Acquisition of business units of South African electronics and solution provider to complement HENSOLDT’s portfolio and expand footprint in Africa. HENSOLDT South Africa has signed an agreement to acquire the Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Defence & Security business units of Tellumat. The acquisition will see HENSOLDT further expand its portfolio as well as its presence in Africa. The agreement was signed by Rynier van der Watt, Managing Director of HENSOLDT South Africa and Andre...
Videonetics announces that it has joined the Qualcomm® Smart Cities Accelerator Program to provide their AI and Deep Learning powered Unified Video Computing Platform™ (UVCP) to diverse industries such as smart cities, aviation, enterprise and manufacturing to name a few. To exhibit their features and functionalities, Videonetics will be implementing their end-to-end video management system and AI enabled video analytics in conjunction with Qualcomm Technologies enabled smart cameras...
AOPEN, a global technology company that specialises in smart products and services for cloud-based applications, announces the launch of the AOPEN Heat Finder Thermal Imaging Solution − a dual-camera system that quickly and accurately detects elevated body temperatures. "With so many industries facing unique, unprecedented challenges, thermal imaging technology has become more important than ever," says Aaron Pompey, President, AOPEN Pan America. "The new safety-conscious consumer expects...
On Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada), Genetec, together with Université Laval, one of the top research universities in Canada, and Axis communications will host a webinar that will look at: The importance of on-campus video surveillance and current trends in the education industry The areas of interest within a school setting that require surveillance and the considerations schools must take when implementing solutions Analytics, hardware, and software t...
Allegion US, a provider of security products and solutions, announces the launch of Schlage® Mobile Access Solutions, a comprehensive, secure and flexible access control solution portfolio. In the age of digital transformation and the evolving mobile economy, providing secure, convenient access is at the forefront of security challenges faced by multifamily properties, businesses and campuses alike. The Schlage Mobile Access Solutions portfolio redefines access control for the mobile world....
Rhombus Systems, a cloud physical security platform, announces a strategic partnership with global real estate investment management company CA Ventures, through which Rhombus Systems will provide CA with a video security platform for multifamily and student housing communities. The platform will be capable of supporting an unlimited number of cameras and locations from one console – fully accessible from any web browser or mobile device. “The real estate sector has been going...
Identiv, Inc. announced the availability of Hirsch Velocity Software with Contact Tracing. Available via download for Hirsch customers, the free feature has been launched to support worldwide office re-openings with improved health and safety management tools. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ (CDC) recommendations, contract tracing is a key strategy for preventing further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Hirsch Velocity Software with Contact Tracing is a means of proactively and reactively protecting visitors. If a person enters a building and is later found to be symptomatic of an illness, Velocity can pull a report of everyone who entered the same door who can then be notified to either get tested or self-quarantine. The feature is free, easy to download, and simple to implement into existing Velocity physical access control system (PACS) platforms. Manage access control While this is useful during the days of COVID-19, it can also be used for other applications, such as seasonal influenza" “While this is useful during the days of COVID-19, it can also be used for other applications, such as seasonal influenza,” said Mark Allen, Identiv GM, Premises. “This means your office can be proactive in responding to potential outbreaks, while simultaneously providing your employees with the peace of mind that there are measures in place to keep them safe.” Hirsch Velocity Software provides the security and functionality expected from high-end systems with the ease-of-use found in entry-level packages. Velocity is an integrated platform that manages access control and security operations in thousands of different facilities, from single high secure rooms to multi-building, multi-location campuses with the most stringent security compliance. Prevent unwanted access With Velocity, users can control doors, gates, turnstiles, elevators, and other equipment, monitor employees and visitor behaviour, prevent unwanted access, maintain compliance, and provide a robust audit trail. The latest version of the software platform is designed to deliver the highest level of security, interoperability, and backwards compatibility, and it accommodates the evolution of security technology.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, many governments, municipalities and enterprises world-wide are introducing new health and safety measures to ensure that all entrants to public buildings are screened for above average temperatures. In response to these new measures, Pangea, a global supplier of digital identity and security solutions is announcing the integration of thermal imaging technology as part of its biometric access control and incident management solution. The thermal imaging technology implemented by Pangea, was first introduced during the SARS outbreak in Asia in 2002 and enables security personnel to scan a continuous flow of people entering a public space or building. Thermal Imaging Access Control technology is faster and more suitable for the movement of masses of people as it does not require people to stop and queue in line while their temperature is taken. Thermal imaging technology Biometric and Thermal imaging technology initiatives have been implemented as part of South Korea’s response to COVID-19, helping the country to ‘flatten the curve.’ South Korean government ministries have been working together using a ‘Coronvirus Data Hub’ to provide accurate data about those infected by COVID-19, which has helped manage the spread and reduce new incidences of COVID-19. South Korea’s experience shows that “diagnostic capacity at scale is key to epidemic control,” says Raina MacIntyre, an emerging infectious disease scholar at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Automated thermal imaging technology This technology offers a non-intrusive, non-contact solution for controlling the spread of viral infections “Our Geriatric Hospital serves residents with a high risk of contracting COVID-19,” said Deborah Goldberg, Head Nurse, Beit Hadar Geriatric Medical Centre. “The installation of the Pangea Bio-Thermal Imaging Access Control solution gives us and our residents another solution for protection against the virus in these troublesome times.” For Pangea, a company with over 25 years’ experience in the deployment of complex large-scale digital identity and security projects, the integration of automated thermal imaging technology is an obvious next step. This technology offers a non-intrusive, non-contact solution for controlling the spread of viral infections in large-scale public spaces including office buildings, shopping malls, educational campuses, sports arenas and cultural centres. Security infrastructure solution For the enterprise organisation, Pangea can integrate these digital heat sensors with other corporate digital security mechanisms such as biometric face recognition to create a more robust security infrastructure for corporate facilities. “The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the world and is expected to have a significant impact on our daily lives, today and in the future,” says Rafi Kaminer, CEO and Founder of Pangea. “We think government and enterprise organisations need to take on a new “social role and responsibility” to keep people safe from potential COVID-19 individuals who may infect others." "In Israel, only Pangea has the expertise and technology to help public and private sector organisations roll out an automated bio-thermal imaging solution as part of our broader safety and security infrastructure solution for any type of facility, at any scale, anywhere in the world.”
Arcules, innovators in integrated video and access control cloud services, announced the commercial availability of the Arcules-XProtect Hybrid VMS Solution in North America and Europe. The solution represents a combination of the Arcules Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) integrated with Milestone XProtect Corporate on-premise video management software (VMS). The result is a flexible and feature-rich hybrid video surveillance solution ideal for organisations looking to centralise their dispersed video surveillance operations. Organisations that require both the flexibility of VSaaS and the functionality of on-premise VMS benefit from the Arcules-XProtect Hybrid VMS Solution with performance built on enterprise-grade infrastructure and security. Hybrid cloud computing deployment Milestone XProtect customers can deploy remote sites quickly, with minimal IT resources With Arcules-XProtect Hybrid VMS Solution, Milestone XProtect customers can deploy remote sites quickly, with minimal IT resources and downtime while still benefiting from the strong capabilities of XProtect on-premise VMS. Additionally, Arcules’ intuitive platform provides sites and cameras connected to Arcules VSaaS an underlying cloud infrastructure such as compatibility between sites, low video latency, data encryption, redundancy, streamlined maintenance with automatic updates, and easy onboarding. “Milestone resellers and end customers are planning their deployment to take advantage of the many benefits of cloud computing. This integration gives Milestone XProtect Corporate customers a new hybrid cloud computing deployment option,” said Bjørn Skou Eilertsen, CTO of Milestone Systems. Feature-rich video management functions “The typical Milestone XProtect Corporate user has many branch offices of different sizes and locations. Enabling this hybrid deployment option can allow them to simplify large scale deployments. After the Arcules system is Interconnected the user can utilise these Arcules connected cameras with the advanced XProtect Corporate product capabilities.” The Arcules-XProtect Hybrid VMS Solution uses Milestone Interconnect technology to combine the hyper-scalability and licensing flexibility of Arcules cloud service with the feature-rich video management functions of XProtect Corporate. The combination of these advanced technologies provides uniform access to live video, recordings and alarms across cameras physically connected on-premise and virtually connected via the Arcules cloud, through XProtect Smart Client, XProtect Smart Wall, and the web and mobile clients. High-performance cloud services The solution also enables organisations to better manage their operational costs as a result of flexible pricing schemes" Organisations with distributed locations such as healthcare, retail, corporate campuses and education, and utility environments all benefit from high-performance cloud services to provide real-time insight in the event of an incident in remote areas. The Arcules-XProtect Hybrid VMS Solution also adds value to monitoring stations and law enforcement organisations that use XProtect Corporate as their VMS platform. Such organisations can now access cameras and customers subscribed to the Arcules cloud service directly from their on-premise XProtect system. “The Arcules-XProtect Hybrid VMS Solution is an ideal solution for businesses looking to expand their surveillance operation across geographically dispersed locations,” said Arcules CEO Andreas Pettersson. “These businesses can enjoy the strong capabilities of on-premise VMS while reducing their capital investment. The solution also enables organisations to better manage their operational costs as a result of flexible pricing schemes and minimal hardware requirements.” Utilise data centers The Arcules-XProtect Hybrid VMS Solution regional availability outside of North America and Europe is based on market demand conditioned by datacenter availability and/or the possibility to utilise data centers in other regions.
Aeroturn LLC, a turnstile manufacturer that offers 100% Made In The USA turnstiles, announced that the company is currently manufacturing multiple types of turnstile lanes - all ADA compliant- for five different GSA sites on the northeast, west and east coasts. Businesses, non-profit organisations, and educational institutions can obtain a GSA Schedule Contract to sell products and services to government customers and helps streamline the process. Aeroturn is currently a national preferred manufacturer and installer of turnstiles for multiple federal and state agencies due to past & current performance as well as the company’s long-term success with many integrators, contractors and end users. The government sector is a huge focus for Aeroturn with turnstiles installed at government sites nationwide dating back to October 2004. Physical and cyber security The current GSA projects will be completed by the successful long-term teamwork of eVigilant & Aeroturn With turnstiles still in operation daily with no preventative maintenance program or service required; government agencies can rely on Aeroturn for all their perimeter protection needs. eVigilant Security, a nationwide security provider that specialises in physical and cyber security for Government clients, chose Aeroturn products for the GSA sites due to their past relationship dating all the way back to 2008. Both companies joined forces to implement turnstiles for several Presidential Transition office locations and knew that it was a powerful partnership. Federal protection services security forces Aeroturn was able to design and deploy fixed units via modules that can be placed in each location "4 years" apart and stored at various locations under the USSS guidance. “eVigilant was instrumental in the GSA process due to their relationship and corporate structure with several of the federal protection services security forces,” states Michael Stoll, Aeroturn’s VP of Technical Sales & Marketing. “Once we were able to present our products and past performance with the USSS Technical Services Division; it was an easy decision for the DOJ leased professional space decision makers to choose Aeroturn.” The company works with integrators and end user building security personnel nationwide" The current GSA projects will be completed by the successful long-term teamwork of eVigilant & Aeroturn. “Working with Aeroturn over the past decade has proven to be a powerful collaboration,” states David Einsig, VP of Sales at eVigilant. “We look forward to continuing our combined efforts to help keep government facilities safe and secure.” High level of security required As part of the bid process, Aeroturn provided drawings and renderings prior to being awarded the GSA contracts. Each GSA location has its very own unique security safety requirements and needed a manufacturer who could adhere to the strict compliance guidelines. Aeroturn has performed recent site evaluations and investigations regarding infrastructure at the multiple GSA sites and will also assist with future security plans. All work at each location must be performed during off-hours or weekends due to the high level of security required to secure each lobby/door. Aeroturn is extremely flexible and continues to outperform its peers in the industry by staying on time and on budget upon project completion. There are many options out there for turnstiles, but none can compete with Aeroturn’s process of product-layout-finish, approvals/PO issuance, site preparedness, and delivery & installation. The company works with integrators and end user building security personnel nationwide to ensure sites are 100% ready for the arrival of product, thus minimising costs and disruptions.
Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified solutions for enhanced security, operations and intelligence, announces its first ever attendance at BETT, the global meeting place for education buyers that attracts over 34,000 attendees. It will be exhibiting at the London ExCel on Stand NM65 from 22-25 January 2020. At the show Genetec will be exhibiting its technologies on an interactive stand that ensures visitors can get a true feel for the solutions and their capabilities. Representatives from Genetec will be on hand to explain the solution capabilities, and how the best-of-breed cameras, readers, sensors and analytics can meet each user’s specific requirements. More advanced access control Genetec already works with educational institutions around the globe Recognised by IHS Markit as the world’s leading Video Management System (VMS) vendor, Genetec already works with educational institutions around the globe including the University of Hull, Cornell University and the Hilton Central school district in New York. The company is able to solve some of the most pertinent issues schools and universities face as facilities grow in size and complexity and they become responsible for more students. For example, its support for wireless locks and more advanced access control helps educators to enhance security while also contributing to simplified operations and an improved staff and student experience. Complexity of managing campuses “BETT is the leading trade show for those working in the education sector,” said Nick Smith, Regional Sales Manager for Genetec UK&I. “It’s a chance to connect directly with end-users, and we’re keen to show those attendees the scope and flexibility of our solutions. We’ve never attended before but as education is such a key market for us, this was an opportunity we could not pass up.” “Education is changing all the time, and the complexity of managing campuses is only growing. Combining a plethora of technologies and integrating them effectively is a challenge many face, and our comprehensive solutions can add real value – over and above simply providing security products. Our analytics can help users identify trends and implement courses of action to better manage campus operations – from traffic flow through to students accessing their dormitories, cutting through the complexity and driving return on investment.”
Allegion, a provider of security products and solutions, and CBORD, a provider of campus card technology solutions, announced a new integration that strengthens perimeter security across colleges and universities in the U.S. Allegion’s Von Duprin Remote Undogging (RU) and Remote Monitoring (RM) options will now extend the impact of CBORD’s card software system for greater control of secondary doors over perimeter access. The integration improves perimeter security by providing electronic override of mechanical dogging so lockdown can occur from the CBORD interface. To ensure peace of mind, remote monitoring capabilities are also available through the integration. Security issue on campus Colleges need to be able to lock down immediately if there is a security issue on campus" This integration also makes Allegion and CBORD one of the first to bring this solution to higher education campuses for access control at this scale. Higher education campuses face a unique challenge when it comes to security – they are larger, open by design, and tend to have more buildings than other learning institutions, making security a demanding task for facility personnel. “This is one of the most critical security hurdles universities face,” said Robert Lydic, Vice President of PACs OEM business at Allegion. “Due to the required circulation between buildings, colleges need to be able to lock down immediately if there is a security issue on campus.” Electronic access control system Yong Lacy, category leader of openings at Allegion, added, “It is not feasible for universities to leave perimeter doors locked during operating hours because students, faculty and visitors constantly need to move across campus buildings with ease. Remote undogging and monitoring can enhance security to avoid putting the college community at risk in emergency situations.” Many secondary doors are not connected to a campus’ electronic access control system, exposing universities to potential security breaches, especially during emergency lockdowns. The Von Duprin RU and RM options, coupled with CBORD’s software, are designed to extend the benefits of electronic access control to these openings. This integration provides higher education customers a wide range of affordable solutions to meet their perimeter electronic access control needs, seamlessly integrating with security systems like Schlage’s electronic locks, readers and credentials. Access control software The RM option is the sensor-only configuration for exit-only or fire-rated doors that require monitoring" “CBORD has been a provider of campus technology for more than forty years and works with partners like Allegion to design innovative solutions as security risks continue to evolve,” said Jim Hoefflin, CBORD president. “We’ve taken a best-of-breed in security solutions and integrated it with our industry-leading access control software for a smart integration that responds to the market’s increasing need for improved campus perimeter security.” The Von Duprin RU option is a retrofit kit for exit devices that enables remote undogging for centralised lock down and door status monitoring with integrated request to exit (RX), latch bolt (LX) and door position switch (DPS) signaling capabilities. The RU option connects wirelessly via BLE to the ENGAGE Gateway, providing real-time, bi-directional communication to the Open Options DNA Fusion software via IP network connection directly to the Gateway. Advanced access control adoption The RU option is a modular battery powered kit that can be added on to existing Von Duprin 98/99 and 33A/35A series devices. The RM option is the sensor-only configuration for exit-only or fire-rated doors that require monitoring. It provides visibility to door status with the same RX, LX and DPS signals as the RU option, without the centralised lockdown component. This integration is part of the next wave in Allegion’s quest to work with the leading players in the industry to spearhead advanced access control adoption, making seamless security the new standard at higher education institutions.
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. Video surveillance technology provides added security for you, your family and your business 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 through these odd times 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.
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.
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.
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.
A British university has overhauled its dated suite of security cameras to prepare for expansion and better protect its students and staff. Newman University in Birmingham called in systems specialist Unison Integrated Technology after a major power-surge disabled more than 30 cameras in its ageing system. Newman wanted comprehensive video coverage that was more robust and easier to use as part of its development plan for a safe learning environment for almost 3,000 students and staff. Facilities manager Lewis Palin said: “We contract out our security services, so it’s important for newly arrived officers to be able to use all of the system’s key features with minimal training.” Digital image stabilisation Unison proposed an IDIS end-to-end solution that had already performed excellently at a number of nearby schools, colleges and commercial sites. Total cost of ownership was also a factor as Newman needed more than 150 new internal and external cameras, so Palin wanted to integrate its existing cameras and infrastructure with the new kit. It also meant minimal maintenance charges, no licence fees and the option to adapt or scale the system as the campus grew or requirements changed. The Unison team delivered an IDIS DirectIP solution with more than 160 cameras, including five advanced 2MP Lightmaster IR PTZ models delivering 36x zoom and pin-sharp images in all lighting thanks to their 350 metre IR, true wide dynamic range and digital image stabilisation. Network video recorders Unrivalled storage capability is assured by four powerful 64-channel network video recorders Unison also installed 55 full-HD IR vandal-resistant dome cameras to secure entrances and internal areas, and 40 IR bullet cameras to give HD coverage of key external areas. All the new cameras incorporate IDIS Smart Failover technology, which ensures automatic protection against video data loss, eliminating the risk of gaps in recordings in the event of power failure or network instability. Unrivalled storage capability is assured by four powerful 64-channel network video recorders with built-in failover and RAID 1, 5 and 10 support, plus a further three 32-channel recorders with IDIS Intelligent Codec to deliver storage efficiency. Easily monitor live Security officers can now easily monitor live internal and external areas, and quickly search and retrieve recorded footage to find events of interest. Palin concluded: “Unison got the entire job done in three weeks – with swift stock delivery from IDIS – working around us to deliver our new system exactly as promised. We will definitely stick with IDIS technology as we expand our estate.”
Imagine a campus security installation so big that it will take years to complete all the work, and it also means installing solutions with the latest technology and significant impact on school security. This illustration is the kind of job an integrator can really sink their teeth into. It is the kind of solution that a manufacturer wants to keep on their to-do list. Houston Independent School District Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the largest school district in Texas and is the seventh-largest school district in the United States. The latest technology is about to make its debut in every one of HISD's campuses. HISD has built ten new schools within the district in 2018 and is expected to add another 10 to 12 this year, all of which will be brought on board with new cabling and IP cameras. In all, there are 280 schools in the district. IP network cameras installed We (Salient) have partnered with Houston ISD for their security needs for more than a decade" The change in security solutions would be significant as the district had already deployed upwards of 17,000 analogue cameras at its schools with coax cable. As seen with many of the surrounding school districts, the time had come to retire the old system and make significant upgrades. "We (Salient) have partnered with Houston ISD for their security needs for more than a decade," said Paul Fisher, Vice President of Global Key and National Accounts at Salient Systems, adding "We have worked with other nearby school districts in the Houston area, including HISD. Our extensive experience will continue to guide HISD as they build new schools and refurbish other facilities in the district." Implementation of PowerUltra hardware Fisher said the most significant difference with the new IP security installations would be the implementation of Salient's PowerUltra hardware. This hardware will replace an obsolete Windows XP, which is no longer serviced by Microsoft. PowerUltra hardware is the new standard of storage from the IT perspective. "This hardware will allow HISD to grow over the next five years and give them twice as much horsepower than they currently need," Fisher said, adding "This is a major move to IP video surveillance, and each server will easily handle more than 200 IP cameras." IP video surveillance solution Building schools and refurbishing the current installed base at HISD is no easy task. The district covers territory in nine municipalities and some unincorporated areas in Greater Houston, including all of the cities of Bellaire, West University Place, Southside Place, and most of the area within the Houston city limits. HISD also takes students from the Harris County portion of Missouri City, a part of Jacinto City, a small portion of Hunters Creek Village, a small piece of Piney Point Village, and a small section of Pearland; Pearland annexed territory within HISD between 1998 and 2005. There are 209,000 students, speaking nearly 100 languages, nearly 12,000 teachers, and approximately 28,000 support staff. Enhanced safety and security Safety and security are part of the project scope for all recently completed schools" "Safety and security are part of the project scope for all recently completed schools and those currently under construction,” District officials said, adding "This includes the 40 schools that are part of the 2012 Bond Program, as well as seven more schools, either recently completed or under construction, that are not funded by the 2012 Bond." Additionally, the 2012 Bond Program includes a US$ 17.3 million line item dedicated to safety and security upgrades at schools district-wide. That focus was further strengthened in 2017 when the HISD Board of Education allocated an additional US$ 12.1 million for district-wide safety and security needs. Adopting a total IP solution "We are pleased to be a part of this safety and security upgrade at HISD. Using Salient technology at the head-end of the security systems says a lot about our open architecture, and the trust that the school district has placed in us," Fisher said. He adds, "As we help HISD move towards a total IP solution, we are also pleased to work with the HISD IT department and upgrade their network cabling." Security upgrades Not all HISD schools fall under the bond program. Many safety and security upgrades are made based on a review of assessed needs at various campuses. Most updates are at elementary and middle schools because so many high schools have been or will be replaced or rebuilt with the district-standard safety and security measures already incorporated. "The upgrades have been completed partially in-house and partially by contracting with construction, technology, and security vendors," district officials stated, adding "In regards to wire pulls, all new campuses have robust fibre optic and wire backbones, minimising the need for new wire pulls. However, for upgrades at existing campuses, the amount of wiring needed and pull times will vary." Salient Systems VMS Salient System's VMS has been in place throughout their decades-long security contract While Salient System's VMS has been in place throughout their decades-long security contract, the company's technology unit has been working hand-in-hand with HISD's Information Technology division with the installation of the PowerUltra in new schools. All while security maintenance, a team under the purview of the business operations facilities and fleet services department, is overseeing server replacement in existing schools. Increased level of visibility "The leadership of HISD has taken safety and security to a new level with the highest quality of products and solutions, meeting the demands of installation at new schools and existing campuses," Fisher said. He adds, "Our goal has been to ensure that the software and storage systems we provide lend themselves to the overall health of the security system. The increased level of visibility in the 'live view mode' ensures that what an operator is looking at is viewed at the proper resolution." Increased coordination between SOC and security system Implementation of safety and security upgrades is currently underway. Once fully implemented, HISD expects to see a significant increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of communications, specifically, district officials will be able to see real-time 24/7 server monitoring, allowing for increased connections between the security operations center (SOC) and the security system. Technicians also will be able to troubleshoot remotely, increasing efficiency. "The SOC is manned 24/7," the district official said, adding "As servers are migrated to the PowerUltra, SOC will be monitoring them 24/7." The official further stated, “Currently, a manual report is run each morning to determine what servers are down. Campuses also may call during the day to report if they are unable to view their cameras. Once an issue is identified, a technician is dispatched to the site to troubleshoot."
The sad reality of today’s campuses, whether K-12 schools or college campuses, is that they can no longer be areas anyone is welcome to enter; there must be steps taken to prevent someone who would enter the campus with intentions to harm students, teachers, and staff. For years many organisations have been reactionary, thinking some of the horrific acts of violence happen elsewhere but could not happen here. However, recent events, especially the Parkland shooting, have caused many to realise they must be proactive. People who studied education most likely have no formal training in the security field, yet now they are expected to make expert decisions about campus security. So how can those in this field make the best choices with regard to campus security? Paul Fisher shares four things to consider when developing campus security. Access control system Integration has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the security industry for the past few years Integration has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the security industry for the past few years. People understand the need for different technologies to communicate effectively and reliably, and to provide law enforcement, firefighters, and school administrators with seamless communication with security systems so they can effectively do their jobs. “Many of the recent tragedies have caught us, from the campus security side, off guard,” Paul Fisher, Director of Key Accounts, at Salient Systems said. “Just because I have this access control system, this camera system, and a gunshot detection solution, security professionals still need to confirm these products are going to work seamlessly together.” Seamless interoperability Unfortunately, Fisher says, as 9/11 taught us, seamless interoperability isn’t always the case. “While many security consultants might say certain technologies should or must integrate, they don’t necessarily go through the process of step-by-step implementation and review,” Fisher said. “You need to ask yourself, ‘If this is happening, what should happen next?’” The main goal of the consulting world is to fit a video system or a security system into the budget of the school district or bond, and unfortunately, things might get left out as schools don’t always have enough money to outfit their campuses with a fully effective security solution. Video surveillance systems Schools can focus on physical hardening aspects of security, such as a man trap area in a vestibule Fortunately, attitudes in this area seem to be shifting as campus security professionals address real threats towards their campus and begin to be proactive about implementing a solution that truly integrates and interoperates with the various layers of available technology, as well as with campus readiness programs and local law enforcement. Schools can focus on physical hardening aspects of security, such as a man trap area in a vestibule or bulletproof doors. Another technology that campuses are finding useful is gunshot detection. While this technology is not new, it has certainly become far more effective than it was in its earlier iterations, and when integrated properly with video surveillance systems and mobile map technology, it can be an incredibly useful tool for law enforcement entering a potentially deadly situation and for those who need the earliest possible warning. Law enforcement awareness “If you talk to students and really listen to the stories that come out of the shootings,” Fisher said. “So many times, the kids say, ‘We thought it was something else; we didn’t realise it was a gun.’ Until they realise the gunfire is right next to them, they don’t know what is happening.” As soon as the gunshot is detected, that’s an early warning for the teachers and students to get out of the hallways and into a classroom or an area where they can lock the door. Another related technology that must integrate with an overall security system is automatic lockdown. As soon as the school realises there is the potential for an event, it must have the ability to lock down as many doors as possible while still providing the ability to see inside the school, so the responding officers have a better idea the threat and giving staff and law enforcement awareness into the situation. Facilitate Situational Awareness Situational awareness is closely tied in with a campus security system’s integration with other technologies Fisher says most schools use their video surveillance systems primarily for investigation purposes after the fact, but to truly save lives, schools must be able to offer useful live video feeds to law enforcement. This requires integration with gunshot detection systems that can pinpoint the spot where a shot was fired and highlight the live feed from nearby cameras. A simple interface must give an officer, who may not be trained in such a system, the ability to know where the camera is located and the direction it is pointed so that he or she has the situational awareness necessary to find and neutralise the threat as quickly and safely as possible. This situational awareness is closely tied in with a campus security system’s integration with other technologies. Gunshot detection system To help organisations better capitalise on this technology, Salient’s platform is offering the ability to implement maps into a mobile device, Fisher says.“So now with a handheld device, mobile phone or a tablet, approaching law enforcement, if given that access, can look at a map that will show the direction the camera is pointed and its physical location on the map of the facility,” Fisher said. “If the video surveillance system is tied to the gunshot detection system, it would trigger the camera to change colors indicating this is the general direction the shot came from. With a camera that is physically located in the area, the instant video will show exactly what’s happening in the camera view area.” Good financial fiduciaries For educational institutions, finances are probably the biggest barrier to getting the most effective system. Those making the decisions must not only spend the allotted money wisely, but they must spend it on proven technology. Schools can’t afford to spend it on a new technology that makes huge promises but fails to deliver. Local businesses often partner with law enforcement who will come in and do an evaluation of the facility One way Fisher says educational organisations can ensure they are good financial fiduciaries is to cultivate partnerships with local, state, and even federal law enforcement agencies. “A security consultant addressing a school board doesn’t have as much weight as your local FBI saying it,” Fisher said. Local businesses often partner with law enforcement and the FBI, who will come in and do an evaluation of the facility. Law enforcement agency “They come into ports, airports, critical infrastructure on a daily basis and provide a threat assessment. It would be valuable for school districts to go to local or state level and even a federal level law enforcement agency and ask for an evaluation of their campus,” Fisher said. “Those evaluations would provide a high level of assurances for a school board when they propose a bond request.” Institutions must partner with the right companies to truly get the most out of their security solutions and integrations. “The industry started with proprietary technologies in everything they did,” Fisher said. “And then it moved to an open architecture approach. Security industry manufacturers are now moving back to a proprietary format, meaning that companies have decided they want to be the jack-of-all-trades and the master of none. They offer access control, cameras, VMS, analytics—they try to wrap it all up and say they can do it all.” Video security solution Fisher says it is the companies that continue in an open architecture approach that has the ability to really hone in on the best-of-breed technologies and provide the flexibility to adopt and deploy the best available components of a total solution. “We are committed to helping you design the best video security solution for your needs,” Fisher said. “And we will integrate with companies that offer products that meet those needs.” Integration between systems can be one of the most important features for day-to-day users of the security system. If multiple security technologies are in place, integration of those technologies should be a goal for most organisations’ security programs in order to maximise benefits from each system.
The education sector is a gateway to the future for young people all over the world. But to assure this passage, schools must guarantee their students' safety as well as their education. In today's world, educators, administrators, and parents can all agree on one thing: the need to provide safe and secure learning environments for students is of paramount importance. When any type or size of threat has been made evident to an educational institution, immediate security protocol nowadays typically involves securing the entire facility and taking all measures necessary to keep intruders out. But this is not always as easy as it sounds, as reaching all doors during the event promptly can prove to be challenging. Multiple buildings, community spaces, and the logistics of personnel having to physically lock doors increases the risk for both students and staff. Intrusion detection platforms The integration between both systems means security managers can have access to a single user interface to monitor When determining which access control platforms to invest in, several factors have to be considered. This can include whether intrusion systems are also a critical component of the school’s security makeup. This is where Vanderbilt has the edge as the company possesses two award-winning products that also integrate with each other. These are the access control software ACT Enterprise and the intrusion detection system, SPC. The integration between both systems means security managers can have access to a single user interface to monitor both their access control and intrusion detection platforms. This includes a real-time of their SPC zone status from within ACT Enterprise, as well as the ability to view SPC events within ACT Enterprise, and more importantly, send commands such as “set” or “unset” to SPC from within ACT Enterprise. Access control fob Overall, this is an excellent added layer of security for school managers who get the benefit of two award-winning security systems all from one interface. Of course, a standout feature of ACT Enterprise is the software’s intuitive rules mapping engine that can trigger pre-defined outcomes based on specific event outcomes. Therefore, this feature is a particularly useful and creative tool to have at the disposal of a security or facility manager. Through the rules mapping feature, they can ensure not only the safety of the schools’ students and staff, but the smooth running of the building as well. For instance, an example of a rule that a security manager could create in the system, would be to receive an email notification anytime someone used their access control fob to enter into the school after hours. Audio and video verification Additionally, the integration between ACT Enterprise and SPC comes back into play here as the system user can also monitor their sites remotely through the SPC Connect app, which allows audio and video verification of any events that may take place on site. So, in essence, any security alerts can be immediately investigated and verified through video confirmation before taking the next appropriate steps to correct the situation. Libraries are often open late or even 24/7 to accommodate student learning for assignments and exams In addition to schools in general, when it comes to higher education, many universities are spread across a wide radius and contain popular student destinations such as bars, restaurants, gyms, and sporting facilities. One such popular student destination, the library, is a key example of the problematic issues that face the education sector. Libraries are often open late or even 24/7 to accommodate student learning for assignments and exams. Recording fob activity Libraries also house an abundance of valuable equipment such as state-of-the-art computers and printers. However, their opening hours and equipment makes them sensitive to theft, while the fact that they are focal gathering points for many students makes them a significant priority in securing students’ safety in the event of an active shooter on campus. Thanks to ACT Enterprise’s muster reporting feature, security managers can, for example, keep an audit trail of who is in the library by monitoring and recording fob activity. The ACT Enterprise muster report gives security a real-time list of all students in the library, and when students exit the library and swipe out, the muster report will automatically update. Access control systems These are just some of the advantages that access control systems such as Vanderbilt’s ACT Enterprise can have in an educational environment. Vanderbilt understands that security in education is an essential issue, one that requires thoughtful attention and procedure while allowing room for agility, adaptability, and dependability. Vanderbilt’s ACT Enterprise respond to these expectations and enable practical safeguarding foundations to be laid.
La Cité, Ontario’s largest French-language college, recently upgraded parking lot security on its main Ottawa campus with the installation of 15 IX Series 2 video intercom assistance (or emergency) towers from Aiphone, the international manufacturer of intercom and security communication products. With the press of a button, the towers enable students, staff, and visitors to directly communicate with the campus security staff. The towers’ embedded megapixel cameras provide security officers with live video to more accurately assess and respond to a situation. The Aiphone towers are topped with bright blue lights making them easy to spot at night. They are always on and officers immediately know the location of any calls for assistance. The IX Series 2 intercoms and towers replaced units that could no longer be repaired, and that downtime could potentially endanger students or staff, said Rock Levesque, Project Manager for Ottawa-based project integrator, ComNet Networks and Security Inc. Outdoor mass notification system ComNet created an outdoor mass notification system by adding amplified horns to each Aiphone tower" “Pressing the old units’ call buttons initiated a siren that made it virtually impossible for students to hear instructions from the security staff,” he said. “Campus administrators place a very high priority on the safety of their students and staff, so the decision was made to upgrade the entire system.” To replace the sirens, ComNet created an outdoor mass notification system by adding amplified horns to each Aiphone tower. The IX Series 2 towers include embedded megapixel cameras providing sharp closeup video. Levesque said the towers’ optional CCTV arms will enable the campus to add cameras for wider parking lot views. Emergency assistance system The three-module towers feature built-in mounting hardware for power supplies or accessories and rear access panels to easily pull wire from top to bottom. The towers also feature built-in UL-Listed electrical boxes to satisfy local electrical codes. Upgrades to the emergency assistance system on the La Cite Ottawa campus will set minds at ease and help protect the thousands of students and staff who call this campus home. La Cité, opened in 1995, offers its 5,200 students 140 postsecondary programmes with degrees ranging from architecture to security management. The college has its main Ottawa campus, a satellite campus in Hawkesbury, a site dedicated to constructions trades in Orleans, and a business office with classrooms in Toronto.
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.
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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