3xLOGIC, the provider of integrated and intelligent security solutions, has announced the availability of its All-in-One Functionality, currently available in its serverless camera bundle, indoor cube camera, and 56-degree thermal camera offerings. All-in-One cameras feature onboard storage and, with the purchase of appropriate licensing, allow the camera to function as a standalone VIGIL Server. The cameras can also be used in conjunction with a VIGIL DVR for redundant storage capability. Aff...
The death of Michael Brown at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, highlighted to the public, the importance of body-worn cameras. There was no bodycam footage of the Ferguson tragedy. Arguably, it would have shed additional light on the shooting. Since then, body cameras have become a tangible legacy of Ferguson, Missouri. Bodycam footage is seen as providing greater accountability and ensuring an impartial record that can support, or debunk, any claims of police miscondu...
It’s been almost exactly a decade since HID Global launched the world's first university pilot of smartphones carrying secure mobile IDs. A lot has changed in the following 10 years. Today’s technology has matured, advanced, and proliferated across a variety of high-value use cases. To catch up on the latest developments in mobile access, we contacted Luc Merredew, Product Marketing Director, Physical Access Control, at HID Global. Q: What has changed since the first pilo...
ASSA ABLOY introduced an online 360° virtual tour that allows university decision-makers to see how security and access control solutions can be used to create a sustainable, safe, and healthy learning environment. The self-guided digital walkthrough creates an immersive experience that illustrates the important role of door security and access control on a college campus. It also simplifies the process of identifying which solutions are best suited for common problems faced by universities...
Wasabi Technologies (Wasabi), the globally renowned hot cloud storage company, has announced a new partnership with Rasilient Systems, the pioneer in forensic-grade video surveillance systems, to deliver industry-renowned hybrid cloud storage solutions for video surveillance deployments at the edge. Wasabi - Rasilient partnership This partnership combines the strength of Rasilient’s surveillance system optimisation with Wasabi’s unlimited scalability and disruptively low cost, so u...
Allegion US, a provider of security products and solutions, and BadgePass, Inc., an industry pioneer for secure credential management systems announced the integration of the Schlage RC reader controller into the TotalCard software platform. IP access solution with integrated reader Schlage RC offers customers the latest in IP access solutions with an integrated reader controller that is scalable for small, medium, an...
Cambridge Pixel, a developer of radar display, tracking, and recording sub-systems, announces expanded capabilities for its ASD Air Defence software product family with the support of threat evaluation and weapons assignment (TEWA) and asset management functions. The new capabilities expand the scope of the existing ASD product family to include real-time evaluation of threats and the ability to optimally allocate available resources. A distributed database permits information to be published and shared across multiple sites, regionally or nationally, allowing the threat assessment module to read up-to-date status information on the availability and status of assets. Cambridge Pixel ASD solution The ASD product family includes the ASD-100, a PC-based air surveillance display application that provides an integrated display picture for primary radar, IFF, and ADS-B target information. The ASD-100 allows alarm areas and alarm conditions to be defined to enable early detection of dangers or events of interest, and flight plans may be viewed for specific targets. ASD solution is compatible with older radar models as well as the latest generation of network-based radar interfaces Related modules include IFF plot extraction, primary and IFF target tracking, system monitoring, alarm management, and data recording. The software is provided as modular components that can be configured for different scales of air defence applications from local to country-wide scope. With the ability to interface to a wide range of radar types, the Cambridge Pixel ASD solution is compatible with older radar models as well as the latest generation of network-based radar interfaces. Cost-effective solutions David Johnson, a CEO, Cambridge Pixel, said, "The new TEWA capability expands the scope of Cambridge Pixel's air defence product family. The modular product range allows us to offer cost-effective solutions to upgrade existing installations using legacy radars where appropriate to minimise costs." Cambridge Pixel's radar technology is used in naval, air traffic control, vessel traffic, commercial shipping, security, surveillance, and airborne radar applications. Its systems have been implemented in mission-critical applications with companies such as BAE Systems, Frontier Electronic Systems, Blighter Surveillance Systems, Exelis, Hanwha Systems, Kelvin Hughes, Lockheed Martin, Navtech Radar, Raytheon, Saab Sensis, Royal Thai Air Force, Sofresud, and Hensoldt.
School is out for the summer, but as the new school year approaches and students return to the classroom, the need for streamlined security solutions has never been greater. Not only are the typical procedures needed to protect against physical security threats, but the increase of demand for touchless solutions also plays a significant role in educational facilities reopening in a post-COVID society. Currently, over 90% of public schools are already using some type of access control and video surveillance system. While this is an excellent step in the right direction, many are using outdated on-premises solutions which boggle down the staff and are often difficult to manage alone. Switching to cloud-based infrastructure Making the switch to a cloud-based infrastructure ultimately saves expenses and allows for greater security Making the switch to a cloud-based infrastructure ultimately saves expenses and allows for greater security over the institution’s students, staff and assets. Because the need for robust security is so vital for those in the field of education, it can often be difficult to manage everything in-house. Using a solution that allows for managed access control, intrusion detection to be monitored off-site, and data and video surveillance information to be stored in the Cloud, provides stronger security, fewer expenses, and gives more time for the staff and students to focus on why they are there in the first place. Cloud-based SaaS solutions in schools Kim Loy, the Chief Product Officer at ACRE, LLC and Director of Marketing for Vanderbilt Industries, said “Schools are meant to be a place of safety and security for both students and staff. A true security solution is meant to bring peace of mind and greater security, without the added stress of managing it alone.” She adds, “When schools utilise cloud-based SaaS solutions, not only is the stress taken off the staff, but they can rest assured knowing that they are using enterprise-grade products and working with a team of security professionals to protect their most important assets.” Some important questions that Kim Loy can answer include: Why are cloud-based security solutions ideal for educational facilities? What types of benefits do managed access control solutions offer schools? What are the latest technology trends in managed access?
Qognify has announced that it is enabling Southern Illinois University (SIU) to stream drone footage in real-time, securely, and with low latency. Integrating drones with its existing Ocularis Video Management System (VMS), also from Qognify, delivers additional operational, safety and security benefits including active shooter tests, evidence sharing, monitoring, maintenance and mapping. Every year since 1974, SIU has hosted The Great Cardboard Boat Regatta on its Carbondale Campus Lake, an event that has attracted worldwide renown. Wanting to improve the view for spectators, two of the University’s Building Automation Technicians decided to use a drone to capture the action on the water. However, the challenge of projecting a live stream on-screen presented a number of technical and procedural obstacles that would need to be overcome. SIU Team Working alongside Qognify, the SIU team was able to break new ground Luke Schemonia is an FAA certified commercial drone pilot and Building Automation Technician II at the SIU. He explains: “Because the event is University sanctioned, it means we need to follow rules that state video footage recorded on campus must be hosted on-site. We could not simply live stream via a social media platform. There were also issues of latency to contend with, as spectators would want to see the action unfolding in real-time.” Working alongside Qognify, the SIU team was able to break new ground and for the first time in the regatta’s 46-year history, provide real-time aerial footage from the lake. Such was the success of the initiative it acted as the catalyst for an extensive drone program that today ranges from active shooter tests, evidence sharing, monitoring, maintenance, and mapping, to counting the number of migrating waterfowl arriving each year. Streaming Drone Footage Initially, the SIU team planned to purchase video encoder hardware to ensure footage captured by the drone did not leave the campus. However, having previous experience of working with the University’s Ocularis VMS, used to support its surveillance camera network, Schemonia contacted the team at Qognify to ask if there was a better way. He adds: “Qognify was excited by the project and immediately steered us to a much simpler and no-cost way to stream drone footage in real-time, securely, and with low latency. All we needed to do was add the drone to Ocularis in much the same way that a new camera would be added.” Drone Feed Feedback Gary Mausey is also a certified drone pilot and Building Automation Technician II Supervisor at the University: “We have a range of different drones such as the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual from DJI that includes video and thermal imaging, so with the knowledge that we could use them through Ocularis we have been able to identify a wealth of potential new use cases.” Today, when a drone is in flight, the video feed travels from the drone via the Verizon network, passing through two firewalls, onto an SIU server. It is then processed by the Ocularis Media Server, and displayed on-screen in the control room. “Considering the journey a drone feed takes, we experienced no issues with latency,” observes Mausey. Ocularis Management Enables the timestamped footage to be quickly and easily shared with law enforcement as admissible evidence With drone feeds being managed and captured by Ocularis, in exactly the same way footage from its surveillance cameras is monitored and recorded, every mission flown not only adheres to the University’s strict data security protocols, but it also enables the timestamped footage to be quickly and easily shared with law enforcement as admissible evidence when required. Instant access to a real-time video feed from a drone is not confined to the control room as Schemonia explains: “With the Qognify Mobile Client installed on my cell phone I can be anywhere on campus, and so long as I have a Wi-Fi or mobile data connection, I can see exactly what the drone is seeing while it is in flight.” Adoption of drone technology What began as a fun project has evolved into an ongoing smooth-running initiative that is adding real value to many different areas of the SIU, from its Plant & Service Operations to the Department of Public Safety and its dedicated Police force. Mausey highlights a recent example: “We recently ran a mission at our power plant which produces the steam we use to heat campus buildings, produce chilled water for cooling, and generate electricity. The thermal images we have stored on Ocularis can be used to accurately locate steam tunnels where energy is being wasted.” He concludes: “My advice to any organization that is considering the adoption of drone technology is to start by looking at what your VMS is capable of. With the help of Qognify, our drones are able to do more, and we are also getting more value from our VMS, which is now providing operational as well as safety and security benefits.”
Boon Edam Inc., a provider of security entrances and architectural revolving doors, announces a new solution mapping tool, BoonSelect, that breaks down the complex entry selection process and helps decision-makers choose the right entrance solutions for their unique goals. BoonSelect features seven factors to consider prior to making an entrance decision. Boon Edam entry experts are trained on the right questions to ask as they walk a decision-maker through each of the factors – all with the goal of helping their clients make the most well-rounded entrance choice. Entrance implementation strategy Being responsible for making the decision to implement new security turnstiles or revolving doors at a facility can be a challenge. Security and Facility Managers are responsible for the safety and security of all who enter a campus or facility via its entrances. BoonSelect formalises the selection process, providing clarity and confidence in an investment And each entrance location has a different set of users, traffic levels, security requirements, environmental requirements, etc. BoonSelect formalises the selection process, providing clarity, peace of mind and confidence in an investment that can last ten or more years. BoonSelect outlines seven decision factors to be considered prior to an entrance implementation strategy: Throughput – Types of users and number of users, especially at peak traffic periods? Security – Tailgating deterrence, detection or prevention? Remote locking? Safety – Local codes and fire or evacuation strategies? Aesthetics – Entrances blend in or stand out? Technology – Integration capabilities with new or future technologies? Comfort – Ease of use? Energy efficiency? Service – Planned preventative maintenance and user training? Starting productive conversations “BoonSelect is an efficient driver for starting productive conversations that our customers appreciate,” said JC Powell, Vice President of Sales at Boon Edam Inc. “A client will often ask for an entrance solution that does not meet the overall security goals or traffic requirements of their facility. BoonSelect helps all the stakeholders explore what they don’t know and think about their overall risk posture, and eventually come to the best entrance decision for their unique facility or campus.”
With a length of only 127 mm and a diameter of 48 mm, these ultra-compact cameras complement the current product portfolio of explosion-proof cameras, and cannot only be installed easily but are also cost-effective – making SAMCON a full-stack supplier. Due to the easy integration into existing video management systems and the fact that cameras can be combined flexibly, Samcon's portfolio virtually covers all CCTV applications for hazardous areas. Whether an only 700g weighing thermal camera, a high-speed system with electronic zoom and focus lens, or a high-speed dome camera is required – Samcon offers secure surveillance for all applications and areas. Benefits of the ExCam ultra-compact systems The new camera line is suitable for temporary and semi-fixed applications, too. The waterproof IP68 housing is resistant to chemicals as well as to oil and can be installed in locations where larger equipment does not fit or an installation is difficult due to restricted space. Compact design with sensors The HDTV resolution and the high-performance varifocal lens master all surveillance tasks and create safe areas The ExCam IPP1275 can easily keep up with larger models regarding performance and resolution, even exceeding competitor models in certain functional areas. For example, the camera's progressive scan allows providing high-resolution pictures of moving objects without motion blur. The HDTV resolution (1920 x 1080) and the high-performance varifocal lens master all surveillance tasks and reliably create safe areas. The ExCam IPP1275 is a modularly designed ATEX network camera and consists of an ultra-compact sensor unit for image capturing as well as the main unit, processing the image. Integrated into the main unit are the network as well as power connection and a storage card slot. Thermal camera with night vision Apart from the ExCam IPP1275, Samcon also presents with the ExCam IPP1280 its first own thermal camera. Its most outstanding feature is that even in complete darkness, it can still deliver pictures so that no external light sources are necessary. Just as the ExCam IPP1275, also the ExCam IPP1280 consists of an ultra-compact sensor unit for capturing the thermal image as well as the main unit for processing it. Multi signal camera In addition to that, an analog AHD camera completes the portfolio: The ExCam miniTube is an analog multi-signal camera with very high light sensitivity in combination with an ultra-compact housing and a fixed focal length. This camera also is designed for applications in hazardous areas, meeting the requirements of guideline 14/34/EU ATEX and IECEx. Due to its ultra-compact size, it is particularly suitable for process observations. Just as all models of the ExCam Series, also the ultra-compact cameras have been certified according to the European (ATEX) and international guidelines (IECEx). Suitable for difficult to access areas The ExCam IPP1275 as well as the ExCam IPP1280 and the ExCam miniTube are real lightweights and so easy to handle that they can be installed by a single person. This is, for example, an advantage in the chemical industry or on oil rigs with confined spaces and not much freedom of movement. The easy power supply via PoE makes a separate power line superfluous and contributes, apart from the low weight, to an easy installation. Close to processes or mounted to very small sight glasses, not only the ExCam IPP1275 always finds its place, for example: At sight glasses located between pipe installations for monitoring the flow rate Small mixing containers (e.g. for colors or chemical substances) A small laboratory size reactors and freeze-driers and in compact industrial machines Enables surveillance and efficient monitoring They help to detect problems, can be used for surveilling machines and production runs The compact design and its low weight minimize vibrations and allow sufficient space to even place an additional light next to the camera. The cameras are of a rather inconspicuous design and allow, for example, reliable surveillance of plant filling stations, general plant areas, or vehicles such as tank and lift trucks or cranes. They help to detect problems, can be used for surveilling machines and production runs, and secure the functionality of components by monitoring them. Just like all other cameras of the ExCam Series, also the ultra-compact cameras are certified according to ATEX and IECEx to guarantee extensive explosion protection. The ex-protected housing covers ATEX groups II and can be used in zones 1, 2, 21, and 22 including the explosion groups IIC / IIIC.
Boon Edam Inc., a global pioneer in security entrances and architectural revolving doors announced the resumption of on-site entry evaluations, a building or campus analysis that aids security managers in creating a defensible physical security entrance strategy against the costly liabilities associated with tailgating and piggybacking. These evaluations have proven to be critical to the success of entrance projects. During the COVID pandemic, to support community health and safety, Boon Edam shifted from conducting on-site evaluations to virtual ones. With the loosening of COVID restrictions in the United States, Boon Edam is resuming on-site, in-person entry evaluations. Uncover vulnerable entry points Boon Edam initially began offering consultative entry evaluations with the recognition that every facility has a unique set of risks, resources, and capital. In addition to this, security entrances offer a wide range of intrusion mitigation capabilities – they are not a “one size fits all” solution. Turnstiles, security revolving doors, and mantrap portals differ in several categories, ranging from security level and a guard needs to capital and operating expenditures. Because security entrances are a significant investment, it is critical that security professionals understand the differences between entrance types to best align with their physical security strategy. Assess entrance solutions The goal is to define vulnerable entry points and discuss other unique but critical concerns Entry evaluations are “walk-throughs” conducted by experienced entry experts who traverse a building or campus with the client’s security team and other stakeholders. The goal is to define vulnerable entry points and discuss other unique but critical concerns. These may include throughput, supervision available, and industry compliance requirements; today’s need for “touchless” entry to minimise germs and promote social distancing; local safety codes for emergency egress and ADA compliance; and how existing security technologies such as access control systems, cameras, etc. will integrate with the entrance solutions. Actionable entry evaluation report At the conclusion of the evaluation, Boon Edam’s entry experts develop a comprehensive summary with recommendations for improvement, including: The client’s current state of security as it relates to the entry, as well as any regulatory needs specific to their industry or organisation. A review of each entry location requiring a physical barrier and the recommended solution based on the security goals discussed. Custom photo renderings of each entry location to help the client visualise what the discussed entrance solutions will look like at their site. Ensuring best practices “It’s always amazing to see what gets uncovered during an evaluation and how often a decision or assumption can change after a great discussion. We’ve always put considerable emphasis on security entrance education and consultation, and as COVID-19 threatened to reduce our ability to perform these invaluable evaluations, we were able to pivot and offer virtual evaluations,” says Greg Schreiber, Senior Vice President of Sales at Boon Edam Inc. “Now, with COVID restrictions lessening, we continue to offer virtual evaluations but are very excited to resume in-person entry evaluations as organisations begin to accept outside vendor visits.” Schreiber further notes that all entry evaluations are solely for the determination of best practices around the entrances at the facility being assessed. The evaluation does not encompass a full vulnerability and threat evaluation usually conducted by a security consultant firm.
In the past decade, we’ve seen an unfortunate increase in gun-related incidents on school campuses, making security and policy efforts a top priority for educational facilities nationwide. While the causes for this increase are hotly debated in and around the education community, the facts remain that specific steps can be taken to mitigate risks. To tackle this issue, officials from campus stakeholders, law enforcement officials, architects, and security personnel, have met to find solutions for protecting educational facilities. Further complicating matters, educational campuses are again tasked with mitigating health risks associated with COVID-19, as we head into the third pandemic school year. Video communication tools To safely reopen, new technologies and policies in many K-12 and higher education institutions have been released, with many searching for a way to leverage existing security infrastructure. Achieving both health safety and physical security requires an integrated approach—from all-around best practices, to video communication tools and enhanced security infrastructure. The simple intercom has been a security staple in the education market for many years A holistic approach is best to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors. The simple intercom has been a security staple in the education market for many years, but now in a pandemic-centric world, these devices provide a new set of required capabilities. Intercoms, once thought to be a basic security tool, can now be combined with video, offering users the ability to solve multiple pain points associated with COVID-19. Controlled access points In this article, we’ll discuss some best practices for educational decision-makers, as well as how video intercoms can enhance overall security architecture. A school’s first opportunity to mitigate threats lies in its ability to deter threats entering in the first place. This begins with ensuring policies, procedures, and equipment are all up to standard. Most campus shootings and other violent acts occur once the individual has made it through the front door of a building; putting the emphasis on controlled access points at key entries to add an extra barrier of safety between threats and students. While written policies help staff understand how visitors are approved for entry, they should also be informed of more simple items, such as why doors can’t be left propped open, when to lockdown, or how to evacuate during an emergency. Physical security solutions The security industry has also created effective physical security solutions for protecting a campus Another best practice would be training staff to spot signs of distressed and potentially violent students, while providing ways to get help for them. When it comes to campus security, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is why security integrators should also be included in planning processes to tailor a custom solution for each campus to address its unique security needs. While best practices, including mental health screenings, stricter discipline codes, and faster law enforcement responses are all crucial to campus safety, the security industry has also created effective physical security solutions for protecting a campus—which includes enhanced two-way video and audio/visual communication solutions such as a video intercom. For years educational facilities have utilised intercoms to manage access, but now, it’s more important than ever to ensure the safety of students and staff by thoroughly vetting all those who enter a building. Providing visual verification Long gone are the days of asking visitors to check in manually using a sign-in book, or simply walking into a school. Best practices now require the presence of a visitor management system (VMS), which is a more accurate and seamless way to manage access. Using a VMS, a campus could add its own custom watch list, which when properly implemented, can provide protection from abuse orders, custodial issues, and offer names and pictures of disgruntled former employees and students. Using a VMS, a campus could add its own custom watch list, which when properly implemented As security technology has become more sophisticated, so have intercom capabilities—extending far beyond what they used to be. Going further than a simple button and speaker system, when used in conjunction with an IP video system, intercoms provide visual verification that the person requesting access into a school building does indeed belong there. Contact tracing solutions Whether it’s a student, parent, or staff member, verifying a person’s identity and ensuring that the individual has proper credentials is key. Pairing an intercom with a camera allows for this important, real-time visual and audio communication between the front office and those requesting access. Additionally, intercoms can be used as contact tracing solutions by leveraging an audit trail in case of an outbreak. For example, if a number of students at a college or university all use a mobile app to gain access to a dormitory through an intercom system, in the event that someone tests positive for COVID-19, they are able to contact all students, staff, or visitors who frequent that building. IP video intercoms can assist in pandemic related and security use cases by limiting unnecessary human-to-human interaction and replacing that with remote management capabilities. Remote monitoring station Remote monitoring allows for eyes on a facility while personnel are not physically present There is increased flexibility when working from a mobile app, or remote monitoring station, especially for security directors or officers on educational campuses. For example, if a campus is not able to staff a lobby of a building or a dormitory, they can remotely manage access from a mobile device. This enables security personnel to access video feeds and directly communicate with students or staff requesting access into a building. Remote monitoring allows for eyes on a facility while personnel are not physically present, thus increasing overall security. It can also give the appearance of the building being occupied at all times, even when it’s not. Another way an educational facility can leverage their video intercom system is to shift to mobile applications that offer a touchless way to gain access. Mobile application credential A mobile application removes the need for a physical key card and eliminates the potential of loss or theft of that access credential. It also allows for easy updating to credential status. For example, if a student, staff member or visitor is added to an ‘access denied’ list, security personnel can simply revoke a mobile application credential, versus having to track down a physical key and run the risk of copies or other issues. The importance of visual confirmation cannot be stressed enough when it comes to educational campuses The importance of visual confirmation cannot be stressed enough when it comes to educational campuses. Not only for security purposes to visually confirm identity, or screen for suspicious behaviours or other anomalies, simply having the ability to have a conversation with someone requesting access is vital. Better audio feedback There’s been a shift in recent years, in some cases spurred by the pandemic, to focus on how existing technologies can meet the unique needs of students, staff and visitors. For example, intercoms allow for two-way video which is crucial for an individual who is deaf, or hearing impaired, who needs to communicate using sign language. Additionally, intercoms can be integrated with t-coil features, to allow for better audio feedback for those with hearing aids. The past few years have taught us that while best practices, attention to the mental wellbeing of students, enhanced security at main entry points, and exits are all important focuses, educational security needs to be holistic and comprehensive. From physical security risks, to potential pandemic-related outbreaks, to the regular day-to-day communication needs of all individuals, decision-makers recognise intercom systems easily address each unique need.
Today’s environment has evolved into something that according to some may seem unexplainable. But in the context of video surveillance, this is something that we understand. Allow me to shed some light and understanding in terms of security and why it truly is a necessity. Security is not a luxury, it is a necessity. An essential practice now peaking the interests of all businesses small and large. A video surveillance system is a cost effective option that does not require monitoring fees. As business slows, temporarily shuts down or closes, an increase in vacant properties is inevitable. This pandemic will continue to put severe pressure on many businesses around the country. With so many considered non-essential, it is really sad to see how many must shutter their doors and lay off employees. Keeping an eye out for suspicious activity using a commercial grade surveillance system that supports advanced analytics, may end up saving your potential customers thousands of dollars down the road. Demand for video surveillance and security products We can certainly draw on the conclusion that security is a “need” more so than a “want”. Times like this just further cement that thought process. In today’s economic spiral, people aren’t actively looking for lighting controls or home theaters. What they look for is a way to keep their loved ones safe, protect their homes, businesses and property. In my opinion, you will see video surveillance and security product sales skyrocket in the coming months and years. It has been reported that response times for first responders may be impacted as a result of COVID-19, leaving those with bad intent more time to ransack a property knowing that law enforcement may be slow to respond. Criminals will always take advantage of the situation. All we can do as a community is use common sense, stay vigilant and watch out for one another. For some of us that may mean mitigating risks with technology. Affordable video monitoring solutions Having a solution that can quickly and securely share video footage may be the difference between identifying a perpetrator and becoming a victim. Ella, a video search platform developed by IC Realtime, makes every second of video instantly searchable and shareable, either with the authorities or your neighborhood social apps. Plus it is compatible with any RTSP streaming device. To wrap this up, it’s not about pointing out the obvious, it’s really about bringing awareness as to how technologies can be implemented to provide peace of mind without breaking the bank. Video surveillance technology is a way to do that and provide added security for you, your family and your business.
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.
Combining artificial intelligence (AI) with cloud video creates systems that are smarter, safer and more cost-effective. Furthermore, adding AI capabilities can widen the advantage gap of cloud video systems compared to on-premise systems, especially for cost-conscious end users. “We strongly believe the total cost of ownership (TCO) for cloud systems is more affordable,” says Ken Francis, President of cloud video surveillance company Eagle Eye Networks. “And introducing really powerful AI will expand the cost differences.” Combining AI and cloud video To finance realisation of their vision to combine AI and cloud video, Eagle Eye Networks has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel. The money will allow Eagle Eye to continue its steep growth curve and leverage AI on its true cloud platform to reshape video surveillance. “The investment will make video surveillance smarter and safer for end users,” says Francis. In effect, end users have maximum flexibility to manage and analyse their video data however they wish The system sends captured video to the cloud, where a variety of AI or video analytics systems can extract valuable data from the captured video. Eagle Eye offers an application programming interface (API) to enable integration of best-in-breed third-party AI and analytics systems to leverage the video. In effect, end users have maximum flexibility to manage and analyse their video data however they wish. Delivering lower costs In addition to offering integration with third-party systems, Eagle Eye is investing in its own AI development, and hiring additional development and customer service personnel. As new technologies become part of the Eagle Eye platform, customers benefit from lower costs because of economies of scale. Keeping the emphasis on development of cloud systems, Eagle Eye also offers customers maximum flexibility in choosing their cameras. Eagle Eye’s on-premise cyber-hardened “bridge” can connect to almost any camera from thousands of manufacturers, including those connecting with HD-over-coax. The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the need for end users to view their premises remotely, and in the process has highlighted shortcomings of their existing video systems. As a result, video manufacturers - including Eagle Eye Networks - are seeing a surge in end users updating their systems. Cloud video surveillance Given the costs of installing and maintaining hard drives for local storage (and additional challenges during a pandemic lockdown), more end users are opting to use cloud systems. In effect, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating installation of cloud video surveillance. “Our industry is the most resilient in the world,” says Francis. Eagle Eye Networks was on track to double their growth in the first quarter, and then COVID slowed everything down As a whole, 2020 has been a successful year for the cloud system provider. Eagle Eye Networks was on track to double their growth in the first quarter, and then the COVID lockdown slowed everything down. During the second quarter, their revenue from setup fees and appliances fell by 35% or so, but subscriptions increased slightly including customers looking to keep watch over their shuttered businesses. Temperature alerting solutions The third quarter saw another big uptick in business; August and September were booming, and not just from projects that were delayed from Q2. There has also been a spike in customers looking to apply temperature alerting solutions, says Francis. In uncertain economic times, cloud systems require around 40% less up-front costs, and provide flexibility to eliminate the system (and the expense) at any time without losing a large financial investment. Cloud video has reached a tipping point in the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, among other locales, but the technology lags in some other geographic areas such as France. Driving adoption is availability and cost of sufficient upload speed and bandwidth. In addition to Eagle Eye’s branded growth, the company also provides the OEM engine behind a half dozen or so cloud systems offered by other manufacturers. Backing multi-site enteprises About eight years old, Eagle Eye Networks has focused squarely on the small- and middle-sized business (SMB) market, especially multi-site businesses such as retail, banking and healthcare. They also work with local governments and K-12 schools. Moving forward, the company will seek to expand more into multi-site enterprise customers, some of which have 1,000 locations around the world and need to store their video locally to meet regulatory requirements. Multi-site businesses, benefit from the cloud by eliminating the need for local IT equipment and expensive staff Multi-site businesses, especially, benefit from the cloud by eliminating the need for local IT equipment and expensive staff. As internet connectivity becomes less expensive than installing new cable infrastructure, cloud systems will become more attractive to large campus environments such as colleges and airports, says Francis. The advent of 5G connectivity will also be a plus. All Eagle Eye products are NDAA compliant. Premium support services Further expanding its services, Eagle Eye Networks is poised to launch “Premium Support Services,” in which the cloud provider’s employees will proactively monitor and service customer sites for a minimum additional monthly fee. The cloud structure enables most problems to be addressed and solved remotely without needing to send personnel to a site. The new investment from Accel, a funding partner of top-tier tech companies such as Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify, is Accel's first investment in the security industry. In addition to investing in AI, Eagle Eye also plans to leverage the funding to expand into new regional markets with new data centres and additional staff in business development, sales and support roles.
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 intelligence platform” currently collects more data than other security intelligence solutions, utilising a broader range of sources and fusing data together rather than integrating it. The platform currently focuses on taking in data from WiFi, access control, and video surveillance systems and applying machine learning to deliver customers features such as real-time predictive analytics to prevent incidents like bottlenecks or overcrowding. Spatial Intelligence is an approach to physical security that enables users to collect, manage, and interpret data in a single platform. Combine machine learning with data The term can best be used to describe how digital transformation has affected physical security. Spatial Intelligence in its infancy looked like video surveillance data combined with machine learning to produce video analytics. The spatial intelligence solutions of today can combine machine learning with data of any source, type, and size to deliver value across a large organisation, not just the security team, says the company. Armored Things’ Spatial Intelligence platform unifies data from information silos to support data-driven decisions around operations and security. By fusing data from multiple sources, we can produce more consistent and useful insights for our customers” A suite of analytics, reporting and visualisation tools helps customers gain a real-time understanding of people and flow in their space. By removing the guesswork of everyday decisions, the product enables customers to make data-driven decisions at a moment’s notice, according to the company. Armored Things is more than a data management tool. “By fusing data from multiple sources (rather than only cameras or only WiFi), we can produce more consistent, accurate, and useful insights for our customers,” says Kevin Davis, Chief Security Officer at Armored Things. "Being able to collect the data is the first step, but turning it into actionable intelligence is where Armored Things excels.” IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices The range of data sources includes IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices and even outside data sources like bus schedules and weather reports. Armored Things has built a team of public safety and technical experts with the mission to keep people safe where they live, work, and play. By leveraging emerging technology to enhance physical security, the company built the software-centric Spatial Intelligence Platform for large organisations to enhance the safety and operations of their space. Schools and education facilities are among the customers that can benefit. The leadership at Armored Things cares deeply about school safety, so the recent epidemic of campus violence has definitely been a large topic of conversation, according to the company. “By delivering our products to a greater number of customers, Armored Things hopes to continue making schools a safe place to learn and gather,” says Davis. Recently, there was a significant bottleneck lasting nearly 30 minutes at the Syracuse-Clemson football game. Unifying data into one platform Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” Using Armored Things technology and providing real-time data to security and operations personnel could have identified the bottleneck as it began to form. This would have notified relevant personnel, who could have taken steps to mitigate the problem before it turned into a security risk. Keeping the security infrastructure simple is imperative to success. Integrating a software solution into the security strategy shouldn’t complicate existing operations, says the company. “Armored Things Spatial Intelligence Platform can bring your security and operations into focus by unifying all of your data into one platform for ease of use,” says Davis. For this reason, the team chose to integrate not only with customers’ existing security infrastructure but with non-traditional data sources (e.g. WiFi, event schedules, ticketing) as well. “By combining and analysing a more diverse dataset, Armored Things can help our customers make better decisions with deeper data-driven insights,” says Davis. "Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” says Davis. “As a team, our aim is to help our customers adapt to the digital age, as they transition from hardware to software-centric security solutions. Fostering organisational change is difficult, and our team hopes to make the transition process easier for our customers.”
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.
St. George's Church of England Foundation School in Broadstairs, Kent, was founded in 1841. As staff work to educate and enrich the lives of 1,800 children, aged 4 to 19 years old, they focus on values as relevant now as they were over 150 years ago; forgiveness, compassion, and friendship. The school prides itself on its history and Christian traditions. It aims to deliver an atmosphere where every student, member of staff, and individual is appreciated, nurtured, and supported regardless of their circumstances. The school appointed Jacksons Fencing to help create an environment where students and staff alike are safe while on-site, and buildings and assets are protected after hours. Therefore, the physical space needed to be designed across the two adjoining sites to encompass this. Bigger, better, safer Jacksons Fencing and St. George's School decided that the pre-existing fencing needed to match the newly installed fencing The school's main aim was to install fences around the perimeter of the school. This was felt necessary to ensure those within the establishment are safe and secure. Protective fencing was also considered vital to prevent any form of disruption to the student's education. Jacksons Fencing and St. George's School agreed one of the boundaries needed to be expanded and it was also decided that the pre-existing fencing needed to match the newly installed fencing. EuroGuard Flatform gates and fences St. George’s School wanted fencing and gating which was welcoming for staff, students, and visitors alike. Anything too intimidating wouldn’t be conducive to a friendly or effective learning environment, it was felt. Importantly, the new perimeter needed to both suit the natural surroundings, and match the colour of the existing fencings. 372 metres of 1.8m high, green EuroGuard Flatform mesh fencing was installed around the school’s perimeter, along with 285m of the same product in black. Colours were applied within Jacksons’ powder coating facility in Ashford, selected specially to match perfectly with the school’s existing fencing. Two EuroGuard Flatform Heavy double leaf gates were also specified and installed to ensure secure access between the primary and secondary sites which have a public footpath running between. Safe and secure Both fencing and gates are coated in a premium Galfan zinc alloy which provides long-lasting protection The school decision-makers care about the future of the premises and have a keen interest in sustainability. It was therefore important that all products would stand the test of time. Both fencing and gates are coated in a premium Galfan zinc alloy which provides long-lasting protection against rust and corrosion. As with all Jacksons’ products, they also come with a 25-year service life guarantee, keeping St George’s staff and students safe and secure for years to come. Threat detection and response Jacksons Fencing also understands that schools need to protect against multiple threats, such as vandalism, burglary, and trespassing. Fortunately, EuroGuard Flatform is designed with anti-vandal features and is manufactured from high-quality materials to improve their durability, protecting the school grounds from a range of risks. Peter Jackson, Jacksons Fencing Managing Director, comments, “We are delighted to have helped St George’s CofE Foundation School create a secure environment for its staff and students. In this post-pandemic world, so much is out of our control. Parents will need more assurance than ever before that their children are physically safe when they’re outside their care.” He continues, “We have worked closely with the team at the school to ensure the final solution is fit for purpose for the community now and well into the future. We hope our products will help ensure the students and staff at St George’s school feels welcomed, safe, and secure as they use the school and its facilities.”
Australian systems integrators can now deliver a new generation of seamless, end-to-end security solutions powered by Quanika’s Enterprise and VisitorPoint software, following a distribution agreement between the two companies. Quanika Enterprise enables out-of-the-box integration with world-pioneering tech from Axis Communications including its full range of network cameras, door controllers, and audio devices as well as a choice of video management software. Users can connect, off-the-shelf a range of popular third-party systems from intruder and fire detection and site-specific applications and widely used databases, such as Microsoft Active Directory. Unified security management Quanika’s modular approach is more affordable and flexible than traditional enterprise-level integrated solutions and its access control and visitor management software works seamlessly with Axis Communications’ hardware, and a wide choice of video management software (VMS) including AXIS Camera Station, Milestone, and IPConfigure, to give users a unified security management platform. Quanika’s VisitorPoint visitor management software is also being used by organisations to combine increased security with improved access convenience for visitors, staff, contractors, and deliveries. Through access digitisation it is automating workflows, eliminating siloed systems, and helping organisations adapt to more flexible and hybrid working patterns. Integrated solutions Quanika’s integration model combines off-the-shelf affordability with bespoke tailoring is being deployed globally" The distribution agreement covering Australian markets positions SensaTek to deliver complete integrated solutions to meet the security, safety, and operational demands of businesses of any size including single facilities, campuses, and multi-site applications in the healthcare and logistics sectors. “Quanika’s integration model, which combines off-the-shelf affordability with bespoke tailoring whenever required, is being deployed in settings globally including hospitals, global logistics operations, retail, manufacturing, and leisure,” says James Robinson, Senior Business Development Manager, SensaTek. “It’s helping organisations improve security and drive up efficiency by moving away from stand-alone, siloed systems. We are looking forward to delivering the same benefits to Australian customers too.” Security and safety Quanika Enterprise offers an intuitive security and safety management platform that integrates advanced access control functionality with video and wider building management and popular databases, including Microsoft Active Directory, that gives organisations single and multi-site management and control and the flexibility to orchestrate change and adapt to the latest security, safety, and operational requirements. “As well as the advantages of affordable integration with off-the-shelf software, Quanika offers the ability to quickly add new integrations to meet site-specific challenges,” says Phil Campbell Sale Director, Quanika. “In line with our expansion in other markets we are delighted now to be working with SensaTek to deliver a new generation of affordable integrated solutions across Australia.”
Roselle Catholic High School is a co-ed private high school founded 61 years ago in Roselle, New Jersey. Home to more than 400 students, Roselle Catholic is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. In its community, Roselle Catholic is known for its core values promoting academic excellence, service, and tolerance. Like many high schools across the country, Roselle Catholic High School relied on outdated technology to communicate between the front office and classrooms. Outdated intercom system While the front office could connect with the classroom through its dated one‑way intercom system, teachers could not communicate with the front office from the classroom. In the event of a classroom emergency, such as a student suddenly falling ill or a classroom disruption, teachers had to rely on a student to run down to the front office to request assistance. “Our school is in an older building and the original communication system layout doesn’t have the talkback option to the main office,” said Principal Tom Berrios. “That left teachers in a bad spot if they ever had to reach an administrator for an emergency.” Lack of visitor management system School administrators sought a new system that could provide communications between teachers and staff The school also lacked a visitor management system allowing the front office to visually confirm and speak with anyone before permitting them to physically enter the building. In addition, with new health and safety concerns from the COVID‑19 pandemic, the school wanted to implement new measures to help screen visitors before they enter the building. As part of its efforts to improve security facility-wide, school administrators sought a new system that could provide internal communications between teachers and staff—while sending audio alerts in the event of an emergency. They also needed a visitor management system enabling them to visually confirm and communicate with visitors before they enter the building. IP video intercom system To assist with these challenges, the school installed the IX Series Peer‑to‑Peer IP Video Intercom System from Aiphone. Installing the system was Maffey’s Security Group, a systems integration company from Elizabeth, New Jersey, with close ties to the high school. “Roselle Catholic High School is my alma mater and we try to help them keep up‑to‑date with the latest technology and security,” said Ed Maffey, president of Maffey’s Security Group, a family-owned and operated business for 110 years. By leveraging a program through the state of New Jersey, the high school was able to apply and receive a grant designed to support security improvements at both public and private schools. The grant was used to help pay for the new Aiphone IX Series Peer‑to‑Peer IP Video Intercom System, which included two master stations, two IP video door stations, and 43 IP audio substations for classrooms. The IX Series delivers flexibility The benefit of the IP video intercom system is its ability to integrate with a recently installed thermal imaging camera The IP system is a scalable, enterprise‑level solution that uses Power over Ethernet (PoE), eliminates the need for a power source for each intercom and substation. The system can easily integrate with access control, video, and other security devices to provide a fully unified solution. One main benefit of the IP video intercom system is its ability to integrate with a recently installed thermal imaging camera system, which is being used to screen students, staff, and visitors before the entrance. A thermal imaging camera located at the front entrance will screen people for a mask and elevated temperature, and only allow access if that visitor is cleared. Video-based monitoring system With the new Aiphone IX Series system, front office staff can respond when a visitor rings a bell asking for entrance. Staff can speak to the visitor and also make visual contact before pushing the door release button to allow that person to enter. The school is equipped with two touchscreen master stations, with one located in the front office and the second located in the principal’s office. The live video also helps to prevent people from following an approved guest through the doors. Trained front desk staff can monitor a visitor as they enter the building to ensure additional people aren’t following behind. Added benefits with emergency notifications In addition to enabling communication directly from teachers to the front office, they also can put the entire school on a lockdown notice in the event of an emergency. The Aiphone IX Series can send a pre‑recorded notification building‑wide, alerting students or staff of a problem and providing directions about what steps to take next. With one push of a button, a message will play continuously and that message can be used for a variety of scenarios “The system makes the teachers feel more secure with what’s going on in the building and they have an easier way to communicate,” said Berrios. Maffey called this feature a “hot button” capability. With one push of a button, a message will play continuously and that pre‑recorded message can be used for a variety of scenarios, including fire drills, emergency evacuations, and lockdown situations. Entry door security The school is also using the Aiphone IX Series on an entry door located in the back of the building, which is frequently used by students heading outside for athletics or gym class. “After school, the intercom system has become an added security feature because we can now visually see the students who need to enter the building and the locker room,” said Berrios. “Before we had to keep the door propped open or students could not gain access from the back of the building.” Leveraging IP connectivity Maffey said the installation was relatively easy because he was able to leverage the school’s existing IP network to run the new IP‑based video intercom system. Additional switches helped to fill in areas where network connectivity wasn’t available. “When we install an Aiphone system we can walk away confident that it is going to work,” said Maffey. “Aiphone has been our go‑to intercom system for over 20 years.”
Atos announces its new partnership to integrate viisights software into its Atos Computer Vision Platform. Atos is a pioneer in global Edge AI. This collaboration will allow viisights’ powerful behavioural video analytics to run on Atos Computer Vision Platform, providing users with unique insight and therefore to immediately detect and predict violent activity, suspicious activity, crowd behaviour, traffic monitoring, and much more to help authorities prevent harmful activities from escalating. AI-based behavioural video analytics viisights is a developer of advanced AI-powered behavioural video analytics software. viisights will integrate its AI models to VISuite, these models are specifically designed for security and safety applications, targeting transportation hubs, smart cities, critical infrastructure, and various kind of campuses. They leverage viisights’ unique video understanding technology capabilities. Computer vision platform Atos Computer Vision Platform enables users to reduce error rates, guarantee people and asset safety Atos Computer Vision Platform, launched in July 2021, is a unique end-to-end computer vision platform providing pre-trained & customisable AI models powered by the BullSequana server range and enriched by a partner ecosystem and Atos computer vision experts through worldwide expert’s labs. It enables users to identify events and behaviours, reduce error rates, guarantee people and asset safety, deliver the highest quality, and offer frictionless and personalised customer experiences. Delivering advanced solutions Atos Computer Vision Platform offers full compatibility with Atos BullSequana server range designed for AI applications, Atos data science services and leverages Atos’ established global presence in the public safety space. “We’re very excited to partner with Atos. This strategic partnership will help deliver highly advanced and valuable solutions that leverage our respective core areas of expertise,” said Asaf Birenzvieg, CEO of viisights. Easy and cost-effective solutions “Integrating Atos Computer Vision Platform as a partner makes it easier and more cost-effective to offer municipalities and other customer’s turnkey solutions that deliver proactive safety and security.” “We are proud to announce viisights integrates Atos Computer Vision Platform as a partner, integrating VISuite, the software toolbox. This partnership will harness the reach of Atos Computer Vision Platform to make public transports and public areas across the globe safer, smarter, and more secure,” said Jérôme Sandrini, Head of Big Data solutions, Atos.
Here East is an innovation and technology campus located at the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, UK. Once the Press and Broadcast Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games, it is home to a thriving community of over 4,500 creative, academics, and innovators. Designed as a mini-city, the campus is a mixed-use development that houses offices, retail units, university facilities, cultural exhibitions, and public spaces. Notable tenants include BT Sport, the V&A Museum, Sports Interactive, and the studios of noted choreographer Wayne McGregor. In total, the site offers 1.2 million square feet of flexible space and caters to a wide range of visitors. Modernising data The previous video management system was still functioning. Yet, Here East’s Head of Security, Leighton Jones, was familiar with the Genetec unified platform and was confident it could deliver more. The advanced capabilities of the Genetec system would enable his team to gain a deeper understanding of the environment, resolve incidents in real-time and ensure a positive user experience. “Here East is a truly iconic location with a diverse list of high calibre visitors and tenants,” explains Jones. “I wanted to be able to say we use the best technology available and in my experience that is Genetec.” Here East has begun a multi-year phased adoption of Genetec solutions, starting with the deployment of Genetec Clearance to modernise data handling and the secure sharing of digital evidence. GDPR compliance Implementation of the EU GDPR has led Here East to revisit its processes for the sharing of video surveillance footage Like many organisations, the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has led Here East to revisit its processes for the sharing of video surveillance footage. Each time Here East received a validated evidence request, operators burned footage onto physical storage media such as a CD or a USB stick. The process was time-consuming and also created chain-of-custody issues. Here East had no control over how that footage was stored and shared by others. “It wasn’t a situation I was comfortable with,” explains Jones. “We find ourselves needing to share footage internally and externally. We need to retain controls on our data.” Clearance simplifies evidence sharing All digital evidence is now collected, shared, and distributed through Genetec Clearance. The team at Here East can put appropriate safeguards in place to minimise the risk of footage being inappropriately shared or lost. For example, it can specify viewing rights for specific users, set time limits, and revoke access to previously shared footage. The automatic redaction features available within Genetec Clearance have also streamlined the processing of requests for video evidence. Under the terms of the EU GDPR, any citizen can submit a subject access request, with Article 15 of the legislation presenting specific challenges concerning video surveillance. Article 15 states “the right to obtain a copy… shall not adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others. Video surveillance operators must redact the identities of multiple other third parties in relevant frames of video before footage can be shared. On a busy night, the canalside restaurants and bars on the Here East site can contain 1,000 people in a single camera’s field of view. Before the user had to spend significant time manually redacting the identifies of innocent parties in the footage. With Genetec Clearance, that task is instant and automated. Improved incident reporting capabilities Genetec Clearance has bolstered Here East’s incident analysis capabilities, simplifying the process of reporting back Genetec Clearance has bolstered Here East’s incident analysis capabilities, simplifying the process of reporting back to the senior management. Each month the Here East team runs an automated report breaking down incidents by time, date, and location. It then uses this data to make recommendations surrounding security operations and the deployment of resources. Where it’s applicable they run educational workshops for tenants. For example, phone snatching and bike theft are two of the most common crimes in their London borough. By closely monitoring the data, Here East can take proactive steps to detect, deter, and discourage perpetrators from operating on the Here East site. “It’s all well and good having the data but the most important thing is being able to visualise it, spot the meaningful patterns, and take the right preventative actions,” explains Jones. “Genetec Clearance makes this seamless”. The foundations for future growth Here East is still in the early phases of a long-term rollout with Genetec but is already benefitting from a unified approach to security, digital evidence-sharing, and operations. Further deployments will see the innovative site continue to work closely with Genetec to maximise value, push the boundaries of the technology and exceed the expectations of its tenants. “We’re continuing the legacy of the 2012 Olympics and have ambitious plans for the day-to-day management of this iconic site,” concludes Jones. “Our tenants expect a gold medal standard service and we have no intentions to disappoint”.
Four out of every five (82%) of existing CCTV and video monitoring systems are set to be extended to help keep schools and colleges ‘COVID Safe’, found a new education sector study of 91 education organisations based in the UK, US, Sweden, and Norway, carried out by video security as a service (VSaaS) provider AVA Security in March 2021. Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems to support COVID safety measures. For example, half (50%) of all those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 6 months. Adopting video monitoring/CCTV technologies The AVA Security Education Sector Trends Report 2021 just out, provides a wealth of data and insight linked to how Operations, Security, and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic. Nearly four of every 10 (38%) educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff, and visitor movements in, out, and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next 6 months. New COVID Safe-specific video analytics 29% were using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances Nearly a third (29%) was already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the 6 months. Interestingly, 41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels inside retail areas, dining facilities, and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 6 months. Mask and face recognition systems Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask. A further 31% planned to deploy mask detection analytics within the next 6 months. However, the Education sector is a more cautious deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22% of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double to 29% over the next 6 months. The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes appears to be paying for them: 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year. A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely before the end of 2021. Cybersecurity becomes a key IT priority There has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources As IT, operations, and security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources. Just in the last few months, the University of Hertfordshire experienced a major cyberattack that led to the shutting down of key online learning apps including Zoom for students enrolled there. Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cybersecurity for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cybersecurity focus was ‘likely’. Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw an improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’. VSaaS selection criteria For the 82% of all education respondents actively considering Video Security as a Service (VSaaS) options right now, there were many criteria determining provider selection. Nearly nine out of 10 net (87%) considering VSaaS in 2021, agreed with the statement ‘It must have very strong cybersecurity, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’ Reduced costs and ease of use The VSaaS selected must also offer a reduction in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership of our video monitoring system’, according to 48% of educational institutions considering migration to VSaaS. Further, 45% of decision-makers questioned insisted on greater ease of use, supporting the statement ‘It must be configurable and operable by non-IT people. While 24% of education sector decision-makers considering VSaaS, said the provider needed not to be headquartered in mainland China. Integration with existing camera systems A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important that the VSaaS selected ‘must allow us to continue using our existing third party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment. A net 80% considering VSaaS also confirmed ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface’. Further, the same number of respondents (net 80%) considered it net important (either ‘very’ or ‘quite important’) that the VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS’. Video analytics An even higher number, net 84%, regarded it as important that the VSaaS selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling, etc), people and vehicle search, object searching and colour searching’. Workspace management technologies Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities while minimising the risk of COVID infection. For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms, and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps. Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation. Cybersecurity is critical to VSaaS selection Education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection" Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented, “The fact that four out of five education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are already actively considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection is very encouraging." “There is also clearly a strong determination to adapt existing school video surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements. And the fact that a third (32%) confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud this year provides significant scope for optimism as we enhance our VSaaS offering with Ava Cloud Connector for example, which enables those running systems to plug existing third party cameras into Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.” Video security solutions Ava Security recently launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owners easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud. This brings Ava’s advanced real-time video analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating them with Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform. Ava’s Cloud Connector eliminates the need to rip and replace existing video security devices to directly reap the cost and operational efficiencies of a true cloud service.
Round table discussion
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?
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?
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?
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