters lead to something aggressive, and now we can do something with preventative audio software,” he says. The company partnered with an analytics company to build the additional audio capabilities into its product, which also fits markets such as public safety, commercial and law enforcement, in addition to education. It also brought to market the Verifact® a gunshot detector for active shooter incidents. Louroe Electronics demonstrated the Verifact® Gunshot Detector at ISC West Data builds intelligent processes A common theme of data and added intelligence was front and centre at the show – getting more from physical security. Vanderbilt Industries, Parsippany, New Jersey, introduced Vanderbilt VI Connect at the show, a custom-configurable data management system that integrates Vanderbilt’s security management system (SMS), with third party, disparate systems of any size to automate business workflow. Automation for error reduction Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries, says the process of access control has changed and now includes a strong focus on the data integration side of the business. “Automating workflow makes the process less labour-intensive and eliminates user error in programming permissions and schedules. The entire process is automated and performed through web interfaces and hosting. Everything we automate means one less thing to do and one less chance of doing something wrong.” VI Connect establishes rules engines and also can provide the systems integrator with detailed security audits and reports for the end user. For example, the solution can be used in higher education environments where student data — demographic information, enrolled courses, housing information and badging settings — can be processed and manipulated through the VI Connect system, ensuring that a student is only allowed to gain access to campus buildings that are relevant to that particular student’s major. CrossChex time attendance and access control management system Anviz, an intelligent security provider with roots in biometric and RFID applications, is making its move to the cloud with the CrossChex Time Attendance and Access Control Management System. The company offers three different levels to expand the scope of specification possibilities: Desktop for small and medium businesses; Professional designed for enterprise web-based management; and Cloud for global enterprise applications. Brian Fazio, Director of Global Sales, Shanghai, China, says the three different versions provide a full solution for every type of user and their specific time and attendance applications. “CrossChex satisfies the time and attendance and access control requirements in different, complicated environments,” he says, and it also provides report management and a mobile application function that can be applied and accessed via smartphones. The lines of typical product categories continue to blur. The focus is on integrating a wide range of solutions to meet the challenges and issues of the end-user customer.
Vanderbilt VI Connect integrates Vanderbilt’s Security Management System with third-party applications Vanderbilt, a global leader in the delivery of innovative, highly reliable technologies that help organisations ensure safety and security, announced recently it will showcase Vanderbilt VI Connect, a custom-configurable data management system, during this year’s ISC West Conference and Expo, being held April 6-8, 2016, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Vanderbilt will also introduce Eric Widlitz, the company’s new Vice President of Sales for North America, at the event. VI Connect Vanderbilt VI Connect integrates Vanderbilt’s Security Management System (SMS) with third-party applications by automating business workflows between disparate systems. Designed for enterprise and higher education facilities, VI Connect dramatically reduces the time it takes to update records in multiple systems, and allows users to automate management of door access, One Card transactions, event management and privilege control systems. VI Connect helps to reduce the workload of system administrators and eliminates the need to manually input data into multiple systems. The system allows for real-time, detailed management of student or employee records such as university or office affiliation, dormitory assignment or course enrolment. Privileges based on this data help to determine an employee or student’s access control permissions, which are automatically assigned in the SMS. Eric Widlitz joins Vanderbilt as VP of Sales, North America In his role as Vice President of Sales, Widlitz will be responsible for the management of the North American sales team, remaining focused on expanding the company’s reach in target markets. Additionally, he will work with existing channel partners, while expanding technology and integration relationships into underserved networks. Widlitz spent the last 20 years with HID Global, where he served in such roles as Managing Director of Identity and Access Management, Americas; Vice President, OEM Channel and Government Applications; Manager of Technology and Government Applications; and Western Regional Sales Representative, among others. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont. “We are excited to have Eric take the helm of the sales team here in the North American market,” said Mitchell Kane, President, Vanderbilt. “Eric brings a wealth of management and leadership experience in the security and access control markets. As Vanderbilt continues to expand its business capacity, he will be the right person to shape the best sales strategy and execute these goals to accommodate our ongoing growth.” Access control trends in the education sector Vanderbilt end users, technology partners and integrators will participate in the SIA Education@ISC panel, “Access Control Trends in the Education Sector,” from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, April 7, in Room 307 in the Sands Expo Center. Moderated by Martha Entwistle, Editor of Security Systems News, the session will explore trends in access control in an educational setting, how integration plays a key role and ways in which universities can utilise their access control systems in an emergency situation. Representatives from the College of Saint Rose and Ripon College will be on hand to discuss the threats today’s universities face and how these threats can be mitigated through advances in access control technology.
Product innovation may have slowed in the security market in the second half of the year. On the first day of the ASIS International Show in Anaheim, California, new product introductions seemed few and far between. In fact, most manufacturers were touting small improvements to the products they announced in the spring. Some emphasised that the products unveiled (or “previewed”) in the spring are now fully ready to be shipped. ASIS has historically been more an end user show than an integrator show, although several exhibitors noted that they are being visited by both integrators and end users. Grumbling about low attendance was common on the first day, especially booths located at the back of the hall, who were still waiting patiently late in the day for visitors to “filter through.” Without a lot of product news, the emphasis is on expanded service offerings aimed at making life easier for integrators and to improve total cost of ownership (TCO) for end users. Without a lot of product news, the emphasis is on expanded service offerings aimed at making life easier for integrators and to improve total cost of ownership (TCO) for end users QR codes for enhanced customer service There were plenty of examples of innovative approaches. For example, a QR (“quick response”) code on March Networks’ products can be scanned to provide information on the model (serial number, etc.), and also to set up an express RMA (return merchandise authorisation). The QR code also triggers a diagnostic programme that can troubleshoot a product based on which LED lights are aglow, for example, and whether they are green or red. Addition of a WiFi dongle can even allow simple remote programming of a network video recorder (NVR). Use of QR codes is part of March Networks’ emphasis on providing additional serviceability to integrators and even end users -- including its Guru smartphone app to provide service functions and in-field diagnostic support. The idea is to save integrators the cost of “rolling a truck” if possible and/or to get the integrator in and out as fast as possible. HDR imaging for ATM security On the product side, March Networks is introducing the MegaPX ATM Camera that incorporates high dynamic range (HDR), a next generation technology that samples the lightest and darkest areas and balances lighting to get the best image. It offers better performance than wide dynamic range (WDR). The new ATM camera has a compact design, robust mounting brackets and doesn’t have a tether like some cameras use to connect the lens with the imager and processor. Opening the door to the ATM frequently for service can strain the tether and cause damage to the camera -- the new self-contained model doesn’t have that problem. Adding value with online training Training is another way to add value, and Milestone is emphasising its Learning and Performance Program, the new name for the Milestone Knowledge Program. The idea is to help the reseller channel with a brand new certification program and expanded training offerings. “We want to build expertise in our channel,” says Greg Willmarth, Milestone’s manager, instructional design. “It’s not just about products, but knowledge and how to apply that knowledge. The longer an install takes, the less profit there is, and we really want to help them develop their teams to be technical superstars.” In addition to reseller training, Milestone now offers e-learning for the end user community, including a programme called “Getting Started with the XProtect Smart Client” -- available for free on a flash drive that can be plugged into a laptop. Given that there is a lot of turnover among end user employees who are tasked with operating the system, the e-learning tool quickly teaches the basics of interacting with XProtect -- how to navigate, how to export video, etc. "We want to build expertise in ourchannel. It’s not just about products,but knowledge and how to apply thatknowledge. The longer an install takes,the less profit there is, and we reallywant to help them develop their teamsto be technical superstars", says GregWillmarth, Milestone’s manager,instructional design Customer is supreme for Vanderbilt Vanderbilt is another company that emphasises customer relationships over product sales. Their approach is to maintain a relationship directly with end user customers as well as with integrators. “We came up through the integration world,” says Mitchell Kane, Vanderbilt’s president. “It’s in our DNA. It’s how we go to market. We give them attention and it’s appreciated. The end users we serve have a personal connection.” “We’re a customer service organisation,” he adds. “We also happen to manufacture products. It’s all about customer support.” On the product side, I saw an interesting product today at the Comnet booth. It’ a 1 gigabits-per-second Free Space Optical link for wireless data transmission over distances up to a mile (1.5 kilometres). Suitable for video signal backhaul type applications, the four integrated LASER transmitters provide low latency and high security to enable the units to provide a true alternative to fibere optics. There are no licensing requirements on a global basis for the full duplex Ethernet channel. More tomorrow on the second day of the show...
Gaul will be responsible for supporting Vanderbilt’s security integration partners and end users in the Midwest Vanderbilt, a global leader in the delivery of innovative, highly reliable technologies that help organisations ensure safety and security, recently announced the addition of Stephen Gaul as the new Midwest Regional Sales Manager. Supporting end-users and integration partners: Gaul has more than 30 years of physical security and low voltage experience, bringing a diverse background to Vanderbilt. He has 18 years of system integrator experience, specifically in access control, video surveillance, intrusion and fire alarm sales and design. In his role as Midwest Regional Sales Manager for Vanderbilt, Gaul will be responsible for supporting Vanderbilt’s security integration partners and end users in the Midwest, as well as cultivating new reseller relationships. “I am excited to join the Vanderbilt team and look forward to helping build our sales in the growing Midwest region,” Gaul said. “I look forward to being a part of the dynamic Vanderbilt organisation, and building new levels of sales success by leveraging my physical security and low voltage experience.” Previous role: Gaul joins Vanderbilt after a 10-year run as Regional Manager for the Integrated Security Solutions Group at ASSA ABLOY. He has extensive experience interfacing with security integrators, creating user demand, and working with security consultants and the engineering community. He holds an MBA from Concordia University, and a Certified Security Professional (PSP) from ASIS International. “As Vanderbilt builds upon its leadership in access control and beyond, we look to add key members to our leadership team that will help drive continued success,” said Mitchell Kane, President, Vanderbilt. “Stephen’s broad knowledge of the security market will help establish Vanderbilt’s leadership across multiple product segments and has the ability to build rapport within key partners in the Midwest region.”
The partnership combines Vanderbilt’s security management solutions with SwiftData’s Pinwheel DME Vanderbilt, a global leader in the delivery of innovative, highly reliable technologies that help organisations ensure safety and security, announced recently a strategic partnership with SwiftData Technology, a provider of custom-configurable data management systems. The partnership combines Vanderbilt’s industry-leading access control and security management solutions with SwiftData’s Pinwheel Data Management Engine (DME) to form Vanderbilt VI Connect powered by Pinwheel. Pinwheel DME is a custom-configurable data management system designed to automate business workflows between disparate systems. When used in conjunction with Vanderbilt’s Security Management System (SMS), Pinwheel DME loads the appropriate users and maintains account records in the various connected systems, and ensures access permissions are consistent. For example, SwiftData takes the information associated with a student enrolled in a university who lives in a specific dorm, including demographic information, courses they are enrolled in, housing information, and badging settings, and passes it on to Vanderbilt’s SMS. If that student majors in biology, the system would allow her to access the biology department buildings, as well as her dorm room and cafeteria. SwiftData gathers this disparate information and facilitates the coordination of these various systems. The combination of Vanderbilt and SwiftData technology “The problem with data integration is that it is very vendor-dependent — specific vendors work well with their own systems — but they all have to integrate with other platforms to allow users to gain the most value from security and business data,” said Brian Adoff, Co-Founder/Head of Business Development, SwiftData Technology. “The combination of Vanderbilt and SwiftData enables customers to capitalise on the investments they have already made in access control technology, while offering more robust features than other systems on the market today.” Vanderbilt has significant traction in the education market and this allows SwiftData to partner with existing customers to better streamline information flow and management. “Our partnership with SwiftData enables our technology to be deployed in an even more robust fashion, highlighting various capabilities to fuse data and sensors in an innovative, easy-to-deploy way,” said Mitchell Kane, President, Vanderbilt. “End users can do more with a Vanderbilt security management solution, and can accomplish their goals in a cost-effective manner. The partnership with SwiftData is a win for our customers because it allows us to deliver unique capabilities and more critical data to our customer base.”
Vanderbilt Industries and IDV Solutions, LLC recently announced that the companies have formed a technical partnership and completed an integration of Vanderbilt’s SMS physical access control system (PACS) with IDV Solutions’ Visual Command Center® enterprise risk visualisation (ERV) platform. Using a combination of the two technologies, security operations teams can visualise alarms for events like doors propped open, windows forced, or unauthorised entry attempts. Visual Command Center provides context for alarms, showing the building location, nearby assets, and surrounding events; such as current and forecast weather, natural disasters, terrorist threats or the release of hazardous materials. Vanderbilt Industries is a global leader in creating state-of-the-art security systems. The company innovates access control technology by designing, manufacturing and distributing systems that make environments safe, secure and easy to maintain. Vanderbilt’s products range from single-user systems so simple that they can be installed in one day to highly customised applications that fit the unique requirements of leading multi-national corporations. Visual Command Center provides security operations teams with a single enterprise platform for risk awareness and response which visualises a company’s assets — such as buildings, employee locations, corporate events and supply routes — along with events that may threaten those assets on an interactive map and timeline. When Visual Command Center detects a potential threat near an asset or employee location, it automatically alerts operators, who can use powerful visualisation, filtering, and query tools to assess the threat, and then proactively mitigate risk. “With our many enterprise-level clients, integration to Visual Command Center is a critical component in managing the security ecosystem,” said Mitchell Kane, Vanderbilt President. “Partnering with IDV enables us to offer an additional level of functionality and ease of use, that complex organisations seek.” “Connecting Visual Command Center to a Vanderbilt Industries PACS will give users real-time alerts and the tools needed to assess threats, without having to switch between applications during an emergency,” said Ian Clemens, Chief Technical Officer and co-founder, IDV Solutions. “This provides security teams a consolidated view of everything that’s happening, supporting them as they take action to protect people and facilities.”