Articles by Ron Alalouff
The new scanner can quickly screen large groups of people without needing them to stop or slow down Most body scanners are designed to work one person at a time, checkpoint style. QinetiQ has developed a scanner that can be used in crowded places without having to slow down or stop moving targets. The body scanner, capable of detecting hidden explosives or weapons on a person, has been demonstrated publicly in the United Kingdom for the first time. The QinetiQ SPO-NX SPO-NX from QinetiQ – a company spun out of the UK’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) in 2001 – can quickly screen large groups of people for concealed weapons or explosives in a passive, non-intrusive way, without needing people to stop or slow down. The system was built into the immersive Securing Crowded Places Demonstrator at UK Security Expo 2016 last November, consisting of three linked zones set in and close to the entrance of the Olympia exhibition centre in London. To safeguard privacy, the system does not generate images of the body beneath the subject’s clothing. Instead, it displays a video-style image of the subject with a “threat level” overlaid when it detects unusual objects concealed on an individual, enabling law enforcement or security personnel to investigate further. The system is entirely passive and does not emit radiation. Upgraded security screening In 2014, the USA’s Transport Security Administration (TSA) awarded QinetiQ a 24-month contract to implement the technology. The system – an upgrade from the QinetiQ SPO-7R already in use by the US Transportation Security Administration – enables the operator to scan crowds and search for anomalies, without the need to disrupt the flow of foot traffic through the area, minimising inconvenience and enabling security screening in locations where it was impractical before. (Click to see larger image) The QinetiQ SPO-NX is designed to operate in relatively large, open spaces such as a train station concourse “The law enforcement community has been asking for this solution for many years,” says Colin Cameron, Technical Leader, Protective Security Technologies at QinetiQ. “Under the supervision of the Transportation Security Administration, some law enforcement teams have been using the technology at special events and on some of the country’s busiest mass transit systems, including rail, metro and commuter ferry. Last Thanksgiving holiday, for example, it was deployed as part of enhanced security measures at Washington Union Station in central Washington DC.” Passive Millimetre Wave Technology The scanning system uses Passive Millimetre Wave Technology, which exploits part of the electromagnetic spectrum that sits between visible/infrared and radio. “It therefore has characteristics of both parts, so for example we can build pseudo-optical cameras in a similar way to infrared cameras, but we can also see through materials and obscurants just like radio waves can penetrate these materials,” explains Cameron. “So for security applications, we can build sensors that can sense or see through materials and obscurants. In the case of the SPO-NX system, we exploit this approach to find potential suicide bombers or people with large concealed weapons.” But with what sort of numbers of people can the system operate and at what rate? Facial recognition systems operating on moving video targets, for example, can be limited to a certain number of faces caught in a single frame of video. “At the UK Security Expo we achieved a rate of 380 people an hour, but this was limited by the particular concept of operation and other factors. It takes about four to five seconds to scan one person, so throughput rates could be significantly higher.” Operator-controlled scanning Unlike airport scanning systems that mostly require people to pass through a “checkpoint” arrangement, the SPO-NX is designed to operate in relatively large, open spaces such as a train station concourse, but without necessarily scanning all of the people all of the time. Whether the deployment of such a system in Brussels or Paris could have detected the guns and explosives being carried by the perpetrators of those terrorist attacks is a matter for speculation. "The SPO-NX system is completely passive and privacy-protecting" “Depending on the concept of operation at a particular event or location, the operator may or may not wish to scan 100% of people passing the sensor,” explains Cameron. “There is a trade-off between scanning people that have no restriction placed on them for security versus slowing people or funnelling people through a checkpoint of some type to ensure 100% scanning – even if it is a high throughput checkpoint. Different users are likely to use this technology in different ways and random sampling of crowds is certainly one viable approach.” To get an idea of the scale and scope of operation, it helps to consider the range limits of the SPO-NX. The standard model has a range of 6m to 15m. A longer-range option will also be available, with a range of up to around 25m with a larger front lens on the sensor. This moves the security perimeter further back, making the earlier detection of a threat possible, explains Cameron, especially where there is a high throughput of people flowing into a contained space. By scanning the crowd before they converge, risk is managed without the need to funnel or slow down the footfall further. At present the scanner is operator-controlled, but part of the roadmap at QinetiQ is the development of automated tracking. Privacy-protected scanning system So, what differentiates this system from other scanning systems available? “The SPO-NX system is completely passive and privacy-protecting,” says Cameron. “It is therefore safe and easy for end users to deploy, because there are no privacy or other regulatory issues to navigate that some competitive systems have. It also allows fully non-cooperative scanning – people being scanned do not need to stop or pause their journey and do not need to divest any objects from their pockets or from their person.” “SPO-NX is a portable system that can be set up by one person in less than five minutes. This makes it a cost-effective asset that can be re-deployed at a new venue or location as required. Alternatively, it can be fixed permanently on a wall or ceiling mount. It is a real-time system, self-calibrates and can be operated locally at the sensor head or, for example, remotely from a CCTV control room.”
Hikvision has been in the news in the United Kingdom recently, including a front page news story in The Times. SourceSecurity.com offered Keen Yao, Vice President at Hikvision’s International Business Centre, a chance to set the record straight regarding concerns expressed about hacking of cameras, the company’s ties to the Chinese state, and its role as the biggest video surveillance equipment manufacturer in the world. Hikvision has come a long way in the past few years. Since it was established in 2001, it has become a dominant force in the global video surveillance market, with annual revenues for 2015 standing at around $3.75 billion. Now in 2016, it has a market capitalisation of more than $20 billion, employs over 18,000 people and has 40 wholly-owned subsidiaries or shareholdings companies worldwide. In mainland China alone, Hikvision partners with more than 40,000 distributors, system integrators and installers. According to research data from IHS Markit, Hikvision accounted for an almost 20% share of the global video surveillance market in 2015, up from just 4.6% in 2010. And its success is not limited to Asia – the company is ranked number one in the EMEA region with a 12.2% market share, and second in the Americas with 7.3% share. Security concerns voiced It is perhaps this spectacular growth that has fuelled some of the claims and concerns about the company, most recently in the UK in a front-page article in The Times. While highlighting the company’s success – in the UK it has sold more than a million cameras and recorders installed at sites such as government buildings, airports and sports stadiums – the article questioned whether there is sufficient oversight of the security implications of foreign involvement in critical infrastructure. The concerns were raised in the wake of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s delayed approval of the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, which is to be financed in part by China. "The recent Times reportincluded many inaccuraciesabout Hikvision and videosurveillance technology ingeneral" The article also questioned the ownership of Hikvision and its links to the government, claiming that the Chinese state holds a “controlling 42% stake” in the company. I asked Yao about their ownership structure: “The ownership structure of Hikvision, like many global, independent, publicly traded companies, is complex, and includes a diverse set of private and public shareholders.” According to Hikvision, 42% of the company’s shares are owned by China Electronics Technology HIK Group (CETHIK) and CETC No. 52 Research Institute; both are part of CETC, a state-owned enterprise. Just over 18% is privately owned by a Hong Kong businessman, 8.5% is owned by the company’s founders and executives, and the remaining 31% is owned by A-shares investors, including international institutional investors such as UBS and JP Morgan. “The recent Times report included many inaccuracies about Hikvision and video surveillance technology in general. Hikvision is a global, independent, publicly traded company. It is not ‘controlled by the Chinese government’,” noted Yao. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities? The Times article also suggested that the company’s cameras could be hacked by Chinese government agents. Yao said cybersecurity vulnerability is a concern for all manufacturers, including Hikvision, which has “industry-leading cybersecurity best practices.” The company has an established network and information security lab, which is responsible for setting security standards, performing security evaluations and testing, and responding to security issues. It has also partnered with several security data and analytics companies to perform penetration tests and vulnerability assessments of its products. “Hikvision does not provide access to any government for unlawful surveillance through our equipment and is committed to maintaining the highest privacy standards,” said Yao. “We need to move away from outdated Cold War stereotypes and concentrate on solving the serious problems our global society faces today,” said Yao. “The real threat to the law-abiding citizens in the UK and elsewhere is terrorism and criminal activity.” "We need to move away fromoutdated Cold War stereotypesand concentrate on solving theserious problems our globalsociety faces today" R&D commitment Hikvision’s commitment to technology is apparent in its R&D team of over 7,100 engineers. Hikvision says its significant R&D investment has led to notable advances in video image processing, video and audio codec, video content analysis, streaming media network transmission and control, video and audio data storage, cloud computing, big data, deep learning, video structuralisation and others innovations. “Hikvision has achieved a competitive advantage in both technology and cost by establishing a systematic technology and product platform that enhances the product development efficiency,” said Yao. Meanwhile, Hikvision has established partnerships with world technology leaders including Intel. Commenting on the market research findings during IFSEC 2016 in London earlier this year, Cynthia Ho, Vice President at Hikvision said: "We are delighted to see Hikvision's rankings in the CCTV and video surveillance equipment sector increase once again on the previous year’s figures. This is thanks to our team’s hard work and the company’s continuous R&D innovation.” “Hikvision is dedicated to advancing the convergence of technologies, and the development of complete end-to-end security solutions, as was illustrated with the launch of many new product ranges and technologies at IFSEC 2016,” said Ho. Just a sample of these included PanoVu, Turbo HD 3.0 and a high-performance thermal camera range, as well as products with intelligent analytics for use within retail, transportation and building management applications. Save Save Save Save Save Save
The global market for security as a service is set to grow from $921 million in 2016 to $1.49 billion by 2020 The global security as a service market is made up of video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) and access control as a service (ACaaS). With video surveillance as a service, the user pays on a yearly, quarterly or monthly basis for the ability to view live or recorded surveillance data. Using access control as a service, the customer pays a subscription to have a server which manages the access control system. The global market for security as a service is set to grow from $921 million in 2016 to $1.49 billion by 2020, according to a new report. Market research company Technavio says the market for security as a service will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 12.7% a year during the period 2016-2020. Currently, according to its new report ‘Global Security as a Service Market 2016-2020’, the Americas is by far the largest region showing 2016 revenues at $595 million; with Asia-Pacific at $142 million; and Europe, Middle East and Africa at $185 million. “The increasing need for high-level data and identity security in corporate firms, coupled with an increasing amount of critical and confidential data, is compelling large enterprises and SMEs to implement ACaaS,” explains Technavio analyst Amrita Choudhury. “The increased use of mobile devices for professional and personal use makes the devices vulnerable to attacks. Enterprises are adopting ACaaS for greater control over access to applications and sensitive information from remote locations.” Fighting retail shrinkage with VSaaS Choudhury says the market is split into three end-user segments – commercial, government, and residential. The commercial sector is the largest, accounting for around 56% of the market. Within this sector, retail firms are the biggest users of security as a service, as many already have in place video surveillance, electronic article surveillance and radio frequency identification systems. Increasing retail shrinkage will encourage more retailers to adopt effective strategies such as the installation of advanced surveillance systems to enhance their security Retail shrinkage in the US rose from around 1.27% of sales in 2013-2014 to over 1.96% of sales during 2014-2015. Shoplifting was the biggest cause of retail shrinkage in most countries in 2015. Since users in the retail sector need to have significant space for video storage and tamper-proof or tamper-evident systems, it is not surprising that they are major potential users of security as a service. Increasing retail shrinkage will encourage more retailers to adopt effective strategies such as the installation of advanced surveillance systems to enhance their security solutions. These are increasingly using high resolution cameras which are bandwidth hungry and more expensive than conventional surveillance cameras. Similarly, the financial sector is a big user of security systems such as surveillance in banks and at ATMs. US to dominate international markets In the United States, the increasing demand for real-time identification of threats and transmitting information to law enforcement officials is driving the adoption of advanced security systems in the region. Analysts estimate that the Americas will account for more than 64% of the total revenue share of the market by 2020 and will also dominate the market throughout the forecast period. “From criminal activity to predictive analytics and marketing, organisations in the public as well as the private sector are benefitting from video surveillance,” says Choudhury. “The accuracy of the video surveillance technology has completely changed the way criminal cases are being tried. End-users are becoming aware about the benefits of video surveillance that provide a good amount of information to help manage, monitor and resolve some of the critical situations.” Suppliers of video products and solutions are also upbeat about video surveillance as a service. “The two main advantages of VSaaS for the customer are function and finance,” says Xander van Baarsen, Marketing Manager for Panasonic Cloud Management Service Europe. “VSaaS comes with low start-up costs and low recurring costs, making it easy to start and easy to scale. Because of constant development, the customer is never out of date: every month comes with new features, bug fixes and application updates.” One brake on the rapid growth of video surveillance as a service is the cost of providing a hosted video service Measured growth for VSaaS But despite the optimism, van Baarsen sounds a note of caution. “VSaaS hasn't yet shown a rapid growth but it has been proven to have both functional [and] financial advantages compared to traditional systems. In the coming years, we expect to see growth for VSaaS in the SME and SOHO markets. With upcoming features like improved, user-friendly software and cameras that connect not only over Wi-Fi but also via mobile networks, we predict the VSaaS market will grow beyond the traditional [user markets].” Panasonic offers several VSaaS products, such as Cameramanager, a cloud-based surveillance solution which comes with desktop and mobile applications, as well as a range of indoor and outdoor cameras. The Cameramanager video stream is available as an API, so it can be integrated into range of solutions. In addition, the recently launched Nubo – claimed to be the world’s first monitoring camera that connects over 4G – opens the market to areas which may be isolated or outside Wi-Fi locations. Meanwhile Bosch Security Systems, which offers a range of remote video services for central monitoring stations, says with its cloud-based monitoring services, central monitoring stations can prevent damage, verify intruder alarms, increase the safety of employees and support business processes – all remotely. "VSaaS hasn't yet shown rapidgrowth but has been proven tohave both functional andfinancial advantages comparedto traditional systems" “The central monitoring station does not have to invest in an expensive video platform to do remote video monitoring,” says Bosch’s Head of Cloud-based Services Michael Gürtner, “and due to the seamless integration of our solution in the existing alarm automation platform, the CMS can operate the video services very efficiently. Customers benefit from less hardware costs and less installation time compared with traditional on-site surveillance, since no DVR and no VPN is needed. The camera connects directly and securely to the cloud and can be configured remotely.”Barriers to expansion So are there any barriers to the rapid deployment of security as a service around the world? While the security systems market is becoming increasingly global, expanding business across Europe is still problematic, due to the “complex and restrictive nature of security product certification” in these countries, according to Technavio’s Amrita Choudhury. “Manufacturers are facing uncertainty regarding the standards against which the security solutions should be developed,tested, and certified.” Another brake on the rapid growth of video surveillance as a service is the cost of providing a hosted video service. Another is the nature of broadband connections – many are asymmetric, meaning that the upload speed is often much lower than the download speed. India is one of the fastest growing markets in the region, with Indian organisations using on average around 250 cameras per installation. The surveillance market in India is expected to grow at a rapid pace because of the country's focus on developing smart cities and the increasing need for better security and safety. “The primary reason for the growth of the region's market is the emergence of many SMEs, which are rapidly adopting video surveillance devices. The region is also predicted to adopt new technologies such as cloud-based services.” Save Save
CSR applies to the security industry in many different ways and can be practised by small or large businesses What exactly is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and how does it apply to the security industry? Let’s look at how two very different companies – Axis Communications and FGH Security – each put CSR at the heart of their operations. Corporate Social Responsibility means different things to different people, and is often used as a catchall for one or more policy areas such as environmental sustainability, philanthropy, integrity and transparency, ethical business and employee welfare. CSR even has an international standard to provide guidelines for its followers – ISO 26000. Its goal is to contribute to global sustainable development by encouraging business and other organisations to practice social responsibility to improve their impact on their workers, natural environments and communities. CSR applies to the security industry in many different ways and can be practised by small or large businesses, and by both suppliers of electronic security products and services and guarding companies. Here we look at two security businesses that put CSR at the heart of what they do. Axis Communications’ CSR strategy Network video manufacturer Axis Communications, based in Lund, Sweden, focuses on four areas when it comes to what it terms sustainability: environmental considerations; social responsibility; economic responsibility; and business ethics. The company’s activities cover these areas: Employee welfare: Axis works for increased equality and diversity within the business, following national laws where it operates and imposes the same demands on partners and suppliers. Philanthropy (giving): Axis employees, for example, were involved in a year-long project to set up a computer classroom at a girls’ secondary school in rural Tanzania. Environmental: The most important areas for the company are product material and product energy performance, carbon footprint and supplier environmental performance. For example, 70 percent of Axis products are now PVC-free and the company has also reduced the amount of packaging used. Local communities: Axis has been involved in a scheme which, among other things, offers trainee positions to refugees who have obtained a residence permit in Sweden. Several regional offices engage in volunteer work, one example being working with housing projects for “socially exposed” people in the United States. Integrity and transparency: Axis is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm Exchange and abides by the Swedish Code of Corporate Governance, with its sustainability reporting carried out in accordance with GRI G4 guidelines. Ethical business: The company says it has zero tolerance of corruption, with almost all employees signed up to an agreement where they undertake not to accept bribes or participate in corruption. Anti-corruption training is also part of the introductory programme for new employees. “Axis aims to make sustainability an integrated part of its business strategy and operations, where continuous improvements are made at all levels,” says Per Björkdahl, Director of Business Development. The company’s sustainability strategy supports and embraces the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact. As in other industries, sustainability in the security industry is growing to become more and more important Green design and impact on society Some CSR activities are closely aligned with the company’s operations, such as the Green Design Evaluation Form, which is used to make product development focus on environmental aspects. Other activities go beyond apparent company interests – for example, providing security cameras to a rhino sanctuary in South Africa to help prevent poaching. “Of course, customers are increasingly demanding that we take responsibility not just for our products and services, but also for issues relating to the environment and business ethics,” says Björkdahl. “A corporate culture that promotes sustainability also helps us attract and retain the best employees. But most of all, Axis is a part of society and it’s important that we also take responsibility for the development of our society.” “As in other industries, sustainability in the security industry is growing to become more and more important. The security industry is growing, and we therefore need to take more responsibility for our impact on our society. There are no reasons why anyone should not be engaged!” Integrating CSR policies with regular activities But practising CSR is not just for large organisations. UK-based guarding and event management company FGH Security has integrated its CSR policies – such as managing its carbon footprint – with its day-to-day activities. The firm, which is completing its ISO 14001 application, aims to go carbon-neutral in 2017 by planting around 4,000 trees on its customers’ sites. It is also working hard to go paperless and to run greener vehicles, though the lack of charging points is hampering progress on this front. "The security industry is growing,and we therefore need to takemore responsibility for our impacton our society. There are noreasons why anyone should notbe engaged!" Staff welfare is also high on the agenda at FGH Security. For example, the company provides meals for all its staff when working at festivals. Any employee who wants to take part in any sport receives sponsorship of £100 to get started, and all staff take part in personal development. In addition, all managers receive a paid day per year to work in a similar role as a volunteer at a charity. “This benefits the charity primarily, but managers come back with fresh ideas on how they can work better,” explains Peter Harrison, Managing Director at FGH. The company and its employees take part in many other fundraising and charitable activities, such as providing stewards free of charge to the local CancerCare charity. FGH Security’s 10 CSR beliefs “We have ten company beliefs; they are on the wall in every office, in our marketing material and an important part of how we operate,” says Harrison. “Although we have a CSR policy for the purposes of tenders, in practice we felt CSR is something that has to run through the organisation and not sit to one side, as many policies do.” The ten beliefs are: Quality people in quality places Take a long-term view and act sustainably Seek inspiration from outside the industry Reputation is our most valued asset Our business relationships are like partnerships Everyone takes part in personal development Be the benchmark for others and set new norms of behaviour Give all our people the chance to train to the next level Find new ways of giving back to society Look after our people and they will look after our customers There are various other schemes and one-off gifts for employees. “People want to work for companies like ours and people like doing business with us. More than anything, the company shareholders like to help other people and society in general. We think if every company could do a little bit more then we feel the world could be such a better place.” Save
It’s become a hot topic lately, but what are the real prospects for the smart home and home automation market? More specifically, what role can the security industry play in what is seen as a growth area? Earlier this year, IFSEC International in London saw the launch of a new home automation zone featuring a replica smart home, showcasing a range of interconnected devices such as intruder alarms, CCTV, biometric readers, door entry solutions and locks, as well as wireless control of blinds, lighting and heating, and 4K video and audio distribution. But despite the market entry of some big names such as Google’s Nest, Apple’s HomeKit, and telecommunications giants AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, are we really on the threshold of a home automation revolution? Not quite, according to market intelligence firm Ovum. It says growth is still limited to certain niche segments – mainly the higher end of the market and early adopters of technology. Michael Philpott, Senior Practice Leader, Consumer Services at Ovum says one of the main drivers is basic product lifecycles – if you are having a new boiler and thermostat fitted, why not get the latest ‘smart’ version? “What the market has failed to do is convince the mass-market that smart technology provides enough benefit to stimulate a purchase outside of the normal cycle.” Security and privacy There are other reasons for the measured growth in home automation. Key inhibitors to rapid growth include technology fragmentation, a lack of adequate security, products too complicated to use or install, a lack of consumer trust and concerns over reliability. “Many of the products on the market today have inadequate security and provide easy targets for hackers, not just to gain access to those devices, but the connected home in general,” says Philpott. “Privacy of data is the next [concern]. To maximise the potential of the smart home, consumers will be asked to share an increasing amount of data and personal information. Keeping control of who can access that data, however, will be essential in order to retain consumer trust.” In spite of these hurdles, Ovum sees the smart home market growing quite strongly, with worldwide revenues rising from $19 billion in 2016 to $76 billion by 2020. Breaking down that 2016 figure, connected home support accounts for around $3.6 billion, home automation is just $162 million, home security/monitoring is at $2.7 billion, and smart energy at $1.2 billion. Products like Google Nest and Sonos are making everyone aware of the benefits of smart technology and whole-house solutions So why are telecommunications companies such as AT&T and Deutsche Telekom active in the market, or at least preparing to be? “Telcos are looking for new revenue streams beyond broadband access,” says Philpott. “Operators believe that over time the smart home market will be significant and believe [that] as the owners of the networks, as well as having existing customer relations with millions of consumers, they are well positioned to play a part in the smart home.” Security industry role In terms of a service which can attract recurring revenue, the security industry can play a pivotal role in the smart home market. “Recurring revenues from home automation services are harder to develop outside of home security, where customers are already used to paying a monthly fee for a security monitoring service,” says Philpott. “There are other potential and interesting business models being explored, however, that could become significant over time. These include things like new home insurance models, appliance-as-a-service and household goods replenishment.” Does this mean the home automation market is about to take off? “One of the big mistakes many make is that they assume – based on some of the hype and big market investments – that the smart home market is set to explode,” he says. “This is not the case – growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that, rather than expecting some rapid ramp up simply because some big names have entered the market.” "Operators believe that over time the smart home market will be significant and believe [that] they are well positioned to play a part in the smart home" Surprisingly for what has historically been something of a grudge purchase, in the context of home automation security is seen as a solution some consumers are willing to pay for. “There is a lot of interest around home security as it is something that a certain segment of the market is willing to pay for,” says Philpott. “Everyone wants to feel safe in their homes, but that doesn’t mean everyone feels the need to invest in an electronic alarm or monitoring system. The trick therefore is to expand outside the traditional home alarm market. Other products can be monetised, but the industry needs to be more innovative in developing the business model. For example, very few people will pay $100 for a flood sensor, but they may consider installing one if it meant they somehow reduced their home insurance premiums.” High end sees growth But what’s the view from the sharp end of the market? Installation company Cyberhomes works predominantly in the high-end residential market in the UK and has seen steady growth over the last few years. As one of the firm’s directors, Andy Mack, says: “There is an increased expectation that properties of £4m value or greater will have a centralised control system for lighting, heating, AV and security. Once these systems are integrated it allows a wide range of automation options to be programmed, such as turning on lights when an intruder alarm is triggered.” Mack says an increased awareness among project designers and specifiers is a key driver. “At the high-end, architects and interior designers are more aware of the need to integrate home technology and the importance of having it professionally installed; whereas at the entry level, products like Google Nest and Sonos are making everyone aware of the benefits of smart technology and whole-house solutions.” But who is likely to benefit from the spoils of the smart home – companies like Cyberhomes or security integrators? “Many home automation specialists, Cyberhomes included, will work closely with security integrators in order to provide a seamless solution for the home owner. Security companies like Co-ordinated, who we partner with on many projects, are aware of what can be achieved by integrating intruder alarms and fire detection into a home control system; but they leave the specialist programming to us.” The lack of customer knowledge hinders the uptake of smart home technology, but that is improving Market threats The lack of customer knowledge hinders the uptake of smart home technology, but that is improving as more people understand what integrated smart home technology is capable of. As for the other threats to its adoption, Mack says: “A home automation company should be involved with the network infrastructure of a property and will ‘lock down’ as many security risks as possible. A well-designed and well-installed smart home should be extremely reliable. We are often called in to try and solve problems with an existing smart home system installed by someone else, and it is usually a poor installation that is causing many of the unreliability issues, rather than the equipment itself.” Is a fragmented market with differing technology and standards putting off potential customers? “Not in the high-end sector, as it is the responsibility of the home automation company to specify only products that they know will work correctly with the control system being installed – this can incorporate a surprisingly wide range of third-party equipment from a large number of manufacturers." “For entry level customers, there are a number of competing standards around and this can cause confusion and also limit the useful lifetime of any chosen solution. Companies like Apple are trying to simplify this with technologies like HomeKit, but that is taking a while to get any traction in the market.” Save
Budget cuts are causing councils to scale down their systems, or decommission them altogether Budget cuts in England and Wales are leading to cameras being switched off to save money. But why is this happening and what could be done to minimise the impact on public space CCTV systems? The UK could be described as the CCTV “capital” of the world, with between 4 million and 6 million cameras deployed, according to a British Security Industry Association study in 2013. The vast majority of these are part of privately run systems mostly on “private” property, and do not feature in this article. We are concerned here with public space CCTV, usually run by – or at least involving – local government authorities. Due in part to large amounts of central government funding in the past (successive governments injected over £200 million of capital funding between 1994 and 2003), it was a boom time for public space surveillance. It seemed that every city and town was falling over itself to set up a surveillance system, often because the town next door had done so. Propelled by a fair amount of hype about what these systems could do and tacit acceptance of them by the public, they were soon to be seen in many towns and cities in the UK. Budgets squeezed and CCTV cut So are the good times over for CCTV? Well, there have been some radical moves recently which have seen local councils either scale down their systems, or decommission them altogether. Councils have had their budgets squeezed since austerity began in 2010, and there’s no sign of this changing any time soon. So, many of them have been looking at what expenditure cuts they can make. Unlike other services councils are legally required to deliver, CCTV is a “non-statutory service,” which means it’s at each council’s discretion. "The decision to carry out this limited decommissioning process was part of the response to central government funding cuts in general" A recent example of what can happen when councils are strapped for cash is Havant Borough Council in Hampshire, which switched off its 46-camera system this month, aiming to save £155,000 a year. “Reluctantly, after much consideration and investigation by our scrutiny panel, Havant Borough Council accepts the current CCTV system no longer fulfils a majority of the original objectives set out from when the system was set up in 1999,” said a spokesperson. Some of the cameras did not comply with the 2013 Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, and the system was described as “not fit for purpose.” The council concedes that although the local police force was approached to help with funding, no other sources of revenue – and no alternative technical solutions such as video analytics – were considered. Interestingly, Havant council says that if crime and anti-social behaviour rose “to a reasonable point,” alternative digital solutions would be investigated. If required, the council says it would work with other stakeholders towards a digital, fully integrated, centrally monitored CCTV system, with the council making a “financial contribution.” Over in Newbury, a 22-camera system has been switched off after West Berkshire Council stopped funding it. A council spokesperson told Newbury Today that among a whole range of cuts proposals that went out for consultation, the CCTV scheme had fewer responses than others, and as a result the council felt the money was better spent on other services. In Birmingham, the city council has decommissioned 51 cameras out of its stock of 276 since 2014. “We have physically decommissioned … cameras at various sites across Birmingham, as agreed by the council’s cabinet in March 2014,” said a spokesperson. “The decision to carry out this limited decommissioning process was part of the response to central government funding cuts in general – and the council is also required to adhere to guidance from the Surveillance Commissioner’s office, which states that cameras should only be used in areas where there is a pressing need.” Perhaps the most high-profile location to make plans to abandon its CCTV system is Westminster council London CCTV monitors to go dark Perhaps the most high-profile location to make plans to abandon its CCTV system is Westminster council in London, which will decommission its network of 75 cameras from 1 September. The scheme covers large parts of central London, was only established in 2002, and at the time was one of the most advanced in the country. The council revealed it has been discussing for “many years” the issue of the ongoing annual running costs of up to £1 million with the police, the Greater London Authority and central government, but no support has been forthcoming. If no solution can be found, Westminster council says it will allocate the £1.7 million currently earmarked for upgrading CCTV to other, “potentially more effective crime prevention measures,” such as improving the environment or better street lighting. Councillor Nickie Aiken, cabinet member for public protection, says: “Like many other local authorities around the country, our current view is that we are not able to continue to subsidise this non-statutory service when there are many other pressures on our budgets, and where other partners are the main beneficiaries.” City centre surveillance should be a priority Not all council members are happy with the decision. “We saw a 30 percent reduction in crime when [the cameras] were installed, so may we expect a 30 percent increase when they are no longer functional?” councillor Glenys Roberts asked in West End Extra. “Whenever there is a major incident anywhere in the world, CCTV plays a huge part in tracking and apprehending perpetrators, so of all the things the council spends money on, [it] should be a priority.” The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice says there has to be “a legitimate aim and a pressing need” in order to use CCTV. The term “pressing need” is not defined, so could be interpreted to mean only when there is an urgent rise in, or increased threat of, crime. Are there perhaps technical solutions available to mitigate this sorry state of affairs? Jacques Lombard, managing director of installation company Syntinex and vice chairman of the British Security Industry Association’s CCTV section, thinks so. “New technology such as HD 1080P and Ultra HD 4K can cover more than four times the area of a traditional analogue system, meaning the number of cameras required is significantly reduced. Installing fewer cameras does not necessarily mean less coverage.”
H.265 compression, apps and the inherent security of security systems were some of the themes to be gleaned on the first day of IFSEC International. Almost every video exhibitor I saw on day one of the show mentioned that many of their products use H.265 compression in these days of high definition, bandwidth-hungry cameras. Over at Vivotek’s stand, for example, Emilio Sanchez, project consultant, spoke of the company’s H.265 Smart Stream compression algorithm. He said this saves anything between 70 and 90 percent bandwidth, depending on the amount of movement in the images, compared to H.264. People are asking for higher resolution video, which requires greater recording capacity to accommodate, hence the need for H.265. 360-degree surveillance Vivotek also displayed its 360-degree fisheye camera with built-in infra-red illumination, and a 180-degree camera fitted with four image sensors designed to provide a single, seamless image on the monitor. The company also emphasised its products being tailored to various vertical markets, such as a people-counting camera for retail applications (which also measured the heights of people in a scene) and city surveillance products. Another exhibitor with a focus on vertical markets is manufacturer and distributor Genie CCTV. John Boorman, sales director, explains that various verticals have different requirements, as examples, fingerprint recognition, gait recognition or face recognition. The company believes in communicating with end-users as well as installers and integrators, and this approach is helped by having a full-scale demonstration facility at their headquarters. When I asked him about cutting the number of cameras or decommissioning entire public space CCTV networks by various UK local councils because of squeezed budgets, he said he is not surprised as no thought was given to maintenance budgets when the schemes were first set up. At the Y3K stand, all of its Smart-I range can be accessed through apps to control products such as PIRs, contacts and the wireless power control socket and repeater Apps are a major theme at IFSEC Apps are all over the place at the show this year. One instance is the Y3K stand where all of its Smart-I range can be accessed through apps to control products such as PIRs, contacts and the wireless power control socket and repeater. Using the app, the user can control cause and effect settings and can be emailed or can receive a text alert when certain events occur. Mike Barrett, national sales manager, explains that other consumer markets drive the development of the home security market, such as camera modules used in mobile phones. “The theme is that everything is app-driven. It has existed for a long time but was expensive – now it’s much less expensive and more readily available.” Other features of Smart-I cameras include easy setup – such as using a QR code instead of having to enter a load of IP information – and easy pairing to Wi-Fi. And over at key management specialists Morse Watchmans, mobile apps as well as ease of use, integration and better technology are said to improve systems. Cyber and physical security What secures the security systems is another theme at the show. Bosch Security Systems, for example, has a mission to encrypt its range of cameras and recording platforms. The idea is to safely store all certificates and keys for authentication and encryption – which is part of ensuring secure communications in a network – to avoid "flashing" of firmware by hackers. Meanwhile at video management system company Genetec, Andrew Elvish, vice president of marketing and product management, was almost evangelical about the need for good cybersecurity on physical security products, especially where cybersecurity and physical security meet. “Cybersecurity has to be approached at a very fundamental level of the network. We have very unique cybersecurity features that are demanded by our enterprise customers.” After a quiet start on the first day, the aisles at the Excel exhibition centre in London became busy and the noise level rose by quite a few decibels. Tomorrow I’ll be reporting on day 2 of IFSEC, and I expect it will be busier still!
H.265 compression continued to be a popular topic from exhibitors on the second day of IFSEC Video beyond security, compression, HD over analogue and integration were on the lips of several exhibitors at IFSEC International 2016. Strangely for a security exhibition, there were plenty of exhibitors talking about non-security applications on the second day of IFSEC International in London. For Axis Communications, Atul Rajput, Regional Director for Northern Europe, said the Internet of Things will have a big impact on security systems. Having been a leader in the IP video space, Axis is now involved in applications such as audio, intercoms and HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) -- all over IP. Looking ahead, in five to 10 years, the Internet of Things will include sensors that can report back information such as environmental data and the interconnectivity in smart homes. “Now we’re involved in access control, horn speakers and retail analytics such as people-counting,” said Rajput. Over at Hanwha Techwin, a press conference highlighted one pioneering application -- using video to monitor a person’s vital signs such as breathing and heart-rate. Such a set-up could, for example, be used to monitor the wellbeing of detainees in police custody. Again today, H.265 compression was mentioned as a popular feature among exhibitors. Hanwha Techwin uses its own Wisestream compression technology in addition to H.265. The company says Wisestream can deliver up to a 50 percent reduction in bandwidth, with this rising to 75 percent if used with H.265. To put it another way, when you combine both with 4K images, the bandwidth required is the same as that for HD video. H.265 not the only compression standard in town But not everyone has been carried away by H.265. The folks at Axis use something called Zipstream compression and H.264; the thinking is that most video management systems don’t yet support H.265. Zipstream uses a dynamic frame rate that reduces the rate to its lowest when a scene is static, then increases it when there is movement or activity. Say you reduce your video storage by half, it translates into needing less hardware and less cooling, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the end-user. Another big talking point was HD over analogue, or AHD. At Hanwha Techwin, for example, where they have a full range of AHD cameras and NVRs, they say the technology has “taken the market by storm” – especially in the UK, southern Europe and even Nordic countries. It seems existing analogue infrastructures, their ease of installation and low cost of implementation account for the high demand for this video technology. Partnerships and integration were also big themes at this year’s show, as Milestone promoted their Open Platform Community Partnerships lead to better security solutions Partnerships and integration were also big themes at this year’s show. VMS (video management system) supplier Milestone Systems announced what it describes as a “deep level partnership” with access control specialists Nedap. “Milestone always [was] an open platform company because we couldn’t do everything ourselves,” said Kenneth Petersen, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. “We now want to take this to the next level to be an open platform community. Together with our partners, we can offer the best solutions.” Sieger Volkers, Managing Director of Security Management at Nedap, said: “The best of video management and access control will be combined into a solid, seamlessly integrated security solution. We’re committed to developing a deep integration between our access control platform AEOS and [Milestone’s] XProtect, reducing delivery risks and complexity for our mutual partners.” Hardware and software in harmony With this approach, Milestone hopes to provide more certainty about different software and hardware working well together, which should make life easier for integrators too, who are just beginning to integrate IP access control and video. A deep partnership, however, does not merely involve working together from a technical perspective but also with commercial operations such as sales and marketing. Milestone also announced a new global partnership with one of its existing partners, Dell OEM Solutions, which helps customers who have their own intellectual property to bring their technology to market. Dell will be able to fully test Milestone’s VMS and can simulate large camera systems, showing customers how their systems will perform before committing to them. Finally, speaking of VMS, AxxonSoft has brought these systems to a whole new level. The company was demonstrating what is said to be the first video transmission to a VMS from an HD-equipped drone. It incorporates a 14MP fisheye lens camera, flies at a height of up to 150 metres and can deliver images wirelessly within a 2km range. It is capable of providing video analytics and face recognition and should be available later this year.
Porter will tell IFSEC attendees about an upcoming National Surveillance Camera Strategy The Surveillance Camera Commissioner for England and Wales, Tony Porter, will be speaking at IFSEC International 2016 on how compliance with the U.K. Surveillance Camera Code of Practice can ensure that CCTV systems are operated proportionately, transparently and effectively. Porter has certainly been busy in the two years since his appointment by the Home Secretary. He has the difficult job of balancing effective surveillance on the one hand with considerations for privacy and individual freedom on the other. What is Surveillance Camera Code of Practice? To help him achieve this, the Home Secretary published the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice in 2013, under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The code sets out guidance on the appropriate and effective use of CCTV systems by “relevant authorities,” who must take it into consideration in the running of their surveillance systems. “My role is to ensure CCTV systems are used to support and protect communities, and not to spy on them,” says Porter. “The 12 guiding principles of the code of practice aim to balance the need for cameras in public places with individuals’ right to privacy. If the principles are followed, it means that systems are only used proportionately, transparently and effectively.” Other, mainly private, users are encouraged to adopt the code on a voluntary basis. Apart from overt surveillance, the guiding principles of the code also apply to drones, body-worn cameras and automatic number plate recognition systems. CCTV system self-assessment Flowing from the code of practice is a detailed self-assessment tool, with which those managing CCTV systems can ascertain whether or not they are complying with the code of practice. Between 60% and 70% ofauthorities have demonstratedthat they comply with the codeusing the self-assessment process “The self-assessment tool is a very good first step to demonstrate compliance with the code,” says Porter. “By encouraging authorities to publish the findings of their assessments, a conversation takes place with the public so they feel that surveillance is not being done to them, but that they are part of it. I call it surveillance by consent.” He estimates that between 60% and 70% of authorities have demonstrated that they comply with the code using the self-assessment process. But what about those CCTV users who do not fall into the category of those required to use the code of practice? “We’re getting a great deal of uptake from the private sector,” says Porter. “We have worked with universities, banks, retailers, government departments and bodies like Transport for London. The incentive for them is that they can then tell their customers or stakeholders that they follow best practice and provide good security for them.” Even in times of austerity and squeezed budgets, the self-assessment tool can have benefits. While some local authorities have declared there is no money and have walked away from their systems or reduced the extent of monitoring, others are using the tool as an opportunity to review whether their systems are working effectively and efficiently. Independent verification of CCTV users One step further in raising standards and accountability is the third party certification scheme for operators of public space surveillance camera systems. The scheme, launched last year, enables organisations complying with the code of practice to be independently verified. It is open to all users operating CCTV systems in a public space. “Users can demonstrate compliance with the code by using a process that demonstrates integrity cost-effectively,” says Porter. “Certification is an outward sign of inward compliance and the process will help raise standards.” Certification can be relatively inexpensive as well, with a typical cost of £300-£400 for a 50-camera system for the first stage of certification. “Step one certification is a desktop review of the system. The process is built on honesty but based on transparency, and is valid for one year. It is designed for organisations that are working towards full compliance with the code, but are aware they need more time to become fully compliant. We encourage people to approach step one certification as a natural follow-on from self-assessment, but certification is on the understanding that the organisation will work towards being in a position to apply for full certification. Step two (full certification) includes a full on-site audit of the system and is valid for five years, subject to an annual review.” Porter wants to focus the thoughts and actions of users, suppliers, installers and consultants on the core requirements of the system by re-working the OR so that it facilitates compliance with the code of practice Recommendations Although introduced only in 2013, the commissioner has already carried out a review of the code of practice. Among his recommendations are: Extending the definition of “relevant authorities” to cover all organisations that are publicly funded in any way, including bodies such as NHS trusts, education establishments and transport operators; Introducing an obligation for authorities to publish their camera coverage in terms of systems, numbers, privacy impact assessments, self-assessments, certification and outcomes of annual reviews, with limited powers of enforcement in cases of non-compliance; Encouraging the use of a “passport to compliance” using the Operational Requirement and system certification; Producing a single code of practice on surveillance camera systems rather than having two (the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s and the Information Commissioner’s Office) at present. Revamping Operational Requirement (OR) Among the further initiatives to come from the commissioner is the revival of the Operational Requirement (OR), which was last revised in 2009. The OR is used by designers of CCTV systems and consultants, but the intention is to revise its provisions so that it can become a key element of the passport to compliance. Porter wants to re-work the OR so that it facilitates compliance with the code of practice by focusing the thoughts and actions of users, suppliers, installers and consultants on the core requirements of the system, therefore becoming a process and guidance manual. As stated in the commissioner’s review of the code of practice: “Properly developed, the OR represents a key opportunity to ensure public monies are properly invested and CCTV industry specialists are held to account for products provided.” The revamped OR is due to go out to consultation soon. Looking further ahead, Porter will tell IFSEC attendees about an upcoming National Surveillance Camera Strategy, due to go out for consultation in the autumn. The strategy aims to cover all stakeholders – manufacturers, designers, installers and end users – and to raise standards and compliance with the code of practice. “I see this strategy as being crucial to bring the many different and disparate parts of the sector to follow one strategy.” “I’m determined to drive up standards right across the spectrum of the industry,” concludes Porter. “I believe the first two years of tenure in my post demonstrate that.” Tony Porter will be speaking on a Passport to Compliance in the Security Management Theatre at IFSEC International in London on 21 June.
Organisations have a duty of care to protect their employees wherever they work. But in the increasingly complex world that we all live in, the ability to deliver a risk-commensurate and cost-efficient security programme that adds real value to a business is extremely challenging, according to IFSEC International 2016 speaker Frank Cannon. He will be speaking on developing an employee security awareness programme in the Security Management Theatre at IFSEC International in London on 23 June. Benefits and challenges of security awareness programmes SourceSecurity.com: In what ways does a good employee security awareness programme add value to a business? Cannon: Simply put, it increases the number of people within an organisation who behave appropriately to safeguard the workforce and protect its property. Through enhanced vigilance and informed awareness, the employees identify and report suspicious conditions or people at the earliest opportunity, so triggering a proportionate response by others. This early notification helps to minimise the negative consequence of crime and thus saves money. SourceSecurity.com: Why is implementing an employee security awareness programme such a challenge? "The location, audience, timeavailable and importance of thesecurity message often dictatehow and when the securityawareness programme is delivered" Cannon: To be effective, a security awareness programme must have the support of senior executives and then resonate with the workforce. It is necessary to identify a series of key security messages that are consistent with the security risks, but that also echo the organisation’s beliefs and vision statement. The pitch, tone and proportionality of the security message must complement the day-to-day working culture of the target audience. There is no one-size-fits-all programme that can be used to create a security culture, but more there’s a need for a cognitive process that requires an informed approach to harness the views of numerous stakeholders. Once initiated, the programme must adapt to the changing work environment and security risks. The challenge is convincing leaders to invest funds based on the likelihood that an undesirable event will have a negative impact on the business and/or convincing the workforce to change their behaviours to minimise the impact of such events. Logistics of security awareness training SourceSecurity.com: If all employees are effectively part of the wider security team, how do you distinguish between their roles and those of security professionals? Cannon: A “team” is a group of people with a common purpose; in this instance, the purpose is to safeguard all those within the team and to protect the property they use or own. Communication is the essence of good teamwork and by encouraging each and every member of the team to observe, listen and communicate, it allows others to take appropriate action to address any fears or concerns. Non-security professional members of staff become the “alarm” or information gatherers, leaving the security practitioners to respond or analyse and plan. SourceSecurity.com: What does a security awareness training programme look like? Cannon: My belief is that “training” is a process to develop skills or practical ability, whereas “education” is the giving and receiving of knowledge or theoretical competence. A security awareness programme is an educational process to help employees observe events or people through a “security lens” and help them recognise an abnormal situation that may place people or property at risk. Initial inductions, promotional courses, trade training, team meetings, periodicalworkshops and quarterly town halls all provide good platforms to engage workforces SourceSecurity.com: What are the main elements of such a programme? Cannon: Prior to the development of a security awareness programme, the security threats and associated risks against the organisation, its workforce or its assets require assessment. You then have to create an integrated security programme with a proportionate blend of physical, technical and procedural elements. The security procedures set out behavioural expectations for employees, so that a pre-determined outcome is achieved. Only then can an employee awareness programme be developed to communicate with the workforce. A programme consists of numerous methods (or tools) to communicate security expectations to active participants. These consist of key messages, each of which amplifies specific issues that, when put together, help to create a security culture. This isn’t a tangible asset or outcome but more a way routine business is carried out. Key messages are developed with the support of stakeholders and should complement an organisation’s culture, beliefs and operating processes. SourceSecurity.com: What format does the training take (classroom/online/reminders/refreshers etc.)? Cannon: Security education is a continually evolving process that takes advantage of opportunities as they appear. Initial induction, promotional courses, trade training, team meetings, periodical workshops and quarterly town halls all provide good platforms to engage the workforce. "By encouraging each and everymember of the team to observe,listen and communicate, it allowsothers to take appropriate actionto address any fears or concerns" The location, audience, time available and importance of the security message often dictate how and when the security awareness programme is delivered. This can range from regular (3 to 5 minute) “security moments” at the start of routine meetings, to a full day workshop involving larger audiences. A tradesperson with little access to a computer may benefit from a “toolbox talk” at the start of the day, whereas an office worker may learn more through an online e-package. For those with time – or for the more important security risks – a workshop or standalone meeting may be the most appropriate forum. Alternatively, a well-designed poster may successfully convey the simpler messages. The critical element of a security awareness programme is that the message being communicated must be relevant, important and personal to each person. He or she must identify with the message and understand a personal benefit for changing an otherwise acceptable behaviour to help increase the levels of protection for themselves, their colleagues or the property they are responsible for. Effective physical and cyber security awareness SourceSecurity.com: Does the security awareness programme include information security as well as conventional physical security? Cannon: If the organisation, its management or the security risk assessment identifies a cyber risk that requires employees to behave in a specific way, then information security can be included in the programme. Anything that adds to the protection of personnel or assets can be included, including health and safety, environmental or community interaction. SourceSecurity.com: How can you measure the effectiveness of such a programme? Cannon: This is challenging and is often why organisations tend not to invest in security awareness programmes. I often say that the success of my programme is when I have leaders or supervisors discussing personal safety or asset protection as part of routine business. An organisation with an effective programme (or security culture) has security as part of its operational planning process, listed within job descriptions and part of its meeting agenda items. Success is when employees are routinely reporting suspicious people or events, where employees are willing to participate in workshops or practice drills, where they change their behaviours based on advice received and where they seek out security awareness materials for use within their own teams. The ultimate goal is to have an incident- and injury-free working environment so that the incident statistics support a downwards trend. The security risk level can change overnight, however, so incident trends are not always a true reflection on the success of a security awareness programme.
A “smart home” featuring networked security devices and other home automation products will be new to IFSEC International 2016 in June. This replica smart home will be at the heart of the new home automation zone at IFSEC International (London, 21-23 June). The smart home will feature CCTV, intruder alarms, biometric readers, door entry solutions and locks, as well as wireless blinds, lighting and heating control, and 4K video and audio distribution. “These features, along with third party products, will have the ability to be controlled by handheld remotes, in-wall and wireless touchscreens, keypads, mobile devices and even Apple watches,” explains Lee Miller, Control4 UK Area Sales Manager. “We will also be showing our own native Control4 equipment including centralised and wireless lighting control.” “At IFSEC, you’re going to see a video door entry system, door locks which can be accessed remotely, smart lighting and automated window blinds,” he adds. “There will be interfaces to control lighting, music and interior and exterior cameras, together with distributed audio, home cinema with surround sound and 4K video distribution. The bedroom will feature keypads on either side of the bed, which can be used to control features such as lighting and security, all from one location. Touchscreens and iPads – which can control and monitor all the devices installed in the house – will be placed throughout the house.” Control4 Pakedge network monitoring The company will be using its newly acquired business, Pakedge, for the networking components of the system. “A home automation system is only as good as the network it sits on,” says Miller. “It is the backbone of any connected home.” All Control4 products will sit on the Pakedge network. One of these is the processor, which communicates not only with Control4 products but also with other smart products on the network. A user interface – which can be a remote control, touchscreen, iOS or Android mobile device, keypad, or Apple watch – can control all the devices. A popular draw of home automation is ‘mockupancy’ – where the system can be programmed to make an empty building look occupied while its owners are away from home Video door access control system Video door entry is one of the biggest draws for customers of these systems, not only in single residences but also in apartment blocks. The image of a person calling at the entrance can be seen on any of the video enabled devices. What’s more, if the house is unattended the device will email an image of that person to the occupier so he or she knows who called. The door entry system can become an access control product, with different codes for different people. For example, a cleaner can be given a code that will only be valid for a specified time period. And an alert can be sent to a mobile device, notifying an arrival. Benefits of home automation Home automation can be just as useful when the occupier is away from home. “Mockupancy,” as Miller terms it, is when the system is programmed to open and close blinds and switch lighting and televisions on and off, simulating the activities of occupiers and giving the impression that the house is occupied. “The benefits of home automation are numerous and include energy management, security, safety, comfort and entertainment,” he says. “These things can be controlled locally in the home or remotely away from home.” Miller believes that security is one of the driving forces for such systems. “Security and safety are definitely driving the home automation industry right now, along with lighting, comfort and entertainment.” To maximise business in the home automation market, Miller says that partnering with leading device manufacturers is a good way to get business beyond your traditional market. According to a survey conducted by IFSEC International organisers, installers agree that the sector offers good prospects – 92% of them see home automation as a potential area for business growth. Home automation vs. intelligent buildings So what’s the difference between home automation (or “smart homes”) and “intelligent buildings?” “While the term ‘smart homes’ refers to residential property and ‘intelligent buildings’ are for the commercial sector, there are a lot of similarities between them. These include PIRs, CCTV, door entry systems and smart lighting.” The global sensor and device market for home automation is expected to grow from $1.4bn in 2015 to $4bn in 2019, according to ABI Research. Miller concludes: “With the expanding number of products becoming intelligent, the connected home and the number of products in it continues to grow. With this, more end users are seeing the benefits and value of having a smart home, which is leading to the rapid growth of the industry.”
Research at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, is developing a technology that can provide clearer, more defined camera images by fusing RGB (red-green-blue) images with thermal imaging. Phusion is being developed by Spectral Edge, an IP licensing company spun out of the university’s Colour Lab and based in Cambridge. Phusion for security cameras The technology has the potential to deliver more detailed images than are usually available from conventional security cameras, provided there is a thermal imaging sensor at the camera end. It can enhance both recorded and live CCTV, though this is more difficult to achieve with live footage because of the need for a lot more processing power, either at the camera end or back at the control room. A variant of Phusion has been developed to enhance live TV and video, allowing colour-blind viewers to differentiate between colours such as red and green A variant of Phusion has been developed to enhance live TV and video, allowing colour-blind viewers to differentiate between colours such as red and green. The technology is ready to be licensed to TV service providers. Christopher Cytera, Managing Director of Spectral Edge, expects the technology for security cameras to be available mid- to end-2017. “It can take between nine months and a year to get from the start of product development to a licensable product, which can then be sold to equipment manufacturers. We’ve really only just started on the security side.” Last month, Spectral Edge attracted £1.5 million of funding from several investors. Licensing and leveraging Phusion technology “After having proved the potential of our innovative Phusion technology, this new funding provides Spectral Edge with a springboard for growth,” says Cytera. “We can now accelerate commercialisation of our intellectual property portfolio and grow by licensing our technology to consumer electronics manufacturers, TV service providers and professional equipment manufacturers in our key markets of computational photography, visual accessibility and security.”
Automated CCTV lip reading is challenging due to low frame rates and smallimages, but the University of East Anglia is pushing the next stage of this technology Scientists at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, are working on the next stage of automated lip reading technology that could be used for deciphering speech from video surveillance footage. The visual speech recognition technology, created by Dr. Helen Bear and Professor Richard Harvey of UEA’s School of Computing Sciences, can be applied “any place where the audio isn’t good enough to determine what people are saying,” says Dr. Bear. Training system to recognise lip movements She says that unique problems with determining speech arise when sound isn’t available – such as on CCTV footage – or if the audio is inadequate and there aren’t clues to give context to the conversation. The technology can also be used where there is audio but it is difficult to pick up because of ambient noise, such as in cars and aircraft. The technology uses deep neural networks that “learn” the way people move their lips, explains Professor Harvey. Researchers “train” the system using one person’s lip movements, then test it on another person’s lip movements. The team has a database of 12 people at the moment, using a list of around 1,000 words. This produces a success rate of 80 percent with a single speaker, and 60 percent with two different speakers. An element of language modelling is also used to train the computer to recognise the context of words spoken. Challenges of lip reading CCTV “Lip-reading is one of the most challenging problems in artificial intelligence, so it’s great to make progress on one of the trickier aspects, which is how to train machines to recognise the appearance and shape of human lips,” says Harvey. “CCTV is still a challenge – there’s lots of stuff working against you. For example, on most CCTV footage the lips are quite small and frame rates are low. But an easier application could be, for example, to enhance messages sent over radio by a security guard.” Of course, most CCTV systems do not include audio, in part due to privacy and data protection laws, which tend to limit the use of audio except in specific circumstances. The research was part of a three-year project and was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The research paper, Decoding Visemes: Improving Machine Lip-Reading, was presented at the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing in Shanghai last month.
The report says almost 50% of the public transport organisations are willingto broaden the type of video analytics used A detailed survey of public transport operators shows a growing demand for networked/IP systems and video analytics to help cope with the requirements of large surveillance systems. The report, Video Surveillance in Public Transport, published by the international public transport association UITP and Axis Communications, is based on 74 respondents across 30 countries, most of whom are public transport operators or transport authorities. They cover a variety of modes of transport including bus, trolleybus, light rail, tram, metro, commuter rail, mainline rail and ferry. The future belongs to IP, but analogue still feels good Almost all those responding to the report – 97 percent – have video surveillance installed. Around two-thirds (67 percent) have IP cameras as part of their surveillance systems with 53 percent having a hybrid IP/analogue system. Some 74 percent of those responding have investment plans for their surveillance systems, with 85 percent saying they will consider network/IP cameras. “This clearly shows a preference for network cameras for the future,” the report says. “However, it is important to note that legacy analogue cameras will clearly still have an important presence in public transport systems for the foreseeable future.” Huge crowds attract CCTV installations Cameras are predominantly installed at stations (81 percent), on board rolling stock (76 percent) and at depots and rail yards (70 percent). Video in stations, on rolling stock and at depots is very often recorded (73 percent, 72 percent and 57 per cent respectively) with video being stored for a determined period of time. Cameras are often found in areas with high passenger volumes such as public station areas (75 percent) and on platforms (64 percent). They are also found in key areas such as ticket gates, help points and escalators (each 47 percent) and in elevators (40 per cent). Cameras can also be found, although to a lesser extent, at non-public areas of the infrastructure such as crossings (32 percent), along the infrastructure (24 percent), inside tunnels (19 percent) and at bridges (7 percent), although not all respondents have tunnels or bridges as part of their assets. Fewer still are video recordings made at these infrastructure sites. More than half of respondents (53 percent) say that video surveillance would be installed on rolling stock in the next 12 months – suggesting that onboard cameras will become more common. Real-time usage with analytics is on the rise as public transport systems seekto react to security events as and when they happen Static locations call for real-time surveillance Real-time monitoring of video is higher in static locations – for example 72 percent in stations – than is the case for real-time surveillance of rolling stock (27 percent). Looking ahead, around a quarter (26 percent) plan to increase their use of real-time video, with around the same number not using real-time monitoring at all. In terms of the lifecycle of an incident, using video footage for investigations into crime, injury, suicide, accidents and so on is rated as the most valuable use of cameras by 86 percent, while detection of incidents in real-time is around 72 percent. Legal and regulatory requirements The legal landscape for video surveillance varies considerably from country to country. In the survey, 38 percent of respondents reported that surveillance monitoring is a legal requirement. For those for whom it is not a legal requirement, surveillance may still be regulated when used in different ways. In terms of video recording, all the respondents said that recording is allowed but almost all of them (41 percent) are subject to additional regulation such as limited storage time – ranging from 48 hours to 100 days – recording certain areas only at 13 percent, police use only (11 percent) and other regulations (34 percent). For 67 percent of respondents, the quality of video used as evidence in court is regulated in some way, either by law or police guidelines. Different standards exist in different parts of the world in terms of the quality of images for court use. Regulations are also in place aimed at protecting the privacy of the public and this is seen as essential in many cultures for systems to be accepted. Reasons given by train operators for installing surveillance cameras include: Increasing security and safety for staff (81 percent) Minimising, deterring and managing various types of criminality (78 percent) Assisting investigations of crime, injury, suicide, accidents and other medical emergencies (70 percent) Increased perceived security and staff safety (69 percent) Meeting legal requirements and policies of directives (16 percent) Being prepared for possible terrorism (16 percent) Reducing fare evasions (11 percent) The greatest challenge for rail operators is the difficulty in monitoring the large numbers of cameras in public transport surveillance systems (43 percent), poor image quality (27 percent), technical issues (23 percent), and the fact that systems can be resource intensive and require special skills (20 percent). In terms of image quality, it is interesting to note that 55 percent of respondents with analogue systems said poor image quality is a problem, compared to only 17 percent with network/IP systems. But, the report says, this figure is not statistically sound because of too few responses from users of IP-only networks. Video analytics in use include intrusion detection, perimeter protection, railtrack access detection, and fire/smoke detection Key role of video analytics Awareness of the types of video analytics available ranges from loitering detection (36 percent), tailgating detection (40 percent) and aggression detection (40 percent) to facial recognition, perimeter detection and intrusion detection – all at 79 percent of respondents. In terms of actual use of video analytics, intrusion detection tops the table at 25 percent, followed by perimeter protection (20 percent), rail track access detection (16 percent), and fire/smoke detection (12 percent). Between 30 percent and 64 percent of respondents were interested in using video analytics in the future, depending on the type of analytics. The report concludes: “The number one challenge with existing surveillance systems today is the difficulty to monitor and [oversee] all cameras. Surveillance systems are made up of, on average, thousands of cameras in public transport networks. “To address the key challenge of monitoring and [monitoring] the large amount of cameras – and further adding value to the detection phase of incidents – approximately half of the public transport organisations say they will broaden the type of video analytics used.” The report goes on to say: There is a clear tendency towards network/IP cameras in terms of future investment, in particular up-and-coming analytics applications for specific issues such as graffiti behaviour detection. On the other hand, legacy analogue cameras will continue to have an important presence in public transport systems for the foreseeable future. Real-time usage with analytics is also on the rise as public transport systems seek to react to security events as and when they happen, with alerts guiding the operators rather than the impossible task of coping with hundreds of live feeds. Commenting on the report’s findings, Patrik Anderson, Director of Business Development, Transportation at Axis Communications – co-authors of the report – told SourceSecurity.com: “We can see that many public transport operators utilise video surveillance for more than just recorded evidence and investigations after incidents have occurred. Modern IP-video systems offer real-time possibilities that are increasingly being used to manage incidents live as they occur, to detect, prioritise and respond correctly. There is also a high awareness of video analytics and the…interest to use video analytics [in the future] is very broad amongst the operators and transit authorities.”
Nationally from 2012 - 2015, there has been a decrease in the money spent on theinstallation, monitoring and maintenance of CCTV compared to the period 2009-2012 The UK has often been referred to as the world’s most watched country in terms of the scale of CCTV surveillance. But a new report claims that UK local authorities have reduced spending on the installation, maintenance and monitoring of public space CCTV systems, while the number of cameras being used is also down. The report from privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch shows that nationally, between 2012 and 2015, there has been a decrease in the money spent on the installation, monitoring and maintenance of CCTV compared to the period 2009-2012, with some parts of the country abandoning their systems entirely. But other areas, notably London, have reported a 71% increase in CCTV coverage. Key findings of the report include: Local authorities control at least 45,284 cameras, a reduction of 12.5% since 2012; At least £277 million has been spent on the installation, monitoring and maintenance of these systems, a drop of 46% compared to the period 2009-2012; £38 million was spent on the installation of systems, a decrease of 57% from 2009-2012; £140 million was spent on the maintenance of cameras, down 42% since the period ending 2012; £99 million was spent on the salaries of CCTV operators, a drop of 47% compared to the previous period. London reports increase in CCTV coverage But these figures do not paint the whole picture. London authorities reported a 72% increase in the number of cameras they operate from 8,105 to 13,924, and they control almost a third of the UK’s cameras and spend 22% of the total UK expenditure. Wales, meanwhile, has the highest average spend at £9,000 per camera, while London has the lowest at £4,310 per camera. New, smarter surveillance technologies Despite the reductions in cameras and expenditure, Big Bother Watch says we should not assume from these figures that CCTV is on the wane. New, smarter technologies – including facial biometrics, 3D scanning, and other more accurate types of surveillance technology – are just around the corner, while the migration from analogue to digital will accelerate. “Whilst we are encouraged by some of these results, we acknowledge that they may merely be a lull before the storm of new surveillance technology [appearing] on our streets,” says the report. “In light of that, we propose policy recommendations which should be considered by local authorities before the pressure to update their systems becomes too great to ignore.” Big Brother Watch report recommendations are: Any improvement of systems such as smart technology, biometrics or linking systems must consider the increased risk to citizens’ privacy Local authorities should regularly report the number of crimes detected, investigated and solved by each camera to justify its continued use There should be a single point of contact to oversee CCTV use and to resolve complaints. Currently, oversight is divided between the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Surveillance Camera Commissioner – this is confusing for the general public. A single, enforceable code of practice which applies to all CCTV systems should be produced. Report says the reductions in spending and number of cameras should be seenin the context of the financial pressures on local authorities during this period Big Brother Watch says the reductions in spending and number of cameras should be seen in the context of the financial pressures on local authorities during this period. “Whilst we are pleased to see a reduction in spending on CCTV, we have to understand that the rationale behind the figures is not ideological. Local authorities have not suddenly woken up to privacy and acknowledged the intrusion CCTV causes. “We also acknowledge the changes to regulation since the Protection of Freedoms Act in 2012, and the subsequent codes of practice for CCTV from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and the Information Commissioner’s Office." Big Brother watch advocates assessing CCTV best practices The privacy group says it is not against CCTV per se – it can be beneficial when in the right place and used effectively. But apart from the benefit it has in investigating car crime, the general benefits of CCTV have not been fully assessed. Rather than always installing permanent cameras, it advocates the use of re-deployable ones in problem areas for a limited time. “The concept of targeted use in an area where crime has been proven to be rife could be seen to be more beneficial from a maintenance, cost and privacy perspective, than an expensive fixed camera [watching] everyone going about their day to day business.” Big Brother Watch also suggests that a register of cameras across the UK would help to establish where cameras are located, how effective they are and how intrusive they can be. Minimising privacy concerns without compromising security New technology such as HD cameras, smart cities, sound and gait recognition and so-called tag and track systems “will change how cameras are used and the threat they pose to privacy. Local authorities must begin to consider how they can minimise privacy concerns before they start trying to deploy these methods on our streets.” “Each recommendation in this report,” says Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter, “if adopted, would serve to improve the quality of public surveillance, increase accountability and transparency to our citizens and help to drive up standards at every level.” Police concerns In response to the cuts in CCTV budgets, the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) is producing a report, due for publication in April, with an evidence base to show best practice in the use of CCTV. “This will cover from the prevention aspects of making people safe using monitored CCTV, to the investigative value that CCTV plays in the majority of police investigations where crime has taken place in the public space,” an NPCC spokesperson told SourceSecurity.com. “The report will also detail the work being done to ensure that the use of CCTV is proportionate, and that partners and the police are professionally accredited in their use of CCTV and how it becomes evidence in court cases. The report will identify some examples of good practice but aims, in the long term, to show clearly the percentage of crimes in which CCTV has formed a significant part of the investigation. “Early data collated so far shows how vital CCTV is and [demonstrates] the need to maintain funding where possible in support of existing CCTV systems.”
Poor quality training, poor literacy and numeracy skills and inadequatesupervision were some of the areas for concern highlighted by ASQA A lack of consistency in licensing, poor training and variable standards of teaching safe restraint techniques among Australian security officers are putting members of the public at risk, according to a report by the national training regulator in Australia. The report reflects officer training and licensing challenges that are common worldwide. The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) review of vocational training in the security industry was partly prompted by the concerns of coroners about deaths during restraint or intervention by security staff, especially around licensed premises. “These coroners’ reports raise significant public safety issues and suggest that a number of training and assessment issues are potentially contributing factors to fatalities,” the report’s executive summary says. According to ASQA, contributing factors to the number of fatalities are poor quality training and assessment, security personnel with poor literacy and numeracy skills, inadequate supervision of newly licensed security officers, differences in licensing requirements among states and territories, and the dangers of restraint which are not being adequately addressed. Concerns about the security industry, including the adequacy of training, have been “longstanding and persistent,” says the report. Key findings of the review: Inconsistent licensing requirements among states and territories lead to people crossing borders to obtain licenses in jurisdictions with fewer requirements. There is also a lack of specification in the training package. While the qualifications for security personnel are national, state and territory regulation of security licensing makes it more difficult to ensure consistency. Extremely short training courses don’t allow people to gain the required skills and competencies, potentially compromising public safety. The training package of security qualifications needs “significant review” to address issues of content and structure. Until inconsistent licensing is resolved, potential security staff will continue to travel to those states and territories where licensing has fewer requirements. There are several other findings, too. No assessment is carried out in the workplace. The qualifications needed for security officers need to be accurately aligned to their job roles. Greater “strategic engagement” between ASQA and the licensing authorities is required, so that training providers of concern receive greater regulatory scrutiny. Out of 67 registered training organisations audited for the review, 81% did not comply with at least one of the training standards. Non-compliance ranged from relatively minor issues that were quickly rectified to “very serious shortcomings.” Those non-compliant organisations were given 20 working days to respond. After that period, 85% were fully compliant with all the standards required for registration, but 15% still did not comply with at least one of the standards. Out of 67 registered training organisations audited for the ASQA review, 81% did not comply with at least one of the training standards Security training and licensing recommendations The ASQA review made eight recommendations that can be summarised as follows: The training package developer – in consultation with licensing authorities and the security industry – should “progress as a priority” a review to ensure that qualifications meet the requirements for relevant security activities, and provide a single set of qualifications for use in all jurisdictions. The training package developer should explore options for a mandatory component of workplace assessment, and specify what can occur online and what can’t. The developer must also specify the conditions that must be met for assessment in a simulated workplace, when the assessor must be present with the student for assessment, and assessor requirements including qualifications, experience, knowledge of the language and literacy and numeracy. The Standards for Training Packages specify the “minimum amount of training benchmark” with appropriate variations (such as those who already have relevant and recent security experience). When reviewing the Certificates II and III in Security Operations, the training package developer includes explicit detail about the language, literacy and numeracy demands of each role. The training package developer reviews the units of competency about restraints and restraint techniques, in order to address key safety issues. Licensing authorities should include as mandatory the most appropriate units of competency relating to restraints and the safe use of restraint techniques, and that they require all relevant current security licensees to refresh their knowledge of safe restraint techniques before renewing their licenses. Training package developers should ensure safety and quality issues are urgently addressed and that they give priority to the scheduling of training product development, once the Standards for Training Packages have been amended. The Australian Industry Skills Council should ensure that the training packages have incorporated the recommendations in this report. ASQA’s chief commissioner should write to the Council of Australian Governments Law, Crime and Community Safety Council about the outcomes of this review, and the imperative to implement the recommendations about inconsistent licensing requirements. “Of major concern is that the issues identified have been longstanding and persistent and resistant to a number of efforts to address them,” the report concludes. “Therefore, the recommendations for action arising from this review seek to confront and resolve the issues through concerted action that will require collaboration and involvement by ASQA, jurisdictional licensing authorities, the training package developer, and (in the case of systemic national training system issues) all training package developers, as well as RTOs [registered training organisations]. “What is clear is that initiatives in individual jurisdictions—as well as efforts by licensing authorities to agree and implement minimum competency standards—have not been sufficient to resolve the concerns. A coordinated national response is required.”
Led by European nations, there is a global shift to e-passports, with over 100 countries using these technologies With the number of global international tourist arrivals standing at over 1 billion and increasing migration in Europe, good border and passport security means having a layered approach and plenty of co-ordination among countries, says David Belchick, VP of Government Solutions at Entrust Datacard. Ever-growing border security challenges “More than one billion people travel internationally for business and pleasure each year,” according to David Belchick, “These record high numbers are straining existing human and digital border security resources at a time when most travellers expect the most expeditious border crossing process possible. Methods of forging passports and other identity documents, like birth certificates, are growing more sophisticated, and the market for authentic but stolen identity documents is expanding rapidly. There is a global repository run by Interpol listing lost or stolen documents, but only a few governments currently use it to authenticate passports at border control points.” “We are experiencing a border security crisis,” says Belchick, in light of the continuing migration and border security issues in Europe, involving the so-called Schengen countries, the attacks in Paris and the movement of Syrian refugees, of whom he says between 1%-5% are using fake passports. “Part of a government’s job is to make citizen’s feel secure. It’s a bilateral thing really, with demand coming from both governments and citizens.” Passport control officials at borders have around one to two minutes to decide whether or not to let someone into a country, so authentication methods need to be robust. “Methods of forging and altering passports have become more sophisticated with the growth in demand for stolen identities, and Interpol’s stolen and lost travel documents database stands at over 40 million documents,” Belchick says. Many countries using e-passport technologies Led by European nations, there is a global shift to e-passports, with over 100 countries using these technologies. “Certain countries have deployed technologies giving border control agents the ability to validate e-passports. But the problem is that although some of this technology has been implemented, it’s not everywhere, so border agents have to check and authenticate manually. For example, one of the Paris attackers crossed into France on a false passport. If there were better adoption of technology and more uniformity, it might have prevented or at least reduced the consequences.” One challenge is knowing where to start in updating or overhauling existing border security systems and protocols, as there are so many components that contribute to overall security, says Belchick. “Making borders more secure is not simply about installing new passport scanners or better training of field officers for body language cues – although those are important components. Building a trusted infrastructure combines physical, electronic and digital security features that also consistently and accurately detect criminal activity.” It’s a complicated and challenging task. France, Canada and Ireland are seen as leading implementers of layered security technologies “To truly implement an identity solution that would make borders more secure internationally, governments must change how they think about and protect the entire lifecycle of each individual’s identity – from the physical credential/document issued to the database that securely binds the physical identity to a cyber/online identity; from incorporating the latest resources in technology, such as biometrics, to authentication systems that detect fraudulent credentials. This requires a true shift in the way governments are thinking about, and legislating on, the ecosystem of identity management.” E-passports can be first, second or third generation, with second generation technology offering what is known as extended access control, and which incorporates a fingerprint or iris biometric of the person E-passports can be first, second or third generation, with second generation technology offering what is known as extended access control, and which incorporates a fingerprint or iris biometric of the person, explains Belchick. This confirms to whom the passport belongs and the fact that it was issued by a government. Around 30-40 countries have deployed this second generation technology, while a total of around 120-130 have issued e-passports. “We think having a layered approach to security is the right way to go. Some are fairly low-tech solutions such as UV scanning, but you should always have digital and physical security together.” Greater Implementation of standards needed Entrust Datacard believes in greater adoption of existing security standards. “The key is having knowledge of the standards and then going through the steps of security, according to what the country can afford. It’s about greater adoption of standards and then implementing them,” says Belchick. France, Canada and Ireland are seen as leading implementers of layered security technologies. “Some have deployed next generation security features; others haven’t. Technology is the relatively easy part. Sometimes it’s the political and institutional will to do things that is key, and incidents can give a nudge to move things along. Funding can be a problem for less wealthy countries, and some technologies are still not fully bedded down, such as e-Visas, which have a standard in development.” Belchick says it’s also about balancing security with convenience. If a country puts in more security, queues can get longer, so then more border agents, who are properly trained on the security features of each country’s passport, are needed. Mobile authentication and technology will also help secure borders. There are two areas that need development – having a standard on how you issue a mobile passport, and having portable devices to validate passports other than at the border. But standards for these mobile solutions are not yet well enough defined. Belchick concludes: “It’s reasonable to think that the travel industry could be impacted if the proper steps are not taken to secure borders. The technology is available to safely secure borders, and many countries are already taking steps toward a more secure border system. If the adoption of new technologies and policies continue, we could see restrictions and complexity of global tourism ease, spurring growth in that sector.”
There are between 4 and 6.8 million lone workers in the UK, and many of us arelone workers at some point in our working lives The Suzy Lamplugh Trust was set up to highlight the risk faced by lone workers and to offer information and advice to reduce the risk of violence and aggression for everyone. It was established following the disappearance in 1986 of 25-year-old estate agent, Suzy Lamplugh, after she had gone to meet an unknown client. This article is based on a presentation given by Rachel Griffin, Director of the Trust, at the Lone Worker 2015 Conference in London. What lessons had we learned over the last 29 years following the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh? Key principles of lone worker safety Assess the risk of the job you’re going to before going out. Know how you’re going to get out before you go in. Ensure someone knows where you’re going, how you’re getting there and back, and what to do if you don’t check in on time. Defusing and de-escalating rather than engaging – keep lines of communication open rather than meeting aggression with aggression. Trust your instinct – if a situation feels wrong then it probably is; make an excuse and leave. There are plenty of definitions of personal safety but it’s important that each organisation defines what it means by personal safety, says Griffin. And it’s not just about physical violence. It’s relatively rare that people get killed at work – there are 0.46 fatalities per 100,000 workers. Mental health is the biggest single factor for days off work – in 2014 mental health accounted for the most working days lost. Such illness can arise solely through verbal abuse at work. Trade union survey on shop workers’ experience Griffin then presented a survey by a trade union showing that 56% of shop workers’ experience verbal abuse in a year, while 4% experience violence. This contrasts with a survey of employers by the British Retail Consortium that has the figures 2.6% and 1.2% respectively, suggesting that shop workers are not reporting incidents to employers. A positive safety culture is important when implementing tracking systems – employees must feel they are for their safety and not to keep tabs on them Current policy is directed at the tip of the safety “iceberg,” says Griffin, with resources aimed mainly at high-risk activities, which means there will be fewer inspections of what are perceived to be lower-risk activities. It’s estimated that there are between 4 and 6.8 million lone workers in the UK, and that many of us are lone workers at some point in our working lives. Griffin’s clients tell her that pressure to work alone is increasing as budget cuts hit. In the housing sector, for example, workers increasingly face other issues that pose risk when they are on their own. Safety culture & tracking systems in organisations If you are introducing tracking or tracing systems, you need to persuade your staff that they are for their safety, rather than management keeping tabs on them. In order to create a positive safety culture in your workplace you should: Agree a definition of personal safety for your organisation. This should include a definition of what constitutes violence and aggression. Listen to your workforce. Your lone workers understand their risks better than anyone, so they should be included in developing policy and procedures. Make reporting easy and blame free. Only when workers feel confident to report will your organisation understand the risks it faces and take steps to manage those risks. Support staff when an incident occurs, for example with an employee assistance programme/counselling. Question the culture of “we’ve always done it this way,” especially in high-risk activities such as home visits. Many organisations see going to clients’ homes to be essential when that service could be more safely delivered elsewhere. Train, train and retrain. Revisit training – including the use of any systems or devices – regularly, so that complacency doesn’t creep in.
Stratus Technologies is a provider of “always-on” technology, which helps to ensurethe running of mission-critical access control and video surveillance applications Building security – especially high-security installations – requires technology that is reliable and minimises downtime. In some physical security installations, access control and video surveillance solutions are required to function uninterruptedly to ensure business continuity and maintain data integrity. While it may not be a household name in the security industry, Stratus Technologies, a provider of “always-on” technology, helps to ensure the running of mission-critical applications. Chief Executive Officer of Stratus Technologies, David C. Laurello, sees the company’s mission as “helping customers achieve the highest level of uptime for mission-critical applications” where a few seconds of downtime per year count. “The average downtime for our customers is less than 5 minutes a year, with the majority of customers experiencing no downtime at all. Our solution is a fully redundant server that runs in lockstep – we’re about failure prevention rather than failure recovery.” Stratus security applications for financial services and other markets The markets that Stratus operates in are financial services – including ATMs and point of sale – building security, manufacturing process control and telecommunications. In security applications, the company partners with companies such as Tyco Security Products on installations that require their applications, such as video monitoring systems and access control, to be “always on.” Stratus works with both manufacturing partners and system integrators and has a variety of offerings – both hardware and software – including the everRun enterprise solution that runs on standard servers. An application is installed on a pair of standard Intel servers that everRun keeps in sync to ensure no data loss or interruption takes place. It proactively monitors the servers and keeps the application online, even when there is a hardware failure, explains Laurello. Many security systems need to be up and running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including access control solutions where you need to monitor data and add orremove users of the system “Always on” video surveillance and access control systems Many security systems need to be up and running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With access control solutions, for example, you need to have the system “always on” to monitor data and also to add or remove users of the system. “Of all of the open system fault-tolerant platforms in the marketplace, Stratus is present in around 40 percent,” says Laurello, “and that is across a variety of industries around the world.” For example, in financial services it is imperative that no data is lost, especially while a transaction is being processed (data “in flight”). Similarly, always-on can be vital in manufacturing applications, where even a moment of downtime can result in the costly loss of a whole batch of a drug, for example. And in the UK, Stratus works alongside threat detection equipment supplier Rapiscan as part of the baggage screening process at airports. Laurello sets out the key benefits as: Protecting physical security and building automation applications with an always-on operating environment. Detecting potential problems and taking action before downtime becomes an issue. The ability to scale easily to accommodate changing business requirements. Meeting the requirements for data integrity and reliability in regulated industries. Providing support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Stratus has a variety of offerings for security applications – both hardware and software – including the everRun enterprise solution that runs on standard servers Uninterrupted security at Gerald R. Ford International Airport An example of a Stratus security installation is at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over two million passengers pass through the airport each year, making it the second busiest airport in Michigan. More than 2,000 people work at the airport, the majority being employed by airport tenants. When the airport needed an access control system, they selected a Johnson Controls P2000-based solution, using a Microsoft Windows server 2003 operating system. The system operator has real-time access to an interactive facility map using dynamic icons, to monitor and control access points. Because of the critical nature of this application, the airport had to ensure that the system would be guaranteed to run with very high availability. Stratus everRun FT software synchronises two standard Windows servers to deliver a virtual application environment that runs a single license of P2000 on both servers simultaneously. If a device or a server fails, the system continues to operate uninterrupted. With such applications, says Laurello, “we are the heartbeat of business-critical computing”.
The proportion of failed ATM attacks is more than 50%, but the collateraldamage is high and growing ATM security providers and products can take various countermeasures to mitigate attacks on ATMs. The key is to detect an attack in its preparation phase. Speaking at ATM Security 2015 in London, Claudio Ferioli, head of physical security at Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, provided an overview of the current state of physical attacks on ATMs in Italy. As the largest bank in the country, Intesa Sanpaulo has around 6,500 ATMs, more than 90% of which are at branches. It suffers an average of around 100 attacks a year, while there are around 650 attacks against all ATMs in Italy. Some 60% of attacks use explosives, while 20% are ram raids and 20% using other means. While the number of attacks against the bank’s ATMs are fairly stable, says Ferioli, the proportion of failed attacks is more than 50% and growing. But this is only partly good news, as the collateral damage from attacks is high and growing. Unpredictability and collateral damage Moreover, the location of attacks has become unpredictable. In 2009, 80% of attacks occurred in just eight provinces; in 2014 that 80% was spread over 23 provinces. Also, in 2009 the top three areas accounted for 60% of attacks, compared to just 30% in 2014. In summary, says Ferioli, the rising trends are the number of failed attacks, collateral damage from attacks, and the unpredictability of location. As far as detecting attacks, we need to detect the attack during its preparation phase, before it causes damage. At present, we detect an attack after an explosion. The second need is looking for a solution that can contain collateral damage. On average, the damage is worth between two and five times the value of the stolen cash, according to Ferioli. Finally, we are looking to protect existing branches with easy, flexible solutions that are easy to deploy. In other words, required solutions should anticipate the attack, stop the damage and be flexible.
SourceSecurity.com’s most trafficked articles in 2017 reflected changing trends in the market, from facial detection to drones, from deep learning to body worn cameras. Again in 2017, the most well-trafficked articles posted at SourceSecurity.com tended to be those that addressed timely and important issues in the security marketplace. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles posted at SourceSecurity.com in 2017 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with the author’s name and a brief excerpt. MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software 1. MOBOTIX Aims High with Cybersecurity and Customer-Focused Solutions [Jeannie Corfield] With a new CEO and Konica Minolta on board, MOBOTIX is set for expansion on a global scale. But how much growth can we expect for a company like MOBOTIX in an increasingly commoditised surveillance market, where many of the larger players compete on price as a key differentiator? While MOBOTIX respects those players, the German manufacturer wants to tell a different story. Rather than competing as a camera hardware manufacturer, MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software – camera units are just one part of an intelligent system. When MOBOTIX succeeds in telling this story, partners understand that it’s not about the price. 2. ‘Anti-Surveillance Clothing’ Creates a New Wrinkle in Facial Detection [Larry Anderson] The latest challenge to facial recognition technology is “anti-surveillance clothing,” aimed at confusing facial recognition algorithms as a way of preserving “privacy.” The clothing, covered with ghostly face-like designs to specifically trigger face-detection algorithms, are a backlash against the looming possibility of facial recognition being used in retail environments and for other commercial purposes. 3. Drone Terror: How to Protect Facilities and People [Logan Harris] Already, rogue groups such as ISIS have used low cost drones to carry explosives in targeted attacks. Using this same method, targeting high profile locations to create terror and panic is very possible. Security professionals and technologists are working furiously to address the gaps in drone defence. Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) is a security technology addressing the problems with other types of detection. CSR, like traditional radar, has the benefit of being able to detect and track foreign objects in all weather conditions, but at a fraction of the size and cost. The last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning 4. Deep Learning Algorithms Broaden the Scope of Video Analytics [Zvika Anshani] Until recently there have been minimal applications of Machine Learning used in video analytics products, largely due to high complexity and high resource usage, which made such products too costly for mainstream deployment. However, the last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning. The recent increased interest in Deep Learning is largely due to the availability of graphical processing units (GPUs). GPUs can efficiently train and run Deep Learning algorithms 5. Body Worn Cameras: Overcoming the Challenges of Live Video Streaming [Mark Patrick] Most body camera manufacturers, that are trying to stream, attempt to use these consumer technologies; but they don’t work very well in the field, which is not helpful when you need to see what is happening, right now, on the ground. The video must be of usable quality, even though officers wearing the cameras may be moving and experiencing signal fluctuations – most mobile video produces significant delays and signal breakups. Video and audio must always remain in sync so there’s no confusion about who said what. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of the scene and support immediate decision-making by local and remote team members and support teams moving to the scene. 6. QinetiQ Demonstrates New Privacy-Protecting Body Scanner for Crowded Places [Ron Alalouff] QinetiQ has developed a scanner that can be used in crowded places without having to slow down or stop moving targets. The body scanner, capable of detecting hidden explosives or weapons on a person, has been demonstrated publicly in the United Kingdom for the first time. SPO-NX from QinetiQ – a company spun out of the UK’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) in 2001 – can quickly screen large groups of people for concealed weapons or explosives in a passive, non-intrusive way, without needing people to stop or slow down. 7. ISC West 2017: How Will IT and Consumer Electronics Influence the Security Industry? [Fredrik Nilsson] A good way to predict trends [at the upcoming ISC West show] is to look at what’s happening in some larger, adjacent technology industries, such as IT and consumer electronics. Major trends on these fronts are the most likely to influence what new products will be launched in the electronic security industry. Proof in point is H.264, an advanced compression technology ratified in 2003 and adopted as the new standard by the consumer industry a few years later. By 2009, it became the new compression standard for the video surveillance industry as well. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment 8. Integrating Security Management into Broader Building Systems [Gert Rohrmann] Security solutions should be about integration not isolation. Many organisations are considering their existing processes and systems and looking at how to leverage further value. Security is part of that focus and is a central component in the move towards a more integrated approach, which results in significant benefits. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, including building automation, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment. 9. How to Use Video Analytics and Metadata to Prevent Terrorist Attacks [Yury Akhmetov] How we defend and prevent terrorism must be based on intelligent processing of information, and an early awareness of potential threats – and effective preventive action – may eliminate most attacks. Video analytics, automated surveillance and AI decision-making will change the rules of the struggle between civilians and terrorists by making attempted attacks predictable, senseless and silent. To what extent can technology investigate and prevent terror crimes considering the latest technology innovations? 10. Next Generation Video Analytics: Separating Fact from Fiction [Erez Goldstein] ‘Next generation video analytics’ is a catchy marketing phrase, is how much substance is behind it? Video analytics as a technology has been with us for many years, but there has always been an air of confusion and mystery around it, in large part created by Hollywood movies, where every camera is connected, an operator can search the network and locate the villain in a matter of seconds. I am pleased to say that, in many respects, fact has caught up with fiction, with the newest video analytics solutions that are now on the market focusing on search and specifically real-time search. These solutions have been tried, tested and proven to help reduce search time from hours to minutes and even seconds.
Again in 2016, the most well-trafficked articles posted at SourceSecurity.com tended to be those that addressed timely and important issues in the security marketplace. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles we posted in 2016 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with the author’s name and a brief excerpt. 1. Why Hikvision is suddenly front-page news: The company responds to security concerns [Ron Alalouff] It is perhaps [Hikvision’s] spectacular growth that has fueled some of the claims and concerns about the company, most recently in the UK in a front-page article in The Times. While highlighting the company’s success – in the UK it has sold more than a million cameras and recorders installed at sites such as government buildings, airports and sports stadiums – the article questioned whether there is sufficient oversight of the security implications of foreign involvement in critical infrastructure. 2. Tyco and Johnson Controls merger driven by convergence of security with smart building technology [Larry Anderson] This week, Johnson Controls and Tyco have announced their merger into one company with annual revenue of $32 billion. The new Johnson Controls will be almost a direct reflection of one of the industry’s biggest trends – the move toward technology convergence and smart buildings. 3. Weaponised robots? Military and police response uses for robots on the rise [Randy Southerland] The era of the “killer robot” hasn’t arrived, exactly, but it may not be far off. Police and the military have been using these machines for decades now to disarm bombs and provide reconnaissance in areas where it would be risky to send officers or soldiers. Police and the military have been using these machines for decades now to disarm bombs and provide reconnaissance (Image credit: Antonio Scorza / Shutterstock.com) 4. Security industry speculates as Honeywell-UTC deal falls through [Larry Anderson] In a year of mega-deals impacting the security marketplace, one of the big news stories recently was a deal that did not happen – between giants Honeywell and United Technologies (UTC). Financial news pages have been full of the back-and-forth between these two companies. It seems Honeywell wanted to merge with UTC, but UTC declined because of “insurmountable regulatory obstacles and strong customer opposition.” So the deal is off, at least for now. 5. Home automation: A growth area for the security industry? [Ron Alalouff] Despite the market entry of some big names such as Google’s Nest, Apple’s HomeKit, and telecommunications giants AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, are we really on the threshold of a home automation revolution? Not quite, according to market intelligence firm Ovum. 6. Bosch-Sony partnership amounts to a new variation on M&A [Larry Anderson] Might there be more such partnerships to come as the number of companies serving the video surveillance market adjusts to its size? Might “softer” consolidation like the Bosch-Sony deal be the next big thing and even slow down the pace of mergers and acquisitions? Time will tell, but it’s clear the benefits of such an approach might be attractive to other companies, too. Bosch will handle the sales and marketing globally for all of Sony’s video surveillance products (outside of Japan) 7. Pelco by Schneider Electric CEO Sharad Shekhar to revive Pelco global video security business [Deborah O’Mara] Pelco has made significant investments in key vertical markets, including oil and gas, gaming and casinos, Safe Cities, and airports and seaports, and [the company] will see significant focus on product and business development in these markets. [Pelco] will look to further engage customers in these spaces by focusing not just on products, but on solutions that will solve security and operational challenges. 8. Deep learning technology applications for video surveillance [Paul Sun] Although deep learning has been applied to many industries with breakthrough results compared to legacy systems, not all applications are suitable for deep learning. In the field of video surveillance, several applications stand out that can benefit from deep learning. 9. Electronic locks prove a worthwhile investment for the security industry [Michael J. Mahon] Mechanical locks and keys date back thousands of years and have undergone many changes, but the industry’s transition to electronic locks might be the most important, lasting, and surprisingly affordable security and safety change of all. The objective behind the creation of locks so long ago remains: to control a value on the other side of a door. But the security industry as a whole is migrating from the perceived “cheaper” and historical mechanical lock to the newest technology of electronic locks. 10. Understanding starlight camera technology and low-light applications in the security industry [Alyssa Fann] Starlight cameras are the latest products security companies are adding to their product line-ups, each camera boasting the most comprehensive ability to make darkness visible. While low-light surveillance capabilities have been around on the market for some time, starlight camera technology is redefining low-light surveillance to new levels. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here Save Save
As my trip to London for IFSEC International ends, I can look back on three days jam-packed with new approaches, new technologies, and the best the global security market has to offer. I met people from all over the world who share an interest in physical security technology -- and how it can be used to make the world a safer place. I heard several exhibitors mention that business was slow in Europe in the early part of 2015. However, the show highlighted that R&D investment has continued throughout the slowdown, and companies are now poised with a new wave of products just when an economic resurgence will increase demand. Almost every exhibitor in the hall saw greater success on the horizon. Was it optimism or an industry on the verge of really taking off? "Investment is pushing us forward and contributing to the growth" "Investment is pushing us forward and contributing to the growth," says Alan J. Reigler, Tyco Security Products'sales director, UK and Ireland. Tyco is one of the IFSEC exhibitors whose booth was crowded for much of the show. He says Tyco relies on the "voice of the customer" to guide its R&D teams to create the products end users need the most. Responsiveness to customer needs was another oft-heard pledge by IFSEC exhibitors. A company that is adding products at a fast clip is Canon, which has now expanded its line to 24 cameras. A year ago they had 13, and they launched nine in March alone. "We are coming as the last big brand to the market, so each product has to provide a higher level of quality, differentiating features, or something new," says Julian Rutland, Canon's European NVS marketing director. "Our prices are the same as Sony, Panasonic, and the others, so what's the reason for buying from Canon? Hard-nosed integrators want us to show them something different." Sometimes the differences are subtle -- but they matter. Canon's low-light capabilities are a strong suit. Positioning and focus of their fixed dome cameras can be adjusted remotely to simplify installation and/or to change a camera's position if an application need evolves. Theirs are the widest angle views in the market if you consider their minimised distortion, says Rutland. Just one of many examples of companies using IFSEC to highlight their responsiveness to the market. Sourcesecurity.com was out in full force throughout IFSEC, with 10 or so people walking the aisles, meeting with exhibitors, interviewing sources and shooting video. Some of this content has already been posted on the site -- and there's a lot more to come. Sourcesecurity.com was out in full force throughout IFSEC, with 10 or so people walkingthe aisles, meeting with exhibitors, interviewing sources and shooting video We have already reported on a trend toward providing solutions (rather than technologies or products). A recurring theme I heard was about the importance of a local approach to individual markets, even in an increasingly global environment. Ron Alalouff, Contributing Editor, found several examples of technologies offering applications beyond security. Ron also heard a lot of talk about the importance of integration. Finally, our consultant friend Simon Lambert has sized up the show from the viewpoint of a long-time industry watcher. Check out our IFSEC in photos feature, and keep watching for our extensive video at the show. Thanks to all who participated and provided content we can share with our visitors. What we heard at IFSEC will also help guide our editorial coverage for months to come.
RFID and smartphone readers in physical access controlDownload
Access control & intelligent vehicle screeningDownload
How plate reader technology increases your perimeter securityDownload