Cannabis and Security
Smiths Detection, a globally renowned threat detection and security technology solutions company, has announced that it has developed the capability to detect synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as Spice or K2, with its IONSCAN 600 trace detection solution. Detecting synthetic cannabinoids This development comes following an extensive R&D process and testing trials with major correctional institutions around the world and expands the IONSCAN 600 existing detection library of explosives and a wide range of narcotics, including various forms of fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and THC (Tetra Hydro Cannabinol). IONSCAN 600 trace detection solution IONSCAN 600 trace detection solution is also highly effective in finding narcotics that are concealed The IONSCAN 600 trace detection solution is also highly effective in finding narcotics that are concealed, such as those that have been liquefied and absorbed in paper. Spice or K2 is an emerging threat for law enforcement officials, especially in critical public administration infrastructure facilities, such as prisons, jails, and other secure government facilities. These potent substances can cause life threatening health effects and ailments when consumed and pose detection challenges during conventional security screening process. CBRNE detection and identification solutions This development is the latest from Smiths Detection who have invested heavily into the critical infrastructure market, which includes law enforcement, emergency responders, and security, to build a comprehensive portfolio of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) detection and identification solutions. Philo Daniel, Global Director of Urban Security at Smiths Detection commented, “We are very pleased by the release of this new detection capability. This new library has received a significant level of R&D investment and underwent extensive testing to ensure our customers have the very best information available to them to make critical decisions that protect public health, safety, and security.”
IDIS is working with systems integrators to identify and secure video projects in post-COVID growth sectors. Key among them are the: logistics, education, cannabis sales & production, and residential markets. Integrators affected by project delays or cancellations in their established markets are looking to diversify their customer portfolios. A recent analysis released online highlights sectors that will offer significant prospects for new video installations and system upgrades, as customers look to expand, to drive efficiency, or to introduce COVID-safe site control measures. Cyber organised crime “After a number of project successes across North America, we are seeing opportunities in some exciting areas,” said Andrew Myung, President, IDIS America. “There’s a buoyancy in the logistics sector, as ecommerce continues to grow, and COVID-19 has sped up the move to online with many older shoppers turning to online buying for the first time during the pandemic.” “Additionally, distribution and logistics centres need to keep up and upgrade their operations, which results in additional measures to secure the supply chain, track goods in and out as well as mitigating internal shrinkage and external threats such as being targeted by physical and cyber organised crime.” Opportunities also abound in the education sector; video surveillance is a cost-effective solution for schools considering ways to leverage their existing surveillance investment to help students and staff adhere with social distancing, occupancy limits and prevent bottlenecks in corridors and common areas. Smart automation solutions Systems integrators are positioning themselves by partnering with the right vendors, including IDIS" And the fast-growing cannabis sector is likely to continue performing well, with analysts expecting a continued CAGR of up to 20% through to 2027, driven by the increasing legalisation of cannabis for medical as well as adult recreational use. Working with AV integrators in the residential and small business sectors, IDIS is seeing a growth in demand not only for surveillance to increase security and safety, but also to provide convenience and efficiency with though smart automation solutions that integrate lighting, music streaming, HVAC, and a range of IoT devices that can be controlled remotely from mobile apps. In this COVID-19 age, businesses concerned with becoming infection hotspots are looking to increase site monitoring, while pressures to drive efficiency are pushing other businesses to leverage the latest AI video capabilities, with new systems and upgrades, Myung notes. “Yet, for integrators without previous experience in these growth markets, accessing those opportunities can be difficult. Consequently, systems integrators are positioning themselves by partnering with the right vendors, including IDIS.” Reduced training requirements IDIS is structured to collaborate closely with systems integrators and offers them benefits including lower total cost of service (TCS). Advantages of the single-supplier model include improved sales planning, seamless technical support for end-to-end solutions, and reduced training requirements. Looking ahead, Myung says IDIS will be further supporting integration partners by building out solutions to help businesses enforce safe working practice in Q4. “We will be helping them meet new government and industry guidelines with competitive video solutions for applications including building occupancy and density control, social distancing compliance and face mask policy compliance.”
The cannabis market is one of the fastest-growing markets. By the end of 2025, Grand View Research estimates that the global legal cannabis market will grow to US$ 66.3 billion. Its increasing legalisation and use in the medical field, as well as recreational applications, are some reasons driving its growth. Cannabis market However, there are stringent rules and regulations regarding the products’ cultivation and sale. According to Adherence Compliance, a Denver-based company that specialises in cannabis compliance, about 76 percent of all cannabis operators fail at inventory requirements, 72 percent fail security and surveillance requirements, 67 percent are unsuccessful with labeling and packaging, 64 percent on business records and 53 percent fail on transport and storage. What do cannabis operators need to know before they grow? Blake Albertsen, Salient Regional Sales Manager for the Pacific Northwest, helps operators navigate regulations, a security plan, and the importance of a Clean Green Certified security manufacturer and integrator. Regulations From seed-to-sale, all activities that occur with each cannabis plant needs to be tracked and captured on security video From seed-to-sale, all activities that occur with each cannabis plant needs to be tracked and captured on security video, including the interaction between an employee and a plant. Even plant waste and dead plants must remain under surveillance at all times. According to Jeff Hubbard, the Owner of Constellation Cannabis, one of the largest cannabis grow facilities in Washington, before Constellation could begin growing cannabis, they needed a licence for the facility and then to develop an operating plan, specifically designed for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). The LCB is responsible for the licencing of establishments that sell and grow any type of alcohol and cannabis. Operational blueprint The operational blueprint delineates where, in the building, seeds are stored, where cannabis grows, where the flower room is, and where the concentrates production and processing takes place. In addition, a waste quarantine room is required in case a plant dies. “If we have a plant that dies, we can’t just take that plant and throw it in the compost pile; the plant is tagged, so we can scan the plant; we notify the LCB that the plant has died, and we remove the plant from our gardens,” Hubbard says. “But it needs to sit in our quarantine space for 72 hours because that gives the LCB three days to come out to our farm and do a spot check inspection,” says Hubbard, adding “Until compliance of all requirements were met, Constellation could not grow a single plant, and thus, was not able to generate revenue, says the Salient Systems case study.” State-specific cannabis regulations “Every U.S. state, county, and city can potentially be different when it comes to regulation,” says Albertsen, adding “Within a county or a city, there can be even more requirements. Even in Canada, there are different cannabis regulations within each province. Knowing where you are growing and where you are selling is critical even before you open your retail location or a grow facility.” At Salient Systems, we can help cannabis operators follow regulations within each state, city, and county" Albersten further said, “At Salient Systems, we can help cannabis operators follow regulations within each state, city, and county, and help them make the right decision when it comes to their security needs. We have the ability to help operators to stay compliant and follow regulations. We can help clients make the best decisions.” Video surveillance footage maintenance period One of the strictest regulations with regards to security is the amount of days that video surveillance footage must be maintained. The US State of California, for instance, requires: Retention time for video footage is 90 days Security cameras must be placed at all entrances and exits, and must record from indoor and outdoor vantage points for 24 hours a day, with no interruptions, even during extreme weather conditions A minimum camera resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels No less than 15 frames per second (fps) Cameras and storage must be IP compatible Fencing and gates surrounding growing operations must be monitored at least 20 feet beyond the perimeter In the State of Washington: Footage must be retained for 45 days on-site 24-hour continuous recording Minimum camera resolution of 640 x 470 pixels No less than 10 fps In Canada: Footage must be retained for 1 year 24-hour continuous recording Minimum camera resolution of 720 pixels No less than 15 fps Designing security plans Navigating strict regulations requires a well-thought-out plan and a flexible storage solution There are various other security requirements, such as implementing a functional alarm system, security personnel must be stationed during all hours of operations and proper notification to appropriate agencies in the event of a theft, loss or breach. Navigating strict regulations requires a well-thought-out plan and a flexible storage solution that allows for enterprise surveillance systems that provide scalability, the necessary capacity to store video footage, and remote monitoring capabilities. According to Albertsen, the following are key elements in a security plan that all growers or those looking into opening retail locations should consider: Seek guidance from a professional in the industry before getting started with the security plan - “Whether it’s a consultant or a professional who has experience with security, security products, video, or designing a plan, it’s very important to use an experienced individual for many reasons,” said Albertsen, adding “One of them is to help with the regulations and requirements.” Cover all aspects of the building - “There are more areas that need to be covered, as well,” Albertsen says, adding “These include rooms, all perimeters, lobby spaces, and break rooms. Surveillance isn’t the only security system you might need to cover all those areas, access control systems, perimeter security technology (such as fencing), and an intrusion detection system, may be required by regulations.” Video surveillance is a must; the security plan must be designed around it - “Video surveillance is a piece of the puzzle that is in every single regulation, whether it’s retention of 45 days, 90 days, or 120 days,” says Albertsen, adding “In order to achieve retention, there are a number of things that must be done, such as running calculations on camera types, frame rates, or minimum resolution. Typically, many off-the-shelf products do not meet those regulations because they might have a small amount of storage when a 40tb drive is needed to meet retention requirements.” Find a security solution that is camera agnostic and provides cameras that fit the requisite surveillance needs - “No matter which area you’re trying to cover, both in grow areas and dispensary environments, you want to make sure that the security system covers head, hands, and feet in every surveillance camera. You want to monitor who is touching the plant, if the product has been placed somewhere else, such as pockets or in backpacks. You want to ensure there is nothing missing at the end of the day,” Albertsen notes, adding “A video management system will allow you to track a plant’s movement and the employees who work with plants throughout the facility, as well as an audit trail”. Controlling access to the video is critical, too - “There are multiple ways to search for video footage: by motion, event-based searching, and thumbnail searching, which really makes investigations faster and more efficient. With the Salient Systems CompleteView 20/20, we can go back to video logs to check when video recording started and when there was motion detecte Even if there is continuous recording, we can set the video search on ‘alarm event’ to make sure we’re capturing those images by date, time, and even hourly”, stated Albertsen. Special Features are A Must – Albertsen said, “Geo-tracking is based on maps, so we can input a map, either based on a Google, Bing, or .jpg map file, of the facility’s layout. In the GeoView, we can highlight specific geographical areas where an incident took place, for instance. We can enable cameras to be focused on a view, allowing investigations to be run on that view. It’s a very easy and quick way to go back and review video footage of specific cameras.” Seed-to-sale tracking is critical – Albersten points out, “Ensure that you have your seed-to-sale system in place to monitor the seed during the plant’s growth and then final product for sale in the market. You need to place a tracking on the plant so that it is tracked throughout the process. That includes fertilisation, production, processing, packaging, and sale.” Easy access to sites via apps, such as iOS and android device - “Even when you are not physically there, you want to know if there’s an event going on at your site, who’s there after hours or if there’s an incident,” Albertsen said, adding “You can have the option to monitor what is happening through your mobile device before you drive out to the facility.” A web login for the video - According to Albertsen, “There are two options: a web interface or software. A web interface is designed for clients who want to log in quickly and easily into their facility’s system, he notes. Another option is loading software onto PCs to access a facility’s system. Both options provide cannabis operators with easy access to their facilities, so they can remotely monitor their operations.” Custom versus off-the-shelf - “There are multiple levels of security systems available,” says Albertsen adding, “There are many off-the-shelf systems that growers can buy at retail facilities. But they are not made for a cannabis industry. We will create a surveillance system that meets regulatory requirements. Typically, off-the-shelf camera systems are boxed kits with not enough hard drive space. That likely won’t be enough storage to meet regulatory requirements of continuous recording. We will help a client to ensure that regulations are met through a series of calculations, meetings, and design work that creates a customised solution to meet the need of your regulations.” A clean green certified vendor and integrator is extremely important - Because the USDA does not recognise cannabis as an agricultural crop, cannabis cannot legally be labelled ‘organic’. A Clean Green Certification was established in 2004 to regulate cannabis products, which helps processors/handlers to meet all of the rigorous regulations. Albersten said, “A Clean Green Certification is given to both vendors and integrators, as well. Not many people or products are Clean Green Certified, and you want to make sure they are right for what your facility and enterprise needs.” Experience counts for an integrator and manufacturer – Albersten said, “The consultant, integrator, contractor, manufacture, should know the process, the requirements, and regulations. There are integrators that are good with banking, government, or healthcare security. Some integrators have specific knowledge with the cannabis space, and it’s important to have them involved because they understand video surveillance storage needs and how to design a plan that caters to your facility’s needs.” Check references - “Vendors and integrators should both be able to discuss their references with you,” Albersten said. Importance of a unified security, access platform Additional advice from Albertsen includes, “Team up with a manufacturer and integrator that has experience. Look at the whole picture of what manufacturers can do to support your facility. If the manufacturer does not have any experience in the cannabis space, then you should consider other options”. He concludes, “You should also look at different levels of security: does the solution integrate to the seed-to-sale program, or the access control system? Does the video have a unified platform to allow access control platform integration, seed-to-sale integration? Those are all very powerful tools to make sure your security system is solid for the cannabis space. Don’t settle for the cheapest solution, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Identiv, Inc., a provider of physical security and secure identification, will exhibit at the WestPack Packaging Expo February 11 - 13, 2020 at the Anaheim Convention Centre. The company will also showcase its near-field communication (NFC) solutions as part of the Cannabis Packaging Summit, running alongside WestPack as a subset of the show. Expecting approximately 20,000 visitors, ranging from packaging engineers to executives and operations professionals, WestPack provides industry professionals with expert education and interactive activities designed to kick start new projects in the new year. Intelligent consumer packaging For WestPack, Identiv will be guests in the NFC Forum booth #5293, demonstrating a range of NFC products to make consumer packaging more intelligent. There will be a variety of NFC Forum members sharing the booth space, ensuring attendees are provided with a well-rounded, robust picture of NFC solutions. The Cannabis Packaging Summit is the first-ever conference and expo dedicated entirely to cannabis packaging. Identiv will share a booth (Level 3, Ballroom) with NXP Semiconductors and TPG Rewards to highlight their joint efforts in the development of Brand Verify. Brand Verify is a turn-key, intelligent, brand-protection program built specifically for the global cannabis industry. Though a subset of WestPack, this separate conference offers a rich curriculum designed specifically for packaging professionals. Attendees will receive direct access to leaders in legislative, legal, academic, and regulatory and compliance areas through hard-hitting sessions, keynote presentations and panels.
The stigma of the cannabis industry still hangs in the balance Final installment of 4-part series: The legalisation of recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington, along with it medical use in about 23 other states, has created an industry made up mostly of small mom-and-pop operators. “While the revenues in this industry are big, the number of people involved is pretty small,” said one security industry insider. That’s about to change as Wall Street and some big money funds have taken notice of the industry’s potential. For example, Tom Bollich, a co-founder of the social gaming company Zynga, became CEO of Surna, which develops climate cooling systems for sale to cannabis-growing facilities and greenhouses. When Dan Williams, CEO of Canna Security America (CSA) was getting ready to launch an armed security guard company called The Cloverton Group, he sought money to complete Series A financing at Boston’s ArcView Investor Network. “We’re seeing a lot more third party investor money coming in from accredited investors – millions of dollars,” says Williams. “People say that the cannabis industry is a very big industry and it is in terms of overall revenue and the amount of money coming into it. It’s not big in terms of how many people are involved. From that standpoint, it’s fairly small.” Cannabis dispensaries and the entire industry is about to get some much needed infusions of venture capital. The result will likely be bigger, better financed chains of stores and growers and more money to pay for security services. Industry experts also see changes coming as federal authorities pull back from their opposition to marijuana legalisation and banks get used to both financing and providing ordinary business services to vendors. Security providers that entered the test markets in states like Colorado and Washington havealso developed a greater understanding of the particular needs of the cannabis industry “Banks are scared of the law as it stands,” says attorney Robert McVay, a partner with the Canna Law Group. “They can bank the industry if they follow certain criteria. The department of treasury has an agency within it that governs anti-money laundering, and they put out some guidance for banks with marijuana customers.” These complex regulations have largely discouraged banks from serving the industry. As they adapt to the regulatory structure and find ways of generating revenue from customers, they will likely be more willing to offer services. That will also be good news for security companies. Putting dispensaries on a firmer financial footing means they will be better able to pay the bills. Security providers that entered the test markets in states like Colorado and Washington have also developed a greater understanding of the particular needs of the industry. They also have mastered the sometimes complex regulations surrounding security created by states. That experience gives companies a leg up on the growing market as well as companies that have hesitated to jump in, according to Ralston. A number of security operators have opted out of doing business with dispensaries, even in states that permit medical or recreational use of the drug. Among them is the nation's largest, ADT Security. It announced last year that it won't "sell security services to businesses engaged in the marijuana industry” because it’s still illegal at the federal level. “ADT is more concerned about their government contracts than picking up this business,” says Roger Ralston, chairman and CEO of DirectView. “Their pulling out creates an opportunity for us.” Those opportunities are likely to grow along with the industry. As time passes and marijuana in all its forms starts to be viewed more like alcohol, and less an illegal drug, it will be harder for security companies to avoid. [After the recent election, recreational sale of marijuana will become legal in Alaska and Oregon in 2015, and in the District of Columbia (subject to Congressional review).] See related articles: Part 3: Cannabis and Security: Finding opportunities for dealers amid the growing market for legalised marijuanaPart 2: Cannabis and Security: Technology solutions provide protection for emerging legalised marijuana industryPart 1: Cannabis and Security: The security challenges of legalised marijuana sales in the United States
Third instalment of 4-part series: One question that comes up when talking about security for the cannabis industry is “why aren’t there more companies getting into the business?” While a number of small operators and larger companies have begun offering their services to marijuana retailers, some very big players have largely passed on the opportunity. According to a report by CNNMoney, security giant ADT won't "sell security services to businesses engaged in the marijuana industry because it is still illegal under federal law." It has also dropped those clients it already had, according to reports. The reluctance of some companies to serve an industry that many consider a bit shady has opened the market to companies without such qualms. “We’ve gotten in on the ground floor here, and we’re definitely dedicating resources to growing this vertical,” asserts Roger Ralston, chairman and CEO of DirectView, a New York-based security company. The company has a wide variety of clients and doesn’t specialize in cannabis security as have some companies, but Ralston sees considerable upside in getting in early and gaining market share. The security firms that are refusing to work with the industry are doing so for a variety of reasons. Either they don’t want to offend other customers who may be opposed to legalization or in some cases owners or management are personally opposed to the industry, according to Ralston. “There is also a big stigma there that the industry is made up of a bunch of hippies who have dreadlocks and won’t pay their bills and don’t really know what they are doing,” says Dan Williams, president and CEO of Denver-based Canna Security America. “We found that’s not the case.” Cannabis industry observers say companies need the services of experienced security companies. "There is also a big stigma there that the industry is made up of a bunch of hippies who have dreadlocks and won’t pay their bills and don’t really know what they are doing" “We haven’t really developed best practices within the industry,” admits Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “We do have members who are security companies that specialize in cannabis clients.” West says a wide mix of companies are now working with cannabis clients, ranging from newly minted security companies to established players with clients in many different industry verticals. “We have certainly seen a lot of the folks who have gotten into the industry on the security side and are now expanding their services to specialize in the issues cannabis businesses have to be particularly concerned about,” says West. As with many other retailers, the basic concerns revolve around protecting product and cash. The difference is that the unique nature of the industry has amplified those issues to an even higher level. Consider all that cash. Most banks have shied away from offering banking services to the industry either out of concern for the air of illegality that still surrounds the business or the high degree of regulations required by the federal government of banks who offer dispensaries and growers business accounts. The result is an all-cash business that can be a tempting target for thieves and also present concerns for employee-fuelled shrinkage. “Well, they tend to keep their monies in safes,” says Robert McVay, a partner with Seattle-based Canna Law Group. “They keep the money either on site, or preferably find an offsite location to store it. They’re using an armoured car to deliver it to that offsite location.” In Washington State, where McVay practices, only a handful of financial institutions – most of them credit unions and small community banks – are willing to take on cannabis sellers. Some store owners may conceal the true nature of their operation from the bank, but risk having their accounts closed when the bank conducts an audit. Holding a large amount of cash creates a number of financial difficulties, including paying employees and other vendors along with taxes. “They’re all doable, but it’s hard running as an all cash business,” adds McVay. A lack of banking services has created greater demand for physical security services including guards and armoured cars. Canna Security America recently started providing both of those products to cannabis sellers, according to Williams. “A lot of dispensaries are contracting with security companies that develop specific plans for transporting their cash to particular locations and managing that process,” says West. “So the cash issue is a big one.” See related articles: Part 2: Cannabis and Security: Technology solutions provide protection for emerging legalised marijuana industryPart 1: Cannabis and Security: The security challenges of legalised marijuana sales in the United States
The growing market for legal marijuana (now available in some form in 24 states) has also generated a demand for security products and service to protect the industry from illegal activities. “For the most part, companies are looking for what we call the traditional surveillance systems whereby you have visible deterrence,” says Monty Henry, president of DPL-Surveillance-Equipment.com LLC in Ventura, Calif. Many companies are seeking more sophisticated systems that can help them deal with employee theft, as well as monitoring for outside break-ins, according to Henry. “We put more emphasis on the (security) systems that you don’t see,” he explains. “If your employees are running off with cash or merchandise, then you need to focus on (preventing) inside jobs. Many of our clients come to us because they want to know what is going on with internal theft and shrinkage. They want us to give them the tools they need to know what is going on internally." Along with cameras, Henry’s company also provides GPS devices to track the movement of company vehicles. He has also found a growing demand for services such as sweeps to detect listening devices placed within the store or facility by competitors. “Like any business that makes money, competitors usually want to find out how you make money,” says Henry. “They want to know ‘why are you profitable compared to the other guy?’” The prime advantage of working with established security companies is the opportunity to buy a complete package of security equipment along with the services needed to maintain and monitor them. Each state with a cannabis industry has drafted strict guidelines for minimum security for dispensaries. These regulations demand commercial-grade II non-residential locks for all entry ways, professional grade cameras with minimum resolution and pixel levels and a host of other products such as panic alarms. Each state with a cannabis industry has drafted strict guidelines for minimum security for dispensaries Colorado’s security manual specifies, “All entrances and exits to the facility shall be recorded from both indoor and outdoor vantage points, and capable of clearly identifying the individual entering or exiting the facility.” “The goal is make sure they don’t just buy something off the shelf at Costco,” says Dan Williams, CEO of Canna Security America (CSA). DirectView recently entered the Colorado market earlier this year by winning a trio of contracts. These deals involved the installation of a comprehensive package of security and surveillance equipment at each facility. Among the products were IP megapixel security cameras, NVRs and intrusion alarm systems. The three deals generated $140,000 in revenue, according to a company press release. The company has also expanded beyond the strictly security field to include installation of temperature and light monitoring devices for cannabis grow houses, according to president and CEO Roger Ralston. When Canna Security America got into the market, it was strictly a product and service provider. Founded in 2009, the operation is now a $4.2 million company. “We put in alarm systems, cameras and door access controls,” says Williams. “Those were our primary services apart from monitoring and providing the offsite video backup.” Last year the company formed a subsidiary to provide armed security guards and physical transport of product and cash. Named the Cloverton Group (a play on the famous Pinkerton’s security), this division has recruited ex-military personnel including veterans of private security contractors such as Blackwater. “We’re trying to position ourselves as a one stop shop for the cannabis industry,” says Williams. With stores holding large amounts of cash, the need for armed guards has become an obvious growth area for companies. "Those companies that can offer a complete solution are likely to garner more business and more market share," he adds.
Virtualisation offers multiple benefits to video surveillance systems, but the technology has been slow to adapt to the needs of video. However, the tide is turning. At ISC West, BCDVideo introduced a hyperconverged infrastructure tailored to video surveillance (HCI-VS) that answers the demand for higher and more efficient operating performance while also lowering the total cost of ownership for the integrator and end user. Hyperconverged infrastructure solution “ISC West attendees were able to get their hands on our hyperconverged solution and immediately see how easy it is to use and the benefit of adding virtual machines,” says BCDVideo’s Chief Technology Officer Tom Larson. Security integrators were impressed that BCDVideo continues to adapt technologies" Virtualisation was just one of the innovations in BCDVideo’s demo room. Many integrators and end users found their way to the conference room, located not far from the exhibition hall, and BCDVideo was also featured at partners’ booths on the show floor. “Security integrators were impressed that BCDVideo continues to adapt technologies to the video surveillance space,” says Larson. “BCDVideo ‘gets’ them, but often IT does not. The HCI solution is purpose-built for video, and it works.” Server, storage and networking BCDVideo’s HCI-VS is a virtualised, video-optimised and highly available infrastructure. It combines the server, storage and networking into one platform. Powered by Scale Computing’s HC3 software, BCDVideo’s HCI is a scalable, node/cluster-based infrastructure that enables integrators to virtualise their physical security appliances and software, meaning fewer devices need to be deployed and maintained. Physical security integrators can create an infrastructure that provides high availability to the VMS" “More importantly, our HCI makes it easier than ever before both to quickly create and deploy virtual machines, and to manage video surveillance infrastructure,” says Larson. Some of the unique needs that HCI-VS serves are those of multi-faceted projects involving video recording, access control, building management, etc. With HCI-VS, separate appliances are not needed for each of these tasks, which enables better use of hardware, reduces overall rack space and power/cooling costs. Essentially, this solution eliminates the “pizza box” model and serves the need in the marketplace where always-on video and high availability are necessary, and especially in situations where loss of video data cannot be tolerated, says Larson. Simplified graphical user interface (GUI) makes it easy for integrators to implement systems that use hyperconverged technology Tolerant to hardware failure “By leveraging the concepts of hyperconvergence, physical security integrators can create an infrastructure that provides high availability to the video management system,” he says. “When components within a video management system are tolerant to hardware failure, it results in less loss of data and continual access to the data from the failed component. You always have access to the video data even if the hard drive fails.” Defining virtualisation Virtualisation is the act of creating virtual copies of physical resources, including, but not limited to, compute, memory, storage, and network resources. This is achieved by employing software to manage all physical resources, known as a hypervisor. As servers become more powerful, the discrepancy between software and hardware capabilities result in inefficient use of resources. “By partitioning the hardware resources into smaller virtual environments, we can create multiple virtualised servers that share a common set of resources,” says Larson. “By sharing this common set of resources, the virtualised servers utilise the resources more efficiently with less waste.” Integrators and end users flocked to BCDVideo's demo room at ISC West to try out the new hyperconverged solution Education and physical security Learning about the benefits of why to virtualise and applications will be a first step” A challenge to greater adoption of virtualisation in the physical security industry is education. “Some security integrators will need to step out of their comfort zone,” says Larson. “Virtualisation for video has been slow to adapt, and other solutions are complicated. IT technology applications traditionally have not worked in the space either. Learning about the benefits of why to virtualise and applications will be a first step.” HCI-VS in new verticals While HCI-VS is vertical-market-agnostic, the solution is suitable for school districts looking to consolidate their hardware, for hospitals and the healthcare industry in general, for the rapidly growing cannabis industry, any mass transit system, as well as for Fortune 1000 companies, to name a few. “Our virtualised solution especially appeals to these verticals because of the number of cameras, the need for 24/7/365 video recording and extensive data retention requirements, and where loss of video data cannot be afforded,” says Larson. Purpose-built solutions BCDVideo’s HCI-VS is the latest example of products BCDVideo is creating for the physical security industry. “We purpose-build and engineer our solutions specifically for video surveillance with the ability to scale-out as needed,” says Kelly Kellen, BCDVideo’s Director of Marketing. “We engineer new products to address problems in the marketplace. Our CTO is really looking at the market and studying the security integrator’s pain points. Then we engineer solutions to best serve them.”
Despite any negativity you may hear, Hikvision is optimistic about their role in the U.S. market. “We demonstrate that we can be trusted, and that we should be trusted,” says Jeffrey He, Vice President, Hikvision, and President, Hikvision USA and Hikvision Canada. “We have sound products and technology. Our mission in the security industry is to protect, not to harm. Otherwise why would we be in this industry?” Hikvision is committed to investing in the North American market, where there was ‘positive year-over-year growth’ in 2018 and ‘strong’ sales in Q1 this year, according to Eric Chen, General Manager of Hikvision USA and Hikvision Canada. HikCentral central management software The company’s U.S. focus is shifting from products to solution sales, with emphasis on ‘mid-market’ small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The largest verticals are retail and education, and there are emerging opportunities in the cannabis market. Launch of the HikCentral central management software (CMS) is a component of the company’s solution-sales approach. Launch of the HikCentral central management software is a component of the company’s solution-sales approachMr. He acknowledges the growth of ‘anti-China sentiment’ in the United States and other parts of the world, which he says will impact Hikvision’s operations globally. Specifically, in the U.S., ‘political’ elements impacting Hikvision’s business include ongoing tariffs and a trade war, Congressional calls for export controls and sanctions, and a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that bans use of Chinese video surveillance products in government applications. Specifying cybersecurity initiatives at ISC West In spite of it all, Hikvision’s message at the recent ISC West show was overwhelmingly positive, and the company also detailed cybersecurity initiatives they say put the Chinese company ahead of many competitors in the industry. Eric Chen came in as General Manager last year; he previously spent a decade working for Hikvision in China. Chen reports solid 18.8% year-over-year growth for Hikvision globally, totalling $7.4 billion last year. He notes the company saw 40% compounded growth between 2010 and 2018. Globally, there are 34,000 employees, 16,000 of whom are research and development (R&D) engineers. Hikvision’s expanding global footprint includes 46 international branches. There are three manufacturing facilities in China, in addition to one in India. HikRewards program for HDP customers At ISC West, Hikvision’s theme was ‘Focus on Your Success’, including introduction of the HikRewards program that provides rebates to HDP (Hikvision Dealer Partner) customers, their core dealer base. A new online Hikvision Knowledge Library for HDPs provides training and reference materials dealers can share with employees. A new tech centre, introduced in December, provides data sheets, product information, and support resources. There is also a North American R&D team headquartered in Montreal. At the industry’s largest U.S. trade show, Hikvision unveiled a brand-new booth with plenty of open space and video walls A customer satisfaction survey launched in March provided good feedback from customers. “They know who to call if they have a problem,” says Chen. “We want to focus on making customers successful.” The success theme also extends to Hikvision employees, who are featured in videos describing their jobs and enthusiasm for Hikvision. There are some 400 employees in the North American operation. At the industry’s largest U.S. trade show, Hikvision unveiled a brand-new booth with plenty of open space and video walls. Half of the booth was focussed on solutions, especially retail and education, and also gaming and commercial real estate. Security products displayed at ISC West A variety of devices, including access control, intercoms and cameras, are integrated using the HikCentral CMS systemProduct highlights at the ISC West booth included the 32-megapixel PanoVu multi-sensor dome camera, whose 180-degree panoramic image was displayed on a 65-inch monitor. A variety of devices, including access control, intercoms and cameras, are integrated using the HikCentral CMS system. Some products new to the North American market, including intercoms, turnstiles, emergency call stations, and under-vehicle inspection, were displayed. Hikvision’s deep learning products are moving into their second generation, including the ability to obscure private information on videos to comply with GDPR/privacy requirements (previewed at ISC West and released later in the year). Algorithm components of Hikvision’s DeepInMind artificial intelligence are being adapted into a platform called AcuSense for value-priced products, which can recognise a human or vehicle and help filter out false alarms. Also being adapted to products with lower price points are the ColorVu system that incorporates visible light LEDs to provide colour images at night, and DarkFighter low-light capabilities. Penetration testing of cameras and NVRs As a global manufacturer, Hikvision faces a high level of scrutiny about cybersecurity, which Mr. Chen says is “a good thing for us,” enabling them to highlight the steps they are taking to improve cybersecurity. Chuck Davis, Director of Cybersecurity, outlined specific milestones Hikvision has achieved in its quest to provide world-class cybersecurity. Chuck Davis, Director of Cybersecurity, outlined specific milestones Hikvision has achieved in its quest to provide world-class cybersecurity In September 2017, Hikvision began working with third parties (including Rapid7) for penetration testing (ethical hacking) of its cameras and recorders. That same month, Hikvision set up a Cybersecurity Hotline open to anyone with questions about cybersecurity, including white-hat hackers and researchers. Even before that, Hikvision had an open-door policy on cybersecurity and a program for patching and disclosing responsibility. In February of 2018, Hikvision released a 40-page Cybersecurity White Paper describing cybersecurity testing and processes built into the software development lifecycle. That same month, Hikvision launched an Opened Source Code Transparency Center and offered an open invitation to anyone wanting to inspect Hikvision’s source code and let them know of any vulnerabilities. FIPS 140-2 certification by NIST Hikvision has also become a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Numbering Authority (CNA), which ensures their patching and incident reporting programs have been reviewed by a CNA partnering company. Hikvision's encryption module (HIKSSL) received Level 1 FIPS 140-2 certification to be used in both IP cameras and NVRsIn August, Hikvision received Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification, a U.S. government encryption standard created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Hikvision's encryption module (HIKSSL) received Level 1 FIPS 140-2 certification to be used in both IP cameras and NVR products. Davis said the FIPS 140-2 certification process began before the NDAA ban on use of Hikvision products in the U.S. government, and in any case is a standard that ensures a high level of encryption. “We wanted to make sure we had the same level of technology,” he says. “It was not to win over the government.” Making industry more cybersecure “We are really trying to have third parties test and certify our equipment,” adds Davis. “We are trying to be open and transparent. Education and awareness are key.” “We need the trust of customers in the security community,” says Mr. He. “No matter what, we have to follow the highest standards to offset the concerns and accusations.” In April 2018, Davis became a member of the Security Industry Association (SIA) Cybersecurity Advisory Board to help make the entire industry more cybersecure through education, awareness and standards. Hikvision has also joined the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST at first.org), a global cybersecurity incident response consortium that cooperatively handles computer security incidents and promotes incident prevention programs. Davis has presented Cybersecurity Road Shows in 22 cities in the United States and Canada, and also in Australia and New Zealand. The 90-minute presentations focus on education awareness around cybersecurity and seek to get attendees engaged and aware about cybersecurity in business and also in their homes.
In the fast-growing legalised cannabis industry, extensive security measures are a necessity. VIVOTEK, the pioneering IP surveillance provider has collaborated with Existo, a collective of cannabis industry professionals, to establish an IP surveillance solution for a cannabis cultivation facility in Northern Michigan, the United States. The results not only exceeded the state of Michigan’s expectations to allow for licensing at the state level but are also user friendly and add a level of comfort concerning building security to the owners. Why VIVOTEK? The state of Michigan has placed stringed demands on-camera coverage and recording quality for this industry, so a camera system is essential for the licencing of this business. Challenges in the project were related to distances within the building, coverage in unique spaces and varying climates and light exposure within indoor grow rooms. Existo chose VIVOTEK and a total of 70 of its indoor and outdoor security solutions, network video recorders (NVR) and video management software (VMS) to monitor the cannabis cultivation facility. CC9381-HV Panoramic network camera In the grow room, which includes a long hallway with tight spaces and climate concerns, 7 VIVOTEK 180-degree panoramic network cameras, the CC9381-HV were installed to combat high contrast lighting environments and armed with WDR Pro function to ensure 24/7 surveillance coverage. SD9364-EHL Speed dome camera For exterior corners, 4 VIVOTEK SD9364-EHL speed dome cameras were utilised. The camera is adopted VIVOTEK's Smart IR II technology which is specifically designed to provide a superb low light image in the most challenging situations. FE9181-H Fisheye and FD9380-H Fixed dome cameras Due to its high-quality imagery at a cost-effective perspective, 14 FE9181-H fisheye cameras and 40 FD9380-H cameras were installed throughout the rest of the indoor and outdoor facility. ND9541 NVR and apps VIVOCloud and iViewer app provide users with an open, flexible, and intelligent NVR for video surveillance applications The facility is also utilising VIVOTEK’s 16-CH ND9541 Linux-based embedded standalone NVR to set up and manage advanced IP surveillance systems with ease. It also supports remote and mobile access, via VIVOCloud and iViewer app, for both iOS and Android handheld devices, providing users with an open, flexible and intelligent NVR for seamless use in small to medium-sized video surveillance applications. Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) acclamation In the end, the outcome not only met but surpassed all expectations and goals. The system was complimented as the highest quality in terms of coverage and camera quality by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) enforcement agent during the state licencing walkthrough. Surpass expectations “The flexibility we gain from the quality and variety that VIVOTEK offers pays off tenfold in our business because there is no standard building design for cannabis businesses,” said Chris Hernandez, Existo director of operations. “Unique buildings with unique layouts but with highly standardised expectations put forward by state licensing expectations can be a stumbling block for many cannabis businesses. Our ability to utilize VIVOTEK’s solutions allows us to create systems that exceed state expectations while still being used to achieve safety goals set internally by our customers.”
Peake ReLeaf is a local and independently-owned medical cannabis dispensary facility, located in Rockville, Maryland. Through its recently-opened, 4,200-square-foot facility, the company provides a wide range of cannabis and cannabis-infused products to patients with a valid medical marijuana certification, to treat a variety of qualifying conditions such as anorexia, cachexia, chronic or severe pain, glaucoma, PTSD, seizures, severe nausea, and severe or persistent muscle spasms. Installing an efficient video surveillance system While Peake ReLeaf faces the ordinary challenges of any small business as a cannabis dispensary, it is also subject to a number of stringent Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) regulations, which include strict requirements for video surveillance that dictate video quality, system performance, storage and other factors. After much research, they decided to contract Skyline Technology Solutions for their surveillance system because of their transparency, robust IT background and previous experience with medical marijuana facilities. Wisenet QND-6010R dome cameras for indoor surveillance Skyline recommended that PeakReleaf install cameras from Hanwha Techwin America Based on the regulatory needs and many conversations about how they wanted their business to operate, Skyline recommended that PeakReleaf install cameras from Hanwha Techwin America to secure both the interior and exterior of the facility. For indoor use, Skyline installed Wisenet QND-6010R vandal-resistant dome cameras that offer picture clarity so facial features could be easily identified. Wisenet QNV-7080R cameras for outdoor surveillance For outdoor use, Peak ReLeaf chose the Wisenet QNV-7080R cameras that provide 4-megapixel image quality with true wide dynamic range (WDR), motion detection, defocus detection and tampering detection at an affordable price. Both camera models, Wisenet QND-6010R and Wisenet QNV-7080R cameras come integrated with WiseStream II compression technology that can reduce bandwidth by 50%. WiseStream II compression technology WiseStream II compression technology dynamically controls encoding, balancing quality and compression according to movement in the image resulting far less bandwidth and storage requirements. This allowed Peake ReLeaf to meet the MMCC storage requirements in a cost-effective manner. Since the dispensary’s opening, Hanwha cameras have continuously provided the performance and capabilities to ensure Peake ReLeaf remains in compliance with the strict MMCC requirements, even as they continue to evolve moving forward. Cameras featuring onboard video analytics The Hanwha cameras have made it easier to identify and view video thanks to their ability to flag video based on motion or other factors using onboard video analytics. “Hanwha cameras offer us the video quality we need, and the cameras’ video analytic and other capabilities provide us with the flexibility that will allow us to quickly adapt to the inevitable regulatory changes that will come as we navigate this very new industry in Maryland,” said Nate Miller, one of the founding members and Peake ReLeaf’s Executive Vice President.
3xLOGIC, Inc., a provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, announced Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (“Harvest”) continues to roll out 3xLOGIC infinias access control to its growing number of locations across the United States. Dem360, LLC has been an integral partner for this project, providing their managed IT, network engineering, and security system design expertise. Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, Harvest is a multi-state cannabis operator (MSO) and vertically integrated cannabis company. Subject to completion of announced acquisitions, Harvest will have one of the larger footprints in the US. Since 2011, the company has been committed to expanding its Harvest House of Cannabis retail and wholesale presence throughout the U.S., acquiring, creating, and growing brands for patients and consumers nationally and continuing toward a path of profitable growth. Access control for employees “We want to be able to control who goes where, regardless of the facility,” explained T.J. Buskirk, National Security Director for Harvest Health & Recreation. “For example, why might an employee be in an area they shouldn’t? Our access control allows us to track who, when, and where. I like the fact that the system grants access to someone for a particular door, and then after hours, that access is shut down—that level of control.” Gary House is an IT Architect with Dem360, who has been on the project working closely with Harvest since the beginning. “Harvest is pioneering this industry and looking to scale into an enterprise environment. Harvest has been studying and standardising on various technologies. I did my own research of access control systems, and I love the infinias IDC controllers.” Eventually, Harvest’s Security Operations Center will have full visibility across every facility 24/7/365" Harvest has standardised on 3xLOGIC infinias access control and has separate video surveillance and alarm systems. Buskirk again, “In this business, we have to be sensitive to all the different state rules and regulations. I’ve got to have system interoperability from state to state, as well as personnel trackability and clear audit trails for the regulators.” Aim to migrate to scalable data centre Dem360 has installed infinias access control in 30 facilities, controlling over 400 doors. The next big milestones in this system rollout is to convert all current facilities to the infinias Corporate Edition, install Corporate going forward, and migrate all managed doors to a scalable data center with a single database built on redundant, fault-tolerant architecture. It’s meeting all our needs, and we are able to manage our facilities remotely" Harvest has also adopted the badge making feature within the infinias platform to print and manage company ID cards. With a growth trajectory like Harvest’s, reliability and scalability are key. Eventually, Harvest’s Security Operations Centre will have full visibility across every facility 24/7/365. Accordance with state guidelines “We have a great working relationship with Gary and Dem360, and that makes everybody’s job a lot easier,” said Buskirk. “We have an incredible magnitude of the different directions we can go with this business. However, at the end of the day, we have to design our access management for our employees, patients, and customers. Whatever the facility and the need, we must ensure highly productive workflows, while staying firmly within each state’s guidelines.” “Infinias gives us what we need without impediments. We’ve never had to ‘fork lift’ anything. This system adapts and it gives us flexibility and scalability, we have one door at this facility and hundreds of doors at another. From the beginning, the infinias system has been able to react to the Harvest environment of change and fast-paced growth. We can manage access for different groups in completely different ways, and I love that I can turn off a badge at a moment’s notice.” “The system is very user-friendly, that was one of our key demands. It’s meeting all our needs, and we are able to manage our facilities remotely. Its robust features and benefits meet the varying demands of the dynamic, high-growth Harvest environment and our vision for the future,” concluded Buskirk.
3xLOGIC, Inc., a globally renowned provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, has announced that Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (“Harvest”) continues to roll out 3xLOGIC infinias access control to its fast-growing number of locations across the United States. Dem360, LLC has been an integral partner for this project, providing their managed IT, network engineering, and security system design expertise. Multi-state cannabis operator Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, USA, Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. is a multi-state cannabis operator (MSO) and vertically integrated cannabis company. Subject to completion of announced acquisitions, Harvest will have one of the largest footprints in the US. Since 2011, the company has been committed to expanding its Harvest House of Cannabis retail and wholesale presence throughout the U.S., acquiring, creating, and growing brands for patients and consumers nationally and continuing toward a path of profitable growth. Enterprise access control solution Harvest is pioneering this industry and looking to scale into an enterprise environment" “We want to be able to control who goes where, regardless of the facility,” explained T.J. Buskirk, National Security Director for Harvest Health & Recreation. He adds, “For example, why might an employee be in an area they shouldn’t? Our access control allows us to track who, when, and where. I like the fact that the system grants access to someone for a particular door, and then after hours, that access is shut down—that level of control.” Gary House is an IT Architect with Dem360, who has been on the project working closely with Harvest since the beginning. “Harvest is pioneering this industry and looking to scale into an enterprise environment. Harvest has been studying and standardising on various technologies. I did my own research of access control systems, and I love the infinias IDC controllers.” 3xLOGIC infinias access control Harvest has standardised on 3xLOGIC infinias access control and has separate video surveillance and alarm systems. Buskirk said, “In this business, we have to be sensitive to all the different state rules and regulations. I’ve got to have system interoperability from state to state, as well as personnel trackability and clear audit trails for the regulators.” Upgrade to infinias Corporate Edition To date, Dem360 has installed infinias access control in 30 facilities, controlling over 400 doors. The next big milestones in this system rollout is to convert all current facilities to the infinias Corporate Edition, install Corporate going forward, and migrate all managed doors to a scalable data centre with a single database built on redundant, fault-tolerant architecture. Harvest has also adopted the badge making feature within the infinias platform to print and manage company ID cards. Security Operations Centre With a growth trajectory like Harvest’s, reliability and scalability are considered as key With a growth trajectory like Harvest’s, reliability and scalability are considered as key. Eventually, Harvest’s Security Operations Centre will have full visibility across every facility 24/7 throughout the year. “We have a great working relationship with Gary and Dem360, and that makes everybody’s job a lot easier,” said Buskirk. Efficient access management system He adds, “We have an incredible magnitude of the different directions we can go with this business. However, at the end of the day, we have to design our access management for our employees, patients, and customers. Whatever the facility and the need, we must ensure highly productive workflows, while staying firmly within each state’s guidelines.” He further said, “Infinias gives us what we need without impediments. We’ve never had to ‘fork lift’ anything. This system adapts and it gives us flexibility and scalability, we have one door at this facility and hundreds of doors at another.” Flexible, scalable access control Buskirk said, “From the beginning, the infinias access control system has been able to react to the Harvest environment of change and fast-paced growth. We can manage access for different groups in completely different ways, and I love that I can turn off a badge at a moment’s notice.” He concludes, “The infinias system is very user-friendly, that was one of our key demands. It’s meeting all our needs, and we are able to manage our facilities remotely. Its robust features and benefits meet the varying demands of the dynamic, high-growth Harvest environment and our vision for the future.”
Round table discussion
The new year 2019 is brimming with possibilities for the physical security industry, but will those possibilities prove to be good news or bad news for our market? Inevitably, it will be a combination of good and bad, but how much good and how bad? We wanted to check the temperature of the industry as it relates to expectations for the new year, so we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How optimistic is your outlook for the physical security industry in 2019? Why?
The new year presents new opportunities for the physical security marketplace. In many ways, 2018 will undoubtedly see further development of trends we saw in 2017. In fact, some of the trends determining the future of the physical security industry have been in place for many years. However, not every event in 2018 can be foreseen or easily predicted. To be sure, it is sometimes the surprises that keep life interesting! We asked this week Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the security market’s biggest surprise in 2018?