Davista, a provider of artificial intelligence for physical security and law enforcement, announced the availability of its AI-powered social distancing platform. The solution is designed to help businesses, organisations, and government agencies ensure social distancing efforts to keep individuals safe while promoting a healthy return-to-work. Across the globe, governments, corporate entities, and health and law enforcement agencies are working to find solutions to COVID-19 while making strides to get their local economies back up and running. AI-driven technology Heimdall is designed to help organisations proactively identify threats, find strategies to combat them Since the virus can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified social distancing as a proactive approach to help contain its spread. When combined with the ability to identify individuals who may be infected with COVID-19 and who they were in direct contact with, AI-driven technology can help organisations react proactively if an outbreak occurs. Based on Davista’s flagship Heimdall platform, the social distancing platform is based on Bluetooth and GPS technologies and manages the process of identifying individuals who come in contact with individuals who may be infected. Heimdall is designed to help organisations proactively identify threats, find strategies to combat them and identify potential trends to identify based on their specific environment. Platform with predictive intelligence The customisable platform combines a multitude of data sources and uses predictive intelligence The customisable platform combines a multitude of data sources and uses predictive intelligence to best deploy physical security or law enforcement personnel, assets and technologies. It can be configured to address evolving risks and security and compliance requirements, and easily add new configurations to support applications like the social distancing platform. Employees running the Heimdall Social Distancing app on their smart devices will receive alerts when they come close to other employees. The system will also enable employers to trace, monitor, and manage their organisation’s overall social distancing environment. Proactive risk mitigation strategies The AI engine can be configured to automatically record the user's location as well as the user’s “bread crumb” trail The AI engine can be configured to automatically record the user's location as well as the user’s “bread crumb” trail for proactive risk mitigation strategies. If an individual exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, organisations can quickly find and isolate the correct employee, map the user’s trail via their mobile device and identify who they came in contact with. "Davista is committed to helping organisations across the globe gain access to the technical tools required to help combat the virus and ensure streamlined health monitoring to support the re-opening process," said Scott Sieracki, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Davista. "Our team believes there has never been a more important moment to engineer solutions to solve this challenging process. Through close cooperation and collaboration with our customers, we look to harness technology's power to slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return to everyday life." Key features Drawing on its years of experience in the engineering of AI-enabled solutions, Davista can automate the process of social distancing and security leaders and law enforcement help identify people potentially at risk through: Geo- and Bluetooth-enabled TracingBuilt upon the latest technology protocols, Heimdall utilises both geo-location aware and Bluetooth based technology for enhanced contact tracing and can leverage a customer’s wireless access points (WAP) and other technologies for optimal location awareness. Automated Stakeholder AlertsStakeholders receive automated alerts based upon predefined conditions informing them of what they need to know and when they need to know it. n-th Degree Contact TracingQuickly locate people who contact potential COVID-19 individuals by using advanced filtering options and contact link visualisations. Privacy-preserving Data CollectionQuickly deploy in a building, campus, or agency-wide setting and employ Heimdall's geofencing and data anonymisation techniques for privacy preservation.
ASSA ABLOY, the global provider of door opening solutions, announced the integration of its IP-enabled PoE (Power over Ethernet) and WiFi access control locks with Viscount Systems’ open platform, web-based security management solution: Freedom Access Control. The IP integration offers end-users more options for expanding their physical security system easily and affordably using IP-enabled locks from ASSA ABLOY Group brands CORBIN RUSSWIN and SARGENT. The IP-enabled range include locks that connect to a host system through an existing 802.11b/g/n WiFi network. The range also includes IEEE 802.3af compliant Power over Ethernet (PoE) locks that connect to the Local Area Network (LAN) utilising a single Ethernet cable for both power and data. Robust cyber secure products ASSA ABLOY and Viscount Systems make for excellent partners thanks to the shared philosophy and approach to leveraging IT infrastructure and avoiding expensive and proprietary panels. The partnership also means integrators now have a unique opportunity to offer an IT approach to access control to clients. "When it comes to access control, Viscount Systems commits to making products that are both cyber secure and future-proof with the goal of protecting the end user and their investment" said Scott Sieracki, CEO of Viscount Systems. "ASSA ABLOY has the same commitment to crafting products with robust security, upgradability and interoperability. It's not only a very exciting partnership to combine our work into a total solution, but also a very natural partnership in terms of shared values and missions."
Part 11 of our Security in Healthcare series The Joint Commission’s mission is to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders Compliance with Joint Commission accreditation can impact hospital and healthcare safety and security decisions, and can even drive security system improvements at healthcare facilities. An independent, not-for-profit organisation, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organisations and programmes in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognised nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organisation’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. The Joint Commission’s mission is to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organisations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. Security systems evaluation But how are security and safety systems a factor in accreditation and certification by The Joint Commission? The Joint Commission does not require an organisation to have a specific type of security system, says John D. Maurer, Engineer, Department of Engineering, Certified Yellow Belt, The Joint Commission. Rather, an organisation is permitted to determine the types of security systems it uses based on the risks it identifies specific to its operations. Once an organisation identifies security risks that may impact operations, the processes put in place to address those risks are evaluated during a Joint Commission survey, including evaluation of the use and functionality of the types of security systems in place. An organisation is permitted to determine the types of security systems it uses based on therisks it identifies specific to itsoperations Based on the processes that are put in place, this evaluation will take into account the actions taken during a security incident in addition to the proper use and maintenance of the equipment specific to the setting and circumstances in which the security measures are implemented, says Maurer. “Organisations should properly evaluate any equipment to determine how well it will serve its needs,” he says. It is recommended that the selection be conducted through a multidisciplinary team, including input from key stakeholders. Included with the selection process, organisations should review the operational needs of the security systems and related equipment so staff can use it properly and effectively. Additionally, the maintenance requirements should be reviewed in order to keep it functioning as it is intended. Of course, both the aforementioned points would involve training, and this could also be reviewed during a survey event to help determine the overall effectiveness of the system in place, according to Maurer. Advantages of ‘Security by Committee’ After participating in a wide range of healthcare security deployments, security equipment manufacturers find that many of the most successful are led by healthcare executives that make use of a broad “security by committee” planning process. “Advisory committees that include representatives of all staff levels, and sometimes interested community volunteers, bring a unique blend of opinions to guide the planning and decision processes,” says Robert Laughlin, President, Galaxy Control Systems. “Over the years of working in this field, we have often heard legitimate staff complaints about systems that were installed without knowing how they would affect the staff,” he adds. “Because staff adoption is key to a successful installation, hearing a range of suggestions helps make these deployments successful." The most critical areas are those in which the wealth of expensive medical equipment and pharmaceutical materials are stored Laughlin says a key challenge of healthcare security is to provide the right balance between, on the one hand, an open, friendly and welcoming facility that supports families and individuals during some of the most difficult situations of their lives; and, on the other hand, protecting the privacy and security of vulnerable people, expensive equipment, and valuable drugs and materials. Round-the-clock operation, a large and complex workforce, and a constant flow of unfamiliar visitors only compound the security challenge. Higher level of access control in areas of critical risk Healthcare campuses are vulnerable to a variety of security risks, but the most critical areas are those in which the wealth of expensive medical equipment and pharmaceutical materials are stored, says Scott Sieracki, CEO, Viscount Systems. These areas need to be heavily protected from theft and contamination 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, which can be exhaustive, expensive and hard to manage if any of these items are in transit. "We are also experiencing higher demand for more and moreintegrations between securitysystems and facilities management systems" Moreover, only employees with the highest security clearance and proper credentials are allowed access to these materials, and clearances can be changed at a moment’s notice within the facility’s main database. However, without real-time communication among card readers, access cards and Active Directory, these minute-to-minute decisions can open up opportunities for potential identity fraud and physical and/or logical security breaches, thus putting vulnerable patients, sensitive data and priceless equipment at risk. Some specific areas of a hospital are especially vulnerable. “We are seeing higher levels of access control deployed in areas such as maternity and psychiatric wards, ICUs, operating rooms and onsite pharmacies that dispense controlled substances,” says Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Tyco Security Products. “We are also experiencing higher demand for more and more integrations between security systems and facilities management systems.” The combinations of the abilities of these devices mean, for example, that bracelets can be used to track physical locations of patients who may be mentally incapacitated or perhaps have Alzheimer’s disease, to make sure they are not in harm’s way. “We even have technology that can alert a nurse when a patient falls out of his or her bed, using the same principles used in infant abduction/infant tracking devices,” says Stankevich. “This technology is even used to track expensive medical equipment in real time in order to reduce theft, and also to track equipment that is in use or is possibly misplaced.” Catch up on our Security in Healthcare series here Save
Viscount Systems, Inc. (“Viscount”), a global solutions provider delivering physical and logical security platforms, recently announced the release of Freedom 9.2.B. Freedom allows entry devices to be connected and controlled by standard building IT networks without the need for expensive control panels or wiring. A comprehensive enterprise-class security solution Viscount Freedom 9.2.B provides deeper integration with IT architectures to deliver a comprehensive enterprise-class security solution. Real-time authentication with Active Directory allows for instantaneous data syncing from the directory to the card reader and leverages AD to provision access to the physical space. Freedom detects organisational units (OU) and security groups to enable users to choose groups to import, map user attributes, provision physical access to facilities, confirm user validity through AD at every card swipe and more. The comprehensive integration between Freedom and AD allows AD to become the authoritative source for permissions across logical and physical networks. Web-based physical access control solution Freedom is a Web-based physical access control solution designed to fit seamlessly into existing IT infrastructure, and support business continuity planning. Built on a REST API, Freedom acts like most IT applications, enabling businesses to future-proof installations at a lower cost than other end-to-end PACS solutions in the market. It is also flexible enough to support smaller deployments via the Freedom CUBE appliance with a very competitive price point and the convenience that comes with a browser-based software platform. Cyber secure design Freedom 9.2.B is designed to be cyber secure, delivering the ability to create a truly hardened network and authentication architecture and process. Vulnerability is reduced through the elimination of control panels. The Freedom platform is compliant with government standards such as FICAM 13.02, FIPS-201 and more, and is proven in a wide variety of government, commercial enterprise, healthcare and municipal installations across the globe. Robust integration with Active Directory “Freedom is unique in that it solves complex operational problems through services like our advanced Active Directory integration,” said Scott Sieracki, CEO, Viscount Systems. “The Freedom platform also has a positive impact on cyber security enabling our customers to realise better, more efficient physical access control and with an overall stronger security posture.”
This partnership enables joint customers to enhance integration capabilities between each brand’s products Viscount Systems, Inc. (“Viscount”), a software company specialising in physical and logical security solutions, announced its product partnership agreement with Digital Monitoring Products (DMP), a manufacturer of electronic alarms and access products. New integration capabilities for joint customers Viscount and DMP have agreed to allow for the integration of the IT-centric access control platform, Freedom, with a number of products from DMP’s suite of open architecture alarm management and monitoring technologies. This strategic alliance will enable joint customers to enhance the communication base and integration capabilities between each brand’s best-selling products. Both companies will also gain access to opportunities within their shared large target markets of government, retail, banking and commercial/enterprise. DMP intrusion products are based on a combination of hardwired and wireless, open architecture solutions and offer the ability to connect a variety of monitoring systems together to enhance communication and security processes. The forward and backward compatible architecture of DMP intrusion alarm consolidation systems and keypads allow for further facilitated compatibility with Freedom Access Control’s ability to leverage native IT infrastructures, expanding the reach in both product families of real-time situational awareness, intrusion detection and identity management. DMP and Viscount integration to offer cost effective, total security solution “We believe that the combination of DMP’s superior intrusion technology with the award winning access control solution provided by Viscount, will provide existing and future customers a powerful and more cost efficient option for comprehensive protection with a government-certified access control system,” said Vince Adams, Director of Market Development, Government Solutions, DMP. “Viscount’s access control solutions are uniquely based on IT infrastructure. Customers who already rely on DMP alarm intrusion products and require HSPD-12 access control operation will benefit greatly from the cost savings and even more comprehensive protection that come from a government-certified access control system. Current customers who have a requirement for operating in an HSPD-12 environment can now integrate the time tested and approved DMP intrusion solution with the Freedom Access Control system for a superior, cost effective, total security solution.” Viscount Freedom - an IT-centric access control suite Viscount Freedom is an IT-centric access control suite designed for a more complex threat environment. It is inherently flexible, enabling users to trust its robust, secure architecture in government and enterprise organisations. Freedom Access Control bridges the gap between the physical, logical and cyber security worlds with a software-centric, standards-based approach to physical access control and identity management. “Viscount is continuing to gain momentum on its path to growth and collaboration with other manufacturers across the globe, and we are excited to join forces with a well-established purveyor of vital intrusion monitoring devices whose products are relied on for mission critical applications in a wide variety of markets,” said Scott Sieracki, CEO, Viscount Systems. “DMP’s and Viscount’s product families both offer access control and alarm monitoring solutions separately, but the cooperation of these products’ specialisations primes businesses for much stronger security networks that are future-proof and cost-effective.”
These key appointments are part of Viscount's strategy for strengthening management depth & growth Viscount Systems, Inc., a software company driving the convergence of physical and logical security solutions, announced recently the hiring of Yvonne Zheng as its Principal Financial Officer, and the promotion of Boris Margovskiy as the team’s Vice President of Operations. Yvonne Zheng - cost control & streamlined business strategy Yvonne Zheng has served as Viscount’s Internal Controller since September 2015 and has more than 15 years of professional financial accounting and analysis experience. Prior to joining the company, Zheng served as Senior Accountant for the global finance team at Colliers International Group Inc., a publicly traded real estate company, and was Lead Financial Analyst at TIO Networks Corp., a publicly traded bill payment processing company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Over the course of her career, Zheng has also held financial reporting and accounting manager roles at leading organisations, including HSBC Bank Canada, where she assisted with managing global financial planning, and Unicom Guomai Communications Co., Ltd., a public telecommunications company that traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Zheng holds an MBA from Laurentian University and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Shanghai University. Zheng is also a Chartered Professional Accountant and has been a member of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada since 2010. “Yvonne is a proven financial professional whose strong management and analytical skills will help us execute Viscount’s fiscal goals in 2016 and beyond,” said Scott Sieracki, CEO, Viscount Systems. “We believe Yvonne’s expertise, energy and focus will be instrumental in implementing better cost controls and a more streamlined business strategy while positioning the organization for continued growth.” Boris Margovskiy - leading operational improvements Viscount is also announcing the promotion of Boris Margovskiy into the role of Vice President of Operations. Margovskiy previously held the position of Director of Manufacturing, through which he was responsible for building higher quality products, scaling capacity and improving margins. “Boris has been with the team through a number of important product and business transitions, and we’re excited to reward his performance and be able to further leverage his expertise to lead the next phase of operational improvements in the coming quarters,” said Sieracki. “These recent leadership appointments are an important part of strengthening the company’s management depth and preparing the organisation for the next level of growth.”
The initiative is designed to help system integrators expand business opportunities and revenue growth Viscount Systems, Inc., a software company specialising in physical and logical security solutions, recently announced its Viscount Systems Certified Channel Partner Program. The initiative is designed to help system integrators expand business opportunities and revenue growth through the delivery of Viscount access control and security management solutions. Developing innovative solutions Viscount’s Freedom access control application enables partners to capitalize on unique differentiators that drive today’s convergence of physical and logical access control solutions. There are measurable benefits to adopting a unified physical and logical security programme, and customers in a host of vertical markets are looking for trusted partners to help implement technologies to support this approach. Partnering with Viscount enables integrators to deliver unique and innovative access control and integrated security management solutions to a new generation of security managers who take a more holistic approach to securing their company’s assets. Partnering with Viscount empowers systems integrators through the delivery of technologically advanced solutions that cost less to install while delivering an unparalleled level of security at a lower cost of ownership. Expanding business opportunities Freedom Certified Channel Partners gain access to sales and marketing resources, enhanced technical support and training, and the opportunity to maximise margins and tap into new business opportunities. The Certified Channel Partner Program is an exclusive network of preferred partners that meet high standards of technical and IT security expertise and maintain a reputation for superior customer service. “The Viscount Certified Channel Partner Program is a strategic initiative that more closely connects our business with a select network of systems integrators,” said Scott Sieracki, CEO of Viscount. “We are committed to providing our channel partners with unsurpassed opportunity and support as they are a critical part of our growth strategy. Viscount’s investment in technical support resources and infrastructure combined with the delivery of technologically advanced, secure access control solutions enable integrators to tap into new revenue streams, lower support costs, and improve their profit margins.”
James will drive strategies and opportunity for Viscount’s innovative product portfolio Viscount Systems, Inc., (“Viscount”), a software company specialising in physical and logical security solutions, announced the addition of Sarah James as Senior Director of Sales. James will drive strategies and opportunity for Viscount’s innovative product portfolio, including the IT-centric Freedom Access Control platform. She reports to Viscount CEO Scott Sieracki. Previous roles James is a results-driven professional with an extensive history of sales and business development experience in the security industry. Most recently, she served as the Director of Enterprise Sales with AMAG Technology, where she led and managed the execution of enterprise-level sales strategies across the AMAG technology portfolio. Previously, James held the role of Director of Business Development for AMAG, driving collaboration and prospects to maximise revenue. Over the course of her career, she has also held senior sales level positions with Tyco Security Products. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Management and Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Spearheading new opportunities “Viscount is a leading developer of some of the most disruptive security technologies available in today’s market and is uniquely positioned to drive new levels of growth in its target markets,” said James. “I look forward to leveraging my industry expertise to spearhead new revenue opportunities and am confident that I can lend a new perspective to position the company for sustained success.” “Sarah is a highly experienced sales executive who keenly understands today’s technology trends and the challenges customers face,” said Sieracki. “She has a proven track record of driving significant business growth, and will deliver valuable leadership experience to our sales team. We are certain that her expertise will be a valuable asset to the future of the Viscount organisation.”
Viscount Systems’ Freedom access control now secures the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which uses the physical security system in dozens of field offices of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the department’s largest agency. (Tentative plans by President Obama call for the number of USCIS sites to increase ten-fold.) For many access control companies, government business is difficult to win and may even prove elusive. It’s ironic, then, that Viscount’s first big win was in the U.S. government. Since late-2014, the company has been focusing on expanding that business into more commercial markets. The Viscount system plays well in large campus environments, where costs are competitive and end users are looking to change the dynamic of their provisioning environment. “Price helps start the conversation,” says Scott Sieracki, Viscount’s new president and CEO. Sieracki has replaced Viscount System’s former CEO Dennis Raefield, who will continue to sit on the Viscount board of directors. Sieracki’s security industry career has previously included stops at IDV Solutions, Quantum Secure, Software House and Open Options. He began with Viscount as vice president of sales in late-2014. Secure physical access control system Sieracki says “the company’s technology is “disruptive.” By removing the access control panel and replacing it with an “encryption bridge,” Viscount’s Freedom access control system puts every element of the physical access control system under the purview of the IT department (and protected by all the IT department’s cyber security measures and architecture).” “The approach eliminates the physical access control system as a potential point of entry by hackers to an end user’s entire IT infrastructure. It also removes field-based decision-making processes from the architecture. There are no access control panels or cardholder configurations that exist outside the “four walls” of a company’s cyber secure architecture,” Sieracki says. “Viscount is leveraging the conventional go-to-market strategy for access control, including security integrators who are “eager and successful adopters of new technology”, says Scott Sieracki, Viscount President and CEO Elements at the edge of the system, such as card readers, are connected to the IT infrastructure via the encryption bridge; all communication is encrypted and secure. “Cyber security can’t throw its net around the conventional access control model,” says Sieracki. “Our system eliminates all those points of risk or failure.” In effect, the system becomes part of the IT department’s mission-critical level of dependability – for example, 99.9999 percent uptime (“six nines”) is the equivalent of only 31.5 seconds of downtime per year. “It moves us closer to being a seamless partner with the chief security officer (CSO) or the chief information security officer (CISO),” Sieracki says. Viscount Systems’ “disruptive” technology The Viscount system includes software that operates as part of a company’s IT infrastructure, whether loaded on a separate server, on the enterprise server, on a public or private cloud, or in a virtual server configuration. In a remote location, the software can run on a standalone server to avoid any risks from interruption of public network connectivity, thus providing “local resiliency” and then updating with the main server when connectivity resumes. Operating as part of the enterprise IT system, Viscount can link access control decision-making (i.e., access privileges) to any “higher-source of information” in the enterprise, whether it is an Active Directory, a system such as PeopleSoft, an integrated database management system (IDMS), an identity access management (IAM) system), or any combination. There is no separate access control database that has to be updated; no waiting for credentials to be issued or deprovisioned. “In addition to being more cyber secure, the “disruptive” technology is also 30 to 50 percent less expensive,” says Sieracki. Transition to all-IT model He says “the Viscount approach is attractive to IT departments, which are accustomed to embracing leading edge technology. However, in the physical security market, which moves more slowly, there is an education curve to be addressed.” “That ends up being our biggest challenge – getting the message out there,” he says. So why isn’t the market moving more rapidly to an encrypted all-IT model? Sieracki attributes the slowness to “self-preservation” among manufacturers, comparing it to manufacturers’ earlier hesitancy to embrace IP video over entrenched analogue video product lines. Working against Viscount’s approach to technology are the “big, monolithic brands working to hold onto their beachheads,” he comments. “This is where the future has to go as we align one of the last bastions of physical security into an IT department’s network, cyber security and support strategy,” says Sieracki. Viscount channel strategy In terms of channel strategy, Sieracki says “Viscount is leveraging the conventional go-to-market strategy for access control, including security integrators who are “eager and successful adopters of new technology.” The company is also looking to leverage resellers of voice-over-IP and IP video systems, whose technology models are more closely aligned to Viscount’s than are those of some traditional security integrators. The Freedom access control platform evolved from the company’s Enterphone telephone entry systems, which are used in multi-tenant buildings.”
In his new role with Viscount, Sieracki will be responsible for developing robust sales and business strategies Viscount Systems, a leading provider of IT-based security software and services, announced recently that it has appointed Scott Sieracki as its new Vice President of Sales effective immediately. Sieracki, who reports directly to Viscount President and CEO Dennis Raefield, will drive new opportunities for growth and development for the company specifically in the commercial marketplace. In his new role with Viscount, Sieracki will be responsible for developing robust sales and business strategies. He will leverage his extensive sales and executive management expertise to oversee all inside, distribution and federal sales functions, while directing general management of Viscount’s sales team. "I am excited to join the Viscount team and look forward to accelerating the company's business and sales strategies as we begin 2015," Sieracki said. "Viscount Systems is poised for significant growth in the commercial market and I'm looking forward to being a part of that growth and development. Our software-centric access control solution is delivered through continuous innovation and strong customer support, and the company is positioned for further advancement." Sieracki has more than 20 years of security industry expertise. He most recently served as Executive Vice President, Global Sales, IDV Solutions. Over the course of his career, he has held strategic leadership roles with leading global and start-up organisations including Vice President of Global Sales for Quantum Secure; Director of National Sales for Tyco Fire & Building Products (Software House); and President of Open Options. “Scott is an seasoned industry veteran who will bring significant access control and sales management experience to propel Viscount’s business to new levels,” said Raefield. “I am confident that Scott’s experience in sales and executive leadership positions will drive new levels of success for Viscount in our target markets in North America and beyond.”