Avigilon Corporation, a Motorola Solutions company, announced the newest version of its video management software, Avigilon Control Center (ACC) 7.4, which incorporates artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition technology. The new “appearance alerts” capability will help commercial organisations, such as educational institutions and hospitals, accelerate response times by identifying people of interest in enterprise settings. For example, the technology can alert the securi...
Pivot3, a provider of intelligent infrastructure solutions, announced that it is providing its hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software platform to Lenovo Datacenter Group (DCG) to deliver integrated edge computing solutions optimised for mission-critical Smart City and Safe Campus environments. As part of Lenovo’s ON DEMAND program, Pivot3 and Lenovo have developed fully qualified solutions for edge deployments that are available through Lenovo’s network of channel partners worl...
Public spaces provide soft targets and are often the sites of terrorist or active shooter attacks. Public spaces, by definition, require easy accessibility and unrestricted movement. Given that openness, what security technologies can provide real results? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is technology innovation impacting the security of public spaces?
The technology partnership established between BlueBox Video and Hanwha Techwin means that images captured by Wisenet Full HD, ultra-high definition 4K and 360 degree fisheye cameras can now be cost effectively displayed on and across a video wall, as well as on a desk top PC monitor. The successful integration of Wisenet WAVE Video Management Software (VMS) with professional grade video wall controllers manufactured by BlueBox provides an affordable control room solution for a wide range of ap...
Securing large campus environments can be particularly demanding and requires a range of technology solutions. In effect, a campus may represent a dozen or more individual facilities to be secured, in addition to protecting the overall environment. Seeking more insight into the number and variety of needs of securing a campus, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting large campus environments?
Many venues are using access control, video surveillance systems, sensors, and additional hardware solutions as part of a broader security strategy. By utilising so many disparate systems, corporate security teams are left with information “silos” that create inefficiencies and hamper communication. This abundance of hardware has left teams with too much data or too many tools, to manage effectively. Armored Things offers a software solution. The company’s “spatial intel...
Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, announced that it will unveil new headquarters in the City of London, in the autumn of 2019. The announcement follows a period of accelerated growth for Genetec in the United Kingdom, with a significant and sustained increase in EMEA revenues over the last five years. Some of the company’s flagship customers in the UK include the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Twickenham Stadium and the University of Hull. Paul Dodds, Country Manager, UK & Ireland, commented: “At a time when Brexit has seen many organisations reconsider their presence, Genetec is unequivocal about the role of the United Kingdom as a critically important part of the global economy. As such, we’re delighted to be opening a central London headquarters to better meet the needs of our channel partners, end users, and prospects.” Public safety applications We work with local partners to provide training, compelling educational experiences, and state-of-the-art support The new headquarters will incorporate an expanded state-of-the-art training facility, and a new ‘Genetec Experience Center’ housing innovative solutions from Genetec and its large ecosystem of technology partners. Furthermore, the office will house a dedicated research and development team focused on justice and public safety applications for law enforcement, emergency responders and local government. Michel Chalouhi, VP of Global Sales, added: “The new London headquarters will give us the perfect platform to continue to execute our UK strategy and sustain the excellent year-on-year growth that we’ve achieved globally over the past years. The security market is growing and changing rapidly. We are constantly facing new challenges, so we need to ensure we work with our local partners to provide up-to-date training, compelling educational experiences, and state-of-the-art support. Our base in London will help us do that, thanks to its fantastic location, facilities, and links.”
Snap Network Surveillance, PTY LTD, the developer of the world’s first and only AI-based intelligent tracking software for large-scale security camera networks, announced the latest release of its Force Multiplier (FMx) tool – enabling operators to track subjects faster and more easily. This new version delivers extensive enhancements to the FMx Network Optimiser tool, which significantly benefits our system integrator partners in commissioning a FMx system, now much faster. Provides REST API for PSIM vendors Force Multiplier version 1.7.3 now provides a new REST API for partners that provides a low-resolution form of our camera relationship learning. Now, for example, a PSIM vendor is able to use the REST API to find the environment’s camera relationships and use that information in their own PSIM user interface. This functionality could also be used with currently non-supported VMS platforms. Version 1.7.3 now also supports the Milestone XProtect privacy masking functionalityVersion 1.7.3 now also supports the Milestone XProtect privacy masking functionality. When Milestone XProtect implements a security privacy mask on a particular camera feed, FMx will now also properly blur out the privacy area within the Force Multiplier tab within the XProtect Smart Client. VMS add-on tool to track suspects “This new release is the result of our ongoing development of the industry’s easiest to use VMS add-on tool for tracking suspects and objects around a campus-style environment,” stated Henry Detmold, CTO, Snap Surveillance. “Being able to quickly and easily track targets of importance around a large camera count environment is what Snap Surveillance excels at and this new version continues to expand our overall value to our customers.” Exhibiting at GSX 2019 Force Multiplier 1.7.3 instantly creates one continuous video story from hundreds of individual camera feeds – quickly and more easily than any other tool on the market. Snap Surveillance will be exhibiting at the Global Security Exchange (GSX) in Chicago, IL, September 10 – 12, 2019 in booth 3417. As a Gold Partner with Milestone Systems, Snap Surveillance will be demonstrating its patented AI-based system that is 10x faster than human-alone subject tracking removing the stress on an operator of knowing which camera feed or video view will be needed next.
Montreal-based TrackTik, the workforce management solution for physical security, is pleased to announce its sponsorship of Clery Center’s National Campus Safety Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2019. NCSAM originated in 2008 following unanimous congressional support for increased public awareness on issues surrounding campus safety, culminating in September becoming the designated National Campus Safety Awareness Month. Crucial issue of campus safety Montreal is a proud student city, and as a Montreal-based software company, TrackTik is very excited about this partnership" “This year’s theme of ‘Bridging the Gap’ focuses on connecting theory to practice in areas campuses often find confusing or challenging,” said Laura Egan, Clery Center Senior Director of Programs. “Through providing subject matter experts across the field in our webinars and hands-on resources like our flowcharts and tools, Clery Center highlights the questions that need answers and provides applicable ways to put the answers into practice.” “Montreal is a proud student city, and as a Montreal-based software company, TrackTik is very excited about this partnership,” said Brian Strasser, Senior Director of Partnerships at TrackTik. “We’ve been in talks with Clery Center for a while now, and are happy to support their initiatives on the crucial issue of campus safety.” Professional development opportunities “With risk being invisible, yet ever-threatening, we know that creating awareness and ensuring compliance with the Clery Act is vital,” Strasser said. “As such, we recognise the important work that Clery Center does and are delighted to support their initiatives.” In recognition of National Campus Safety Awareness Month, the two organisations have announced a joint webinar being held free of charge as part of the range of professional development opportunities offered during the month of September. Webinar participants will benefit from the combination of TrackTik’s proficiency in the field of security and Clery Center’s subject matter expertise on the Act. Both organisations will cover strategies to refine the reporting procedures necessary to ensure Clery compliance. Scheduled to take place September 19 at 2 p.m. EST, the webinar will be led by Laura Egan of the Clery Center, and Mark Folmer, Vice President, Security Industry of TrackTik and industry expert.
Code Blue Corporation once again will be returning as a sponsor for National Campus Safety Awareness Month (NCSAM) in September. During NCSAM, Clery Center will partner with colleges, universities and other organisations to provide professional development opportunities that address the background of certain campus safety areas and strategies for talking about those areas with campus community members. Raising college campus awareness “For more than 30 years, student safety has been at the core of Code Blue’s mission and it remains a top priority today,” Code Blue Director of Distribution Katie Petre said. “We are proud to continue our support of Clery Center and the vital work it does to raise awareness on college campuses around the nation.” In 2018, more than 500 individuals from 409 colleges participated in NCSAM’s free webinar series NCSAM was unanimously approved by Congress in 2008 to encourage a public conversation on important topics in violence prevention at the nation’s colleges and universities. In 2018, more than 500 individuals from 409 colleges participated in NCSAM’s free webinar series, with access to additional tools and resources. Campus safety through education Clery Center is a national non-profit organisation focused on promoting college and university campus safety through education, awareness, policy, and prevention initiatives. “This year’s theme of ‘Bridging the Gap’ focuses on connecting theory to practice in areas campuses often find confusing or challenging,” said Laura Egan, Clery Center Senior Director of Programs. “Through providing subject matter experts across the field in our webinars and hands-on resources like our flowcharts and tools, Clery Center highlights the questions that need answers and provides applicable ways to put the answers into practice.”
IDIS America, the regional headquarters of South Korean security technology innovator, IDIS, announces Emily’s Place, as the first recipient of a comprehensive donation of company’s award-winning technology as part of its ‘Create a Better World’ campaign. The campaign, announced at the 2019 ISC West security show in April, is designed to support and better empower community organisations, the facility’s mission of providing long-term, multi-faceted care and support for domestic abuse survivors seeking to permanently leave their lives of abuse behind. The IDIS donation was facilitated and installed with the support of the KOTRA, the Korean trade promotion agency, and security integrator Integrated Lifestyles. Emily’s Place, which provides a shared living environment for women and children for up to 24 months, empowers residents to permanently break from an abusive past through committed and active engagement that includes counselling, case management, internal programs, and the mapping of measurable goals for personal development and a successful transformation of their lives. Corporate mission statement The facility further connects residents with assistance from partners within the larger community, allowing them to build an essential network of support. Additional partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as support from businesses like IDIS, allow Emily’s Place to be a strategic, efficient, and effective “bridge,” from traditional women’s shelters to a truly independent and self-sufficient life. IDIS has spent more than two decades leveraging every opportunity to use technology Keith Drummond, IDIS America Senior Director, noted “IDIS has spent more than two decades leveraging every opportunity to use technology and innovation to make the world a safer and more secure place for all. We believe in it so much, it’s actually our corporate mission statement. And while we’ve helped do some amazing things to that end in the past 20 years, there’s always something particularly special about finding opportunities like this one to help make the world a better place.” Transforming lives “Emily’s Place provides essential, transformative services to those among society’s most vulnerable, and works with a second-to-none alliance of staff, volunteers, local and federal agencies, and partner businesses to do the most important work of all for someone escaping a life of abuse: helping those affected to grow, stand, and truly thrive on their own. Essential to that effort is the provision of a safe and secure living, childcare, and service environment, allowing staff and residents alike to focus single-mindedly on the core mission of transforming lives.” Adds Andrew Myung, President of IDIS America, “At IDIS, we know the important role security technology can play in safeguarding people and places and ensuring the peace of mind that comes with strong security. Our experience with Emily’s Place has been exceptional, and our admiration of the work they do has only grown. We encourage others to familiarise themselves with Emily’s Place and support their important mission however they can, as well as to look for other opportunities they can help to ‘create a better world’ in their own communities.”
Antaira Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of industrial networking devices and communication solutions for harsh environment applications and is proud to announce the expansion of its industrial networking infrastructure family with the introduction of the LMP-1802G-SFP and LMX-1802G-SFP Series. Antaira’s LMP-1802G-SFP and LMX-1802G-SFP series are industrial-grade equipment that is Ethernet ready to fulfil various markets’ edge-level networking applications in harsh and outdoor environments, such as manufacturing automation, security surveillance, power/utility, waste water treatment plants, oil/gas/mining, and transportation. Industrial switches These devices support high density Ethernet port connectivity, wide bandwidth, long distance data transmission, and have a superb reliability factor. The LMX-1802G-SFP Series is an ideal choice for campus ring solutions with its two fibre optic ports supporting an open standard ring technology (ERPS). These outdoor devices are able to communicate and send critical information back to an enterprise switch There are many proprietary ring technologies available but using an open standard like ERPS means that it is possible to have equipment from different manufacturers working together in the ring. For example, campuses have networking rings consisting of hardened and industrial switches for outdoor environments that require a wide temperature-rated device. These outdoor devices are able to communicate and send critical information back to an enterprise switch at a data center. Electromagnetic interference Antaira’s LMP-1802G-SFP Series can not only provide a large number of PoE ports (30 Watts) for high density security applications, but also fibre optic interfaces for long range connectivity (1 meter to 100 KM) that is 3 feet to over 60 miles. The SFP port will not only allow connectivity beyond the 100 meter/300-foot limitation of copper cable but also permits connectivity through areas where electromagnetic interference may cause issues such as on a factory floor. The Antaira management software on these switches helps monitor, react, and troubleshoot applications to reduce the cost of maintenance and downtime. Features such as SNMP Traps, Syslog, and port mirroring can be priceless when maintaining a system and reducing issues causing outages.
Governments and corporations face crisis events every day. An active shooter terrorises a campus. A cyber extortionist holds a city for ransom. A hurricane washes away a key manufacturing facility. Not all critical events rise to the level of these catastrophic emergencies, but a late or inadequate response to even a minor incident can put people, operations and reputations at risk. Effective response plan In 2015, for example, the City of Boston experienced several record-breaking snowstorms that forced the city to close the subway system for three days. The extreme decision cost the state $265 million per day and was largely attributed to a lack of preparation and an inadequate response plan by the transportation department. The reputation of the head of the transportation department was so damaged by the decision she was forced to resign. Being able to better predict how the storms would impact the subway system’s aging infrastructure – and having a more effective response plan in place – could have saved the state hundreds of millions of dollars (not to mention the transit chief’s job). A comprehensive critical event management strategy begins before the impact of an event is felt and continues after the immediate crisis has ended. This full lifecycle strategy can be broken into four distinct phases – Assess, Locate, Act and Analyse. Assessing threats for prevention Security teams might have complained about not having enough intelligence data to make accurate predictionsIdentifying a threat before it reaches critical mass and understanding how it might impact vital assets is the most difficult challenge facing security professionals. In the past, security teams might have complained about not having enough intelligence data to make accurate predictions. Today, the exact opposite might be true – there is too much data! With crime and incident data coming from law enforcement agencies, photos and videos coming from people on the front line, topics trending on social media and logistical information originating from internal systems it can be almost impossible to locate a real signal among all the noise and chatter. Being able to easily visualise all this intelligence data within the context of an organisation’s assets is vital to understand the relationship between threat data and the individuals or facilities in harm’s way. Social media monitoring Free tools like Google Maps or satellite imagery from organisations like AccuWeather, for example, can help understand how fast a storm is closing in on a manufacturing facility, or how close an active shooter is to a school. Their usefulness, however, is limited to a few event types and they provide only a very macro view of the crisis.Data from building access systems, wifi hotspots, corporate travel systems, among others, can be used to create a profile Critical event management (CEM) platforms, however, are designed specifically to manage critical events of all types and provide much greater visibility. Internal and external data sources (weather, local and national emergency management, social media monitoring software, security cameras, etc.) are integrated into these platforms and their data is visualised on a threat map. Security teams can quickly see if there are actual threats to the organisations or communities they are protecting and don’t lose time trying to make sense of intelligence reports. The more they can see on a ‘single pane of glass,’ the faster they can initiate the appropriate response. Locating a threat Once a threat has been deemed a critical event, the next step is to find the people who might be impacted – employees/residents in danger, first responders and key stakeholders (e.g., senior executives or elected officials who need status updates). Often, this requires someone on the security team to access an HR contact database and initiate a call tree to contact each person individually, in a specific hierarchical order. This can be a time-consuming and opaque process. There is no information on the proximity of that person to the critical event, or if a person has skills such as CPR that could aid in the response. Ensuring ahead of time that certifications, skill sets, or on-call availability is included with contact information can save valuable time in the middle of a crisis response. Going even further, data from building access systems, wifi hotspots, corporate travel systems, among others, can be used to create a profile of where a person just was and where he or she might be going in a CEM platform. This information can be visualised on the threat map and help determine who is actually in danger and who can respond the fastest. The emergency response then becomes targeted and more effective. Security teams can quickly see if there are actual threats to the organisations or communities they are protecting Acting and automating The third step is to act and automate processes. If there is a tornado closing in on a town, for example, residents should not have to wait for manual intervention before a siren is activated or a message sent out. Organisations can build and execute their standing operating procedures (SOPs) fully within a CEM platform. Sirens, alarms, digital signs and messages can all be automatically activated based on event type, severity and location. Using the tornado example, an integration with a weather forecasting service could trigger the command to issue a tornado warning for a specific community if it is in the path of the storm. Summon security guards Warning messages can be prepared in advance based on event type so there is no chance of issuing a misleading or unclear alert Warning messages can be prepared in advance based on event type so there is no chance of issuing a misleading or unclear alert. All communications with impacted individuals can be centralised within the platform and automated based on SOP protocols. This also includes inbound communications from first responders and impacted individuals. An employee confronted by an assailant in a parking garage could initiate an SOS alert from his or her mobile phone that would automatically summon security guards to the scene. Conference lines can also be instantly created to enable collaboration and speed response time. Additionally, escalation policies are automatically engaged if a protocol is broken. For example, during an IT outage, if the primary network engineer does not respond in two minutes, a designated backup is automatically summoned. Eliminating manual steps from SOPs reduces the chance for human error and increases the speed and effectiveness of critical event responses. Analysis of a threat Looking for ways to better prepare and respond to critical events will not only improve performance when similar events occur again It’s not uncommon for security and response teams to think that a critical event is over once the immediate crisis has ended. After all, they are often the ones pushing themselves to exhaustion and sometimes risking life and limb to protect their neighbours, colleagues, community reputations and company brands. They need and deserve a rest. In the aftermath of a critical event, however, it’s important to review the effectiveness of the response and look for ways to drive improvements. Which tasks took too long? What resources were missing? How many times did people respond quickly? With a CEM platform, team performance, operational response, benchmarking data and notification analysis are all captured within the system and are available in a configurable dashboard or in after-action reports for analysis. Continuously looking for ways to better prepare and respond to critical events will not only improve performance when similar events occur again, but it will also improve response effectiveness when unforeseen events strike. Coordinate emergency response Virtually every organisation has some form of response plan to triage a critical event and restore community order or business operations. While many of these plans are highly effective in providing a structure to command and coordinate emergency response, they are reactive in nature and don’t account for the full lifecycle of a critical event – Assess, Locate, Act and Analyse. Whether it’s a large-scale regional emergency or a daily operational issue such as an IT outage, a comprehensive critical event management strategy will minimise the impact by improving visibility, collaboration and response.
Over the course of the past few months, I have discussed a myriad of topics, from Big Data, the Internet of Things and emerging video surveillance-use cases, to analytics, storage complexities and IT technologies like virtualisation and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). All of these trends have a significant effect on the security market, and in April they were highlighted in spades at ISC West. It’s great to talk about these trends but it’s far better to see how they are being leveraged in real-world applications. That’s really where we can all see the true value of new solutions and concepts. We’re lucky enough to work with some leading organisations that want others to benefit from their experience and I’m happy to have the opportunity to share two of these applications with you. Protecting educational facilities UCF has adopted advancements in technology, particularly video surveillance solutions, to help ensure stronger security on campus Educational institutions face an increasingly complex risk environment. Recent high-profile incidents emphasise these risks and magnify the vulnerabilities that educational facilities face. These incidents have led to more public demand for improved security solutions across campuses. The primary mission of these organisations is to deliver quality education to students, and they face the challenge of balancing between a highly secure facility and one that supports open interaction. The University of Central Florida is no different. This organisation, one of the largest universities in the country, has adopted advancements in technology, particularly video surveillance solutions, to help ensure stronger security on campus. Active shooter incidents In March 2013, UCF faced an active shooter situation in which a former student planned to pull the fire alarm in a residence hall and then attack his classmates as the building was evacuated. However, the shooter’s gun jammed, and as officers were closing in on the gunman, he took his own life. During the university’s response to the incident, accessibility to critical video data was a major issue. Educational institutions face an increasingly complex risk environment UCF had cameras in the area where the incident took place, but first responders had no way of viewing the footage without being at the physical location of the video recorder. At the time, UCF had a wide variety of standalone systems in place, including non-integrated video surveillance, access control and intrusion systems. As a result, there was no way to centralise video management, viewing and analysis. Upgrading from analogue systems Altogether, its security system consisted of older analogue platforms that were reaching end of life, 58 standalone servers, 12,000 access points and a wide variety of DVRs — all being managed in a siloed manner. UCF needed a solution that would allow officials to centralise system management, store video data more effectively and reliably, and enable the security team to deliver situational awareness to responders when needed. Security leaders sought a way to further modernise its security, surveillance, access control and IT infrastructure The university deployed an HCI solution, one that is optimised for demanding, data-intensive workloads like video surveillance. Using standard off-the-shelf server hardware, the system aggregates the storage and compute resources from multiple servers into a single unified pool that all cameras can access, which maximises performance and storage capacity utilisation. The platform also hosts the university’s video management solution, which serves as a centralised source to manage video and effectively protect its security data. Because of the growing demand for video across UCF's campuses — for both safety and business purposes — the HCI solution’s ability to eliminate the opportunity for data loss and easily scale were key components in its selection. Protecting air travel and airports In 2012, Charleston International Airport embarked on an ambitious upgrade project dubbed the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program. The $200 million initiative was designed to modernise and expand the facility to meet increased passenger demand. While the aesthetics and amenities of the airport were under construction, security leaders sought a way to further modernise its security, surveillance, access control and IT infrastructure. The IT and security teams needed to address the challenges of their existing standalone server environment, which included siloed systems, management complexity and high administrative and equipment costs. Charleston International Airport embarked on an ambitious upgrade project dubbed the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program Considering the high value of the airport’s video, security and IT data, it required a solution that could deliver reliable data protection, system resiliency and fault tolerance. The airport is required to store video for 30 days, but it seeks to expand its retention time to 60 days. Therefore, technology that can scale simply was key in the selection process. Storage system updates It also required a storage platform that could manage the demanding and write-intensive nature of its nearly 250 IP surveillance cameras — a challenging task for traditional video recorders. The airport deployed HCI appliances to better manage captured video data and expand its archive capability for video surveillance. Users rely on video to validate whether something did or did not happen - and this is essential in airports HCI surveillance solutions are designed to provide industry-leading resiliency. Even if multiple hardware failures occur, including an entire appliance, video management servers will remain online and recording, and any previously recorded video will continue to be protected and accessible. Reducing expenses and costs The solution also reduced total cost of operations by consolidating servers, storage and client workstations into one enterprise-class solution that is easily managed from a single user interface, without the need for specialised IT skills. These use cases demonstrate the value emerging technologies bring to these types of modern environments. And they show that solutions like HCI are no longer simply much-talked about technology trends. Video, IT and security data is critical to organisations of all types and they need to ensure their investment in capturing this data is protected. From a security standpoint, users rely on video to validate whether something did or did not happen. If that video data isn’t protected, they lose a very valuable investigative tool. That isn’t an option in today’s complex environment. That’s is why it is paramount to understand how new technologies can help expand current capabilities and evolve security operations. This can’t be left to chance.
The locks, alarms and access control solutions used for buildings have little impact outdoors Large campuses – colleges and universities, hospitals and office parks – face difficult security challenges in protecting people and property across wide-open outdoor spaces. Outdoor security requires a different approach. The locks, alarms and access control solutions used for buildings have little impact outdoors. Outdoor security may include protecting a student on an early morning run; a nurse walking to a bus stop at the end of a late-night shift; or possibly securing athletic fields, parking structures, landscaped gardens or performance amphitheaters. One constant between securing the indoor and outdoor environments is the need for multiple security layers. No single solution can meet all security needs. Outdoor surveillance Information – both visual and audio – takes on added importance as security guards and first responders need input from areas that may be hundreds of yards away from the nearest dispatch center. This is one reason video surveillance is an effective outdoor security tool. Pan-Tilt-Zoom megapixel cameras can provide sharp images of wide areas. Infrared cameras continue providing useable images throughout the night, even in low-light environments. Recorded video also provides forensic views to be used in assessing events after they have occurred. Cameras have long been shown to be a deterrent for many criminals. So, it makes sense to post signs throughout the campus reminding people they are likely to be under surveillance at any time. Emergency stations are ideal for any outdoor area Emergency stations Emergency stations are another valuable outdoor security tool. These stations are easily recognisable by their bright blue lights atop the tower. With a touch of a button, a distressed person can immediately speak with a security guard via imbedded audio intercoms. Video intercoms provide additional views of the area to help dispatchers make decisions about an emergency. The stations can also be integrated with the video surveillance system to provide a broader view of the area. There are other important benefits offered by emergency stations. They are on and available 24/7. Dispatchers immediately know the station’s precise location when calls for assistance arrive. A station’s speakers can broadcast emergency information across the campus. And the intercoms feature two buttons – one for emergencies and a second for non-critical calls, such as inquiries for campus directions. The stations are designed for easy setup by integrators or campus engineers. The units are available in IP-based models which connect to the campus network and draw power over the Ethernet using CAT-5e/6 cable. Stations are also available as stand-alone towers or wall-mounted boxes. Braille signage and adjustable call button heights allow them to comply with ADA standards. Emergency stations are ideal for any outdoor area such as running trails, parking lots, pedestrian pathways and perimeters around office buildings, dorms and recreational centers. They are also useful indoors in areas including elevator bays and stairwells. Ideally, the stations should be placed close enough to allow a distressed person an option of choosing the closest unit. The proliferation of smartphones in the campus environment has led to the development of dozens of apps capable of reaching security or local first responders Mobile applications Unlike telephone-based systems, intercom stations require no POTS line, saving monthly phone costs. Mobile apps are also available to allow patrolling guards to have immediate access to emergency calls on a smartphone or tablet. Over the past few years, the proliferation of smartphones in the campus environment has led to the development of dozens of apps capable of reaching security or local first responders. Most allow the submission of voice and video and may offer other features such as the ability to track friends’ progress as they walk to their destination. While these apps do serve as another valuable layer of outdoor security, they have limitations. They are only useable for people who have enrolled in a campus database. That eliminates students and/or employees who choose not to enroll or campus visitors. Weather, topography and the proximity of cell towers can affect signal quality, making it difficult for security to accurately identify the precise location of calls. Some remote campus areas may totally lack cellular coverage. Then, too, phones have no value if the battery is dead or is taken in a robbery. Also, they can be difficult to remove from a pocket, purse or backpack if a victim is being attacked or chased. The lessons from CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) certainly apply when protecting campus outdoor space. Lighting is critical along pathways, in parking lots and garages and surrounding building perimeters. It not only deters criminals, but also allows security to have a better view of situations either onsite or via surveillance camera or video intercom. Keeping bushes and trees well-trimmed helps deny criminals easy hiding places Additional outdoor security precautions Keeping bushes and trees well-trimmed helps deny criminals easy hiding places. Fencing and locked gates keep people from wandering into potentially dangerous areas. Fences and gates also works well to protect outdoor storage lots and equipment yards. Many campuses, particularly universities and hospitals, have formed escort services. Either security guards or carefully screened volunteers are available to accompany students or employees crossing the campus at night. Outdoor campus security requires well thought-out plans incorporating layers of security equipment. As with any security project, outdoor improvements should follow a thorough risk assessment conducted by an experienced consultant or integrator. Identifying a campus’ strengths and weaknesses will help administrators better spend limited budgets. Campuses may range in size from a few to hundreds of acres. But even the smallest offer significant challenges in protecting outdoor spaces. In the case of colleges and universities, the pressure to keep people safe has never been greater with federal mandates requiring regular crime reports. Fortunately, the security industry has responded with a range of tools to handle the challenge. With careful planning and implementation, a campus’ outdoor spaces can be made much safer.
A video analytics system that provides ‘behavioural understanding’ can yield more meaningful and actionable data for a range of applications. In public safety and security, such a system can alert on violent or suspicious behaviours, such as people fighting, vandalism, people with weapons, etc. In advanced traffic surveillance and monitoring, it can provide alerts to vehicle collisions (accidents), traffic hazards or vehicle that aren’t using the road properly, such as a car that stops in the middle of the junction. For enterprise and campus security, it can provide advanced anti-tailgating and detect unauthorised activity. Video surveillance infrastructure viisights was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with track records in developing technology businesses These uses are among the benefits of viisights’ video analytics technology based on behavioural understanding of video content. “It means we can extract more meaningful data from the huge amount of video content that is captured, and we can transform that data to actionable insights that eventually justify the massive investment in video surveillance infrastructure,” says Asaf Birenzvieg, CEO of viisights. Their behavioural understanding systems for real-time video intelligence leverage artificial intelligence technology. viisights was founded by a group of serial entrepreneurs with track records in developing technology businesses. The Israeli company’s founders recognised a growing global need for intelligence to make physical and virtual public areas safer – and realised the role that smart video understanding technology can play. Developing artificial intelligence technologies viisights is committed to developing artificial intelligence technologies that facilitate human-like video understanding, which in turn serves as the basis for fully autonomous video intelligence systems powered by pattern prediction technology. “Behavioural recognition is the future of video analytics and the next generation of the object classification analytics systems that hold the majority of the market today,” says Birenzvieg. viisights has developed a video understanding technology for real-time video processing “To date most video analytics systems still base their product features on static analysis of objects from images using image recognition, even the ones that use ‘AI analytics.’ Products built using such object classification technology are extremely limited.” For example, object classification analytics cannot recognise behavioural events in a video such as people fighting or a car collision because such behaviours can’t accurately be concluded in large scale from analysing a single static image/frame. Video understanding technology viisights has developed a video understanding technology for real-time video processing. The technology can process live video feeds. In addition to recognising a particular object (e.g., person) and its attributes (e.g., red shirt), the system can understand an object’s actions, interactions with other objects (events), the scene being viewed (i.e., crowd is gathering, riots) and the context (a car is driving on the road or on the sidewalk). The main verticals are smart cities, enterprises and campuses, banks and ATM security “Basically, we are able to extract more meaningful data from a live video feed and therefore create actionable insights and greater ROI,” says Birenzvieg. The company focuses mostly on security and safety use-cases. The main verticals are smart cities, enterprises and campuses, banks and ATM security, security guard companies and transportation hubs. The company is working on a new product for in-vehicle monitoring mostly for security, safety, vehicle protection and proper vehicle use; it monitors passengers’ behaviour inside a bus, train, or taxi. The product will come to market next year. Video management system viisights’ video analytics offering is currently optimised for server-side deployment, and the integration architecture is similar to most video analytics systems. From one side it is integrated with the video management system (VMS). They are a Milestone verified partner and soon will be part of Milestone's marketplace. From the other end, it is connected to a command-and-control system for processing the data and presenting the alerts to the end-user. The analytics company makes most sales through system integrators. They have partnerships with big system integrators like Motorola Solutions and NEC and are also working with smaller ones. They are looking to expand their system integrator network, mostly in the USA and Europe. Behaviours can have many variations and they can be very diverse Cloud video surveillance “We will continue to invest in performance and accuracy, meaning higher recall and lower false positive rate,” says Birenzvieg. “Since our major value proposition is in behaviour recognition, behaviour events many times are not clearly defined, which is very different from object classification. Behaviours can have many variations and they can be very diverse.” An example is a simple behaviour like a person falling on the floor. A person can fall on the floor in many ways, but the challenge is to ignore similar behaviours that are not a person falling and that confuse the system, such as a person bending over to tie his shoelaces. With cloud video surveillance becoming a trend, viisights is also looking into offering some of their advanced functionalities in a video-analytics-as-a-service-model.
Video surveillance cannot address all the security challenges in education, but it is a valuable tool and among the least obtrusive options available. And the list of security challenges that video can address grows every day. Video systems can provide real-time monitoring of school premises and facilitate rapid response to incidents. New advances such as video analytics are currently underutilised in the education arena. Historically, video has been used as a forensic tool in the education market, providing critical information about an incident after the fact. But that generalisation is changing. Today, networking enables video images to be shared throughout a school system, travelling over existing networks, empowering a more centralised security management structure, and making video more valuable. In particular, higher education institutions are more likely to view live video, given the larger campuses, greater number of buildings, and more public areas where staff and students congregate. Challenges for securing a school environment Panoramic cameras are one tool to address challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between 4 and 5 PTZ camerasMultiple challenges in the education market for security goods and services (from a video perspective) include wide open spaces that make securing schools with video surveillance cameras difficult since the vast amount of coverage required can be cost-prohibitive. Second, state and federal regulations must be taken into account and balanced with the need to protect student privacy. Finally, schools and colleges face dwindling budgets, which means security solutions must deliver more coverage and functionality, while also being cost-effective to deploy. Panoramic cameras are one tool to address these challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between four and five traditional pan-tilt-zoom cameras, resulting in fewer cameras and more coverage – all at a lower cost for hardware and licensing. Data capture form to appear here! Intelligent cameras with video analytics Video surveillance with video analytics can be deployed to monitor areas at certain times of day. For example, once school starts, there shouldn’t be a lot of activity in the parking lot or in particular areas around the school. For these situations, intelligent cameras with video analytics can be used to detect activity in those areas of interest to alert school security that something may need their attention. Radar detection is ideal for perimeters, where a device can be set up unobtrusively to alert when someone enters a particular area. ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search The goal in a potentially dangerous situation is to speed up response times. The faster you’re able to detect something using technology, the faster you’re able to respond. Therefore, being able to identify something happening in a parking lot and alert school resource officers could provide 30 seconds or a minute head start for response, which can get the school into a lockdown situation and get first responders on site more quickly. Video cameras with low-light capability There are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability to see in near-dark or complete darknessIt’s been shown that using lighting at night can deter crime. However, it can be expensive to keep a building and grounds illuminated all night, every night. To mitigate these concerns and potential costs, there are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability that allows them to see in near-dark or in some cases complete darkness. This allows a school to save money by turning lights off while achieving a level of surveillance performance similar to daytime deployments. Facing above-average student incident rates and student disciplinary concerns at some schools, a school system in the United States sought to upgrade its video surveillance system to allow better local and remote monitoring in important areas. Avigilon high-definition cameras with self-learning video analytics and access control solutions were installed in 101 schools, and ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search. A deep learning artificial intelligence search engine can sort through hours of footage and allow operators to click on a button and search for all instances of a person or vehicle across all cameras on a site, quickly and efficiently.
Qognify’s security management systems compile information from a variety of sensors to provide situational awareness, and now they can leverage the benefit of a different kind of sensor, what the company calls the “human sensor.” Employees see and hear a lot of information during their work day, and some of it has an impact on security. Now that information can become part of an integrated security system, reported by trusted employees through a smart phone app. Qognify’s Extend adds new capabilities to the company’s existing Situator physical security information management (PSIM) and VisionHub video management; it’s a new element in Qognify’s interconnected product portfolio. Using smartphones to report incidents The Extend Mobile Solutions Suite enables systems to leverage the “human sensor” by equipping employees (or students in a campus environment) with an easy-to-use app on their smart phones. If a user sees or hears something, they can initiate an “incident” through the smart phone app’s “See It Send It” function. The app can also provide protection for a student or employee with a GuardMe function that enables a security operations centre to hear an employee, see their location and monitor their progress from Point A to Point B, reporting any distress situations along the way. The system also provides mass notification capabilities (using smart phones) without the installation of any software or hardware. “The best sensor is the human sensor,” says Dharmesh V. Patel, Qognify’s global business initiatives vice president. “At an airport, you may have 20,000 employees, and they each know if something is awry because they work there all day long.” A reported incident might not even be a security issue; it could be something as simple as a slippery floor. Live Video Broadcasting Qognify Extend, which is the company’s rebranding of a system “powered by CloudScann,” captures the data from human sensors and allows it to be brought into the Qognify platform. Because smart phones are equipped with high-resolution megapixel cameras, Extend also enables the addition of 20,000 video cameras (and audio), all tied into a command centre. The app can also provide protection for students or employees with the GuardMe function “It would take years and millions of dollars to [add that many cameras] any other way,” says Patel. “And the information is coming from your employees, which is a trusted source. Actionable information becomes part of the workflow.” In case of an emergency, a smart phone can be used to stream live video to a command centre, a capability called Live Video Broadcasting, even as a control room operator dispatches an officer to help. Qognify visual intelligence desktop application Information from Extend mobile apps reports to the Qognify Visual Intelligence Command Center (VICC), a cloud-based desktop application that collects and aggregates information and presents it on a map to enable control room operators to have complete situational awareness. The live, global system compiles data from open source systems anywhere in the world. If you type in New York City, for example, the interface takes you to a live map that shows where live cameras are viewing the Lincoln Tunnel. Various “levels” of information provide real-time routing and traffic, weather information, etc. In addition to information from mobile apps, the system can bring in views from any public source cameras, including tapping into cameras mounted on drones hovering over the scene of an emergency. Fast response to incidents Finding information on any incident using VICC is like conducting a Google search. The system can also find the locations of people (employees or students) based on their smart phone signals. Availability of real-time video from a trusted source in an emergency helps to shift the mission of a video system from reactive after the fact to a real-time response, says Patel. And the cameras providing the video are not mounted on the ceiling but are closer to the action (held by a person on the scene). Because smart phones provide location data, the command centre knows the location of an incident and can trigger a response. “I know where it is, I can say ‘who’s my closest responder?’” says Patel. “We can see this whole situation in the command centre – not just visualise it but dispatch a response.”
Universities push traditional access control to its limits. The more one asks of it, the tougher it gets. If one wants to monitor access all over campus. To know who comes and goes to computer rooms and classrooms. One would like to filter access to conference and seminar rooms according to the time — lecturers all day, cleaners and contractors after hours. Meanwhile, one wants students to be safe 24/7, without compromising the sense of freedom they enjoy on campus. Traditional electronic door security Our Aperio wireless locks integrate seamlessly with more than 100 different security systems" Mechanical lock-and-key security cannot do this. Managing keys weighs facilities staff down. Students lose them all the time, and they’re expensive and laborious to replace. The traditional solution — wired doors with card readers — is costly to fit and run. There is an alternative. “Battery-powered electronic locks with inbuilt RFID readers are a cost-effective way to upgrade existing access control and bring it to more doors,” says Lars Angelin, Business Development Manager for Wireless Locks at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. “Our Aperio wireless locks integrate seamlessly with more than 100 different security systems. You don’t even need to change your smart-cards. They fit all kinds of doors.” “And because they are battery-powered and wire-free, they’re much more cost-effective to install and run than traditional electronic door security.” It sounds great in theory. But what about the real world? These 5 universities have experienced an impact already. University of Liverpool, England A BREEAM sustainability rating of ‘Excellent’ was reward for innovative architecture that combines aesthetics with environmental awareness. Vine Court’s sustainable features include rainwater harvesting, solar water heating and battery-powered Aperio wireless electronic locks. Unlike wired access control, Aperio wireless locks use little electricity. Catherine Anderson at the University of Liverpool called Vice Court ‘a new and exciting benchmark for the Student Accommodation Sector.’ Lund University Faculty of Law, Sweden Convenience is king: with Aperio wireless locks, security managers block lost cards without traipsing to every door The Law Faculty wanted to replace their access system without asking 50,000 students and staff to return existing smart-cards for reprogramming. Aperio made the process almost invisible from a user perspective. They didn’t even need to revalidate at a reader. Convenience is king: with Aperio wireless locks, security managers block lost cards without traipsing to every door. A Pacom Unison security platform handles everything seamlessly. Facilities staff spends less time on admin and more on security. Aberdeen University, Scotland At Aberdeen’s refurbished Student Village, Aperio online cylinders and certified security locks cover doors requiring different grades of security. Cost efficiencies came at installation stage — no cabling to the doors means no expensive electrical contractors — and will continue through the locks’ operational life. Unlike standard wired access control that requires ‘always-on’ mains electricity, Aperio wireless locks are powered by batteries. These typically need replacing every couple of years — and that’s it for maintenance. HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany Aperio electronic cylinders filter access to the media centre, library, cafeteria and offices A partnership between SIEMENS and ASSA ABLOY provides intelligent, transparent electronic access control at a new docklands hub for the university. Aperio electronic cylinders filter access to the media centre, library, cafeteria, seminar rooms, staff rooms, laboratories and offices. Locking with these wireless RFID devices enables the university to remain an open, welcoming space without sacrificing staff and student safety. University of Birmingham, England Two new accommodation blocks at the university’s Vale Village complex needed locks to integrate seamlessly with a pre-existing campus security system, including Gallagher Command Centre software. Aperio locks now secure almost 1,800 doors with a low-cost solution that eases the key management workload for facilities staff. Everything is controlled from the Gallagher interface. And because Aperio is scalable, they can add new doors and buildings whenever they choose.
An Oxford University facility has enhanced its security with the help of world technology pioneer in integrated access control, intruder alarms management and perimeter protection. Saïd Business School, the University of Oxford’s centre of learning for undergraduate and graduate students in business, management and finance, has replaced its former system with an integrated Gallagher Security access control solution to protect it against theft and create a safe environment for visiting dignitaries. Saïd Business School is located right next to a train station – a heavy transit route into Oxford. While this location is convenient for students and staff, proximity to the station was making it easy for organised thieves to target the school and use the train to get in and out quickly. As hosts to international heads of state, royalty and others with strict personal security requirements, the school also saw a clear need to upgrade its security system to achieve a higher level of security. Safe from unauthorised intruders T-series were installed on doors throughout the building and new access cards were issued to all Saïd Business School wanted a system which could meet its need for complete control, yet maintain an open and welcoming feel on campus. “We needed to ensure only current employees and students had access to the school, and that those people were only accessing the areas relevant to them,” says Martin Boyt, Estates Operations Manager at Saïd Business School. “We also needed it to be easy and efficient to manage cardholder permissions, with the flexibility to adapt as the school grows.” Gallagher T-series readers were installed on doors throughout the building and new access cards were issued to all employees and students. Gallagher Command Centre is used to manage access control groups and set privileges to enable varying levels of access to different parts of the building. Students and staff can now easily move around the school and access the rooms and resources they need on a day-to-day basis, with confidence they’re safe from unauthorised intruders. Certified security installer Access control has been integrated with the student and staff induction process, meaning access control cards are not issued until induction has been completed. The school also uses the new system to issue event and conference visitors with temporary cards that have restricted access suited to the purpose of their visit. Boyt says protecting their people is of paramount importance. “Schools can be vulnerable to vandalism, theft and, increasingly, violence and terrorism by individuals or groups, so security is a top priority. We want our students and staff to have peace of mind that they are studying and working in a safe and secure place.” Partnering with Gallagher Security and a Gallagher certified security installer streamlined the process of installing the new system. Boyt says working with someone who understood their needs made all the difference. Building integrated security system Saïd Business School is using its learnings to improve security at its other university facilities“Translating the needs of our staff and faculty into workstreams and access control groups was a complex undertaking, and having trusted advisors on hand helped us get it right the first time.” Built-in reporting tools enable the estate managers to carefully monitor the system to keep the site secure. “We can run reports to check on occupancy levels and usage of certain areas, helping to reallocate rooms quickly and efficiently,” says Boyt. Saïd Business School is an active member of the Tertiary Education Security Network (TESN), organised by Gallagher. The aim of the group is to bring Gallagher customers together to build relationships and share knowledge. Boyt says: “We have found this group to be extremely useful as we continue our journey of building an integrated security system that meets our needs. We have learned a lot about campus security by attending TESN events and working closely with Gallagher and our security installer.” Learnings to improve security Saïd Business School is using its learnings to improve security at its other university facilities. “We want to integrate the CCTV cameras at our Park End Street events venue with Gallagher Command Centre to improve our monitoring capability,” says Boyt. “We will also insist the Gallagher system and CCTV integration is installed on future projects, including the redevelopment of Osney Power Station which is set to become a world-leading centre for executive education.”
Upon hearing Pablo Picasso’s famous praise of art’s ability to clear ‘the dust of everyday life’, one’s thoughts could easily turn to one of Arizona’s newest landmarks, the Mesa Arts Center. Set proudly amidst the dust of the Sonoran Desert, the Mesa Arts Center is a striking complex of buildings, art installations, and public throughways, offering a rich blend of visual impressions in glass, water, stone, and metal, with splashes of vibrant colour and metallic reflection. At more than 21,000 sq. feet, the award-winning $95 million campus is the largest and most comprehensive performing, visual and educational arts complex in Arizona, serving as a gathering point for the citizens of Mesa and region alike, seeking to enjoy the indoor and outdoor spaces, public events, classes, and art exhibitions. Ensuring safe, family friendly environment Ensuring a safe, family friendly environment is essential to fulfilling the role the Center plays as a gathering pointThe presence of an adjacent light rail station and hosting of multiple festivals throughout the year further increase traffic to, from, and through the open planned site at various hours of the day, and on weekends and even holidays. The heart of the Mesa Arts Center complex is a grand promenade that knits together all of its pieces, while providing places for group gatherings, performances, and quiet reflection, comfort and relaxation. Ensuring a safe, family friendly environment is essential to fulfilling the role the Center plays as a gathering point for all walks of life. In addition to welcoming visitors to the Center, the open configuration of the complex invites commuters coming off the nearby light rail line to stroll through on their way to and from the station, and draw loiterers, would-be vandals, and itinerant populations (attracted to the semi-secluded spaces created by outdoor art installations and the complex’s fountains and water elements). Surveillance system for crime prevention Particularly outside of traditional hours of operation, such factors can increase the risk of nuisance crimes, vandalism, and petty theft, and potentially more serious crimes against visitors and staff, without a vigilant and comprehensive security and surveillance operation. Additionally, complex spaces, varied materials, and water elements increase risk for incident and accident without proper prevention and/or prompt response. A technical solution with proven power, performance, and reliability was paramount to ensure protection of property While customary approaches to similar venues have typically relied heavily on a combination of CCTV and human security guards, the size and complexity of the Mesa Arts Center campus makes a traditional manned guarding solution, even when supported by a typical surveillance technology, both cost prohibitive and potentially inadequate. Protection of property and campus safety The Mesa Arts Center is an architectural showpiece and regional destination, requiring comprehensive surveillance at all hours, every day of the year, under highly variable conditions. A comprehensive technical solution with proven power, performance, and reliability was paramount to ensure protection of property and the safety of everyone on campus. The City of Mesa, who operates the Center, in partnership with Scottsdale’s Surveillance Acquisition Response Center (SARC) and IDIS technology, provided a mix of surveillance cameras and network video recorders (NVRs) able to meet the varied requirements of a campus housing multiple art galleries, studios, performance spaces, walkways and cut-throughs, and outdoor gathering spaces; and support SARC’s innovative approach to virtual guarding, which incorporates military, police, and intelligence best practices and personnel to enhance traditional remote monitoring models and outcomes. Using Direct IP NVRs and cameras SARC monitors use IDIS’s powerful, modular, and feature-rich VMS, IDIS Solution SuiteThe City of Mesa’s previous successes implementing SARC and IDIS technology at the Mesa Grande Cultural Park made the integration of technology and monitoring selected for the Mesa Arts Center a natural fit. Featuring multiple IDIS DirectIP [model number] network video recorders (NVRs), and IDIS Direct IP [model number] cameras, with [feature set], at the heart of a comprehensive security posture, SARC monitors use IDIS’s powerful, modular, and feature-rich VMS, IDIS Solution Suite, and their unique military, law enforcement, and intelligence-derived protocols and best practices to support on-site personnel and cover the campus comprehensively at night and during other off-hours. Additionally, the IDIS solution also seamlessly integrates with, recording and managing footage from other camera installations, demonstrating the IDIS dedication to eliminating the common frustrations and complexities of security systems. SARC’s virtual guard protection The implementation of SARC’s virtual guard protection and protocols to support on-site personnel, and the highly visible, but seamlessly integrated, presence of IDIS surveillance cameras, as part of a total IDIS solution, have contributed to the Mesa Arts Center’s reputation as one of the region’s most welcoming and inviting community spaces among the area’s art lovers, families, and neighbourhood’s workers (who regularly use the space without fear or discomfort as a gathering place for lunch or pathway to and from the local light rail station). The integrated on-site and virtual guarding professionals identify, deter, and document threats to the campus 24/7, the integrated on-site and virtual guarding professionals identify, deter, and document threats to the campus and those within it, using innovative surveillance application bringing together IDIS’s highest quality remote viewing and VMS offerings and SARC’s remote ‘voice down’ virtual guarding protocol, which informs those under surveillance, in real time, that they are being watched and should leave the property immediately or face consequences. Keeping people and property safe The successful implementation of this solution has placed the City of Mesa and Mesa Arts Center management at the forefront of innovation in keeping the people, places, and property under their protection safe and secure, and marked them as leaders in responsible stewardship of taxpayer, grant, and donor dollars, through the implementation of a system that provides more comprehensive coverage, measurably better outcomes, and enhanced visitor experiences 24/7, year-round for a fraction of the cost of previous manned guarding solutions.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a major Australian university at the forefront of innovation and development in tertiary education. With a strong focus on research, technology, and sustainability, QUT has state-of-the-art facilities and equipment located across three campuses in Brisbane, as well as multiple remote research sites. With highly-valuable assets and facilities, open campuses, and a combined population of approximately 58,000 staff and students, it is imperative for QUT to have a robust yet discreet security and site management system operating 24/7. In 1995, QUT selected Gallagher as their technology partner to develop and implement a seamless security and site management solution. More than 20 years on, this partnership remains strong as QUT continues to seek new and innovative technology to manage their campuses and simplify operations. Intelligent access control readers QUT’s three campuses have diverse physical environments which are essentially open to the general public. One campus is situated between the Brisbane River and Brisbane Botanical Gardens, another is located in the centre of an urban retail village, residential area and high-school. “The QUT campuses, whilst tertiary education institutions, are open to the public. This open and accessible environment presents a challenge when trying to protect the people and property of QUT” says Tracey Bartlett, Security Systems Officer. We have high expectation of the Gallagher system to manage the security of the non-public domain" “We have high expectation of the Gallagher system to manage the security of the non-public domain whilst allowing staff, students and authorised visitors the access they require.” To do this, QUT operates 1500 intelligent access control readers across their sites. Integration with Command Centre With the readers communicating directly with Gallagher’s site management software platform, Command Centre, QUT is able to manage, monitor, and report on facility access. “We have buildings that are open until 10pm and others that are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” says Bartlett. “Our security staff in the CMS (Central Monitoring Stations) are able to create building and cardholder schedules, quickly lock down areas, grant immediate access and generate report. These reports assist the QUT Space Management Team on exactly how and when our facilities are being used.” Key objectives Secure multiple campuses that have open perimeters Protect staff and students and assets Ensure quick identification and response to alarms from multiple systems Streamline cardholder administration processes Staff and students security The safety of students and staff is the number one priority for QUT and the university works hard to ensure they operate safe and secure campuses. Through Gallagher’s site management solution, QUT is able to integrate multiple systems – including emergency control points and alarms for temperature change, fire, and flooding - and feed the information into Command Centre. Having one central monitoring platform ensures staff quickly identify, locate, and respond to any potential risks on campus. CMS Operators are highly skilled with the Gallagher system and, in conjunction with our CCTV system" “Our CMS team operates 24/7, of CMS Operators are highly skilled with the Gallagher system and, in conjunction with our CCTV system, have a complete view of what’s happening on site. They are then able to direct the field staff to areas of the campus that need attention,” says Bartlett. Ease-to-use software With tens of thousands of cardholders, all with ever-changing access needs, QUT requires a large number of staff to be able to administer and manager cardholder profiles within Command Centre. “The feedback from staff new to the CMS have commented that Command Centre is very easy to use software and they’re surprised at just what the system can do.” says Bartlett. In addition to streamlining the administration processes involved in cardholder management, Gallagher’s system also streamlines operations for QUT. More than just a card controlling physical access, QUT’s cards act as staff and student IDs, are used to operate printers and borrow from the library and can be used to monitor time and attendance. Through Command Centre, audit trails are generated for quick and easy reporting on each card function. Site management software As a technology focused university, QUT continuously reviews and implements new systems and technology as they become available. In order to keep up with the very latest site management software available from Gallagher, QUT opts for an ongoing Software Maintenance agreement. “We’ll continue to welcome the opportunity to embrace Gallagher’s latest products as we are confident, they will meet our needs” says Bartlett.
The American University of the Middle East (AUM) in Egaila is the largest private university in Kuwait. Its extensive campus is spread over 261,190 square meters of beautiful grounds, including academic buildings, technical labs, AUM library, AUM Sports Center, outdoor sports playgrounds including a FIFA certified football field, AUM Opera House, AUM Conference Center, parking areas, administrative and service areas. The American College of the Middle East (ACM) is also hosted within the campus. With sizeable grounds and multiple institutes of learning operating on site, AUM’s access control requirements were complex. The popularity of the campus with not only AUM students but also Kuwaiti youth in general meant AUM needed to ensure the right access was provided to the right people at multiple points on campus. AUM’s Director of IT highlights the challenge the administration faced in efficiently identifying, authenticating and providing access for more than 800 employees and over 10,000 students. “The campus needed to be secure, but at the same time easy to use, causing no inconvenience to students and staff.” Gallagher Command Centre AUM needed a dynamic solution that met their access control requirements AUM needed a dynamic solution that met their access control requirements, could integrate with their core enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, and was scalable to accommodate future growth. Gallagher’s access control solution, featuring Gallagher Command Centre and a range of integrations, was selected as the university’s preferred choice, meeting its requirements in the best possible way. MIFARE contactless smart cards Student and staff ID cards became part of the access control system with MIFARE contactless smart cards provided to students, faculty and staff. Turnstiles installed at the entrances to AUM and intelligent integrations with existing systems provided total control of movement within the campus. AUM uses learning software and automated systems widely across its campus. Extensive integration with the Gallagher solution has significantly reduced operational costs, creating efficiencies for staff and students and enhancing the overall security system. “Gallagher gives us the best option to fulfill our requirements, with a total solution,” says the university’s Director of IT. Integration with CCTV system Exam control rooms at AUM need to be fully secure. Command Centre integrates with the CCTV system to ensure that when movement is detected, or someone tries to open the door, the CCTV is triggered, and a photo attached to the security report. Within the campus, access permissions need to be well defined for different groups. Access to the gymnasium, library and sports center is defined by male and female, staff and students. Command Centre allows AUM to define these access controls in the directory, ensuring they happen automatically. Fully automated access control Fully automated access control gives us confidence in the system" “Fully automated access control gives us confidence in the system,” says the university’s Director of IT. “We don’t have to worry about it.” The reporting capabilities of Command Centre provide AUM with greater control and audit information. The university is governed by a council, that regularly conducts audits. “The Gallagher solution helps us easily produce daily reports to meet those reporting requirements. It’s a fantastic solution, no doubt." The integrated booking system in the library controls access to study rooms, giving entry only to those who are included in the room booking. Staff and students no longer have to manage who is in the rooms, allowing them to get on with their work and study. The university’s Director of IT says in the past, monitoring and reviewing this information would take a person two or three days. “With this small integration from Gallagher, turnaround time has improved to within half a day for the same task.” Restricted access He adds, “Campus access for dismissed students has been prevented. Their access is automatically restricted by the admin department. Student’s whose access has been prevented can visit the admin department to rectify their enrollment status. The integration with the Gallagher solution is amazing. Our operational costs have been reduced wherever it is used.” With new construction underway and increasing popularity with students, AUM is a growing university. The Gallagher solution is growing alongside it, providing regular updates and new innovations. “Gallagher often contacts us about new initiatives and things they are introducing,” says AUM’s Director of IT. “We will implement them, because of the success of the current solution. We try at every point to take full advantage of the features offered to keep reducing operational costs. From an industry perspective, it’s a beautiful solution.”
Located in the buzzing heart of England’s capital city, University College London is one of the top ranking establishments for higher education in the world. Founded in 1826, London’s first university institution, the College now has an estimated 28,600 enrolled students and 14,600 members of staff. Including agency staff, academic associates, and other visitors, UCL currently has a system of over 48,000 valid cardholders. Based primarily in the Bloomsbury area, UCL’s main campus is situated on Gower Street and includes departments such as biology, chemistry, economics, engineering, geography, history, languages, mathematics, philosophy, politics, physics, architecture and the Slade School of Fine Art, as well as the preclinical facilities of the UCL Medical School and the London Centre for Nanotechnology. Electronic access control UCL has been used as a location for a number of high profile film and television productions While the UCL Cancer Institute and Faculty of Laws are also nearby, notable College buildings include the original Wilkins Building and Gower Street’s Cruciform Building, previously home to University College Hospital. The University has further sites based elsewhere in and around London, such as the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, the UCL Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, The Royal Free Hospital Medical School, and also the UK’s largest university-based space research group, the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, and UCL’s own astronomical observatory at Mill Hill. Due to its position within London and the historical nature of its buildings, UCL has been used as a location for a number of high profile film and television productions, including Gladiator, The Mummy Returns, The Dark Knight and Inception. The sheer scale of the University’s operations, with thousands of occupants fluctuating between its numerous facilities, has dictated the need for a comprehensive electronic access control security system – one which has evolved over many years. Physical locking controls UCL’s Security Systems Manager, Mike Dawe explains that while adhering to the University’s culture of ‘general openness’ on campus, Gallagher systems have been introduced as “a progressive response to the need for more security control on site.” Security throughout the University is managed by the Security Department of the Estates Division, which has responsibility for all the physical locking controls and electronic systems, as well as the provision of the security guarding service. By and large an open campus, a number of university buildings are free to visitors from the general public, while others are controlled by turnstiles accessible by valid cardholders only. Many other research areas are available only to those with specific security passes. Gallagher’s systems have been in place with the University since 1993 and were originally chosen for the Gallagher Commander Hardware’s ability to communicate effectively over long distances between buildings. Key industry challenges Following were the key industry challenges involved: Ensuring appropriate access to students/staff onsite Implementation of lockdown and evacuation procedures Controlling access to key University areas Protecting University property Providing unobtrusive but robust security Control and management of multiple systems Visitor time and access management Central records systems Full data integration was achieved in 2006 when the system was linked to UCL’s central HR Recognised by Mike as the ‘next important direction for the University’, the subsequent introduction of the Gallagher Access Control system (formally Cardax FT) in 2003 enabled Gallagher’s main security system to be integrated with UCL’s other data systems. Additionally, Mike highlights how “Gallagher’s ‘building blocks’ approach to programming the software also provided greater flexibility when using the system, while the network infrastructure enabled us to move away from our own discrete wiring.” Full data integration was achieved in 2006 when the system was linked to UCL’s central HR, student records and visitor records databases. Combining the regular ID card with a single access control card then followed, and validity is kept fully updated by the University’s central records systems. Currently the University has 101 buildings on the Gallagher system, which controls 939 doors, 32 turnstiles and 15 lifts. General perimeter control Typically, Gallagher security is used for the general perimeter control of the buildings, such as those with both turnstile access and a reception at the entrance, as well as additional control within College buildings to divide public and semi-public areas from departmental spaces. Gallagher systems also control UCL’s top security areas such as high risk research space and data centres. Describing UCL’s security operation, Mike explains how the Gallagher solution has been integrated with the inhouse HR, student and visitor records systems and filters duplications to ensure a single identity. This information is then fed through the Gallagher system to update cardholder records using an ‘import/export’ function. The Gallagher technology is also used to automatically send barcode information to the Library systems and update the student records system with student photos. Scheduled email notification reports are also sent regularly which, according to Mike, “has proved very useful for UCL’s high value areas.” Security operations team We routinely use reports and produce these in response to departmental concerns and requests" “We routinely use reports and produce these in response to departmental concerns and requests”, he explains. “Typically this is done by the security operations team, which analyses the information, along with CCTV data to investigate suspected crimes.” UCL is planning to integrate the Gallagher Security system with its existing CCTV system and will use this, in addition to the new Command Centre Premier client, to improve the provision of site information to the Security Control room staff. The University is also currently developing its import/ export process to automatically provide access levels based on person-type information, such as department, course etc. Gallagher would like to thank Mike Dawe, UCL’s Security Systems Manager, for his support with the production of this site profile. We would also like to acknowledge the support of our security partner, Reach Active Limited who has contributed significantly to the successful implementation of the Gallagher system at University College London.
Round table discussion
The new school year is a good time to reflect on the role of security in protecting our schools. From video to access control to some newer technologies, our Expert Panel Roundtable found plenty to talk about when we asked this week’s question: How does security technology make our schools safer?
The ability to treat patients in a secure environment is a base requirement of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Whether facilities are large or small, security challenges abound, including perimeter security, access control of sensitive areas, video surveillance, and even a long list of cyber-risks. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of hospitals and the healthcare industry?
College campuses often operate like small communities – or even like large communities depending on enrolment. Although each college and university campus is unique, there are commonalities such as a young and vulnerable population of students, many living away from their parents for the first time. Campuses can be urban or rural, geographically dispersed or densely populated, with a variety of demographics and “wild card” elements such as partying, drugs and alcohol. Campus police and security officers face a variety of challenging environments. Is it wise to add firearms to the mix? Is it necessary for campus police to be armed? Specifically, we asked this week’s Expert Panel: In what situations should college or university campus police be armed?