Earning the international praise from high-level visitors and exhibitors alike, the first edition of the prestigious defence exhibition, DEFEA 2021 was completed in total success, presenting 315 renowned exhibiting defence industries from 22 countries and visited by 45 official national delegations, represented at political and military level, from 36 countries.
From 13th to 15th of July, 2021, Metropolitan Expo, the largest and most advanced exhibition centre in Southeast Europe, hosted highly specialised visitors from 53 countries, representing the most important private and state-owned companies in the world, offering top-tier services and facilitations.
DEFEA 2021 event
DEFEA 2021 event was globally the first COVID-free defence exhibition that took place in total compliance with all safety measures and health protocols, creating efficiently through excellent organisation and planning a safe environment for networking and cooperation. Inaugurating DEFEA 2021, the Greek Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos underlined that the exhibition ‘is a platform for international contacts, industrial cooperation and exchange of information on modern technological developments’.
Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos said, “There is no doubt that the exhibition will present the most advanced systems that global defence market can provide, proving once again that the evolution of defence systems is a 'driving force' for technology.”
Latest technologies and defence systems exhibited
The largest and most prominent defence industries around the world participated as exhibitors
The largest and most prominent defence industries around the world participated as exhibitors, showcasing their latest technologies and the defence systems that will prevail in the future.
Impressive national pavilions with state-of-the-art products and equipment, and private companies with the most advanced solutions in every category of the defence and security sector covered the halls of the exhibition centre, offering to visitors and officials an integrated view of the capabilities of modern military technology.
Political and military leaders in attendance
The official delegations that visited DEFEA were comprised of political and military leaders of the highest level, invited by the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence.
The countries that were represented through official presence were: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Jordan, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America.
During the exhibition, leaders of the delegations had important meetings with the Greek hosting Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, and the Hellenic military leadership led by the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros.
A round-table discussion about the European Defence was carried out, in which the Ministers of Defence of Slovenia, Mr. Matej Tonin, of Portugal, Mr. Joao Gomes Cravinho, and of Cyprus, Mr. Charambos Petrides stated their views. The discussion was coordinated by the Executive Director of European Defence Agency (EDA), Mr. Jiri Sedivy, while the Commissioner of Internal Market, Mr. Thierry Breton greeted through video message.
Event streamlined live
The event was streamed live through the official channel of Hellenic Ministry of Defence and the social media
The event was streamed live through the official channel of Hellenic Ministry of Defence and the social media, with the presence of the Greek Deputy Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Chiefs of the three branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces.
The procurement programme of the Hellenic Navy of 4 new frigates, as well as the parallel solution and the upgrade of in-service frigates was again at the centre of general interest.
New frigates purchased by Hellenic Navy
Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, referred to the programme, stated “We are going to purchase four frigates that we believe it is necessary some of these ships to be built in Greek shipyards and we must work for that. Not only to have them built in our shipyards, but to have more defence industries that will take part in their construction.”
Nikolaos adds, “One of the two shipyards, the ‘Hellenic Shipyards’ of Skaramagas, was acquired by a group of businessmen, led by a Greek shipowner. I think this will give a boost to the domestic shipbuilding industry, beyond the problems of the past.”
Airport static display
Regarding the development of Greek shipbuilding industry, the Greek Minister of Development and Investments spoke in a related conference in front of an international specialised audience.
In parallel with the exhibition, an impressive static display was organised at the nearby international airport of Athens, in a specially designed area. The airport static display was comprised of multi-role aircrafts and helicopters, with highlights an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, a S70 Aegean Hawk naval multi-mission helicopter, a tactical transport NH90 helicopter and an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter for armed reconnaissance.
All participants expressed their satisfaction with every detail of the exhibition and they also emphasised on their return to the event in the two years’ time, when it will be held next. The next edition of DEFEA – Defence Exhibition Athens will take place on 9th-11th of May, 2023, at Metropolitan Expo, in Athens, Greece.
Ava Security, a unified service provider of cyber security and cloud video surveillance solutions, has announced that SourceIT, a specialist in the design, distribution, and support of physical security solutions for integrators, is the company’s newest strategic partner.
Partnership with SourceIT
The partnership allows SourceIT to offer the Ava Cloud Video Security Solution
The partnership allows SourceIT to offer the Ava Cloud Video Security Solution, as part of its modern video surveillance systems portfolio.
Ava’s complete cloud-based security platform, consisting of the Ava Aware Cloud video management system (VMS), Ava Cameras, and Ava Cloud Connector, extends a video surveillance solution with full analytics and operational insights to existing security cameras and systems.
Intelligent cloud video surveillance
The simplicity and flexibility of Ava’s intelligent video surveillance solutions safeguard people, property, and data proactively.
Ava’s simple, open and scalable video security solution offers the following features:
Detects threats and anomalies in real-time, allowing operators to respond before threats become incidents.
Extends real-time anomaly detection, proactive security notifications, and smart search capabilities with a single interface to direct cloud-connected Ava devices and existing on-premises security cameras.
Unifies the tools and systems used every day with an easy transition to a cloud video surveillance solution.
Optimises design and deployment for lower operational costs and increased flexibility.
Allows access from web browsers or mobile apps anywhere in the world.
‘Transitioning to cloud video security’ webinar
To learn more about transitioning to modern cloud video security, interested individuals can join on July 27, 2021, for a webinar, hosted by SourceIT and Ava.
Lawrence Leiker, Director of Business Development of SourceIT, said “Our team is thrilled to partner with Ava to bring this modern, intelligent solution to integrators. Ava has gained incredible traction with its products because it has transformed so much about video surveillance’s quality, experience, and effectiveness.”
Intelligent video surveillance solution
Lawrence Leiker said, “We are especially excited about how it leverages existing infrastructure, drives proactive security through powerful analytics and increases efficiency and positive outcomes through amazingly fast forensic searches.”
Amie Ray, Distribution and Partner Manager, Americas, at Ava Security, said “Our shared vision for strengthening physical security through modern, integrated cloud-based video security solutions makes SourceIT a perfect partner for Ava Security. We know that as a leader in the design, distribution, and deployment of video security products, SourceIT is always scouting for the best solutions for their customers. We are excited they have selected Ava to help keep them delivering on their mission.”
Vector Flow announced that it has received LenelS2 factory certification and joined the LenelS2™ OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP).
Vector Flow’s AI-Enabled Physical Security Automation Platform interfaces with the OnGuard® access control system to strengthen customers’ security programs with integrated identity governance and improved compliance across their entire cyber-physical security infrastructure.
“Vector Flow has completed required factory testing at LenelS2 to validate the functionality of its interface to the OnGuard system. This interface actively monitors identity provisioning changes such as onboarding, offboarding, and location or responsibility changes and triggers Vector Flow to automatically adjust and provision the correct access levels in the OnGuard system,” said John Marchioli, OAAP product management, LenelS2.
“We look forward to their continued involvement in the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program.”
Physical security platform
“The integration of the Vector Flow advanced physical security platform with the LenelS2 OnGuard system, provides organisations a single source of truth for identity management, while also leveraging the power of AI with data-driven automation to provide significant security and operational benefits,” said Ajay Jain, Founder, and CEO of Vector Flow.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with LenelS2 and look forward to future certifications for new security and business intelligence applications.”
Managing identity and access
Vector Flow empowers organisations with the capability to manage all types of identities and their physical access
Vector Flow empowers organisations with the capability to manage all types of identities and their physical access in the OnGuard system while automating policies for return to work, synchronised on/off-boarding, visitor management, enforcement of access compliance controls, background checks & training prerequisites, cyber-physical risks, occupancy management, contract tracing and much more.
Vector Flow’s innovative Data-Driven Physical Security Platform is built on a foundation of advanced AI algorithms capable of processing and analysing vast amounts of data from otherwise disparate security systems and applying automation playbooks to reduce cost and risk.
The innovative solution simplifies and improves physical security operations while delivering tangible ROI and lowering TCO, enabling new levels of Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) for physical security. Vector Flow unifies PIAM, surveillance, and security systems with alarms, event management, and automated “playbook” workflows in real-time to deliver actionable insights.
Adaptive Shield, a pioneer in SaaS Security Posture Management announces that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Macnica Networks Corp., Japan's global technology solutions company that analyses cyber threats targeting Japanese organisations and provides security solutions.
Today, SaaS apps have become the business of record, from the company's CRM and customer support tools to IT tools, HR management systems, dashboards, workspaces, and much more. The use of SaaS apps doesn't come without risk.
With the multitude of settings, controls, and policies to manage and track on every SaaS app in use, many misconfigurations arise. While SaaS providers build in security features, it is up to the company's security team to fix any potential vulnerabilities and configuration weaknesses.
By partnering with Adaptive Shield, Macnica Networks will utilise the cloud security knowledge they have cultivated alongside Adaptive Shield's technology to support the safe use of SaaS applications by enterprises.
"Cloud services are essential to business today, yet maintaining a consistent policy across platforms, business units and user groups is a difficult problem.”
“Adaptive Shield is unparalleled in its ability to provide enterprises a continuous, and automated SaaS security solution and we are proud to partner with them to make this solution available to our customers and enhance our cloud security portfolio," says Jun Ikeda, President of Macnica Networks.
Japanese companies will gain clear visibility of their whole SaaS ecosystem with all the potential places for infiltration Through this partnership, Japanese companies will gain clear visibility of their whole SaaS ecosystem with all the potential places for infiltration -- and get detailed alerts at the first sign of configuration drift or anomaly.
Adaptive Shield also provides built-in remediation tools so the security team can open a ticket to fix the issue with no go-between and no lengthy additional steps.
Safe use of SaaS applications
"The cooperation with Macnica is another important step in our mission to provide security teams complete control of their organisations' SaaS applications with visibility, detailed insights, and remediation of all SaaS misconfigurations," asserts Maor Bin, CEO of Adaptive Shield.
"We are thrilled to partner with Macnica Networks, leaders in cybersecurity in Japan. Through this collaboration, we will further accelerate the safe use of SaaS applications by Japanese companies, helping them maintain a clean, safe, and efficient SaaS app environment."
Prices and delivery times for essential components in CCTV systems are being driven up as demand soars from other industries. Secure Logiq’s Robin Hughes explains the current state of the market.
Component shortages and supply chain challenges are a hot topic in just about every industry based on semi-conductors and silicon chips right now, and security is no exception.
It’s common knowledge that the global Covid lockdown caused a shutdown in the mining of silicon and spherites as large industries such as motor manufacturing cancelled or postponed their chip orders – this has caused a supply gap that every industry is feeling.
However, there is a second challenge that is hitting the security sector particularly hard, and it may not be one you are expecting – cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies and security
When people discuss cryptocurrencies and security, thoughts often turn to cybersecurity and ransomware payment tracking. But the issue for the majority of the security industry comes from crypto mining.
When it comes to cryptocurrencies, GPUs are intrinsic for ‘proof of work’ mining
GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) are a key component in CCTV, they decode images and display them onto screens. With the increase of video analytics, these have also become key to running the complicated algorithms required for creating the metadata and presenting it in a meaningful way for end-users. However, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, GPUs are intrinsic for ‘proof of work’ mining.
Demand for GPUs
When Bitcoin prices were relatively low, it was hard to justify the cost of a GPU and the associated power consumption for Bitcoin mining applications.
But as the price of Bitcoin has increased exponentially, demand for GPUs to do the number-crunching has grown dramatically causing a major shortage and huge price hikes. This rise in prices is not correlated with an increase in technological performance on the new GPUs, it is entirely a case of demand outstripping supply and a resulting bidding war.
To put this in context, cards are currently going new for around twice the original price and manufacturers simply cannot keep up with the demand.
On top of this, there is a new cryptocurrency creating a new threat to a different part of the CCTV industry.
A new ‘environmental’ cryptocurrency called Chia has dispensed with the processing power and electricity demands of traditional GPU mining, instead of utilising the spare storage space on hard drives (HDD) to verify blockchain transactions (‘proof of space’).
The demand for this particular cryptocurrency has to date called on 30 Exabytes of storage since May this year – that’s 30 Billion Gigabytes of data, and it’s not just HDDs, high-capacity SSDs are also in demand. This is causing massive hard drive supply issues globally, thus rocketing prices for those that are available.
The security industry sits comfortably in the ‘Big data’ category and with storage retention times running from 30 days to 6 months
Of course, this has a particularly large knock-on for the CCTV market. There is nothing more data-intensive than video, other than multiple streams of HD video.
With this in mind, the security industry sits comfortably in the ‘Big data’ category and with storage retention times running from 30 days typically up to 6 months and longer in some regions/applications, the CCTV market consumes more HDDs than many other markets.
Growth of data centres
While you would think that this would make security an important area for HDD manufacturers, our market is a relatively small player.
IT vendors will always focus on their core customers, and the rise of the gaming market, as well as the growth of data centres due to remote working in the pandemic, has created a more important sector to serve – and these customers will always come first. Imagine the daily storage space required if 5 Billion people uploaded just one image a day to ‘the cloud’!
These factors combined with the lack of raw materials leading to longer lead times for component manufacturers mean that the prices for hard drives and GPUs are likely to remain inflated well into 2022 while factories play catch up on the backlog.
The market for IT hardware is currently strong enough to continue even with the increase in component prices and the extended lead times for products. If you can get your hands on any HDDs, the delivery times from most distributors are around 6-8 weeks.
Increased delivery times
All of this has had a serious impact on the security industry. CCTV projects are now facing the combined issue of increased delivery times and higher costs. Many manufacturers, integrators, and distributors are doing their best to absorb the price increases where they can, but this is unsustainable over the long term. So what can be done?
Some people are getting more creative by purchasing from the second-hand market
Some people are getting more creative by purchasing from the second-hand market. However, it is unlikely that commercial applications will be willing to risk potential downtime or data losses by using second-hand components that have been pushed hard for months on end mining cryptocurrencies.
Making early purchases
While I can’t comment on what other manufacturers have done, at Secure Logiq we have been watching this market trend closely.
We always try to keep a close eye on anything that has the potential to significantly impact our manufacturing capabilities and try to offset any potential challenges with early purchases before the impact is fully felt.
As such, we have been able to secure enough products to continue manufacturing as normal for more than six months.
Increased demand as a challenge
While we have this existing stock to meet current and anticipated orders, we continue to scour the market for any available stock to make sure we are at the top of the list when any fresh products come on the market. This has meant that throughout our 10-year history we have never failed to deliver a customer order within 7-10 working days.
The delays with component manufacture and the ongoing increased demand will continue to present a huge challenge to the CCTV and wider security industry. However, good planning and intelligent design will allow projects to remain on track.
Security technology manufacturers are not alone in this challenge, but the dual-threat is perhaps unique. It will take a while for this threat to be overcome, but with robust planning and by paying close attention to the market forward-thinking CCTV manufacturers can still deliver projects for their clients.
Steven Kenny, Axis Communications, looks at the benefits of physical access control systems within smart environments, and how knowledge gaps and dated methods can inhibit adoption.
Physical security is becoming more dynamic and more interconnected, as it evolves. Today’s modern access control solutions are about so much more than simply opening doors, with digitalisation bringing multiple business benefits, which would simply not be possible using traditional models.
While the digital transformation of processes and systems was already well underway, across many industries and sectors, it is the transformation of physical security from a standalone, isolated circuit, to a network-enabled, intelligent security solution that brings many benefits to the smart environment.
Yet, with more organisations now looking to bring their physical security provision up to date, there are many considerations that must be addressed to maximise the potential of access control and video surveillance. Not least of which is that connecting physical security devices to a network presents risk, so it is increasingly important for IT teams to play a role in helping to facilitate the secure integration of physical and network technologies, as these two worlds increasingly converge.
Improved access control in smart environments
These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies and optimising resources
The smart city offers significant benefits, reflected in the US$ 189 billion that is anticipated to be spent on smart city initiatives globally by 2023. These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies, optimising resources and increasing citizen engagement.
Technology, which is increasingly being incorporated to protect access points within the smart environment, can take many forms. These range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems, using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors.
Frictionless access control
During the COVID-19 pandemic, frictionless access control has provided an effective ‘hands free’ means of accessing premises, using methods such as QR code readers and facial recognition as credentials to prove identity.
Frictionless access control brings health and safety into the equation, as well as the security of entrances and exits, minimising the risk of infection, by removing the need to touch shared surfaces. Such systems can be customised and scaled to meet precise requirements. Yet, an increasing integration with open technologies and platforms requires collaboration between the worlds of physical security and IT, in order to be successful.
Barriers to adoption
Traditional suppliers and installers of physical security systems have built up a strong business model around their expertise, service and knowledge. Network connectivity and the IoT (Internet of Things) present a constantly shifting landscape, requiring the traditional physical security vendor to learn the language of IT, of open platforms, IP connectivity and software integration, in order to adapt to market changes and remain relevant.
Many are now beginning to realise that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay
Those who cannot adapt, and are simply not ready for this changing market, risk being left behind, as the physical security landscape continues to shift and demand continues to increase. With end users and buyers looking for smarter, more integrated and business-focused solutions from their suppliers, it is clear that only those who are prepared will succeed in this space.
Time will not stand still, and many are now beginning to realise that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay, particularly within smart constructs which rely on such technology by their very nature.
The importance of cyber hygiene
Connecting any device to a network has a degree of risk, and it is, therefore, imperative that any provider not only understands modern connected technologies, but also the steps necessary to protect corporate networks.
Cameras, access control systems and IP audio devices, which have been left unprotected, can potentially become backdoors into a network and used as access points by hackers. These vulnerabilities can be further compromised by the proliferation of connected devices within the Internet of Things (IoT).
While the connection of devices to a network brings many advantages, there is greater potential for these devices to be used against the very business or industry they have been employed to protect when vulnerabilities are exploited.
Cyber security considerations
Cyber security considerations should, therefore, be a key factor in the development and deployment of new security systems. Access control technologies should be manufactured according to recognised cyber security principles, incident reporting and best practices.
It is important to acknowledge that the cyber integrity of a system is only as strong as its weakest link and that any potential source of cyber exposure will ultimately impact negatively on a device’s ability to provide the necessary high levels of physical security.
The future of access control
There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions
There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions that are perceived as offering the same value as their more expensive equivalents. While some have taken the decision to implement such solutions, in an attempt to unlock the required benefits, while saving their bottom line, the limited lifespan of these technologies puts a heavier cost and reputational burden onto organisations by their association.
The future of access control, and of physical security as a whole, will, therefore, be dependent on the willingness of suppliers to implement new designs and new ways of thinking, based around high-quality products, and to influence the installers and others in their supply chains to embrace this new world.
Cyber security key to keeping businesses safe
In addition, cyber security considerations are absolutely vital for keeping businesses safe. The integration of cyber secure technologies from trusted providers will provide peace of mind around the safety or corporate networks, and integrity of the deployed technologies.
As we move forward, access control systems will become data collection points and door controllers will become intelligent I/O devices. QR codes for visitor management and biometric face recognition for frictionless access control will increasingly be managed at the edge, as analytics in a camera or sensor.
The future of access control presents an exciting and challenging time for those ready to accept it, to secure it and to help shape it, offering a true opportunity to innovate for a smarter, safer world.
Whenever you say the word “security” in today’s world of digitalisation and technology, minds immediately jump to online security. Encryption, passwords, and website security are all common areas of concern for today’s security teams – so much so that we often pass over physical security installations entirely. But we shouldn’t, because contrary to popular belief, security doors aren’t just for banks and safes.
High-security doors are deployed and used across everything from home spaces to offices, venues, communal entrances, and more – offering an extra level of safety designed to keep unwanted guests out and keep the people inside safe. In this blog, we will be uncovering some of the benefits of installing high-security doors besides the obvious – offering a high level of security.
Benefits of high-security doors
When you start telling someone about high-security doors, they often immediately think of thick steel doors with unbreakable locks. But modern security doors are nothing like that, with the marketplace filled with different options including ventilated louvre doors, reinforced hammer glass doors, and classic metal doors. And with each style comes a different set of benefits.
1) High-security doors keep businesses and properties safe
If anything is going to put burglars off and keep your inside space safe, it’s high-security doors.
High-security doors not only help keep burglars away but also saves on the cost of investing in expensive home security systems
With such a wide array of options on the market, from double or triple glazing through to top-level security doors for industrial properties and homes, customers can choose the weight of their door and its finish – meaning that they have a choice between making their high-security decision obvious or concealing it for the benefit of aesthetics.
This not only helps keep burglars away from your home or office space and reduces the crime rate, but also saves on the cost of investing in expensive alarms and home security systems.
2) Dual purpose benefits from top-level manufacturers
Modern high-security doors from retailers like Premier SSL not only provide industrial-strength but are also classed as fire doors – meaning that they keep people inside safe on two accounts.
On top of that, high-security doors no longer look like the entrance to a bank – in fact, most manufacturers now work with materials that deliver an aesthetically pleasing finish that can complement your building or inside space. This means you can benefit from everything from a wood effect finish to a decorative trim and more.
3) Cut costs in Winter and Summer
Managing bills at home often mean juggling the art of keeping the house cool enough in summer and warm enough in winter.
On one hand, with high-security doors which are effective fire doors and are made to measure and tailored to your home, the heat and warm air inside your home are trapped inside during the winter to keep your home cozy. This helps to cut the cost of heating and ensures your family is protected during the winter months.
Mesh layered security
Meanwhile, for those who opt for the mesh layered security doors or Louvre doors, in summer you can keep your home or inside space cool and filled with fresh air even while the doors are closed and secured.
This ensures adequate ventilation and is a popular choice with homeowners today as it cuts the cost of bills and expensive air conditioning and helps prevent issues like mould which can occur in damp spaces with little airflow.
Louvre security doors also help to retain the same level of privacy as a solid door but with a high level of airflow – making them ideal for communal areas and spaces with a high footfall.
4) Keep pets and children safe
A security door is enough to deter a burglar to keep your little ones and pets safe and contained inside the house
A security door is enough to deter a burglar – so is certainly more than sufficient to keep your little ones and pets safe and contained inside the house.
Preventing access to dangerous situations such as being outdoors on their own and entering the kitchen on their own is a benefit that many families revel in – with a range of options including the mesh-covered security doors to retain ventilation and natural light and create more of a homely feel.
5) Feeling safe and secure in your own space
This one may seem obvious but it’s one of the biggest benefits – feeling safe even when on your own. Security doors mean that you can rest easy in your own space, in complete control of the locking mechanism and the entry of anyone besides yourself.
Most of the security doors recognised by modern standards can withstand ballistics and crowbar tampering – even those with ventilation breaks. On top of that, they have a certain degree of water tightness and resistance to wind, meaning that they also keep you safe from home or building damage.
The vast array of security doors on the market right now means that versatility is possible – in the way that doors are locked, the way that they look, and the additional features they provide.
Many of the high-security doors we and other retailers offer also provide complete sound ventilation and are ideally suited to everything from a modern new build to something more traditional in its feel and aesthetics.
Uses of security doors
High-security doors are a popular addition to modern homes and office spaces, as well as communal spaces and venues
As previously touched on, security doors are no longer just for banks and high-security institutes. High-security doors are a popular addition to modern homes and office spaces, as well as communal spaces and venues.
The versatility presented by the locking mechanism and access tools means that users can select everything from an entry fob to a code and a traditional key as a means of getting inside.
High-security doors are an increasingly popular solution for nurturing safety both in commercial spaces and private homes. With options from solid steel doors to louver doors, triple and double glazed doors, and fire doors available on the market for every space and with made to measure manufacturing options, it has never been easier to equip your home against intruders and keep your family or work team safe and comfortable.
Best of all for the modern homeowner, high-security doors no longer create an eyesore – instead, reflecting the same design aesthetic focus as you might expect from an interior company.
BIM (building information modeling) provides a process for creating and managing information during the building lifecycle and beyond. BIM is often equated with 3D modeling of construction projects, but the visual component is just part of the value of BIM.
Additional data, such as specifications and other documentation, is also part of the process, underlying the visual aspects, helping to drive decision making and providing immediate access to detailed information about all facets of the building process.
Incorporating BIM systems
For the last six years, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions has worked with specification writers and architects in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) to make it easy to incorporate ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions doors, hardware, and security solutions into BIM systems.
Everyone on a project can work together in the interactive and information-rich BIM environment. BIM tools are also used by contractors, distributors, facility owners, and security consultants.
BIM information relating to doors, hardware, and security solutions is available in the cloud
BIM information relating to doors, hardware, and security solutions is available in the cloud with the company’s Openings Studio BIM software. This improves the process of door scheduling and visualisation and enables customers to focus on the design, installation, and management of openings.
“If you have up-to-date information inside the BIM model, you can reduce mistakes and misunderstanding in the building industry,” says Marc Ameryckx, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions’ BIM Manager for the EMEIA region.
“It helps to eliminate mistakes before they happen or as early as possible in the building process. The earlier, the less it costs. We provide data as soon as possible in the process.” (ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions also has comparable systems available in other regions of the global company.)
Centralised data in BIM 3D model
Expanding the data available in BIM provides additional value compared to merely providing “BIM objects” that can be incorporated into a BIM 3D model. The combination of BIM modeling and the underlying specifications boosts the quality of the project and its key to success, says Marc Ameryckx.
Even after the building is complete, the BIM model is still valuable, providing a repository of “as-built” information that can be used by building managers and security professionals tasked with operating and maintaining the building.
For example, if a lock needs to be replaced, retrofitting is simpler because all the information about the lock and existing installation is available in a centralised data file.
Revit and ArchiCAD
A widely used BIM software is Revit from Autodesk, a program that brings architecture, engineering, and construction disciplines into a unified modeling environment to drive more efficient and cost-effective projects.
Another BIM software program is ArchiCAD, developed by the Hungarian company Graphisoft. Openings Studio™ added a plugin for ArchiCAD this year, in addition to Revit.
Tailor-made information security solutions
We provide tailor-made information security solutions with various hardware on projects with more doors"
“We can provide tailor-made information security solutions with various hardware on projects with more doors, adding more flexibility,” says Marc Ameryckx. “Customers do not need to be the experts on the products because we provide expertise as part of our specifications.”
For example, how often do building mistakes occur because of a misunderstanding about the electrical needs of a lock and the wrong cabling is installed? The problem is especially expensive if it is discovered only after the walls are complete. Providing complete data about the electrical lock as part of a BIM system avoids the snafu.
Another example is the specification of a deadbolt lock on a door that operates with an electric strike. The deadbolt undermines the intended operation of the electric strike and can interfere with escape routes in case of an emergency. The mistake becomes obvious in the BIM environment and can be rectified before consequences impact the real world.
Data addition to Opening Suites site
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions is continuously expanding the data it provides at the Opening Suites site, covering additional functionality and more components including the door, cabling, and electrical connections.
Hardware sets are linked to specific doors in the BIM models, including all the details of various components, including article numbers, technical sheets, electrical requirements, all depending on customer expectations.
Physical equipment includes QR codes that can be scanned by a smartphone to provide information on the door (A mobile app is in development).
More details and more data
Experienced BIM consultants work with the Openings Studio software on projects ranging from single doors to large buildings with many doors.
Data will be more and more important, and there will be more data inside BIM models
Adding more data and detail to the BIM process at the level of each door expands the usefulness of BIM, which has historically been focused on broader issues such as structural work and HVAC. “Openings Studio™ provides all the data to integrate doors and security in the BIM process,” says Marc Ameryckx.
The higher level of detail may be a new aspect even for customers who already use BIM software. “Data will be more and more important, and there will be more data inside BIM models,” says Marc Ameryckx. In the future, the use of “digital twins” could expand the capabilities even further; for example, the software could simulate escape routes in case of fire. More data makes more things possible.
When 150,000 video surveillance cameras get hacked, it’s big news. Even if the main reason for the hack was to make a point. Even if the major consequence is bad publicity for a video company (and, by extension, the entire video surveillance industry).
The target of the hack was Silicon Valley startup Verkada, which has collected a massive trove of security-camera data from its 150,000 surveillance cameras inside hospitals, companies, police departments, prisons and schools. Previously, Verkada has been known for an aggressive sales approach and its intent to disrupt the traditional video market.
The data breach was accomplished by an international hacker collective and was first reported by Bloomberg. The reported reasons for the hack were “lots of curiosity, fighting for freedom of information and against intellectual property, a huge dose of anti-capitalism, a hint of anarchism – and it’s also just too much fun not to do it,” according to Bloomberg.
Tesla amongst those impacted
The “fun” included access to a video showing the inside of a Florida hospital, where eight hospital staffers tackled a man and pinned him to the bed. Inside a Massachusetts police station, officers are seen questioning a man in handcuffsA view inside a Tesla warehouse in Shanghai, China, showed workers on an assembly line. Inside a Massachusetts police station, officers are seen questioning a man in handcuffs. There are even views from Verkada security cameras inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where a gunman killed more than 20 people in 2012.
In a “security update” statement, Verkada reports: “Our internal security experts are actively investigating the matter. Out of an abundance of caution, we have implemented additional security measures to restrict account access and further protect our customers.”
Hacking was possible due to built-in feature
The hacker group was able to obtain “root” access on the cameras, meaning they could use the cameras to execute their own code, reports Bloomberg. Obtaining this degree of access to the camera did not require any additional hackingUsing that access, they could pivot and obtain access to the broader corporate network of Verkada’s customers or hijack the cameras and use them as a platform to launch future hacks, the hackers told Bloomberg. Obtaining this degree of access to the camera did not require any additional hacking, as it was a built-in feature.
Elisa Costante, VP of research for cybersecurity firm Forescout, calls the Verkada security camera hack "shocking."
"Connected cameras are supposed to provide an additional layer of security to organisations that install them,” she says. “Yet, as the Verkada security camera breach has shown, the exact opposite is often true. [It is worrisome that] the attack wasn't even very sophisticated and didn't involve exploiting a known or unknown vulnerability. The bad actors simply used valid credentials to access the data stored on a cloud server.”
Super Admin account had access to all cameras
Hackers gained access to Verkada through a “Super Admin” account, allowing them to peer into the cameras of all of its customers. They found a username and password for an administrator account publicly exposed on the internet, according to Bloomberg. The hackers lost access to the video feeds and archives after Bloomberg contacted Verkada.Hackers lost access to the video feeds and archives after Bloomberg contacted Verkada
The results could have been worse, says Costante. "In this case, the bad actors have seemingly only resorted to viewing the footage these cameras have captured. But they are likely able to cause a lot more damage if they choose to do so, as our own research team has discovered. We were able to intercept, record and replace real-time footage from smart cameras by exploiting unencrypted video streaming protocols and performing a man-in-the-middle attack. This effectively gives criminals a virtual invisibility cloak to physically access premises and wreak havoc in the real world.”
Impact on broader video surveillance industry
The impact of a well-publicised cyber-attack on the broader video surveillance industry is also a concern. “As an industry, and as manufacturers in physical security, we cannot take these hacks lightly,” says Christian Morin, CSO & Vice-President of Integrations & Cloud Services, Genetec. “The potential broad-reaching impact of these hacks on physical security systems, including providing a beachhead to facilitate lateral movement onto networks, resulting in data and privacy breaches or access to critical assets and infrastructure, cannot be overstated. It is our responsibility and duty to users of our technology to prioritise data privacy and cybersecurity in the development, distribution, and deployment of video surveillance systems.”
Widespread government and healthcare use
The Verkada cameras are in widespread use within government and healthcare, which are by far the company’s most dominant verticals. Lesser verticals for them are manufacturing, financial and retail.The Verkada website pledges to take privacy seriously
Verkada’s line of hybrid cloud security cameras combines edge-based processing with the capabilities of cloud computing. Cameras analyse events in real-time, while simultaneously leveraging computer vision technology for insights that bring speed and efficiency to incidents and investigations. Command, Verakda’s centralised web-based platform, provides users with access to footage they need. Motion detection, people analytics, and vehicle analytics enable searches across an organisation to find relevant footage.
The Verkada website pledges to take privacy seriously: “We are passionate about developing products that enhance the security and privacy of organisations and individuals. We believe that well-built, user-friendly systems make it easier to manage and secure physical environments in ways that respect the privacy of individuals while simultaneously keeping them safe.”
Convergint Technologies’ rapid growth has come through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions — they have acquired 35 companies since 2014. Growth has been a focus since day one when the founders started the systems integration company with 10 colleagues in a basement.
Today, the diverse company includes more than 5,000 employees globally. As technology has advanced and business practices have evolved, Convergint’s core values and beliefs have guided their path forward.
Convergint’s culture is a critical aspect of the company, from the executive level to frontline colleagues. “It is essential that the companies we look to acquire and develop partnerships with directly align with our people-first, customer-centric, inclusive culture centered on colleagues and customers,” says Mike Mathes, Executive Vice President, Convergint Technologies.
“This approach has allowed us to maintain and grow our number of colleagues across our acquisitions and enables us to continue being our customers’ best service provider.”
Many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition A simple but important consideration as Convergint grows through acquisitions is: No two companies are the same. While some integration practices can be standardised across the company, many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition, says Mathes. “Our objective is not to come in and immediately implement change. We want to build on what has already been successful within the local market and share our learned experiences. There is plenty we can learn from each other and create a much better organisation.”
Mathes says that Convergint’s view of a successful acquisition is that 1+1=3. “The end result is always much more impactful than what we anticipated,” he says. “Every acquisition brings with it an experienced leadership team, dedicated and skilled colleagues, vertical market and technological expertise. Most acquisitions are in geographies where we do not already operate, so with every acquisition, we increase our capability to serve our customers much better.” Also, the network of Global Convergint Technology Centres (CTCs) helps expand clientele, and the Convergint Development Centre (CDC) offers new support capabilities allowing acquisitions to grow at a very high rate.
Are there more acquisitions to come? Mathes says Convergint is always open to further expanding its footprint across the globe, improving its ability to service customers, deepening their technical expertise, and continuing to expand service offerings across the current and new vertical markets. However, the current focus remains on several key factors: service to colleagues, customers, and communities.
“While obviously, acquisitions fuel our growth, the addition of these organisations to Convergint has really improved our ability to service clients on a global basis,” says Mathes. Acquiring ICD Security Solutions in Asia, for example, made Convergint a pioneer in that market for U.S.-based multi-national companies.
Meeting customers demand
“Convergint does not weigh market conditions when making an acquisition decision,” says Mathes. Rather, they are primarily focused on meeting or exceeding their customer’s needs on a local to a global level. They see acquisitions as a potential way to extend their geographic reach so they can be closer to customers.
An acquisition might also expand technological or vertical market expertise. “The end goal is for us to enhance our service capabilities by attracting and retaining talented colleagues and leaders to better service our customers,” says Mathes.
Enhancing and expanding services
Convergint identifies how to leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options “Economies of scale” have not been a consideration. They have never sought to acquire companies and restructure them in the process, for example. Rather, each company brings forth a unique skillset, is carefully vetted by the executive team, and provides purpose in the company's mission and vision for the future.”
“Frontline colleagues are Convergint’s most valuable assets,” says Mathes. Rather than restructuring and eliminating skilled, knowledgeable colleagues, Convergint identifies how they can leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options for customers. “Our colleagues and their skill sets are our competitive advantage—they remain an essential element to our success,” says Mathes.
Demand for integrator services
“We continue to experience a growing demand for innovative solutions across electronic security, fire alarm, and life safety,” says Mathes. “As companies innovate further and rely on technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, IoT, and cloud solutions, we expect to see an increased demand for integrator services. Our customers demand a local service provider who is responsive and can meet their needs, which is why Convergint aims to be its customers’ best service provider.”
This year, Convergint is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In 2021, they will continue to focus on the same critical components that have dominated since day one taking care of colleagues, customers, and the communities where they operate.
Hanwha Techwin a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions announced that We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort has selected Hanwha cameras for its new state-of-the-art video surveillance system.
First established as a bingo-hall style building by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in the early 1990s, the facility received approval to be revamped into a fully-fledged gaming facility in 2017. To ensure the safety of staff and visitors, this also included a new video surveillance system.
When it came time to build the new facility, the Tribal Regulatory Agency, having learned from its earlier attempts, knew they had to find a vendor that wouldn’t let them down.
Explains Lee Brown, Lead Surveillance Technician for the Fort McDowell Tribal Regulatory Agency, “We were looking for a manufacturer that had a variety of camera offerings to give us what we wanted and that also had a good reputation for quality.” They found what they were looking for with Hanwha Techwin.
The cameras available from Hanwha Techwin enabled them to choose the right camera for every situation
The number of cameras available from Hanwha Techwin was a key differentiator for the We-Ko-Pa Resort as it enabled them to choose the right camera for every situation.
The range of options was especially important when it came time to design camera coverage for the slot floor in the new facility. This area proved to be challenging in part because it was designed to be flexible and modular.
The new design allows the Casino to be dynamic in terms of where they place machines. The challenge then was how to ensure coverage of every machine even as they move around daily.
Flexible 4k cameras
They initially considered attaching cameras to the ‘cloud’ ceiling so that they could be moved as the configuration changed. But, because it floats below a concrete ceiling, this was not possible. The Casino decided instead to use the higher resolution P series 4K cameras and place them strategically throughout the space.
Says Brown, “We had to give very careful consideration to where we placed our cameras. We wanted high quality and flexibility to avoid having to reconfigure and reinstall cameras all the time. The image quality with the Hanwha Techwin cameras gave us the edge we needed to work within our ceiling constraints.”
The new Casino has over 800 Hanwha Techwin cameras, including the XNV-8080R, PNV-9080R, and PNF-9010R models
The new Casino has over 800 Hanwha Techwin cameras, including the XNV-8080R, PNV-9080R, and PNF-9010R models. According to Brown, their favorite feature is the quality they deliver at low bitrates.
He says, “The majority of our cameras face intense and volatile lighting changes against a backdrop of complex scenery with many moving objects. Hanwha Techwin cameras and their advanced WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) technology can easily be configured to accommodate these conditions without sacrificing quality or producing obnoxious data streams.”
Wisenet wave VMS
While part of the interest in Hanwha Techwin was based on the build and image quality of the cameras and variety of the offerings, the Casino was also drawn to the Wisenet WAVE VMS (Video Management System).
Says Brown, “We were attracted to the WAVE VMS because our virtualised server and client operating systems are 100% Linux based, and the WAVE client and server applications are well supported on Linux. It works exceptionally well with the Hanwha Techwin cameras and other devices, like HDMI encoders and third-party cameras.”
Live central monitoring
WAVE also helps operators with live monitoring. As part of their daily routines, operators at the Casino have to actively watch a variety of events and occurrences, including deliveries and vendors on site.
Says Brown, “The layout system in WAVE makes it easy for us to organise our cameras into groups. So, when an operator follows someone through the Casino, rather than thinking in terms of which camera covers which machine or specific area, they think more in terms of the geography of the location.”
To reduce the storage requirements for video surveillance footage, they use motion-based high/low recording
Every casino must comply with strict retention requirements in part because forensic examination and maintaining a clear chain of custody are extremely important. At the We-Ko-Pa Resort, they have a one-week minimum retention rate with some cameras keeping video for 30 days.
Currently, We-Ko-Pa has 500 terabytes (TB) of redundant ZFS-based network storage. To reduce the storage requirements for video surveillance footage, they use motion-based high/low recording.
Explains Brown, “We use motion detection to save on storage. If no motion is detected in a frame, the camera is set up to record at very low quality and low frame rate. If the camera detects motion, then the recording automatically shifts to high-quality mode.”
Video surveillance system
Moving forward, the Casino is excited about future possibilities for their system, including people counting and using their WAVE VMS to make data-driven decisions.
The Casino and Tribal Regulatory Agency aren’t the only ones who recognise the outstanding features and functionality of their new Hanwha Techwin system. The Arizona Department of Gaming, which provides specific mandates for gaming operators in the state, is also impressed.
According to Brown, “We have even received compliments for our video surveillance system from the state inspector who was quite impressed with the image quality and the smoothness of the recordings.”
HID Global, a pioneer in trusted identity solutions announced that the Arcos Bosques Torre 1 (Tower 1) has deployed its access control solutions to heighten security and better manage visitor entry.
Located in the Bosques de las Lomas neighborhood of Mexico City, the center is comprised of six buildings. The complex includes two skyscrapers and is home to high-profile law firms, industrial, mining, media, and technology companies, and one of the city’s most recognised shopping centers.
HID readers and smart card technologies
With the help of system integrator Logen, Arcos Bosques Corporate Center chose HID Mobile Access® solutions as well as HID readers and smart card technologies for tenants and visitors to securely pass through its 16 turnstiles and use the 32 elevators that lead to their offices.
The HID solutions also give tenants the choice of using their mobile devices or physical smart cards for entry.
Touchless and safe entry
HID’s mobile access solution enables administrators to remotely manage credentials by cloud-based infrastructure “Accessing the building by simply presenting a mobile phone makes a lot of sense as we look for ways to eliminate touching things during the global pandemic,” said Santiago Morett, Project Manager at Servicon, facilities manager for Arcos Bosques.
“HID Mobile Access has given us touchless entry and safer building security, which is more important than ever for our tenants.”
Mobile access solution
HID’s mobile access solution also enables administrators to remotely create, issue, manage and revoke credentials through the cloud-based infrastructure.
Servicon, the facility management company for Arcos Bosques, now has continuous building access visibility through a unified, up-to-the-minute database of the tower’s tenant names, affiliated companies, and work locations.
"Building security today extends not only to who has access but also to how individuals can enter a facility,” said Harm Radstaak, Senior Vice President and Head of Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global. “HID’s access control solutions provide the foundation for optimal oversight and control while also keeping people healthy and safe.”
London’s renowned landmark skyscraper, 30 St Mary Axe, more famously known as The Gherkin, has selected Forge, powered by Yardi, to provide an enhanced and efficient visitor management solution for the building.
The Gherkin, located in London’s primary financial district, welcomes over 2,000 visitors per week, including restaurant-goers who dine at the noted top-floor situated Helix Restaurant, which is managed by Searcy’s.
Cloud-based software solution, Forge Bluepoint also provides real-time data on visitors expected
To manage the experience of the visitors, The Gherkin will adopt Forge Bluepoint to provide fast check-in and check-out, and the ability to scan access cards or mobile QR codes in speed lanes for secure admission, to their designated meeting floor.
Cloud-based software solution, Forge Bluepoint also provides real-time data on visitors expected and allows for seamless integration with other building management technology solutions.
Efficient visitor management
“30 St Mary Axe has a number of different tenants who require a journey for their visitors that fits their needs and culture,” said Clare Jackaman, the Operations Manager at The Gherkin.
Clare Jackaman adds, “The Forge Bluepoint technology will provide our reception and security staff with an efficient solution, to provide the right level of service and ensure people in the building are visiting safely.”
Enhanced security of visitors
“We’re excited to add The Gherkin to the growing list of Forge Bluepoint buildings across London,” said Paul Speariett, the Regional Director at Yardi, adding “Working in partnership with The Gherkin team, we have built visitor journeys that provide them with the experience, security and efficiency they need.”
Calipsa, a provider of deep-learning-powered video analytics for false alarm reduction, announced that Edmonton, Alberta-based GPS Security Group is using its false alarm filtering platform.
GPS, which offers a complete range of security services across Alberta, British Columbia and other parts of Western Canada, is the third Canadian central monitoring station to adopt the cloud-based Calipsa technology.
Deep learning technology
Calipsa’s software uses artificial intelligence with deep learning technology to recognise genuine alarms caused by human or vehicle movement. More than 90% of notifications resulting from nuisance factors such as animals, lighting, weather or foliage are filtered out, helping operators reduce their response times to genuine threats.
We’ve engaged Calipsa as a strategic growth partner to assist with reducing false video alarms"
The GPS Security Group’s Fredy Ramsoondar, Corporate Senior Security Solutions Advisor and Private Investigator, said GPS is adopting Calipsa’s AI-powered video analytics across its video surveillance sites to support the sustained growth of its monitoring division. “We’ve engaged Calipsa as a strategic growth partner to assist with reducing false video alarms, allowing our operators to focus on only genuine alarms,” he said. “We anticipate widespread benefits, including improved customer service, operational efficiency and employee morale.”
Tara Biglari, Calipsa’s Regional Sales Director, Americas, said its false alarm reduction software is easily scalable, making it ideal for any growing video monitoring station. “This is an exciting time of growth for the GPS team and we’re happy to partner with them to provide the highest level of customer service,” she said.
“The installation of our cloud-based technology requires no onsite hardware devices and we keep our service always current with remote upgrades.” A platform dashboard enables station managers to monitor the software’s performance, including detecting idle cameras that may need replacement or moving to a better position.
Adoption of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in 2016 set a new standard for data privacy. But adherence to GDPR is only one element, among many privacy concerns sweeping the global security community and leaving almost no product category untouched, from access control to video to biometrics.
Because privacy concerns are more prevalent than ever, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact on the physical security market?
Many of us take critical infrastructure for granted in our everyday lives. We turn on a tap, flip a switch, push a button, and water, light, and heat are all readily available. But it is important to remember that computerised systems manage critical infrastructure facilities, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline is an example of the new types of threats. In addition, any number of physical attacks is also possibilities. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting critical infrastructure?
There is a broad appeal to the idea of using a smartphone or wearable device as a credential for physical access control systems. Smartphones already perform a range of tasks that extend beyond making a phone call. Shouldn’t opening the door at a workplace be among them? It’s a simple idea, but there are obstacles for the industry to get there from here. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control solutions?