Cannabis and Security
Following the news that the organisation has strengthened its retail market support, by expanding solutions offerings to include Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS), ADT Commercial (ADT), a premier, U.S.-based provider of commercial security, fire, life safety, and risk consulting services, has announced that it is continuing to deepen its presence in key growth markets. Deepening presence in key markets The company has assembled a team of prominent vertical market experts to address the complex needs of customers The company has assembled a team of prominent vertical market experts to address the unique and complex needs of customers in Energy & Utilities, Cannabis, Cities, Commercial Real Estate, Healthcare, Banking & Financial Institutions, and U.S.-based customers with an international presence. “By focusing on expanding and investing in critical growth markets, supported by leaders with incredible market-specific expertise, our company can readily provide innovative solutions with a global reach across a wider range of industries,” said Dan Bresingham, Executive Vice President, ADT. ADT Commercial Vertical Market Team Dan Bresingham adds, “It’s right there in our tagline, ‘Powered by Experience. Driven by Excellence.’ We’re confident that the team of leaders we’ve assembled possess the depth of knowledge and expertise to help us to drive success in these markets, and ultimately, success for our customers. We are excited to welcome them and expand ADT Commercial’s capabilities across industries and geographies.” Members joining the dedicated ADT Commercial Vertical Market Team report directly to Rick Tampier, Vice President, Strategic Growth at ADT a 30-year industry veteran who is leading the strategy for ADT’s future vertical market investment and expansion. The new vertical market experts include: Chad Stevens, Business Development Director, Energy & Utilities Eddie Abravanel, Business Development Manager, Cannabis Industries Kyle Parker, Business Development Manager, Smart Cities Gloria Confair, Business Development Manager, Commercial Real Estate David LaRose, Director, Business Development, Healthcare Bill Wayland, Vice President, Financial Institutions ADT’s Global Accounts Program In addition to deepening its support and leadership within various vertical market spaces, through its critical industry partnerships, ADT Commercial is proud to broaden its support of US-based customers’ international locations, through its recently launched Global Accounts Program, which provides National Account and Enterprise clients a streamlined approach and single point of contact for their global security operations, through a trusted subcontractor and partner network. This program is led by longstanding industry veteran, John Navarro, Vice President, International Strategy & Development at ADT, who brings 25 years of security industry experience to his role, and has served commercial customers across North America and worldwide. Investing in key markets “Investing in these key markets allows us to more holistically serve and respond to the needs of commercial customers, regardless of industry,” said Dan Bresingham, adding “The momentum we’ve experienced so far this year has been incredible, and we are eager to continue on this path to growth to consistently be that One Ideal Partner for our customers.”
Dortronics Systems Inc., a globally renowned company in off-the-shelf and customised door control solutions, is focusing on products at ISC West 2021 (booth #5077) that provide touchless ingress/egress, as well as a new 9-door interlock controller. Touchless door control solutions All of Dortronics’ product design and manufacturing operations are located at the company’s Sag Harbor, NY headquarters, which gives the company a unique ability to custom-fabricate a wide range of door control products with fast turn-around times. “Dortronics specialises in delivering products with the performance, quality and often customised features, and aesthetics that installers need, with fast turn-around times and at the right price,” said Bryan Sanderford, National Sales Manager of Dortronics Systems, Inc. 48900 Series PLC interlock controller Our 48900 Series PLC interlock controller, which was designed to answer user demand for a solution that is easy to install" Bryan Sanderford adds, “Our 48900 Series PLC interlock controller, which was designed to answer user demand for a solution that is easy to install and cost effective. It can be used in retail environments for high-value merchandise like jewellery, in cannabis dispensaries, or in clean room environments in bio-tech labs or pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.” He further stated, “In addition, Dortronics can help facilities implement fast and highly cost-effective solutions to help combat the spread of infection and viruses, with the 5278 Touchless Proximity Switch and 6612 Request to Exit Motion Sensing Door Release. Door surfaces, including handles, bars, and knobs, are vulnerable areas for disease transmission. Our touchless door control solutions deliver a convenient and extremely cost-effective way to help keep people safe,” Dortronics products on exhibit at ISC West 2021 Attendees of ISC West 2021 can view the products from Dortronics at the company’s booth # 5077. The products on exhibit at the booth include: Dortronics’ 48900 PLC interlock controller is a cost-effective solution for implementing door interlock and mantrap systems with up to nine doors. In operation, unlocking or opening one door automatically secures other designated doors within the Interlock group. The fully integrated single-board solution provides installers with complete control of all operating and configuration options, without the need for and expense of complex software. The 48900 Series PLC interlock controller integrates with virtually any access control system utilising dry contacts. The 5278 Touchless Proximity Switch utilises optical infrared technology and the embedded sensors pick up motion within a 4-in. range. A simple wave of the hand activates the switch and no hand contact is required. The 5278 greatly decreases the potential to spread contagious diseases, since no actual hand contact is required to activate. These switches are often utilised with electronic locks and automatic door operators. The 5278’s illuminated LED ring allows for visibility under low-light conditions. Dortronics’ 6612 Request to Exit Motion Sensing Door Release provides safe and immediate hands-free door release and reliable fail-safe operation. It offers fast and accurate detection with easy field adjustments, plus range and sensitivity controls to assure maximum reliability. Dual relay outputs are available to redundantly cut power to the electromagnetic lock, while simultaneously signaling an access control system to unlock the 6612’s attractive, slim housing is ideal for mounting the unit inconspicuously above any door.
Videoloft’s cloud video surveillance platform provides users with a powerful yet highly cost-effective remote recording solution while providing resellers with a new potential revenue stream to add to their offering portfolio. For large surveillance system users, Videoloft’s cloud video surveillance solution provides affordable secure offsite video backup. For SMBs (small and medium businesses), Videoloft’s ability to record up to 8MP direct to the cloud provides a powerful remote standalone storage solution. Budget solution Both applications provide system integrators and resellers with a versatile VSaaS (video software as a solution) for virtually any size system or vertical application. A key benefit of VSaaS solutions is that they can be positioned as an operating expense (OPEX) versus a capital expense (CAPEX), making it easier for users to budget the solution as an ongoing expense for operations rather than a large single one-time investment. Versatile and cost-efficient Cloud video surveillance platform provides users and resellers alike with versatility and cost-efficiency “Our cloud video surveillance platform provides users and resellers alike with the ideal combination of features, versatility, and cost-efficiency,” said Joanna Santander, Director of Sales & Business Development, Videoloft. “As the need and demand for VSaaS cloud solutions with remote access capabilities continue to increase globally, the benefits across different vertical applications continue to become more evident.” Videoloft Use Cases Quick service restaurants (QSR) and retail chains are benefitting from Videoloft’s innovative cloud video surveillance platform as a secure, centralised, and long-term video storage solution. It allows them to easily consolidate video from multiple sites and add cloud storage, eliminating the risk of lost footage due to theft or tampering of onsite recorders. Videoloft also provides QSR and retail chains with a way to store video for up to 3+ years, much longer than is possible on conventional NVRs, to protect them from liabilities associated with injury and insurance claims, and shrinkage. Battery or solar-powered solution For locations that lack power and wired internet infrastructure, such as construction sites, vacant properties, and agricultural locations, traditional video surveillance often isn’t feasible, and guards are needed to ensure security. Videoloft provides an alternative solution that can be battery or solar-powered and connected via a 4G wireless router. Videoloft’s software constantly monitors the network conditions and deploys dynamic frame rate, bit rate, and resolution adjustment when necessary to ensure that footage is sent and recorded even in poor network conditions. Remote management The Videoloft solution provides site managers with the versatility to remotely manage employees, deliveries, and health and safety protocols. Videoloft’s timelapse feature makes it easy to track development over days, weeks, and months Videoloft's video analytics technology enables highly specific alerting options and smart video search, making it fast and easy to locate specific events. Videoloft’s timelapse feature also makes it easy to track development over days, weeks, and months, and to share this progress with customers. Audio and alarm features Videoloft is a great solution for education campuses. The platform provides campus security teams with the ability to easily monitor sites even when they are split across multiple locations. With features such as PTZ control, 2-way-audio, and alarm triggering there are many ways to detect, track and address unwanted visitors. Real-time monitoring Cannabis farms and dispensaries can leverage Videoloft’s cloud video surveillance solution to ensure they comply with regulatory requirements. In many states, it is mandatory to record 24/7 video both locally and offsite. Videoloft’s live camera health monitoring functionality ensures problems are spotted in real-time so they can be rapidly diagnosed and resolved, eliminating the possibility of lost video. User-friendly software solution Videoloft is also providing integrators and dealers with a new potential source of RMR. Videoloft’s simple setup, affordable cloud plans, and user-friendly software allow integrators to offer SMBs and the high-end residential market a highly cost-competitive product, even when compared to DIY solutions that typically employ Wi-Fi cameras that are inherently less secure. Users can set alerting and recording schedules and easily playback and download video through the Videoloft app, and assign multiple users with read-only or full admin access to all or specific cameras, depending on their requirements.
Buyers of video technology are focusing increasingly on business protocol enforcement applications, in addition to traditional security, says IDIS America and virtual guarding and monitoring service partner Virtual Management Intelligence (VMI). The two companies are working together to deliver AI-supported remote surveillance services, including business operations monitoring, in sectors such as transportation, warehousing, cannabis production, food processing, banking, and finance. Improve monitoring of vehicle safety checks In transportation, for example, IDIS video is being used by VMI to improve monitoring of 24-point vehicle safety checks which must be carried about by drivers to ensure compliance with Department of Transportation (DoT) requirements. At high-security locations such as banks, the company is helping to streamline and adhere to opening and closing protocols. And, in major industrial applications - from coffee roasting to food processing - its monitoring services are underpinning both safety and production line efficiency. Delivering enterprise-level monitoring “These are applications where customers want video technology to focus on the wider wellbeing of their business operations, and to reduce their liabilities,” says San Kim, VMI, Operations Director. IDIS Deep Learning Analytics (IDLA) to deliver enterprise-level monitoring to more customers more affordably “Security is still a key requirement but there is a growing realisation that cameras can be used for so much more. VMI is using IDIS end-to-end video solutions, including IDIS Deep Learning Analytics (IDLA) to deliver enterprise-level monitoring to more customers more affordably,” he notes. “IDLA’s automated detection tools – including line-cross, loitering, and object detection – are taking pressure off VMI’s monitoring teams and helping them give users of all sizes access to the kind of customised 24/7 surveillance that was traditionally only available to large corporations with dedicated control room operations.” IDIS video tech “This is also helping users cut their insurance liabilities and reduce their litigation risks,” Kim adds. “Our clients can now contact any of our operators and say, ‘I had a slip in one of my lobbies. Can you back up the relevant cameras, upload the recordings to a particular folder on our FTP, send a link to the store manager, and also include it on a report to our insurers as soon as possible?” The comparatively long operational life of IDIS video tech, its straightforward maintenance and upgrade paths, along with its ease of use for VMI’s customers, are also proving to be valuable in reducing the company’s trouble-shooting workload. Offering video monitoring solutions “Compared to alternative mix-and-match solutions that we’ve tried, the IDIS end-to-end, single supply model is more cost-effective to operate and maintain,” Kim points out. However, he warns against the industry over-promising when it comes to the capabilities of deep learning analytics. “For the video sector as a whole, the challenge now is to focus on applicable solutions that work in real life. We’ve already proven that our deep learning engine is solid, we now need to look at how best to use the level of accuracy we’ve developed.” “We are working closely with VMI to offer some of the best value video monitoring solutions available, not just for security purposes but for much wider business applications, as well,” says Jason Burrows, Sales Director, Western U.S., IDIS America. “Looking ahead, we see exciting opportunities for deep learning analytics to be closely customised to solve the specific problems of individual customers.”
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.
The cloud is here to stay. Its resilience and ability to connect the world during during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. Video and access control as a service provides a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success. This article will look back at our articles in 2020 about the growing popularity of cloud solutions for physical security, with links to the original content. Product offering While most people agree on the definition of “cloud,” there are several points about the terminology that may require clarification. Private cloud or public cloud? VSaaS or unlimited storage for video? Beyond the basics, the terms become foggy, reflecting a variety of notions about how cloud services fit into the broader physical security marketplace. As cloud usage becomes more popular, it’s important that marketers be precise in their terminology, and that integrators and end users be diligent in understanding the specifics of available product offerings. Different meanings “The cloud has many different possible connotations, depending on the context,” says Yu Hao Lin of Rasilient Systems, one of our Expert Roundtable panelists. For example, corporate CIOs will more likely understand the cloud to be a private cloud platform. As such, the public cloud is a ubiquitous term while the private cloud is more specified. Cloud system security Security of cloud systems is an ongoing discussion in the industry, especially how cloud system cybersecurity compares to that of on-premise systems. Our Expert Panel Roundtable weighed in on this question. “While both kinds of security systems serve their purpose, it can be argued that the streamlined updates that are commonplace with cloud-based solutions may put them at more of an advantage when it comes to data security,” says panelist Eric Widlitz of Vanderbilt Industries. “Also, most reputable cloud-based solutions are running in secured data centers by companies such as Google, Microsoft or Amazon, so you also get to take advantage of all the security layers they have protecting your data.” Hybrid cloud video security solution A growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security There are several relatively new companies pushing cloud in a big way. Verkada is fast-growing company currently currently focusing to deliver an all-in-one hybrid cloud video security solution powered by edge processing inside the camera. The growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security. Combining AI and cloud video One company investing in the cloud is Eagle Eye Networks, which has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel to finance the realisation of their vision to combine AI and cloud video. The money will allow Eagle Eye to continue its steep growth curve and leverage AI on its true cloud platform to reshape video surveillance. “The investment will make video surveillance smarter and safer for end-users,” says Ken Francis, President. Eagle Eye offers an application programming interface (API) to enable the integration of best-in-breed third-party AI and analytics systems to leverage the video. Eagle Eye is also investing in its own AI development and hiring additional development and customer service personnel. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus and MobilisID Identiv introduced the Hirsch Velocity Cirrus cloud-based Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) solution and MobilisID smart mobile physical access control solution. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus is an optimal solution for both end-users and integrators, with lower upfront costs, reduced maintenance, enhanced portability, and the future-proof assurance of automatic security updates and feature sets. MobilisID is a smart mobile physical access control solution that uses Bluetooth and capacitive technologies to allow frictionless access to a controlled environment without the need to present a credential. Advantages and disadvantages Advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, when supporting staff The advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, and have wide-ranging applications for all areas of the transport sector; across stations, transport hubs and vehicles. When used to support staff and complement existing processes, such systems can prove invaluable for transport professionals in helping to create a safer working environment, promoting confidence among personnel and passengers, and assuring passengers who are fearful about the current pandemic that all possible precautions are being taken during their journey. 5G supporting cloud-based applications 5G is the first communication environment that is cloud-native. As such, such, 5G networks will support cloud-based applications in a way that 4G, 3G and 2G can’t support. For instance, sensors (e.g. in a manufacturing plant) often have small internal storage and rely on synced devices (e.g. gateways) to interact with the cloud. Soon, these sensors will be able to work more efficiently, interacting with the cloud via the ultra-low latency and the edge computing capabilities supported by 5G networks. Increasing use of IoT Unlike current IoT services that make performance trade-offs to get the best from these existing wireless technologies, 5G networks will be designed to bring the high levels of performance needed for the increasing use of IoT. It will enable a perceived fully ubiquitous connected world, with the boosted capacity offered by 5G networks transferring exponentially more data at a much quicker rate.
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.
Videoloft is bolstering its presence in the United States by hiring new U.S.-based sales staff and integrating with established brands in the US market, including Digital Watchdog, exacqVision, Vivotek, and Lorex. Cloud surveillance systems Videoloft focuses on transforming traditional professional surveillance systems into cloud-connected solutions via the Videoloft Cloud Adapter. The company was born from the innovative technology created for the Manything app in 2012, which turned old smartphones and tablets into ad-hoc DIY home-monitoring cloud cameras, and now boasts over 1 million+ user. Cost-effective cloud solution The versatile and highly cost-effective Videoloft cloud solution can serve either as a backup to local recorders or as a primary recording method, sending video footage direct to the cloud at up to 8MP resolution. Videoloft end-users have remote access to its cloud video surveillance system via the Videoloft mobile app or web-based VMS The solution employs rigid security protocols to ensure all video is transmitted and stored securely in the Videoloft cloud, which is hosted on Amazon's AWS. Videoloft end-users have remote access to their cloud video surveillance system from anywhere and at any time via the Videoloft mobile app or web-based VMS. It makes security systems highly proactive and personalised and instantly upgrades legacy systems with new features. Remotely installed Videoloft’s partner pricing is extremely competitive and is approximately 8 to 10 times less expensive than other cloud providers. The platform is compatible with leading brands, has an impressive feature set including video analytics and remote installation, as well as a proven ability to send video to the cloud over real-world uplink speeds. VSaaS solution Selling predominantly via the channel, Videoloft’s cloud-based VSaaS solution is rapidly being adopted by professional security dealers and systems integrators who add the Videoloft cloud to their customers’ surveillance systems. The solution is being used with exceptional results by a wide variety of users ranging from homeowners to restaurant chains, and healthcare facilities to cannabis growers and dispensaries. Available versions Videoloft offers two white label versions of their platform, with over 150+ white label solutions already deployed by national distributors and integrators. Videoloft users span 160+ countries and generate the equivalent of 25 years of video monitored by the Videoloft cloud every day.
Since 2016, the cannabis industry has advanced quickly and so has the company. They’ve become a world pioneer in the research and development of plant genetics, specialising in cannabinoid extracts. With this in mind, a security solution was required to detect, deter, and defend the three sites in which Rua Bioscience operates within New Zealand. Integrated security solution “When the medicinal cannabis regulations were released in December 2019, we needed a security system in place that would not only meet these regulations but also limit access and keep staff safe,” said Paul Naske, Chief Operations Officer at Rua Bioscience. Naske continued, “When we built the sites to cultivate medicinal cannabis, there were no defined standards for such sites. We looked at what other sites across the world had done and so we chose to learn from those." "We worked with Aotea Security to develop an integrated security solution that included a monitored pulse fence, access control, and CCTV, which provides a high-security environment for what we require. The Gallagher system was the best option for us because it can provide all this and more.” Multi-site access A security system that would not only meet the regulations but also limit access and keep staff safe With two sites used for the growing and cultivation of cannabis plants and one head office, Rua Bioscience required multi-site access. Naske said, “In the future, we will increase employee numbers and employ contractors, and so access to zones will be more prominent along with access to multiple sites. We are also investigating the requirement for personal duress because of the nature of the work we do here.” Rua Bioscience has huge growth plans and is working towards the manufacture of GMP-certified, quality-assured medicinal cannabis as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and products, for domestic and global customers. The flexibility of the Gallagher system is key as the business evolves.
Singapore’s Changi Airport Group, one of the most innovative and technologically advanced airports in the world, has selected Genetec, Inc., a foremost technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions to enhance and upgrade its security system. The three-year project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, will see Genetec™ Security Centre, a unified security platform that blends IP security systems within a single intuitive interface, underpinning the airport’s security operations, with a specific focus on the video surveillance system across its terminals. The contract was awarded to Genetec following a rigorous competitive tender process. “Increasingly, our airport customers are understanding the deep business insights Security Centre is capable of delivering, its ability to inform and create value for multiple areas of an airport business operation and improve the overall passenger and employee experience,” said Giovanni Taccori, Commercial Lead Transportation, APAC at Genetec, Inc.
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.”
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?